by: Kelly Stilwell
Welcome to our new regular feature sharing exciting travel ideas that are just a Hop, Skip and a Jump away!
We all need a vacation now and then, but where do you go when you live in
paradise? We’re here to help! With these three gorgeous destinations, you can
choose whether to take an overnight trip, a long weekend or a week-long getaway
to rest, relax and explore.
In just a little over two hours, you can be on Estero Island in Fort Myers Beach. If a private 12-acre beach is what you’re looking for, check out the Pink Shell Resort. Dip your toes in the stunning pool or order a cocktail to be served right on the beach. Kids will love the giant zero-entry Octopool with waterslides and underwater speakers.
Ready to get active? Learn to ride a Waverunner, spend a day fishing with one of their charters or learn to sail with Offshore Sailing School. If relaxation is more your style, start the day with a massage at Aquagene Spa and lounge
at the pool with a good book.
With three restaurants and the option of dinner on the beach, you really don’t need to leave the resort. End the day with a beachside campfire with s’mores.
For a long weekend, Key West is a fantastic getaway. Skip the 7½ hour drive by starting in Fort Myers or Marco Island and taking the Key West Express Ferry. You do have to be at the Ferry at 7 am for an 8 am departure, but you can be in Key West by lunchtime. Reservations must be made in advance. It’s easy to get around Key West without a car as the Island is only about 4 miles long.
Start your day with delicious breakfast at the Moondog Cafe. Walk right across the street to the Hemingway Home where you’ll be greeted by the six-toed cats who reside there, many of them descendants of the cats who lived there with Ernest Hemingway in the 1930s. Spend the day strolling among the butterflies at the Key West Butterfly Museum, taking a selfie at the famed Southernmost Point or walking up the 88 steps of the Key West Lighthouse to be rewarded with a 360-degree view of Key West and the ocean. Be sure to head to Mallory Square for the famous sunset celebration with entertainers and a very good chance you’ll see one of the prettiest sunsets of your life
A drive or a ferry won’t get you to this one, but flights are plentiful to get to Riviera Maya from Sarasota/Bradenton or Tampa International Airports. Riviera Maya is located on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, about an hour south of Cancun.
If all-inclusive is what you’re after, Hotel Xcaret offers a family resort in Hotel Xcaret Mexico, or an adults-only resort (ages 16 and up) in Hotel Xcaret Arte right next door. Between the two resorts you’ll have access to multiple pools, a river and ocean both lined with lounge chairs, umbrellas and beautiful views, a spa and daily activities. They won’t let you go hungry or thirsty with access to 19 restaurants and 24 bars!
If that’s not enough to keep everyone happy, the real draw, also included with your stay, is unlimited access to seven eco-adventure parks; Xcaret, Xplor, Xplor Fuego, Xavage, Xel-Há, Xoximilco and Xenses. Also included are the resort’s Xenotes and Xichén tours. Transportation to and from the Parks as well as the airport is all part of your Xcaret package.
HAVE A FAVORITE HOP, SKIP OR JUMP? LET US KNOW AND YOU MAY SEE IT FEATURED HERE IN A FUTURE ISSUE!