Beach vacation (from Boston) with some particular qualifications.
January 28, 2004 7:20 PM   Subscribe

We're looking for a sun and beach vacation where the temperature is 75 degrees or more, and the water is that beautiful aqua color. We're starting from Boston, and want to stay in our timezone. We'll only have three or four days, so a direct flight is a must. Once there, we'll just be hanging on the beach and having some meals. Any suggestions for destinations and places to stay?
posted by alms to Travel & Transportation around Boston, MA (12 answers total)
Fly to San Juan, Puerto Rico and take a puddle jumper to either Culebra or Vieques.
posted by machaus at 7:26 PM on January 28, 2004

alms. I'm also in Boston. Doesn't JetBlue (all passenger sharing info aside) fly south out of here yet? If not, I have it on good word that this is a good bet for that affordable luxury relax-type getaway.
posted by grimley at 7:39 PM on January 28, 2004

Also looking for suggestions for those who are on a very limited budget...
posted by MsVader at 8:40 PM on January 28, 2004

I have friends who are doing water-filtration missionary work in Haiti that would love to have you volunteer to help for a week...
posted by five fresh fish at 9:10 PM on January 28, 2004

You have to go pretty far south to find hot weather lately it seems. I lived on Sanibel Island off the Gulf Coast of Florida for a few months in the winter and found that it was really beach heaven. Lots of weird shells, nothing at all to do, a lot of good restaurants and not a lot of traffic. On the other hand[s] it's not cheap and most of the people there are 70+ years old which is great for some things, less great for others. Key West is knock out but similarly unattainable/spendy in Winter months unless you know someone but it does have that clear clear water you were looking for. I have had good luck [at fairly low cost, relatively speaking] going with Southwest Vacations. They fly out of Manchester and Providence so there will be some travel, but Logan's such a pain anyhow, just finding parking might make it worthwhile unless you love the T. They usually include airfare and a few night's hotel at some not-super-interesting place, but if it's on the beach, who cares?
posted by jessamyn at 8:56 AM on January 29, 2004

I am a fan of the Gulf coast of Florida. Blue water, warmth, and a lot less of the touristy feel of the ocean side. It's more of a barefoot beach local kind of place, or at least that's how it felt to me when I was there about eight years ago. I might have been there on the off-season, but I had a wonderful and relaxing time.
posted by jennyb at 8:56 AM on January 29, 2004

The coastal islands of S. Carolina are nice. Fly into Charleston from either Boston or Providence. Maybe even Manchester. We rented a condo for 3 - 4 days a couple of years ago and had a blast. Plenty of beach vegging as well as some good food to be had back in Charleston. We watched the dolphins swim by from our back deck.

Quick, easy flight from Boston. I think we did stop somewhere on the way and caught a turboprob the rest of the way, but I'm sure you can find a direct flight.

Look into "Great Beach Vacations", they do the condo and townhouse rentals.
posted by bondcliff at 9:34 AM on January 29, 2004

I would say try Spirit Airlines to Cancun, but dont stay in Cancun because it is expensive and a copy of Miami. Go down to Playa Del Carmen and find a cheap hotel there.
posted by gen at 3:52 PM on January 29, 2004

I've actually been to Playa Del Carmen and didn't enjoy it at all. The water was indeed blue, but much too rough and choppy. I guess it didn't help that I was staying in the worst resort ever.

Where are all of those glassy, serene, impossibly blue beaches that I see in photos?
posted by MsVader at 8:19 PM on January 29, 2004

Going now? Probably not the best, although in March it'll be just perfect ... I remember loving Duck Key as a kid. Plus, it has a fun name... Hawk's Cay resort

It's about halfway down the Keys, and there's a small airport a few islands down (Big Pine, I think?) if you want to fly in there. Otherwise, just fly into Miami, rent a car, and drive the hour or so. There's only one resort on the island, and the rest is residential. There's boat rentals, (including sailboats), a saltwater lagoon to swim and snorkel in (and normal pools, too), fishing tours & glass-bottom boats and all that good stuff, one of the few places where you can actually swim with dolphins in a controlled environment ... awesome place to stay.

posted by SpecialK at 10:32 PM on January 29, 2004

Florida pretty much sucks for clear blue water and gorgeous sand.

Firstly, forget the gulf coast. It's hit or miss, unless you really really know where to look. Sanibel is OK, but you want to go to Anna Maria Island for the environment, or Siesta Key for the beach. Frankly, neither one is all that great....and it's pretty cold in Florida now, anyway.

The Keys are nice, definitely. Good stuff, there, but again it's hit or miss with the beaches.

I like Key Biscayne. It's pretty stinking nice, but doesn't approach the Bahamas as far as blue water and awesome sand.

So, my recommendations....Caymans or Bahamas. It'll be a bit warmer in the Caymans, and any truly Caribbean beach is going to be AWESOME....much better than even Key West.
posted by taumeson at 6:02 PM on January 30, 2004

destin, florida, on the gulf side has calm aqua water and is warm. i imagine it's not cheap though as everyone i know who goes there in the winter are millionaires. plus, it looks crowded from the photos i've seen.

go to cancun, but stay on isla mujeres. it's an island you can get to by ferry, it's quite peaceful and cheap. plus, the side of the island that faces cancun is aqua and calm due to facing a bay and not the atlantic.

or, you can go to cancun and then fly to cuba. you have to be adventurous for cuba though. as in bring your own toilet paper and candles adventurous.
posted by centrs at 3:41 PM on February 4, 2004

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