All Posts By

Jennifer Prince

Caribbean

8 Must-Visit Islands In The Caribbean

When it comes to island hopping, unless you have the use of a private jet (don’t we all wish!), cruising is the perfect way to go. From respites filled with lush beaches and historic sites to locales peppered with modern amenities and yachts galore, here are 8 islands not to miss in the Caribbean Sea.

Antigua

Antigua is peppered with soft sandy beaches next to clear waters with an aqua hue. The Caribbean wouldn’t have it any other way! Heading out to any of the beaches via car rental (which is less expensive and more readily available than you might think) allows you to experience multiple beaches for lounging, seeing beautiful views, and experiencing the sunset.

Not to be missed is Nelson’s Dockyard, which is a set of older buildings that now house shops and restaurants. Because of the historical aspect, it is associated with the parks system, which includes a few vantage points such as Shirley Heights. It’s a must for your list as the area truly offers some of the best views in the Caribbean. They will take your breath away!

Bequia

This little-known island is…well, little. At only 18 square km, Bequia is small on size, but big on views. A leisurely pace is kept by expats and locals alike, and quaint, beachside villas are available for those who would like to stay a while.

One favorite spot is Princess Margaret Beach. A walkway made of wood and stone takes visitors to a sandy beach with gorgeous views of the boats in the harbor. Beachgoers can relax in either the sun or shade as they look out onto the aqua waters.

The island is popular with expats, some of whom create and sell artisan wares, such as lovely paintings and wooden, miniature boats that float. Those who like rum punch will be thrilled with the many two-for-one offerings at the ocean side restaurants where you can stop and grab a bite.

Grenada

The port of St. George’s has the typical shops and activity of a town, yet it also houses museums such as the Grenada Museum and the House of Chocolate (yum!). Venturing out from the port showcases a lovely inland harbor filled with colorful boats.

One of the highlights of the island is the impressive Underwater Sculpture Park. Snorkeling or scuba diving allows visitors to view underwater statues where sea life has begun to take residence, creating a delicate balance between art and nature. Feeling adventurous? Head to Annadale Falls to relax by the sounds of falling water.

Guadeloupe

A favorite stop of many, the port of Les Saintes in Guadeloupe is both quaint and filled with shops and restaurants. There is plenty to do within walking distance. A short, but steep hike will take you up to Fort Napoleon, where there are lovely views of the harbor. Walking to the other side of the island offers a different view of lovely homes, interesting cemeteries, and a beach area with vigorous waves.

Especially endearing are the swimming areas, which are spread along working beaches peppered with fishing boats. The folks on this French-speaking island are sweet and accommodating, but be prepared to do a bit of hand signaling as native English speakers in Les Saintes are few and far between.

Martinique

Those who love shopping and artisan wares will adore the port of Anse Mitan, which has many local restaurants and boutique shops to peruse. Also of note is the smattering of artisans with their handmade wares. Patrons can purchase one of their ready-made items or have a custom piece made as a souvenir.

To avoid crowds, head to one of the lesser-known beaches, such as Pointe du Bout, which has shade, palm trees, and clear water that is perfect for snorkeling. For those who want to venture out, a ferry is available to other points. A ride on the ferry affords beautiful outlooks and a relaxing experience.

St. Barthelemy

Want to experience living like the rich and famous – even if only for a day? Then this island, more commonly known as St. Barts, is where to head. The port of Gustavia is filled with impressive yachts and upscale stores.

ATV rentals are available at a few shops around the port, which opens up a whole host of areas to explore. The secluded Rockefeller Beach is a 20-minute hike from the road, but the once private beach is the perfect place to sunbathe and swim in clear waters.

St. Kitts

Although your cruise ship may offer excursions, this island is easy to navigate if you are daring enough to rent an ATV in the port of Basseterre. Encompassing 175 square km, the views from the coastline are breathtaking. Brimstone Hill Fortress is a worthy vantage point while adding a bit of history to your stop.

Also of note is Wingfield Estate, which showcases sugar cane processing ruins. Romney Manor is next door, where patrons can view the delicate process of making batik fabric.

Heading along the coastline will also cause you to encounter Black Rock Beach, which is just that – a beach line filled with stately black rock formations. St. Kitts has plenty of lounging beaches around the island for you to discover, and if you have time, popping over to the nearby island of Nevis is a possibility.  

St. Lucia

For those who crave a bit of adventure, Pigeon Island is a fabulous stop.  It is filled with rainforest canopies, so heading one to one of many ziplines is a thrill. Line guides watch for safety and also take photos and videos with your phone as you whiz by.

The port itself has a fort that overlooks the harbor and white sand beaches with clear water like only the Caribbean can offer.

If you are headed to the sunny Caribbean, any of these stops (or all of them!) are worth your while for exploring or relaxing the days away.

North America Road Trippin

5 Reasons San Mateo County Makes The Perfect Girls Getaway

5 Reasons San Mateo County Makes The Perfect Girls Getaway

Emma’s sister. Laura’s friend. We all know the feeling of being identified by association, don’t we? Even though our accolades may pale in comparison to that of our more famous companions, we all crave (and deserve) our own identity. And in California – I dare say – there’s a county that feels that same way. Of course San Francisco is well known, and if you book a flight there, you fly into San Francisco International. The airport itself is actually nestled in San Mateo County, which often gets lumped in with its more illustrious northern sister, but I guarantee that this “little sister” can provide fun in big ways for a spectacular girls getaway.

The Wineries

Gather the gals and make a weekend out of taking in wines. Imagine sampling spirits crafted with locally grown grapes, wandering among the vines, or savoring a full glass while overlooking the scenery. Or choose to do all of the above!

For unparalleled mountainside views be sure to put Thomas Fogarty Winery on your list. Grapes are grown on the property, and the vineyards add to the stunning landscape. The bay is visible from their lawn, which gives cause to sip the day away while soaking in the natural beauty of the area as you chat with friends.

If you prefer an urban landscape, Domenico Winery is conveniently situated in San Carlos. With a warehouse vibe and on-site eateries (circa mid-2018), this location offers over 20 varietals and is steeped in family tradition and Italian heritage. At certain times of the year you can try your hand at experiencing the art of winemaking during one of their classes.

5 Reasons San Mateo County Makes The Perfect Girls Getaway 5 Reasons San Mateo County Makes The Perfect Girls Getaway

The Culture

One location that combines arts, theatre, history and restaurants in one area is enchanting Redwood City. Its streetscapes lend themselves to walking so that you can shop and experience culture at the same time. The area boasts live theatre productions put on by Fox Theatre, Broadway by the Bay and Dragon Productions. Love shopping? Whether you are searching for fashions or collectibles, there is a bit of something for everyone. Also, learn a bit at the stately San Mateo County History Museum, and be sure to stop into LV Mar for Latin inspired, tapas style dining.

5 Reasons San Mateo County Makes The Perfect Girls Getaway

The Nature

Looking to commune with Mother Nature? San Mateo County is filled with opportunities. Whether you are intrigued by historic homes and beautiful gardens or crave earthy accommodations, the area has several options to fit the bill.

A trip to Filoli is certainly a memorable experience. Featuring seasonal activities such as flower shows and festivals, this circa 1915 sprawling estate boasts a stately, art-filled home along with lush gardens. Offering classes in floral design, botanical art and horticulture, your squad can attempt a new skill together. While you are there, feel free to take in a bite at the on-site Quail’s Nest Café, peruse the Clock Tower Shop, or take a self-guided walk on the Estate Trail.

5 Reasons San Mateo County Makes The Perfect Girls Getaway

Want to try glamping? Costanoa Lodge is the perfect place to try it out. With an assortment of cabins and tents, the options for housing are plenteous. If you choose the tented bungalows, comfort stations (read bathrooms with a sauna and outdoor fireplace) are available. An added bonus is an outdoor hot tub and much needed Wi-Fi. While you are experiencing Costanoa, be sure to rent bikes, go horseback riding or take a jaunt to the beach for a day of fun in the sun with the girls. Their on-site restaurant, Cascade Bar & Grill, focuses on sustainability, and if you have time, their coastal spa offers massage and aromatherapy treatments. The nearby Pigeon Point Lighthouse also offers beautiful photo ops to fill your Instagram feed.

The Spas

There is nothing quite like the peaceful music and natural scents that spa treatments offer. If spending a weekend lounging around in robes and treating your body to self-care sounds luxurious, then considering a spa vacation with the ladies is just the ticket for the perfect getaway. Wile away the hours as you ease away tension and leave feeling refreshed and revived.

Known for luxury, beautiful views and fine cuisine, the Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay not only offers upscale accommodations and fine dining, but guests can delight in a massage or facial while staying on-site. For extra activities, you can explore the nearby beach or experience the golf course. Another option is to head to Main Street, which offers shopping, restaurants and more for a day of fun on the town.

5 Reasons San Mateo County Makes The Perfect Girls Getaway 5 Reasons San Mateo County Makes The Perfect Girls Getaway

Oceano Hotel & Spa offers a variety of services including detoxifying baths, seaweed wraps and invigorating body scrubs. If you crave seafood while you’re there, Sam’s Chowder House is close by as are kayak rentals for those who enjoy a bit of adventure. The rooms at Oceano are both spacious and comfortable with views of the boats docked in Pillar Point Harbor.

If you head to San Mateo County, I hope you’ll agree that the area stands on its own with lots of things to do for girls on the go. Bonus: Need to spend some time near the airport prior to leaving? Be sure to check out Kincaid’s for a fabulous capstone dinner with friends, and consider the Westin or Aloft to wake up refreshed before you head out of town.

Top