Feast Your Eyes on Endless Island Bliss

So much tropical paradise, so little vacation time. Many US travelers opt for easier flights to the Bahamas or Jamaica, but there’s also coastline and culture to discover in more remote spots such as St. Lucia, Costa Rica and Barbados. American citizens don’t even need a passport to visit Puerto Rico or the US Virgin Islands. Islands controlled by the UK, France and the Netherlands give the region a little European flavor. Wherever you go, you’ll find beautiful vistas and pristine beaches.
Caribbean Beach With White Sand
Alberto Pomares G., Getty Images

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Let us help you plan your ideal Caribbean vacation! Here are our favorite tips, tricks, destinations and ideas.

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Maine Lobster Bake

Maine Lobster Bake

Is there a more quintessential New England experience than the lobster bake on a rocky beach? Maine lobsterman haul in 40 million pounds of lobster each year – 90 percent of all lobster caught in the U.S. Why not eat it at the source?    960 1280

The Washington Post  

Malaga's Sardines

Malaga's Sardines

Sardines are supposedly products of Sardinia, Italy. However, many people consider the sardines caught off the beaches of Malaga, Spain to be the best in the world. 960 1280

Geography Photos  

Alabama Fried Grouper

Alabama Fried Grouper

You don’t have to be Bubba Gump to love Gulf shrimp in all its permutations. But on Alabama’s Gulf Coast, the fried grouper sandwich at The Gulf in Orange Beach is the local favorite. 960 1280

Courtland William Richards  

Australian Barramundi

Australian Barramundi

Wonga Beach in North Queensland is one of many Australian beaches known for barramundi, a type of seabass.  960 1280

stefanturney  

Prince Edward Island Mussels

Prince Edward Island Mussels

On Prince Edward Island, an Atlantic province off the eastern coast of Canada, mussel farmers work year-round to grow and harvest the famed PEI mussels that are shipped around the world.  960 1280

Joe Raedle  

English Fish and Chips

English Fish and Chips

Fish and chips and vinegar! You know the refrain, but there’s nowhere better to get it fresh off the boat than in Aldeburgh, England, where fishermen still haul their boats onto the rocky beach with hand crank winches. Smoked fish is also a specialty at this Suffolk beach where cod is plentiful. 960 1280

Geography Photos  

Point Reyes Oysters

Point Reyes Oysters

The area along Tomales Bay on Point Reyes National Seashore in Northern California is also known as the Oyster Trail. Here, the mollusks are typically served grilled on an open flame with barbecue sauce.  960 1280

Spondylolithesis  

Portuguese Langostino

Portuguese Langostino

It’s sea-to-table dining in Cascais, Portugal, where Mar do Inferno is one of a handful of beachside restaurants serving freshly-caught seafood. Langostino – that smaller-than-a-lobster-bigger-than-a-shrimp crustacean, is the specialty of the region. 960 1280

  

Hawaiian Ahi Poke

Hawaiian Ahi Poke

Poke, a Hawaiian dish of cubed, raw ahi tuna doused in soy sauce and other seasonings and mix-ins, is popular on the beaches of Oahu. 960 1280

Tom Williams  

Crabs from Maryland’s Eastern Shore

Crabs from Maryland’s Eastern Shore

On Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay, native blue crabs are served steamed and smothered in Old Bay Seasoning. Lay them out on a newspaper, and crack them open with a wooden mallet. You can rinse your sticky, Old Bay-encrusted fingers in the tide when you’re done.  960 1280

flownaksala  

Carribean Conch

Carribean Conch

Conch is popular in many forms – most notably as deep-fried fritters – throughout the beaches of the Florida Keys and the Caribbean. Here, fisherman prepare conch on a beach in Turks and Caicos. 960 1280

Bob Krist  

Zanzibar Octopus

Zanzibar Octopus

Zanzibar, off the coast of East Africa, is known for its white sand beaches and its octopus – caught in the reefs by wading spear fishermen. In Zanzibar, octopus is typically served grilled or in curry. 960 1280

AGF  

St. Bart’s

St. Bart’s

Boasting some of the world’s top-rated beaches, as well as numerous spas, high end restaurants and luxury resorts, St. Bart’s offers a true escape from cold climate winters. 960 1280

Pierre CARREAU  

St. Martin

St. Martin

An island divided, the northern part of St. Martin is a French territory, while the southern part is Dutch. French St. Martin is known for luxury resorts and shopping, while Dutch St. Maarten is famed for its nightlife. 960 1280

Marka  

Curacao

Curacao

Nightlife and the anonymous blue liqueur draw many winter travelers to Curacao in the Dutch Antilles. The island’s coral reefs are popular among snorkelers. 960 1280

MyLoupe / Getty Images  

Tortolla

Tortolla

The largest of the British Virgin Islands, Tortolla is a popular destination for winter travelers. Visitors enjoy hiking and seeing the volcanic island’s historic sites. But Tortolla’s best known for the beaches along its northern coast, including Brewer’s Bay. 960 1280

DEA / DIEGO M.ROSSI  

Grand Cayman

Grand Cayman

Twenty-two miles long and eight miles across at its widest point, Grand Cayman is home to varied wildlife, beautiful beaches, and plenty of resort activities, especially along Seven Mile Beach, the most active tourist area. 960 1280

David Rogers  

Barbados

Barbados

Southern Atlantic or far eastern Caribbean? Who cares? Barbados continues to be one of the most sought-after winter island destinations. In addition to beaches, tourists can enjoy golf, the botanic gardens and visit historic plantations. 960 1280

DEA / A. VERGANI  

Jamaica

Jamaica

If you’re seeking a little culture with your Caribbean escape, check out Jamaica, birthplace of reggae and home to January’s annual Jazz and Blues Festival. Numerous other arts activities including dance and museums are available as well. 960 1280

DEA / V. GIANNELLA  

St. Lucia

St. Lucia

The most prominent natural feature of this volcanic island in the eastern Caribbean are the Pitons, two steep mountain peaks on its west coast. Famed for luxury resorts and pristine beaches, adventurers can also hike the trails of St. Lucia’s interior rainforest. 960 1280

philippe giraud  

Bonaire

Bonaire

Bonaire, the Dutch island off the coast of Venezuela, is widely regarded as a premier diving destination. Its coral reefs are protected by a national park and the island features 54 shore diving locations. 960 1280

ullstein bild  

Belize

Belize

Located on the eastern coast of Central America, Belize offers Caribbean beaches on its east and rainforest in its west. Adventurers can explore Mayan ruins, trek through the jungle or dive in Belize’s Barrier Reef. 960 1280

Andrew Hounslea  

Destinations in the Caribbean

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