Every year, millions of travelers head south of the border — and with so much to see and experience, it’s no surprise that the Mexican Caribbean is the most popular multi-destination to visit in Mexico.

The island of Cozumel can be found just off the eastern coast of Mexico. Cozumel is located in the Caribbean Sea, close to Playa del Carmen and just south of Cancun. A member of the Mexican Mayan Riviera, visitors choose to go to Cozumel for its beautiful beaches and tropical climate.

Cozumel drink

Interesting Facts:

  • Cozumel was first settled by the Mayan Indians and they remained there until the 16th century when Spanish settlers infected with smallpox arrived and annihilated the entire population.
  • Cozumel features a small section of the world’s second-largest barrier reef system, known as the Mesoamerican Reef.
  • The island was thought to be sacred to Ix Chel, the Mayan Moon Goddess.
Mopeds on Cozumel beach

Useful Information:

  • Best time to visit: The optimal time to visit the island is from March to June when the daytime highs top out around 90 degrees. It is not uncommon to experience tropical storms during late summer – early fall when hurricane season arrives.
  • What to pack: Shorts, tank tops, sundresses, beach attire, and other light clothing. If you are traveling during the warmer months, I suggest outfits that are loose-fitting and comfortable because it can get very humid and hot during the day. Don’t forget the sunscreen!
  • Getting around: Travelers arrive on the island a variety of ways, including cruise ships, airplanes, and ferry rides. Once on the island, travelers are able to rent a vehicle if they chose. Taxis and buses are also available. Many single travelers and couples choose to rent a moped to get around.
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What to Do:

  • Dolphinaris Cozumel is fun for all ages! Dolphinaris offers you the exhilarating opportunity to swim with dolphins in five tropical locations that are extremely popular among tourists. Dolphinaris can be found in Cancun, Tulum, Riviera Maya Park, Cozumel and at Barceló Hotel.
  • Playa Mia Grand Beach Park is the perfect place to make memories with the family. Take the plunge at Cozumel’s largest water park. Work on your tan while surrounded by numerous activities, authentic Mexican cuisine and relaxing spa treatments. See the cultural sights and sounds of Mexico with tours that showcase tequila, chocolate, and other local flavors. If you’re adventurous, take a trip down the 200-foot long Twin Twisters water slides. Set your kids free to become pirates at Buccaneer’s Bay while you kick back under a shady palm on the beach or at the swim-up pool bar and restaurant. Here, anything is possible.
  • Of course, the beach has to be on the list of things to do! Playa Palancar has beautiful turquoise waters and sugary sands, everything you would expect from this part of Mexico. This is one of my favorite beaches around Cozumel. It has the atmosphere of an exclusive beach but is free and open to the public. The clear waters make it the ideal spot for snorkeling.
  • Cozumel Pearl Farm is a family-owned and operated pearl farm nestled on a beautiful white sand beach along the north shore of Cozumel Island. Being the only active Pearl Farm in the Caribbean, Cozumel Pearl Farm is located in a natural protected area that remains pristine and untouched; it is only accessible by boat. This is a unique and highly popular attraction among visitors.
Palms on beach Cozumel

Lisa Crow contributed to this article. She is a travel writer and lifestyle blogger based in Waco, Texas. Lisa is the Head of Content at Gigi’s Ramblings and L&S Freelance Writers. She spends her free time traveling when she can and making memories with her large family that consists of six children and ten grandchildren. This is the next installment in the Let’s Travel to…series, a collection of short informational articles covering some of the world’s top travel destinations.

There is no one particular reason why Maui is regularly named the world’s best island. Rather, there are literally thousands of reasons why so many love Maui’s intoxicating charm. On the island, watching the sunset is a celebrated evening ritual as tropical winds rustle the swaying palm tree branches dotted along the sand. It’s a place where the climates are mild year-round and guests are greeted with aloha. If you were forced to choose a handful of reasons why Maui is truly no ka oi (the best), the following list would be a good place to start.

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Interesting Facts:

  • Maui is home to more than 80 beaches with more than 30 miles of white, black and rare red sand beaches.
  • Haleakala, the island’s most famous volcano, is the largest dormant volcano in the world.
  • Honokohau Falls plunges a heart-stopping 1,100 feet, making it one of the highest waterfalls in the world.
  • Hawaii is one of the most popular whale-watching destinations in the world. As many as 1 0,000 humpback whales migrate to Hawaii from Alaska each year.
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Useful Information:

  • Best time to visit: With year-round warm weather, it’s always a good time to visit Maui. Peak times are during the summer and winter months. If you are looking for fewer crowds, September – November is optimal.
  • What to wear: Casual beachwear is acceptable just about anywhere in Hawaii, shorts and flip-flops are the norm. Depending on where you plan on visiting, more formal dress may be necessary.
  • Getting around: The most common transportation method for tourists is a rental car. There is public transportation available, but not always the best option for visitors. If you are traveling without children, motorized bikes are a popular way to get around the island.
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What to See:

  • The beaches! Maui has more miles of swimmable beaches than any other island in Hawaii. I personally recommend Ka’anapali Beach, Wailea Beach, Baldwin Beach, Honokalani Beach, Hamoa Beach and Big Beach at Makena State Park.
  • The Road to Hana, if done correctly, is arguably Maui’s best sight. Spend the whole day, or better yet two, to truly experience the natural beauty of Hana. Drive the “back road” to indulge in a landscape that feels like utopia.
  • Haleakala National Park is the perfect place to take in a beautiful sunrise or sunset. Haleakala Crater towers over the island and is visible from just about any point. Often people wake up early to head to the Haleakala Visitor Center, which is the best spot to watch what is possibly the most breathtaking sunrise on earth. Perhaps just as notable are Haleakala’s sunsets and the vivid, starry skies that are soon to follow.
  • The Old Lahaina Luau is one of the most frequently recommended attractions for first-time Maui visitors.  It is a fun introduction to Hawaiian history and culture. The members of Lahaina’s luau pride themselves on accurately representing tradition, rather than catering to tourists’ preconceived notions of native luaus.
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Lisa Crow contributed to this article. She is a travel writer and lifestyle blogger based in Waco, Texas. Lisa is the Head of Content at Gigi’s Ramblings and L&S Freelance Writers. She spends her free time traveling when she can and making memories with her large family that consists of six children and ten grandchildren. This is the next installment in the Let’s Travel to…series, a collection of short informational articles covering some of the world’s top travel destinations.

The warm clear blue waters of the Atlantic set Miami apart from other coastal destinations. Known as one of the country’s top vacation spots, Miami is famous for its beaches, nightlife, shopping and restaurants.

As I’ve probably mentioned before on Gigi’s Ramblings, Miami is also referred to as the cruise ship capital of the world. On any given day, a large number of party, sightseeing and Caribbean-bound cruise liners can be seen departing its busy port.

The upscale hotels, specialty boutiques, art festivals and numerous sports activities attract visitors from all walks of life. For those who are planning on visiting, I have compiled a list of 5 family-friendly beach destinations you can visit year-round.

Bal Harbour

Situated in the upper tip of Miami Beach, Bal Harbour is known for its charming character and gorgeous azul waters lined with powdery beaches and tropical gardens. Interestingly, Bal Harbour has more millionaires per capita than any other U.S. city, listed by Discover Homes Miami as an exclusive neighborhood, known for its wealthy residents, swanky oceanfront hotels, resorts and private homes.

With less than 3,000 permanent residents, Bal Harbour is a peaceful enclave located along the Atlantic shoreline. Shopping in the trendy Bal-Harbour Shops open-air complex, is popular among tourists and locals alike, featuring top designers like Louis Vuitton, Prada, Ralph Lauren, Versace, Chanel, Hermes and Burberry among many others.

Although beaches can only be accessed through the hotels or clubs, they are beautifully pristine and among the most protected coastal areas in the nation. Bal Harbour is the ideal place for those looking for peace and quiet along an uncrowded stretch of sand.

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Haulover Beach

With fine, sugary white sand and surf that stretches for miles, Haulover Beach is a fantastic family destination. The beach is ideal for both swimming and surfing, drawing visitors from all over the US and Canada.

Haulover has found itself at the top of  many best beaches lists over the years. This is primarily due to its beautiful scenery and year-round phenomenal weather. It sits in a perfect spot right between the Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway.

I should mention for those parents traveling with little ones, the area is also home to South Florida’s most well-known nude beaches, a very popular gay nude beach and even a dog beach; not to worry, however, as each area is clearly marked for visitors.

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Sunny Isles Beach

Centrally located between the Atlantic Ocean on the East and the Intracoastal Waterway on the West, Sunny Isles can be found just north of Miami Beach. Sunny Isles is home to several world-renowned restaurants, theaters and nightclubs, which dot the oceanside boulevard. The beach features some of Miami’s most spectacular ocean views, with white sand stretching for miles.

Well-kept public parks and plenty of safe places for children to play make Sunny Isles Beach one of the top family destinations in Miami. Easy access to shopping, spas, golf, tennis and water sports make this top spot that much more desirable for those seeking an adventurous getaway.

Once known as Motel Row in the 1950s, today Sunny Isles is a popular tourist destination with visitors coming to enjoy both its natural beauty and commercial appeal. And did I mention the beach has one of the most breathtaking sunrises in the world?

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Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Beach

Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Beach is a quiet and serene alternative to Miami’s more notorious beaches. Located right on the tip of Key Biscayne, it is also home to the Cape Florida Light, a historic lighthouse and the oldest standing building in Miami-Dade County.

This beach certainly doesn’t lack in beauty or charm and there is an abundance of activities. Walking and bike trails wind through plush grounds of native vegetation. Avid fishermen and families wanting to cast a line can purchase bait and tackle on the seawall along Biscayne Bay.

Visitors can take advantage of the two onsite restaurants, the Lighthouse Café which faces the beach, and Boaters Grill, located on a secluded lagoon. Both restaurants serve authentic Cuban food, sandwiches and beverages. A relaxing beach day on beautiful Key Biscayne is a treasured Miami pastime.

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South Pointe Park Pier

South Pointe Park Pier is a popular spot among families with children. With a more private and secluded beach area, a playground with a water park, a fishing pier and easy access to nearby restaurants and amenities, South Pointe is the perfect choice for relaxation and unwinding. With an ideal location at the southernmost tip of Miami Beach, it is also a great place to gaze at the cruise ships as they come and go while relaxing on the beach.

The Pier extends into the Atlantic Ocean and is popular among local fishermen, conveniently equipped with stations for cutting bait and washing fish. When it’s crab season, you’ll find plenty of folks carrying bags of seafood and claws from the nearby restaurants. The large park flourishes all year and offers walking paths, lush greenery and panoramic views of the ocean.

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Lisa Crow contributed to this article. She is a travel writer and lifestyle blogger based in Waco, Texas. Lisa is the Head of Content at Gigi’s Ramblings and L&S Freelance Writers. She spends her free time traveling when she can and making memories with her large family that consists of six children and ten grandchildren.