Amazing Exchanges: The Hottest Destinations

Cozumel

Cozumel, Mexico

Cozumel, Mexico

Cozumel is an island off the coast of Mexico about a three hour drive south of Cancun, but it’s a fantastic destination all by itself. Known for its diving and snorkeling, the Mesoamerican Reef is the second largest coral reef in the world. Divided into seven different sections, each one offers its own personality of crystalline Caribbean water. Back on land, the white sand beaches are also world class. Immerse yourself in Mexican culture at the waterfront promenade, with its beautiful sculptures and lookouts, and the central square, with its authentic food and stretched palm trees.

Clermont

Clermont, Florida

Clermont, Florida

Central Florida’s Clermont is less than 30 miles from Disney’s Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Universal, and all of the other wonderful theme parks that Orlando is known for. The area’s rolling hills, lakes and sports facilities also attracts runners, cyclists, casual hikers, bird watchers and vacationers seeking out horseback riding, canoeing, and kayaking. Get a view from the top in the Citrus Tower, an observation deck offering a 360-degree view of eight adjoining counties. Relax after all the adventure at Lakeridge, Florida’s largest premium winery, featuring locally-grown Muscadine grapes.

Gatlinburg

Gatlinburg, Tennessee

 

Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Nestled at the base of the 300,000-acre Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg is appropriately nicknamed the “Gateway to the Smokies.” With three entrances to the park from downtown and numerous roads and trails leading into the park, there are endless opportunities for outdoor recreation in the area. This Tennessee mountain town experienced wildfires that ran through the surrounding woods in the fall of 2016. The downtown remains untouched and welcoming to tourists. Check out moonshine distilleries, biker bars, a fun and vibrant downtown strip, scenic gondola rides up the mountain, and entertaining country shows.

Panorama

Panorama, British Columbia

Panorama, BC

Panorama Vacation Retreat is located in the heart of Canadian Rockies. Nestled between Kootenay National Park and the Purcell Mountain Range, the resort features several unit sizes perfect for a small group of friends or for the whole family. This year-round vacation destination features dozens of activities for visitors of all ages. In the winter months, enjoy outdoor adventures like skiing, sledding, snowmobiling and snowshoeing, or warm up at the renowned Radium Hot Springs. During warmer months, rafting, tennis, golf, biking, and dozens of other family friendly activities are popular.

Massanutten

Massanutten, Virginia

Massanutten

Massanutten Resort in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia offers year round family-friendly activities even if you don’t take advantage of the resort’s 1,110 feet of vertical skiing. For one, there’s the year round indoor waterpark, where the temperature is a constant 84 degrees. The surf is always up on the pipeline Flowrider standing wave, and kids can frolic in the 12-inch-deep frog pond, or 36-inch-deep family friendly Shenandoah Cove. Watch out for the central feature of the park, the Massanutten Meltdown, a giant bucket which periodically dumps water on screaming children!

 

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About the Author

About the Author: Pat Barcas serves as staff writer and photographer for RTX Traveler Magazine, based in Asheville, NC. His favorite RTX destinations are on the beach: Orange Beach, Alabama, New Smyrna Beach, Florida, and Murrells Inlet, South Carolina. .

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