Just as many season-pushing Torontonians, myself included, began pronouncing winter to be over and done with, Environment Canada goes ahead and issues a “Special Weather Statement” for Hogtown. Serves us right, I suppose, given that it’s minus-19 in Regina right now.
So let me make up for my annoying optimism by suggesting scores of places to get away from this and any other snowy blast (as well as plenty of spots where a snowy blast is a good thing).
WAIHEKE ISLAND, NEW ZEALAND
Just 35 minutes from Auckland by ferry, this compact island boasts an impressive array of sunny diversions. Emerald waters and sandy beaches blend beautifully with dozens of boutique wineries, fine restaurants, art galleries and craft studios, while walking trails wind through nature reserves and ziplines soar above it all.
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PROVIDENCIALES, TURKS AND CAICOS
This Caribbean archipelago’s most-visited island is home to Grace Bay, which is widely regarded as one of the world’s best beaches. There’s also a host of luxurious beachfront resorts, dozens of upscale restaurants and spas, and some of the region’s best snorkeling, scuba diving and deep-sea fishing.
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This is a gorgeous 30-km stretch of keys named Plantation, Upper and Lower Matecumbe, Shell and Lignumvitae. It’s where mangrove gives way to beautiful ocean, and where much of the Bloodline TV series was shot. Indeed, the Moorings Village and Spa, a luxurious 7.3-hectare property, stood in as the Rayburns’ hotel.
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NOSARA, COSTA RICA
Surf shops and yoga studios were imported to this pretty Guanacaste town by its large expat community, but the luxuriant vegetation and plentiful wildlife of the nearby refuge, as well as the three lovely beaches, all come courtesy of Mother Nature.
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