A Very Coastal Christmas
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Ever since collect, pals Haley, John, Grace and Andrew have embarked on a new tradition: celebrating a not so snowy holiday with friends and escaping the gripping winter by traveling to Sanibel, Florida. None of them grew up around tropical beaches, but they all considered Sanibel to be their special little home for the holidays.
"The older we get, the more we cherish connecting with each other and finding freedom in making holiday traditions our own," shares Grace.
With a shared love of outdoor adventuring, the foursome pack their days with hiking, swimming and paddle boarding before settling into an evening of great food and a cozy beach bonfire.
Extreme exertion throughout the day makes the evenings that much more enjoyable. "Even though we've been running around all day, it barely feels like exercise, because we're just enjoying each other's company," adds Andrew.
A paddle board instructor himself, he often leads the group on water excursions. "It's America's fastest growing watersport - and for good reason. There are so many unique challenges!" Andrew says, recounting how last Christmas the crew spent their time trying yoga on their paddle boards. Often times, paddle boarding can be intense, but the group of friends loves bringing a meditative lens to the sport, especially this time of year.
"It's such an important time to be reflective. There's nothing like being out in the warm water, feeling completely in tune with myself," says Haley. Good friends, tropical temps and feeling fully hydrated all help Haley practive mindfulness and gratefulnes during the holidays.
Around the bonfire, the friends exchange gifts - and goals. "PRO and TAP wate rbottles are the best of both worlds!" says John, noting that the whole group is passionate about their health. A water bottle may not seem like a glamorous gift, but it's been so much more than a drinking vessel.
With the HidrateSpark app, all four friends are able to keep each other accountable for their goals, even when they'r enot all together during the holidays. "Every time my water bottle lights up, it reminds me of sitting around the bonfire and I can't help but smile and feel motivated," Andrew shares.
Our 7 Favorite Holiday Winter Getaway Ideas
Experience a not so snowy holiday season at some of our favorite getaway spots.
Brush up on your history over the holidays. Enjoy wintertime temps in the 60s and 70s as you explore all the architecture and greenery the city has to offer. Pack a water bottle and start your day off with guided sightseeing or a culinary walking tour, followed by a spooky night-time ghost tour. Get lost in the beauty of the Spanish moss, giant oak trees, and Georgian architecture.
Find yourself saying, “I wanna do that!” on basically a daily basis? Costa Rica may be the holiday destination for you. Packed with adventure, Costa Rica is known for its beaches, volcanoes and biodiversity. Find activities ranging from ziplining, to volcano hikes, to white water rafting. Then chill out with a walking tour, featuring the best of Costa Rica’s food, history and architecture. It’s safe to say that Christmas in Costa Rica would be truly unforgettable.
Head to Carlsbad, California for a family-friendly holiday. Just 40 miles north of San Diego, Carlsbad gives you a close-up look at all things fun: LEGOLAND®, Sea Life Aquarium, Craftsmanship Museums (check out miniature creations from around the world), Museum of Making Music (trace the development of American musical instruments), and Leo Carrillo Ranch Historic Park where even peacocks roam freely! Make sure you and the fam stay hydrated as you hit each destination.
Cannon Beach, OR
This Pacific Northwest holiday getaway is perfect for a cozy Christmas for two. Enjoy mild temperatures and sandy shores, plus dramatic shoreline rock formations like Haystack Rock. Cannon Beach’s small beach town charm comes to life with art galleries, specialty shops and restaurants. Plus, you’re just mere steps from wine country’s best kept secret: there are five wineries in this cozy coastal town.
Looking for a unique holiday escape? Taos is a town in northern New Mexico’s high desert, known for historic adobe buildings. The pueblos are considered to be one of the oldest continuously inhabited communities in the United States. Make sure to snap your holiday card pic at the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge or Williams Lake. Missing the snow? Check out Rio Grande del Norte National Monument.
The holidays are a great time for a wellness check, and there’s no better place to feel totally zen than in Belize. Escape to a spa in the rainforest, join a yoga and kayaking retreat, or hike in the Mayflower Bocawina National Park. No matter how you like to unplug during the holidays, Belize has a fit for you.
Treat a trendsetting foodie or design lover to the holiday gift of a lifetime and travel to Bogotá. La Candelaria, its cobblestoned center, features colonial-era landmarks and is home to popular museums, including the Museo Botero and Museo del Oro.