Jet Surfing: The World’s Next Watersport?

If history is any indicator, the North Shore of Maui is the tinkering ground for the world’s next generation of watersports. Both stand up paddling and kitesurfing can trace their roots to this fabled stretch of coastline, and new footage coming out of the Valley Isle shows some of Hawaii’s best watermen testing out what could potentially be the world’s next watersport.

In a weird, hybrid cross between jet skiing, race car driving and surfing, jet surfing employs a mechanically operated board that is equipped with a two-stroke engine, which can propel the board to speeds up to 35 mph. There isn’t any paddling involved in the process whatsoever, and with the use of a handheld accelerator the rider can adjust their speed to cater to the speed of the wave.

While the boards, which are the design of Jet Surf, have been around for a couple of years, this is the first footage we’ve seen of them being tested in what has historically been the proving ground for the “next big thing” of watersports.

Granted, the $12,000 price point is out of range for most of the world’s surfers, but if the trend catches on there is a good chance the prices will fall as the popularity increases.

What do you think? The future of watersports, or just another gimmick?

The Jersey Shore Is Back, Sort Of

If you’ve written off the Jersey Shore as a summer getaway, please think again. Though Sandy did grievous harm to Jersey’s 127-mile coastline, most of the damage was done to the northern coast; the southern Shore was relatively unscathed.

To the north, the beaches are significantly narrower than they were before Sandy; one survey puts the number at 30 to 40 feet. But in spite of the fact an estimated 10 million cubic yards of sand were lost, most of the northern towns plan to open their beaches by May, even if repairs and reconstructions have not been completed.

Unfortunately, in good-as-new Atlantic City, where all 12 casinos reopened about a week after the storm, post-Sandy surveys showed that much of the public believed that the boardwalk had been destroyed (thank you, Al Roker). Competition from Pennsylvania’s casinos had already triggered a six-year decline in gambling revenues; consumer perception that A.C. was seriously damaged cost even more precious business.

To attract visitors, the city’s top properties are offering bargain basement prices. The drop-dead-gorgeous $2.4 billion Revel is showing rooms at $129 a night, with a $50 food and beverage credit (with restrictions); the Vegas-sleek Borgata is close behind at $119 (or less on daily deal sites), while other properties are offering nightly rates between $60 and $100. As before, the casinos are booking headliners like Beyonce, Rihanna, Jackson Browne and Sting.

Shops and restaurants are open, so is the iconic Steel Pier, with new attractions including The Mix, a thrill ride that spins like a propeller and swings riders out over the ocean.

The barrier island communities known as the Wildwoods, with their sprawling (free) beaches, 8,000 hotel rooms and 3,000 condos are open for business, along with the two-mile boardwalk and the roller coaster. A major campaign – “The Wildwoods – Think Summer & Join Us!” – targets the New York Metro area with billboards and television spots.

Sea Isle City is also advertising its beaches and other attractions on billboards in the New York area. While the undamaged towns of the southern Shore need to get their message out, they are doing it discreetly, so as not to seem crass or insensitive to their hard-hit neighbors to the north.

It will be summer-as-usual in Victorian Cape May, which was ready for visitors almost immediately after the storm. Unlike other Shore towns, which hibernate during the winter, Cape May has a year-round calendar of events, including a Dickens Christmas Extravaganza and a Valentine’s Weekend. So for that little town, the problem this year was not Sandy damage, but the cold winter weather.

In Ocean City, which did suffer significant damage, the boardwalk is intact and city officials say the beaches are ready for summer visitors.

Seaside Heights, which had been famous/notorious for the fist-pumping crowd from Jersey Shore, became the symbol of Sandy’s power when its JetStar roller coaster slid into the ocean. Removal of the coaster and work to rebuild the boardwalk are underway. Though only about half the borough’s rides will be open by Memorial Day, Snooki’s favorite Club Karma had a grand reopening on March 9, just in time for the city’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration.

In Point Pleasant Beach, Jenkinson’s boardwalk, including the aquarium and some arcades, is open. Most of the kiddie rides, which had been stored when Sandy hit, will be back. However the popular train ride, one of the arcades and a miniature golf course were lost; work continues on those.

Belmar bravely held its annual St. Patrick’s Day parade and party on March 3. Beaches will open by Memorial Day; officials expect boardwalk repairs to be completed by that date, though rebuilding of restrooms, pavilions and other structures will not. Neighboring Avon is making no predictions.

In affluent Spring Lake, aka The Irish Riviera, reconstruction of the two-mile boardwalk will be complete before Memorial Day weekend.

According to the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Associate, the beach and some sections of the boardwalk will be ready by Memorial Day weekend. The fishing pier will not be rebuilt this year, but a temporary roof on the Great Auditorium means the annual summer concerts, featuring such acts as the Beach Boys and Tommy James and the Shondells, will go on.

In Asbury Park, the Shore town beloved by Bruce Springsteen, Mayor Ed Johnson has declared that, while full recovery has yet to happen, the beaches and boardwalk would be open this summer, with an elaborate ribbon cutting ceremony on May 18.

Long Branch’s beachfront will be open by Memorial Day; however, a one-mile section of lost boardwalk, from Melrose Terrance south to Brighton Avenue will not be repaired by this summer. All the restaurants and shops at Pier Village are open.

Little Sea Bright, which saw all its beachfront facilities and most private beach clubs destroyed, will open its beaches Memorial Day; since restrooms were also destroyed the borough will bring in temporary facilities.

Gateway National Recreation Area at Sandy Hook sustained severe damage to roads, concessions, utilities, the wastewater treatment plant and the potable water system. The goal – not written in stone – is to open the park for summer, with temporary restroom facilities.

The Keansburg Amusement Park, which the storm left under up to 6 feet of water, is open, though the Wildcat roller coaster is gone and not all rides are operational. A new looping steel roller coaster may be in place by Memorial Day weekend, and the damaged carousel should be ready to ride.

Tourism is a $38 billion industry in New Jersey, and the four coastal counties – Monmouth, Ocean, Atlantic and Cape May – account for half of the state’s annual tourism earnings, so a successful summer 2013 is critical, not only to the communities still struggling to rebuild, but to the entire state.

So if you have fond memories of walks on Jersey Shore beaches, boardwalk food and drunken evenings at oceanfront dive bars (just kidding), don’t assume you can’t enjoy the same unique-to-Jersey fun this year. As Governor Christie has said: “No one is conceding the summer of 2013 to Sandy. My commitment is to try to restore the Jersey Shore stronger than it was before but with the same character that it had before.”

International Adventure Guide 2013: Baja, Mexico

I once knew a man who said you’ve never looked freedom in the eye until you’ve raced through the Mexican desert at 100 mph while naked on the roof of a car.

While perhaps a little extreme, this raw sense of freedom and adventure has attracted adventure travelers to Baja since before the area even had a paved road. A trip to Baja means fishing for Dorado in a wooden panga beneath a sky that is vacant of clouds. It’s winding your way on sandy back roads with three surfboards, two cases of Tecate, and one hope for the perfect wave. It’s staring in wonder at whale sharks as they casually drift through bays that are cohabitated by manta rays and dolphins.

Baja is enchanting. Baja is raw. And it is unmistakably free.

One thing Baja is not, however, is dangerous, and it’s this misconception that continues to keep Baja off of the mainstream adventure travel map.

Instead, we would rather highlight the fact that Baja continues to be one of the best adventure destinations on the North American continent. From surfing to scuba and fishing to sandboarding, the entire peninsula is a desert playground you could spend a lifetime exploring.

Plus, with the media-induced security scares of the past couple of years, prices in Baja continue to be far cheaper than at many adventure destinations you could find in the western hemisphere.

While entire books could be written (and have been written) on the adventure possibilities of “La Baja,” here is a snippet of heart-thumping adventures to help turn your attention south.

Adventure Activities

Baja is crammed full of so much adventure you could pick any letter of the alphabet and find a list of activities starting just with that letter (Adventure racing, Biking, Cliff-Jumping…). For the sake of this guide, however, why not just pick the letter “s”.

Surfing: If you’re a San Diego surfer this isn’t news. Baja has been a surf outpost since Californians realized you could stand up on a board, and to this day it remains a dream destination for legions of surfers who are chasing waves. Although most surfers will elect to bring their own boards to reach remote destinations, places like Cabo Surf Shop in San José del Cabo will rent you boards to the tune of $27-$38/day, and provide lessons for $75.

Closer to the border in Baja Norte, the stretch of coastline from Punta San José to La Fonda is a favorite of the San Diego weekend warrior crowd, with Salsipuedes and Isla Todos Santos standing head and shoulders above the rest. For board rental and lessons in Baja Norte, check out K-38 surf shop between Rosarito and Ensenada.

Finally, for a legendary surf safari, consider making the trek to the remote outpost of Scorpion Bay in the town of San Juanico, located a six hour drive north from La Paz, a five hour drive west from Loreto, or an epic, 15-hour, two-day journey south from the U.S. border. You’ll have to pack your own boards with you since San Juanico is a village of only a couple hundred people, and although there’s a chance you could rent a board off of a fellow surfer at the campground, which fronts the surf break, it’s best to bring your own gear and be prepared.

Scuba Diving: Few bodies of water hold more of a romantic allure than the teeming Sea of Cortez, which runs along the length of Baja’s eastern coast. Steinbeck wrote of its bounty in his epic novel by the same name, Hemingway waxed philosophical of its beauty, and the famed ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau went so far as to name it as the “Aquarium of the World.” While the fabled Sea of Cortez runs for over 800 miles, the best place for accessing the marine environment is from the city of La Paz where the surrounding waters are all a part of a protected marine reserve. Fun Baja Diving and the Cortez Club run introductory diving excursions from $125, as well as a full range of certification programs for those who want to take their diving to the next level. As a bonus, the relatively-warm water temperature ranges from 65°-85° depending on the time of year.

Sportfishing: Anglers from across the planet have been descending upon Baja for years to take part in world-class sportfishing. Summer through fall are the best months for Dorado, and the yellowtail start biting from February through summer, making nearly every month of the year a prime time for baiting a hook. In Loreto you can charter a boat from Baja Big Fish Company from $175-$300, or, for a more low-key experience, charter a panga out of Bahia de Los Angeles from the fish lodge at Camp Daggett. In Cabo San Lucas, the focus switches from Dorado to marlin, and Pisces Sportfishing offers fishing charters from $445 all the way up through luxury yacht rentals. Note that if fishing in Cabo, it’s important to choose a reputable charter, as some of the lower-budget options have been known to fish in illegal areas. Getting stopped by the Mexican Coast Guard is never a fun fishing trip. Trust me, I’ve been there.

Hot Spots

Los Cabos: This should come as no surprise since every spring break college student, sportfisher, scuba diver, honeymooner, and margarita-lover in the northern hemisphere has at one point considered a trip to Los Cabos. International flights arrive at the airport between Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo, and all marinas for sportfishing or scuba excursions are within a 30 minute drive from most of the resorts. The best surfing breaks are located between Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo, or, for a real adventure, consider booking a multi-day diving excursion out to the remote Socorro Islands for the chance to dive with giant Pacific manta rays.

La Paz: Although there isn’t any surfing on the La Paz side of the peninsula, this tranquil capital of Baja Sur is the regional epicenter of scuba excursions and sea kayaking trips. Sandwiched between low-lying hills and offshore islands, the oceanfront stroll along the town’s malecón is the center of visitor activity. As an adventure bonus, the renowned windsurfing hot spot of “La Ventana” is only a 40-minute drive from the airport and city center. If staying in La Paz, however, dive and snorkeling excursions leave from marinas, which are within a short 5-10 minute taxi ride from downtown.

Bahia de Los Angeles: Unlike Los Cabos or La Paz, this legendary Baja Norte outpost is a long way from everything-it’s a ten hour drive from the California border. The drive through the desert is one of the main highlights of the journey, however, and once you get here the fishing charters are usually located mere walking distance from your thatched hut palapa. Since Bahia de Los Angeles faces directly east the sunrises here create a concert of colors, and the mountains, which form the backdrop of the village, are illuminated each morning in a radiant glow. In addition to sportfishing, you can also snorkel with migrating whale sharks during the months of June-October, and while “L.A. Bay” (as it’s known to many gringos) might not have the nightlife of larger cities like Los Cabos, this is a “hot-spot” where you come to for no other reason than to get away from it all.

Where To Stay

Los Cabos: If there is one thing the Los Cabos area isn’t short on, it’s hotels, and an affordable option, which is conveniently located a five-minute cab ride from the marina and center of nightlife is the Villa del Palmar resort in the heart of Cabo San Lucas. The sprawling swimming pool creates a family resort atmosphere, and the oceanfront location makes it an easy spot for a stroll down the beach into town. While not an adventure-lodge in and of itself, the location is prime for embarking on excursions from offroading tours through the desert to dolphin cruises or scuba charters. From $115-$300. Camino Viejo a San Jose KM 0.5, El Medano, Cabo San Lucas, www.villagroupresorts.com/resorts/villa-del-palmar-cabo

For the surfing crowd, Cabo Surf Hotel offers oceanfront accommodations at one of Los Cabos’ best beach breaks, although the rates are definitely higher than other places you can find around town. With only 36 rooms the hotel manages to retain its boutique nature, and the rooms themselves are modern and comfortable and gaze out towards the water and waves. From $250-$400. Playa Acapulquito, KM 28, 23410 San Jose del Cabo, www.cabosurfhotel.com

La Paz: For five-star resort luxury at affordable prices, the CostaBaja resort is literally walking distance from the main marina for snorkeling, sailing, and diving charters. Its convenient location by the marina makes it popular and busy option in town, and the standard-sized rooms gaze out towards the water where sunsets are offered up nightly. Although the resort is on the far end of La Paz it’s still only 15 minutes from the La Paz international airport, as an added bonus, anyone staying for four nights or more is eligible for free transport all the way from the airport in San José del Cabo From $150-$250. Carretera a Pichilingue, Kilómetro 7.5, Lomas de Palmira, 23010 La Paz, www.costabaja.com

If you’ll be windsurfing in La Ventana, Ventana Windsports has beachfront accommodations where hammocks and palm trees are a tempting reason for simply staying on shore. With only nine rooms the atmosphere is comfortable and laidback, and the mellow shoreline is a rustic getaway where you’re still treated to the comforts of home. From $65-$300. 7km off of Los Planes highway from La Paz, www.ventanawindsports.com

Bahia de Los Angeles: If your whole idea of coming to Baja is to escape the resort setting and just get away from everything, pitch a tent beneath a palapa at Camp Daggets and put your cooler and beach chair out in the sun. Situated a five-minute drive from the center of town (which, remember, is a ten-hour drive from the border), sportfishing and snorkeling charters depart from right here on the property. Laidback and rustic, this is as calming an outpost as you can get. Campsites from $10, casitas from $50. 2 km north of Bahia de Los Angeles town, www.campdaggets.info

Logistics

How To Get There:

By Air: Most visitors to Baja arrive by international airports in La Paz, Loreto, and San José del Cabo. If you are traveling to Baja Norte and will be in need of a rental car, there is an international airport in Tijuana which has multiple rental car agencies. Most of the direct flights into La Paz, Loreto, and San José del Cabo depart from either San Diego or Los Angeles, and the flight from Los Angeles to Los Cabos is approximately two hours. When booking flights, remember to note that the state of Baja Sur is one hour ahead of West Coast time and is in the Mountain Time Zone.

By Car: Many visitors to Baja Norte and those who will be spending an extended period of time on the peninsula will simply choose to drive their own vehicles into Baja. The San Ysidro border crossing between San Diego and Tijuana is the most heavily-trafficked border crossing in the world, and wait times at the border when heading north can often be over two hours, particularly if returning on a Sunday afternoon. For a more low-key border crossing, the Tecate border crossing is located about an hour inland from San Diego, and the drive through the Valle de Guadalupe passes through the heart of Mexico’s burgeoning wine country. This road will reconnect with MEX 1 (the Transpeninsular highway) just north of Ensenada, and the highway is fully paved all the way down to “the tip” in Los Cabos.

Understand that if you’re going to be driving your own vehicle into Baja, will be in the country for longer than 72 hours, or will be traveling further south than Maneadero (30 minutes south of Ensenada), you will need to fill out a $25 Tourist Card which can be obtained at the border crossing. Also understand that most major rental car companies don’t allow their vehicles to travel into Mexico. One company which does and that we highly recommend is California Baja Rent A Car which is based in inland San Diego and specializes in rental cars to Baja.

Driving Tips: The number one rule of road travel in Mexico is not to drive at night. Stick to the roads during the daylight hours and everything should be fine. Since the border areas can still be a little suspect, it’s best to cross with a full tank of gas and minimize your presence in urban stretches around the border (such as putting surfboards inside of your car if at all possible). The Mexican courts work differently than those in the U.S., and at all costs you want to avoid getting in any sort of accident since you’re often considered guilty until proven innocent. Shakedowns by police are common on much of the roadways, and while it really is the wrong thing to do to pay la mordida (the bribe, or literally, “the bite”), a $20 bill in your glove box will save you a lot of hassle of spending hours at the police station trying to call their bluff. For more information on police and bribes, be sure to read the Vagabond Tales column “How To Pay Off The Police While Traveling“. Finally, when the car in front of you is flashing its left blinker without slowing down, it’s indicating to you that it is safe to pass.

Seasonality: Although you can find adventure in Baja during any day of the year, spring, fall, and winter are the best times to be on the peninsula. Although the surf is better on the southern portion of the peninsula during summer, temperatures along the Sea of Cortez can swell to well over 100 degrees, and areas around Los Cabos can be prone to passing hurricanes. Winter is best for surf on the northern half of the peninsula, and since the winter temperatures in Los Cabos can stretch towards 80 degrees it’s a popular time of year with sun-seekers and snowbirds. As a best overall bet, May and June offer shoulder season rates with comfortable weather for outdoor adventure.

Safety: As I mentioned in the 2012 article “I Traveled To Mexico And Came Back Alive“, Baja is comparatively safer than any urban center across America, and I would feel safer in a fishing village in Baja than an American urban center any day. For the doubters out there, the city of La Paz has a lower homicide rate than San Francisco, Sacramento, or Los Angeles, none of which are places I hear much chatter against visiting.

To say that Baja is dangerous is like saying California is dangerous because there are a few bad neighborhoods. Quite frankly, it’s ridiculous.

If you have concerns about the safety of Baja, it’s probably best to make your point elsewhere. I probably won’t hear you anyway over the sound of the wave breaking over me, or the hiss of my undersea regulator.

Want even more Baja? Read our article on 5 Classic Baja Outposts

[Photo by Kyle Ellison]

5 Countries That Are Great Alternatives To Their Crowded Neighbors

It’s the great hypocrisy in the mind of every traveler that they want to tour a place free from other tourists. Grumbling that a place is overcrowded isn’t without grounds, though. Who hasn’t wanted to pull a Dr. Manhattan on the tour groups that take group photos with every single person’s camera? And boy, what we wouldn’t give to disappear the backpackers pretending to make out with statues of the Buddha.

We can overlook these indignities as necessary evils most of the time. In reality, tourists are going to be present at the big attractions everywhere, and the penalty of avoiding tourists would basically be staying at home permanently.

That being said, for those who just can’t take it anymore, we’ve compiled a list of some less infested options. These five countries offer up similar attractions to their neighbors, but see far fewer visitors to the nooks and crannies, which will make any tourist-weary tourist breathe a little easier.

Montenegro (Crowded Neighbor: Croatia)

Croatia’s attractive coastline is a magnet for tourists. The attendant income from droves of foreigners was one of the reasons Serbs attempted to include it in their “Greater Serbia.” The subsequent Croatian War of Independence ended in 1995, and the current crowds milling about Dubrovnik are the spoils of victory. Little Montenegro, which declared independence from Serbia only in 2006, shares the same coastline and a lot of history with its more famous neighbor. The country currently sees far fewer tourists (1.2 million vs. 9.9 million) visiting its excellent beaches, like the superb spits of sand at Sveti Stefan and Petrovac. Nor do many tourists hike and cycle around Montenegro’s untouched forests at Biogradska Gora and Skadar Lake National Parks. Montenegro’s comparative anonymity provides an experience that can’t be matched in Croatia.

Cambodia (Crowded Neighbor: Thailand)

Cambodia’s main attraction, Angkor Wat, certainly doesn’t dwell in obscurity. This single attraction saw over a million visitors last year, which accounts for more than a third of all visitors to the country. Some of Thailand‘s other neighbors, like Laos and Myanmar, can barely achieve those numbers on a national level. However, when it comes to pretenders to Thailand’s tourism throne, Cambodia is the only one in the region that can offer attractions that go tit for tat with Thailand’s best. Beaches? The empty white sands of Koh Rong and Ream National Park beckon, as does the party-centric seaside town of Sihanoukville. Ruins? Cambodia rolls deep; Angkor Wat is backed up by Koh Ker, the former capital of the Khmer Empire now overgrown in the jungle, and Sambor Prei Kuk, a pre-Angkorian temple complex. Interesting capital? Phnom Penh, the “Pearl of Asia,” boasts French colonial architecture and a park-strewn riverfront. Food? A taste of amok trey or lok lak will make you forget all about pad thai.

Estonia (Crowded Neighbor: Sweden)

Sweden is a huge Scandinavian tourism juggernaut. Estonia? Just a scrappy little Baltic state. What’s the appeal then? A lot, actually. Estonia, like Sweden, is a nature-lover’s paradise. Soomaa National Park, the “land of bogs,” is one of the best canoeing destinations in Europe and is home to wolves, bears, elk and other wildlife. Estonia’s crumpled Baltic coastline contains a mind-boggling number of shallow soft-sand beaches, especially in the summer capital of Pärnu. Estonia’s past is also worth a look. While its Soviet experience is visible in some of the less adventurous architecture, the medieval castles are well preserved and atmospheric. Tallinn, the capital, is flooded with tourists, but island life on Saaremaa is quiet and isolated. Saaremaa boasts a 13th-century castle fortress and other curios like the 100-year-old Angla windmills and a Gothic church bearing symbols of the occult.

Mozambique (Crowded Neighbor: South Africa)

South Africa is head and shoulders above its Sub-Saharan neighbors when it comes to tourist numbers. Its famous game reserves, coastline and unique heritage attract almost 10 million visitors a year. Mozambique can’t match the tourist infrastructure that its neighbor to the south has meticulously erected, but it can offer other competitive attractions. Before its large mammal population was decimated by the civil war, Gorongosa Park was considered to be Africa’s Eden. Efforts to revive the park are underway, and all of Africa’s Big 5, save the rhino, can be seen here. Maputo, the capital, is small and friendly and features Portuguese colonial architecture and an extremely laid-back vibe. Mozambique’s true attraction, though, is its coast, where surfers (of the kite and wind variety) enjoy the unspoiled beaches at Vilanculos and divers explore pristine coral without the crowds at Pemba and Tofo Beach.

Iran (Crowded Neighbor: Turkey)

Turkey sees some 27 million tourists a year and Iran, well … not nearly as many. Official mouthpieces assert some 3 million tourists visited Iran in 2011, though less than 1 percent of those were traveling for nonreligious reasons. Those few tourists had historical sites like Persepolis and Imam Square all to themselves. They experienced Iran’s outstanding natural attractions – lush forests and beaches on the Caspian Sea in the north and deadly deserts and sunny Persian Gulf coastlines in the south – without the crowds that bog down these landscapes in Turkey. Those travelers were also some of the only foreign tourists in Tehran, enjoying its multitude of parks and museums, and were alone again in Yazd, a city of compacted sand reminiscent of Tatooine. Then they joined Iranians on the empty slopes of Dizin, one of the best value-for-money ski resorts in the world, and one of the few spots where Iranians are able to pull back the veil and let loose.

[Photo Credits: Kumukulanui, ecl1ght, (flicts), VilleHoo, F H Mira, Adam Hodge]

5 Detoxifying Spring Break Destinations

Spring break is a vacation time of the year wherein many people let loose and eat and drink with abandon. Fun as that might seem to some, your idea of a good time might be one that isn’t filled with worries about the pounds you’re packing on or the detox you’re going to need post-vacation to recover from all of the alcohol. If you’re looking for an detoxifying escape plan this spring, here are some ideas that will get you started.

1. Sweet + Thrasher: St Lawrence Gap, Barbados

This resort is offering a health-conscious vacation package called “Fitness + Foolishness” for April 18-22. The package includes daily yoga, Pilates, morning runs, surf classes and dancing in the evening at the hot spots in town.2. Playa Nicuesa: Gulfo Dulce, Costa Rica
Playa Nicuesa is an eco-friendly lodge in Southern Costa Rica. Fully immersed in the rain forest, this beautiful destination can only be reached by boat. Once you’re there, you’ll take part in fresh and communal meals and have an assortment of detoxifying activities to choose from in between, including yoga, massage, hikes through the rainforest, swimming and more.

3. Esperanza, An Aubrege Resort: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
This “Find Your Balance” program offers guests vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free meals and the resort offers relaxing ways to stay in shape. Spend your time attending vegetarian cooking classes, practicing yoga in a private lesson or enjoying a massage at the spa.

4. Wanderlust Festival: Vermont, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Canada and Chile

The Wanderlust Festival’s locations this year are all fantastic and each offer their own advantages. While attending this festival, you can join in on a yoga class and indulge in the food at the healthy marketplace during the day and see live music at night.

5. Grand Velas Resort and Spa: Playa del Carmen, Mexico
This grand expanse of luxurious accommodations is the perfect place to pamper yourself and detox this spring if you’re looking for something top-notch. The resort is all-inclusive and you’ll have your choice of fresh juice, salads and veggie-heavy meals – the restaurants are also equipped to adjust their menu to your diet if you ask. When you’re not taking advantage of the detoxifying food options, you can spend your time swimming, scuba diving, kayaking, snorkeling, doing yoga or working out in the resort’s fitness center.

[Photo Credit: Elizabeth Seward]

Three Unique Spring Break Ideas