Travel Weekly Readers Choice 2016


Destinations: Caribbean

Aruba

Aruba, known as "One Happy Island," has dazzling beaches, luxury hotels and a variety of attractions and activities. Visitors can drop in at the Caribbean Festival, a family-friendly street party taking place every Thursday evening in San Nicolas. U.S. travelers to Aruba are precleared by customs at Queen Beatrix Airport.

Barbados

Barbados has retained much of its British flavor, with cricket a national pastime and high tea a daily event. Known for its pink sand and aqua waters, Barbados attracts more than 550,000 people every year. This year Barbados marked its 50th anniversary of independence.

Dominican Republic

New hotels range from luxury resorts to family-friendly, all-inclusive properties and boutique getaways. Visitor activities include whale-watching tours, horseback riding and ziplining over tree canopies. This year the 227-room InterContinental Real Santo Domingo opened in the capital's downtown Piantini neighborhood.

Jamaica

Blessed with beautiful beaches, soaring mountains, fun all-inclusive resorts and a rich culture that gave the world reggae, Rastafarians and Red Stripe  not to mention spicy jerk chicken  Jamaica continues to top many Americans' sun-and-fun vacation wish lists.

St. Lucia

St. Lucia's palm-fringed beaches, miles of unspoiled rain forest and majestic Piton Mountains make it a favorite for those seeking romance, rejuvenation or adventure. Hotels throughout St. Lucia offer kid-friendly menus and activities and adjoining rooms, making the island an appealing choice for a family getaway.

St. Maarten/St. Martin

The smallest island in the world to be divided by two nations, Dutch St. Maarten and French St. Martin have coexisted since 1648. Divided by language and culture but not by border checkpoints, the French side is known for its shopping and restaurants, the Dutch its casinos, nightlife and cruise port. Both offer miles of beaches, a lush interior, and world-class watersports. 

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