From Oahu to Montego Bay, here are destination ideas for taking three days off.
1. Oahu, Hawaii
This is a side of Oahu few know exist. At the Byodo-In Temple, peacocks roam and koi swim in a setting so foreign it’s been used as a Korea stand-in on Lost. The replica of a Japanese Buddhist temple was built at the base of the Ko’olau Mountains to honor the 100-year anniversary of the first Japanese immigrants to Hawaii. And the Japanese influence doesn’t stop there. A 30-minute drive to Waikiki leads to Asian travelers queuing up at Marukame Udon for a taste of home. One slurp of the fresh noodles and the next stop may as well be Mount Fuji.
2. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
For starters, a weeklong trip, flights included, can ring in for less than $1,000 at resorts like The Level at Melia Caribe Tropical. And with over 35,000 rooms, this all-inc mecca has thousands of options for those with a taste for convenience and bottomless cocktails. Low maintenance? Definitely. But predictable? Not a chance.
3. St. John, USVI
This Virgin isle is small on development (only four hotels) and big on nature: Its national parkland covers two-thirds of the island. Jungle trails wend past petroglyphs and hermit crabs unfazed by curious guests. The park even extends underwater for 5,600 acres — see 225 yards of it on Trunk Bay’s snorkeling trail, where damselfish slide through sea fans and parrotfish glow almost neon. Afterward, nearby Cruz Bay awaits with coconut shrimp and mango coladas (made with local Cruzan rum) at Morgan’s Mango.
4. Martha’s Vineyard
Different season, different scene: Autumn calls for pumpkin ale at Black Dog and riding the country’s oldest carousel.
5. Montego Bay, Jamaica
It’s no surprise all the major East Coast hubs offer nonstop flights to Mo’ Bay, but from Denver? Actually, yes. Thanks, Frontier. Fly nonstop from Indy, Dallas and Minneapolis too. The Jamaican dollar is the official currency, but the U.S. dollar is widely accepted, especially at resorts and for tourist taxis (different from route taxis, which are mostly used by locals and make more stops).