While it may not be the most popular time to venture to the Jersey shore, autumn is my favorite time of the year to visit the area. While the weather can be questionable, there’s something about the way the air feels in fall at the beach — it’s cleaner, clearer, crisper somehow, and the ocean breeze offers just the right chill. After a mid-October weekend in Stone Harbor with my fiancé, the comments on my Instagram and Facebook pictures indicated others feel the same about autumn at the beach.
Neither of us were familiar with Stone Harbor, having grown up mostly heading to Ocean City, New Jersey, so we were excited for the opportunity to visit a new beach town. And The Reeds at Shelter Haven proved the perfect host. After an early afternoon arrival on a Friday, we grabbed lunch alfresco at Buckets before wandering the town’s streets and shopping. That night we opted to see Joker at a local movie theater, just steps from our hotel.
Saturday took us to breakfast at Fishin’ Pier Grille before I indulged at the Salt Spa at the Reeds, newly opened earlier this year. Then we took advantage of the perfect fall day to wander around Cape May County Zoo and snack and shop our way around Cape May. Quahog’s Seafood Shack proved the perfect spot for a late dinner.
On Sunday, after coffee and a long walk on the beach, we grabbed pizza at Mack’s, a Stone Harbor favorite, before we departed and then, of course, hit up a local farmstand before beginning the drive home.
What’s your favorite Jersey Shore town? What’s your favorite time of year to visit?
— Kim Krol, editor in chief
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It’s been almost three years since Category 5 Hurricane Maria made landfall on Puerto Rico, wreaking havoc on the island and leaving most residents without electricity and clean water. Tourism, which accounts for 6.5 percent of Puerto Rico’s gross domestic product, took a beating, with hotels closed for year-long repairs, airlines cutting service and cruise lines shifting itineraries to other Caribbean destinations. Timing for the hurricane couldn’t have been worse, coming on the heels of the government’s announcement in May 2017 that it was unable to pay more than $70 billion in public debt and thus forced to file for bankruptcy. Large protests and a change of government would follow. Then, in January 2020, a 6.4-magnitude earthquake rocked the south side of the island, forcing San Juan restaurants to close while power was restored. And as we write this story, coronavirus runs rampant across the globe with severe economic implications for all destinations, including Puerto Rico.
Climbing along the coast, I was trying to snap pictures of the cool-blue Puerto Vallarta waters outside my car window (I know, it never works) when we started winding along stone walls draped in jungle-like foliage. Annoyed my view was blocked, I looked around to see where we were just as we were parking at Hotel Mousai — I audibly gasped. The all-glass, chic and incredibly grand entrance was so well-secluded, it somehow snuck up on me.
Though air travel slowed as airports temporarily closed and borders shuttered to stifle the spread of coronavirus, the airline industry — led by oneworld alliance member airlines — enacted enhanced protective measures to reduce risk and protect passengers.
Three weeks after welcoming the first international flights since its borders closed, Saint Lucia’s government reinforced its mandatory travel protocol messaging. The island also launched an informative video with on-island footage of the actual travel experience.
Finding a beachfront Punta Cana all-inclusive resort for all ages can be daunting when you want to take home great memories with loved ones but also experience a sophisticated escape. Now, you can have both thanks to a new resort: Finest Punta Cana.
As more destinations around the globe reopen to travelers, we are ready to get back to one of our favorite activities. Join us over the next several weeks as we take you to places around the world saying #WelcomeBacktoTravel. Take a visual journey through Cape Cod, Massachusetts, with us.