Do you have a long weekend and yearning to enjoy the beautiful beaches with turquoise waters of the Caribbean?
Then this post is perfect for you!
In this guide, we summarize the destinations that are located near the United States of America with direct and non-stop flight options perfect for travelers with limited time.
1. Turks & Caicos
If you are seeking a quiet and peaceful island with spectacular beaches, then Turks and Caicos Islands is the perfect getaway destination.
Turks & Caicos is a group of 40 islands and cays which are flat in topography with coral soil.
The islands are a British Overseas Territory and the destination is a little less than two hours from Miami International Airport.
Located on the island of Providenciales, Grace Bay Beach is the pride of Turks and Caicos and it has won many awards both regionally and internationally.
Grace Bay Beach is part of Princess Alexandra National Park and known for its calm and turquoise waters.
It stretches three miles long and there is a barrier reef located about one mile off shore to keep the beach still and safe.
Grace Bay Beach shares its shoreline with many high rise and luxurious hotels on the island.
If you arrive on a Thursday, be sure to check out the Fish Fry where individuals can buy food from local vendors.
Souvenirs and various forms of crafts are also on sale. Turks and Caicos also stands out in the Caribbean as an island for fine dining.
The flight from Miami International Airport is approximately two hours.
The Bahamas is 5,359 square miles consisting of about 700 islands, cays and islets.
Generally, the islands are flat and low lying with the highest peak being Mount Alvernia at 206 feet. This mountain is also locally known as Como Hill.
If you are adventurous at heart, there is a fast ferry service provided by Balearia Caribbean from Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
The Bahamas is the perfect destination to visit if you want to relax and rest on white sand beaches with clear waters.
Gold Rock Beach, Cable Beach and Tropic of Cancer Beach are three of the amazing spots to visit for beautiful white and powdery sand in the Bahamas.
The Bahamas is also known for having pink sand beaches with one of the most famous one being Pink Sand Beach on Harbour Island.
This island is only 3.5 miles long and 1.5 miles and is popular stop for affluent visitors.
The sand on pink sand beach has its distinct pink color due to the presence of foraminifera.
For a unique experience, Pig Beach on the island of Exuma is the perfect for those who want to swim with pigs.
The flying time from Miami International Airport is only about 90 minutes.
Known globally as the birthplace of the Reggae legend Bob Marley, Jamaica has a landmass of 4,244 square miles.
It is a lively Caribbean island with superior beaches and exotic cuisine.
There are countless restaurants, casinos, night clubs, theaters and beach bars guaranteed to make your short stay memorable.
Margaritaville is one of the popular spots which is built above the sea with a bar and restaurant.
Pier1 is also a very well loved place for locals and visitors which feature an open restaurant which serves Jamaican cuisine with live music and dancing.
Additionally, Jamaica is well known for jerk food, festival, ackee and salt fish as well as bammy.
The jerk chicken as an example is specially cooked over pimento wood and has a unique flavor which you can only get in Jamaica.
Festivals are served as a staple with many meals including jerk foods. There is packet festival mix which you can buy at local Jamaica supermarkets.
4. St Thomas
St Thomas is approximately 32 square miles and part of the US Virgin Islands.
As an overseas territory of the United States of America, no passport is required by US citizens for entry into the island.
Furthermore, the US dollar is the official currency of the territory.
If your preference is a destination with a bustling nightlife environment, St Thomas is not the ideal choice.
Nevertheless, there are several restaurants and beach bars in the Red Hook, Frenchtown and Haven Sight areas. These are located near to each other so it is easy for individuals to bar hop.
Alternatively, if you love high end and luxurious shopping, St Thomas is the perfect getaway destination.
Brands such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Little Switzerland, Diamonds International and Bebe have a presence on the island.
A financial benefit of duty free shopping in St Thomas is that each visitor including children is permitted $1600 each of duty free purchases back into the mainland.
For even more shopping, Yacht Haven Grande is a premium waterfront development which features a marina and a number of medium to high end stores.
St Thomas has exceptional beaches with over 40 beaches.
Magens Bay Beach is one of the favorite of locals and visitors to the island. It is a beautiful one mile stretch of white sand with calm waters and no reefs or sharp currents.
As a result, this location is ideal for swimming and appropriate for small children and the elderly.
An entry fee is charged to keep the beach and facilities in good order.
The destination is almost three hours flying time from Miami International Airport.
5. St Croix
Another destination in the US Virgin Island group that is suitable for a weekend getaway is St Croix.
In terms of landmass, it is the largest of the four major US Virgin Islands being 84 square miles.
The Henry E Rohlsen Airport is a domestic airport that is located six miles from the capital city in St Croix named Christiansted. This airport receives daily inter island flight along with cargo and military airplanes.
St Croix has earned a reputation in the Caribbean as being a Caribbean destination for foodies.
There are numerous restaurants, bars and bakeries where you can experience the local flavors of the island.
Additionally, if you will love to just relax on the beach there are several spots to enjoy such as Cane Bay Beach and Rainbow Beach.
Both beaches are well loved as they are calm which makes them excellent for swimming.
The flying time from Miami International Airport is almost similar to that of St Thomas which is about three hours.
6. St Maarten
If you are seeking a weekend getaway to shop as well as enjoy the beach with amazing entertainment, then St Maarten is a fantastic option.
The island has a variety of options to choose from movie theaters, restaurants, casinos, night clubs and discos. There is something available for everyone.
Lotus Night Club is one of the leading spots for dancing and partying on the island in Simpson Bay.
Ocean Lounge Bar in Philipsburg is another venue that attracts visitors as well as business professionals with live music, wine, cocktails and delicious tapas.
One of the favorite and well-loved beaches is Mullet Bay Beach. This beach has white sand, clear turquoise waters and great landscape.
Mullet Bay Beach is a good option for beginner snorkeling as you can see fishes near the shoreline.
Nonetheless, many individuals who visit St Maarten do so to go to Airplane beach. This spot is well known as airplanes approaching the Princess Juliana Airport fly at an altitude of less than 100 feet.
From this location, persons can experience the jet blast from planes as they take off.
However, it is imperative that due care is exercised as persons have died in the past due to the effects of the jet blast.
The island is about three hours and fifteen minutes flying time from Miami International Airport.
7. Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico is an archipelago that consists of 143 islands, cays and islets with a landmass of 3,515 square miles.
As an overseas department of the United States of America (USA), US Citizens can enter and exit Puerto Rico without a passport and US dollars is the currency used for financial transactions.
Puerto Rico is an awesome destination for nightlife. Some of the top places to visit include La Factoria, La Cubanita, Club Brava and Club 77.
La Placita de Santurce is a popular nightlife spot to meet locals on the island to eat relax and salsa dance in Puerto Rico.
Furthermore, Puerto Rico also has amazing beaches with Flamenco beach being one of the best on the island.
This location is gorgeous and calm which makes it perfect for swimming and snorkeling.
Alternatively, if you are passionate about kitesurfing Puerto Rico is the better destination.
Isla Verde on the island has the perfect wind conditions that supports beginner to advanced skill kiteboarders.
Puerto Rico is about two and a half hours flying time from Miami International Airport
The Caribbean islands are perfect destinations for a short weekend getaway.
The destinations have several flight options from major international cities thus making them highly accessible and easy to visit if you are short on time.
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