Even when the sun comes out of hiding, it’s a far cry from beach weather in Vancouver. When you feel the need to flee somewhere hot and reunite with your bare skin, here are five warm-weather destinations where you can bask in heat and light. Best of all, they are all direct flights from YVR.
Flight time: 5 hours and 39 minutes
Why go? Rainbows, massive waves, and dormant volcanos (which make for stunning hikes) are just a few reasons why Maui is a favourite for island hoppers. While most visitors go straight from the airport to their beach resort, old hands head upcountry toward Kula for lush forest, windsurfing at Paia and hiking opps at volcano Haleakala. Its highest peak is more than 10,000ft above sea level and is totally worth the climb for the vistas, at sunrise and sunset in particular. Browse Maui vacation rentals.
Flight time: 14 hours and 15 minutes
Why go? The super star of Australian cities, Sydney summers when we winter. December through February, you’ll find residents glossed in sunscreen, showing off their fit bods on the golden urban beaches. While the glamour of the Sydney beach and harbour scene is a given, savvy travelers are spending more time exploring the off-the-beaten-track boroughs such as hip Redfern and more recently gentrified Alexandria, where a cool coffee shop, gallery, bar or boutique seems to open every week.
Flight time: 2 hours 57 minutes
Why go? Nicknamed the valley of the sun, this desert metropolis offers heat, hikes, pools and spas. While the soulless Phoenix downtown can be a turnoff, nearby Scottsdale can counter it with a good looking old town, a hopping gallery scene, and cooler resorts. Browse Phoenix vacation rentals and Scottsdale vacation rentals.
Flight time: 2 hours and 50 minutes
Why go? This eclectic retro hideaway was once a 1950s-60s hotspot for celeb vacationers such as Sinatra, Monroe and Elvis. While hungover hipsters while away by the hotel pool, those who want to take full advantage of this desert destination should book an architectural tour of the Mid-Century Modern homes, go horseback riding in the Santa Rosa Mountains, shop the abundant thrift scene, or hop on the Palm Springs Aerial Tram for an unforgettable view of Los Angeles. Browse Palm Springs vacation rentals.
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Flight time: 4 hours and 52 minutes
Why go? This well-established, fancy-pants resort destination is unquestionably gorgeous. Situated on the shimmering blue Bahía de Banderas, you can easily lose a week lazing away on the sand. For the slightly more energetic traveler, the pedestrian friendly old-town known as the Zona Centro is worth a wander for real estate envy and tasting local cuisine. For adventurers, there’s no shortage of eco wildlife tours, water sports, and even horseback riding. Browse Puerto Vallarta vacation rentals.
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