“If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water.”
– American Anthropologist Loren Eiseley
Being near, in, on, or under water provides a long list of benefits for our minds and bodies. As people begin to travel again, more than 40 percent are interested in destinations that include beaches or water, according to latest travel industry surveys and research.
Travelers also are looking for outdoor adventures and wide-open spaces to practice social distancing – on the water, golf course, or hiking trails.
So with all that in mind, here’s a look at a quartet of my favorite destinations to get away from it all – and at the same time have it all – while practicing social distancing.
The Sea Pines Resort
Located on the southernmost tip of Hilton Head Island, the legendary Lowcountry destination features five miles of unspoiled beaches, in addition to miles of bike and walking trails, horseback riding, Eco-Adventures, water sports, and the 605-acre Sea Pines Forest Preserve filled with wildflowers, wetlands, and more than 130 species of birds. Oh yes, there’s also Harbour Town Golf Links, the acclaimed course that started Pete Dye on his way to a legendary career as one of America’s premier architects.
Reynolds Lake Oconee
The quintessential golf resort community of the Southeast. Reynolds Lake Oconee sits along beautiful Lake Oconee shoreline, which at 19,000 acres and with 374 total miles of shoreline, is Georgia’s second largest lake. There are countless recreational activities (on and off the water), including six golf courses, the most acclaimed of which is Great Waters, recently renovated by Jack Nicklaus.
Don’t miss the Sandy Creek Sporting Grounds for everything from archery to sporting clays.
Villa del Palmar Beach Resort & Spa at the Islands of Loreto
The resort, less than a two-hour flight from Los Angeles, sits on a sprawling stretch of white-sand beach along Danzante Bay in the Islands of Loreto on the eastern coast of the Baja Peninsula, where the natural habitat includes 900 species of fish and unspoiled, clear waters. Guests have access to world-class sport fishing, swimming, snorkeling, paddle boarding, kayaking, and seasonal whale watching. The TPC Danzante Bay, designed by Rees Jones, is one of the Mexico best and more picturesque golf courses.
Pueblo Bonito Resorts in Los Cabos or Mazatlán
Pueblo Bonito Pacifica and Sunset Beach are set within the exclusive Quivira Los Cabos resort community, a sheltered enclave ringed by mountains just 15 minutes from downtown Los Cabos. Stroll the 2.5-mile-long beach; splash in the spacious pools; soak in a hot tub; enjoy an array of dining options, play golf at the Nicklaus-designed Quivira Golf Club that overlooks the Pacific Ocean and Sea of Cortez; and stargaze the brilliant night sky after dark.
Located on 20 acres overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Mazatlán, Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay has its own private beach, lush tropical gardens dotted with koi ponds, a pair of oceanfront swimming pools with swim-up bars, and neoclassical architecture inspired by Old Mazatlán.