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FEATURE - September 2019
Relax and reconnect with your inner light at these enchanting locales
by Lysa Allman-Baldwin
“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.”
– Marcel Proust
I love this quote because it speaks to the expansiveness of thought desired by many of today’s savvy travelers. Whether in the United States or across international borders, we can find enchanting destinations, accommodations, themed getaways, and more to delight and inspire!
IN AMERICA’S BACKYARD
A City of Firsts—St. Augustine
Recognized as the oldest continuously occupied European settlement in North America, St. Augustine, Florida was founded in 1565 and served as the capital of Spanish Florida for nearly 200 years.
In “St. Aug” (as the locals call it), you’ll find a distinctive flavor and flair in every aspect of the city due to its early British, Spanish, and U.S. occupation.
Start in the St. Augustine Historic District, the oldest part and heartbeat of the city, peppered with beautiful cobblestone streets, architecture reflecting both the Colonial and Spanish Renaissance Revival periods, and an astounding array of 1700s-era buildings at its historic sites, attractions, bed-and-breakfast inns, restaurants, and shops.
The 21-stop, hop-on-hop-off Old Town Trolley Tour reveals layer after layer of the city’s wonderfully rich history at places such as Castillo de San Marcos, Ponce de Leon's Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park, and the fabulous Lightner Museum, housed in the former Alcazar Hotel built in 1888 by American industrialist Henry Flagler, just to name a few. VisitStAugustine.com
A Bird’s Eye View—Eureka Springs
Tree forts are not just for kids anymore! Adults can join in on the fun, too, at The Original Treehouse Cottages.
Located in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, the setting speaks volumes–designed and built by proprietors Terry and Patsy Miller and skillfully set amongst the surrounding Ozark forest where guests are enveloped by the fresh mountain air, melodic aviary song, and abundant native wildlife.
Each ensconced treehouse is designed for a solo getaway or romance for two (except for Hillside Haven with ADA accessibility and/or for families). Each is well-appointed yet unpretentious, and beautifully and comfortably decorated with its own unique flair and color scheme. TreehouseCottages.com
The Hostess City of the South—Savannah
Drawing more than 14 million global visitors annually, Savannah, Georgia is one of the most picturesque, historic, and charming cities in the country. Yet, this “Hostess City of the South” somehow manages to exude an endearing small-town charm that instantly draws you in, mind, body and spirit.
Home to one of the largest National Historic Landmark Districts in the United States, Savannah was founded by British soldier and philanthropist James Oglethorpe. As “America’s first planned city,” it reflects his ingenious concept to design it around a series of expansive street grids incorporating 24 public squares and parks. Nearly all remain today, sprinkled with opulent Antebellum homes, noteworthy Revolutionary and Civil War-era monuments, symbolic churches, neighborhood bistros, and more. VisitSavannah.com
A Taste of the French Caribbean—Martinique
Those interested in an awe-inspiring, cross-cultural island experience must add Martinique to their globe-trotting adventures.
This Caribbean island is brimming with French, European, Afro-Caribbean, and Creole culture dating back to its early roots. These influences are evident from the cuisine to the architecture, historic attractions, music, arts (famed poet Aimé Césaire was born here in 1913), and other aspects of the culture.
Martinique offers something for every traveler, including pristine beaches gently embraced by warm, crystal-clear water on both coasts—the Atlantic Ocean to the east, the Caribbean Sea to the west. Recreational and ecotourism activities are popular here midst Martinique’s magnificent rainforests, dramatic mountains, and breathtaking volcanic peaks.
Recognized by some as The Rum Capital of the World, distilleries tours are immensely popular at places such as Cathedrale Saint-Louis, Le Jardin De Bonneville, Fort Saint-Louis, and La Savane Des Esclaves, among many others.
Captivating and culturally rich, Martinique is a beloved travel destination. US.Martinique.org
Find Yourself at The Top of the Mountain—Costa Rica
Simply stated, The Retreat Costa Rica is one of the most beautiful resorts in Central America. Nestled in Altos del Monte de Atenas (meaning “Top of the Mountain”), the Retreat focuses on restorative health and wellness to help you reconnect with both your inner and outer selves.
Each of the 13 simply yet elegantly designed luxury rooms and suites at this secluded eight-acre estate bear the names of plant life grown on the property—Cacao, Guanabana, Maca, Curcuma, Mucuna, Café, Chan, Coco, Guapinol, Maracuya, Moringa, Cas, and Mandarina—all accentuated with natural and organic lush bedding and décor.
Eco-friendly materials and practices are used throughout the resort, and all meals are organic, naturally sourced and complemented by biodynamic, garden-fresh cocktails, organic wines and other gastronomic specialties. Options to engage and enhance your outer core encompass a variety of wellness activities, programs and techniques designed to soothe and reinvigorate. TheRetreatCostaRica.com
Lysa Allman-Baldwin is a sought-after motivational speaker, author, workshop facilitator and feature and travel writer. Her mission, through the written and spoken word, is to help people create lives full of passion, authenticity and purpose. Lysa’s exciting new website is AuthenticityAndPurpose.com.