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A winter beach vacation

LYSA ALLMAN-BALDWIN | 1/12/2012, 5:04 p.m.

(800) 910-1331, (808) 882-1331. www.bigisland-bedbreakfast.com

St. Thomas

Another great B&B option is the Bellavista Bed & Breakfast. A beautiful island estate overlooking the harbor and historic town of Charlotte Amalie on Denmark Hill, the Bellavista is a favorite for its tropical gardens, swimming pool, sunbathing deck and Caribbean charm. Encompassing four unique guestrooms, it is the perfect place for you and your significant other (if you are travelling with family or friends, there is an option to book all four guestrooms under a villa rate) to relax and enjoy all that the island has to offer. (888) 333-3063, (340) 714-5706, www.bellavista-bnb.com

Alabama

The Gulf Shores of Alabama is not often at the top of the mind for a beach getaway, but the area offers one of the most spectacular stretches of white sand beach in the world, as you will find at the Gulf Shores Plantation. Choose from their fully furnished cottage and condo rental options with outdoor charcoal grills, shuffleboard courts, a putting green, exercise room, basketball and tennis courts and several indoor and outdoor pools. And, of course, there is the sand and surf just outside your door! (800) 211-5053, gulfshoresplantation.com

Barbados

For the ultimate in luxury, Sandy Lane is one of the premier resorts in the Caribbean. Their upscale accommodations range from villas to ocean rooms, suites and penthouses to suit your every vacation taste and desire. The world-class spa offers a variety of treatment and water therapies, in addition to a state-of-the-art fitness center. Dining options encompass exceptional cuisine at four restaurants plus a culinary school and private dining for that special evening celebration. The resort's three golf courses offer stunning views of Barbados' platinum coastline. (246) 444-2000, www.sandylane.com

Lysa Allman-Baldwin writes for numerous online and print publications, including as the cultural travel writer for www.Examiner.com and as a senior travel writer for SoulOfAmerica.com, an Afrocentric travel website. Lysa can be reached at lallmanbaldwin@kc.rr.com.