Best Weekend Getaway (2006)
Less than a half-hour flight east lies Bimini, the closest foreign island to mainland America. This seven-mile-long sliver of the Bahamas offers a peaceful respite from the hectic pace of South Florida 50 miles away. You can split your weekend between hanging at the beach and biking and kayaking. The north end of the island is an intricate mangrove forest. In it is a natural phenomenon dubbed "The Healing Hole," which is a section of creek connected to a warren of underground tunnels. When the tide goes out, cold mineral water flows out of the tunnels that some believe has mystical healing powers. If paddling and self-healing isn't your bag, stick to the island's commercial strip, Alice Town, where you'll find saloons the likes of Compleat Angler and End of the World. There are a number of flight options to the island, but Lynx Air (www.lynxair.com) makes a weekend getaway simple and not too expensive. A round trip out of Fort Lauderdale airport for just under $200 leaves Friday afternoons at 12:30 and departs Bimini on Sundays at 2:15 p.m.