Travel in 2020

All photos courtesy Tourradar.com

Now that the holidays are over and business is back to usual, it’s time to get excited about where you’re traveling in 2020.

Unique Homes and Tourradar.com have rounded up all the buzziest destinations for the year ahead so you can start planning your next great adventure!

Costa Rica

If you’re hoping to reconnect with nature this year, Costa Rica is the answer. It’s where tropical backgrounds are the norm, as is exotic wildlife, robust coffee flavours and the relaxing wellness retreats waiting for travellers beachside.

Stroll across suspension bridges up in the forest canopy and find yourself completely and utterly face-to-face with Mother Nature while in the dreamy cloud forest region of the country in Monteverde. 90% of Costa Rica’s energy is created by renewable sources, and they’re on track to become one of the first carbon-neutral countries this year. Play your part by choosing to spend vacation time in a country that’s going above and beyond to make a difference to our global climate crisis.

Just in case activities like hiking volcanoes, surfing and zip-lining through lush hilltops isn’t your thing, Costa Rica is also home to cities tailor-made for an escape, from San Jose to Puerto Viego. While there’s something for everyone in Costa Rica, the natural beauty and jungle life definitely come first place.

Bhutan

It’s been a couple of years now that people have been talking about Bhutan and for good reason. The country proudly boasts a nearly untouched natural landscape that will stun even the most well-travelled among us. Already the world’s only carbon-negative country, taking a breath of fresh air means something entirely different in Bhutan.

Nestled tightly in the Himalayas, you’ll find plenty of mountain trails capable of delivering you some awe-inspiring views in Bhutan, like those of Paro Taktsang – also known as Tiger Nest – it’s an iconic sacred Buddhist monastery that sits cliffside. There’s also the chance to see ornate palaces from as far back as the 17th century and national parks that are home to rare and exotic wildlife like the Himalayan black bear and red panda.

If you’re hoping to make 2020 the year for some spiritual respite, a visit to the world’s real-life Shangri-La is in order. 

Ireland

Easily enjoyed in under a week, the Emerald Isle is full of pursuits that balance adventure, nature and history with ease. 

The only road trip you’ll need for 2020 is along the Wild Atlantic Way, a 2,500-kilometer route that you can tackle in parts during your first visit. Embrace the elements along this sprawling route and enjoy discovering small-town life, coastal landscapes and secluded beaches across the country.

The sooner you visit, the faster you can start conquering your resolutions. Just make sure your trip itinerary includes a stop at the Blarney Castle where the famed Blarney Stone is located. As the legend goes, those who hang upside down and lay their lips on the stone is bestowed the gift of gab, which will help to ensure you get everything you want and more out of 2020.

Argentina

Home to one of the world’s most impressive networks of waterfalls, Argentina is teeming with extraordinary natural wonders that put travellers in the centre of it all. For example, visitors to the Argentina side of Iguazu Falls can enjoy kilometres of trails that will take you in and out of lush forests and within arm’s reach of the waterfalls themselves. If you’re in search of something a little cooler, then Glaciar Perito Moreno will not disappoint. You can witness the soaring beauty of this glacier in Los Glaciares National Park. And thanks to the park’s extended network of steel catwalks and platforms, Perito Moreno is one of the world’s most impressive and accessible glaciers.

You want a city escape with fiery music, and experimental takes on classic dishes, Buenos Aires, the country’s capital, is an essential stop on your 2020 adventures. Argentinians know their way around beef, and their steaks will wow your tastebuds. You can end your night in Buenos Aires by visiting a tango bar and working off your dinner in a flurry of dance moves taught to you by local experts.

Looking to include world-class wine? Just head to Mendoza (Argentina’s wine country). You can learn how the grapes are grown and cared for in the thick of it all. We promise once you’re walking alongside the farmers, hearing their stories firsthand, a glass of Malbec will taste all the more satisfying.

 

 

Want to learn about other potential travel destinations? Visit Tourradar.com for more opportunities!

 

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Destinations of Interest: Panama

©istockphoto.com / SL_Photography

From tropical escapes to spectacular biodiversity and marine life, Panama has great appeal to buyers interested in luxury real estate.

Stephanie Villarreal, President and Realtor of Your Panama Real Estate Connection, says that one of the most unique aspects of the country is in their very name — connection. “Panama is very connected … amongst others, Panama City’s Tocumen International Airport is known as the ‘Hub of the Americas,’ making Panama very easy to get to,” she says. The connection also extends into a selling point, especially for American buyers, as Panama uses the U.S. dollar as its currency, unlike other Central and South American countries.

Panama’s accessibility via air and sea helps to deepen its connections internationally. Because of this, according to Villarreal, the country’s diversity is far reaching, as many Americans, Canadians, Europeans and others have chosen Panama as their preferred retirement destination, or have purchased real estate and live either part-time or full-time in the country. A recent real estate trend in Panama also includes more international buyers, particularly from mainland China. “There are many well-known multinational corporations with regional headquarters in Panama City as well as embassies of many countries,” Villarreal notes.

Luckily for interested buyers, there is plenty of inventory in a range of property options. Villarreal and her brokerage work with listings in many regional areas with different unique characteristics, from highland properties and waterfront listings to island living options. Elegant Panama City apartments in luxury residential buildings are especially appealing, created by reputable architects and builders into “property masterpieces.”

These masterpieces continue to grow in number and variety. For example, the exclusive Santa Maria development in Panama City is being further developed — it boasts an 18-hole Nicklaus-design golf course, and the city’s historic district, Casco Viejo, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Villarreal also mentions that there are several unique private island options with modern conveniences, including state-of-the-art marinas.

Panama

Stephanie Villarreal

President, Realtor

Your Panama Real Estate Connection

888.899.0019

info@yourpanamaconnection.com

www.YourPanamaConnection.com

Page 31

THIS ARTICLE ORIGINALLY APPEARED IN THE GLOBAL 2019 ISSUE OF UNIQUE HOMES. TO SEE THE DIGITAL VERSION OF THIS STORY, CLICK HERE.

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Luxury Living on the Lake

Vacation year-round with this one-of-a-kind, peninsular property on beautiful Lake St. Clair in Michigan.

On a unique .71 of an acre lot, the home is positioned to maximize waterfront lifestyle, where you can enjoy dazzling sunrises, fishing off your dock and watching the freighters float by in a tranquil environment.

This home, listed by Jeffery Alasina of Coldwell Banker Weir Manuel for $2 million, features an open ranch-style floor plan with four bedrooms, two-and-one half baths, two stone fireplaces, an attached indoor pool with bar and an attached covered boat house.

A Sunset Paradise

This exquisite new construction estate will excite the discerning buyer who is looking for quality, uniqueness and all the beauty of the Florida Keys.

Destinations of Interest: Panama

From tropical escapes to spectacular biodiversity and marine life, Panama has great appeal to buyers interested in luxury real estate.

Live Like Royalty in Cyprus

The Villa Diva estate, listed for $3.185 million, spreads across 6,000 square meters of land with stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea and mountains.

Featured Agent: Kathie Robidou of Coldwell Banker Advantage One Properties

Listed by Elite agent Kathie Robidou, this custom-built home on 20.2 acres offers stunning views, a gated entry and privacy.

Tamarack Resort is More than Just a Destination

The Village at Tamarack is the latest ski-in/ski-out residential addition to the renowned Tamarack Resort in Idaho’s scenic Valley County.

An Italian Masterpiece

Formerly owned by tenor Titta Ruffo, this penthouse in Rome, Italy was recently redesigned by “starchitect” Dante Benini to grant the comfort of a yacht.

Featured Agent: Sisi Takaki of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Hawaii Realty

Close to Waikiki business and Kakaako attractions, this luxury listing offered by Elite agent Sisi Takaki boasts a modern design set in a tropical landscape.

Elegance in St. Croix

In a quiet, gated community in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, this grand home offers comfort and space for grand entertaining.

Featured Agent: Kim Martin-Fisher of Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty

Listed by some of the top producers in Northeast Florida, this Ponte Vedra Beach home offers 2,404 square feet and waterfrontage.

Inman News Names Joyce Rey to Golden I Hall of Fame

Inman News names Coldwell Banker agentJoyce Rey to the inaugural Golden I Hall of Fame.

A Castle in Tuscany

Located approximately 25 kilometers from Florence, this magnificent castle for sale is one of the most spectacular castles found anywhere in Tuscany.

A Sunset Paradise

This exquisite new construction estate will excite the discerning buyer who is looking for quality, uniqueness and all the beauty of the Florida Keys.

Luxury Living on the Lake

This unique lot in St. Clair Shores is positioned to enjoy dazzling sunrises, fishing off the dock and watching boats, all in a tranquil environment.

Elegant and Opulent Waterfront Estate in Sarasota

Grand estate features extravagant design and dazzling views of Sarasota's Intracoastal Waterway.

Waterfront Bliss in Florida

Make your waterfront living dreams come true with this Punta Gorda, Florida property! Sparkling views won't be missed from your own indoor pool.

Featured Agent: Kathie Robidou of Coldwell Banker Advantage One Properties

Listed by Elite agent Kathie Robidou, this custom-built home on 20.2 acres offers stunning views, a gated entry and privacy.

Tamarack Resort is More than Just a Destination

The Village at Tamarack is the latest ski-in/ski-out residential addition to the renowned Tamarack Resort in Idaho’s scenic Valley County.

Sprawling Estate with Incredible Views and Amenities

A stunning showplace of architecture and craftsmanship, this sprawling estate offers an elevated living experience in Kauai’s most desirable enclave, “Anini Vista.” Featuring incredible views: epic ocean, white water, Anini Reef, Hanalei mountain range and Bali Hai sunsets.

Crystal Clear Water Views in Nevada

Stunning views from this picturesque condominium await! Stillwater Cove in Nevada is full of luxurious amenities and wonderful entertainment.

An Italian Masterpiece

Formerly owned by tenor Titta Ruffo, this penthouse in Rome, Italy was recently redesigned by “starchitect” Dante Benini to grant the comfort of a yacht.

The Art of Writing

Exclusive writing instruments elevate the tradition of putting pen to paper — a ritual technology cannot erase — into fine art

Bedding for a Cause

The Good Sheet, a luxury bedding brand based in Tasmania, Australia partnered with non-profit organization, One Tree Planted, is planting five trees in its home state of Tasmania with every bedding set sold.

Modern Midwestern Makes

These two Midwestern brands, both with a reputation for timeless design, craftsmanship, and innovation, will debut a new collection in January 2020.

Concrete-Inspired Gift Guide

Looking for inspiration this holiday season? Check out this gift guide with an edge. These concrete-inspired items are perfect for your home or office and will stand the test of time to celebrate for years to come.
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Cover Story: Crystal Pointe

A home is a true reflection of a person’s lifestyle. Crystal Pointe, nestled among the Lake Tahoe landscape in Nevada, is no exception.

“It’s built in harmony with this environment and is in the contour of the land,” says Susan Lowe, vice president and corporate broker with Chase International Luxury Real Estate. With over 16,000 square feet, Crystal Pointe offers stunning views of the lake throughout, with the main foyer featuring large floor-to-ceiling windows and absolute privacy all-around.

In essence, the home is meant to incorporate the beauty and elements that Lake Tahoe encompasses. From the hand-carved cedar beams to the outside fire pit and waterfall, the home puts Lake Tahoe’s outdoors on display while linking people to the area’s nature and spiritual lands.

Crystal Pointe’s waterfront guesthouse.

“The connection to Mother Earth through the water, through the sun and the essence of our souls is found in this property,” says Shari Chase, president, CEO and luxury specialist of Chase International Luxury Real Estate. “The property takes into consideration all the elements of the surrounding land and the stunning views of Lake Tahoe.”

The two funiculars on the property provide a 360-degree view of the sugar pine trees, bald eagles and cascading land that envelope the property. A continuation of the main residence, the beach house, sits further down the mountain, allowing for direct access to the lake below. The crisp air breathes into the beach house through the deck that connects to the main level, bringing the outside in. The dining area features a 2,400-year-old alligator juniper tree table, while fossils scattered in the sandstone flooring add finishing touches to this spectacular addition.

Crystal Pointe embodies the lushness and vibrancy of Lake Tahoe and pays homage to the unrefined environment. Put simply by Chase, this home is for “people looking to enhance the quality of their life.” Crystal Pointe is listed at $75 million.

 

This editorial appeared in Unique Homes Global ’19 Issue. 

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Featured Agent: Kathie Robidou of Coldwell Banker Advantage One Properties

Kathie Robidou

Coldwell Banker Advantage One Properties

333 Village Main Street, Suite 670, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082

1500 Valley River Drive, Suite 370, Eugene, OR 97401

541.484.2625 | kathie@kathiesells.com | www.eugene-oregon-homes.com | www.kathiesells.com

Kathie’s high energy level and her enthusiasm for helping people have propelled her to the top of her field in the real estate industry! A Coldwell Banker franchise owner and a top agent specializing in upper end and luxury homes, her expert marketing and promotional techniques are second to none and her knowledge in all aspects of real estate sales have made her one of the most successful and respected agents in Eugene-Springfield. Kathie has consistently been the No. 1 Listing Agent and Production Agent on a Team and is in the top 4 percent of agents globally. Kathie is affectionately known throughout Lane County as “KathieSells” and her team sales have well exceeded $200 million in just the past decade!

Listing by Kathie Robidou

Eugene, Oregon

32810 Sisters Loop | 3 BD | 2 BA | 2,054 SQFT

Custom-built home on 20.2 acres with views, gated entry and privacy! Flexible floor plan with 3rd bedroom as den/office. Main-floor living except bonus room and unfinished room used for storage. Fully applianced kitchen offers an island, eating bar and breakfast nook. Wraparound covered deck! 

 

Kathie Robidou originally appeared as an Elite agent in the Unique Homes Spring ’19: Elite edition. See her page here.

A Sunset Paradise

This exquisite new construction estate will excite the discerning buyer who is looking for quality, uniqueness and all the beauty of the Florida Keys.

To Ireland With Love

A new color collection from Curator pays homage to the artists of the Emerald Isle.

Destinations of Interest: Panama

From tropical escapes to spectacular biodiversity and marine life, Panama has great appeal to buyers interested in luxury real estate.

Live Like Royalty in Cyprus

The Villa Diva estate, listed for $3.185 million, spreads across 6,000 square meters of land with stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea and mountains.

Tamarack Resort is More than Just a Destination

The Village at Tamarack is the latest ski-in/ski-out residential addition to the renowned Tamarack Resort in Idaho’s scenic Valley County.

An Italian Masterpiece

Formerly owned by tenor Titta Ruffo, this penthouse in Rome, Italy was recently redesigned by “starchitect” Dante Benini to grant the comfort of a yacht.

Elegance in St. Croix

In a quiet, gated community in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, this grand home offers comfort and space for grand entertaining.

Inspired by Surprise: Italian Design Firm Spagnulo & Partners

Based in Milan, Spagnulo & Partners has been one of the forerunners of architecture and luxury interior design not only in Italy but throughout the world.

New Artefacto Collection Honors Cinema and Technology

Celebrating its 40th anniversary, Artefacto is committed to designing with function and style in mind, while blending global influences from Italy, France, Brazil and beyond. The new collection arrives this month to the U.S. and embodies Artefacto’s signature contemporary aesthetic, now with a tribute to cinema and technology.

Killing the Cubicle: Q&A with ‘White Space’ CEO

White Space, an innovative service customizing interiors for commercial and office spaces worldwide, is redefining the office experience one space at a time. We spoke to Aytan Litwin, the founder and CEO of White Space, on his favorite projects and vision for the company’s future.

The Aloha Spirit

Experts say it’s the perfect time to buy in Hawaii. But when isn’t it?

Flower Power

The future of flowers is now, as innovative companies bring a fresh take to an ancient art.

Travel in 2020

Unique Homes and Tourradar.com have rounded up all the buzziest destinations for the year ahead so you can start planning your next great adventure in 2020!

The Art of Writing

Exclusive writing instruments elevate the tradition of putting pen to paper — a ritual technology cannot erase — into fine art

Biophilic Design

On tablescapes, in kitchens and baths, garden and great rooms, green seems to be having a moment.

TOP COACH

No matter how experienced, every real estate professional can benefit from training, and Tom Ferry is the gold standard in the industry.

Changing with the Seasons

We spoke with luxury landscape designers about how they work through the challenges of the changing seasons and find beauty in the landscape all year long.

Whisky or Whiskey?

Throughout the world, there are several types of whisky, or whiskey. And while they do share some commonalities, their differences are immense.

Lady Globetrotters

Though not the case for all, more female travelers are breaking away from stereotypical female-catered trips and pursuing high-intensity travel experiences

Destinations of Interest: Panama

From tropical escapes to spectacular biodiversity and marine life, Panama has great appeal to buyers interested in luxury real estate.

The Art of Writing

Exclusive writing instruments elevate the tradition of putting pen to paper — a ritual technology cannot erase — into fine art

Lady Globetrotters

Though not the case for all, more female travelers are breaking away from stereotypical female-catered trips and pursuing high-intensity travel experiences

Sleeping Soundly

According to Jack Dell’Accio, CEO and founder of Essentia, synthetic mattresses and bedding introduce low-level toxins into our environment, which our central nervous systems continuously need to fight while we rest.

Bedding for a Cause

The Good Sheet, a luxury bedding brand based in Tasmania, Australia partnered with non-profit organization, One Tree Planted, is planting five trees in its home state of Tasmania with every bedding set sold.

Declutter Your Space

Start 2020 off right by organizing your space and making room for a decluttered start.

Test Driving the Electric Future

Getting behind the wheel of two ultra-cool cars of the future.

Green Dreaming

The color green symbolises life, renewal, harmony and growth and is set to steal the limelight of new interior design concepts in the year ahead.

Little Green Details

‘Green’ design and products is a result of industry leaders placing more emphasis given on green design, aiding the cogs that keep the green machine going.

Find Your Euro-spiration

These collections showcase a passion for design and creativity, all inspired by a European country or the style of that nation.

Celebrate the New Year

If your looking to freshen up your interior style, it's time to ring in the new year with some Chinese New Year-inspired design tips and tricks.

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An Italian Masterpiece

 

Formerly owned by tenor Titta Ruffo, this astonishing penthouse in Rome, Italy was recently redesigned by “starchitect” Dante Benini to grant the comfort of a yacht.

“The home offers an ancient atmosphere on top of Monti Parioli with modern furnishing mixed with an overall touch of elegance, all of which make you at your ease,” says Andrea Barbera of Coldwell Banker Barbera Group International Real Estate, who is listing the property for 6 million euros.

Offering smashing views, this home features three levels with a private elevator, four bedrooms, five baths and a terrace that is nestled between the rooftop loggia and the turret.

“Visitors enjoy the view of the city because the terrace overlooks the north side of Rome, including Flamino Stadium and Monte Mario,” says Barbera.

 

 

A Sunset Paradise

This exquisite new construction estate will excite the discerning buyer who is looking for quality, uniqueness and all the beauty of the Florida Keys.

Destinations of Interest: Panama

From tropical escapes to spectacular biodiversity and marine life, Panama has great appeal to buyers interested in luxury real estate.

Luxury Living on the Lake

This unique lot in St. Clair Shores is positioned to enjoy dazzling sunrises, fishing off the dock and watching boats, all in a tranquil environment.

Cover Story: Crystal Pointe

Cyrstal Pointe is a magnificent Lake Tahoe estate that is the epitome of wellness living.

Elegant and Opulent Waterfront Estate in Sarasota

Grand estate features extravagant design and dazzling views of Sarasota's Intracoastal Waterway.

Waterfront Bliss in Florida

Make your waterfront living dreams come true with this Punta Gorda, Florida property! Sparkling views won't be missed from your own indoor pool.

Live Like Royalty in Cyprus

The Villa Diva estate, listed for $3.185 million, spreads across 6,000 square meters of land with stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea and mountains.

Featured Agent: Kathie Robidou of Coldwell Banker Advantage One Properties

Listed by Elite agent Kathie Robidou, this custom-built home on 20.2 acres offers stunning views, a gated entry and privacy.

Luxury Waterfront Maryland Home for Auction

This custom-built luxury waterfront home, situated on 7.24 acres, is being offered for auction at or above $1.3 million. Click here for more information!

Penthouse Sets Record for Most Expensive Home Sale in Brooklyn History

A stunning penthouse at Quay Tower just sold for more than $20 million, setting a new record for the most expensive home sale in Brooklyn history.

The Aloha Spirit

Experts say it’s the perfect time to buy in Hawaii. But when isn’t it?

Travel in 2020

Unique Homes and Tourradar.com have rounded up all the buzziest destinations for the year ahead so you can start planning your next great adventure in 2020!

A Castle in Tuscany

Located approximately 25 kilometers from Florence, this magnificent castle for sale is one of the most spectacular castles found anywhere in Tuscany.

A Sunset Paradise

This exquisite new construction estate will excite the discerning buyer who is looking for quality, uniqueness and all the beauty of the Florida Keys.

Lady Globetrotters

Though not the case for all, more female travelers are breaking away from stereotypical female-catered trips and pursuing high-intensity travel experiences

To Ireland With Love

A new color collection from Curator pays homage to the artists of the Emerald Isle.

Destinations of Interest: Panama

From tropical escapes to spectacular biodiversity and marine life, Panama has great appeal to buyers interested in luxury real estate.

Luxury Living on the Lake

This unique lot in St. Clair Shores is positioned to enjoy dazzling sunrises, fishing off the dock and watching boats, all in a tranquil environment.

Cover Story: Crystal Pointe

Cyrstal Pointe is a magnificent Lake Tahoe estate that is the epitome of wellness living.

Elegant and Opulent Waterfront Estate in Sarasota

Grand estate features extravagant design and dazzling views of Sarasota's Intracoastal Waterway.

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Travel that Gives Back

Imagine traveling to anywhere in the world for the most incredible, once-in-a-lifetime trip. Imagine experiencing the culture of the community that resides there, the thrill of seeing a new corner of the world, and the beauty of nature around you. Now imagine being able to give back in the process. Companies are sprouting up, giving individuals the opportunity to have an exceptional trip while giving back to the community they travel to.

Photos courtesy of Off Season Adventures

Off Season Adventures allows clients to travel to destinations such as Uganda, Tunisia, Ethiopia and more — all while being immersed in the communities they’re giving back to. Tanner C. Knorr, the owner and founder of Off Season Adventures, has always had a vision of giving back, saying that “if we all contribute just a little bit to the communities and environments while we’re traveling, the world would be a better place.”

Off Season Adventures is unwavering in its belief of making the communities its clients travel to a better place than before. Earlier this year, the company installed a solar panel water pump system in the village of Kakoi, located in Tanzania. Because of this work, 15,000 people now have access to clean drinking water.

Photo courtesy of Off Season Adventures

Photo courtesy of Elevate Destinations

Not only do these companies give back in considerable ways, but the extraordinary landscape of the destinations and the connections made with the communities that reside there are already reasons to book a trip. Dominique Callimanopulos, the founder and president of Elevate Destinations, believes the most rewarding aspect is simply the connections made between the travelers and the community members of the area. “It tends to be really an exchange, it’s not just one way,” she says. “I think the travelers get at least as much out of the exchange.”

She recommends Africa more so her clients than any other destination, as she describes it as “just like nowhere else. There are very few places you could see such amazing beauty of untouched landscape.” She emphasizes, however, that Elevate Destinations is not into “one-off” visits and investments — and that the company is deeply invested in long-term community development of the destinations clients travel to.

Photo courtesy of Elevate Destinations

For some companies, there is also a focus on the environmental impact of traveling to the provided destinations. andBeyond, a company dedicated to providing luxury travel with a deep focus on environmental sustainability, offers private tours of the stunning landscapes in Africa, South America and Asia. 

Photos courtesy of andBeyond

Clients are finding these trips to be evermore fulfilling and meaningful. Not only are they giving back to the communities they travel to, but there’s an underlying consensus — they get back even more in return.

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Looking for a Beach Town Investment?

Some of the most affordable beach towns to invest in for 2019 lie on the Gulf Coast, especially in Texas.

In four-season coastal communities such as Port Aransas, Texas on Mustang Island, the average 50-foot Gulf front lot costs under $1 million — well under the $4 million to $5 million-plus average found in coastal California and Florida. “In addition to the bottom-line profits, people fall in love with our island. We’re an authentic beach community with a laid-back lifestyle more in tune with life in the tropics,” notes Keith McMullin, broker/owner of Port Aransas Realty.

In 2019, Texas housing sales recovered after second-quarter declines, trending upward amid lower mortgage interest rates and a robust economy. Mortgage applications for home purchases and refinances continued to rise, nudged by further dips in interest rates. “The construction of high-end, luxury homes and condos in Cinnamon Shore, Palmilla Beach, and Sunflower Beach have played a significant role in our expansion to new markets. We remain somewhat of a secret outside of Texas, but that is changing as more people discover the affordability and allure of Mustang Island,” according to McMullin.

Texans capitalized on lower rates, pushing mortgage applications for home purchases up 15.6 percent year to date (YTD). Refinance mortgage applications (more sensitive to interest rate fluctuations), have nearly doubled over the past six months. “Large areas of Mustang Island were undeveloped until recent years. Of the 367 miles of Texas coastline, the bulk of the land available for development is located on Mustang Island.  We simply are not as widely known as other more mature beachfront communities,” says McMullin.

Investing in Texas real estate has been a no-brainer. Since 2010, the population has grown by 3.5 million, a million more than either Florida or California — converting into one and a half million new homes. Some 2 million of those people came from elsewhere attracted by new jobs, a fast-growing economy, more reasonable home prices, no state income tax, and a state ranked among the world’s ninth strongest economy.

“When compared to investing in other vacation/second-home markets, our story is very compelling. Lower property acquisition costs coupled with the vibrant Texas economy and steady population growth has created a healthy investment opportunity through appreciation and vacation rental income,” says McMullin.

For small coastal communities like Port Aransas, 2019 visitor arrivals from Texas and around the U.S. have so far exceeded last year’s numbers by 40 percent. Those arrivals are expected to rise, thanks to 3,300 out of 4,200 lodging units (up from 2,200 last year) that are now open for business (since Hurricane Harvey) with elevations of 10 to 11 feet above sea level.

Port A is definitely on the upswing, with new developments that include:

  •   The destination’s first conference center, slated to open in 2021 for gatherings of 500 to 2,000 attendees.
  •   225-room conference center hotel, slated to break ground in February 2020.
  •   A new beachfront/bayfront marina and resort
  •   Cinnamon Shore, an upscale 1,000-acre master-planned beachfront, family- and pedestrian-friendly community that will add Cinnamon Shore South, a $1.3 billion, a 300-acre expansion that will more than quadruple the existing community. It will include luxury homes, Town Center residences, community pools, a dining district with several restaurants, a retail destination, a health and wellness center, and a boutique hotel.
  •   Palmilla Beach Resort & Golf Community opened a new golf course on June 1st with 9 holes of links-style play, plus THE LOOP – a 3-hole, par 3 course, plus a driving range. Palmilla Beach’s homes range from condos and townhomes to cottages and custom homes. Homesites begin in the $200s and completed homes from the $500s. 
  •   Sunflower Beach Resort & Residences, nestled among 50 acres of protected dune preserves, features beach homes, several lots and 21 single-level poolside condos.  It has nearly completed the first phase of 25 new ultra-luxury one- and two-bedroom beach cabins priced from $382,000 to $499,000 at The Camp.

Photos courtesy of Cinnamon Shore

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International Travel Destinations this Fall

The busy summer season is coming to a close, but here are a few unforgettable destinations around the world that should be shared! These curated experiences are opportunities to immerse yourself in new cultures, taste new foods, appreciate art, design, history and enjoy time for yourself to rejuvenate.

Photo courtesy of São Lourenço do Barrocal

Wild Terrains — Portugal

As the only travel company leading women-only group trips that partner exclusively with local, female-owned businesses, Wild Terrains has expanded and launched their second destination – Portugal. This new eight-day/seven-night journey takes women travelers to Lisbon, Alentejo, and Porto, where the dynamic history, delicious food, and breathtaking landscapes are just the beginning. Guests stay at stylish women-owned hotels like The Lisboans in Lisbon and Duas Portas Townhouse in Porto. Experience a Lisbon street art tour designed by Vanessa Teodoro, a South African street artist. Enjoy a tasting menu dinner at women-owned Prado with wine pairings by Portugal’s top female winemakers, and so much more!

Other activities:

Foraging with Portuguese mixologist Constança Cordeiro, private mixology lessons, biking through the countryside of Alentejo Visit. Travelers will learn more about Portuguese food history with cooking classes and eating your way through Porto with a food crawl. Another option is to take a day trip to Douro Valley to meet some female winemakers in the region, and so much more!

Photo courtesy of Prado Restaurant                                                                                                                                              Photo courtesy of  The Lisboans

Photo courtesy of Wild Terrains

On Foot Holidays — Catalonia

The hills of Catalonia are perfect for a fall getaway, with the grape harvest in full swing in September. On Foot Holidays’ self-guided hiking vacation will take you through the terraced vineyards of the famed Priorat winemaking region to the town of Porrera, where there are, of course, plenty of opportunities to sample the local wines in celebration of completing your walk. Starting at Montsant, only an hour from Barcelona, the route through quiet hills with magnificent vistas also passes two fine abbeys – Poblet and Escaladei – the former thriving and active, the latter now being restored as an archaeological site of major significance. 

Did you know?

All of On Foot Holidays’ 32 routes throughout Europe are designed by a local – someone who lives near every route and is responsible for the upkeep of the route, hotel liaison and providing telephone support for all walkers during their trip. For this route, the locals recommend a stay in Barcelona at the end (or start) at one of On Foot Holidays’ hand-picked hotels or B&Bs.

Photos courtesy of On Foot Holidays

Les Ilets de la Plage – Saint Barth

The sixth edition of the Saint Barth Gourmet Festival takes place November 6-10, 2019 on the island of Saint Bathélemy. Now considered a major culinary event, the Festival’s cast of participating chefs is once again star-studded and comprises iconic figures of haute French cuisine. The Saint Barth Gourmet Festival is counted as one of the major events in the world of culinary excellence and one of the best gourmet festivals on an international scale. 

In addition: 

The intimate, family-owned beach resort offers 12 private villas with direct access to the white sand beach and azure sea. Secluded yet central, Les Ilets has been a well-kept secret for years, combining the privacy and serenity of a villa with a hotel concierge service at an affordable price. 

Photo courtesy of Pierre Carreau

Photo courtesy of Gerald Tessier

Ignacia Guest House — Mexico City

Stay in the beloved Colonia Roma neighborhood at Ignacia Guest House, a trendy eco-friendly bed and breakfast. Featuring just five unique suites, the hotel’s namesake is Ignacia, the housekeeper who took care of this 1913 colonial mansion for more than 70 years. In celebration of Dia de los Muertos, the chef will bake the traditional holiday bread for breakfast that week – Pan de Muertos or “bread of the dead,” a slightly sweet, brioche-like bread covered with orange blossom water and anise seeds. 

In addition:

Foodies will love Eat Like a Local Mexico City’s special Dia de los Muertos food tour where founder Rocio Vazquez Landeta shares her personal approach to the celebration. Start the day with coffee, sweet bread, and street tacos with a visit to the flower market to enjoy delicious food while shopping for candy skulls, flowers, candles, colorful papers, and more. 

Photo courtesy of Jaime Navarro

The Liming — Bequia 

To Caribbean locals, liming means ‘the art of doing nothing.’ At The Liming Bequia, this leisurely way of passing the time comes with added luxury. Set on the tiny island of Bequia, this boutique hideaway is refreshingly off the beaten track compared to larger islands. With lush gardens, a private marina and views towards Canouan and Mayreau, The Liming instantly rewards you for going that bit further. 

Did you know?

Reopening after the off-season on November 9th, 2019, The Liming Bequia recently announced a special offer for travelers –

stay for 7 nights, pay only for 5” – so guests can enjoy liming for even longer. 

Photos courtesy of The Liming, Bequia

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