We Found the Perfect Island Destination for Your Long Weekend

PHOTO: Javier Cruz Acosta/Shutterstock

Welcome to Hello, Weekend, our new guide to the best things to do, see, and pack for the best weekend every weekend.

It’s a supersized weekend, which means some serious R&R (punctuated by serious cocktails), but first…

What’s Going On

At Home…

If your idea of the perfect Valentine’s Day involves taking your loved one by the hand as you flee from a cadre of ghouls and goblins, you’re in luck! The Carlheim Manor in Leesburg, Virginia has something to tide horror-lovers over. The My Bloody Valentine haunted house event promises 32 rooms of “love-wrecked horrors” that ensures you’ll want to “hold your loved ones closer.”

And Abroad…

For a more conventional and ghoul-free Valentine’s Day, there’s the Strasbourg Mon Amour festival in eastern France. This festival features everything you’d want from a romantic Valentine’s Day in France (Champagne! Chocolates! Dancing!) as well as some things you wouldn’t imagine (Donating blood! Speed-dating on ice skates!).

Where We Want to Go This Weekend

Sometimes all you want from your weekend getaway is to lay on a white-sand beach, take a dip in some warm water, and not have to schlep across international borders and elbow through hordes of fellow tourists to do it. That’s why Anna Maria Island is the spot for beachcombers looking for a low-key place to indulge in all of a Florida vacation’s simple pleasures (easy access to beaches, seafood, and rum-based cocktails) with the intimate atmosphere of a more under-the-radar locale.

 

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Stay: Ensure that you waste absolutely no time going from your hotel room to the beach when you make The Anna Maria Beach Resort your home-base.

Do: Break up stretches of lazing around the beach by exploring the island by land (via bicycle) or by sea (via paddleboard or dolphin tour)!

Eat: Head to The Sandbar for some fresh seafood right on the beach (truly on the beach). Then make an appointment at The Doctor’s Office to cure whatever ails you…as long as what ails you is a craving for some serious cocktails. There you’ll find treatments like the gin-based Corpse Reviver #2 and the Dr. Feelgood, which is made with VSOP cognac, strawberry shrub, orange bitters, and prosecco.

What We’re Reading on the Plane

If you’re already missing BoJack Horseman, check out Someone Who Will Love You in All Your Damaged Glory, a collection of stories by the show’s creator and showrunner Raphael Bob-Waksberg. The stories are dark, melancholy, and consistently funny tales of love and vulnerability told through a myriad of forms (missed connections, the thoughts of a dog, a bullet-pointed list).

What We’re Downloading to Watch on the Plane

Crafting a great genre flick is a difficult tightrope to walk. On one hand, it should have the familiar elements one comes to expect but it needs to fashion those elements in a way that is fun (and ideally surprising) to devotees. Crawl, the 2019 creature feature directed by Alexandre Aja, does this splendidly. It knows what you want (people getting munched on by mean, fast-moving alligators) and it presents it to you in the delightfully over-the-top way you expect of a movie bearing producer Sam Raimi’s name.

What’s in Our Carry-On

Just because it’s overcast and gray out doesn’t mean your skin’s erstwhile enemy—the sun—can be ignored. Supergoop’s Glow Stick is the perfect weapon for your skin-protection arsenal—it fits in your personal item and it goes on nice and clear so you don’t have to worry about forgetting to rub in random spots of white at your hairline or behind your ears. Plus, it’s also super-hydrating so you’ll have the dewy, freshly moisturized aura of someone who never forgets to drink their eight daily glasses of water.