Set on Mexico’s Pacific coast, this paradisiacal enclave is as exotic as the name sounds. It’s not a stretch getting here (there is frequent non-stop service from Los Angeles and Houston) but Zihuatanejo is still the lesser-known beach destination compared to its neighbor, Acapulco. A waterfront walkway, lined with seafood restaurant and souvenir shops, is the heart of town — but the main allure is the beachy bay, surrounded by the foothills of the sierra Madre Mountains. Playa la Ropa, the most popular beach in Zihuatanejo, is almost a mile long with water so calm it’s perfect for swimming and myriad watersports.
Where to Stay: Viceroy Zihuatanejo, a five-star boutique hotel right on the sand. Rooms are spacious with Mexican-inspired interiors but most couples spend most of their time on the beach. The property boasts a “beach boy” who helps with activities, palapa-shaded cabanas and an open-air spa palapa. The resort is the first and only establishment in the area to offer paddleboard yoga — you stand-up paddle to Playa las Gatas, a beach at the end of the bay, have a yoga-on-the-board-session, then SUP back (room rates start at $336 a night; viceroyhotelsandresorts.com).
Photos courtesy of Viceroy Hotels & Resorts
Where to Eat: Paty’s Mirimar serves traditional, gourmet Mexican fare and seafood right on the beach.