The song “Kokomo” by The Beach Boys is a tropical classic. It’s the ultimate relaxation song about traveling the world with the one you love and visiting the most beautiful beaches, including your own “little place like Kokomo.” While Kokomo itself is a fictional, utopian location, the song mentions several gorgeous locations. At some point, we realized that we had already been to several of the places mentioned and we made it a goal to visit the rest.
Aruba, Jamaica, oh I want to take youThe Beach Boys (Kokomo)
to Bermuda, Bahama, come on pretty mama,
Key Largo, Montego, baby why don’t we go
down to Kokomo? We’ll get there fast
and then we’ll take it slow
That’s where we want to go
Way down to Kokomo
We started our Kokomo beach adventure in college (2007) with a trip to the Bahamas for our Caribbean biodiversity class (bonus: we learned to scuba dive). In 2021, we completed the last stop in Aruba, which is the first one referenced in the song. They were all stunning in their own way, but Bermuda was definitely the one that surprised us the most.
Aruba was one of the first trips we took during a downturn of the COVID pandemic in 2021. We stuck to our resorts and did a lot of relaxing (Sarah read the entire Bridgerton series). The two main tourist areas on the island are Eagle Beach and Palm Beach. We couldn’t decide between them, so we did a few days at each. We did two all-inclusive resorts, Divi Aruba near Eagle Beach (five nights) and Barcelo Aruba on Palm Beach (two nights). Divi Aruba was absolutely perfect – we had a room directly on a quiet, gorgeous beach. We loved it so much that Scott felt inclined to write an in-depth five-star Google review. Barcelo was decent, but Palm Beach was much more of a loud party atmosphere and that really wasn’t what we were looking for. One thing to know about Aruba: it is very windy! The only other place we’ve been with comparable wind intensity is Bora Bora, but both are absolutely gorgeous so you learn to deal with it. On the plus side, it keeps you cool!
Jamaica / Montego
We went to Runaway Bay, Jamaica for our honeymoon! We primarily stayed at our all-inclusive resort but did get to ride the bobsled ride and Dunn’s River Falls. We stayed at Breezes Runaway Bay, which has since become Jewel Runaway Bay. One of the big selling points was unlimited scuba, which you really don’t see with all-inclusive resorts anymore! We loved our visit to Jamaica, from the island’s natural beauty to the easygoing people and the delicious food and drinks (jerk chicken, Tastee patties, and lots of rum).
We went back in 2020 to check out Seven Mile Beach Negril and also stayed a night in Montego Bay. We stayed four nights at Travellers Beach Resort in Negril, a simple hotel on the southern end of Seven Mile Beach. We chose not to do an all-inclusive because we knew how good Jamaican cuisine is and had no qualms about finding our own meals. We went to the famous Rick’s Cafe one night for dinner to watch the cliff jumpers, which was a lot of fun. Mostly, we just relaxed on the beach in our little pop-up beach shelter. We wanted to stay near the airport for our last day (and to legitimately say that we’ve been to Montego Bay instead of just passing through it), so we stayed a night at the all-inclusive SeaGarden Beach Resort in Montego Bay.
Bermuda is different from the rest of the destinations in that it’s isolated in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. All the others are clustered together with other islands in/around the Caribbean. Flying to Bermuda can be pricey so we went in 2015 as part of a cruise aboard the Celebrity Summit out of Newark, New Jersey. Unlike most cruise destinations, the cruise to Bermuda was unique in that it involved two days at sea, then three nights docked at Bermuda, then two days sailing home. This setup was perfect! We rented a scooter (this was before our Capri scooter nightmare) and got to check out the whole island. We loved the isolated beaches and being able to hike to and swim in caves. We also did a jet ski tour so we could say we’ve boated in the Bermuda Triangle. All the pictures can be seen on our Facebook public album at Anniversary Cruise to Bermuda. Here are a few highlights (the standout being Sarah’s recreation of The Little Mermaid):
We visited Nassau and San Salvador island in college as part of a Caribbean Biodiversity class we took together. Wow, look at those kids! This is where we did our first saltwater scuba dive.
We went on a big Florida trip in 2012, starting with Disney World (Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and Magic Kingdom), then the Cardinals’ final spring training game of the year, then Key Largo, then Miami for Marlins/Cardinals Opening Day (the first game ever at Marlins Park).
Key Largo was lovely but, shockingly, there actually aren’t any beaches on this island! It’s nothing but rocky shorelines. However, there was remarkable wreck scuba diving, sunsets, and key lime pie.