Turks and Caicos Islands
UNTIL RECENTLY, IT WAS SCUBA DIVERS who salivated over the turquoise waters and Technicolor reefs. But recently, kiteboarders have discovered the Turks and Caicos—a 166-square-mile archipelago in the eastern Caribbean—and it's fast becoming a hallowed destination for world-class riding. During the winter, cold fronts rolling across the lower 48 arm-wrestle with the prevailing trades blowing from the east. A deadlock ensues, and that puts the squeeze on, blasting the Turks and Caicos from January to May with buttery-smooth winds. Bathwater-warm seas let you leave the wetsuit at home, and its proximity to the North Atlantic ensures there's always a swell if you have an appetite for big surf.
PLAYTIME: The Kitehouse is a full-service international kiteboarding outfitter run by pro Paul Menta. Full-day lessons from $300; thekitehouse.com
ISLAND LIVING: Menta loves houseguests. An upscale suite at his new villa runs from $150 a day, including gear.