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29 Jan

The Wanderlust: Havana Is Almost Here!

Is it just us, or is February a month where your urge to travel just seems especially insistent? It might just be winter's dreariness, but we find ourselves mentally escaping to far-flung locales on an almost hourly basis. Which is why the launch of the latest edition of The Wanderlust is so incredibly well-timed! The latest destination is Havana, and the box drops on February 5. Our hyper-curated subscription box channels our insatiable curiosity and hunger for travel into a destination-themed assortment of the best style, travel, fitness, and beauty gear around.

Why Havana? Well, the buzz on the place has reached a fever pitch. And with travel more accessible than it's ever been, it was high time we hit it up ourselves. From the dramatically dilapidated Old Town to the bustling modernity of the up-and-coming cultural powerhouses like the Fabrica Arte Cubano, and of course the insanely gorgeous white sand beaches, Havana is a traveler's ideal. You can get there by air, or take a high-speed ferry from Key West in Florida for a more dramatic arrival into Havana harbor. Once you land, make sure you're reserved a classic 1950's convertible to roll around in — it's the only way.

Havana is the birthplace of the mojito, and the minty, refreshing drink is the perfect symbol for the tropical town. A little feisty, a little sweet, but super fresh, the scene in Havana is basically a non-stop party. There's amazing music everywhere — from classic jazz at La Zorra y El Cuervo or Sunday afternoon rumba at Callejon de Hammel, the lively spirit is easy to catch. There's also a food scene that ranges from ultra-traditional Cuban staples like ropa viejo, yuca frita and the black beans and mojo you can't stop eating to newer takes like the Swedish-Cuban fusion found at Casa Miglis — a 'paladares' or home restaurant run by Swedish filmmaker Micheal Miglis. You could eat every meal in someone's home and skip the restaurant scene entirely (some would argue that's the only way to experience the 'real' Cuba).

Where should you beach? Depends on your vibe. Playa del Este has a gorgeous stretch of sand and has been called the Caribbean's most gorgeous beach. The party-friendly Santa Maria del Mar is where weekenders live it up, and Playa Mégano is where to stop if you're looking for a shady palapa and a rum and coconut milk cocktail. No matter which you choose, it will be gorgeous.

Don't forget to plan a dose of culture during your stay. You can walk in Hemingway's footsteps (he lived and worked in Cuba for more than 20 years, writing For Whom The Bell Tolls and The Old Man And The Sea, among others) at the Museo Hemingway, or immerse yourself in Havana's history at Museo de la Ciudad, a museum housed in a building that’s been everything from a president’s home to Havana’s city hall.

In the evening the Fábrica de Arte Cubano is where all the beautiful people are, seeking out live music and theater, dancing, and potent cocktails. Rooftop bars like La Guarida are perfect for taking in the lively vibes while sipping rum on ice and checking out the sparkling skyline. The illuminated smokestack at El Cocinero in the Vedado neighborhood is worth a peek at after dark, climb the winding spiral staircase to look up inside the smokestack to see how it's been lit from within.

You can try to see it all, or just slow down your pace and live life like a local for a few days, sipping strong coffee at one of Havana's charming cafés or something stronger at a plaza bar. Your wanderlust will be quenched — for now. But there's always the next trip to cover more ground.

The Wanderlust: Havana launches February 5. Be sure you're subscribed so you don't miss the arrival of our chic subscription box, loaded with the best of travel, style, beauty, and fitness gear delivered directly to your door. Each box contains over $250 in retail value and costs $75 for each individual edition and $250 for an annual subscription. Are you subscribed yet?