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Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition Locations 2008

Where Sports Illustrated Shot its 2008 Swimsuit Models

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In 2008 Sports Illustrated magazine traveled to locations both heavily touristed (Orlando) and exotic (St. Petersburg, Russia) to shoot the annual Swimsuit Edition.

Although most readers are likely to be dazzled by the models, some look beyond the bikini'd babes to the scenic settings where they posed -- and find inspiration for their own travels.

Below find the sunny spots where the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue team of models, photographers, and stylists enhanced the natural beauty of their surroundings in 2008.

St. John, USVI

Two-thirds of 20-square-mile St. John is national park, with lush hills and pristine beaches untouched by development.

All of St. John provides a beautiful getaway for honeymoon couples and other romantics, so much so that it’s earned the nickname “Love City.”

There are a a few particularly outstanding spots, and Caneel Bay Resort is among them.

A Rosewood Resort originally built by Laurance Rockefeller, the luxurious, 170-acre seaside Caneel Bay [check hotel rates] is set within Virgin Islands National Park, providing Sports Illustrated Swimsuit models ample stretches to strut on the sand.

Turks & Caicos

© Palms Resort, Turks & Caicos. 
Known for beautiful beaches and upscale, secluded resorts, the 40-plus islands of the Turks and Caicos is home to Parrot Cay [check hotel rates], a private-island retreat that focuses on both health and haute cuisine. It is among the most exclusive and expensive resorts in the Caribbean.

Sports Illustrated models and others who maintain their figure through yoga, massage, and beach runs find ample opportunity to achieve a higher state of wellness here.

Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman

Cayman Islands Undersea
Image (c) Cayman Islands Tourism.
A favorite destination of scuba divers, snorkelers, and holders of offshore bank account holders, the Cayman Islands is known primarily for the beautiful specimens that live in the warm Caribbean waters that surround them.

On Grand Cayman, largest of the country's three islands, the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit models and their handlers lodged at the Westin Casuarina Resort & Spa [check hotel rates], a Starwood property with an on-site dive shop and full-service spa.

Discovery Cove, Orlando, Florida

An exclusive water wonderland in Orlando, Discovery Cove limits the number of guests it allows daily and accepts reservations.

Those who enter can swim with dolphins, scuba on the coral reef, swim in a tropical river, play in the manta lagoon, and laze in the freshwater pool.

The Sports Illustrated team and others who shot there could only stay for the day; the property does not have its own resort hotel.

Couples who want to continue a stay in Orlando that can keep them at a slight remove from the family groups this destination typically draws may want to look into reservations at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort [check hotel rates] nearby. It's the only Disney resort that has a restaurant barring children age 10 and younger.

Singer Island, Florida

Another Starwood property, the all-suite Resort at Singer Island [check hotel rates] is a 20-story tower north of Palm Beach that overlooks a wide stretch of sand and the Atlantic beyond.

Unlike many of Florida's Gold Coast hotels, it is not squeezed in between other behemoth buildings and offers visitors such as the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit models an opportunity to frolic among the palm trees.

Maui, Hawaii

Hawaiian Beach Scene
Photo by Susan Breslow Sardone
In search of endless summer, Sports Illustrated also led its bevy of beauties to the island of Maui, choosing wide Kaanapali Beach as the backdrop.

One of several beach resorts on Kaanapali, the family-friendly Sheraton Maui [check hotel rates] is distinguished by its location atop the Black Rock, a promontory that juts into the Pacific Ocean.

San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

© Harriet Bernstein. 
Nicaragua, with its tropical climate, great beaches, rich culture, and welcoming people, is becoming a larger spot on the radar for honeymoon couples and other romantics. (Contributor Harriet Bernstein profiled its Pelican Eyes Hotel & Resort in San Juan del Sur recently.)

For the 2008 issue shoot, the Sports Illustrated gang lodged at Morgan's Rock Hacienda and Ecolodge [check hotel rates] in the same town.

Combining the exotic and the luxurious, Morgan's Rock boards guests in stunning private bungalows that adhere to strict ecological guidelines.

Caesarea, Israel

Sports Illustrated's 2008 swimsuit models and their retinue experienced two different parts of Israel, staying at both the Dan Caesarea Hotel [check hotel rates] in the ancient biblical city close to the Mediterranean and the Daniel Dead Sea hotel on that historic waterway.

St. Petersburg, Russia

Hardly considered a beach location or one where a swimsuit model would expose herself to the elements, St. Petersburg actually enjoys a warm enough summer to make it appealing to bikini-wearers -- and it's not far from the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea.

On their visit to Russia's most beautiful city, the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue contingent stayed at the classic Grand Hotel Europe, an historical landmark (Tchaikovsky honeymooned here) located on the world-renowned Nevsky Prospekt.

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