Reading about sandy beaches and sunny climes will inspire fantasies of an island getaway at any time, but those dreams are especially alluring in the dead of winter. That’s why there’s no better timing for our first-ever all-Caribbean special issue than now. This issue is packed with all things island, beginning with our cover story, actress Michael Michele's Celbrated Weekend in St. Maarten.

From there, we trek to Jamaica with Jim Shahin (“Rediscovering Jamaica,”), to the lesser-known Bahama Out Islands (In the Out Islands) with associate editor Janet Thomas — and, yes, we know that the Bahamas aren’t technically in the Caribbean, but people often think of them that way and Janet’s findings aren’t to be missed, then on to Antigua for sailing lessons with senior editor Richelle Thomson (Sail Away).

Even our Business section gets into the act with a look at how — and where — to take advantage of the Caribbean’s new incentives for attracting foreign investment (Business in Paradise).

Though the weather — and your mood — may be cold and dreary, we hope this issue warms you with visions of vacation in your near future.

Let us know what you think at Happy New Year!