There’s a new flight from CLT to an island with white, pink and black sand beaches

Warm up from the winter blues with American Airlines’ new direct route from Charlotte to Grenada. Starting Dec. 21, Charlotteans looking to escape the doldrums of winter can hop on a nonstop flight to the Spice of the Caribbean. Lesser known and chock full of natural beauty, Grenada is at the southern end of the Grenadine island chain and has retained its unspoiled, lush beauty by keeping a relatively low profile.

Located just below the dreaded hurricane belt, the tri-island nation has 45 white, pink and black sand beaches and is the only place outside of West Africa where you can find the adorable Mona Monkey roaming free. The island offers a mix of relaxation and adventure with its pristine beaches and mountainous interior. Go for hikes in the rainforest and discover hidden waterfalls, or take to the translucent waters and explore the island’s infamous Underwater Sculpture Park.

Culinary aficionados will appreciate Grenada’s flavorful cuisine. The second largest producer of nutmeg in the world, Grenada is known for its mace, cinnamon, clove, turmeric and bay leaves. Wash down all of those flavors with some local rum at the oldest functioning water-powered rum distillery in the Caribbean. But be warned — at up to 150 proof, this won’t make your average cocktail.

“We’re the largest carrier in Grenada, offering 373 flights per year,” a spokesperson from American Airlines offered. “The new service from CLT will give our customers more connecting opportunities and the perfect opportunity to escape to warmer weather during the colder months.”

The weekly nonstop flight from Charlotte is scheduled to run on Saturdays through March, with pricing starting around $700. Daily flights on American Airlines are available with a connection in Miami.

So next time you’re sitting in rush hour traffic on I-77, just think — in as little as five hours you could be relaxing on Grand Anse Beach, one of Conde Naste’s 30 Beaches That Will Make You Forget About Winter. Rum punch in hand, of course.