Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Beach Vacation Travel Suggestions

A lots of people, particularly those who live in the northern latitudes of the US, tend to think of a beach vacation as always taking place when there is a snap to the air and snow on the ground. It is a natural response after all and the thoughts of running in on the beach with sand in your toes and the warm sun on your shoulders appeals to many. It's a fact that there are a lot of beach vacation destinations available during those truly cold winter months up in the northern states. It is interesting to note that beach vacations, typically between Thanksgiving through Memorial Day, at Florida, Texas and Mississippi beaches are the most expensive due to the "snowbird" traffic influx seen there. The prices of everything from vacation towels to swim suits at these beach resort locations are much higher during this time of the year than during the off season.

The thing to remember is that the beaches are there all year long, so catching a time when the mad rush to get warm and recapture the summer can be had even in December. Think of the Holidays like Christmas in December and a nice warm beach with lights as a fun get away. Of note is that prices for everything are generally lower if you try to time your vacations during months that might not be the most traveled during the winter season.

Hotel stays will be cheaper, eating out will be less expensive, and show tickets will be less too. There's a reason for all this and it is really simple. Most people think of summertime to go to these places and those people will pay much more than even the snowbirds coming down for some warmth. This huge surge in tourism can be boost to the local economy and they understand that it is temporary, so they jack the prices up to even out the rest of the year.

But hold the horses! Won't it be cold even there during the middle of winter? Yes and no. It will be cooler to the locals because they are acclimated to their local weather, but to someone fro Michigan, 60 degree weather in middle of winter is like a sauna.

The best route to take during the winter months to your winter get away is a train if they have routes to get you there. If not then consider the train coupled with the bus. There are no real restrictions on baggage like airplanes and the ride is much more pleasant.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Planning A Perfect Beach Vacation

Everyone looks forward to their holiday, whether it is filled with adventure activities, water sports, taking leisurely walks, exploring the surrounding areas or lounging around on the beach. To ensure you start your beach vacation the right way you need to prepare and plan properly to avoid any mishaps. By following these tips you will have a hassle free holiday in the sun.

To prevent stress, it is wise to make a list of items that must be addressed beforehand. If you expect to drive to your destination, have a car maintenance check. Besides ensuring your vehicle is safe, book your flights and hotel in advance, and make a list of the things you want to pack. When you organize early you will allow yourself plenty of time so you feel less frantic.

Taking the entire family on holiday requires a little planning. You will need to think about beach vacation activities, especially if you will be catering for various age groups. Do not forget to take suitable games for the beach. For instance, a shovel, bucket and beach ball are perfect for kids.

When going to an exotic location, research the availability of beach and water entertainment. To ensure you are not left out of anything, make certain all equipment needed for the activities is included, or that you can at least rent gear. Some of the must-have items you will need to include on your packing list are swimsuits, sarongs, t-shirts, shorts, flip-flops, hats, sunglasses and towels.

Sun block with a high sun protection factor should be at the top of your list. You want to avoid spoiling your beach vacation by burning your skin. It is also worth remembering to take lots of water and other liquids with you, as warmer temperatures can cause you to dehydrate faster.

It is easy to forget heat can have adverse effects. Even when you are in the water the strength of the sun can be harmful. Remember to take breaks in a shady spot and look out for yourself as well as other family members.

A beach vacation on a budget can still be a success. If you decide to forgo plush accommodation or drive to your holiday location, you should pack items that would normally be provided for you. Some things you may need to consider are beach chairs and beach umbrellas, as well as a first aid kit. Prepare well in advance so there are no nasty surprises.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Thailand's Best Party Beaches

Thailand is the place to go if you enjoy lively holidays. It has some of the most visually striking beaches in Southeast Asia and a focus on nightlife. While it also comes with quieter, more laid back beaches, the majority of tourists that head for Thailand are here for the buzz.

Partying in Pattaya

While a little bit sleazy, Pattaya is the oldest party beach in Thailand. It is a couple of hours south of Bangkok by highway and has more hotels and bars per capita than anywhere else in Thailand. The actual beach in Pattaya is not as nice as beaches at other prominent beach resorts, yet it is busy and the main focal point by day.

At night, Pattaya really comes into its own. If you are into drinking, eating and women of the night, this is the place to come. Prices here are invariably cheaper than at other popular beach resorts and there are literally hundreds of bars to choose from, from standard hole-in-the-wall watering holes, to expat pubs, go gos, and all out discos.

The liveliest part is Walking Street in the south at the end of the beach. It is traffic-free at nighttime and is wall to wall bars and girls. Although it has a reputation for being a bit unruly, Pattaya's bars are patrolled by tourist police and volunteers.

Lounging in Phuket

Thailand's second-most favorite party beach is Patong, located way down in the southwest of Thailand on the western side of Phuket. The beach and atmosphere in Phuket are a definite one-up from Pattaya, yet prices for accommodation, food, beer and women are steeper. Phuket has totally recovered from the devastation wrought by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

Patong Beach is a lot tidier than Pattaya Beach, plus it has some surf and a far prettier promenade. Soi Bangla, right behind the beach, is the main drinking area. It is literally steps from the sand and has every type of bar you could imagine. Head for the south side of the street for the cheaper, less in-yer-face bars and north for heavier action.

The gay area of Patong lies at the second street parallel to the beach amid the Paradise complex. Although virtually anything goes in Patong, it is on the whole a lot less sleazy than Pattaya, plus there are quality beaches to the north and south. In addition, and unlike Pattaya, Phuket has its own international airport with flights from Europe and all over Southeast Asia.

Getting Down in Samui

Thailand's third most happening beach is Chaweng Beach on the island of Koh Samui. It lies in the Gulf of Thailand and also comes with an airport, yet flights here are a lot more expensive than getting to Phuket as one airline, Bangkok Airways, owns the airport and has the monopoly.

Chaweng Beach lies on the east coast of Samui, as it is more commonly known. It is the island's largest beach and has the best spread of accommodation. Prices here are generally higher than at Patong and Pattaya, yet the beach is nicer and somewhat more exclusive. Everything is low-rise and restaurants open out onto the beach at night, while right behind the beach is a string of pumping bars.

Full Moon Fever in Phangnan

Another lively beach is that of Hat Rin on the island of Phangnan to the north of Samui. It gets crazy one night of the year, during the legendary Full Moon Party. Backpackers come from far and wide to drink and revel on the beach here although for the rest of the month it remains a lot quieter. Phangnan is a bit of a pain to get to as it doesn't have an airport. It is accessed by ferry from Samui.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Aloha - My Top 5 Hawaiian Beaches

I've been to Hawaii and I enjoyed my 2 weeks of stay there. I wanted to share the fun experience I had in Hawaii. I have visited a lot of beaches and places in Hawaii during my stay, but only a few captured my heart. Here are the top 5 beach that I can recommend for you guys to visit in Hawaii.

1. Big Island, Waikoloa Beach

Found on the Big Island's of Kohala Coast. This beach amazed me with the exquisitely landscaped walking paths from ancient fishponds to an aurulent sand beach bordered by a dancing palm trees. The palm trees looks like its dancing to the beat of the waves. Contemporary homes driven by historic plantation design are very popular in Kohala Coast. You can walk from Waikoloa Beach Villas to Anaehoomalu Bay, and it is very near Kings' Shops where you can find high-end shopping boutiques, as what they call it the one-stop shopping center. It has resort fashion, art galleries, and a lot of souvenir stores. On the border of Waikoloa Beach Villas is the Beach Golf Course where you can enjoy playing with your golf buddies.

2. Poipu Beach, Kauai

To be seen at the south shore of Kauai with yellow sand crescents. The beach goers enjoy snorkeling, hiking, swimming, kayaking, scuba diving, surfing, mountain biking, horse-back riding, and wading in this island. Surfing for beginners is most appropriate here since it has perfect wave-breaks. Swimming and snorkeling can be enjoyed in the calm waters near the rocky points. People can also enjoy the use of the golf club and tennis courts here. Kaui brings a romantic vision for the honeymooners and for those who wants to have a memorable moment of marriage.

3. Shipwreck beach, Lanai

It is not a typical swimming beach, other people may enjoy getting tanned by the beach, but some people would prefer going to Shipwreck beach. Here you can enjoy the nice view of Molokai and Maui, green sea turtles and whales, World War II Liberty Ship, and the Po'aiwa Petroglyphs. The shipwreck is found to be made of lava rocks, boulders, sand, and washed-up timbers.

4. Ka'anapali Beach, Maui

Found to be the most famous beach in Maui, 2 miles south of whaling town of Lahaina. There are a lot of activities we can indulge ourselves into, like snorkeling in crystal clear waters, windsurfing, parasailing, kayaking, or jet-skiing. It is the most populated beach in Hawaii. For surfers, surfing can only be enjoyed on a seasonal basis. Sunsets are found to be most beautiful in Ka'anapali. It is said to have the elegant hotels in Hawaii, has nice accommodations, and shopping centers.

5. Waimanalo Beach Park, Windward Oahu

The most beautiful beach in Oahu; where families can have picnics and barbecues in the shaded areas right next to the beach. Bodysurfing, swimming, and boogie boarding are the activities that we can enjoy doing here. We can also enjoy the beautiful scenery of the coastal mountain ranges of Oahu and Manana Rabbit Island.

I hope you'll enjoy your stay in Hawaii as much as I did. Some of the beaches may be fun for me and may not be fun for you so also try to visit some of the other beaches.

I lived here in Texas all my life so I am very much familiar in the cities here. I love to travel a lot, and visit a lot of countries. I enjoy playing golf, and watching baseball. I hang out with my friends at the bars, at the clubhouse playing tennis, and sometimes at the casino. We play poker every Saturday night at my place. As far as I can remember, my parents and I traveled a lot and I have adapted their passion for traveling.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Beach Tourism Trends - The Art of Placing Your Towel Within 2 Square Feet

Sometimes I wonder about these little things that make so much impact in life. Beach tourism is one of them. I think about the coastline and it's length. I think about the distribution people take on the coastline according to its length. And it gets me amazingly surprised how the magnetic forces make humans stay together confined in a little space orbiting one around each other while they could simply spread themselves like butter in the sand and enjoy space and freedom.

Is it that people misses the Disco-Compression-Effect? Do we like to be compressed all the time like if dancing in the trendy central disco downtown? Something must be wrong. This is what you think while you take all the sand out from your towel I guess.

In the best of the cases, after a session of beach tourism you are going to come back home with thousands of new skills learned. You are going to be an experienced beach-man, somewhat like a ranger in the mountains. The path to the water is like the path to eternal life. So difficult to find, so many mistakes that can be done on the way. Will you ever find it without throwing some of this burning golden sand at the back of this old lady? Have you ever thought that this golden sand that burn the old lady's back also is burning your feet?

No way, beach tourism is killing you! The more you get delayed in finding the path to the water, the more your feet look like a roasted duck. Hurry or somebody will confuse them and feel hungry. And if this wasn't enough, grains of sand are usually that kind of big that just keep harming your poor overheated feet.

Let's say that you finally reach the water. Let's say so. Now it comes the final stage of beach tourism. What (or who) is expecting you there? The unknown. Maybe we swim very good when we are about to born in our mother's internal palace of liquids, but there we didn't need to see what was below. Here, with the advantage that the sand is not anymore cold, we start playing with fortune trying to guess if what you are about to step on is a cutting edge's rock, a crab, or a soft sticky marine plant that tries to provide with free massage.

Whatever your experience of beach tourism, I can promise you come back home like a hero. Just that if you had moved some hundred of meters away from this beach you could have found another one that was nearly empty. But you love the challenge of placing the towel within 2 square feet. You definitely think you deserve this space. It's your precious...

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Myrtle Beach Travel

Located on South Carolina's Atlantic coast, Myrtle Beach is well-loved as a laid back vacation destination for surf and sun lovers. With amusement parks, bargain shopping, fun family activities, top notch golf courses and plenty of beach fun, it's no wonder that each year millions of vacationers choose Myrtle Beach.

Family Activities

Families visiting the area will find plenty of fun activities to fill their time. See the weird and wacky at the Myrtle Beach branch of the Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum. At Magiquest, families can get a magic wand and use it to open treasure chests, talk to trees and more. Go on a quest to find different symbols and objects, and receive virtual runes in return. When you've collected enough runes you can help a princess, battle a dragon and more. For a memorable dinner, head to Medieval Times where you'll dine with your hands - they didn't use utensils back then - while watching a slow of knights on horseback sword fighting, jousting and more.


Golf lovers will have their choice of more than 100 courses in the Myrtle Beach area, including top-notch courses designed by none other than Jack Nicklaus. There are both public and private courses in the area for your golfing pleasure.


Myrtle Beach is a bargain lovers paradise with three outlet malls located within city limits and more just a short drive away.


Those who like to indulge in a little gaming can board one of the casino ships operating in Myrtle Beach, offering dining and entertainment as well as slots and table games. The Big "M" Casino and SunCruz Aquasino ships set out for 5-hour long cruises along the Little River Inlet.


Because it fronts the Atlantic Ocean, the area boasts 60 miles of beach, where visitors can swim, build sandcastles, fish, snorkel, parasail, scuba dive, kayak or just lay back on a lounge chair with a good read. Beach season in Myrtle Beach stretches from May to September.

Amusement & Waterparks

If you can't get enough of the water at the beach, head to one of the area's several water parks. At the Myrtle Waves Water Park, you'll find a plethora of water slides, raft rides and more. Family Kingdom is Myrtle Beach's only oceanfront waterpark, with water slides and a lazy river. Family Kingdom is also home to an amusement park with rides and activities for all ages. There you'll find bumper boats, roller coasters, a log flume ride and more.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

San Francisco Beaches

When you are planning a vacation to Maui or Rio de Janeiro you may put beaches on the top of you list of things to see. However, when planning a trip to San Francisco, you may have heard of North Beach, but North Beach doesn't have any beaches (though the neighborhood was named after a beach that used to be on its north shoreline). If fact, San Francisco has several beaches that provide diversions for residents and visitors alike.

Make no mistake about it, San Francisco is not Los Angeles. Unless it's an
exceptional day, San Francisco beaches tend to be a little chilly, windy and foggy.
However, this should not deter you from enjoying a nice afternoon at the beach.
Many San Francisco beaches have beautiful panoramic views of the Marin
Headlands, Point Bonita Lighthouse and the Golden Gate Bridge. Just be prepared
with a sweatshirt or jacket in addition to your shorts or swim suit. Because of the
latitude of San Francisco, the waters may be too cold for swimming (unless you
brought your wet suit). Bring your beach towels, a sand bucket, a good book, a kite
and a Frisbee to make the best of your afternoon at the beach.

San Francisco's most popular beaches are Ocean Beach and Baker Beach. Although
East Beach at Crissy Field in the Presidio has become quite popular since the
restoration of Crissy Field.

Ocean Beach is San Francisco's largest and longest beach running 5 miles up the
entire west side of San Francisco. The northern end of San Francisco Ocean Beach
popular among locals, surfers and visitors. The Cliff House towers above Ocean
Beach perched on the edge of a coastal bluff that borders the north end of the
beach. The beach is perfect for building sand sculptures and hosts a yearly sand
sculpture contest. Ocean Beach has a very slight slope, making it ideal for wading in
the surf. Surfers wearing wet suits are a common sight along this section of Ocean

Baker Beach is located in the Presidio just south of the San Francisco Golden Gate
Bridge. With its panoramic views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Marin
Headlands, Baker Beach is a popular beach and picnic destination for San Francisco
locals, especially on the weekends. Several picnic tables with barbecue pits are
located to the east of the north parking lot. The beach has strong rip-tides, so
swimming can be hazardous. A few fishermen may dot the shoreline. The north end
of the beach is clothing optional, so families typically stay toward the middle and
south ends of the beach.

Other beaches in San Francisco include Lands End Beach and China Beach, named
for the Chinese fishermen who used to camp nearby. San Francisco Castro Beach is
not really a beach at all. It's a park that has garnered the "beach" nickname because
of all the Castro sun bathers that blanket its lawns.

Adding a beach to your San Francisco agenda may be a great way to slow down the
frenetic pace of sightseeing and enjoy a more relaxed appreciation of San
Francisco's natural beauties. Visit San Francisco Beaches for more

Monday, February 20, 2012

Clearwater Beach Travel Guide

On the west coast of Florida are the Clearwater and its Island beaches. These are the most popular holiday destinations of the state and are in Pinellas County. The climate is perfect for holidaymakers and the Clearwater is considerably calm, quiet and inexpensive as compared to other famous locations.

Clearwater offers something for everyone ranging from water recreation to nature based to different land activities. It is also more popular due to the special events held in the area. Clearwater has a rich heritage of culture and history that attract history lovers from all over the place.

The basic amenities like fishing piers, picnic areas, playgrounds, showers, restrooms, boat ramp and boat houses are all available in the Clearwater Beach. This beach is easily accessible by the wheel chair.

Clearwater beach is rated as one of the best city beach. The white sand and sparkling waters of this beach beckon all the beach lovers to come and enjoy a wonderful day. You can do activities like go for swimming, play volleyball, or go fishing.

The sailfish, black fin tuna, dolphins and other water animals are found in the waters of the Clearwater Beach. At Pier 60, fishing can be done 24/7 by all. The two and half mile long Beach Walk starts from the Pier 60, moves southward on both sides of the South Gulf view Boulevard. The pedestrians, bicyclist and rollerblading can all access the walkway. There are amenities like showers and shaded areas where locals and visitors can enjoy the magnificent sunsets on the beach. Clearwater Marina is short distance from the walkway offers many water activities like jet skiing, parasailing, cruises and many more.

The boats, Jet Ski and wave runners can be hired by the people to enjoy the beach with the family.

For families with children are available many options. A cruise especially for the kids known as Captain Memo's Pirate Cruise has been set up for the entertainment . On-board many programs like face painting, storytelling, dance programs and treasure hunts are organized for making kids visit to Clearwater Beach a memorable one.

While parasailing on the Clearwater Beach, the quietness of the beach entrails and sometimes, dolphins and loggerhead turtles are spotted from the air.

There are many accommodations that are available in the area ranging from motels to luxury resorts.

On the Mandalay Avenue, the shops sell everything from t-shirts to suntan lotions and boogie boards. After sunset, the street performers live up the street and artist sell souvenirs made from sea shells and sharks' teeth.

There are many other attractions in the area like Adventure Island, a water theme park; Clearwater Marine Aquarium, one can touch and view marine animals like sea turtles, fish, corals, dolphins and more;Florida Botanical Gardens, showcasing Florida plants and also there is wildlife nesting habitat, natural bridges and restored wetlands.

Clearwater Beach has many museums and theaters. Some of the well known are Dunedin Fine Art Center, Dunedin Historical Museum, Royalty Theatre and American Stage Company.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Romantic Beach Vacation Destinations Summer 2009

Summer is a short but splendid season, often spent with family and friends enjoying the endless array of festivals, food, and holidays. The Summer season is also a perfect time for a romantic walk on the beach at sunset during a hot summer vacations evening. Put those long Summer days to good use exploring our list of beautiful beaches and vacation spots located across the United States. This Summer, find your special beach destination, soak up the sun and play in the pristine sandy beaches while making Summer memories that last a lifetime.

Maine is one of the most popular romantic destinations of Summer vacationers for a variety of reasons. The beautiful, temperate weather and rocky coastlines with soaring, granite cliffs have provided unforgettable vistas to Summer travelers for over a hundred years. A popular Maine Summer destination is Bar Harbor, located in the Acadia National Park area, providing beautiful white, sandy beaches and refreshing, cool waters to enjoy and help you unwind. Also located within this Summer vacation area along Route 1A in the Southern Coastline region of Maine, are the quaint coastal cities of Portland and Ogunquit. Both offer smaller beaches, but are known for their quiet, romantic shorelines. Tired of the beach? How about a trip to Maine's Central Coastline to Southwest Harbor where vacationers will find wonderful boutiques, galleries, eateries, and bed and breakfast lodging unlike anywhere experienced before. And of course, no Maine Summer vacation would be complete without sampling some of the local fair, including freshly caught lobster, hush puppies, fiddle head potatoes, and my personal favorite, New England clam chowder.

Another Summer vacation hot spot is New Jersey's Southern Shore, with over 140 miles of pristine beaches, renowned restaurants, and celebrated Summer festivals and events. This region contains 7 out of the top 10 beaches in New Jersey, including the #1 beach, located in Ocean City. Known as America's Greatest Family Resort, it is a fantastic place for family reunions, group retreats, and of course, beach weddings. The 2.5 mile long boardwalk is complete with fine dining restaurants and downtown shopping area for adults, and two amusement parks, go-cart rentals, and a water park for the kids. Don't forget about the many miniature golf courses, enjoyable for the entire family! There is truly entertainment for all ages in Ocean City, NJ. And no trip to New Jersey's Southern Shore would be complete without visiting the historic, Victorian town of Cape May. Cape May offers a wide variety of Summertime activities including listening to the surf caress the shoreline, the thrill and excitement of walking the boardwalk, climbing to the top of one of the many famous Cape May lighthouses and enjoying the towering vistas, and finally, staying at a romantic Victorian bed and breakfast on the coastline. The New Jersey Southern Shore offers a wide variety of activities ensuring your Summer vacation will be a memorable one.

Known for it's year round bountiful sunshine and crystal blue skies, the Florida Keys region including it's neighboring barrier islands, have long been a favorite destination for Summer vacationers. Key West offers soft, white sandy beaches surrounding its scenic perimeter, and is famous for its outdoors activities including world class fishing, diving, water sports, and golf. After watching an unequaled Key West sunset, enjoy the many night life activities including live entertainment by the city's many musicians and street artists. Treat your palate to an island specialty and dine at a local sidewalk cafe or gourmet restaurant, and enjoy a nightcap at one of the many legendary pubs and open-air island bars. Lodging in Key West is as diverse as the island itself, including top notch resorts to traditional conch houses to comfortable bed and breakfast inns. In a city of fascinating contrasts and inspiring diversity it is easy to envision yourself letting go of your mainland worries, and spending your Summer vacation in beautiful Key West, Florida. I have personally visited Key West several times, soaking in the memorable sites during the 4 hour drive from Key Largo to Key West, and would highly recommend the journey along scenic US 1 to any vacationer looking for an unforgettable beach getaway this Summer.

Home to some of the best beaches in the United States, the Texas Southern Gulf Coast region attracts millions of visitors every year, particularly during the Summer vacation season. With over 350 miles of coastline stretching in a gentle arc from South Padre Island north to the Louisiana border, this Texas playground is renowned for its natural beauty and diverse wildlife. The native cord grass and marsh lands provide the ideal ecosystem to support rich marine life and winter nesting grounds for migrating birds. In the Northern Gulf Coast area you can explore the historic beach communities of Galveston and Crystal Beach. Galveston offers 32 miles of magnificent, soft sandy beaches, top notch restaurants and live entertainment, and one of the largest and well-preserved concentrations of Victorian architecture in the country. Another popular Summer destination in the Texas Gulf Coast area is Corpus Christi, offering vacationers a rich blend of culture in the relaxed atmosphere of a historic coastal port. Upon traveling to Corpus Christi, one can expect to find soothing sea breezes, endless blue skies, and beautiful turquoise waters. Visit the bay front promenade, the arts and museum district, waterfront restaurants and entertaining nightlife while vacationing in Corpus Christi. South Padre Island is located on the tropical tip of Texas bordering Mexico. It is known as one of the best vacation destinations in the country offering beautiful beaches, tall sand dunes, and warm Gulf waters. Contrary to popular belief, South Padre Island is one of the mildest places in Texas during the Summer season, with Gulf sea breezes keeping the temperatures moderate in the high 80's to low 90's. Some activities to explore while vacationing in this top rated Texas beach destination include saltwater fishing, dining on fresh fish and seafood served at local island restaurants, and staying at a historic bed & breakfast or hotel accommodation. There is certainly something for all travel enthusiasts when visiting the Texas Gulf Coast this Summer.

Located along the Pacific Ocean halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, the Central Coast of California stretches thousands of miles from Santa Barbara to Monterey. The region is widely renowned for it's romantic, white sandy beaches and rock-lined coastal views, exquisite wine country tours, and artisan villages. Vacationers can choose from quaint, historic bed and breakfast inns to scenic, ocean-side cottages. During the beautiful, sunshine filled days, discover surfing, water-skiing, golfing, hiking, biking, horse-back riding, bird watching, farmers markets, and film festivals. If you are looking for beautiful blue skies, shopping, dining, endless activities, unforgettable experiences, and a marina complimented with a gorgeous beach, visit Santa Barbara, located on the southern end of California's Central Coast. Situated near the Northern tip of Monterey Bay, 74 miles south of San Francisco, lies the quintessential beach town of Santa Cruz. A wide array of attractions await, from Santa Cruz's award-winning boardwalk and majestic Redwood forests, to arts and culture events, and award-winning restaurants. An enchanting blend of history and natural beauty await, ensuring your Summer vacation to California's Central Coast will be a memorable and enjoyable one.

The Bed and Breakfast suggests the above Summer Beach Vacation destinations based on personal experiences and other valued traveler input. The locations were selected due to overall entertainment options, quality and popularity of beach, amount of sunshine-filled days, softness of sand, temperature of water, and dining & shopping options.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Best Mediterranean Beaches for Family Fun

If you are planning a family getaway to Europe and you love the beach, perhaps Mediterranean beaches are the best option for you. The Mediterranean Sea divides Europe from Africa and makes the boundary for over a dozen nations such as Greece, Italy, France, and Spain. Countries like Israel, Egypt, Morocco, and Cyprus are pretty popular with the tourists and showcase the Mediterranean's exotic beaches.

Nature lovers say that the Mediterranean is not just a place but in fact it is a state of mind. The mild climate in the Mediterranean and its hot dry summers makes for perfect beach weather. The deep blue waters are accentuated with the warm hospitality of the Mediterranean people who are well known as being passionate with a real zest for life.

The best time to visit the Mediterranean is between the fall and spring. If you are planning your holidays for August, be sure to make the arrangements way in advance. This is because the coastal towns are often full with vacationing Europeans during this time.

Italy, France and Corsica have some of the most beautiful beaches in this area. Cannes is one of the best-known cities of the French Riviera and is well-known for its sandy beaches which are animated all year round. You can expect to see people sunbathing and swimming right through the winter months. There are lots of private beach clubs where you can eat or rent a lounger for the day and at either end there are public beaches, and a municipal beach where you can rent deck chair and watch the world go by.

Corsica is an Island and is sophisticated, flashy, and perhaps among the best places in the Mediterranean for water sports. Corsica's 600 miles coastline comprises a number of secluded coves and deserted shores. St Restitude, located near Calvi north-west, is best for a peaceful hideaway. It has a secluded small beach with clean water, soft sand, and adorable pine woods in plenty. There is also Palombaggia Beach, Golfe di Sogno Beach, and Santa-Giulia Beach near the couth-east Porto-Vecchio, an upmarket resort town situated on a rocky hill. The town is very popular among the tourists for its beaches, cafes, restaurants, yacht marina, lively streets, and a wide range of accommodation. The best beach in this town is Palombaggia Beach, a perfect crescent of white sand that is sandwiched between the blue sea and dune clusters.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Traveling to the Islands in Thailand: The Ko Chang National Marine Park

Made up of fifty-two islands, there are plenty of places to visit within the Ko Chang National Marine Park besides Ko Chang itself. Due to their protected status these islands offer some of the best and well preserved wildlife in all of Thailand. The area's naturally mountainous landscapes and rainforests make for a dramatic skyline filled with a stunning array of majestic cliff-tops presiding over the many white beaches and permanently turquoise seas.

It has been agreed that any land that was planted before the assignment of the area's national park status in 1982 can be bought and used for private development but this is only about 15% of the total land available. Development has also been carefully restricted and as such many of the islands are totally uninhabited. Only ten of the park's islands offer overnight accommodation. On some this may be no more than a basic beach bungalow for about ten US dollars a night, whilst other islands are equipped with resorts providing an extremely high level of luxury and may cost up to 100 US dollars per night. At the cheaper establishments it is possible to just turn up and find a room whereas the more exclusive resorts tend to cater more to visitors who have pre-booked their accommodation with package tour-operators. This is a particularly good option for those who are looking for a secluded spot away from the crowds as most package deals will include boat transport directly to the resort's private beach as well as day-trips to the surrounding attractions and smaller islands.

Following is a list of the best of the smaller islands that the Ko Chang National Park has to offer:

Ko Chang Noi / Laem Chang Noi

The closet of the smaller islands to the arrival port of Ao Sapparot, Ko Chang Noi is situated near the north-western tip of Ko Chang and the bay of Chang Noi (Laem Chang Noi). Although both the bay and the island are made up of rocks rather than sand, the appeal to this area is the stretch of water joining them which is home to a fabulous and pristine coral reef ideal for snorkelling and admiring the abundant marine life. For visitors who wish to stay in this area the Aiyapura Resort and Spa is a five star resort offering guests luxurious rooms with delightful views looking over the island.

Ko Yuak, Ko Man Nai, Ko Man Nok

Following the western coast of Ko Chang and heading south there is a cluster of small islands which can be seen from Ko Chang's Khlong Prao and Kai Bae beaches (creating a spectacular view during sunsets). Due to their small size and close proximity to Ko Chang these islands make ideal day trips but do not offer their own accommodation.

Of these smaller islands Ko Yuak has a small sandy beach with shallow waters making it a good spot for snorkelling, whilst the neighbouring Ko Plee and Ko Suwan have rocky shores. Nonetheless snorkelling around this area is still a real treat as their is an abundance of marine life to be found amongst these rocks. Furthermore, close to Ko Suwan there is a small island known only as Ko Rom or 'Umbrella Island' (due to an enormous tree in the centre which takes the shape of an umbrella), and in the water surrounding this island there are a number of extremely bright corals that should not be missed.

Directly opposite the beach at Kai Bae lies the island Ko Man Nai. During low tide this island reveals its sandy beaches and it is so close that during this time it is also possible to reach it by wading through the waist-deep waters that join the island to the Sea View Resort area of Kai Bae beach. Boats and canoes are also available to make the short trip. Next to Ko Man Nai is its sister island Ko Man Nok which is again reachable by walking through shallow waters or taking a leisurely canoe ride.

Ko Khlum

Once used as a port by the Thai navy due to its sheltered location, Ko Khlum is also a place of historical importance as Thai ships clashed with the French navy here during France's colonisation of Indochina. These days the area has become a popular site for divers who come here to explore the coral reefs submerged under about fifteen metres of clear water. Amongst these corals you will also find a variety of large fish which also makes the area a firm favourite amongst those who enjoy fishing.

Ko Sai Khao

From the southern tip of Ko Chang at Ao Salak Petch it is possible to reach the small island of Ko Sai Khao. The island's many coconut trees gave it its original name of Ko Phrao, although more recently it has taken the name of Ko Sai Khao meaning 'White Island' after its beaches' pristine white sand. During low tide this white sand forms a giant sand dune that is quite spectacular. A large concrete pier allows the island to be easily approached by boat and this pier also provides clear views over the whole area. There is also a paved path alongside the beach which makes for a pleasant seaside walk whilst admiring the beautifully clear blue waters. Limited accommodation is available on the island at the Ko Sai Khao Resort which offers beach bungalows to full board guests only.

Ko Laoya

Heading further south from Ko Sai Khao lies a cluster of three small islands known collectively as Ko Laoya and individually as Ko Laoya Nai, Ko Laoya Khlang and Ko Laoya Nok. These islands share a fertile green rainforest surrounded by long white beaches and remarkably clear blue waters filled with impressive coral reefs. The islands of Ko Laoya Nai and Ko Laoya Khlang are connected by a small wooden bridge and nearby the Laoya Resort offers accommodation to full board guests.

Ko Wai

Continuing south, Ko Wai has become famous for its collection of rare corals which are in excellent condition and can be easily admired by snorkellers and divers alike who come to these shallow waters to see the area's huge two kilometre reefs. Fishing is also a popular activity here as the large rocks are home to a wide variety of large fish. The island is quite big in size but the northern beach is the most popular as this is where the best beaches and corals can be found. There is a choice of two places to stay with the Ko Wai Pakarang Resort offering luxurious rooms to full board guests and the Ko Wai Paradise Resort offering cheaper and more basic beach bungalows.

Ko Mai Dang

Just east of Ko Wai, Ko Mai Dang is a much smaller island but in its favour it offers a serene tranquillity that makes it a fantastic place to camp. Other attractions include a well-preserved coral reef, good fishing waters and sandy beaches.

Ko Ngam

A short distance off the southern tip of Ko Chang lies the small but very unique Ko Ngam. Almost two separate islands, Ko Ngam is held together by a thin sand dune which divides two beautiful natural lagoons filled with an abundance of corals and colourful marine life, making it an ideal spot for swimming, snorkelling and fishing. It is even possible to see dolphins swimming here.

There are a number of fresh water pools inland and during the rainy months a waterfall forms in the hills of Ko Ngam. Indeed after cooling off in the sea it is possible to make the one hundred metre climb up the hill on the south-western side of Ko Ngam. The walk is quite demanding but there are rope lines provided to guide the way and the view from the top is spectacular. From here visitors can see all over Ko Laoya, Ko Wai, Ko Krada, Ko Mak and Ko Chang itself, and naturally this is a stunning place to catch the sunset.

Accommodation on Ko Ngam is ideal for families with the Twin Island Resort offering large rooms to full board guests.

Ko Mai See

Just south-west of Ko Chang lie the islands known collectively as Ko Mai See. They comprise mostly of mountainous rainforest but are also home to a number of small fishing villages that gather around the sandy shores and coconut groves. Of these the beach on Ko Mai See Yai is perhaps the best, with a wide sandy beach stretching across its eastern coast.

The options in the Ko Chang National Marine Park are manifold and when on a trip to Thailand it can be a very enchanting experience to visit any of the above places in addition to the typical tourist destinations.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Delray Beach Travel Guide

Delray Beach is situated at Palm Beach County of Florida and it lies on the Atlantic Ocean. It is known as one of the best resort towns worldwide. With sandy coastline of over two miles, around one million people visit the Delray Municipal Beach and Atlantic Dunes Park, south end of the Delray Beach.

The cleanliness and well-management of the Delray Beach has led to it being voted as a Blue Wave Beach by the Clean Beaches Council. The basic amenities are all available here and beach's easy accessibility for people of all ages and groups makes it one of the best beaches on the United States east coast.

It is voted as the number 1 beach of the Palm Beach County by the South Florida Parenting Magazine and the Delray Municipal Beach is rated as the best swimming beach of Southeast by Travel Holiday Magazine.

Most preferred by people who are looking to relax and enjoy their beach holiday, one can just sit and enjoy the stunning sunrise or play beach volleyball with friends and family. You can also surf or go sailing on the beach.

The Delray Wreck is a state historical site and is situated some hundred yards from the Delray Beach. It is best diving spots of the area and divers go diving here looking for the SS Inchulva wrecks, a ship that sank in 1903 off the Delray coast.

Atlantic Dunes Park has a nature trail and boardwalk. It is well maintained park and after spending a day on the beach, the beach goers take a stroll on the promenade, it's a walkway that runs parallel to the scenic State Road A1A. From the beach pavilion that overlooks the ocean, many people enjoy the beautiful sunrise and sunsets.

There are five oceanfront and beach parks, two intra-coastal parks, eight community parks and five athletic fields; the city also offers many recreational activities for all people.

Palm Beach County is considered to be America's golf capital. The golf courses of all types from executive to championships are here and golfer from learner to experienced can find a golf course of their liking. The golf courses of Delray Beach are known to be golfer's haven.

Delray Beach Cruises are available and you can enjoy the views passing by while sipping your favorite dink on board a cruise ship. The marine life in their natural habitat can be seen on a cruise and see some of the most beautiful mansions of the area.

There are best tennis courts in Delray Beach and it hosts some of the important tournaments like Davis Cup ties, Delray Beach International Tennis Championships and Federation Cup ties.

After enjoying a day at the beach, the evenings can be spending at the Downtown Delray Beach. It is a cultural, residential and retail center. There are many art galleries, shopping places, posh restaurants and nightclubs in the area.

Every Friday night from 7 pm to 10pm on the Atlantic Avenue, there is Gallery Walk in which all the downtown art studios, showrooms and galleries are open for public to enjoy an evening of music, art and refreshments.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Cocoa Beach Travel Guide

It is known as the typical beach town offering endless means to relax and enjoy. Cocoa Beach is situated on a barrier island in Central East Coast of Florida and it is six miles long and one mile wide. The weather of the Cocoa beach is mild and it is one of the features that attract tourists from all over to this place.

Be it a family beach holiday, a weekend getaway, a business trip or leisure travel that is being planned, Cocoa beach is perfect place for every type of holiday. It is one of the most affordable holiday places in Florida. There are many exciting things that can be seen and done in the Cocoa Beach, it's like the excitement never ends here.

Whole of six mile of ocean beach can be accessed from one end to another of the city easily. A perfect day can be enjoyed at the beach. Just lie and relax and get a tan or build sand castles with children. A volleyball game can be enjoyed at the beach or look out done for the seashells that come to the shore.

Cocoa Beach is famous for its great waves and there are more than 100 surfing spots in the area. The new to surfing and pro both will sure enjoy surfing here.

There are four oceanfront parks, Alan Shepard Park, Sidney Fischer Park, Lori Wilson Park and Robert P. Murkshe Memorial Park in Cocoa Beach and these all have facilities like picnic tables, showers and restrooms.

On the Banana River is a 27-hole public golf course where one can enjoy a game of golf.

There is a public tennis complex in the city having lighted courts where you can play tennis in the late evenings also.

For the children to enjoy are many children's park all over the city.

Accommodation of all types from high-end to motels is available and depending on budgetary constraints, it can be booked.

The dining options are many in Cocoa Beach and these have large variety of cuisines available. The up market and budget restaurants are all on Cocoa Beach. One can try different options and enjoy the nightlife of a beach here.

Organized tours for the Banana River Lagoon on kayak are available here. Boat is also available for seeing wildlife and marine habitats like dolphins, cranes, wading birds and manatees.

For nature lovers, Cocoa Beach offers many attractions. One of them is Brevard Zoo home to more than 400 animals like jaguar, kangaroo, eagle and more. In Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, more than 1045 variety of animals and plants and 310 bird species are found. It is home for many endangered wildlife species like West Indian Manatees, sea turtles, southern Bald Eagles and Gopher Tortoise.

Some of the attractions nearby are Kennedy Space Center from where day and night launches of satellites can be viewed, Orlando Area attractions like Sea World, MGM and Universal studios, Port Canaveral from where day trip cruises on board of casino ships can be taken.

Friday, February 10, 2012

One Day in Vero Beach

You can stay at the Holiday Inn Hotel and Suites - Oceanside. I would recommend an ocean front suite with a porch. The amenities include a pool, direct access to the beach and a fitness room although I would recommend a good walk on the beach. In the hotel is a restaurant and bar right on the beach called Mulligan's Beach House Bar and Grill. The food prices are pretty good for a beach bar and restaurant. You are also a short walk from many other restaurants and bars. You are also a short distance from Indian River Lagoon which is habitat to natural Florida animals like manatees, dolphins and pelicans.

For breakfast take a short walk north along Ocean Drive. You will come to a boardwalk. Follow that and you will see a small little restaurant on the beach called Seaside Grille. You can eat out on the deck and bask in the sun and ocean breeze as you enjoy your breakfast. The only drawback is that you will need to bring cash because they do not accept credit cards. They also serve a pretty good hamburger and grouper sandwich if you want to head there for lunch.

If you are in Vero Beach on a Saturday, you may want to head south instead and go to the Farmers Market that is held every Saturday from 8 to 12 all year long. You can likely find some fresh food including fresh produce, juices, pastries and even some cooked items that you can enjoy for breakfast. It is located across from Humiston Park at 3000 Ocean Drive. They also have live music.

After eating at the Seaside Grill, you should keep walking north to a shop called Village Beach Market. Here you can get some beer, wine or snacks that you can enjoy later by the pool. You could also pick up some deli sandwiches for lunch on the beach if you wish. After you get your supplies, you can then walk back to the hotel and enjoy the day at the beach or the pool. Of course the beach is recommended because that is why you have come to Vero Beach. You want to enjoy some good beach time. Isn't that why you came to Vero Beach?

If you need some beach supplies, just walk south on Ocean Drive and find Coreys Pharmacy. They will have most of the essential beach supplies that you need to ensure you have an enjoyable day on the beach.

When you get hungry for lunch, head back north up Ocean Drive to Bobby's for a great hamburger or the french dip. Bobby's is a local favorite and a must eat while you are in Vero Beach. After lunch head back to the beach for some more fun in the sun.

When you are ready for dinner, you should head over to Ocean Grill. It is just across the street from the Holiday Inn Oceanside and it is right on the beach. If you are looking for fresh seafood then this is the place to go. The prices are a bit high but it is worth the great view, service and food. You may want to try and get there early and see if you can get a window seat so you can really enjoy the great view of the ocean.

After dinner you walk up route 60 toward the intercoastal and go to Riverside café for some nightlife. They have live entertainment most nights of the week. They have four bars with really cold beer. The Riverside Café is also a great place to watch your favorite sports.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Beach Travel in Thailand

Thailand is the amazing place to visit. It is one of the most famous Asian tourist spots and people from all over the world come here every year to see this amazing place. The tourism plays a vital role in the growth of economy of the Thailand. When you will come here, what you love most about is that Beach travel in Thailand. There are many beaches here in Thailand and people come here every year to spend their vacations and holiday especially in December, Beach travel in Thailand becomes very popular in Europe, America and United Kingdom. If you love beaches and its climate, Beach travel in Thailand while your visit is the best thing you can enjoy. These beaches are elegant and beautiful and the prices of restaurants, bars and hotels near these beaches are very affordable.

The most famous beach in Thailand lies in Phuket known as Patong beach. Phuket itself is the largest island in Thailand and its surrounding in different poles, there are number of beaches and Patong beach is one of them. The and on sea enhances the beauty of the land. The Thai beaches are full of fun, excitement and on the other hand some are very peaceful and comfortable. So, now no matter what type of mood, you want to enjoy, you can come to beach, relax here on the sandy, sunny beach and drink tropical juices all day and when it comes to spend night on the beach, it is full of fun and excitement. You can enjoy dancing on the tropical music playing all night along in the smell of sea food and chicken barbeque that will make you hungrier and intensify your cravings for food.

You can spend quality time at these beaches with your friends, family and your life partner. In the morning till noon, the beach is quite and peaceful. If you want to spend a good time with your lover in privacy of nature, the beaches are perfect and if you want your partner to get crazy and dance on the music, bring your partner with you after evening. The time of sunset is another amazing opportunity that you can enjoy when you re lying on the beach sand or sitting near the running water of the sea. Usually the seasons between the may to October is the rainy seasons on many Thai beaches, so the best weather and climate is between Novembers to March. After these months, summer start at the island which are very hotter and it is difficult to spend a day on the beach.

The best beaches to visit while your trip and stay in the Thailand are Bang Tao, Patong, Kata, Karon, and Kamala. If you are adventures, you can go to the hills that are located near the beach for some hiking but the fun and enjoyment you are going to enjoy at the beaches is the best part of your trip which will remain as a true life time memory in your mind.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The World's Most Beautiful Beaches

A strong competition to Maldives

Most people consider it to be as beautiful as Maldives, but in reality it is more charming than Maldives. Although Maldives has beautiful beaches, luxury hotels, and dense coconut trees, similar to Seychelles, the landscape that defines Seychelles is extraordinarily bewitching.

Seychelles is voted as the place that has "The World's Most Beautiful Beaches" by the international travel magazines. It is considered to be rich in natural resources like Coco de Mer, the palm that bears the world's biggest coconuts, the giant tortoises, and the famous sites where you get a glimpse of the stunning whale sharks. The Coco de Mer fruit is a reminiscent of a woman's hips, beautifully sculpted by Mother Nature.

The most famous beaches in Seychelles

The beaches of Maldives with their blue seawater and white sand are undoubtedly breathtaking. But the beaches in Seychelles break this monotony with their smooth granite rocks, pink sand, and pure seawater. (The beaches at Seychelles are known to have the world's purest seawater).

These beaches have the ability to cause a soul stirring melancholy. The shades of the water, royal blue, dark blue, and sometimes with a tinge of green caused due to the interreflection between the colors of the rocks, the sea bed, and sea weeds are captivating.

The Republic of Seychelles owns more than 100 islands and 200 beaches. The most beautiful beaches are located on the Mahe, Praslin and La Digue islands. The Anse Intendance beach is the widest beach on Mahe, rich with lush green coconut trees. The lovely dolphins grace the shore every evening, making the beach a major tourist attraction and a reason for a lot of international hotels to be built surrounding the beach.

One more breathtaking beach in Seychelles is Anse Lazio located on the Praslin Island. The water at this beach is strikingly bright and luminous as compared to the other beaches. Anse Lazio is the beach where you feel serenity and piece that is inimitable.

Last but not the least, the most beautiful beach on the La Digue Island is Anse Source D'Argent. Voted as the "The Top Ten Worldwide Most Beautiful Beaches" by major international travel magazines, the beach is a rare combination of giant rocks, coconut trees with varying heights, and its unique appeal caused by the refraction of the sunlight.

Rendezvous with the Whale Sharks

If you are a diving enthusiast, you must be aware of the diving pleasures that Seychelles brings to you. What makes the diving resorts at Seychelles so special? In a nutshell, 900 species of fish, 100 kinds of sea shells, the word's largest coral reefs, and effortless encounters with sharks. If this reminds you of the movie "Jaws", fear not, because most of the sharks that you get to view at these diving resorts are harmless. The famous one amongst these is the Blacktip shark. Shark Bank is one of the most famous dive spots of Seychelles. Seychelles is known to be the best place in the world that facilitates an effortless viewing and up-close encounters with the majestic whale sharks.

Every year, from September to November, groups of whale sharks are found in the shallow waters of the Seychelles. It is actually possible to have a close encounter with them just by swimming rather than diving in the water. Christophe from France, who works in Seychelles since the past 7 years, narrated his adventure to us about a time when he took his canoe into the sea and got surrounded by more than 20 sharks. We asked with excitement "Did you dive into the water to get a closer view?" He said that it was unnecessary, because the whale sharks were literally swimming around his canoe. Even though it was not the prime season to see whale sharks when we interviewed him, we were lucky to get a glimpse of a one-meter long shark, at a depth of 7 meters and 20 minutes of exploring the underwater world. We also got the pleasure of viewing the colorful corals and fishes belonging to various species. Diving in the water at Seychelles is quite different from diving in the Red Sea or at Maldives. It is peaceful, because it is not very commercialized, thus attracting less divers. Also, the impressive number and type of big fishes in the Seychelles water makes your diving experience intriguing. The seawater at Seychelles is very clean and limpid, and is truly a paradise for underwater photography.

Visit Giant Tortoises

Seychelles is a land of giant tortoises. There are countless giant tortoises, some of them having sizes larger than a small table. You will encounter giant tortoises during your journey, and at all the beaches and hotels or even the restaurants that you will visit in Seychelles. If you want to see the most famous giant tortoises, you have to visit Bird Island. The Bird Island has the giant tortoise which weighs more than 800 pounds, is more than 200 years old and is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records.

There are in total 17 giant tortoises living on the Bird Island. Take the example of my good friend Esmeralda. He broke the world record of being the world's oldest, biggest, and heaviest giant tortoise. People could not find out his exact age, until 20 years ago, a British zoologist did a health checkup for Esmeralda and calculated his date of birth to be June 1st 1771. He is 236 years old, 67 cm high, 1.27 meters long and weighs 800 pounds. Esmeralda belongs to the giant tortoise group which doesn't know how to swim and survives only on land. They soak themselves in shallow water during the hot summers.

Bird Fighters

In reality, the tortoises have been the habitants of the Bird Island since only the last 100 years. The real protagonists of the island are the birds. If you walk for 45 minutes around the island, you will get a chance to view 112 different kinds of birds, including many different species of seagulls. (The most common being Ferry Terns and Noddy Terns). The bird watching season is from October or November to April or May, as many migratory birds fly towards this island located near the equator, to take a break.

The total count of birds that reside on this island as well as the migratory birds that come to the island every year, accounts to 1.5 million. You will experience birds hovering around you wherever you go on this island. Even if it is 10 minutes journey from you mini-plane to the hotel, you will see birds belonging to various species fluttering the sky like fighter planes.

The Eco-tourism on Bird Island is very famous and chosen as the "World's Top Ten Eco-tourism Destination" by the BBC "Wildlife Magazine", because it is the place where travelers can closely appreciate the beauty of birds and actually track every movement of theirs. Sitting on the terrace of your hotel or lodge, you will be able to enjoy the view of the birds incubating under the trees, and if you actually look at the top of the trees, you will also notice dozens of tree nests.

At dusk, you will see tens of thousands of birds flying in the sky. The rooms in the hotels on the island do not have television and air-conditioning facilities. Even the lights in the room are kept very dim to not attract the animals on the island. The sky during the period of year from November to April is covered with shining stars and it is the best time of the year to gaze at the mesmerizing sky.

The World's Biggest Coco de Mer

Seychelles is the land of Coco de Mers. Coco de Mer bears the world's biggest coconuts and is considered holy in Seychelles. Their official national emblem is in the form of Coco de Mer. The reason for its popularity is the way in which the nature creates the shape of the coconuts belonging to Coco de Mers. The shape of the female Coco de Mar is like the hips of a woman and the shape of the male Coco de Mer is like the genital of a man.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Beaches of Phuket

Phuket is a tropical Thai holiday island and is one of the premier travel destinations in the world. The beaches of Phuket are well known for their white sandy beaches lined with gracious palm and coconut trees.
Most tourists staying on Phuket during their holiday unfortunately only visit the beach located closest to their hotel. It is a shame as there are so many beautiful beaches which the tourists could visit. The best way to see all the beautiful beaches is by renting a motorbike or jeep and by simply driving up and down the coast line as travelers will encounter countless beautiful and deserted beaches.
Some of the nicest beaches of Phuket are those mentioned below.
Bang Tao
The beautiful Bang Tao beach is located next to the upscale Phuket Laguna complex where a number of excellent 5 star hotels are located.
Kamala beach is one of the most popular beaches and is located only a few minutes drive from Patong beach. Travelers looking for a beach area which offers a peaceful surrounding should consider booking a hotel or resort in the beach resort area of Kamala.
The most popular after Patong beach is Karon beach and is located just south of Patong. Karon has a long beach and numerous resorts line this beach. Tourists visitingwith children often prefer the somewhat laidback atmosphere that Karon beach has to offer.
Patong beach is the busiest of all the beaches of Phuket. The vast majority of entertainment and business venues are located in Patong beach. If travelers are looking for a beach resort area where they can party until the early hours of the morning then Patong beach is the ideal choice for them.
One of the most upscale Phuket beach areas is the area around Surin beach. If tourists do visit Surin beach then they should definitely try the excellent and inexpensive seafood which is served at the Surin beach side restaurants.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Dog Beach Etiquette - Dos and Don'ts

With the dog days of summer upon us, isn't it about time you brought that precious pooch to the beach with you? For most dogs, getting to run around in the sand, dip into the waves, and fetch balls out of the water is the best day ever! Here are some tips to ensure that you and your dog have a fun and safe beach experience.

First Things First

Check with your local beaches before you pack up the dog, since not all beaches allow them. Depending on the time of year, some beaches allow dogs during the off-season, but summer is a different story. Call ahead or visit the beach's website for information. It's also important if you can bring your dog, to find out whether or not they need to be on leash or if they can roam free. Bring a long leash no matter what, but know ahead of time if there will be an area where a leash isn't necessary. If they don't need to have a leash, only let them be without it if you know for an absolute fact that they will respond to your voice commands. Other dogs, people, certain scents, birds, etc, may catch their attention and cause them to tune you out, which could be a recipe for disaster (no one wants a dog fight). Some people on the beach (as well as easily frightened children) will be less dog-friendly than others, so be mindful of who your dog might be approaching to avoid any sort of snafu.

Never, EVER leave your dog unattended. Even the most well-trained dog can get distracted; pay extra special attention to your surroundings and any potential situations that may cause your dog to wander or run off. Follow ALL of the rules set by the beach. You don't want to be the reason that dogs aren't allowed at that particular beach anymore.

Pro Swimmer or Doggie Swim Vest?

If you want to bring your dog to the beach, you probably have a good idea that your furry friend loves to swim. If this is the first time your dog will be swimming, you may want to read up on his breed just to be sure. For example, shar peis tend to be afraid of water. Obviously there are exceptions to the rule, but finding out if swimming is characteristic of the breed will be a good indicator of how enthusiastic (or timid) they might be. When you bring the pup to the water, if he isn't diving right in, take it slow. Don't force your dog to go in. He may feel more comfortable if you head in first and call him. If you're nervous or unsure, purchasing a dog life vest to bring with you would be a safe bet.

Be Wary of Temperature Extremes

Depending on where you are in the country, summer at the beach can bring about two extremes: heat from the sun and a cold, cold ocean. Pay attention to how your dog is acting and responding while he's with you throughout the day, since there could be the potential of either heat stroke or hypothermia (if he's been swimming his little heart out).

Some signs of heat stroke in a dog include:

- Rapid panting
- Bright red tongue
- Thick, sticky saliva
- Weakness
- Vomiting
- Diarrhea

If you think that your dog has heat stroke while you're at the beach, take the following actions immediately:

- Move the pet into the shade and apply cool (not cold) water all over their body to gradually lower their temperature.

- Apply ice packs or cool towels to the pet's head, neck and chest only.
- Allow the pet to drink small amounts of cool water or lick ice cubes.
- Then take him to the nearest vet.

Some signs of hypothermia in a dog include:

- Lethargy
- Weakness
- Shivering
- Muscle stiffness
- Difficulty breathing
- Fixed and dilated pupils

If you think that your dog has hypothermia while you're at the beach, take the following actions immediately:

- Wrap your dog in towels and blankets that have been warmed by the sun.
- Bring extra fresh water in bottles and leave them out in the sun
- This warm water can be applied to your dog to bring his body temperature back up.
- If your dog has still not stopped shivering and has continued lethargy, bring him to the nearest vet.

As much as we wish, our dogs can't tell us when they're in pain and not feeling good. The above lists are certainly not all-inclusive, so if you notice anything out of the ordinary with your dog's behavior, get him out of the elements immediately. A few ways to prevent heat stroke is to bring lots of fresh, cool water that they can drink. A spray bottle with cool water that you can spray him down with will also help in temperature regulation. A bonus of having fresh water with you is that you can also clean the sand and salt water from his paws, which can cause irritation and dry out those sensitive pads. Also, since you can't guarantee that you will have access to a shady area, bring an umbrella that he can hang out under. To make sure that hypothermia doesn't strike, bring lots of towels that you can snuggle him in and remove the excess cold salt water. Not only can this warm him up quicker, it also helps in removing the sand and salt water from his fur so he won't be in danger of shaking off on someone else.

The Dos and Don'ts of the Beach

There are hundreds of beaches in the US and Canada that allow dogs, but compared to the number of beaches there are, this is a small percentage. Many beaches allowed dogs at one time, but due to careless owners, had to put a stop to canine patrons. Follow these rules (in addition to the beach's rules), and you'll make sure that you can bring Fido back as many times as he likes.

Dog Beach Don'ts:

- Don't let your dogs go into areas on the beach where they're not allowed. Dunes and grassy areas need to be protected from any sort of environmental damage that a dog might cause.

- Don't let your dog out of your site. Not even once. Paying attention and being proactive will go a long way in protecting you and your dog. The last thing you want is to be sued for a dog fight or by someone that had a run-in with your dog.

- Don't forget to bring the leash, beach towels, umbrella, fresh water, and doggie sunscreen (yes, you can actually get sunscreen specifically made for dogs).

- Don't leave a mess behind! Don't count on the beach supplying waste bags, so bring your own and be diligent about cleaning up. No one wants to find a surprise just laying on the beach or buried in the sand.

Dog Beach Dos:

- Do make sure your dog's vaccinations are current and that he's wearing the proper ID. Keep your vet's number on hand just in case something happens.

- Do check the ocean for jellyfish and stingrays. A sting to your dog will be sure to ruin both his and your experience.

- Do set a time limit for your beach trip. A few hours might be just the right amount of time at the beach, depending on your dog's activity level. At the first sign of your dog tiring, pack it up and get back on the road.

- Do bring toys and balls to throw and find sticks to fetch. This is exactly why you are both there: to HAVE FUN!

Online resources can help you plan your activities, including finding dog-friendly beaches throughout the country. Whether you're going on a trip or a stay-cation, finding a beach where you can bring your dog this summer will be a great bonding experience for your dog and your family. Get out there and soak up that fresh sea air - your pooch will be forever grateful for all the fun!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Sizzling Summer Beach Hot Spots

Summer is fast approaching, and though it doesn't officially kick off until June 21, most of us regard Memorial Day weekend as the onset of the season. What better way to make the most of your summer than by catching some rays on sugar white sands and swimming in brilliant blue ocean waters? With temperatures on the rise, now is as good a time as ever to hit the beaches for family barbecues, beach volleyball, picnics, diving, snorkeling - you name it. Best of all, going to the beach doesn't cost a penny, a welcome bonus for those traveling on a budget. Whether your idea of the perfect summer weekend involves a romantic walk on the sand, a fun day of hanging ten, or water skiing until the sun goes down, these must-see beaches ought to be somewhere on your summer travel to-do list.

1. Florida: Miami Beach and Fort Lauderdale

The Sunshine State serves up a wide array of marvelous beach hot spots for sunbathing junkies. Among them are Miami Beach and Fort Lauderdale, both of which grace balmy South Florida. With exception to glitzy Las Vegas, you'd probably be hard-pressed to think of a place better known for its picturesque beaches, pulsing nightlife, fine dining and trendy shops than Miami. Lincoln Road is a pedestrian shopping district boasting a wealth of art galleries, theaters, and entertainment venues, while Ocean Drive is renowned for its outdoor cafes and Art Deco architecture. Included among some of Miami Beach's most distinguished Art Deco hotels are Nash Hotel South Beach, Hotel Victor, South Beach Hotel and Chesterfield Hotel and Suites. Nicknamed the "Venice of America" for its gorgeous inland waterways, Fort Lauderdale will easily turn into a home-away-from-home for those craving fun in the sun. Hotels like the oceanfront Sheraton Fort Lauderdale Beach Hotel and Red Carpet Inn Fort Lauderdale Airport are on or near the beach and minutes away from fashionable Las Olas Boulevard, Galleria Mall, and entertainment and shopping galore at The Gallery at Beach Place and Las Olas Riverfront.

2. California: Los Angeles and San Diego

Nothing spells sizzling fun on the west coast like a weekend spent taking in the sun at one of SoCal's famed beaches. Travelers planning to visit Los Angeles can check out the shops on Rodeo Drive, dine in one of Beverly Hills' celebrity-frequented restaurants, or while the afternoon away with a drink on Venice Beach (a short drive from the Custom Hotel). Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach make up LA's principal beach cities, each popular destinations year-round for beach volleyball, surfing, biking and other activities. San Diego, roughly a two hour drive from Los Angeles, is yet another mecca for beach goers. Spend a lazy day in the sun or jump on a surfboard and head out into the shimmering blue waters of Mission Beach, just one mile from The Dana on Mission Bay. Alternatively, travelers can bask in sunshine at Del Mar Beach in San Diego, on which you'll find Del Mar Motel on the Beach.

3. South Carolina: Myrtle Beach

If Myrtle Beach is on your summer travel itinerary, it's a safe bet you'll be visiting the world-famous Grand Strand, which sees more than 14 million visitors each year thanks to its wide array of beaches, restaurants, shopping complexes and nightclubs. Set on 350 acres near the Ocean Park Resort, Broadway at the Beach has grown into one of South Carolina's premier destinations for shopping and leisure. Moreover, the oceanfront Myrtle Beach Oceanfront Resort by Westgate Resorts is conveniently located to Grand Strand attractions including Ripley's Aquarium, Family Kingdom Amusement Park and Myrtle Waves Water Park.

Whether you're a sunbathing enthusiast, a long-time admirer of the ocean, or a travel maven yearning to get away from it all, why not head to the beach for some serious fun in the sun this summer?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Easy to Find Affordable Travel for You and Your Family

What is affordable travel? Well, I guess it's all to do with individual finances and that is as varied as the places we visit. However, the purpose of this short article is to give a few pointers on how to save on your travels whatever your personal budget is.
Firstly, I have to point out that sometimes the travel agents themselves really do have some fantastic deals, especially last minute trips that they want to fill because of cancellations or unsold slots etc. But the problem with these types of bookings is that many folks are restricted with times and durations due to school and work commitments and are therefore not usually able to snap up a these late bargains.
If you have the time to do a little research yourself, you will also see that many package tour holidays are extremely overpriced, as there are the agents, the middle men, and the destination vendors all taking a cut from your holiday cash. With so many of us having access to the internet these days, it really is easy to arrange your own affordable travel. In fact, such are the savings sometimes, you may find that you are able to visit places you only dreamt about or perhaps add a few extra days onto your trip with the money saved.
For example, a package deal may only be able to offer you a modern 4 or 5 star hotel whereas you could find a clean smart, friendly well run place just meters away at a fraction of the cost. This way, you are still where you want to be, have clean rooms, nice food, and all the rest of it, but without the man in the corner playing a grand piano, or a saluting doorman at the front entrance. Alternatively, should you prefer the luxury of a fine hotel, check out its rates online and you may find you can still book in at a reduced cost compared to that of an agent.
Another tip for affordable travel is to reduce the traveling itself. Why is it that we feel we need to go so far in order to have a great vacation? Just a few kilometers away from where we live could offer undiscovered travel treasure troves that we had no idea about. Take a look at you immediate region and you could dig out places you never knew existed right on your doorstep. We don't have to fly or drive hundreds of miles just to get away from it all. There are places in your own back yards that are worlds apart from what you're used to. Simply go to an online search site and type in something like 'vacations in + state, town, or city'. Honestly, you'll be amazed before you're half way through.
Affordable travel deals can be had using a multitude of different avenues but there are a few golden rules to arranging your own. 1. Know your budget. 2. Know where you want to go and what type of holiday i.e. outdoor, beach, countryside, city etc. 3. Know your preferred accommodation type i.e. camping, caravan, guest house, cabin, hotel etc. 4. Know your method of travel i.e. car, train, ship, flight. 5. Know your activity i.e. adventure travel, beach holidays, sightseeing trips etc. Make a simple check list, sit at the old PC, and start to price up and tot up the individual components. You may want to grab a holiday brochure too, so that you can make the comparisons.