Tag: Beaches

The Not-So-Endless Summer

Biarritz, France Biarritz, France (Abbie Kozolchyk)

Parting with beach season is especially sweet sorrow in Biarritz, France, as Abbie Kozolchyk discovered

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On Coastal Time

On Coastal Time Kalaloch Beach. (UJ Sommer)

Years pass. Life changes. But for Pam Mandel, one thing stays the same: her love for the Olympic Peninsula.

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Meditation at Stinson Beach

Don George recently visited a favorite northern California beach.

I let the sea wash over me, let the waves fill my head and lungs, lose myself to this inconceivably old and ageless place.

I think: This is the same scene I witnessed two decades ago, quite possibly even the same rock I sat on then, scribbling in my journal as I tap into my laptop now. And if I come back in 20 years, it will almost certainly be the same still.

But of course, much has changed in those two decades. My children have grown up and moved on. My Dad and other loved ones have passed away. New jobs, new places, new books, old dreams.

And suddenly these words flow into my brain: Where does it all come together? What does it mean?

Mexico Sees Big Bump in International Travelers

Turns out the drug-related violence along the border isn’t stopping travelers from visiting Mexico, particularly its beaches. The number of foreign visitors to Mexico has risen almost 20 percent over last year. From the Los Angeles Times:

The number of visitors to Cancun, the easternmost coastal city, jumped nearly 31% in August compared with a year earlier; tourism to Los Cabos, on the southern tip of Baja California, increased 30%, according to Mexico tourism officials.

Southern California travel agents say U.S. tourists don’t seem too concerned about drug violence because they know to stay far from the border. “As long as you stay in the resort areas, you’ll have no problem,” [Carol] McConnell, [founder of Around the Globe Travel,] said.

Several other reasons are suggested for the boost, including affordability and Mexico’s latest marketing campaign.

Bennies and Shoobies: A Guide to Beach Blanket Lingo

In the New York Times, Ben Zimmer unpacks the vocabulary of beach tourism from coast to coast. Turns out, nearly every American coastal region has its own term for the summer invaders:

Old-time New Englanders have disdain for the summer people. On the Eastern Shore of Virginia and Maryland, the come-heres are pitted against the from-heres. Hawaiians call white visitors to the islands haoles. West Coast surfers, a territorial lot, have a plethora of terms for nonlocals: Trevor Cralle’s “Surfin’ary: A Dictionary Of Surfing Terms and Surfspeak” lists put-downs like hondo, inlander, flatlander, valley and casper. (The last one is reserved for tourists whose pallid complexion resembles that of Casper the Friendly Ghost.) On the Jersey Shore, the two main terms for unpleasant outsiders are bennies and shoobies.

76-Second Travel Show: A Tribute to the Gulf Coast

Robert Reid visits Florida's Gulf Coast beaches and contemplates an uncertain future

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76-Second Travel Show: America’s Best Beach?

Sorry, California and Hawaii. Robert Reid heads to Southampton, New York to visit the current champion.

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Video You Must See: Soothing Thailand

Video You Must See: Soothing Thailand Photo by ScubaBeer via Flickr (Creative Commons)

Calm beaches, warm light -- we're not in Bangkok anymore, folks

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76-Second Travel Show: What Makes a Dream Beach?

Robert Reid goes to the beach, and learns that grains of sand are serious travelers too

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Tags: Beaches, Video

A Beach Holiday in The Gambia?

A Beach Holiday in The Gambia? Photo by Victoria Reay via Flickr (Creative Commons)
Photo by Victoria Reay via Flickr (Creative Commons)

I’ve always admired the Brits for their more adventurous winter sun-seeking. Every winter, it seems they’re as likely to be found lounging in Kenya or the Seychelles as in the usual Caribbean hot spots—and, once again, the U.K. travel media is going way beyond Cancun with this Times Online profile of a little-known (to North Americans, anyway) West African beach destination. Writer Alex Spence notes: “There are only six sets of traffic lights and a couple of ATMs in the entire country.” Take that, Puerto Plata.

The Best British Beaches

The Best British Beaches Photo by Podknox via Flickr (Creative Commons)
Photo by Podknox via Flickr (Creative Commons)

I know, I know: Most folks don’t head to the U.K. for their sand ‘n’ surf fix—but this list of 50 great British beaches just might leave you tempted. I can vouch for several of the picks in Cornwall and Northumberland.

The Battle for Cancun’s Sand

The Battle for Cancun’s Sand Photo by adpowers via Flickr (Creative Commons)
Photo by adpowers via Flickr (Creative Commons)

And no, I don’t mean the resort-goers’ daily fight for the best tanning spot. In the New York Times, Mark Lacey takes a look at Cancun’s shrinking beaches—and the lengths to which some hotels are going in an effort to keep their share of what’s left.

Travel Headline of the Day: ‘Don’t Let the Goose Poop Fool You: Toronto’s Beaches are Squeaky Clean’

Forget Hawaii or Florida—after that ringing endorsement, I’m ready for a Toronto beach vacation. Who’s with me?

NPR Types Pick 100 Best Beach Books for NPR Types

Almost 16,000 “book-loving NPR Types” have finished voting on the best beach books of all time. The top 5:

1) The Harry Potter series, by J.K. Rowling
2) To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
3) The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini
4) Bridget Jones’s Diary, by Helen Fielding
5) Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen

My suggestion from last week finished at No. 99.

Photo We Love: Surfing Huntington Beach

Photo We Love: Surfing Huntington Beach REUTERS/Gene Blevins
REUTERS/Gene Blevins

Australian Taj Burrow at the recent X-Games finals in Huntington Beach, California.

One of surfing’s biggest events culminates at the Huntington Beach Pier this weekend: The Hurley U.S. Open of Surfing concludes Sunday. Forecasters are predicting some big, tasty waves thanks to a swell from the Southern Hemisphere.

A Beach Book Bounty for Travelers

Some consider this beach reading. Most people, though, want something a little fluffier. A little something, as NPR puts it, “enthralling enough to inoculate vacation-goers against the vagaries of missed flights and bad weather.” To find the best beach books ever, NPR has put it to a vote. They’ve narrowed down the list of nominees to 200. You can vote for 10 books.

You can’t go wrong, by the way, by casting one of your votes for Carl Hiaasen’s Florida romp, Sick Puppy.

Gadling, too, is in the mood for a beach read. Katie Hammel’s six great beach reads for travelers includes books from Bill Bryson, Rolf Potts and Eric Weiner.

Photo We Love: Beach Day in Karachi

Photo We Love: Beach Day in Karachi REUTERS/Athar Hussain
REUTERS/Athar Hussain

A man collects shells on Clifton Beach in Karachi, Pakistan.

65 Years Later: Robert Capa and D-Day on Film

65 Years Later: Robert Capa and D-Day on Film Photo by luiginter via Flickr (Creative Commons)

Tomorrow marks the 65th anniversary of the Allied landings in Normandy, an assault that is widely viewed as one of the key turning points in the Second World War. President Barack Obama, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, and Canadian and British Prime Ministers Stephen Harper and Gordon Brown will be converging on the area for an official ceremony this weekend, following in the footsteps of thousands of tourists who visit the beaches each year.

The event has me thinking about the enduring appeal of the D-Day beaches—after all, Europe has no shortage of battlefields and war monuments, but few are as well-known to Americans as Omaha Beach (or, for Canadians, Juno Beach). It seems to me that their historical significance alone doesn’t explain it. The beaches, I think, have such a powerful presence in the public consciousness thanks in part to a few iconic photographs by Robert Capa.

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Hanalei Is America’s Best Beach: Really?

Hanalei Is America’s Best Beach: Really? Photo by Fire Horse Leo via Flickr (Creative Commons)
Photo by Fire Horse Leo via Flickr (Creative Commons)

OK, it’s a beautiful crescent of golden sand. It’s wide and clean and almost aggressively picturesque. There’s no denying that it’s an archetype of what a perfect beach should be. And it was recently selected as the “Number One Beach in the US” by Dr. Beach, a self-declared beach expert. He seems to have gained quite the cred; my Google alerts are crowded with mentions of Hanalei Beach’s new “honor.”

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Budget Barbados: Five Free Island Activities

Budget Barbados: Five Free Island Activities Photo by Eva Holland
Photo of North Point by Eva Holland

I’ll admit, Barbados is hardly known as a shoestringer’s paradise—this isn’t $5, $25 or even $100 per day territory.

But still, after a couple of extended visits here, I’ve learned that it’s not all pricey cocktails, rooms with a view and chartered yachts, either. There are affordable accommodation options and wallet-friendly meals to be found—and, best of all, some of the island’s most memorable spots are free, or close to it.

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