Well, winter has finally kicked things into high gear and many of experienced quite the winter storm recently. However, this is no reason to keep our thoughts buried under inches of snow. Skip spring entirely, let us think summer. Think beaches!
Trip Advisor recently released its Traveler’s Choice list of Best Beaches in the World in additional to regional rankings. Here are their findings after spending a whole year collecting data on the quality and quantity of user reviews and ratings of beaches over a year-long period.
With two and a half miles of white sand, Florida’s Clearwater Beach topped the U.S. rankings. In Europe, Playa de Ses Illetes in Formentera, Spain, was the top-ranked beach. Asia’s No. 1 beach, according to TripAdvisor reviews, is Ngapali Beach in Myanmar.
The top 10 beaches on the global list:
1. Grace Bay — Providenciales, Turks and Caicos
2. Baia do Sancho — Fernando de Noronha, Brazil
3. Playa Paraiso — Cayo Largo, Cuba
4. Anse Lazio — Praslin Island, Seychelles
5. Cayo de Agua — Los Roques National Park, Venezuela
6. Flamenco Beach — Culebra, Puerto Rico
7. Playa de Ses Illetes — Formentera, Spain
8. Ngapali Beach — Ngapali, Myanmar
9. West Bay Beach — Bay Islands, Honduras
10. Nacpan Beach — El Nido, Philippines
There is much to see in the oldest city in North America! The mainland of the North American Continent was first sighted by the Spanish explorer and treasure hunter, Don Juan Ponce de Leon on Easter, March 27, 1513. He claimed the land for Spain and named it La Florida, meaning “Land of Flowers.”
Sometime later, Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles was named governor of Florida. When Menendez arrived off the coast of Florida, it was August 28, 1565, the Feast Day of St. Augustine – that is how St. Augustine got it’s name.
So, St. Augustine was founded forty-two years before the English colony at Jamestown, Virginia, and 55 years before the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock in Massachusettes – making it the oldest permanent European settlement on the North American Continent.
The oldest fort in the US is in St. Augustine – you can visit it – a great place full of history. If you visit on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday you can watch as soldiers in period costume, load one of the many cannons at the fort and set it off! Loud but interesting. Also the oldest school house is located in the old part of St. Augustine. As you walk up and down the old narrow streets it is easy to picture Spanish soldiers and their familes living and working in the area. There are quite a few Bed and Breakfast inns and smaller hotels in the Old section if you want to get the real feeling of Old St. Augustine. There are many tours availabel throughout the city. You can ride horse-drawn carriages, visit the old lighthouse, the Fountain of Youth, Ripley’s Believe It or Not, museums, and of course, there’s a multitude of quaint shops, taverns and restaurants sprinkled in among it all!
The beaches around St. Augustine are some of the best in Florida.All in all it’s a great place to visit whether you are a couple, a family or traveling in a group.
Are you ready for a vacation that offers a little bit of everything? Try South Beach in Miami…
Don Johnson and Miami Vice, an opportune Calvin Klien Obsession photo shoot backed by Ocean Drive Art Deco hotels, two happenings that combined to renew interest in Miami’s South Beach area. And rightfully so, as the fantasy of both seem ever-present as one wanders the street-side cafes and boutiques of Ocean Drive.
Accommodations range from famous hotels such as the Wyndham Miami to smaller family owned establishments you still have to book by phone-many of these smaller hotels offer sidewalk cafes or decks perfect for afternoon people watching with a mojito.
Wandering South Beach by foot, from early afternoon into the night, the streets are alive with custom choppers, sports cars, roller bladers, and fashion models, and one can hear as many languages as there are people on the street, all which add to the movie-set-like atmosphere the architecture already offers. Beyond the fabulous clubs and night life, the fine dining and the general frivolity, South Beach also offers traditional family activity.
Miami offers such activities in a wide range of interests: The MDPL Art Deco Welcome Center offers architectural tours of historic districts; the Everglade National Park is in close proximity; the Historical Museum of Southern Florida; the Miami Metro Zoo; and the Miami Museum of Science and Space Transit Planetarium all offer families more conventional vacation activities. Of course, one would be remiss in failing to mention the beautiful beaches and ocean oriented activities. A particular recommendation not a great distance from Miami is the Biscayne National Park, which offers some of the best snorkeling in the world.
Overall South Beach offers something for everybody an unforgettable setting in which one can do anything from pure relaxation to dancing the night away in some of the most extraordinary clubs on the East Coast.