Category Archives: Travel
Who doesn’t enjoy a road trip? Fantastic scenes flashing by your window as you race along buttery smooth roads with your best pals, camping out in the wild and sharing laughs over a bonfire, cherishing experiences that will make you smile when you are old―being on the road is the best thing you can do with your summer months.
Fortunately, the U.S. is blessed with countless routes that are just made for someone who enjoys driving, and destinations that take your breath away. Here’s a list of the best road trip destinations you can visit this summer.
Couchsurfing is a surefire way of cutting the cost of your accommodation on all these trips, as most of the cities in question have Couchsurfing hosts. Campsites are also found aplenty in America, and are a worthwhile option to ponder.
Road Trip Ideas for Students
Rock Fest and Surrounding Wisconsin
Rock Fest is one of the biggest rock music festivals in the world. Artists and ensembles such as Iron Maiden (’nuff said, to be honest, but there’s even more), KISS, and Korn have performed at this festival in the past. That it is held in the picturesque state of Wisconsin is a huge bonus. It is usually held on the third Thursday-Sunday of July, near Cadott, WI. This state is also home to popular tourist destinations such as the House on the Rock, the Circus World Museum, and the Dells of the Wisconsin River. The Oshkosh Airshow, which usually starts on the last Monday of July, also fits into this itinerary perfectly. Camping on the banks of Lake Superior is the perfect way to end this exciting trip through one of the most scenic states in the U.S. Wisconsin has numerous campsites, and camping in this picturesque state is the ideal way to experience it.
New Orleans to Graceland
Distance: 400 miles
A memorial to one of the greatest entertainers in human history, Graceland attracts thousands of visitors each year. Having been the home of Elvis Presley, it now serves as a museum dedicated to the King’s life. Several idiosyncratic arrangements preferred by Presley have been maintained here. He is also buried there, along with his parents, in an area called the Meditation Garden. It is a veritable pilgrimage to fans of rock and roll.
A readily available route to take to this Rock memorial is traveling along the Mississippi river, starting from New Orleans. Though this route is not replete with campsites or Couchsurfing hosts, it is short, and can be covered in a day; cheap accommodation can then be found in Memphis.
Las Vegas-Lake Havasu-Sedona
State: Nevada, Arizona
Distance: 384 miles
Las Vegas, the City of Dreams, needs no introduction. Its casinos and various entertainment avenues are the ideal way to blow off some steam and do ‘what stays in Vegas’.
Havasu, straddling the border between California and Arizona, is famous for its fishing competitions and recreational aquatic activities. This route gives you the opportunity to drive through the Mojave desert, in addition to great camping opportunities. The popular vacation spot of Sedona is also easily accessible from the lake, and is the perfect destination to cap off the trip.
Yellowstone National Park
State: Mainly Wyoming
Being one of the most popular national parks in the world, Yellowstone’s rich wildlife diversity and geysers need no introduction. It also includes various historic places, such as the Yellowstone fort, and various other classic structures. There are numerous camping sites in this scenic national park, which enhance your experience of the wild.
U.S. Route 101
Distance: 1,550 miles
Several sections of this route can be rightfully included among the most picturesque and enjoyable drives in the world, including the Pacific Highway in California and the Avenue of the Giants. Though traversing this route in its entirety can take up to a week, there are several tourist attractions along the way, including the Golden Gate Bridge, in addition to the scenic road itself. More information about planning a trip from Seattle to Los Angeles, two of the largest cities on or around Route 101, can be found here.
Ocean City to Niagara Falls
State: New Jersey-New York
Distance: 480 miles
Ocean City, a popular family-oriented seaside resort, is full of fun activities. The most popular option is to take the famous, 2.5-mile long boardwalk, around which many of the attractions are located. Another massively popular attraction is Lucy the Elephant, a six-story-high novelty construction. The Niagara falls are a global favorite, and are worth a visit any time of the year.
Though the route from Ocean City to the Niagara Falls is relatively devoid of attractions, it passes through Philadelphia, which is renowned for its museums and national historical sites; a Philly sandwich doesn’t hurt, either! Also, although it is sacrilege to suggest this to New Jerseyites, a detour to the Big Apple is definitely a trip you should take if you have never been there.
New York to Asheville
State: New York-North Carolina
Distance: 707 miles
Biltmore Estate, one of the most popular tourist destinations in the U.S., attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors to Asheville, but this city contains much more than that. It is a hotbed of stunning architectural pieces, including the art deco city hall and the Basilica of St. Lawrence. Apart from architecture, it is home to some of the best whitewater kayaking facilities in the U.S., along with other whitewater recreational activities.
The route, the I-95, is not particularly scenic, but passes through various must-see destinations, such as Washington D.C., Philadelphia, and Raleigh, NC. More information about tourist sites on the I-95 south of New York can be found here.
Ground Zero to Gettysburg Battlefield
State: New York-Pennsylvania
Distance: 211 miles
All Americans should visit these touching and inspiring sites at least once. They stand as a reminder of America’s resilience against oppression of every kind, and innate desire to be free and supreme. Philadelphia, site of various national historic monuments, such as the liberty bell, also lies on this route. A patriotic road trip every American must take!
These destinations are among the most popular tourist attractions in the world, let alone the U.S., and a road trip to these can be undertaken easily by students. There are scenic routes, fantastic camping locations once you tire of the road, and great destinations at the end.
Hiking in the desert may seem unconventional to some, but this activity does have quite a few avid followers. Desert hiking gives you ample opportunity to indulge in rock climbing, walk along the gorgeous terrain, and of course, click pictures as you move ahead.
Hiking, as all other adventure sports, should never be taken lightly, especially when you consider the harshness of the desert. There are certain safety measures and precautions that you need to keep in mind, every step of the way.
Top 5 Desert Hiking Essentials and Safety Tips
1. Carry All Essentials
A desert hike is definitely not a stroll in the park, so it is imperative to make preparations for it. To begin with, you must make a list of essential items which you need to carry along with you. These include basic supplies and safety equipment. Usually, the items that you carry along for your trip depend on the location, weather, and the amount of time you plan to spend there. But a desert hiking trip in particular, calls for the following essentials –
- Extra water
- Extra food
- Map and compass
- First aid kit
- Flashlight with spare batteries
- Spray water bottle to mist water on your body
- Protective clothing
- Whistle/mirror for use during emergencies
- Swiss knife
2. Keep Sipping on Fluids
Nothing works like good ol’ water to beat the desert heat. Preferably, you should never hike between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., times when the sun is at its brightest. However, it is important to be hydrated at all times, in order to keep heat-related afflictions at bay. A good hydration pack will help you keep up your fluid intake, and won’t be too cumbersome to carry.
It is estimated that an individual perspires around half to one quart of fluid for every hour spent walking in the sun. This may exceed to around 2 quarts if you’re walking uphill in harsh sunlight. Ignoring the health risks associated with desert hiking can place you in a potentially life-threatening situation, especially if you’re alone. Therefore, remember to keep sipping on water every few minutes, rather than waiting for thirst to strike, and make yourself vulnerable to a heat stroke.
3. Respect Mother Nature
The solitude of the desert may trick you into believing that you are the master of this vast expanse of land, but it obviously isn’t so. Deserts are home to a large number of rattlesnakes, coyotes, black widow spiders, and scorpions, not to mention several land-dwelling insects. Your presence on their land would not bother them, unless you go and bother them first. Therefore, as a responsible hiker, you must keep yourself from going unnecessarily close to any animals, or deliberately harming them, lest you wish to be attacked by them. Accidental encounters may happen, of course, which is why you need to be acquainted with first aid measures as well.
4. Know What to Do if You’re Lost
In case misfortune befalls, you might lose your way in the desert. Your immediate response would be to panic, but do refrain from doing so. Instead, follow the Stop-Think-Observe-Plan (STOP) method to reassess your situation. This involves stopping to relax and get over your ‘freaked out’ state of mind. The next step is to look around and think about your best available options. This includes studying your map, assessing your possessions, and making optimum use of them. The third step is to observe the environment around you to chalk out an exit/escape route. The final step is to plan what your next move is going to be, having taken complete stock of the situation you are in.
Deserts are usually notorious for being reception-free zones, so don’t always expect your mobile phone to work here. Thus, it is of utmost importance to let your loved ones know about the exact details of your hiking trip, so that they can take the necessary measures to send out a search party in case you are lost.
5. Never Overestimate Yourself
As a hiker, you could be an amateur or a veteran, but you should never override any of the prescribed safety norms issued by the authorities. So, if you know of any adversity coming in the way of your hike, do not challenge it. Devious terrains that are out-of-bounds for people, stormy weather, etc., are some of the things that you should keep away from, no matter how thrilling it may seem to you. Throwing caution to the wind may not necessarily cause harm, but you will be putting your life at risk.
Hiking needs to be enjoyable, exhausting, and rejuvenating at the same time. To make your trip a memorable one, make sure that you tap into your inner spirit of adventure, and follow safety rules alongside. Hope you have a great trip!
Desert hiking may not be everybody’s ‘thing’, so to say. But I’d like to blame this partly on the image that the word ‘desert’ conjures, and the rest on Hollywood.
Think ‘desert’ and what comes to mind is the endless expanse of arid sand. This is usually followed by abundant instances of movie scenes where people are left to die in, yes of course, the desert. How else do you think Death Valley got its name?
In reality though, you’d be surprised to find that deserts are beautiful, mystical, and sublimely spiritual. Check out these hot destinations, if you don’t believe me.
10 Amazing Destinations for Desert Hiking
Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia
Deserts aren’t always full of sand, with Antarctica being a notable example. The Salar de Uyuni is another instance where the desert is made up entirely of salt. It is, in fact, the largest salt flat in the world, thanks to which it is almost devoid of vegetation and wildlife. A flat, salty expanse below your feet, and the deep blue sky overhead make for quite a memorable hike indeed.
As the world’s biggest salt plain, the Salar de Uyuni traverses Bolivia’s vast Altiplano, the remote and high desert of the Andean Plateau in southwest Bolivia. From here, it stretches toward a bizarre landscape comprising mineral pools, llamas, and all things actively volcanic, from geysers to boiling mud pools. Keep in mind that the temperatures here can be insanely bizzare―being in the range of 70 during the day, and dipping to a low of -4 at night.
Namib-Naukluft National Park, Namibia
As a part of what is considered to be the world’s oldest desert, the Namib-Naukluft National Park definitely deserves a visit. Besides that interesting tidbit, this desert also holds the distinction of being home to the tallest sand dunes in the world.
The Olive trail, considered to be apt for beginners, measures about 10 km, and starts from the car park close to the Naukluft Campsite with a steep climb to the top of a plateau, giving great views of the main Naukluft Gorge. Experienced trekkers coming here may want to try the more rigorous 120-km eight-day Naukluft Hiking Trail.
Atacama Desert, Chile
Following the oldest and the saltiest, it’s now time to visit the world’s driest desert, the Atacama in Chile. What draws people here, besides the obvious hiking-related activities, is its reputation of a stellar stargazing venue, with unmatched views of the Milky Way.
Besides, there are other attractions in the region, waiting to be explored. These include the Puritama Hot Springs, Miscanti and Miñiques Lagoons, and some Pre-Columbian Ruins and Geoglyphs. Plus, you will also get the opportunity to visit Local Indigenous Villages and the Atacama Salt Flat as well.
Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur, Mexico
If you think we’ve put up the wrong picture for a desert, you couldn’t be more wrong. A hike in the desert of the Los Cabos area will lead you to the beach, which is a novel sight for any desert hiker. Enjoy the rock formations, wildlife, and the vegetation as you trail along the Pacific coastline. The stark contrast in the views can awe every avid desert hiker.
The weather here is perfect all year round, so anytime is a good time to be here in Cabo San Lucas. The hike to Mt. Solmar is an easy trek, and can be accomplished by amateurs as well. The view from the top is awe-inspiring, and provides a panorama of the blue Pacific.
Joshua Tree National Park, California
The star attraction which brings hikers here is the excitement of rock climbing. There’s also a rock climbing school here for beginners. Watch out for the park’s unique landscape, dotted with blunt boulders, which make quite a stunning sight, especially during twilight hours.
The park has several day hikes, which can be enjoyed by those with each level of expertise. The Lost Palms Oasis round trip is around 7 miles, and is meant for everyone. Expert hikers may want to try the Mastodon Peak (3,371 feet) or the Ryan Mountain (5,461 feet), which offer more challenges.
Sedona isn’t just for the mystics and the new age healers. Whether you may or may not believe in its energy vortexes, do come here to hike along some fabulous trails that snake along the red rock hills.
You may want to experience the thrill of hiking up the Devil’s Bridge, which is a short but steep hike, and promises amazing views of the entire region. Another moderate level trail is the Cathedral Rock Trail―a 2.9 mile loop trail located near Sedona. The West Fork Oak Creek Trail is a 6 mile trail, suitable for all levels, and is open all year round.
Zion National Park, Utah
Zion National Park includes a section each of the Mojave Desert, the Great Basin, and the Colorado Plateau. Now, with such an awesome confluence, would there ever be a dearth of places for hiking enthusiasts?
There are a number of great hikes in Zion; each being very unique. You can take an arduous trail up the side of the canyon to Angels Landing (not meant for the acrophobic), or you can hike to a number of waterfalls. In the hot summer months, you are recommended to hike along the Narrows, which will lead you directly through a river as far as you like to go upstream. The West Rim Trail has some of the most spectacular views that anyone could hope to see―you’ll find beautiful canyons, springs, seeps, trees, and flowers.
Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
The Grand Canyon consistently ranks among the must-see places in the world. This natural wonder has the most gorgeous views, as you trek along its treacherous trails.
Considering the topography of the Grand Canyon, it is safe to assume that these trails are not meant for amateurs. Even then, if you are looking for something basic, choose the The Rim Trail. which extends from the village area to Hermits Rest. Begin from any viewpoint in the Village or along Hermit Road. The Rim Trail offers excellent walking for quiet views of the inner canyon and is considered to be an easy hike.
Arches National Park, Utah
Located just outside Moab, the Arches National Park is breathtakingly beautiful. These salmon-colored sandstone arches are a sight to behold. Climbing these arches is banned; however, hiking along the permissible areas makes for a memorable experience.
Though you are not permitted to climb the arches, you can enjoy some easy hiking trails throughout the park, including the Balanced Rock trail, Broken Arch, Double Arch, and Landscape Arch. Experienced hikers who are seeking challenges can head to the Fiery Furnace, an area of the park that has no established hiking trails, signs, or maps. Exploring this area requires careful navigation, tremendous physical agility, and a formal hiking permit.
Death Valley National Park, California and Nevada
You might find the desert landscape fascinating, but keep in mind that a hike in Death Valley is not meant for the weak at heart. It is searing hot here, with trails that are deceptive, as well as undeveloped. Do tons of research before you get here.
There are hardly any developed hiking trails in this park, nevertheless, you may want to the Golden Canyon Interpretive Trail, or the Natural Bridge Canyon, both of which are simple hikes. Those looking to put in some hard work may head to the Death Valley Buttes or the Little Bridge Canyon.
Waves of the azure sea kissing your feet, warm silky sand trickling through your fingers and toes, cool breeze blowing across your body as you languidly soak up the warm, yellow sun – a holiday by the beach is definitely, an ultimate therapeutic vacation to improve one’s mental and physical health. Now the thing about beaches, as with any vacation spot, is that each of us has his/her own preferences and opinions which are bound to differ from person to person.
Hence, given below are, what I consider to be, the top 10 beaches in the world.
1. Lopes Mendes Beach, Ilha Grande
Best Time to Visit:
December – March
If it is paradise you are looking for, then head to Lopes Mendes in Brazil. It has all the elements you need for your dream beach holiday. From breathtaking scenery, golden sands to shallow azure-blue waters accompanied by all sorts of modern amenities.
2. Horseshoe Bay Beach, Southampton Parish
Best Time to Visit:
Featuring opalescent, aquamarine seas, powdery pink soft sands, crystal clear turquoise colored waters, and amazing limestone rock formations, Horseshoe Bay beach stands apart from the rest of the beaches. Another of its highlights is the underwater trails which makes it highly popular amongst snorkeling aficionados.
3. Rhossili Bay, Swansea
Wales, United Kingdom
Best Time to Visit:
May – September
Rhossili Bay beach is known for its picture perfect landscape and a great place to bring your whole family. Here, you will get to enjoy the best of both worlds – the old mumbles lighthouse offers a panoramic view of the surrounding coastal country and all those who love paragliding or surfboarding, this is the place to be.
4. Eagle Beach, Aruba
The Caribbean Sea
Best Time to Visit:
Eagle beach is known for its clean air, soft white sand, perfect climate and numerous fine restaurants. It is a personal favorite of the rich and famous, because of its alluring combination of pure white sand, magnificent turquoise blue waters, beach barbecues and midnight cocktail parties.
5. Rabbit Beach, Lampedusa
Best Time to Visit:
May – September
Rabbit beach is especially famous for its narrow cove in the side of a cliff, and aquatic wildlife from the sea, ranging from turtles and mantas to dolphins. The residents of Lampedusa island are very keen on maintaining its natural beauty, and protecting the endangered loggerhead sea turtles that nest and lay eggs on the southern coast of this pristine island.
6. Playa de las Catedrales, Ribadeo
Best Time to Visit:
July – August
Playa de las Catedrales is one of those beaches that is brimming with the exquisite beauty, which nature has bestowed upon it abundantly. Here, you will get to enjoy lazy and long beach stretches with the sea whispering on the shores, a picture-perfect location and one of the most romantic places to propose or get married.
7. Flamenco Beach, Culebra
Best Time to Visit:
Swaying coconut palms, sunny weather all year-round, cool breeze, and cerulean waters where you can snorkel and swim to your heart’s content. This is why Flamenco beach is considered ideal to relax and explore some exotic flora and fauna.
8. Baia do Sancho, Fernando de Noronha
Best Time to Visit:
If you like exploring, fishing, hiking, watching the sunrise or the sunset and want to experience the freshness and joy of living close to nature, surrounded by beautiful waterfowl and sea turtles, then this is the place to be.
9. Whitehaven Beach
Best Time to Visit:
Whitehaven beach is known for its white sand and is said to be one of the most pristine and iconic beaches in Australia. It is an excellent vacation spot for young and old alike. It also offers a beautiful view of the surrounding Great Barrier Reef and is a fabulous opportunity to snorkel or scuba dive to meet 1500+ species of fish, 400+ hard corals and 130+ species of sharks and rays.
10. Grace Bay, Providenciales
Turks and Caicos Islands
Best Time to Visit:
Apart from being a quiet, sunny and peaceful beach, this lovely island is also renowned as a retirement home. It has remained an unspoiled island, untouched by the modern hustle-bustle and is well-known for its spectacular coral reefs, humpback whales, turquoise blue waters, and diverse waterfowl.
Our memories of the ocean will linger on, long after our footprints in the sand are gone.
Although this quote is from an anonymous philosopher, one would be hard-pressed to find someone who cannot relate to it. The blue, playful water, the eternal sounds of the seashore – the guttural baritone of the waves complemented by the high tremolo of the whistling wind – and the soft sand combine to create a much-desired “getting away from it all” sensation that calms and pleases us at once. The abstract stuff aside, the tangible side of our primordial admiration of oceans and beaches lies in the number of tourists who flock to beaches all over the world as soon as they get the chance. Beaches are always a popular travel destination, waiting to greet and soothe us with open arms. They are excellent spots to get rid of that pent-up weekday boredom.
The east coast of the United States is replete with stunning beaches that can make for a perfect weekend getaway or a fantastic family vacation. North Carolina houses many of those. North Carolina’s beaches can be, broadly, geographically divided into 3 regions:
- The Outer Banks (OBX) includes many popular beaches, such as Avon, Hatteras, Rodanthe, Corolla, Ocracoke, etc. Part of the Outer Banks is preserved by the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.
- The Crystal Coast includes beaches on the Bogue Banks, Harkers Island, Shackleford Banks, etc. ‘Crystal Coast’ is a moniker coined to promote tourism.
- Cape Fear includes beaches such as Wilmington, Carolina, Kure and Wrightsville.
Here’s what I think are the best beaches of North Carolina.
Home to the notorious pirate ‘Blackbeard’ Edward Teach, Ocracoke Island, originally called Wokokkon, was only permanently settled after Blackbeard’s death in 1718. This Outer Banks island was named as the best beach in America by Stephen Leatherman, better known as ‘Dr. Beach’, in 2007 and consistently features in the lists of the best beaches in the world.
Other than the excellent beach, Ocracoke also houses the second oldest lighthouse in the US, although it is no longer open to climb. Another popular attraction is the vibrant music scene of Ocracoke, with a large number of local musicians.
A relatively unknown beach community, Topsail is an undiscovered gem in the Cape Fear region. Due to the relatively low tourist influx (although the numbers are gradually increasing), Topsail has remained a quaint town, famous for its spectacular beaches and seafood. The residents of Topsail Beach are eager to maintain Topsail’s natural beauty, particularly demonstrated by the Topsail Turtle Project, which is entirely run by volunteers.
Like many other islands in the vicinity, Topsail Beach is supposed to have a pirate history. The name itself was supposedly given to the island by virtue of the ‘topsails’ of pirate ships, which was the only portion of the ships that could be seen, hiding in wait for merchant vessels to pass by.
Situated on the barrier island of Topsail Island, Surf City is a typical beach town – quiet, sunny and peaceful.
Like all small beach communities, summer is the period of maximum tourist activity, while the local population utilizes winter as a well-earned break from the hectic daily schedule of the tourist season (this applies to the following beaches as well, unless otherwise mentioned). Surfing and fishing are the most popular activities in this beach town.
If you are enthusiastic about fishing, Hatteras is the place for you. Agencies in Hatteras can set up customized fishing trips for you, whatever your requirements may be. And even if words such as bobbler, bait, night crawler, and shank don’t mean anything to you, Hatteras is also quite close to the concurrence of the colder Labrador current and the warm Gulf current, which results in a great surf and a wonderful beach.
Bald Head Island
Apart from its beach, this lovely town is renowned as a retirement home. The old-world charm of the picturesque town is preserved to the extent that cars are not allowed on the island; residents commute in stylized electric golf carts or bicycles. The main attraction on Bald Head Island is the ‘old baldy’ lighthouse, which offers a beautiful view of the surrounding coastal country.
Another town famous for its not-so-honorable past, Nags Head (most probably) derives its name from the mules, or nags used to bring about shipwrecks, which were then looted by locals. A lantern attached to the nag, which would then be left free to roam on beaches on dark nights, would confuse incoming ships about the whereabouts of the coast and cause miscalculations, leading to shipwrecks.
Staying in the present tense, though, Nags Head is a famous – and peaceful, if I may add – beach resort, although not ‘tranquil’ in the same sense as Bald Head. But despite the relative modernization, Nags Head retains an excellent beach, not to mention the Jockey’s Ridge State Park and popular fishing piers.
Holden Beach is, to paraphrase Chandler Bing, more of a place to have a summer ‘vacation’ than to have a summer ‘break – woohoo’. Holden Beach retains a pristine quality in its beautiful environs. Despite an inevitable degree of modernization, Holden Beach holds a high rank for its family appeal, a claim supported by National Geographic’s Traveler.
Fishing is, of course, a favorite pastime among visitors, along with bicycling, boating and windsurfing. The annual Festival by the Sea, held in October, attracts many visitors as well. Another of Holden Beach’s treasures is the Loggerhead sea turtles, which nest at this pristine waterfront. The hatchlings usually emerge between July-October.
Due to it being located close to the University of North Carolina, this beautiful beach stays active past the summer seasons, with the tourist influx carrying on up to November.
Along with the typical oceanfront pastimes of surfing et al., Wrightsville is also a popular bird watching destination; many shorebirds nest along the coast of North Carolina. Sea turtles also thrive on the southern barrier island of Masonboro Island. Johnnie Mercer’s Pier in Wrightsville is one of the few remaining wooden piers and is an excellent spot to tug the line.
Emerald Isle can be termed as unique in this list. It doesn’t have a historical significance like Ocracoke, nor surfing hotspots like Surf City, nor tourist destinations like the Old Baldy lighthouse or the Jockey’s Ridge. Emerald Isle’s reputation as a beach resort is based almost exclusively on what matters most – its beaches. It is an excellent vacation spot for fishing, and the aquatic wildlife is fascinating as well. It is especially famous for sea turtles.
Originally owned by Henry Fort and inherited by his daughter Anita Maulick upon his death, Emerald Isle was purchased and developed by seven partners in the 1950s and 60s. The name ‘Emerald Isle’ was given while the area was under development. There are several possible explanations for the somewhat ambiguous title; the most plausible one is that the developers, while being flown over the area, named it so due to the extensive forest cover over the newly purchased land.
The ‘Seafood Capital of the World’ Calabash and its adjoining beach community Sunset Beach, only lying about 5 miles apart, are the southernmost major coastal towns of North Carolina. While Calabash holds a high rank in the world cuisine map thanks to its ‘Calabash-style’ seafood, Sunset Beach is famous not only for its beach, but also for the numerous golf courses which lie on its periphery.
The pontoon bridge in Sunset Beach is also a popular tourist attraction. Although it is no longer the only route in and out of the tranquil town, the bridge has been preserved by the Old Bridge Preservation Society and is being developed as the core of a museum about the town’s history. Like most coastal towns, Sunset Beach also has a fishing pier for the avid fisherman.
Due to the alluring combination of the relaxing atmosphere, beautiful beaches and the stunning seafood, Calabash and Sunset Beach are a personal favorite.
I do, of course, confess that the beaches included on this list are a personal choice, but I really don’t see anyone not going nuts about them. Apart from these, the North Carolinian coastline also offers these excellent choices.
Pine Knoll Shores: Center of the Bogue Banks
Atlantic Beach: It is the oldest beach community in the Bogue Banks. You get to witness great sunrises and sunsets. Fishing is a major activity here. You will find restaurants, nightclubs, bars, family attractions and many more.
Carolina Beach: Warm, fertile waters support large numbers of aquatic wildlife. It is home to the North Carolina Aquarium. Other enjoyable activities that you can be a part of are surfing, kayaking, boating, etc.
Rodanthe: Popular water sports destination
Kill Devil Hills: Site of the first flight by the Wright brothers
Duck: Named, obviously, for the large numbers of the waterfowl in the surroundings
Ocean Isle Beach: Golfing (on the nearby mainland) and turtle watching can be enjoyed (from May-October).
Kure Beach: Home to one of the state-owned aquariums; along with fishing you can participate in nature programs.
Bodie Island: Houses the Bodie Island Light, one of the most famous lighthouses of the Outer Banks
North Carolina’s beaches are generally considered to be safe during the prime tourist season, summer and early fall. Naturally for coastal towns, seafood is a major cuisine and industry in most towns, although Calabash holds the reign over that department. Carolinian beach communities, especially those on the Outer Banks are dormant towns, going into a state of near-hibernation between tourist seasons, and thus provide the perfect pristine touch to the naturally beautiful wonders, that is its beaches.
Mexico is blessed with a coastline of 10,000 km along the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. As a result, it houses countless beach destinations that offer a variety of activities for tourists.
Mexico has gained a bit of a reputation as a vacation for the affluent, due to the rise of glitzy resorts such as Cancún and Acapulco. However, though that may well have been the case in the past, it is now accessible to tourists on every budget.
Here are Mexico’s best coastal resorts, the best of the gems that this wonderful country has to offer.
Mexico’s capital, Mexico City, is the ideal gateway into Mexico for most international travelers. Cities such as Mexico City, Cancún, Puerto Vallarta, Acapulco, and Playa del Carmen have hundreds of Couchsurfing and Airbnb hosts for budget travelers. For those on a more ‘vacation budget’, there is a wealth of countless seaside resorts in each of these coastal destinations.
Mexico’s Best Beach Destinations
Getting There: Various American cities, including major hubs such as New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, are connected to Cancún by air. It is a major city in Mexico, and is connected to all other major Mexican cities.
➙ Starting off with the most Westernized, and consequently popular, of all of Mexico’s beach destinations, Cancún is one of the best beach vacation spots in the world. It has huge sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters, which have kept it high in the tourism lists for so many years. Being a tourism-centered city, it offers a variety of restaurants, resorts, and shopping centers for the typical tourist, and some of the best nightlife in Mexico.
➙ Apart from the seaside entertainment, it has two notable museums: the Museo Subacuático de Arte, an eccentric underwater museum consisting of 403 life-size sculptures, and the Museo Maya de Cancún, which houses one of the best collections of Maya artifacts in Mexico.
➙ A day trip to Chichen Itza, the famous Mayan complex, is also a highly recommended and usually selected option.
Getting There: This island is situated very close to Cancún, and can be accessed via regular ferries.
➙ Isla Mujeres, situated about 9 miles off the coast of Cancún, is a complete contrast to the most touristy city in Mexico. It is ideal for relaxation, and is the perfect place for someone who gets bored and frustrated in the commercialized environs of Cancún. There are a few rocky caves to explore, but the USP of Isla Mujeres is its contrast with Cancún: relaxing environs, relatively uncrowded beaches, and fresh, home-cooked seafood in the thatched palapa restaurants by the beach.
➙ The inexpensive and homely inns found here are complemented by a few boutique resorts, and together provide accommodation in every price range.
➙ Biking or driving a golf cart around this tranquil island is the best way to roam it (or just walk, if you want!).
Getting There: It is quite close to Cancún, and all the destinations on the Mayan Riviera can easily be reached from there by bus.
➙ The Riviera Maya, or the Mayan Riviera, is a tourism-centric region along the Caribbean coastline of Quintana Roo, a Mexican state. It consists of several Caribbean beaches, such as Playa del Carmen and the island of Cozumel, as well as the Mayan ruins of Tulum.
➙ Playa del Carmen, in particular, is being developed massively in order to be more attractive to tourists and to serve as a center of the region.
➙ The primary attractions in this region are snorkeling and scuba diving in the Belize Barrier Reef, which is the second longest barrier reef system in the world, and the archeological finds of Tulum and the more inland Coba. Swimming with dolphins is also a major draw in this region.
Getting There: Los Cabos is connected by air to Mexico City, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Ontario, among other cities.
➙ Of all the seaside destinations in Mexico, Los Cabos offers the best of both worlds. It is made up of two cities: San Jose del Cabo, which has retained the persona of a traditional, quaint Mexican town, and Cabo San Lucas, which is the black sheep of the two and has become renowned for its nightlife.
➙ Located in Baja California, it is highly convenient for US tourists, and has consequently molded itself to attract more Americans. The region between the two cities, particularly, has become famous for its championship golf courses, an activity pursued in the US with almost religious fervor.
➙ El Arco, or The Arch, is a famous and distinctive landmark in Los Cabos, and is a frequent gathering point for sea lions. Whale watching is also a worthwhile activity in the winter; whales migrate here for the warmer waters. Due to the variety of activities available in this twin resort, Los Cabos is arguably the best of Mexico’s top seaside vacation spots.
Getting There: It is connected by air to Mexico City, Guadalajara, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Chicago, etc.
➙ Like Los Cabos, Mazatlán presents two destinations in one: the touristy seaside resorts and shopping areas, and the preserved old city, which provides a fascinating glimpse into life in Mexico.
➙ The pueblo viejo (old town) has been renovated in several places, and the renaissance that turned Mazatlán from a Cancún-esque resort to one of the most lovable seaside destinations in North America is still underway. A guided tour of 3-4 hours for short groups, which can be arranged at most hotels for approx. USD 30, is a great way of getting to know the new and the old of this city.
➙ Whale watching (winter) and dolphin watching (year-round) tours, conducted by marine ecologist Oscar Guzon, are also famous.
➙ Mazatlán also contains a few options for the heritage tourist, such as the Museo de Arte and the Teatro Angela Peralta.
Getting There: It is connected by air to Mexico City, Guadalajara, Los Angeles, Atalanta, Dallas, Chicago, etc., and by a daily bus to Mexico City.
➙ The original Mexican party center before the rise of Cancún, Acapulco still holds the air of a typical touristy seaside resort rather than an enriching heritage destination.
➙ Being a cosmopolitan destination, it excels in providing all kinds of entertainment, ranging from pristine beaches to thrilling cliff divers. The latter, taking place at La Quebrada, is arguably Acapulco’s most famous tourist attraction; the prime time to catch the show is after 7-8 pm, when the divers hold torches while performing their routine.
➙ Its old town square is a veritable treasure trove of entertainment after evening, when various street performers add to the setting provided by the numerous sidewalk cafés.
Getting There: It is connected by air to Mexico City, Guadalajara, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Toronto, among others, and by bus to Guadalajara.
➙ Once named as the Friendliest City in the World, Puerto Vallarta still retains that friendly, welcoming air.
➙ It has several unique features among Mexican seaside attractions, such as being the preferred coastal retreat for the domestic Mexican tourist. It is also emerging as a popular retirement spot for Americans and Canadians. It is also known as one of the most gay-friendly destinations in the whole of Latin America.
➙ Apart from its beaches, boardwalks, and entertainment-filled sidewalks, Puerto Vallarta is home to the beautiful Vallarta Botanical Gardens, and the small but interesting pottery museum, Museo de Cuale.
These are some of the best beach destinations Mexico has to offer. Pack your bags, and start imagining yourself on the sun-kissed sands, amid fascinating relics of Mayan history, or stuffing yourself with delicious Mexican food!
Parasailing is an adventurous, fun-filled pursuit, primarily performed in a recreational manner. Though competitions do exist, it is essentially a joyride, taken solely to enjoy the vistas on offer from high up. Obviously, the best destinations to explore parasailing as an adventure sport are seaside towns, which will offer you a bird’s-eye view of the coastal settlements as you are whisked along on a wave of excitement. The more attractive the vista, the more pleasurable the experience.
Keeping that in mind, here are some stunning places where parasailing is a much-desired activity.
Best Parasailing Destinations in the World
The state of Florida is home to countless fantastic parasailing destinations, but Miami takes the cake thanks to its beautiful skyline. Enjoy the view of the famous skyline used in several movies and TV shows, as you float at a height of 400 feet. There are several parasailing facilities in Miami, including one near the Miami Seaquarium, one on Dodge Island, and several in Miami Beach
Another of Florida’s parasailing hotspots, Key West, just like Miami, offers stunning views of the sea and the cityscape. Smathers Beach and the Key West Bight, situated on the southern and northern coasts of Key West, respectively, are the best destinations for parasailing enthusiasts. Tandem trips cost from USD 29 to USD 49 according to the time of the day; the rates are the lowest in the morning. For a fun day out at the beach, Key West is the perfect destination!
Rio de Janeiro’s iconic beach offers a view of some wildly popular places from some wild angles. You can see the Sugarloaf Mountain, the statue of Christ the Redeemer, and even catch a glimpse of the Maracanã stadium. The colorful view of Rio is really worth every cent.
Cape Town is primarily renowned for its paragliding opportunities from Table Mountain, but parasailing in its neighboring waters is equally thrilling. Cape Town’s astounding cityscape and mountainous, yet coastal, location combine to provide a splendid view from high above. Three Anchor Bay in Cape Town’s western region is the prime location for parasailing trips, and solo and tandem trips will cost you approx. USD 50 and USD 60, respectively.
Probably the most well-known Indian tourist hotspot after the Taj Mahal, Goa’s stunning beaches and nightlife attracts thousands of foreign and domestic visitors. Its beaches, such as Calangute, Baga, and Anjuna, are excellent places to parasail, and Goa’s charming and eloquent towns are excellent places to relax and explore. Parasailing here, would cost around USD 25, usually even lower than that.
Who can resist the temptation of seeing the famous Sydney Opera House and Harbor Bridge from above? Seeing these two buildings is amazing enough at ground level, but from 400-500 feet up―mindblowing! Parasailing avenues are open at Manly Wharf, in Manly Cove, at prices starting from AUD 65 if you are going in a group of 8 or more. Solo trips cost about AUD 95.
Termed as “God’s Own Country” due to its astounding natural beauty, Kerala is home to several aquatic activities. Kovalam and Alappuzha are the main centers of parasailing, with the depreciation of the Indian Rupee allowing foreign nationals to enjoy this activity for as little as USD 30-40.
No, you won’t actually be seeing the lakes from that high up, but the Great Lakes have always been a famous tourist attraction, and make for fantastic parasailing vacation spots. Throw in a drive through scenic Michigan or Wisconsin, and you have something that nobody would want to miss. Almost every lakeside city in these two states has parasailing facilities. Mackinaw City is arguably the best bet, with parasailing trips held on the eastern lake shore of the City for about USD 70 for solo trips.
The archipelago of Hawaii is probably the most famous beach destination in the world, and for good reason. It is a veritable treasure trove of scenic locations, crystal-clear waters, and fantastic beaches. It is a great hub of various aquatic activities. Most islands have this facility, but the ones on the Big Island, Honolulu, and Maui are particularly popular. But having soared the heights, don’t forget to plumb the depths and go diving right afterwards!
One of the recently popularized seaside vacation hotspots, Phuket is perfect for the weary traveler looking to relax and the water-loving thrill seeker looking to conquer the clear, blue waters. Parasailing is, surprisingly, not that popular here, but there are numerous options for those who want to try it. Patong Beach is the best bet, with rides costing between USD 25-40.
The sea has always been a subject of great fascination and awe for mankind. No matter how deep we explore the saline waters, the ocean never seems to come to an end. Through the ages, humans have figured out ways and means to reach the bottom of the sea, and to explore and exploit its hidden treasures. However, the excitement and curiosity to know about and be a part of the underwater realm does not just end there. With the passage of time, diving became one of the most favorite recreational activities of adventure seekers, and sports such as snorkeling and scuba diving gained impetus. Today, scuba diving has become one of the greatest underwater adventures sought by adrenaline junkies, so much so that scuba diving tourism has occupied a veritable place in the world tourism industry.
World’s Best Scuba Diving Destinations
If you are planning to go on a scuba diving vacation in the near future, here is a list of some of the best destinations in the world that you can consider.
The Red Sea, Egypt
One dive underneath the surface of the Egyptian Red Sea, and all you can see is a huge variety of marine life all around you. This is one of the richest marine ecosystems in the world, landlocked on all the four sides by a desert, thus, making its water a little saltier than that of other water bodies. You can experience a fantastic swim with the dolphins and sharks, which keep on circling the walls and wrecks in the depths. The variety of colorful corals and sponges in the reefs look absolutely astonishing. A scuba diving experience in the Red Sea can, thus, leave you absolutely overwhelmed.
Considered to be the ‘Jewel of Indonesia’, the island of Bali is undoubtedly one of the most exotic holiday destinations in the world. And that is certainly true when it comes to a scuba diving vacation as well. Bali also displays an absolutely stunning biodiversity; however, the most sought-after underwater attraction for the divers flocking here is the Mola mola, the giant ocean sunfish, which is the world’s heaviest-known bony fish. Bali boasts of some of the world’s best scuba diving instructors and diving spots.
The Cayman Islands
Located in the Western Caribbean Sea, the Cayman Islands is a British Overseas Territory, comprising three islands, viz. the Grand Cayman, the Cayman Brac, and the Little Cayman. All these three islands are world-famous scuba diving destinations, where divers tend to flock in large numbers to swim with stingrays. These islands also boast of remnants of shipwrecks in their depths, which attract scuba divers in large numbers. Plus, there are infinite opportunities to swim along the deep walls and encounter strange marine animals.
Cocos Island, Costa Rica
Situated off the Costa Rican shore, Cocos Island is an uninhabited island, except that there is a permanent ranger station over there. The waters that surround the island are known for their populations of large marine animals, including dolphins, rays, and hammerhead sharks. The island also features one of the richest reefs of the southeastern Pacific, abundant with colorful species of marine fauna. In 2007, Cocos Island was designated as one of the ten best scuba diving spots in the world by the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI).
Literally meaning Island of the Swallows, this Mexican island in the Caribbean Sea is another world-renowned scuba diving destination. The primary attractions of Cozumel for scuba divers, who flock on the island from all across the globe, are extensive communities of coral reefs. In fact, the island’s natural geography is such that the coral reefs have been automatically protected from the open ocean, thus, preserving a variety of species that they have. Moreover, the divers can go as deep as 3,000 feet in the sea and explore the numerous awe-inspiring tunnels, caves, and caverns, besides the breathtaking marine life.
This archipelago of volcanic islands boasts of as many as 62 scuba diving sites, and is also a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. If you crave for big animals, then the Galapagos Islands is definitely your place. You can actually swim along with massive whale sharks, turtles, moray eels, and eagle rays; not to forget the stars of the show―the hammerhead sharks, which appear in large schools over here. You can also see actual one-on-one encounters of the hammerhead and whale sharks, especially during their migration period (May to October).
The Great Barrier Reef, Australia
This is, by far, the most iconic scuba diving destination in the world. With nearly 3,000 individual reefs and over 350 different species of corals, the Great Barrier Reef is the largest living thing on our planet. Furthermore, it is so immense that it is home to some 1,500 different species of fish, and six out of seven species of sea turtles found in the world. In a nutshell, it is a diver’s paradise, and definitely does not have any close rival. So, if you want to get a kaleidoscopic view of marine life, scuba dive into the Great Barrier Reef!
Half Moon Caye, Belize
If you are looking to do a wall dive, then the Half Moon Caye is the perfect place for you. Once you begin diving downwards, you will be intrigued by seeing the variety of marine life that the Caye shelters. There are numerous tunnels and swim-through, crammed with a variety of sponges and monster groupers. The most noticeable sightings are those of eagle rays, loggerhead turtles, barracudas, moray eels, and the rosy razor fish.
The tourism industry of Palau focuses mainly on scuba diving and snorkeling on the islands, which boast of an extremely rich marine environment. Palau features more than 700 coral species, over 1,500 fish species, numerous blue holes, absolutely stunning walls, and enchanting coral reefs. As if that was not enough, the waters also contain some historical World War II wrecks. So, if you are looking for a wholesome diving experience, with a bit of historical hysteria, Palau is “the” place on earth.
Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea is a blooming scuba diving destination, which has come to the forefront recently. For divers who wish to witness and experience the diversity of marine life, Papua New Guinea is the location. Within the deep waters surrounding these islands, you can see everything from small fish to huge whales to expansive coral reefs. The major highlight of the scuba diving sites, located around these islands, is that deep water is only a couple of feet away from the beaches, so you don’t have to go too far, in order to take your dive within.
The ones which are mentioned above are just a few of the numerous amazing scuba diving spots around the world. Many more are yet to come to the forefront. So, what are you waiting for? Get going to experience the most fulfilling adventure of your lifetime!
It does, indeed. After spending all our living span being bogged down by gravity, it sure is a welcome change to be floating in the depths of the sea, exploring a completely different world. And speaking of the marine world, what better place than the Caribbean? None, without a doubt.
Which is why, we bring you a list of places that are perfect for snorkeling in the Caribbean Sea. And believe me, we’re not just talking about viewing some gorgeous corals here; we’ve got stingrays, dolphins, whale sharks, and the likes.
Remember, the best time to be in the Caribbean is the dry season from December to April. The weather during these months is calm and breezy, making it perfect for snorkeling, diving, or simply lazing around.
Best Snorkeling Destinations in the Caribbean
Isla Mujeres, Mexico
How about an up, close, and personal encounter with the biggest fish in the sea? Yep, come to Isla Mujeres between June to August every year, to witness a massive whale shark congregation that is sure to have your wits floored. In fact, even before you take a dip, you’ll be able to witness hundreds of dorsal fins skimming the surface―a truly awe-inspiring sight indeed. Plus, there are also chances of spotting some dolphins and manta rays, along with the native flamingos on the shore. The island is located in the Yucatán Peninsula, in the southeastern corner of Mexico.
Stingray City, Grand Cayman
Stingray City is located in the shallow waters of the northwest corner of Grand Cayman’s North Sound. It is within a natural channel that passes through the barrier reef and consists of a string of sandbars. Stingrays happen to be the gentle inhabitants of the sea, and are a delight to have around. More so, if you’re carrying some treats in the form of squids. The drama that follows, is something which needs to be experienced first hand, as the stingrays’ antics always manages to keep you spellbound. And the best part? You can get here all year round.
Cayo Diablo National Park, Puerto Rico
Keeping Fajardo in eastern Puerto Rico as your hub, Cayo Diablo is a 20-minute boat ride away from the town’s shore. It lies on the fringes of the Atlantic, yet is very much in the Caribbean. This area is famous for Elkhorn and Staghorn coral, with a jagged limestone periphery. However, nestled in these depths are some rather extraordinary sea turtles. Breathtakingly beautiful, this is probably the only place in the Caribbean that offers such close encounters with sea turtles.
You may have heard of Bonaire, located off the northern coast of Venezuela, as a premier diving destination, but it holds true for snorkeling as well. Off the coast of its capital city, Kralendijk, a wide variety of corals and colorful fish await you in the warm waters here, along with some sea horses as well. Klein Bonaire is an uninhabited island further off the coast of Kralendijk, around which you will find filefish and queen angelfish. Windsock is also a popular snorkeling venue, with people spotting barracuda, tarpon, or even turtles.
The joy of swimming alongside dolphins probably is one of life’s finest and most subliminal experiences. Even if you’ve had the opportunity to swim with captive dolphins, you ought to make a trip to the Bahamas, where you’ll be gliding next to an Atlantic Spotted dolphin. The thrill is comparable to none. And while you’re in the Bahamas, don’t forget to check out Dean’s Blue Hole, where you’ll be jolted to discover that you can go from a depth of 5 feet to a jaw-dropping 600 feet in a matter of a few laps. And while you’re doing that, don’t forget to spot some turtles, dolphins, and porpoises.
Cancun Underwater Museum, Mexico
Mexican Caribbean’s biggest attraction remains the Cancun Underwater Museum, with hundreds of sculptures placed underwater off the coast of Isla Mujeres and Cancun in southeastern Mexico. Yes, we do know about the one in Grenada as well, but frankly speaking, one simply needs to dive, rather than snorkel there, as the clarity of the water can be quite low on most days. Coming back to Cancun, the 450 sculptures here are also by the same artist who created the Grenadian versions―Jason deCaires Taylor. The museum is a part of the Cancun National Marine Park―a wonderful sight, which offers a memorable journey of exploration.
Belize is a country on the northeastern coast of Central America bordering Mexico on the south, and offers fantastic sites for snorkeling. 11 miles off the coast of the southern town of Placencia lies Laughing Bird Caye, a fabulous snorkeling spot suitable for all levels of expertise. This is where you’ll find a vast expanse of reef species, including parrotfish, yellowtail snapper and barracuda. Also on the agenda is Shark Ray Alley, a part of the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, which is home to several Nurse sharks, as well as Southern Stingrays. The locals promise great visibility and close encounters at a depth of just eight feet, which makes it a must-visit snorkeling spot in the Caribbean. You may also wish to visit Ambergris Caye, the largest island of Belize located northeast of the country. Here, you can take a dip off the Lighthouse Reef to snorkel around the edges of the famed Blue Hole, which is Belize’s premier diving site.
Many tend to confuse this tiny island in the Lesser Antilles with the Dominican Republic. Dominica is a small nation with a big reputation as a snorkeling hotspot. Champagne Reef is located near Pointe Michel, a small town on the southwest coast of Dominica, south of the capital, Roseau. The area gets its name from the effervesce emanating from fissures in the seafloor, giving the impression that one is swimming in a bottle of bubbly. But that’s not all―you also need to be on the lookout for parrotfish and lobsters. Scotts Head, in the southern most tip of Dominica is a stellar diving spot, but it does hold some thrill for snorkelers too. It’s past the capital city of Roseau, just over an hour’s drive away. This ancient volcanic crater has a veritable wealth of marine plants along its walls, and you certainly don’t need to dive to see it.
So, this was a round-up of the best snorkeling destinations in the Caribbean. But as we mentioned before, any place is a great place to hit the sea when you’re on any of the gorgeous islands here. Do make sure that you tick these off your list.
The most awaited December vacation is soon to arrive and I know people reading this article are eagerly waiting for it to come. So, where have you decided to go this December? Different people will prefer to take up different vacation spots, depending on their preferences. Most snow lovers would prefer heading towards the northern hemisphere for a power-packed adventurous vacation, while some might visit the scenic spots in the southern region to enjoy the warmth there. Whatever be your vacation plans, it is imperative that you turn that vacation into something that will be really, really memorable; something that you’ll remember for the rest of your life. While there might be many who have already finalized their vacation plans and zeroed in on the places to visit, as well as the ways in which to spend the holiday season, there might be many who have not yet fixed an itinerary. It is for all of them that this article comes through. It’ll give you several ideas on the kind of vacations that you can plan and the spots that you can visit. Need some vacation ideas for December? Read on.
December Vacation Ideas
Different people with different tastes. So while some might enjoy beaches, others might love the mountains. While some might be couples looking for a honeymoon spot, some others might be single looking for silent places to relax. It is while keeping all these different tastes and needs in mind that the following list has been compiled. Hope you find what you’re looking for in this list.
Cruises – A Dream by the Sea
Cruises have got to count as one of the best out-of-the-world experiences. That blue-green ocean on all sides while you relax on board? Heaven. No wonder cruise vacations are a dream come true for many. They constitute as one of the best vacation ideas for families as well as couples and singles. So book your cruise now and enter the world of dreams. Be a part of the various recreational activities on board and enjoy the versatility that they offer. Enjoy the exotic cuisine and the world-class living amenities. Try your luck at the casinos and delve deep into the melodies at the music programs held on board. I’m sure you’ve started visualizing your cruise holiday. So go get your cruise reservations right now.
► Royal Caribbean Cruises, Princess Cruises, Crystal Cruises and Holland America Line are some of the popular cruise lines that you can choose from for your December vacation.
Snow Spots – The Magic of White
Places with snow have a charm of their own. Pristine white and absolutely breathtaking. These spots should be on your list if you love the quiet surroundings that snow-peaked mountains and valleys offer. It’s not just the quiet solitude that draws people to these snowy regions, there are several adventure sports that are offered as well. Sports like skiing, ice skating and sledding are some of the most popular ones. When choosing places for a vacation of this nature, the states located in the northern United States and Canada would be a good option to choose from. Especially if you are looking for a snow-packed vacation and want to try some adventurous activities like skiing.
► Colorado is an ideal vacation spot for snow lovers – the Arapahoe Basin located there offers ample opportunities for snowboarding and skiing. Other great vacation spots for snow lovers include Alaska, Lake Tahoe in Nevada, etc.
Beaches – Golden and Sunny Tidings
Imagine that expanse of the beach – the brown toasty sand under your feet, the feel of warm sea water advancing and receding from the web of your toes, the smell of sea in the air, the sound of seagulls somewhere in the background and you taking a much-needed tan. I would never, ever leave the place! It’s no wonder that many who want to include the element of recreation and relaxation in their schedule love visiting beaches. The beach is such a versatile spot, have you noticed? Families, couples, singles – any and everyone can find exactly what they are looking for at the beach. Spending some amount of time at the beach is one of the best ways to refresh oneself from the busy or the mundane rut that our lives sometime settle into. After the relaxing is well underway and one needs to indulge in some adventure activities like surfing, snorkeling and deep sea diving, there are scores of options for those as well.
► Some of the best beach places to visit in December are Florida, the Bahamas, Hawaii, Mexico, West Indies, Greek islands, etc.
Vacation Ideas for Christmas
Christmas as a holiday usually promises a whole lot of enjoyment anyway. So wherever you are, you are going to enjoy it. However, many people like to travel somewhere and have a more memorable Christmas vacation. For all those people, the above mentioned options are all favorable vacation ideas for Christmas. But apart from these, you can enjoy a boat ride in a lake of your choice with your entire family and have yet another great Christmas vacation. You can also head towards December vacation destinations such as Australia and visit the Great Barrier Reef or Gold Coast and have a warm Christmas this year. Or else, if you are looking for Christmas vacation ideas in the USA itself, then New York with its big city appeal is also be a great option. Making it one of the best family vacation ideas in December.
Here’s hoping that these vacation ideas for December will have provided you with several options and choices, and that you will have a clearer idea of how and where to spend your vacations. In conclusion, all that’s left to be said is that both, Christmas and December vacations promise equal opportunities for fun. So whoever you’re with, and more importantly, wherever you are, just make sure that you make the most of it. Happy vacationing everyone!