ALL POSTS IN [Beaches]

It’s your last chance to vote for the 2013 Best Beach Awards; the polls close at midnight! So go ahead and cast your vote for the best overall beach.

Best Overall Beach

Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman: “Seven Mile Beach aka West Bay Beach has been called one of the finest beaches in the Caribbean. This wonderful white-sand beach stretches from George Town to Long Point.”

Miami Beach, Florida: “Miami has something for everyone: A plethora of shopping at Lincoln Road Mall, legendary nightlife along Ocean Drive and crystal clear waters unparalleled on the east coast.”

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic: “The Dominican Republic is also an outdoor adventurer’s paradise, home to white-water rafting on the Yaque del Norte River, paragliding from Alto del Guayabo mountain and horseback riding along Punta Cana’s white-sand beaches.”

Matira Beach, Bora Bora, Tahiti: “Bora Bora is one of the magical islands that make up French Polynesia in the South Pacific. Just 18 miles long, this lush little slipper of land lies in a protected lagoon edged by fine white sandy shores — the best located at Matira Point.”

And don’t forget to check out the full list of 2013 nominees. All of the winners will be revealed during Travel Channel’s Beach Weekend, this Saturday and Sunday.

Spring break is so close you can almost feel the sand between your toes. While you’re gearing up for your getaway, take a second to vote for this year’s best family beach.

Whether it’s cramming as many family members as possible into a big ole beach house in North Carolina’s Outer Banks or escaping with the kids to Paradise Island in the Bahamas — these are our top picks for an unforgettable family vacation.
Best Family Beach

Paradise Island, Bahamas: ”The lavish Atlantis Resort complex includes a water park featuring the Leap of Faith waterslide, which shoots guests out of a faux Mayan temple down a vertical drop and through a clear tunnel under a shark lagoon.”

Cape Cod, Massachusetts: ”The town of Barnstable, and Hyannis in particular, is beloved by travelers for its laid-back atmosphere, friendly vibe and Kalmus Beach where windsurfers and swimmers enjoy the water.”

Destin, Florida: “While on Florida’s Emerald Coast, charter a family fishing adventure, shop at the popular Destin Commons, watch the sunset from Okaloosa Island Pier and check into the family-friendly Emerald Grande at HarborWalk Village.”

Outer Banks, North Carolina: “There’s something for everyone in these historic beach towns. Learn to hang glide in Kitty Hawk, take the ferry to Ocracoke, and climb all 208 feet to the top of Cape Hatteras lighthouse.”

And don’t forget to check out the full list of 2013 nominees. Voting ends March 7.

Courtesy of Anantara Si Kao Resort & Spa

On this week’s episode of The Bachelor, Sean Lowe and his potential soul mates traveled to the beautiful Trang province of Thailand for a series of romantic dates to some of the area’s best-kept secrets. The “hunky” bachelor and his ladies stayed at one of country’s most luxurious beachfront resorts, the Anantara Si Kao Resort & Spa. The hotel offered the couples easy access to fairytale islands, mangrove reserves, rainforests and stunning waterfalls — surely making it all the more difficult for Sean to only hand out 2 roses!

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Spring Break is right around the corner and what better way to gear up for sunny skies, white sand and blue waters than by checking out Travel Channel’s 21 Sexiest Beach Bars, Spring Break Hot Spots and Devilish Delights in Acapulco.

While college kids flock south of the border, among other places, to experience the Infamous Cancun Spring Break and attend beach parties more intense than a double shot of tequila, straight up, parents can rest assured there are plenty of places to enjoy some quality family time as well. Stay at one of the Top 10 Family Spring Break Resorts or play with some of your favorite Disney friends and ride on the park’s top rides.

Whatever you’re looking for this coming spring break season, let Travel Channel help you with planning the Ultimate Spring Break getaway.

Best Beach Awards

They’re back! Travel Channel presents its second annual Best Beach Awards — but this year there’s a little twist: The winners will be determined entirely by you, our faithful Travel Channel viewers.

Vote for your favorite nominees across 10 categories as often as you like through March 7.

1. Best Party Beach
2. Best Family Beach
3. Best Romantic Beach
4. Sexiest Beach
5. Best Beach Bars
6. Best Beach You Haven’t Heard of … Yet
7. Best Beach for Adventure
8. Best Exotic Beach
9. Best Beach Boardwalks
10. Best Overall Beach

The winners will be revealed during Travel Channel’s “Beach Weekend,” airing during the day on March 9 and 10. Where’s your little piece of heaven? Start voting now …

Next: Vote on Best Family Beach >>

Spring Break Destinations

College students knee-deep in papers, projects — and, in some places, snow — can take solace in the knowledge that spring break is just around the corner. But before you end up spending your precious vacation in a hotel room updating your Facebook status with rainy-day laments, you’d better check the weather forecast. Never fear,  weathertrends360 to the rescue! Start packing your sunglasses, sunblock and lax pinnies, because the experts in long-term forecasting have selected the best spring break destinations for the month of March:

FIRST WEEK OF MARCH

Cancun, Mexico: If you want to visit this popular spring break destination, you’d better do it sooner rather than later. The first week of March will be warm and sunny, while the end of the month is expected to be cloudy and rainy. Check out our video to see what makes Cancun an infamous spring break spot.

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic: 2013 is great year to spend your spring break in the Dominican Republic – the temperatures will be the warmest in 3 years. The first week of the month will have the best weather, but you may also get a sun-filled trip during the last week of the month.

Barbados: Like the Dominican Republic, temperatures in March will be the warmest in 3 years, and the first week will be the driest of the month.

FIRST HALF OF MARCH

South Padre Island, Texas: The first half of March will have the best and driest weather in this south Texas town. Book your trip today and you’ll be partying on South Padre Island before you know it.

Miami Beach, Florida: March is a great time to visit Florida — the temperatures are comfortable, and hurricane season is still several months away. The first half of March 2013 will be the best time to visit, as it will be driest part of the month.

Montego Bay, Jamaica: The warm and dry weather during the first half of March will make it a great time to visit the small island nation of Jamaica. It’s expected to be the warmest March in 6 years.

SECOND HALF OF MARCH

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico: Book your trip later in March for the warmest and driest weather.

Las Vegas, Nevada: Sure, Las Vegas is in the desert, but don’t make the mistake of thinking that means it’s bikini weather all the time! If you’re headed to Sin City for your spring break, book your trip later in March for the warmest weather.

ANYTIME

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico:  There really isn’t a bad time to visit Puerto Vallarta in March. It’s expected to be warm and sunny throughout the month.

Acapulco, Mexico: Travel a bit farther south to Acapulco, where sunshine and warmth await all month long.

 

For even more great weather spots, check out weathertrends360′s Sunniest Spots Around the World.

————–

Photography by Garza Blanca Preserve Resort & Spa

 

Love is in the air as February approaches, and what could be more romantic than a trip to paradise? Travel + Leisure has just released a list of the world’s most romantic islands — here are some of our favorites, and a few we think they missed.

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Navagio Beach

Photography by Image Source / Aurora Photos

Subsequently nicknamed “Smuggler’s Cove,” Navagio Beach (Greek for “shipwreck”) teems with adventure-seekers. More »

American novelist Sinclair Lewis once wrote, “winter is not a season, it’s an occupation,” and who could argue with his words? Winter means shoveling and plowing snow, slipping and sliding to work and school and bundling up from head to toe. This year, we’re saying “no thank you!” to winter and migrating south with the birds. Here are weathertrends360’s top 10 picks for getaways with the best weather this season:

No Passport? No Problem!

1) Naples, Florida

Florida is a popular destination for travelers with the winter blues because of its humid subtropical climate. Mid-January is a great time to visit, as the forecast is mainly dry with temperatures in the mid-70s.

2) South Padre Island, Texas

Whether you want to be a “Winter Texan” or are looking for a Spring Break destination, South Padre Island is the place. The average high temperature in winter is in the low 70s — perfect for those looking for warmer, but not hot, weather.

Destinations Abroad

3) San Jose del Cabo, Mexico

San Jose del Cabo is a relaxing alternative to sister city Cabo San Lucas, a well-known party destination. Winters are warm with high temperatures in the low 80s and scarce precipitation. Visit in March for the driest, sunniest and warmest weather.

4) Manzanillo, Mexico

Manzanillo is a great winter getaway, especially for deep-sea fishing enthusiasts. With winter comes drier and less humid weather, with virtually no risk of tropical cyclones. Winter high temperatures average in the low 80s.

5) Guanacaste, Costa Rica

This winter, take a trip to the sun-drenched beaches of Guanacaste. The hot and dry climate of this Costa Rican province is perfect for those craving a winter dip in the ocean. High temperatures in the winter hover around the mid-80s.

6) Kingston, Jamaica

Winter is an excellent time to visit Jamaica, as the threat of a tropical storm is virtually non-existent. High temperatures average in the mid to high 80s during the winter months.

7) St. John’s, Antigua

Antigua makes a great destination for those wishing to shed some layers.  Winter high temperatures range from the low to mid-80s. Visit in late February or late March for the driest weather.

8) Lima, Peru

What better way to cure the winter blues than heading to an area where our winter is their summer! January through March is the best time to visit Lima as sunshine is the most plentiful during this time of the year. But be warned: avoid visiting from the end of January to the beginning of February, when the risk of wet weather is the highest.

9) Melbourne, Australia

The Land Down Under will melt away your cold weather plight. Like Lima, Melbourne is also in its summer season during our winter, and daytime high temperatures from January through March typically range in the upper 70s to low 80s. But avoid visiting in early January, mid-February, and early March.

10) Johannesburg, South Africa

An African safari is sure to warm up any adventurous traveler. Johannesburg, near the famous Kruger National Park, is a popular stopover for travelers heading on safari. Temperatures in the city typically range from the upper 70s to low 80s from January through March. This year, mid-January and early March will be the best times to visit.

- weathertrends360 staff

Weathertrends360 specializes in creating accurate long-term weather forecasts. The meteorologists use a historical weather database of 6.4 million locations around the world, combined with their in-depth understanding of the many climate cycles that affect weather patterns, to accurately predict the weather for the coming year. 

By Marianela Pereyra

Point Arena Lighthouse

Ever since I was little I was drawn to lighthouses. There was always an element of mystery to them and they encouraged my imagination to wander. I was always intrigued by the life of the keepers and all the work that went into tending the lighthouse. If you haven’t visited Point Arena, you better add this to your bucket list! At first thought, who would go out of there way to visit a lighthouse? Trust me when I tell you that once you get here you will be happy that you did, because it’s one of the only lighthouses on the Pacific Coast that allows you to climb all the way to the top!

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