ALL POSTS TAGGED "[beaches]"

In August, Vans will be hosting the 51st Annual Coastal Edge East Coast Surfing Championships in Virginia Beach, VA. But as part of the celebration in the days leading up to the surfing exhibition, there’s another exhibition of sorts heating up the boardwalk: Miss Coastal Edge 2013.

Tonight at 7|6c, get a preview of what’s to come when a new episode of Bikinis & Boardwalks checks out last year’s Miss Coastal Edge bikini contest. Tonight’s episode also visits Santa Cruz, CA, to see if their boardwalk has what it takes to compete with Virginia’s heat.

Which boardwalk is more your style? The island feel of Santa Cruz or the summer-long party at Virginia Beach? Maybe these highlights can help you decide:

Santa Cruz, CA

Marini’s Candies has been slinging boardwalk treats since 1915. Today, you can find anything to satisfy your sweet tooth, from candied apples to caramel corn.

The Santa Cruz coastline is recognized as a World Surfing Reserve, and the city celebrates their rich history at the Santa Cruz Surfing Museum.

Virginia Beach, VA

Rockafeller’s Restaurant encompasses Southern hospitality and local flavor with sustainable seafood and a menu full of dishes made in-house daily.

Whether you want to serenely explore the waters of the Atlantic or test your balance and strength with floating yoga, Rudee Inlet Stand Up Paddle offers everything you need from lessons to rentals.

Welcome to the battle that never ends: West Coast vs. East Coast. Everyone has their own opinion on which coast has the best beaches, and tonight at 7|6c, we weigh in on a new episode of Bikinis & Boardwalks. From the capital of beach fun, Rehoboth Beach, DE, to the bohemian mecca, Venice Beach, CA, find out what makes these boardwalks top summertime destinations.

Which boardwalk would you rather visit? Maybe these beachside hotspots will help you decide:

Rehoboth Beach, DE

Take a tour of Dogfish Head Brewery, and try some samples of their tasty brews, before hitting up their restaurant for a little brewpub fare that perfectly complements their ever-changing beers on tap.

In 1963, Grotto Pizza opened in Rehoboth, and has been a staple on the Eastern Shore ever since.  Plus, what stroll down the boardwalk is complete without pizza?

Venice Beach, CA

In the birthplace of skateboarding, it would be a sin not to visit one of the skate shops, especially Arbor Skate Shop, which has been handcrafting environmentally sustainable, high-performance surf, skate and snowboards since 1995.

One of the prime activities of Venice Beach is people watching, and thank goodness the Venice Ale House has patio seating, so you can enjoy the view with your cocktails.

Every dream wedding needs a dream honeymoon to follow. After the Big Day has come and gone, where will you start your happily-ever-after? Every couple’s idea of a perfect honeymoon is different — some dream of lounging on a private stretch of sand, some dream of exploring a foreign city hand-in-hand. From a secluded island getaway to a romantic city escape, here are some unforgettable honeymoon spots.

Your Own Private Paradise in the Maldives

Start your happily-ever-after basking in the beauty of this romantic archipelago with crystal-clear water and pristine white beaches. You’ll find that many of the tiny islands have been converted into luxury resorts with private overwater bungalows. For a honeymoon that includes equal parts paradise and pampering, stay at Komandoo Maldives Island Resort.  In this adults-only resort, you’ll be in a world of your own with the ocean on your doorstep. For perhaps the most romantic meal of your life, enjoy a candlelit dinner on the beach with just your and your new hubbie or wife. Watch the sunset while you dine on a meal chef-tailored just for you.

Say Aloha to Romance in Hawaii

Hawaii has always been a popular honeymoon destination … and for good reason. It may still be in the US, but with its beautiful beaches, active volcanoes and lush rainforests, it seems a world away. And with 8 major islands, there’s something for every type of couple — from the beach bums to the adventurers.  For the couples who want to enjoy secluded beaches and adventure activities, Oahu’s Turtle Bay Resort offers it all.  The only resort on Oahu’s famed North Shore, Turtle Bay offers a secluded location far from Waikiki’s crowds with breathtaking ocean views and 5 miles of pristine beaches. There’s no shortage of outdoor adventures on this 880-acre paradise: Go horseback riding, snorkeling, standup paddle boarding or hiking. Plus, the North Shore is one of the best surf spots in the world — so perhaps you can learn to hang 10 as a couple on the islands where surfing was invented.

Old World Charm Meets Modern Luxury in Portugal

Portugal has recently topped the list as a popular honeymoon destination.  Brimming with Old World charm and traditions, Portugal is the perfect European escape for newlyweds who crave culture.  You can’t spend your entire honeymoon sightseeing — most couples want to relax after the wedding is over. For a mix of modern luxury and historic charm, honeymoon at the The Yeatman hotel, a luxurious wine-spa hotel located on the banks of the River Douro in Porto. After a day of port wine tasting (this is where port comes from, after all) and taking in the classic architecture of one of the oldest European cities, you can relax in hotel’s infinity pool, in-suite Jacuzzi or on your private terrace.  With a glass of world-class port wine, of course.

For more inspiration for planning your dream honeymoon, check out our picks for the Top Honeymoon Hotspots and 2013’s Most Romantic Honeymoon Destinations.

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The small collection of mostly arid islands that make up the US Virgin Islands has long been a seafarers stomping ground — from the pirates of yore to today’s more abundant cruise ship hordes and the occasional yachtsman. And as they have for the past 400 years, people come to the islands mainly to drink, relax on the beach, and bargain shop — often, in just that order. Traveling to the islands, considered “insular areas” or “unincorporated territories” of the United States, is in many ways analogous to traveling within the US — citizens don’t need a passport, the US dollar is the official currency, and English is the official language. But a trip to the Virgin Islands still feels like a getaway with its laid-back atmosphere and sunny weather.

The islands’ hotels are largely concentrated on the 3 main islands – St. Thomas, St. John, and, to a lesser extent, St. Croix. Since the islands are so small, anywhere you stay will be within about a 30-minute drive from anywhere else on the island. Hotels range from the low-key, no-frills, family-owned spots, to all-inclusive mega-resorts, to more peaceful, luxe spots such as Frenchman’s Reef on St. Thomas. This Marriott resort underwent a major renovation in 2011 and boasts 4 pools, a beautiful spa and several on-site restaurants (although we’d recommend skipping them for local spots). On neighboring St. John, the Westin is nice beachside option for families, with tennis courts, a kids club, and numerous water sports.

- Oyster.com Staff

San Francisco is a huge tourist destination, with Alcatraz, Fisherman’s Wharf and the Golden Gate Bridge all drawing crowds. Sure, on my trip out west, I had to see the sights, but right across the famous red bridge was the best part of my getaway: The often-overlooked Mill Valley, located 14 miles north of San Francisco in the beautiful, mountainous Marin County.

What feels like a combination of beach town and Swiss mountain hamlet, Mill Valley offers a quiet taste of NorCal life, with boutique shops, eco-conscious restaurants and enough outdoor space to fill days and days with hiking. When I escaped to warmer climes for a week, stumbling upon Mill Valley was a happy accident.

My Top Picks in Marin County:

Mill Valley Inn
Imagine an upscale beachside hotel. But at the foot of a mountain. Surrounded by woods. With free breakfast, a free wine and cheese reception, a fireplace in the room and a balcony overlooking redwoods, this is my new favorite hotel. They’ll also offer you a bike, if you’d like to explore that way. But beware: there are a lot of hills.

El Paseo

Tucked away in a stone-covered alleyway, El Paseo is Tyler Florence and Sammy Hagar’s take on a traditional chophouse, serving up finely aged steaks and local, sustainable ingredients. The pair worked together to restore this historic restaurant, which was originally opened in 1948. El Paseo retains its rustic feel with exposed brick, reclaimed wood and plenty of candlelight. Also, you have to order a steak. And perhaps the crispy duck wings.

Bungalow 44
A stylish bar with large, cushy booths, Bungalow 44 prides itself on its California cuisine, as well as its creative cocktails. It doesn’t get much fresher than their cucumber margarita and perfectly cooked ahi tuna. Even though I ate here before the live Jazz started, I still felt like I was dining in a 1940s supper club.

Super Duper Burger
This place may claim to serve fast food, but it is anything but typical. There are 5 locations throughout San Francisco, and luckily there is one right down the street from the Mill Valley Inn. The beef is delivered from San Fran’s own Niman Ranch and ground fresh daily. The pickles are homemade and the buns are toasted. Top it all off with fries finished with fresh garlic and 6-month aged cheddar. I mean, come on.

Stinson Beach

Even on a foggy day, Stinson Beach is a beautiful place for a walk. Climb over rocks and watch the waves crash below you, or sit along the shore and watch the surfers take their chances. Hidden on the other side of Mount Tamalpais, (if you’re prone to car sickness, watch out – the road is CURVY) this beach feels worlds away from Mill Valley. On the drive back, pull over wherever you can find a parking spot, because sure enough, there will be a trailhead with spectacular views of the water.

Marin Headlands

If you pull off the road right before getting on the Golden Gate Bridge, you’ll come across the Marin Headlands. Drive up the road a little and you’ll find overlooks that’ll take your breath away. After grabbing pics of the San Francisco skyline, hike a little further. Not only will the Golden Gate look so close you could touch it, but there you’ll also find the historic Fort Barry and Fort Cronkhite. Or what’s left of them.

Bermuda

Despite its proximity to the East Coast of the US, this tranquil archipelago oozes British tradition (judges still wear white wigs) with a touch of Caribbean pace: Speed limits are 15 mph in the busy areas, and 20 mph in the countryside. Narrow, winding roads will lead you to breathtaking pink-sand beaches with clear waters great for snorkeling and swimming, or to some of the world’s best golf courses.

Whether you stay in the city of Hamilton or decide to go parish-hopping (the islands are divided into 9 parishes for administrative reasons), you’ll see that there’s a lot to do besides sitting in the sun on one of the wonderful beaches: centuries-old sites, a long-abandoned railway trail where you can spot exotic wildlife, great shopping, bar-hopping in St. George … And all this without the crowds of more popular destinations farther south, like the Caribbean islands or the Bahamas. Cambridge Beaches, in Sandys Parish, is one of the most stunning properties on the island, located on a sprawling 30 seaside acres. It features several private beaches, beautifully manicured grounds, and a highly-rated restaurant. If you’re looking for something slightly more low-key and family-friendly, Grotto Bay is a fabulous option, often for a reasonable rate. Though kids enjoy exploring the on-site grottos, the natural caves also add a romantic element, and couples can enjoy massages under the stalactites.

- Oyster.com Staff

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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Navagio Beach

Photography by Image Source / Aurora Photos

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

By Marianela Pereyra

Marianela at Point Lobos

As a little girl, I would use my imagination to make my favorite fairy tales come to life. When I arrived at Point Lobos State Reserve Park to shoot Marianela’s Top 10 California Beaches, I felt like I was stepping into one of the fairy tales I used to dream about. Point Lobos is one of the most stunning coastal preserves in California. It boasts beautiful trails with unbelievable views of the coastline, and it’s the perfect place to interact with and appreciate wildlife and nature. I was immediately curious about the wildflowers, especially one named Sticky Monkey Flower. One thing you should definitely bring is a set of binoculars. You can spot gray whales in the winter, sea lions, baby otters, deer and falcons, and — if you are feeling adventurous — you can take a dip in the great Pacific blue with a shore dive!

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Meet Marianela Pereyra – the host of our new web series, Marianela’s Top 10 California Beaches. Over the next few weeks, she’ll be blogging about each of her favorite beaches in the Golden State. Stay tuned for her insider tips, and check out our gallery of behind-the-scenes photos from the shoot to learn more. 

By Marianela Pereyra

I was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the daughter of 2 professional tango dancers, and I was introduced to the world of travel at the tender age of 3 months. This is where it all started for me, making the backstage of many theaters my home and the backyard of many countries my playground. It’s no secret that I continue to be a traveling nomad. READ MORE

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