Beach of the Week: St. Pete Beach, Florida

Photo courtesy of TripAdvisor

BeachManiacBlogWithText3_150pxAlso named the sunset capital of Florida, the beautiful St. Pete Beach is located on Florida’s Gulf Coast, just west of the city of St. Petersburg and just 30 miles from Downtown Tampa. It came to being from merging four beaches including Pass-A-Grille Beach, Don CeSar Place, Belle Vista Beach and St. Petersburg Beach. It’s white sand and gorgeous views of the Gulf of Mexico make it a popular tourist destination. Three different boardwalks are available to take visitors across sand and sea plants to enjoy its popular swimming area. Endless activities are available on the beach, and you can kayak through the calm waters or take a ferry to nearby Caladesi Island State Park. St. Pete Beach Pier, another popular attraction on the beach, is open 365 days a year and offers an even more entertaining and fun experience. Not only does the Pier encourage dolphin watching and pelican feeding, but has bike rentals available for one, two, or six people to tour the beach and other areas of St. Pete. If you’d rather walk, many of the restaurants and shops in the area are within walking distance. A somewhat longer of a walk, or a shuttle ride, to the southern part of the beach will take you to Shell Key for a snorkeling adventure. Among the attractions are the landmark pink Loew’s Don CeSar Beach Hotel.

Where is St. Pete Beach?

View St. Pete Beach, Florida in a larger map

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Hanauma Bay, Oahu, tops Dr. Beach’s list of Top Beaches for 2016

Hanauma Bay is the number one beach in the 26th annual Top 10 Beach List, complied by coastal expert Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman, professor at Florida International University. Below are Dr. Beach’s Top 10 Beaches of 2016, including his photos and description of each:

1. Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, Oahu, Hawaii. Hanauma Bay Beach Park is located on the eastern end of Oahu. There is limited parking so the best way is to reach this stunning white sand coral beach enclosed in a breached volcano is to take the Waikiki Beach Shuttle. The marine protected area, which has the best accessible snorkeling in Hawaii, is closed on Tuesdays to give the fish a chance to rest. In fact, this became the first no-smoking beach in Hawaii because of the necessity to protect the thousands of beautifully-colored tropical fish which span the rainbow. There are lifeguards along this crescent-shaped beach along with full amenities.


2. Siesta Beach Sarasota, Florida. According to Dr. Beach: “With some of the finest, whitest sand in the world, this beach attracts sand collectors from all over. Siesta Beach has clear, warm waters ideal for swimming. The beach is hundreds of yards wide in the shape of a crescent, due to anchoring of onshore rocks to the south. This beach is great for volleyball and other types of recreational fitness.”


3. Kapalua Bay Beach, Maui, Hawaii...

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TripAdvisor: 5 Caribbean Destinations You Never Think Of

TripAdvisor created this upbeat video featuring scenery and attractions from five Caribbean Destinations You Never Think Of. Spoiler alert: They are Costa Rica, Honduras, Trinidad & Tobago, Panama and Belize. Enjoy!

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Where is your heart?


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25 Best Beaches in the Caribbean | Islands decided to take its turn at a “best beach” ranking. Here are its 25 can’t-miss Caribbean beaches.

Source: 25 Best Beaches in the Caribbean | Islands

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What happens to a Spring Break town when it cracks down on Spring Break? – The New York Times

Panama City Beach, stung from the party-hard reputation it has gained, is now finding that a move to tone things down might have been bad for business.

Source: In a Florida Party Town, Last Call Leaves a Financial Hangover – The New York Times

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10 Best Family Beach Vacations in the USA | U.S. News Travel

IMG_0884Taking the family to the beach can create lifelong memories, as long as every member of the family is satisfied. To help you choose your next family beach vacation, U.S. News considered factors like safe waters, kid-friendly attractions, dining options, spacious accommodations, multi-generational appeal and overall accessibility. The list below features destinations across the country that are most ideal for family getaways, according to travel experts and our readers. Weigh in by voting below, then use this list to plan your upcoming travels.

Source: 10 Best Family Beach Vacations in the USA | U.S. News Travel

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Unruly Spring Break Crowds Cause Issues on Miami Beach | NBC 6 South Florida

Spring breakers got rowdy on Miami Beach Friday night. Crowds got out-of-control, forcing Miami Beach Police to shut down some streets.

Find out more at NBC 6 South Florida: Unruly Spring Break Crowds Cause Issues on Miami Beach | NBC 6 South Florida

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Visiting Stingray City Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands – a Review

On our first full day to the Cayman Islands, we headed out on a boat trip to Stingray City Grand Cayman, a sandbar that attracts stingrays into its waist-high waters.  Visitors arrive from a variety of different ways – tour boats, private boats, and jet skis, but we took a tour boat from Captain Melvin’s, which is located right across the street from the Westin (where we stayed).

Source: Visiting Stingray City Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands – a Review

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Beach of the Week: Hollywood Beach, Florida

BeachManiacBlogWithText3_150pxBustling. It’s the perfect word to describe Hollywood Beach, Florida. With the addition last fall of the Jimmy Buffett Margaritaville Beach Resort and the Margaritaville Entertainment District – complete with an outdoor beachside music and entertainment stage and FlowRider Double waterslide – added life has been breathed into this already vibrant destination. Put on your beach shirt, shorts and sandals and stroll two and a half miles up and down the palm-tree lined promenade past dozens of outdoor dining and drinking venues on one side with the umbrella-decorated sand and bubbling surf on the other. Or rent a bike – we recommend Skip Rogers and the good people at The Bike Shack – and soak it all in while gliding past the crowd. I visited Hollywood Beach recently and took the video above and the pictures below.

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Hollywood Beach Weather:

Partly Cloudy
10/28/2016 20%
High 81° / Low 77°
Chance of a Thunderstorm
10/29/2016 40%
High 82° / Low 78°
Chance of a Thunderstorm
10/30/2016 40%
High 82° / Low 76°
10/31/2016 20%
High 82° / Low 75°
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