Category Miami

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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Honolulu is top U.S. beach destination


BeachManiacBlogWithText_150pxTripAdvisor’s list of top U.S. destinations for 2015 includes some of our favorite beach locations. Mixed in with urban locations such as New York City (#1) and Chicago (#2) are few great beach locations in the areas we tend to favor at, including Florida and Hawaii.

The top beach destination in our top areas on this year’s list are:

Honolulu_250pxHonolulu, Oahu, Hawaii (#13). TripAdvisor says: The mere mention of Hawaii is enough to prompt visions of grass skirts and colorful cocktails with tiny umbrellas. While you will find some kitsch in Honolulu, you’ll also find art museums, bike paths, and some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. Popular Waikiki Beach has soft sands and great surf. For majestic Oahu views scramble to the top of Diamond Head – a 350-acre volcanic crater. Historic structures like Iolani Palace and Ali’iolani Hale are worth a visit on a non-beach day.

Miami_Beach_250pxMiami Beach, Florida (#14). TripAdvisor says: At the shore in Miami Beach, visitors can swim, surf and jet ski in the warm and crystal-clear Atlantic waters. You can also nap on the white sands, work on a tan or simply watch the beautiful people, especially at South Beach, a favorite of models and celebrities. We add this: Beach lovers need go no further than the famous South Beach to experience everything from amazing sun-kissed beach bodies to spectacular clubs that host one of the wildest night-life experiences in the country and beyond...

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Top 9 spring break party destinations to enjoy, or avoid

BeachManiacBlogWithText_150pxNo matter your age, if you are traveling during spring, you definitely want to know where the top spring break party destinations are. Why? Well, either you want to be where the party never stops, or – if you’re over 25 – you may want to stop being where the party is. With that in mind, here are 9 top spring break party destinations to enjoy, or avoid, as ranked by Fox News Travel (we link to TripAdvisor for more information about these beach destinations and so you can compare hotel prices):

  1. Panama City Beach, Florida
  2. Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
  3. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
  4. Las Vegas, Nevada
  5. Miami Beach, Florida
  6. Cancun, Mexico
  7. South Padre Island, Texas
  8. Lake Havasu City, Arizona
  9. New Orleans, Louisiana


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Kanhanamoku Beach at Waikiki is top beach for 2014, according to Dr. Beach


A relatively quiet stretch of Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii, is the Number One beach in the United States, according to the 2014 ranking just released by Dr. Beach, a well-respected researcher who compiles the list annually.

Kanhanamoku Beach is located at the west end of Waikiki Beach, far from the large crowds elsewhere. It is widest beach on this stretch of famous sands and protected by an offshore coral reef, making it a good beach for families with children.

beach_maniac_blog_100pxThis is a safe beach with no known drownings. Official lifeguards are not present, but the beach and pool concessionaires have lifeguard training.

The nearby Duke Kahanamoku Lagoon is also a favorite bathing and swimming spot. Public access is via Kalia Road and Pahoa Place. Surprising to most visitors, this beautiful beach where smoking is not permitted, was created more than half a century ago by dredging through the shallow reef and importing sand.

Dr. Beach is Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman, professor and director of the Laboratory for Coastal Research at Florida International University. Dr. Beach has studied and evaluated America’s coastal beaches for more than 22 years, and issues an annual listing of the best, based on 50 factors that include sand softness, water quality, number of sunny days, water temperature, rip currents, amount of algea, seaweed, jellyfish, and much more.

This is Dr. Beach’s 2014 list of top beaches in the United States. Find out more about each beach location on TripAdvisor:

  1. Duke Kaha...
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Atlantic City, Miami Beach top list of East Coast beach destinations for kids

Atlantic City

Atlantic City, New Jersey. Source: Wikipedia

Looking for a great beach location where the kids will be entertained by more than just the shells and the sand, while offering plenty for Mom and Dad too? ABC Travel Guides for Kids has named Atlantic City, New Jersey, and Miami Beach, Florida, the top East Coast beach destinations for 2014. Here is their Top 5 and their rationale:

beach_maniac_blog_100px1. Atlantic City, New Jersey – AC is within a day’s drive of 1/3 of the country’s population.   AC’s unique attractions include a Surf School and the country’s third tallest lighthouse.  Even transportation is unique: Jitneys and Rolling Chairs.  More adventurous? Consider a Helicopter or Parasailing adventure.   But this resort city offers so much more: Joe Holiday’s magic show, Steel Pier, Ripley’s Odditorium, a White House (famous for submarines), Tony’s and Gilchrist for breakfast.  Ready for the original salt water taffy and fudge?  It started here with Steel’s, James and Fralinger’s.  The Caesars Pier water show, Boardwalk Hall light show and the Waterfront Sculpture Walk are hidden treasures.  The AC Sheraton’s location (near the Tanger Outlets) is the perfect launching pad to DO AC.

2. Miami Beach, Florida – We love Miami in the summer because the water is so warm.  Miami is about great food and diverse culture.  Start with a Grace Della food tour to learn about Miami’s culinary history.  The Seaquarium and Jungle Island shows are exceptional, as is the new PAMM...

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Beaches to avoid this spring if you are over 24

south-padre_party_610pxIf you are in your early twenties, there is nothing like Spring Break. Crowded beaches, loud music, splashing beer, bikini clad women and buff men. Parties early, parties late and parties in between. beach_maniac_blog_100pxBut if you’re a little older and looking for a quieter spring break vacation, or maybe a family vacation, that scene may be one you desperately want to avoid. Fortunately, you have a lot of choices when it comes to finding a beach vacation without leaving the United States. But in March and April, be careful which beach you choose, or you may end up in the middle of a wild Spring Break Blowout. This article from the ABC Good Morning America website lists beaches you will want to avoid if the wild college-age Spring Break frenzy is not on your agenda. Note that some of the beaches are on both the list of beaches to avoid and the list of family-oriented beaches, so don’t just pick a beach, find out where on that beach the party never ends and where it never begins.

Beaches to Avoid This Month if You’re Older Than 24

The Beach Maniac Blog by Bill Hurley

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The 10 most expensive destinations in Florida (and how to find deals)


Delray Beach – Image by Mberjano via Flickr.

Delray Beach is Florida’s most expensive destination based on the cost of its lodging. That’s according to a new survey from The survey specifically compared the hotel rates of all Floridian destinations for this year’s February and March time period, the high season for most beach destinations in the state.

In Delray Beach, a coastal town located close to Boca Raton in Palm Beach County, travelers will have to spend an average of $298 per night for the most affordable double room. It bears pointing out that only hotels located close to the beach and with at least a 3-star rating were considered for the survey.

Sanibel Island and Siesta Key rank as the second and third most expensive destinations on the survey, with average overnight rates of $296 and $284, respectively. Meanwhile, the southernmost point in the United States, Key West, follows as the fourth most expensive locale in Florida. An average rate of $276 per night for the most affordable double room contributed to Key West securing that spot.

The following table lists the 10 most expensive destinations in Florida. The rates indicated reflect the average rate for the cheapest available double room (minimum: 3-star hotel) at each locale for the time period spanning February 1 through March 31, 2014. (We link to TripAdvisor, where you can compare prices.)

1. Delray Beach $298
2. Sanibel Island $296
3. Siesta Key $284
4. Key West $276
5. Longboat Key $269

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Featured beach resort: The James Royal Palm, Miami Beach, Florida

TripAdvisor traveler photo

The James Royal Palm stands out as the beach resort in TripAdvisor’s 2013 list of Hot New Hotels. Recognizing just 10 hotels in the United States and 33 hotels total in 18 countries worldwide that opened within the last year, TripAdvisor says these properties have earned a minimum of four out of five bubble rating. “Great location!” wrote one recent visitor. “This hotel is one block from Ocean Drive and walking distance from all the fun. The service was awesome…everything was clean…We had a side view of the ocean…the beach was amazing.” Another wrote that The James Royal Palm as “second to none … The most cool and excellent hotel ever! The service all over the hotel was wonderful and sincere without ever being ‘too much’. The rooms are just wonderful and what a mini-bar! The choice of material and products all over the hotel was first class. We loved it and will never stay any where else in Miami.” Read more and compare prices.


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USA Today searches for the Best Beach in Florida

Clearwater Beach, Florida

What is the best beach in Florida? There is no shortage of beautiful beaches lining the shores of the Sunshine State, and they offer something for everyone, from quiet serene escapes to those packed with restaurants, resorts and plenty of tourists. Everyone has their own opinion of what makes a great beach, and USA Today is asking its readers to help identify Florida’s best beaches. So they first turned to Dr. Beach, the famous Florida International University professor Stephen P. Leatherman, who is well known for visiting and analyzing beaches every year to determine which are the best. Leatherman provided USA Today with a list of 10 beaches to start with, based on his extensive research. Every one of these beaches is great in its own way, although I know I personally would like to add Fort Myers Beach and Daytona Beach to the list. Do you agree with this list (in alphabetical order below), and which beach – whether it’s on this list or not – would you say is the Best Beach in Florida?

  • Clearwater Beach
  • Cocoa Beach
  • Delray Beach
  • Key West
  • New Smyrna Beach
  • Pensacola Beach
  • Sanibel Island
  • Seaside
  • Siesta Key
  • South Beach

Vote on USA Today  or – if voting is completed – find out the results here.

Check out traveler reviews of the best beach hotels in Florida – and compare prices – on TripAdvisor.

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Miami artist Misael Soto turns huge beach towel into a living social art project

Misael Soto's Beach Towel projectIf you saw a huge, inviting, very comfortable and mostly empty beach towel draped over the sand at your favorite beach, would you just plop yourself down, introduce yourself to new friends and start basking in the sun? Well, if it the towel was placed there by Miami artist Misael Soto, that’s exactly what he would want you to do.

Misael Soto

Soto’s latest art project is a 56 foot by 29 foot beach towel. He lays it out on the beach, welcoming and encouraging anyone to occupy it and enjoy themselves. Soto says he hopes to “subert the way beach-goers claim their temporary real estate on the beach.” At the beach, he says, people usually separate themselves by using their personal beach towels to claim their territory. His project breaks down those barriers and brings people together. He provides sunscreen, drinks, snacks and games to help entice people to become part of his living art project.

Basically, he wants people to get together and have fun, but on his website he provides a much more profound narrative, saying he is providing a space “where I create the opportunity for communal transcendence above the conditioning of capitalism.” Soto also has Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter accounts about his project.

The towel weighs 250 pounds and seats 400 people. It takes four people about 15 minutes to lay it out on a beach. Soto first unveiled the towel in Miami Beach in June, and in July he began taking it on a tour of some of the east coast’s most famous beaches.

To finance that to...

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