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Mexico’s Coast Offers a Wealth of Sun and Culture

The Mayan Riviera is a stretch of immaculate Mexican beaches spanning towns between Puerto Morelos in the North and Tulum in the South. The pristine shoreline features aquatic activities, luxury resorts, soothing spas and vivacious nightlife.

Puerto Morelos
Puerto Morelos is considered the gateway to the Mayan Riviera; its warm welcoming beaches match the temperaments of its people. The main beach is in the center of town, with smooth natural sand and cerulean waters. To the north and south of this centralized main beach are smaller, private stretches of sand belonging to resorts. Ocean Turquesa is a 5-star hotel located to the north of Puerto Morelos. The modern accommodations offer old-fashioned pampering and service, as well as some of the best sand and sun in the Riviera.

The reef surrounding these idyllic beaches is a protected national park, home to tropical fish, dolphins, turtles and corals. It’s the perfect place to snorkel and appreciate the natural beauty of the Yucatan peninsula.

Playa del Carmen
A beachside city that grew up just south of Cancun, Playa del Carmen is now the primary tourist destination in the Riviera. La Quinta Avenida, or Fifth Avenue, is the main pedestrian throughway flanked with restaurants, boutiques, luxury shopping and nightlife. The street runs parallel to the ocean, making it a popular meeting place after a day spent soaking in the sun.

The beaches are most populated along Fifth Avenue where many resorts are located. The crowds taper off the farther north you go from this bustling city center. Many resorts, like the 5-star Mandarin Oriental are not only beachside, but every room offers a view of water, be it the lagoon tributaries or the crystal Caribbean.

A more affordable accommodation option is Hotel Kinbe, located on Fifth Avenue. Featuring lush gardens and fantastic views, you’ll be only steps away from the hum of Playa del Carmen’s nightlife.

Although Cancun might be most commonly associated with an anything-goes spring break scene, there is another aspect to this Mayan Riviera town. Cancun’s Xcaret is an eco-archaeological park brimming with culture, nature and plenty of adventure.

The beach here is perfect: sugary white sands meet the warm, crystalline waters of Xcaret Bay. There are plenty of beach loungers in the shade of the palm trees and inner tubes for rent if you want to lounge in the calm waters.

Lazing on the beach is the most relaxing activity Xcaret has to offer. Turn the adventure up by scuba diving, snorkeling, swimming with the dolphins, diving in the underground rivers, exploring the coves of the Xcaret lagoon, floating down Paradise River or taking a guided shark tour.

On dry land, you can tour archaeological sites, enjoy a Mexican wine tasting and Xcaret’s nightly performances combining traditional Mexican food, dance and theater.

Akumal features some of the most stunning beaches on Earth. Offshore reefs protect the silky white sand and filter warm water currents through the coastal caves and subterranean rivers.

In the Maya language, Akumal means “place of the turtles.” This natural refuge is still a popular place for sea turtles to lay their eggs; see them between the months of May and November on Half Moon Bay beach.

The protected reef is a favorite snorkeling and dive site. The Akumal Dive Shop has all the gear you’ll need and is easily accessible from the main road entering Akumal.

While enjoying Akumal’s natural beauty, consider staying at the eco-friendly Vista del Mar. Their green policies are kicked up a notch during the turtles’ nesting season. Lights are removed from all the balconies and the security guards are all environmentally certified to assist turtles nesting on Vista del Mar’s stretch of beach.

Tulum is the only archaeological site located along the Caribbean shores in the Mayan Riviera. Over 60 structures can be viewed within the massive walls that protect the ancient pre-Columbian Mayan city from the sea. The principal structures of the ruins include the city square, the Temple of the Descending God and Temple of the God of the Wind. Within the city square is the Castillo, sometimes referred to as the lighthouse, standing alone on the city’s bluff offering stunning views and a sense of historical awe.

Top Caribbean Beaches for the Intrepid Traveler


The more than 7,000 islands, cays and volcano-fringed coves of the Caribbean are sprinkled across the azure seas like so many glittering diamonds. And when it comes to finding an idyllic stretch of sand all your own, the Caribbean has more than its share of breathtaking beaches.

Here are a few of our favorites, custom picked for beach lovers who know that the perfect mix of sea, sun and sand is indeed a very fine — and, often, powdery white — balance.

Saline Beach
Saint-Barthélemy (St. Barts)
Rich and beautiful folks and other emulators of posh tropical leisure have long been lured to St. Barts, a tiny, V-shaped island that barely pushes 8 square miles in size.

Saline Beach, on the southern coast, is the island’s most beautiful and secluded slice of paradise. The horseshoe-shaped swath of sand is located a couple miles from Gustavia (St. Barts’ main village). From the parking lot, you’ll have to hike 10 minutes over a dune to reach the beach here, but it’s worth the effort. And while nude bathing isn’t officially allowed, many folks cool off au naturel (turn left when you arrive at the beach if you want to hang with more covered-up beachgoers).

EAT: Gustavia’s cuisine scene is renowned, and fabulous French fare abounds. One of the best spots to toast your privileged self at sunset is Maya’s Restaurant (on the beach, just northwest of Gustavia), famed for fabulous French Creole cuisine in romantic surrounds.

STAY: For the best oceanfront lodging, splurge on a bungalow suite or villa at the Hotel St.-Barth Isle de France on Flamands Beach.

Englishman’s Bay
Half of the dual-island nation of Trinidad and Tobago, the latter island is the least developed and tiniest, and home to one of the most dream-inducing beaches in the Caribbean.

The beach at Englishman’s Bay, on the leeward side of Tobago, is buffered by verdant headlands that cradle a U-shaped beach stretching about a mile. On the southern end of the strand, a freshwater stream flows from the island’s lush rainforest interior to the sea. And just offshore, brilliant coral reefs ripple with tropical fish. There are no official facilities here, apart from a small snack cart run by a local selling pies and drinks. But when it comes to a secluded spot to lay out your towel in completely untouched surrounds, few beaches can hang with Englishman’s Bay.

EAT: Wash down a meal of curried lamb or Creole shrimp with live steel band beats at Toucan Inn & Bonkers.

STAY: Cabana-style rooms open onto a nice pool at Kariwak Village, and the meals are largely sourced from the owner’s organic garden.

Pink Beach
Situated in the middle of the Leeward Islands in the Eastern Caribbean is a pretty pair — Antigua and Barbuda. The latter island is so undeveloped you could almost call it paradise lost. But for beach lovers looking to lounge seaside in an otherworldly locale, Barbuda is most definitely paradise found.

Apart from expensive all-inclusive resorts and sublime beaches, there’s little else on the island. But when sandy perfection is your prime demand, Barbuda delivers.

Visitors reach the island by plane or boat from nearby Antigua, which lies 27 miles to the south of Barbuda. The reward when you step onto the silky sand at Pink Beach — Barbuda’s centerpiece beach, located a few miles south of the island’s main village, Codrington — is instantaneous. Nearly 8 miles of deserted oceanfront stretches from Spanish Point to Palmetto Point, and the snorkeling is fabulous. The champagne color of the sand glows rose thanks to the crushed coral in the mix. And it’s possible to stroll the beach for miles without seeing another soul. As if the natural lure of the beach wasn’t enough, Barbuda is also home to the Caribbean’s largest nesting colony of frigate birds, which you can visit by boat.

EAT: Barbudan lobster with butter and lime sauce at The Beach House is a culinary must.

STAY: Set on its own peninsula, Coco Point Lodge is one of those died-and-went-to-heaven oceanfront resorts that charges an arm and a leg for extreme luxury and paradise delivered to your door.

Anse Chastanet
St. Lucia
There are times when the price of beach perfection is higher than others, and this is one of them. Think the mysterious peaks of Tahiti, transplanted to the Caribbean – such is the exotic lure of the spiky Piton Mountains surrounding this unbelievable beach on St. Lucia’s southwestern coast. The beach at Anse Chastanet is intense tropical beauty defined, with the Technicolor green of the surrounding jungle-clad mountains forming a sharp contrast to the dark sand beach and bright white villas dotting the cliffs.

EAT: Carrot and coconut soup and grilled dorado are on the indulgent menu at Nick Troubetzkoy’s Anse Chastanet resort.


STAY: It’s hard to imagine accommodations more decadent than at Jade Mountain, where the enormous suites boast private infinity pools that overlook the Pitons and Anse Chastanet beach.

Tintamarre Island
St. Martin
Beach connoisseurs are enamored by the beautiful mountain-coddled coves of St. Martin. But if you’re willing to go the distance for a more isolated beach experience, arrange a day-trip aboard a catamaran to the island of Tintamarre, situated about 5 miles off St. Martin’s north coast.

You’ll feel like Robinson Crusoe on the island’s deserted beaches lapped by clear blue water. And iron-rich clay, found in the coves here, inspires beachgoers to strip down for spontaneous mud baths (just rinse in the ocean afterward to complete the holistic experience). Part of the Natural Reserve of Saint Martin, development is prohibited on Tintamarre, and there are no lodging and dining facilities.

Some of Florida’s beaches may have been affected by or closed because of the disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.



Be sure to check on the status of any beaches you plan to visit. Planning a Florida vacation without doing your research is likely to land you in expected destinations such as packed-to-the-gills South Florida or not-so-delightfully tacky Daytona Beach. To experience Florida’s most pristine and beautiful beaches away from the masses, consider passing on the perpetually populated peninsula and set your sun-loving sights on the state’s loneliest region – the panhandle – instead. Most people associate that northernmost thin stretch of Florida, which fronts the Gulf of Mexico, with the raucous spring break crowds of Panama City. The busy resort town is the heart of an area that has long been dubbed the Redneck Riviera, much to the chagrin of marketing types, who are hard at work rebranding the beaches around Panama City as the ‘Emerald Coast.’ Snowbirds, mostly hailing from Canada and the Midwest, abound in the winter months throughout the Panhandle.

However, they tend to stick to the populated communities of Fort Walton Beach and Destin. Come summertime, crowds thin out and you’ll find endless stretches of solitary sand. From east to west, we’ve selected four of the panhandle’s most alluring and lesser-known locales. Dog Island The Nature Conservancy owns the bulk of this eastern panhandle island, giving you an idea of just how untouched Dog Island is. For unspoiled beaches that you can enjoy largely by your lonesome year-round, few Florida islands can compare. There’s only one hotel on the roughly 7-mile-long island, accessed by passenger ferry from Carabelle in the Florida panhandle (50 miles southwest of Tallahassee). You can’t bring a car to the ‘island that time forget,’ as the roughly 100 locals who live here call their sanctuary. But you’re guaranteed quiet beaches with powdered-sugar sand, shells galore and aquamarine waters. The only place to stay on the island is the loaded-with-character if lovably ramshackle Pelican Innwhere you can snag one of eight oceanfront studios for your own private retreat. St. Joseph Peninsula State Park Jutting out from the eastern side of the panhandle like a delicate fishing hook, Cape San Blas – bound on three sides by the waters of the Gulf of Mexico and St. Joe Bay – is home to one of the country’s most sublime beaches. At St. Joseph Peninsula State Park located on the tip of the coastal barrier peninsula, 10 miles of uninterrupted spun-sugar oceanfront await. The spit of sand here fronts the crystalline waters of the gulf, and water temperatures in the summer can reach a cozy 84 degrees. The park is a bird watcher’s paradise, with more than 240 species found here. And there’s a full facility campground set just back from the beach if you want to stay the night. Postcard perfect doesn’t even begin to do this place justice; if you like your beach time as close to nature as possible, you’ll be in heaven. Grayton Beach Bypass the nearby ‘Truman Show’-esque resort towns of Watercolor and Seaside for the artsy community of Grayton Beach- a funky little beach burg with heaps more character and equally stunning sands. Hemingway-style wooden homes tucked down side streets ‘paved’ with crushed oyster shells conjure Florida beach towns of yesteryear. Come sundown, head to the Red Barfor some local color and live jazz – the bar is a longstanding institution, and Grayton Beach’s version of Key West’s Sloppy Joe’s. Nearby, the Topsail Hill Preserve State Park is an unmissable natural attraction with beaches that are more secluded still and unusual maritime lakes dotting the undulating dunes. Blue Mountain Beach A blip on the radar between the popular resort communities of Destin and Seaside, near South Fort Walton Beach, Blue Mountain Beach is a residential community with a slew of private beach homes available for rent by the week or season. Save for a few health food stores and gourmet grocers, there’s not much of a commercial presence in town – and that’s just how locals like it. Regional lore says the beach gets its name from a blue cast that a native wildflower, lupine, gives the dunes. But more obvious are the powdery quartz sands, backed by the constantly turquoise-to-sapphire-morphing Gulf of Mexico. When you’ve had your fill of lounging on the beach, rent a bike to pedal along the 19-mile paved Timpoochee Trail, which skirts the sea along the scenic County Road 30A.

The Best Beaches Across the Pond


After the lights of Paris are finished dazzling, the ancient ruins of Rome are finished intriguing and the museums of England are finished educating, it’s time to explore another side of Europe – the beaches. Some of the world’s most gleaming sands, sparkling waters and glamorous coastal getaways line the edges of Europe. For centuries, its monuments, cities and history have charmed people – but now it’s time to embrace the beaches! Dozens border the coasts of Europe, and many stand out as true seaside gems. Whether seeking a remote retreat, one of the nighttime party capitals of the world, or luxury pampering by the sea, you’ll find it all on these European beaches.

Biarritz, France
Every July during the Biarritz Surf Festival, the village of Biarritz, France, plays host to the greatest surfers in the world. Here, long-boarders, short-boarders and everyone in between gather to prove their skills during a week of intense competition. This French seaside town lies close to the Spanish border, and retains a charming mix of both countries’ cultures. During the festival, however, homage is paid to the Hawaiian origins of the sport and the town’s atmosphere is transformed. A Hawaiian unity ceremony opens the festival, in which all competing surfers mix seawater from their countries together and throw the mixture into the Atlantic Ocean. Though centuries have passed since Emperor Napoleon III and his wife, Eugenie, first shed light on Biarritz, erecting the grand Hotel du Palais, the town is still a chic destination for trendy beach-goers and a mainstay for surfers.
What’s Cool: Music legends, The Beach Boys, have been the main attraction at the Biarritz Surf Festival for 40 years.

Ibiza, Spain
If your idea of the perfect vacation includes gorgeous beaches mixed with a healthy dose of hedonism, the island of Ibiza might just be your heaven on Earth. The island’s 10 miles of coast are home to 56 beaches colored by lush vegetation and aquamarine waters. Visitors will discover a variety of beach settings, from tranquil coves to tourist-filled hot spots Salinas, one of the most popular beaches, hosts an all-day beach party every single day, which is a perfect warm-up for Ibiza’s wild evenings. Seaside adventures can be found at Benirras beach, where nightly sunset parties and monthly full-moon parties lure hippie bongo players and fire-eaters alike. Watersports reign supreme at many of the beaches, and often the opportunity to take lessons in windsurfing, scuba or snorkeling is available. Should the beaches grow old, check out Ibiza Town’s museums, churches and many restaurants.
What’s Cool: Ibiza discos, including Cream and Pacha, are considered some of the sexiest in the world.

Tarifa, Spain
Tarifa has made the most of its legendary status as one of the windiest beaches in the world – it has earned the reputation of the kite-surfing capital of Europe. A combination of surfing and power-kite flying, kite surfing has the power to send riders sky-high as they jump and flip over the waves. As this watersport gains popularity, more and more lessons are offered for novices. With few resorts, and fewer tourists, Tarifa serves up unspoiled beaches and clear views straight to Morocco. The surrounding countryside is mountainous, perfect for horseback riding, hang gliding and rock climbing. Winding, cobbled streets and remnants of Arab architecture fill the Andalucian town of Tarifa. A perfect afternoon can be spent exploring the town’s nooks, strolling through the gardens of the Alameda and the fishing port, or simply relaxing over tapas in one of the many local bars.
What’s Cool: Local myth claims Tarifa’s winds are the cause of madness!

Cannes, France
The Carlton Inter-Continental Cannes is steeped in a history of wealth and celebrities, which has made it one of the foremost sites to “see and be seen.” As the hotel’s popularity with the jet set grew, its beach became a favorite getaway for the very rich and very famous. Notoriously discreet, this expensive playground offers the ultimate in comforts – private cabanas, beach mattresses, even imported sand! Most visitors to the Carlton Beach are unaware that every summer, in a valiant effort to ascertain that guests’ toes touch only the finest sands, the hotel imports fine white sand from neighboring Frejus. Private beaches, theme parties and the hotel’s renowned La Côte restaurant and Bar des Célébrités help ensure this beach’s stellar reputation. Visitors beware: Only guests of the hotel are privy to the beach.
What’s cool: Every summer, as many as 10 million bikinis are sold in shops along the Côte d’Azur.

St. Tropez, France
Nestled into the Côte d’Azur, St. Tropez is not only one of the world’s most beautiful beaches, it has also gained the reputation as being one of the world’s most decadent. St. Tropez is graced with the beautiful weather of the French Riviera, luxurious hotels and restaurants, and has proven itself irresistible to scores of wealthy celebrities. There is a definite pulse in this tropical town, and it’s a fast one – endless yachts fill the harbor, while at night helicopters drop off rich partygoers at various discos. This town has attracted the likes of Picasso and Francoise Sagan, but it was officially Brigitte Bardot and her famous entourage that helped tag “St. Trop” as the place to be seen. In this town of hedonistic parties, there is one not-to-be-missed spot: La Voile Rouge. At this beachfront restaurant, the party lasts until the wee hours of the morning. After much carousing, and many bottles of bubbly, a makeshift catwalk is set up for patrons to flaunt their sexy looks and chic style. No night at La Voile Rouge is complete without dancing on tables, spraying champagne and practicing your slinkiest dance moves.
What’s cool: The infamous G-string bikini was invented here.

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Beach Accessories

No doubt you’re all ready for your summer holiday – suitcases have been retrieved from the loft and dusted off, your new summer wardrobe is ready to be folded and packed, you’ve got the sun cream and your new gladiator sandals. But have you thought about your accessories yet?

The key to making a holiday wardrobe work is to pack a few key accessories that will mix and match to work with your holiday look. Pick a few statement items that can be taken anywhere and will either dress up an outfit (for a night out) or is classic enough to work with any of your daytime outfits.

The first thing you’ll want to consider is of course a decent pair of sunglasses. These will probably be worn quite a lot so try to go for something in a neutral colour like these retro sunglasses and of

course, as celebs have proved, the oversized look never goes out of style.Next up you’ll want a few key pieces of jewellery to bling things up a bit and add some much needed glamour to that maxi dress or evening outfit that you’ve got planned. I love these enamel feathered

earrings in the turquoise colour which will add colour and make a statement which is handy if you want to dress up a little black dress.

For the daytime you can’t really go wrong with some classic beads, which add a bit of boho chic to an outfit and dress things up without looking like you’ve tried too hard. I love this beaded necklace

which will bring that effortless beach look to your daytime outfit. If you’re looking for something a bit more glamorous for an evening look then go with a statement necklace which will

really stand out, such as this eclectic charm necklace which has plenty of colours and will mix in with any outfit.

Of course when you’re off to the beach you’ll want something to bring everything in and you’ll probably have a few things to cram in – a towel, book, sun cream, drinks etc – so make sure you take something big enough like this Roxy beach bag which has pockets galore, so you’ll never be caught short.

Footwear wise you can’t go wrong with some summer flip flops which are great for meandering about sunny seaside towns and easy to carry when you take them off at the beach. If you want to add some glamour to an outfit or want some evening sandals go with some on-trend wedges which are comfy enough to wear in the daytime too.

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France’s beaches along the Mediterranean coast, from the French Riviera to the seaside towns in Provence, ooze style and sex appeal. The sophisticated beach towns spoil visitors with endless days of sunshine, welcoming stretches of beach dotted with shady cabanas and stunning women in teeny bikinis reminiscent of the beach bombshell Brigitte Bardot.

St. Tropez was always on the radar of France’s creative class, but it was Brigitte Bardot who put it on the map as the sexiest spot on the French Riviera. Wearing little more than bikinis — and sometimes even less — the rich, famous and exceptionally good-looking come to St. Trop to flaunt their stuff. The jet-set crowd often includes some of the world’s most recognizable faces, from Oprah Winfrey to Leo DiCaprio and party-scene staple Paris Hilton. The harbor is filled with mega-yachts, and the clubs and restaurants are filled with A-listers enjoying the carefree atmosphere. The beach at Pampelonne is one of the most popular and home to the Nikki Beach Club, a titan on the VIP scene with champagne-fueled parties. Exhibitionists head to the Plage de Tahiti where nudity is the norm

The luxurious Côte D’Azur continues at Cannes, the site of the annual film festival that beckons the Hollywood crowd. During the summer months, the same beautiful crowd comes to enjoy the town’s picture-perfect beaches and chic resorts. The beaches at Cannes are divided into 32 sections with a mixture of private and public access. The Promenade La Croisette is the fashionable strip that runs alongside the sea filled with expensive boutiques and restaurants. The town’s swankiest hotels can be found on this strip including the Hôtel Majestic Barrière and the towering white Hotel Martinez with an extensive private beach and water-sports center.

Nice helps make the Cote d’Azur accessible to the rest of the travelers who aren’t carrying an AMEX black card or traveling with an entourage. There are no sandy shores in Nice, but a lovely stretch of beach covered with smooth pebbles and stones. The beach is roughly 4 miles from the Old Town to the airport and offers a combination of free and paid beaches. Even some of the public beaches offer amenities including chaise lounges and umbrellas for a reasonable fee. The Hôtel Beau Rivage, built in 1860, has a nice beach view and long history as one of the first hotels on the promenade and former home away from home to guests including Henri Matisse, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Friedrich Nietzsche.

Monte Carlo Beach
The Monte-Carlo Beach Hotel, located in a sheltered bay at the far end of the Principality of Monaco, was the epitome of sophistication when it opened in 1929. The hotel had a style overhaul to inject some new life into the old-school resort with Matisse-inspired frescoes and high-tech amenities. The stellar beach area is timeless with an enviable spot on the Mediterranean Sea. While the rows of striped cabanas beckon sunbathers, there’s plenty of activity on the beach, too, with water sports, an Olympic-sized heated sea-water pool and even entertainment for the kids.

Provence’s Iles d’Hyères, or golden isles, are made up of 3 islands. This natural escape is a far cry from the busy beach scene of the nearby French Riviera. There are no cars permitted and visitors traverse the island on bikes. Porquerolles is petite, stretching just 5 miles long and less than 2 miles wide. Le Mas Du Langoustier is the choice hotel on the island with 50 comfy rooms, great food and classic Provencal charm. The best beaches can be found at the eastern end of the island at the Plage de Notre Dame and Plage de la Galère. Thanks to national-park status, the beaches safely maintain their fine white sands and natural splendor. But the real entity to thank is Mother Nature for the lovely climate as the islands are widely recognized for enjoying sunny skies 275 days each year.

It doesn’t really matter what the weather, or even the time of year, chances are if you happen to live near a beach you will always see the water full of tiny figures on surfboards. Of course, this becomes much more apparent to us in the summer as we hit the beaches to soak up the sunshine. Have you ever wanted to take up surfing but not really known where to start? Well, here are some of the basics to give you beginners an idea of what to expect!

What should you expect?

Well, firstly we live in the UK so no Californian temperatures for us. So, expect it to be cold – not so much of a problem on a hot day but on a cooler day you can get chilly. That’s where wetsuits come in, they might feel a little strange at first but they will keep you comfortable and warm.

What happens if I fall in?

You don’t have to be a surfing expert to realise that you will fall into the water at some point, more likely as a beginner. Your head will go under the water, but the good news is that surfing is actually more of a shallow water sport, which means that once you get your bearings you can just stand up when you need some air. It helps if you get up to speed on your swimming first to make sure you are confident in the water.

Is it hard to learn to surf?

It’s hard work yes, but rewarding. The more you practice, the easier it will become – and the more fun too!

What shouldn’t I do?

  • Learn about your beach – you need to know where the rocks are and the patterns of the currents.
  • Never, ever paddle out further than you can swim back in, without the aid of your board.
  • Use a leash that keeps your board close.
  • If you aren’t sure about the wave conditions, don’t go in – you don’t want to get out of your depth.
  • Don’t surf alone.
  • If you’re tired, stay at home.
  • Don’t float the board between you and the next oncoming wave, it will only flatten you and it can hurt!
  • Remember that the ocean can be formidable so take it seriously – trying too much too soon can end very badly.

What kind of surfboard do I need?

You need a longboard, between 8 and 10ft long. Don’t be tempted to go for a short, streamlined board as a beginner as these are shaped for speed and skill.

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When you lie on your board you want to be in the centre, when you’re in the water the nose of the board should be an inch or two above the water, if the tail of your board in sunk in the water, you’re too far back and this will slow your progress. It will take a bit of practice to find the ideal position and it’s better to practice this in the ‘whitewash’ where the wave has broken – use the energy from the waves to ride forward and find your perfect position.

Practice ‘popping up’

It’s best to practice this movement on the beach. Lie with your hands flat at your sides and push your chest up. Give a little push with your feet and bring one of your legs underneath you so you are in a crouching position. You want to end up with your body facing sideways, one hip towards the nose, the other towards the tail. Knees should be slightly bent for balance and arms out for extra balance! Of course, this is harder to practice in the water so get in some practice beforehand before moving into the whitewash.

Get some surf lessons!

Those are the basics, but if you want to make sure what you’re doing its best to have the help of a professional and many seaside towns have surf schools where you can have a beginner’s lesson – even one hour will help you get to grips with the basics, so why not check one out today?

Remember that the most important aspect of surfing is to have fun!

Plan a Weekend on the California Coast

At 840 miles long, California’s coastline offers beach experiences as diverse as its colorful residents. From private coves perfect for sunbathing to family-friendly public sands complete with concessions, the Golden State has a beach that fits the bill for all its visitors. Here is a sampling of 10 of the best, each offering something different for weekend sun-seeking warriors.

Manchester State Beach, Point Arena
The beach entrance is half a mile north of the town of Manchester on Highway 1.
The vibe: Friendly locals with wind-burned faces beachcombing the many miles of postcard-perfect beach.
Why it’s popular: It’s breathtakingly beautiful and never overcrowded. There are sandy dunes, grassy flatlands and piles of driftwood that have washed ashore.
Hint: In January and February, the nearby Garcia River is a mecca for local steelhead fishermen.

Rodeo Beach, Golden Gate National Recreation Area at Marin Headlands
Just north of the Golden Gate Bridge on Highway 101, take the Sausalito exit and follow signs for Marin Headlands and the beach.
Why it’s popular: Although swimming conditions aren’t always ideal, it doesn’t deter sun-worshippers, dog-walking and semi-precious stone hunters.
Hint: It’s the only nude beach in the Marin Headlands that faces the Pacific Ocean.

Cowell’s Beach, Santa Cruz
Located on West Cliff Drive, near Bay Avenue.
The vibe: More than 15 volleyball courts means lots of athletic action (and buff eye-candy).
Why it’s popular: It’s a great spot to learn to surf — the waves are small and locals aren’t too territorial about sharing the ocean.
Hint: Park up the road by Depot Park for free.

Point Lobos State Reserve, Carmel Highlands
Enter three miles south of Carmel on Highway 1.
The vibe: Fierce winds don’t stop casual outdoor enthusiasts from wandering the coastal trails, snapping pics of tide pools, marine life and wildflowers. The Reserve has often been called “the crown jewel of the State Park System.”
Why it’s popular: Diving (both scuba and free) is available at Whalers and Bluefish Coves.
Hint: Visit during the spring when adult and baby harbor seals abound.

Asilomar State Beach, Pacific Grove
From Highway 1, take Highway 68 west. Watch for signs to Asilomar Beach as you near Sunset Drive.
The vibe: Despite frequent fog, the 1-mile strip of sand is a favorite for tide-pooling, long walks, and windy al fresco wedding ceremonies.
Why it’s popular: Dogs reign supreme. There is a leash law in effect, although few owners seem to abide.
Hint: There are no restroom facilities. If nature calls, walk across the street to the Asilomar Conference Grounds and act like you belong.

Cayucos State Beach, Cayucos
Take Highway 1 to Cayucos at Cayucos Drive. Turn west toward the ocean — the beach and pier are at the end of Cayucos Drive.
The vibe: In-the-know Californians regard this underrated beach town as one of the best getaways in the state.
Why it’s popular: Probably best known for its pier — it affords incredible views of the area, as well as sea lion and pilot whale sightings.
Hint: Cure your hangover at the annual polar bear dip — it draws thousands annually on New Year’s Day.

Rincon Beach, Santa Barbara
Three miles east of Carpinteria adjacent to the Santa Barbara/Ventura County line. From Highway 101, take the Bates Road turn-off south to the park entrance.
The vibe: Surfers, surfers and more surfers.
Why it’s popular: Widely considered one of the best surf spots on the Central Coast. Winter waves create a rocky shoreline, while summer currents create pleasant swimming conditions.
Hint: Arrive early on weekends to stake out prime sunning spots.

Dockweiler Beach, Los Angeles
Located at the last western stop of Imperial Highway in Playa del Rey.
The vibe: Slightly surreal, attracting a social crowd. The beach is located under the flight path of nearby LAX.
Why it’s popular: Not the most scenic of beaches, the three-mile shoreline is best known for its oceanfront entertaining options — fire pits and barbecues abound.
Hint: It is one of the very few beaches in Los Angeles County that allows bonfires.

El Matador Beach, Los Angeles
32215 Pacific Coast Highway.
The vibe: Malibu’s celebrity jet set and bathing beauties. It’s a photo shoot favorite.
Why it’s popular: Bodyboarders and bodysurfers love El Matador, because it boasts summer and winter swells. Kids love the tide pools.
Hint: It’s a steep walk down several flights of stairs to reach this, making it, unfortunately, inaccessible for the handicapped.

Coronado Beach, San Diego
From downtown San Diego, cross the Bay Bridge, travel several blocks on Third Street. Turn left onto Orange Avenue, then right onto R.H. Dana Place, which will take you to Ocean Boulevard.
The vibe: Families, locals and tourists alike frequent these friendly environs in droves.
Why it’s popular: It’s a 1-size-fits-all beach destination offering swimming, surfing, sailing, volleyball, kite flying or the option to laze and do absolutely nothing at all.
Hint: Park free on Ocean Boulevard, but plan to arrive early on summer weekends to beat the crowds.

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1. Large Feet Exchange

Possess the kids provide 2 shoeboxes together. Mp3 the actual covers on to the actual containers, after that reduce the one-inch-wide as well as four-inch lengthy slit within every best. Possess the contestants slide their own ft to the slits within the containers as well as competition.

2. Batty Bowling

Discover numerous foolish or even unusual products that may be bumped more than with a golf ball, like a plastic material whole milk carton, the candlestick, the stand-up toy, the plastic material classic vase associated with blossoms, the pizzas container, the structure associated with bare containers, a good outdoor umbrella remain, a clear oat meal pot, along with a guide. Collection all of them upward such as bowling hooks as well as allow bowlers attempt to topple all of them more than along with volleyballs, tennis games golf balls, or even baseballs.

3. Name-It Golf ball

Possess gamers type the group. Provide 1 participant the rubberized golf ball. Which participant chooses the class, for example “candy pubs. inch She or he after that bounces the actual golf ball to a different participant within the group, that should capture the actual golf ball, condition a product in the class, for example “Snickers, inch as well as keep your golf ball shifting to another participant. When the participant cannot title a product, retains the actual golf ball too much time, or even repeats a product, they’re away.

4. Frisbee Structure

Buy a lot of small Frisbees as well as location all of them inside a heap in the center of the actual backyard. Possess the visitors separate the actual Frisbees amongst on their own. The very first participant starts the game through putting among his / her Frisbees on the floor. Each one of the subsequent gamers locations his / her Frisbee along with the very first Frisbee, and also the motion proceeds till somebody leads to the actual developing structure in order to bump.


5. Sightless Stroll

Produce a good hurdle route in one finish from the backyard towards the additional. Fall into line the actual contestants as well as allow all of them possess a great consider the route. Individually, blindfold the kids and also have all of them stroll the road without having searching. Be aware every player’s period about the scoreboard.

6. Mix Action

Pull the ten-by-ten grid about the pavement or even outdoor patio along with chalk. Possess every participant remain on the various sq .. Individually, every participant should proceed to a brand new sq . following traversing away the actual sq . they had been previously position within. The secret is actually which gamers can’t action right into a sq . that’s busy or even entered away. If your participant can’t proceed to a brand new sq ., they’re away. The overall game proceeds till 1 participant is actually remaining.

7. Choose Wallet Label

Place the remove associated with fabric within every player’s back again wallet. Possess the gamers attempt to get every other peoples whitening strips with out their very own remove used. The ball player most abundant in fabric whitening strips is victorious the overall game.

8. Destroy the actual Cockroach

Separate the actual gamers in to 2 groups. Collection all of them upward, 1 while watching additional as well as arranged a good unusual item while watching very first gamers within collection. They have to stop the item over the backyard and also the over the complete collection in order to earn a place for his or her group. Stop such things as the cushion, bare may, the sock, and so forth.

9. Pull your body

Separate the actual team in to 2 groups. Provide every group the quilt. Possess 1 participant through every group lay down about the quilt. The actual groups should pull your body about the quilt in one finish from the backyard towards the additional. Whomever passes across the conclusion collection very first, is victorious.

10. Sightless Snakes

Setup numerous sprinklers between the beginning collection along with a complete collection. Possess the children attempt to operate in one finish towards the additional without having obtaining dispersed. Possess among the children manage the actual tap, switching this off and on randomly. Honor laces and ribbons towards the children that perform the actual greatest without having obtaining moist.



Possess your own kid’s suitable lawful paperwork. Passports are actually necessary for just about all kids, such as babies, with regard to worldwide Ough. Utes. journey. Ensure that you purchase all of them 4-6 days ahead of time to permit for his or her programs to become prepared. Make sure every thing, since the very last thing you would like would be to cancel a visit simply because your son or daughter’s passport software had been refused with regard to insufficient info. If you do not require a passport to visit, nevertheless make sure to have a duplicate of the kid’s delivery records. The actual cut-off grow older with regard to clapboard kids is actually 2 yrs aged. A few air carriers don’t request the delivery certification plus some perform. To end up being about the secure aspect, maintain the duplicate of the children’s delivery records inside your purse/bag. Obviously, for those who have the passport, you won’t have to provide delivery records since the passport will give you total authentication.

Provide the back pack associated with playthings as well as actions. Children such as becoming in control, therefore provide them with some thing to stay cost associated with. The back pack is ideal since it remains place, in contrast to the tote which could slide away their own make as well as you get along with yet another thing to transport; simply do not allow it to be overweight on their behalf. Not just is actually this particular helpful in-flight/on-board amusement however it’s going to function the twin reason for humorous the children when you achieve your own location. Place in all of your preferred suggestions, such as these types of recommendations:

Publications. There’s in no way plenty of time within the day time to see towards the children, therefore make use of the chance from the lengthy airplane, teach or even vehicle trip for many one-on-one period. Load up your own children’s preferred publications that you should study or even easy-reader publications to allow them to study on their own. There’s absolutely no cause in order to connect their own minds in to consumer electronics for the entire trip. Increase their own creativity with the limitless options inside a great guide!
Color Publications. Color publications could be a excellent distraction and may assist escape just a little writing power. A popular color device is actually Crayola’s “Color Wonder” guns as well as document. They’re excellent since the guns just create upon Colour Question document, meaning your own children depart absolutely no proof at the rear of! Additionally attempt buck shops with regard to color publications you will not thoughts all of them half-completing as well as becoming thrown away with regard to additional room.
Comfort and ease Playthings with regard to Young children. Toss inside a preferred quilt or even keep with regard to young children. It might assist all of them cuddle lower with regard to peace and quiet or simply assist cope with the rough area associated with atmosphere or perhaps a tiresome the main generate. You are able to not have sufficient props with regard to enjoyable which final 20-30 min’s of the trip whenever most people are impatient to obtain away! Preferred video games in order to perform having a quilt or even hug buddy tend to be “peek-a-boo” as well as “pat-a-cake”.
DVDs/Movies as well as Individual DVD AND BLU-RAY Gamers. The laptop computer having a DVD AND BLU-RAY generate functions simply in addition to a individual DVD AND BLU-RAY participant. Provide together some headphones (or perhaps a splitter to help you possess 2 models associated with headphones), so that your kid’s watching associated with his/her preferred film doesn’t hinder the actual comfort and ease associated with other people. Even though, if you’re going for a airplane trip, you are able to conserve upon room as well as depend on the actual in-flight amusement. Ideal in order to vehicle journey.
Digital Video games. Handheld video games are incredibly well-liked with regard to old children and may maintain all of them peaceful all night. Provide together some headphones so that your child’s preferred online game doesn’t hinder the actual comfort and ease associated with other people. An extended airplane or even vehicle journey may be a great time to purchase a brand new online game for any unique shock!
Label Publications. Reusable label publications tend to be ideal for earlier primary grow older children. You’ll find all of them inside your child’s preferred TV/movie personality or even curiosity. As well as simply because they’re reusable you are able to produce brand new moments, tales or simply blend all of them upward with regard to enjoyable!


Provide your vehicle chair about the airplane. One method to control inside a squirrelly child would be to consider their own child car seat about the airplane. Small children act far better inside a acquainted child car seat, which will keep everybody pleased. They are able to relaxation as well as drift off easier within their child car seat since it reminds all of them associated with using within the vehicle. Seek advice from your own air travel very first this is actually allowable prior to hauling this right down to the actual airport terminal.
Separate as well as overcome. Do not shed the children, particularly for those who have several in order to keep close track of. Choose in advance that manages that kid. This can get rid of the heart-sinking query “Where is actually so-and-so?? using the solution associated with “I believed you had been viewing him or her? inch Miscommunication as well as dropped kids aren’t a great way to begin a holiday!

Consider safeguards to protect towards hearing difficulties:

With regard to infants: provide some thing they are able to pull onto assist control their own ear throughout the actual trip, particularly throughout excursion as well as ancestry. Air travel plane tickets could be rapidly ruined with a child by having an earache! Ideas to test: Containers associated with liquid and/or drinking water, pacifier, jello jigglers along with additional Knox gelatin (this really is untidy however the children like it! )#), or even any kind of Gerber infant kind treats. These people break down rapidly within the mouth area getting rid of the choking risk (study security safety measure about the content label prior to purchasing). Attempt this kind of treats because “Gerber stars” (plenty of tastes), fresh fruit treats (these types of begin dissolving very quickly) as well as infant cereal pubs. By July 2006, this kind of treats as well as carbamide peroxide gel items might be banned below restricted brand new protection rules. Seek advice from the actual air travel or even federal government transportation protection websites with regard to banned products.
With regard to small children as well as older kids: small children as well as old children don’t usually learn how to control their own ear just by ingesting, therefore just a little assist may also be needed. Attempt Starbursts simply because they consider quite a long time in order to gnaw and lots of saliva starts moving, that in order to retains the kid ingesting. Another suggestions tend to be fresh fruit treats, chewing gum as well as difficult chocolate (with regard to older kids). Once again, seek advice from your own air travel or even federal government transportation protection website to determine what’s as well as exactly what is not allowed to become continued panel.

Consider products with regard to clutter thoroughly clean ups. Maintain the tote associated with baby wipes, hands sanitizer as well as throw away totes with regard to filthy diapers close by. Infant baby wipes may cleanup nearly anything—even some thing leaking upon carpeting. Hands sanitizer is really a should with regard to vacationing along with children and people throw away totes tend to be great for that contains untidy things apart from diapers! Also keep in mind to create your preferred make of spot eliminator baby wipes or even writing instruments for all those instances when the infant baby wipes simply are not sufficient.

End up being versatile together with your with capacity of plans. In the event that you’re vacationing having a team, or even a lot of members of the family, it may be enjoyable in order to allow your kids select that grownup they would like to sit down through. When they don’t observe Granddad Frank frequently as well as wish to sit down through him or her (as well as Granddad Frank is actually alright using the concept), after that give up parental manage for some several hours. It’s a lot of fun in order to speak as well as inform tales along with individuals a person don’t reach observe every single day. And also the mother and father possess a little relaxation!
Consider treats. Treats, treats and much more treats! Snacking retains kids hectic as well as amused. Therefore load up your children faves for the lengthy trip. The actual more healthy the greater — attempt carrot stays, oatmeal items, allowed nut products, gummy has and so on.

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