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The Best Spring Break Beaches In The US

From coast to coast and all the way to the sunny shores of Hawaii, we combed through the sand to find the top beaches.

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Pack your sunscreen and swimsuit because the summer is here and we found the best dang beaches in the good old U. S. of A. From coast to coast and all the way to the sunny shores of Hawaii, we combed through the sand to find the top beaches. Enjoy your summer vacation while relaxing on one of these awesome beaches. Book your trips soon or you may miss the season and have to wait until next year.

 

Maui, HI

How can I have a list of the best beaches in the US and not start with Hawaii? Maui is the true gem of the Hawaiian Islands and its beauty is hardly repeated anywhere. This is the epitome of a tropical paradise and should be on top of your bucket list. The islands have plenty of tremendous beaches to choose from and picking a bad one is almost impossible.

 

Sarasota County, FL

Sarasota is best known for having the finest sand beaches in all of Florida and is located on the calm shores of the Gulf of Mexico. Siesta Key is one of the finest beaches in the nation with over eight miles of perfect coastline.

 

South Padre Island, TX

Best known for the huge Spring Break crowds the Texas Island receives, South Padre is much more than a party destination. With over 34 miles of prime sandy beaches, interesting emerald green waters and plenty of sunshine, it’s no wonder this place is so popular.

The Outer Banks, NC

Quite possibly the last untouched beachfront area, The Outer Banks (OBX) in North Carolina is a dream come true. These barrier islands include popular beach destinations like Duck, Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills, and Nags Head. The Wright Brother’s actually made there madden flight here on the huge dunes in Kitty Hawk. You can also hang glide from these very hills and relive the first flight yourself.

 

Hilton Head, SC

This island may be best known for the world-class golf resorts that dot the landscape. Head on down to South Carolina and find some pristine beaches with friendly locals in lovely Hilton Head.

 

Sanibel Island, FL

Sanibel Florida is the seashell capital of the world as thousands of tourists come here every summer in hunt of the perfect beach souvenir.  This is the best place in the US to find intact sand dollars…

San Diego, CA

Talk about paradise on Earth, San Diego is a beachcombers dream. Great weather combined with stunning cliffs, San Diego beaches can be some of the most dramatically beautiful around. The surfing is great, the boardwalk is jumping and the vibe is chill, what else do you need? You must try a California burrito (SD Specialty) while you are there.

 

Martha’s Vineyard, MA

The coast of Massachusetts is notorious for its serenity and tranquility along with some great seafood. Martha’s Vineyard is actually an island off the coast of Cape Cod and has nearly 20 beaches for you to choose from. This is a great vacation destination and is super family friendly.

Hamptons, NY

Why not live the finer life and check out the palatial estates of The Hamptons. The Hamptons and Montauk sit at the very end of Long Island in New York and feature gorgeous beaches and humongous homes. Montauk has better beaches but the Hamptons has the nightlife.


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Destinations

Top Sights To See In Haleakala Park On A Bike Tour

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While traveling 27 miles downhill in Haleakala Park, visitors to Maui have the chance to see some amazing sights. This dormant shield volcano provides adventure-seekers an opportunity to get up close and personal with one of the largest volcanic craters in the world and its unparalleled views. 

Whether at sunrise, before sunrise, as a day tour, or even a self-guided tour any time, this phenomenal bike ride at a starting elevation of 6,500 feet is one of the most beautiful destinations in Maui – and it is not to be missed. 

Here are some of the top sights to see in Haleakala park on a bike tour: 

Sunrise and Other Sights From the Summit

Sunrises are always beautiful. But, a sunrise from the summit in Haleakala Park is entirely different. It is one of the most impressive sights here. Although it means getting up early, the colors that will blast through the clouds will take your breath away. 

If you’re up for an even earlier bike ride, a pre-sunrise ride will present you with the chance to stargaze and potentially see a meteor just before daybreak. 

Spectacular Views of the Ocean and Island

It’s Maui. There are going to be ocean and island views that will never want to make you go back home. It doesn’t matter what time you sign up for your bike ride, the views all around you are better than you can imagine. Mix in the sounds and smells with the sights, and it just feels good. 

Red Cinder Cones and Black Flows

Haleakala National Park is full of colors and you will see them all with this ride. But, one of the ones that will stand out most is the red cinder cones and the black flows of old lava. As you start heading downward, keep your eyes open for this. 

The Leleiwi Overlook

Riding along a massive volcanic crater and the lush Ko’olau Gap is not something you have the opportunity to do every day. Why not take a moment to enjoy it? A short stroll and you can at the Leleiwi Overlook. 

Plants and Wildlife

Believe it or not, plants and animals are also very prevalent in this park – and spotting them is a must. You may find beautiful and endangered plant species like the silverswords or Ahinahina or encounter Hawaii’s state bird, the Nene Goose. Both are extraordinary and unique. You may also find the small honeycreepers, birds with brightly-colored feathers related to the rosefinch. 

The diversity found throughout Haleakala means finding plants and animals you have likely never seen before. 

Switchbacks and Double Views

In all, your downward bike ride gives you 21 easy switchbacks that will give you bi-coastal views of the serene West Maui Mountains as well as Maui’s central valley. 

Rolling Pastures

Riding alongside endless green pastures, tree-filled slopes, and fragrant lavender is sure to awaken the senses. But don’t let it carry you away too far or you will miss the fertile crop fields of Kula and their botanical garden. 

The Town of Makawao

Eventually, you will arrive in the small ranching and agricultural town of Makawao. It can make you feel like you have stepped back in time with its Hawaiian cowboys and wooden storefronts. Here you will find lots of shopping and art galleries.

The Town of Paia

Another small town you will find yourself strolling through is Paia. You will find many boutique shops and surfing emporiums to spark your interest. This beach community is home to the Maui Dharma Center and is often used for a peaceful retreat. 

Mountain Riders offers many options for experiencing all of these sights – and more – with their Haleakala bike tours. Learn more at www.MountainRiders.com

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Destinations

Get The Best Deals On Rental Cars

Let’s examine the best ways to save big on car rentals and certain times when renting a car isn’t even needed.

 

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Rental cars can be quite pricey and vacations are already wallet suckers, so let’s try and find the best deals around. Like anything in travel, timing can be everything, especially when booking a rental car. We spoke with some industry insiders and got the lowdown on the car rental business so you won’t get overcharged for a crappy rental car.

Let’s examine the best ways to save big on car rentals and certain times when renting a car isn’t even needed.

 

Rental Car Yes or No?

First lets determine if you even need a rental car or if you can get around on public transportation alone. Avoiding a rental car all together will save you some scratch and make your vacation much easier. Dealing with rental cars, parking and driving in foreign countries can all be nightmares that can be avoided by not renting a car in the first place.

What kind of vacation are you going on? Are you staying in one location or traveling around to multiple destinations? How close are you staying to town and does your hotel offer free shuttles?

If you are staying at an all-inclusive resort, you won’t need a rental car. Same if your hotel offers free shuttles to attractions. Your best bet is to do some research and figure this one out first.

Sometimes renting a car is your best bet so in that case, follow these simple few hacks to get the best deals.

 

Smaller Sites

The actual site of a car rental site will never have the best deals; instead look at aggregator sites like Costco travel or AAA.com. These sites offer great deals because you already pay for their services so you are getting an inside deal. You are paying for the memberships already so why not take advantage of their deals. I almost exclusively book through these two sites and constantly save big on bookings.

Smaller sites and companies will offer lower prices to compete with the big dogs of the industry. Hertz will never have the same deals as a small service like Fox rental cars has. You may not get the frills with these small companies but you won’t pay a premium either.

 

Get the compact

Stop acting like a nice rental car will make or break your vacation. Rental car companies make their money on upselling you, so stop it and chose the cheapest car. Think about how often you will be in this car, now think about if paying upwards of $50 more a day is worth it, most likely its not.

  

Insurance?

Stop buying the rental car’s insurance. If you have your own car or book with a major credit card, you are already insured. This is the biggest scam in all of car rentals. Stop paying upwards of $25-50 a day in insurance when you are already covered. Just say no!

 

Fees to avoid

Other than insurance, there are countless other bullshit fees they try and charge you. Toll transponders can cost a few dollars a day, same as GPS devices. Stop it, your smart phone has a better map system anyway, so use that and save big. Satellite radio? Are you serious, bring an IPod or some CDs and call it a day.

Save huge by renting off airport property and avoid the stupid fees they charge. Never rent on-site again. I find the site that is at least 20 minutes form the airport and you will have zero lines and pay close to half the price of on-site rental places.

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Destinations

Incredibly Vibrant Neighborhoods to Visit

If you are looking for the most colorful and vibrant towns around the globe, look no further. Take a visual trip to your happy place in these incredibly vivacious scenes.

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If you are looking for the most colorful and vibrant towns around the globe, look no further. These neighborhoods are incredible vacation destinations with brightly painted homes and just the most picturesque locations you’ll ever see. Take a visual trip to your happy place in these incredibly vivacious scenes.

 

St. John’s, Canada

Check out what residents call “jellybean row” and see some beautifully colored row homes. The story on why these homes are painted so vibrantly goes all the way back to the towns origins as a fishing village. Apparently the town folks painted the neighborhood brightly so the fisherman could see the shore during the dense fog that plagues this region. So out of safety comes beauty, so cool.

 

 

Maafushi, Maldives

The Maldives is a beautiful island chain that doesn’t really need any help in the beauty category, but the little island of Maafushi is trying anyway. Nestled right next to the crystal clear waters are wonderfully painted buildings that look like candy. Imagine the views from this island. The colors here look like an Easter basket exploded and candy shrapnel is everywhere.  You won’t find neighborhoods like this in your home town.

 

 

Bo-Kaap, Cape Town, South Africa

This little district in Cape Town, South Africa is a huge melting pot of cultures, so it’s obvious that this place would be painted so vibrantly. Settled by Muslims this district has gone through many changes and they all can be seen in the Bo-Kaap museum. The pastel colored buildings will make any Instagram post an instant classic so visit colorful neighborhoods soon.

 

Colmer, France

Take a walk back in time, simply visit Old Town Colmer in France. The vintage looking homes are all half-timbered medieval buildings that are painted in pastel colors. Feel like you are walking through a fairy tale when you visit this wonderful town. Enjoy canal lined streets and wonderful old school charm.  These type of neighborhoods don’t come along everyday.

 

Gamcheon, South Korea

This little bastion of color has many nicknames like “The Machu Picchu of Busan or Korea’s Santorini. In 2009 the neighborhood invited artists to paint wonderful murals all over the artsy town. So now the buildings are all painted in pastel hues and are covered in elaborate murals. Come for the views and stay for the incredible amount of street art.  This town looks like god spilled a box of crayons and left them to melt in the sun, so cool.

 

Las Palmitas, Pachuca, Mexico

The entire district lives near the poverty level but that hasn’t stopped the locals from turning their neighborhood into a giant mural. The neighborhood used to have a real negative vibe but now people are happier and tourism has brought some much needed cash flow.

 

Burano, Venice

Located just 40 minutes from Venice, Italy, sits the beautiful little town of Burano. The homes here are all brightly colored and beautifully unique. The canals are lined with some of the most vibrant color displays you will ever see with your own two eyes. Take a leisurely stroll down a canal and you can expect to see roughly twenty different colored homes, each more spectacular than the next.

If you own a home in Burano and wish to paint, you must write to the government and they will send back a list of approved colors. Its like looking directly into a box of Crayola crayons.

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