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Round-the-world: Mauritius top five

Round-the-world: Mauritius top five Oct 13th, 2010 at 10:30AM: Mauritius has all sorts of charm by the bucketload. It's got beaches, beautiful resorts, rough-and-tumble districts, colonial architecture, and a tropically lush physical environment. Following are five stand-out places and pastimes that showcase the island's distinctive beauty. 1. Local grub. In addition to the fresh seafood on offer, there are hunting reserves on Mauritius that generate...

Round-the-world: Chantemer, a Mauritius guest house

Round-the-world: Chantemer, a Mauritius guest house Oct 12th, 2010 at 10:30AM: "This is not a hotel. This is a private home." With these words, Indra Tinkler, widely referred to simply as "Madame" by taxi drivers and other tourism providers across the south of Mauritius, introduces us to Chantemer, her small guest house. There is a flourish of the hand in the delivery. I assume--it turns out correctly--that we are in for an entertaining stay. Located at Pointe d'Esny...

The beach town you'll probably never see: Wonsan, North Korea

The beach town you'll probably never see: Wonsan, North Korea Oct 4th, 2010 at 2:30PM: Umbrellas are firmly planted in the sand, and children splash through the water in pursuit of a ball or each other. The scene is exactly what you'd see on either U.S. coast, or at any number of beaches around the world. And, because access is free, all walks of life can be found lounging on the sand, dipping a toe or simply enjoying each other's company. Yet, this isn't just any beach –...

Top 10 Maui beaches

Top 10 Maui beaches Aug 5th, 2010 at 6:00PM: The Hawaiian islands are known far and wide for the quality of their beaches. From narrow strips of volcanic black sand with dramatic jungle backdrops, to crowded beaches full of the who's who of the world, Hawaii has a beach for everyone. Maui has just as much diversity as the entire island chain with over 30 miles of beaches. The most easily accessible beaches are located on the west and...

Sharks circle Cape Cod

Sharks circle Cape Cod Jul 31st, 2010 at 12:00PM: Cape Cod vacationers just lost access to five miles of beach, thanks to sharks in the water. A spotter pilot saw three more great whites, one of them a mere 100 yards from a party on the sand. They're swimming around off South Beach in Chatham, Massachusetts, and swimming is definitely out of the question. No timeframe has been given for when the water will be open again. One shark is estimated...

Top five tips for newbies visiting nude beaches

Top five tips for newbies visiting nude beaches Jul 26th, 2010 at 8:00AM: Are you planning to go "clothing optional" for the first time? From what I understand, you can have a lot of fun, but there are rules to be followed. Failing to do so can lead to an awkward situation or worse. Most of this is common sense, of course, which is probably why it's worth mentioning. You can have fun without coming across as a disgusting nut job. I found a list of suggestions for...

World's most eco-friendly beaches to visit now

World's most eco-friendly beaches to visit now Jul 20th, 2010 at 10:00AM: If your idea of heaven isn't a beach packed with crisping bodies, balls of crude, or the lingering whiff of raw sewage, don't worry. CNN has provided a list sandy idylls that retain their purity, even though a few, like Oahu's Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, are major tourist attractions, or located in tourism hotspots. Not surprisingly, most of these places are located on preserves or otherwise...

Sun soaked: Southern California's secret beach spots

Sun soaked: Southern California's secret beach spots Jul 18th, 2010 at 3:30PM: You've probably walked Venice Beach, played volleyball on Manhattan Beach and spent a lazy day in Malibu, but have you scoped out SoCal's secret beach spots? Of the many things California is known for, its beaches are always at the top of lists. Here a few of the best kept secrets along California's coast: Coronado, California: Savvy sun-soakers pay to park at the Hotel Del Coronado, then dine...

Sun soaked: The best beaches on Florida's Gulf Coast

Sun soaked: The best beaches on Florida's Gulf Coast Jul 17th, 2010 at 10:30AM: It's not all tar balls in Florida. Along Florida's Gulf Coast you'll find some of the most beautiful beaches in the south, and some so private you'd think you were on your own private island. Where are these pristine paradises? Read on, and don't forget your sunscreen! Indian Rocks Beach (12th Street), Florida: Grab breakfast at Crabby Bills followed by a day at this beach, where egrets strut...

Europe's relaxed attitude toward nudity makes American travelers uncomfortable

Europe's relaxed attitude toward nudity makes American travelers uncomfortable Jul 15th, 2010 at 8:30AM: While the image of a naked Rick Steves getting a rubdown in a Turkish bathhouse might be a bit TMI for many of us, the seasoned traveler, guidebook author, and travel show host makes some excellent points in a recent CNN article on Europe's cultural tolerance for nudity. According to Steves, who starts the piece with a flashback from a 1978 trip, "if you can leave your inhibitions at home, you...

Orbitz introduces 'Open Beach Guarantee'

Orbitz introduces 'Open Beach Guarantee' Jun 15th, 2010 at 4:30PM: Orbitz is trying to offer travelers peace of mind this summer through an Open Beach Guarantee. The guarantee offers a full refund on your hotel stay if nearby beaches are closed because of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. To get this deal, you must book a stay at a participating hotel through Orbitz, with travel between now and July 31, 2010. If a government agency closes a beach within 20...

Gulf Coast Oil Spill Watch: June 10th

Gulf Coast Oil Spill Watch: June 10th Jun 10th, 2010 at 11:30AM: It's Day 52 of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Here's a look at the latest news about how the spill is affecting travelers: Tar balls have arrived on the beaches in Perdido Key, Florida. The Pensacola News-Journal reports that a mile-long stretch of the beach was covered with greasy clumps about the size of peas. Want to help? Alabama's governor tells WAFF TV that it's as simple as...

New hotel in Rome made of garbage from Europe's beaches

New hotel in Rome made of garbage from Europe's beaches Jun 9th, 2010 at 3:30PM: That's right - this hotel is, quite literally, garbage. In an effort to raise awareness about the trashy state of Europe's beaches, Rome erected a hotel covered with over 26,000 pounds of debris. The building, located on Capocotta Beach, is aptly named "Save the Beach Hotel" and is spear-headed by Corona. According to the website, the Save the Beach Hotel is a reminder to people about how...

Five idyllic Caribbean backwaters

Five idyllic Caribbean backwaters Jun 3rd, 2010 at 12:30PM: Beyond the Caribbean's all-inclusive resorts, casinos, overpriced restaurants, and huge crowds are a handful of islands that have escaped mass development. These quiet islands, with their tiny populations and scattered tourist facilities, are not headed for mass-tourism overdevelopment anytime soon, and for a range of reasons-in some cases, the absence of an adequate expanse for a large runway; in...

Weekend travel media's top five

Weekend travel media's top five Jun 1st, 2010 at 8:30AM: Here are some keepers from this past weekend's English-language newspaper travel sections. 1. In the Financial Times, Philip Horne writes a fascinating North Dakota pilgrimage story that traces Theodore Roosevelt's tenure in the Peace Garden State. 2. In the Guardian, Haroon Siddique writes about the Bed&Fed phenomenon (a couchsurfing/hostelling hybrid) across the UK and Ireland. 3....

Good Beach Guide names best British beaches

Good Beach Guide names best British beaches May 30th, 2010 at 10:00AM: The United Kingdom generally isn't the first place people think of when they decide to go to the beach. Indeed, the beaches of Spain, France, and Cyprus are filled with lobster-red Brits, so it appears the locals agree, but the Good Beach Guide, published by the Marine Conservation Society, says the UK's beaches are improving, at least in terms of water quality. The latest report reveals that...

America's Top 10 Beaches: Coopers Beach in Southampton, NY takes the top spot in 2010

America's Top 10 Beaches: Coopers Beach in Southampton, NY takes the top spot in 2010 May 28th, 2010 at 11:00AM: Coopers Beach, Southampton's stretch of white sand on New York's Long Island, has been named 2010's best beach in the America by Dr. Stephen Leatherman. "New York has world-class beaches, but I don't think a lot of people in the United States know about them," said Stephen Leatherman, director of Florida International University's Laboratory for Coastal Research. Leatherman cited the fine...

Panama City Beach, Florida, puts a guarantee on fun, despite oil spill

Panama City Beach, Florida, puts a guarantee on fun, despite oil spill May 14th, 2010 at 2:30PM: Amid concerns about the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, some travelers are reconsidering plans for a Florida beach vacation this summer. That's why the Panama City Beach tourism folks have issued a "Real Fun Guarantee" that promises a $200 future travel credit if your stay at the beach is affected by the oil spill. The program applies to new reservations, booked now...

Florida state officials take steps to stem oil spills' impact on tourism

Florida state officials take steps to stem oil spills' impact on tourism May 11th, 2010 at 3:00PM: For now at least, none of the oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is affecting Florida's beaches. And that's exactly the message that state officials are trying to get out to keep vacationers from changing their plans. Florida Gov. Charlie Crist spent the weekend off-shore fishing off the coast of Destin, telling TV station WJHG, "The weather's gorgeous. There's not...

Free spa experience at the Ritz-Carlton Naples

Free spa experience at the Ritz-Carlton Naples May 10th, 2010 at 2:00PM: Any spa-lover needs to visit the Ritz-Carlton Resorts of Naples, because the Elements treatment at the beach property is nothing short of incredible. Now, the chance to visit the spa free makes this an absolute no-brainer. This is one of my favorite spas, and the deal might be enough to get me to book a flight. Stay at either the Ritz-Carlton beach or golf resort, with the Spa Escape Package,...

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