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Articles for ‘Beach Vacation’ Category

Boardroom meets bedroom in a Fort Lauderdale suite

Friday, July 20th, 2012

A room that multitasks: The conference suite at Sheraton Suites Plantation, Ft. Lauderdale West.

By Mara Tilen

We get it. Spending your work week in hotel rooms can get monotonous after a while, but look at the bright side: Sometimes that hotel room is a gateway to a cheap vacation. Case in point: South Florida, a sunny, affordable destination that begs to be explored when the client meetings are said and done. With a thriving nightlife scene, serene spas and a 600,000-square-foot convention center, you’ll feel that much more productive in beautiful surroundings. (more…)

Florida’s cheap thrills, from mermaids to mullet tosses

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

By Valerie Moloney

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that Florida is proud of its offbeat status — and cheap vacation deals. Where else would gators, Goths and bats share the same real estate? Expand your Floridian context beyond a Disney vacation this year to experience the sandy underbelly, and go back to your home state with a few quirky tories and a better tan. (more…)

Cheap, cheaper & cheapest: 3 travel deals for Isla Mujeres

Monday, March 12th, 2012

Fertile grounds: Ixchel Beach Hotel in Isla Mujeres is ripe with cheap hotel deals -- and breathtaking views.

By Valerie Moloney

The Mayans were onto something when they named this 5-mile-wide island after the goddess of fertility. With sugary beaches and water tinted the perfect aquamarine, it’s easy to see how lovers could lose themselves in a sea of coral, fresh ocean eats and tequila.Well here’s another reason: price. Isla Mujeres, or the Island of Women, rules as a budget beach destination. Think boutique hotels with some of the same amenities as pricier Cancun hotels – sans the partiers – and on a stretch only accessible by ferry. (more…)

In the pipeline: cheap Hawaii vacations for surfers

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

You won't be surfing Oahu's Banzai Pipeline like the pros, but that doesn't mean you can't get your feet wet. Credit: surfglassy.

By Amy Drew Thompson

Okay, sure. It doesn’t hurt to be born and raised in Hawaii (or blessed with natural talent), but Oahu native John John Florence — at 19, the youngest-ever champion of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing — still had to practice. Where can you get your start? On a cheap Hawaii vacation, of course, learning from natives in the waves where many believe the sport was born.  You might want to avoid the monsters at Sunset Beach and the Banzai Pipeline for now, but there are plenty of kinder, gentler beaches for beginners getting their sea legs. And it never hurts to get a lesson.

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Spotting the spouts: Whale watching tips from an expert guide

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

Gray whales near Baja, Mexico that interact with humans are called "friendlies." Credit: Jim Dorsey.

By Blane Bachelor

When it comes to whales, especially gray whales, Jim Dorsey knows his stuff. The Los Angeles-based naturalist is trained by the American Cetacean Society and for 15 years has been the resident naturalist in the Gray Whale Nursery of the pristine San Ignacio Lagoon in Baja, Mexico. A popular destination for cheap Mexico vacations, the Baja Peninsula also boasts some of the world’s best whale watching, as its warm, protected waters draw thousands of once-endangered gray whales from January through April. Here, Dorsey offers his years of experience on how to get the best out of any whale watching excursion. (more…)

Year of the Dragon: Chinese New Year in Paradise

Thursday, January 5th, 2012

The Chinese New Year Parade is just part of the month-long celebrations in Honolulu. Credit: Valdezign.

By Erin Behan

Hear that roar? It’s a month of Chinese Lunar New Year festivities in Honolulu getting off to a good start. The year 2012, of course, is the Year of the Dragon, and the celebrations run from Jan. 6- Jan. 21 in Chinatown. The best part about entrance to each of the month’s Chinese New Year events (besides getting in touch with both Chinese and Hawaiian culture)? They’re all free. (more…)

Free local flair and cheap eats at Wailuku’s First Fridays

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

Local restaurants cook up specials for Wailuku's monthly street party.

By Erin Behan

There’s nothing wrong with feeling like a tourist in Hawaii, but every once in a while it’s nice experience something like a kama’aina or local, and Wailuku First Friday fits the bill with plenty of local flair. (more…)

Road-trip Oahu: One-tank adventures from Waikiki

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

Pretty in paradise: Explore Kualoa Ranch's lush landscape via horseback or ATV tour. Credit: mporter5.

By Amy Drew Thompson

Recent weeks have seen gas prices dropping, even in the Rainbow State — where fuel costs rank among the country’s highest. In Honolulu, prices have dipped below $4 per gallon, making conditions ripe for cruising the scenic Kamehameha Highway to hit out-of-town attractions on a self-guided loop that’ll have you back on the beach for dinner. Fuel up and say aloha to cheap Hawaiian vacations with these Oahu attractions:

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Budget travel: Holiday vacation in St. Thomas?

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

Make the season merry and bright with a cheap Caribbean vacation to Point Pleasant Resort.

By Valerie Moloney

A girlfriend spent the days after Christmas and before New Year’s with her entire family — 2 brothers and their girlfriends, 3 sisters and their husbands, parents, 2 nieces and a nephew –  in a Los Cabos hotel. While my first instinct was shock at the thought of all of them traveling at the most stressful of times, she countered with, “It was the best vacation of my life.”  No baking. No cleaning up after themselves. Just sun, sand and catching up. (more…)

Beach bars & bike paths: What to do this fall in the O.C.

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

A shore thing: The laidback charm of artist enclave Laguna Beach. Credit: Lavender Dreamer.

By Stephanie Toller Negrete

Seaside mansions. Tan, buff bodies. Convertibles and high-end boutiques. Sure, they’re all part of the California dream, but only part of the reality. In the O.C., embrace a more laidback lifestyle, especially in the fall when the summer crowds are gone and the weather is just gorgeous. Enticing lodging rates help, too, so that we can all coast to a cheap Orange County hotel during one of the best seasons of the year. (more…)