beach RSS Feed

Shares
41
Shares
Share with your friends










Submit

If you thought hip hop’s epic East Coast-West Coast rivalry was contentious, you should see how America’s two coasts beef about their beaches. So who has the best? Read on to find out.

RELATED: America’s best beachfront bike rides

Battle of the Beaches: East Coast vs West Coast infographic

app

Tagged: Beach, California, Cheap City, USA, Cheap Tips, Destinations, Florida, L.A., New York City, Types of Travel

Shares
40
Shares
Share with your friends










Submit

South Florida isn’t exactly synonymous with a cheap vacation, but in the Fort Lauderdale area, you’ll find a surprising number of free and inexpensive activities that don’t skimp on fun. Here are some of the town’s best affordable attractions. 

RELATED: 5 unforgettable Florida road trips for every personality

Bonnet House is gorgeous inside and out. | Photo: Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau.

It’s easy being green

The waterfront Bonnet House Museum and Gardens is one of Fort Lauderdale’s must-do attractions. The 1920’s estate includes a mansion, art museum, gallery and more. But if the $20 admission price isn’t in your budget, you can feel rich when you spend $10 to see only the gardens, which include tropical landscapes, a rotating collection of orchids and the occasional manatee in the nearby canal.

Rent a canoe, and explore the mangrove trails near the Anne Kolb Nature Center. | Photo: Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Back to nature

Get away from the noise with a visit to the Anne Kolb Nature Center, which is part of the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail. Paddle through mangrove wetlands, take the elevator to the top of the observation tower for a view of the Atlantic Ocean and on weekends, observe a feeding in the exhibit hall’s giant aquarium.

Take a free ride

Not only is the Riverwalk Water Trolley one of the most fun ways to get around town, but it won’t cost you a dime. The water taxi runs daily along the New River, allowing passengers to hop on and off near the city’s most popular attractions.

Paint the town

If you like Miami’s Wynwood Walls, then be sure to check out the Downtown Hollywood Mural Project. This is the largest walkable mural scene in Broward County, featuring buzzworthy artists from South Florida and across the world. Stroll through the area anytime, or swing by on the third Saturday evening of the month for a guided tour and a chance to see the artists at work.

When Mother Nature foils your plans, the Museum of Discovery and Science is a great way to occupy the kids | Photo: MODS.

Discover the great indoors

The Museum of Discovery and Science makes a great contingency plan for families on a rainy (or too hot) summer day. Tickets cost $16 for adults and $13 for kids, but with two floors of hands-on exhibits and an IMAX theater ($8 adults/$6 kids), the all-day fun is well worth the price of admission. Plus, from May 1 to September 30, 2018, take advantage of 2-for-1 Summer Savings offers at MODS and dozens of other South Florida attractions.

ALSO: Earn CheapCash, good towards hotels, only with CheapTickets!

Hooray for Hollywood

The Hollywood Beach Broadwalk is your destination for people-watching. The 2.5-mile oceanfront thoroughfare is lined with cafes, boutiques and live entertainment, attracting joggers, bikers and pedestrians. Getting there is easy; ride the Hollywood Trolley with $1 fares between the beach and downtown.

In da house

Get up to speed on Fort Lauderdale’s history with a visit to the Historic Stranahan House Museum. Built in 1901 by businessman Frank Stranahan and his education activist wife, Ivy, the home offers a glimpse into pioneer life. Friendly, knowledgeable tour guides make the experience well worth the $12 admission fee.

Nightlife meets the arts at FATVillage. Credit FATVillage.

Get FAT

On the last Saturday night of each month (excluding December), head to the four-block creative district north of downtown to visit art galleries, watch artists working in their studios, browse the prop warehouse and catch live performances in the street or in one of two theaters. The kid- and pet-friendly Flagler Arts and Technology Village art walk, better known as FATVillage, happens rain or shine.

Chic street

There’s always something happening on Las Olas Boulevard, the main artery of Fort Lauderdale’s shopping and dining scene. Browse the art galleries, clothing boutiques and jewelry stores, then grab a coffee and a croissant at one of the many sidewalk cafes, and watch the beautiful people go by.

Retail therapy

Bargain hunters, don’t miss the deals at Sawgrass Mills—the largest outlet mall in the United States. This shopper’s paradise features more than 350 stores, including Calvin Klein, Under Armour, Tory Burch and So. Many. More.

app

Tagged: Beach, Cheap City, USA, City, Family, Florida, FREE!

Shares
11
Shares
Share with your friends










Submit

We all know travel can be sublime, relaxing, ridiculously fun and even life changing. But can travel really be affordable? While that’s a relative question, we’ve rounded up 13 fantastically inexpensive destinations that you should try to visit this year, from an exotic locale that lets you ply its waterways on a houseboat (affordably!) to an unsung American beach town.

RELATED: 10 great hotels for when you’re young, broke and awesome

City hall and Place Jacques-Cartier in Montreal, Quebec

Montreal, Canada

The US dollar is still pretty strong against the Canadian dollar, and where else can you feel a world away so close to home? We love Montreal for its European vibe, great art and music scenes, and vast and varied dining options. Foodie to-do lists should include noshing on one of the city’s famous hot, fresh bagels from St. Viateur, indulging in poutine at La Banquise or canard en conserve at Au Pied de Cochon, and sampling cheese, chocolates and more at Jean-Talon Market. Interesting hotel options abound here, too, including the Hotel Epik Montreal, which is housed in an old stone-walled warehouse in the city’s historic Vieux Port neighborhood.

Photo courtesy of Sreekrishna Houseboats

Kerala, India

India has been a budget traveler’s mecca for decades now. And while picking just one destination in this huge, diverse, beautiful country is a tall order, we especially love the Kerala backwaters for its one-of-a-kind houseboat experiences. You can rent a boat like this one (get one with an upper deck for added privacy), and have your own chef, captain and boat boy at your service. Essentially, it’s a private yacht experience for much, much less money! Once aboard, you’ll cruise the canals, floating past fishing villages, colorful houses and paddy fields. We promise this will be one of the most relaxing and unforgettable travel experiences you’ll ever have.

Folly Beach, South Carolina.

Folly Beach, SC

This Atlantic gem makes for a great, affordable day trip from Charleston (about 20 minutes to the north) or a long weekend in its own right. Already a regional favorite for families, Folly Beach brings in summer vacationers with sun, sand and surf, plus a nice variety of restaurants and fun shops along Center Street. If you’re up for more than just lounging, though, try your hand at kayaking, paddleboarding, fishing on the pier, boating and some of the seriously best surfing on the East Coast.

Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico

Guadalajara, Mexico

Ditch the beaches for once and instead give Mexico’s underrated second city the attention it deserves. The old city is infused with the sounds of mariachi bands and attractions like the Guadalajara Cathedral and the Mercado San Juan de Dios. Meanwhile, there’s the Providencia neighborhood, a hipster mecca and home to quirky shops and happening eateries like Cappucino’s 96. The state of Jalisco is the birthplace of tequila so be sure and spend a day among endless fields of blue agave and sampling tequila at big name producers like Cazadores, Cuervo and Herradura.

Edinburgh Castle, Scotland

Edinburgh, Scotland

The US dollar is still strong against the British pound thanks to Brexit, so the UK is still more affordable than ever for US travelers. But instead of pricey London, why not check out a gorgeous Scottish city like Edinburgh? Edinburgh Castle is the main attraction here, but you’ll also want to take on the Royal Mile, a scenic walk from the castle to Parliament through Old Town, and make the hike up to Calton Hill to take in breathtaking views of the city. Meanwhile, the trendy Leith neighborhood is great place to duck into a pub for a whisky or beer, or feast on some haggis—we dare you!

Beautiful coastal waters around Destin Florida

The Florida Panhandle

Cheap and cheerful, the Panhandle offers a little something for everyone. Enjoy a whiff of the cosmopolitan in downtown Pensacola; powdery white sand beaches in Destin; spring break antics in Panama City; camping, hiking and canoeing in Tate’s Hell State Forest; and quirky small towns like Seaside and Apalachicola. Much of the region caters to families and the budget-minded, including bargain hotels, irresistible happy hour deals and a plethora of ebullient and wallet-friendly seafood eateries right on the water.

ALSO: See more of the world for less—sign up for CheapCash today!

Morocco

In 1942, Casablanca captured the imaginations of millions of Americans. Morocco was portrayed as an exciting, mysterious, exotic locale where anything can happen. The intrigue has yet to wane. Besides the must-see cities of Fes and Casablanca, all eyes are on Marrakesh, thanks to the interesting new YSL Museum, dedicated to the life’s work of legendary fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent. Add to the mix a new art fair, new galleries and a spate of shiny new hotels, and this could be a banner year for the city.

Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City

SLC made our list for its reasonable hotel prices, easy access to some of the best skiing in the country, and a quick hop to breathtaking National Parks (think Bryce Canyon, Arches and Zion—all less than five hours away). Not so outdoorsy? No, problem. Be sure to catch a sunset over Great Salt Lake, explore Temple Square and check out the city’s robust film, art, dining and bar scenes.

Jamaica island, Montego Bay

Jamaica

Jamaica was left more or less untouched by last season’s spate of deadly hurricanes. And while that’s a great reason to make it your next tropical getaway, we also love that destinations such as Montego Bay, Negril and Ocho Rios have plenty of affordable hotels and budget-minded all-inclusive resorts. And lest you think this is just another “could be anywhere” beach destination, makes sure you leave the resort long enough to catch a reggae show in the place where the genre was born, tour picturesque  sugar cane and coffee plantations, or hike your way around stunning natural areas like the  Blue Mountains or Dunn’s River Falls.

Sofia, capital of Bulgaria

Bulgaria

Tourism in the cheap and enchanting Balkan States has surged in recent years, but you don’t have to rush to Croatia just because all your friends are doing it. Bulgaria boasts plenty of Black Sea coastline and sun seeker-ready beaches to go with it. There’s also ancient monasteries, beguiling mountain ranges (the country is a skiier’s paradise), glacial lakes and the Instagrammable (check out the St. Alexander Nevski Cathedral) and easy to navigate capital city of Sofia. The country also boasts, ahem, fewer Americans.

Looking out of a balcony “window” into the La Placita village and downtown Tucson city skyline.

Tucson, AZ

A multi-culti blend of Mexican, European and Native American influences, sun-drenched Tucson has it all. Hemmed in on both sides by the stunning and mesmerizing Saguaro National Park (think a wide range of hiking plus attractions like Old Tucson Studios and the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum) the city’s fun, funky and approachable dining and nightlife scene is not to be missed. Hit up eateries like 5 Points Market and Restaurant, Agustín Kitchen, Penca and HUB Creamery, and spend your nights boozing it up at places like the Congress Hotel and Owl’s Club.

Philippines-GettingStamped

It doesn’t cost much to find yourself on amazing beaches like this in the Philippines | Photo by GettingStamped.com

The Philippines

Airfare to this nation of islands (well over 7,000 of them, in fact) is every penny pincher’s biggest budget conundrum, but once that hurdle is leapt, expect an extremely wallet-friendly tropical paradise. Sure, its president has authoritarian tendencies and takes pleasure in attacking the media, but the Philippines are safe and the country has much to offer the budget traveler, including surreal island scenery, unbelievable snorkeling and diving, rich treasures in the capital city of Manila and jaw-dropping prices including respectable hotels for as little as $30/nightly and hearty meals for under $5.

Las Vegas

Las Vegas, NV

Las Vegas has had a sad, challenging year, but don’t let that deter you from a visit. The city still thrums with activity 24/7 and can be a steal if you play your cards right (get it?). Hint: Bargains abound off-Strip so book a room at the oh, so happening Hard Rock, check out cheap gaming at the Orleans and hit the beautiful—and free—rooftop pool at the Downtown Grand. Penny pinchers would be wise to enjoy the many natural offerings just beyond city limits and do take a gander at the selfie-worthy desert art installation “7 Magic Mountains” before it disappears later this year.

app

Tagged: Caribbean, Cheap City, USA, Cheap Tips, Destinations, Florida, Top 10 list

Jason Heidemann and Martina Sheehan

Jason Heidemann and Martina Sheehan

Jason Heidemann and Martina Sheehan

Latest posts by Jason Heidemann and Martina Sheehan (see all)

Shares
11
Shares
Share with your friends










Submit

Hawaiian shirt. Check. Colorful lei. Check. Laidback attitude and desire to escape everyday life. Check. Sounds like you’re well on your way to vacationing like a Parrot Head, those rollicking, rabid fans of trop rock troubadour Jimmy Buffett.

If you’ve got tickets to any of his upcoming shows and have travel plans around them, we’ve got a list of easy-to-follow rules that will make sure your change in latitude is the best it can be. In fact, these 10 pieces of priceless advice—which come courtesy of the 25,000-member-strong Jimmy Buffet fan group, Parrot Heads in Paradise (PHIP)—could apply to just about any vacation, or even life in general.

For those who don’t know, PHIP was first launched by fan Scott Nickerson in 1985 and the group has since raised over $46 million for charity. We can all drink to that. Now, here’s what can we learn from these rabid relaxationists…

RELATED: Don’t have Buffet tickets yet? Don’t worry, you can get them now right here on CheapTickets.com!

1. Pack the beach in your bag

Being a Parrot Head is all about that casual, relaxed beach vibe, so packing for a trip as a Parrot Head is relatively simple: shorts and a Hawaiian shirt. Beyond those basics you can add swimsuits, coconut bras, grass skirts, and even pirate paraphernalia. As for footwear, pack your flip-flops. No other footwear is required. Maybe throw in an extra pair along with some Band-Aids in case you suffer the fate that Jimmy sings about in “Margaritaville,” when he “blew out my flip flop. Stepped on a pop top. Cut my heel, had to cruise on back home.” What the Parrot Heads are trying to tell you here is, keep it simple; do not over pack.

2. Decorate your noggin’

The Kentucky Derby may be all about those elegant chapeaus the fancy ladies wear. For a Jimmy Buffet concert, fans don hats shaped like parrots, shark fins, coconuts and yes, even cheeseburgers. But why limit yourself to one item? Grab a straw hat and cover it with your own interpretation of the Parrot Head Nation—dangle plastic cheeseburgers, bananas, oranges, lobster and flamingos from it. Whatever floats your boat. There are very few sartorial rules for Parrot Heads. In other words, even on vacation, you do you.

3. Waste away in Margaritaville—any Margaritaville

Obviously, Parrot Heads flock to the chain of Margaritaville bars. But did you also know that they also convene at Landshark Bar & Grill, Cheeseburger in Paradise and 5 O’clock Somewhere? Consider the neon signs of these establishments to read “Welcome, Parrot Heads.” You may not always have a view of the ocean or be able to stick your toes in the sand at all the locations, but you’ll always be able to find an island drink served with a brightly colored umbrella. The Parrot Head life lesson here is that it’s not so much about the destination you’re in as it is the company you’re with (and the drink in your hand).

4. Set an alarm for 5pm

Parrot Heads are fond of reminding each other, “It’s 5 o’clock somewhere,” in tribute to the Alan Jackson music video featuring Jimmy Buffett. As he sings, “At a moment like this, I can’t help but wonder, what would Jimmy Buffet do?” Never miss the start of happy hour with a daily reminder of the unofficial kickoff to cocktail time. Does that mean you have to wait until 5 for a drink? The Parrot Heads don’t. As the song says, “It’s only half past twelve, but I don’t care. It’s 5 o’clock somewhere.” Parrot Heads aren’t known to adhere to rigid schedules, and neither should you—so on your next trip, leave some time to relax and see where the day takes you.

ALSO: Spend a little extra time in Margaritaville when you save big with CheapCash! Sign up today.

5. Practice your fin dance everywhere you go

Have you ever seen tens of thousands of grown adults simultaneously touching their hands above their heads and swinging their fins to the left, fins to the right? No? Well, then you haven’t been to a Buffet concert. Being silly and participating with total abandon are two things Parrot Heads excel at. Give it a try on your next vacation and you just might make some new friends or be a part of some really fun and unexpected new experiences.

Flickr CC: Sam Howzit

6. Lei one on at a tailgate party

The party for Parrot Heads starts in the parking lot, with decked-out party tents and truck beds filled with water and edged with grass skirts. Expect to find full tiki bars set up, shark-shaped golf carts and thousands of Parrot Heads roaming with inner tubes around their waists and festooned with dozens of leis. No tailgate around? You can still vacation like a Parrot Head. Just set up a similar compound on the beach. Parrot Heads will soon find you, drawn like moths to a flame to your tiki torch. What this translates to for your next vacation is, find your people. No matter what your destination or interests are (cooking, history, soccer, gaming, yoga, whatever), do a little research ahead of time to connect with like-minded locals.

7. Pack an extra shaker of salt

Who would have thought a song about sponge cake, sunburned tourists and boiling shrimp would end up on the song list for the 2016 Grammy Hall of Fame? “Margaritaville” has a lively tune, often belted at the top of their lungs by inebriated Parrot Heads. But it’s a sad song, really. Not only did his flip-flop break, he lost his shaker of salt, which every Parrot Head needs to rim his Margarita glass. This is just a metaphor for being prepared. Don’t suffer the same fate as poor Jimmy. Pack an extra of that thing you know you might lose on your trip—an extra phone charger, sunglasses, swim trunks, you name it.

8. Feast and imbibe like a Parrot Head

At the bottom of the Parrot Head food pyramid are of course margaritas and cheeseburgers. These food choices come courtesy of two of Buffet’s most popular tunes, odes to the “frozen concoction that helps me hang on,” and “that American creation on which I feed!” Other food and drinks mentioned in Jimmy Buffet songs include the Hurricane, gumbo, peanut butter, mango, fruitcake, dill pickles, Dreamsicles and Champagne. Beer drinkers sip on frosty bottles of Landshark Lager made by Margaritaville Brewing Co. The takeaway here? Calories don’t count on vacation. Live a little!

9. Laugh so you don’t go insane

This just might be the most important rule of all because sometimes travel presents you with unexpected challenges—a canceled flight, a bout of rain, a little Montezuma’s revenge. This is not the time to curl up on your hotel room floor and call it quits. Instead, take a cue from Jimmy’s “Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes.” This is the time you look for a chum with a bottle of rum and make the most of it, laugh in the face of adversity and move on. The beach will still be there in the morning.

Stay in a colorful nest: A list of top Parrot Head hotels

Sashaying into the lobby in your flamingo-festooned straw hat and grass skirt should never feel awkward. If you’re following Jimmy on the road, or just want to spend your vacation with other Parrot Heads, these resorts welcome the lifestyle with open arms.

Fort Lauderdale, FL: Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort
Like the restaurant, Margaritaville hotels were tailor-made for relaxed sun-seekers.

Miami, FL: Circa 39
Get an instant change in attitude with the brightly colored décor and rum drinks like the Rumaway Bride at WunderBar at this Miami gem.

Montego Bay, Jamaica: Altamont West
The exterior and lobby are painted in parrot shades, of yellow, green and red.

Holetown, Barbados: Coral Reef Club
In addition to its name, so similar to Jimmy’s Coral Reefer Band, Parrot Heads will love this hotel for its laid-back luxury.

Key West, FL: NYAH
This affordable, quirky adults-only property charges by the room, not the person, encouraging Parrot Heads to nest together.

Key West FL: Casa Marina
The Parrot Head Mecca, this hotel hosts the annual conference for Parrot Heads, Meeting of the Minds.

 
app

Tagged: Caribbean, Destinations, Events, Florida, Music

Jan Schroder

Jan Schroder

An award-winner writer based in Atlanta, Jan is also an editor, book author, publisher of Girl on the Go and a really pathetic packer for a travel writer. She is also editorial director of The 100 Companies, a publishing platform with 100-word stories and 100-second videos.
Shares
Share with your friends










Submit

It’s shaping up to the be the summer of Katy Perry. Her new album, Witness, is out June 9 and tickets for autumn’s Witness: The Tour, just went on sale. (You can score great seats right here.)

Perry was born and raised in Santa Barbara and in honor of this quintessential “California gurl’s” pop culture moment, we decided to comb through her catchiest lyrics and come up with a list of Perry-inspired things to do in the Golden State. If you’re wondering where you can live just like Perry, this is the list for you.

RELATED: The California beach road trip you’ve always dreamed about

Flickr CC: Eric May

1. Lyric: “So put your rose-colored glasses on/and party on”
Song: Chained to the Rhythm

The video for Perry’s smash ode to happily living in a bubble takes place in an amusement park, and if you’re going to spend a day wearing (figuratively speaking, at least) rose-colored glasses, there’s no better spot than the happiest place on Earth: Disneyland. We much prefer the OC amusement park (and corresponding Disney’s California Adventure) to Six Flags Magic Mountain where Perry filmed the video for Chained. The thrill rides there pale in comparison to Disney’s escapist fantasies like It’s a Small World and Pirates of the Caribbean.

2. Lyric: I kissed a girl and I liked it…
Song: I Kissed a Girl

When it comes to lady-on-lady smooching in the City of Angeles, you should head to Akbar, a queer taproom and dance club tucked away in the arty Silver Lake neighborhood. The bar skews higher on the boy side (think a 70/30 ratio), but you’ll find plenty of canoodling ladies on busy weekend nights. Elsewhere in Los Angeles, hit up alterna-strip club Jumbo’s Clown Room where the dancing ladies will pay you plenty of attention, regardless of who you like to kiss.

Venice Beach, California, beach

Venice Beach, CA | Flickr photo by JD Lasica

3. Lyric: “Daisy dukes/bikinis on top…we’ll melt your popsicle”
Song: California Gurls
This song was practically written for the Venice Beach crowd. The L.A. beachfront neighborhood features a two-and-a-half mile pedestrian-only promenade filled with kooky performers, psychics, artists and other kinds of vendors. And yes, you’ll definitely see plenty of California girls in their Daisy dukes and bikini tops as you stroll along the sun-drenched boardwalk.

Santa Barbara

4. Lyric: “Santa Barbara, chique, at La Super Rica, grabbing tacos, checking out hotties”
Song: This Is How We Do
You don’t need to be a detective to decipher this lyric from Perry’s 2013 hit. The singer gives a shout out to her hometown of Santa Barbara, and once explained (via a tweet) that it’s also inspired by her OG crew and their parties. And there’s even a reference to her favorite taqueria: La Super Rica. The Santa Barbara hot spot is known for its fish tacos, tamales and, yes, good-looking crowd. Fun fact: This restaurant was also a favorite of famed chef Julia Child, but it’s unknown whether or not Child checked out the hotties.

ALSO: “Witness” big savings when you sign up for CheapCash!

5. Lyric: “So Let me get you in your birthday suit/it’s time to bring out the big balloons”
Song: Birthday

Spending time in your birthday suit isn’t a big deal when you visit Just Float in Pasadena. The sensory deprivation spa—the world’s largest float therapy center—is where guests strip down and zone out while floating in a dark, salt water tank. The 60-minute session encourages relaxation in a way that helps recharge mind and body. In Birthday, Perry promises to have us spinning like a disco ball. And floating can sometimes have the same effect—in a good way, of course.

Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles

Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles

6. Lyric: “Boy, you’re an alien/your touch, so foreign/it’s supernatural/extraterrestrial”
Song: E.T.
If you’re looking for an out of this world experience, San Diego’s Air & Space Museum is the place to go. You won’t see (and hypothetically fall in love with) any aliens, but the museum does feature an area devoted to spacecrafts including a display of the Apollo 9—which is one of only two Apollo Command Modules flown in space that’s on display west of the Rocky Mountains. And, of course, in Los Angeles, there’s the Griffith Observatory, when you can not only check amazing views of the city, but also see the stars through state-of-the-art telescopes.

Golden State Warriors, basketball, California

Golden State Warriors | Flickr photo by Keith Allison

7. Lyric: “I am the champion, and you’re gonna to hear me roar”
Song: Roar

If you’re in the mood to see some champions, head up north and check out a Golden State Warriors game. The San Francisco basketball team was the 2015 NBA champs, and recently won the NBA Conference Finals against the San Antonio Spurs. It’s so much easier to root for the home team when they’re actual winners.

app

Save

Save

Tagged: California, Destinations

Shares
10
Shares
Share with your friends










Submit

Imagine yourself pedaling a beach cruiser or a bicycle-built-for-two, a gentle breeze blowing through the air, stopping only for ice cream, epic views and dazzling sunsets over the water.

Perhaps you’ve been here before. If so, you know that it’s bliss on two wheels. In these moments, as all your senses are heightened, it’s not so much about getting somewhere as it is about enjoying the journey

A bike ride fosters a unique intimacy with a destination, and it can be a particularly magical experience along a beach, whether it’s cruising a bustling boardwalk or winding through a natural landscape. Here are a few beachy spots to help foster biking bliss.

RELATED: These are America’s most bike-friendly towns

MIAMI, FL


Deco bikes roll up and down the Miami Beach Boardwalk, intermingling with the beautiful people that make this oceanfront metropolis so glamorous. Enjoy this quintessential Miami Beach experience (which is only allowed south of 21st street) in the early morning or at sunset. Be sure to include a journey to South Point Park for 360-degree views of the ocean. The Marriott Stanton South Beach, right on Ocean Drive, offers its adorable beach cruisers—decorated in pale yellow with bright teal wheels—to guests free of charge. The Confidante – in the Unbound Collection by Hyatt, in Miami Beach’s buzzworthy Mid-Beach neighborhood offers complimentary beach cruisers for local exploration, too.

MACKINAC ISLAND, MI

No cars are allowed on this island in northern Michigan, giving this sweet island setting, where fudge shops and Victorian architecture rule, a tempo more befitting of the 19th century. It also makes bicycles an integral part of the experience. Cruise the 8-mile lakefront path that circles the island; it’s Michigan’s only state highway that’s automobile-free, with dazzling views over Lake Huron. Bicycle Street Inn and Suites, as its name suggests, has a fleet of bicycles available for guest rental.

SANTA MONICA, CA

The 26-mile bike bath that runs alongside the Pacific Ocean is a colorful kaleidoscope of California eye candy, taking you through Venice, where you can ogle bodybuilders at “Muscle Beach” and street performers from oceanfront cafes, and Marina del Rey, where you can marvel at massive yachts in the water. A journey along this path is on one of the most popular things to do in Santa Monica. The Bayside Hotel offers bright-red beach cruises for guests to rent.

HILTON HEAD, SC

Hilton Head Island’s 12 miles of hard-packed beach are totally, completely bike-able during low tide. The family-friendly Westin Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa offers bike rentals onsite for those eager to explore this, and the island’s network of biking paths.

ALSO: Ride on! CheapCash is instant when you book a flight on CheapTickets!

CHICAGO, IL

Chicago’s Lakefront Trail is glorious in summer, and a consistent surprise to visitors who don’t associate Chicago with beachfront bustle. The 18-mile path hugs Lake Michigan, winding through beaches, parks and the city’s museum campus. Hotel Lincoln, in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood, is convenient to the path and offers guests free bike rentals.

JEKYLL ISLAND, GEORGIA

Explore this laid-back setting on two wheels. It boasts more than 20 miles of paved biking trails that wind through beaches, sand dunes, riverfront, historic sites and forests shaded by ancient oaks. Be sure to pedal your way to the Georgie Sea Turtle Center, where you can witness the rehabilitation of these sea animals in action. The Westin Jekyll Island, situated right on the beach and convenient to paths, has a bike rental facility right next door.

SAN DIEGO, CA

San Diego is blessed with year-round weather perfect for bike rides. Explore the network of paths and bike lanes that traverse the Point Loma Peninsula, which boasts breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and San Diego Bay. It’s an adventure that can take you to Sunset Cliffs, Ocean Beach, Mission Bay Park and all the way to Cabrillo National Monument, with its historical sites, whale watching opportunities and tidal pools. The Pearl Hotel is a great springboard to it all. Bonus: It also offers free use of bikes to guests.

THE HAMPTONS, NEW YORK

Forget using your car here, where parking goes quickly and will set you pack a pretty penny. Opt for a leisurely bike ride along the beach, perhaps even cycling up to picturesque Montauk Point (if you’re feeling ambitious). The Maidstone in East Hampton offers guests complimentary use of red cruisers with baskets—ideal for stowing that towel, water and guilty pleasure beach read.

app

Tagged: Beach, California, Chicago, Family, Florida, New York City, Sports

Shares
726
Shares
Share with your friends










Submit
Hotel Deals for Las Vegas
Dignitary Discretion Las Vegas
NV, USA
Jun 20 - Jun 20, 2018
per night from
$ 1767.9
$ 441.97

Swimming pool + cocktail + you = Vegas paradise, right? Well, almost. While the daytime pool scene in Las Vegas has become a major spring and summer draw to the city in recent years, not all resort pools are the same. From DJ-driven scenes that easily attract crowds well into the thousands to cozy rooftop hideaways where the biggest thrill is whichever book you downloaded on your Kindle, here are the 10 best Las Vegas pools based on your personality type.

RELATED: 11 best Vegas casinos where the locals hang out

Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, gambling, pool

The aquatic playground at Mandalay Bay | Photo courtesy of MGM Resorts

The beach bum: The aquatic playground at Mandalay Bay
For you, the antiseptic swimming pool just doesn’t cut it. True paradise in your opinion includes the constant rhythm of crashing waves and the squish of hot sand between your toes. Well, if there’s one thing a desert has in abundance, it’s sand and Mandalay Bay has dragged in 2,700 tons of it to recreate an oceanfront vibe, complimented by a 1.6 million gallon wave pool. Ditch the lounge chair and slap your towel right down on the ground or rent your own cabana—they’ve got 100 in total! After a few minutes on their beach your opinion of the actual ocean might just be: What’s the point?

Las Vegas, pool, Bare, Mirage

Bare at the Mirage | Photo courtesy of Hakkasan Group

The exhibitionist: Bare Pool Lounge at the Mirage
That trip to the French Riviera left quite the lasting impression and these days, your idea of the perfect swimsuit is a one piece—as in just the bottom half. Enter Bare Pool Lounge at the Mirage, an adults-only escape where you can toss the bikini top aside. Shaded by palm trees (perfect for keeping the gawkers at bay) and intimate by Vegas standards, this 14,000-square-foot oasis is home to two dipping pools (we love the above ground one) and a minimum number of cabanas and daybeds. Word to the wise: Arrive early.

Las Vegas, gambling, hotels, pool

Citrus Pool Deck at the Downtown Grand | Photo by Jason Heidemann

The insider: Citrus at the Downtown Grand
You live in Sin City or know it like the back of your hand and hate that it’s overrun with bachelorettes and the bros who love them. No problem. One of the most unpretentious pool scenes in town happens daily at the Citrus Grand Pool Deck off Fremont Street. A true locals’ hangout (admission to this downtown gem is free, but lounge chairs go very fast), the Grand‘s rooftop pool is downtown’s largest and an oasis of urban calm, including chill mid-century decor and cocktails and snacks crafted in part with garden fresh ingredients grown poolside (whaaat?!). Bonus: The music here won’t rupture an eardrum. In short, it’s heavenly.

NightSwim, XS, Wynn, pool, Las Vegas, gambling

NightSwim at XS | Photo by Danny Mahoney

The night owl: Night Swim at the Wynn
Your Vegas motto is “go hard or go home” to the point where you don’t even get out of bed until 3pm (your porcelain skin withers under even the faintest ray of desert sun anyway). Enter the nighttime pool party. At the Wynn that means both extending its Encore Beach Club into Friday and Saturday night while moving its massively popular XS Nightclub poolside every Sunday evening. Picture lavish stage shows, pyrotechnic displays, marquee names (Skrillex, Diplo and Chainsmokers, etc.) and a sea of soaking wet millennials on the make. Is it relaxing? Not at all. Is it fun? Hell, yeah.

Temptation Sundays, Luxor, pool, Las Vegas, gambling

Temptation Sundays | Photo courtesy of MGM Resorts

The gay guy: Temptation Sundays at Luxor
Yo, gay dude, we’re guessing you’re pretty disappointed that a city made up largely of glitter and sequins is actually depressingly straight. Despite its hetero bent, the sun shines gaily at long-running Temptation Sundays, a smorgasbord of hard bodies in Speedos that takes over the sprawling Oasis Pool at the Luxor every Sabbath. Unlike most pool parties in Vegas, this one gets going late (duh), but rest assured come 3pm the boys and booze are out in full force. All genders and gender expressions are welcome, of course, but we’re not going to lie—it’s pretty much man soup out there.

ALSO: Is that chlorine in your eye or are you just emotional about all the CheapCash you could earn? Here’s how.

Flamingo, Las Vegas, Hotel, Gambling, Pool

Beach Club Pool at the Flamingo | Photo courtesy of Caesars Entertainment

The family guy: Beach Club Pool at the Flamingo
In a city of extremes, is there a happy medium to please both parents and children alike? The answer might be the Beach Club Pool at the Flamingo. Looking for water slides? The Flamingo boasts a trio of them. Looking for exotic animals? The outdoor Wildlife Habitat is close by and boasts koi fish, turtles, swans, pelicans and Chilean flamingos (including two twice daily feedings). Looking to keep an eye on your kid at all times? Relax, the pool is perfectly sized that you’ll never lose sight. As for adult pleasures, there is always a cocktail server close at hand.

Rehab, Hard Rock Hotel, pool, las vegas, gambling

Rehab | Photo courtesy of Hard Rock Hotel and Casino

The spring breaker: Rehab Beach Club at the Hard Rock Casino
Millennial tomfoolery is the foundation upon which the Vegas pool party was built, so if it’s Cancun-style antics you seek, this town was practically made for you. Of all the parties where you can unchain your inner party monster, Rehab at the Hard Rock is famous as the originator of the Vegas pool party. DJ blasting loud music? Check. Exclusive cabanas? Check. Outrageous drinks? Ridiculous contests? Bikini invitationals? Check, check and check. Best of all, Rehab opens earlier in the season than some other Vegas pools for its month-long Rehab Spring Break beginning late March. Let the drunk times begin.

Wet Republic, MGM Grand, Las Vegas, gambling, pool

Wet Republic at MGM Grand | Photo by Imagery Powers

The EDM fanatic: Wet Republic Ultra Pool at MGM Grand
You’re not in Vegas for the gambling and you’ve done the Cirque thing. But being the EDM fan that you are, you wouldn’t dare miss nights at mega-club Hakkasan and days spent poolside at Wet Republic. Many a pool scene boasts DJs du jour, but this 54,000-square-foot playground is full of thrills that surprise even a seasoned dance music fanatic like yourself. Top  talent in 2017 includes Steve Aoki, Tiësto, DJ Shift, Zedd and others. Oh, there’s also six VIP dipping pools, VIP cabanas and daybeds galore, and an open-air lounge stretching a quarter the length of a football field.

Vdara Pool and Lounge, Las Vegas, pool, gambling

Vdara Pool & Lounge | Photo courtesy of MGM Resorts

The Gen Xer: Pool & Lounge at Vdara
You wear the proper amount of sunscreen, you prefer a good book over booking it to the bar and turning 35 ranked as one of your best birthdays ever. You love your adult life and require just the right scene to go with it. Enter the Pool & Lounge at Vdara, a sun-kissed terrace oasis and attitude-free zone where the servers are friendly, the pastel color scheme calming and the music kept at a respectable enough decibel that you can actually hear the sound of the pages turning in that great book you’re reading. They say Vegas is fun for about 48 hours, but you could lay by this pool forever.

Las Vegas, pool, gambling, Strip, Cosmopolitan

Dive in Movies at the Boulevard Pool at the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas | Photo courtesy of the Cosmopolitan

The Cinephile: Dive In Movies at the Cosmopolitan
You love the movies, but are dying to enjoy them in the sartorial comfort of your trunks or a bikini. We got you, boo. Every Monday at 7:30pm during summer, the outrageously hip Cosmopolitan screens a Hollywood flick (think Jaws, Dirty Dancing, Clueless and, duh, Casino) from the cozy comfort of its elevated Boulevard Pool while the lights of the Las Vegas Strip glow in the background. Best of all, the screenings are free for guests and a mere five bucks for the rest of us. Entry’s first come first served, so there’s no VIP nonsense. And if the film gets too scary, just dunk under water.

app

Tagged: Las Vegas

Jason Heidemann

Jason Heidemann

Jason Heidemann

Latest posts by Jason Heidemann (see all)

Shares
22
Shares
Share with your friends










Submit

Before you trade in that student ID for a corporate badge, here are seven safe, affordable destinations where the dress code is nothing but casual. From hiking volcanoes to snorkeling with technicolor underwater life to kicking back with a cold beer, we’ll keep it easy on the wallet.

RELATED: 9 gorgeous hostels in Europe starting at $9

Reykjavik, Iceland

Iceland
The post-graduation month of June is a great time to visit the land of fire and ice, where the temperature is pleasant and the days are long. Reykjavik is a hotspot for thrill-seeking Millennials with a long list of never-ending adventures like snowmobiling, glacier hiking and even descending into a volcano. Budget-conscious travelers will appreciate that it’s a small, walkable city, but hop-on/hop-off buses are another great way to get around. Reykjavik Excursions offers “bus passports” with routes all around and outside of the city, including the Ring Road, a scenic loop of the island.

Costa Rica

Costa Rica

Costa Rica
Costa Rica’s abundant natural landscape offers tons of free outdoor activities like hiking through the cloud forests and the coffee plantations of Monteverde—and you’ll probably even spot a few monkeys. If you want to experience the death-defying zipline through the forest, it will cost you a pretty penny, so save your money and take the local bus to Playa Tamarindo, where you can surf all day and party all night. The Tiquicia Lodge in capital city San Juan offers great budget accommodations with breakfast included. Plan to eat at sodas, local family-run restaurants that serve a hearty plate of Costa Rican cuisine for just a few bucks.

Phuket, Thailand

Phuket, Thailand

Thailand
After you’ve sprung for the big-ticket airfare, Thailand becomes an incredible bargain. Look to Phuket, a beach lover’s dream with more than 36 sandy beaches, where all you need is a comfy towel and snorkel. Tint at Phuket Town, a great budget hotel, offers free internet for uploading all those great photos and checking in on social media. Tasty street food vendors let you fill your belly on a dime. If you’re looking for an inexpensive day trip, take the ferry to Phi Phi Island or visit the marine national park at Phang Nga.

RELATED: 14 songs you’ll only know if you’re a backpacker.

Grindelwald switzerland

Grindelwald, Switzerland

Switzerland
Spend a week in picturesque Grindelwald in the Jungfrau Region, where the only gear you need are hiking shoes. While Switzerland overall can be pretty pricey, the Mountain Hostel won’t break your budget, and it’s the perfect jumping off spot for the region’s multitude of challenging hiking trails. Make sure to visit Gletscherschlucht, a glacial gorge with walking paths and waterfalls. You’ll need to purchase a Swiss Pass to explore the area via trains and cable cars. If you’re able to indulge a bit, add the world-famous Top of Europe Tour to your pass, a cogwheel train that takes you to the highest station in Europe that will leave you with views that last a lifetime.

Cairns, Australia

Cairns, Australia

Great Barrier Reef
Put all those science credits to use and visit the Great Barrier Reef, one of the seven wonders of the world. You might be surprised to hear that snorkeling the reef is not only cheaper, but offers the same breathtaking experience as a more expensive scuba dive. Half Day Tours and Reef Trip both offer budget tours that will transport you to the best areas. Don’t worry if you blow your budget on this once-in-a-lifetime experience, you can spend the rest of your trip taking advantage of the great free offerings in this part of Queensland. On the Esplanade right in the center of Cairns, there’s a picturesque lagoon that’s a great place to cool off and wile away the day listening to live music. Just a short drive away you’ll find Stoney Creek Falls, a free secret hideaway nestled within the rainforest with fresh water swimming holes, rock jumps and waterfalls. Because this is backpacker central, budget accommodations abound.

ALSO: Adulting 101: Booking your flight on CheapTickets and automatically earning CheapCash towards a hotel!

Yellowstone National Park | Flickr photo courtesy of Always Shooting

U.S. National Parks Tour
If airfare isn’t in your post-graduation budget, gas up your car, grab a backpack and head west. If you’re looking to rough it and experience the great outdoors, the Northern Rockies are the place to go. Plan to spend a couple of days in each park, starting at the local park ranger station where you can take advantage of free daily guided walks to get a lay of the land. Grand Teton National Park has more hiking trails than you can conquer and is dotted with lakes, canyons, and peaks. Yellowstone, the world’s first national park, offers a different kind of wild life than you saw in college—you’ll see everything from bears to buffalo. Stay at the historic, yet budget-friendly, Old Faithful Inn (book early), the largest log structure in the world, where you can actually watch Old Faithful erupt from the cafeteria. End this epic adventure at Glacier National Park and spend the night in an authentic tepee at the Lodgepole Gallery and Tipi Village on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation.

Florida Keys, Overseas Highway

The Overseas Highway | Photo by Andy Newman/Florida Keys News Bureau

The Florida Keys
Margaritaville awaits you along this 113-mile stretch of highway where you’ll see some of the most picturesque beaches, dotted with kitschy roadside attractions and old-school seafood shacks. Trade in your travel itinerary for flip-flops because the Keys give casual a whole new meaning. Plan to just drive and stop on a whim anywhere along the route and chances are you’ll find a roadside stand where you can snorkel, kayak or just enjoy a cold beer.

You might want to park and walk across the famous Seven Mile Bridge that connects the Middle Keys with the Lower Keys because the turquoise blue waters make the perfect backdrop for a selfie. Drop your gear at the Seashell Motel & Hostel in Key West and head for the beach to swim with sea turtles, nurse sharks, parrot fish, and spiny lobsters all along the shallow reefs. If you’re not burned out on history, visit Ernest Hemingway’s home from the 1920s and see the colony of six-toed cats.

app

Tagged: Florida, Top 10 list

Beth Graham

Beth Graham

Beth Graham

Latest posts by Beth Graham (see all)

Shares
21
Shares
Share with your friends










Submit

A day at the beach or pool is usually equal parts fun and relaxing, but if you want to kick it up a notch, you’re going to have pack more than just some SPF and a good book in your tote. These fun, quirky items will not only make your days of soaking up the sun more enjoyable, they’re also great conversation starters—which means the beach party starts with you.

ALSO: The best vacation to take at every stage of your relationship

Photo courtesy of Ultimate Ears

UE Atmosphere Roll 2 speaker (ultimateeaters.com; $99)
When it comes to waterproof speakers, this one constantly tops the list for techies in the know. It produces top-notch sound and is super easy to travel with.

Photo courtesy of IcyBreeze

Icy breeze portable air conditioner and cooler (icybreeze.com; $249)
You might have seen this worth-the-splurge product on “Shark Tank.” It’s a cooler with an AC unit attached, so you can beat the heat with a cold beverage and a constant flow of cool air pointed in your direction. The air travels up to 25 miles per hour—perfect for having a Beyonce moment at the beach.

Photo courtesy of Fab.com

Verity beach towel (fab.com; $70)
Want to draw some attention to your poolside setup? Bring this bright, multifaceted-shaped towel and be prepared to constantly answer the question, “where did you get that awesome towel?”

Photo courtesy of

Cooler bag with racket set (fab.com; $40)
If you’re looking for more of a budget-friendly cooler, this is a good option. It also comes with two wooden paddles and a rubber paddle ball, so it’s game on after snack time.

ALSO: Make a splash with Orbitz Rewards. Sign up today!

Photo: Amazon.com

iPowerHouse solar phone charger (amazon.com; $30)
This is how you become the most popular person at the pool: Offer up free charges via this compact solar phone charger and you’ll surely spark up an interesting conversation with your poolside neighbors.

Photo: Amazon.com

Zing Anything Citrus Zinger sport cap water bottle (amazon.com; $18)
Add a little zest to your beach beverage with this bottle which features equipment that juices citrus fruits and infuses them into your drink. The bottle is intended for water, but we won’t judge if you get creative with your imbibing choices.

app

Tagged: Tips & advice

Shares
Share with your friends










Submit

Before you trade in that student ID for a corporate badge, here are seven affordable destinations where the dress code is nothing but casual. From hiking volcanoes to snorkeling with technicolor underwater life to kicking back with a cold beer, these destinations are safe and easy on the wallet.

RELATED: 9 gorgeous European hostels starting at $4

Reykjavik, Iceland
The post-graduation month of June is a great time to visit the Land of Fire and Ice, where the temperatures are pleasant (mid-50s) and the days are long (think midnight sunsets and 3am sunrises!). Reykjavik is a hotspot for thrill-seeking Millennials with a long list of never-ending adventures like snowmobiling, glacier hiking, descending into a volcano and, of course, Reykjavik nightlife. Budget-conscious travelers will appreciate that it’s a small, walkable city with hop on/off buses as another great way to get around. Reykjavik Excursions offers “bus passports” with routes all around and outside of the city, including a loop of the island.

Costa Rica
Costa Rica’s abundant natural landscape offers tons of free outdoor activities like hiking through the cloud forests and coffee plantations of Monteverde, where you’ll likely spot a few monkeys. If you want to experience the death-defying forest zipline, it will cost you a pretty penny.  Save your money and take a bus to Playa Tamarindo, where you can surf all day and party all night. The Tiquicia Lodge in bustling San Jose offers great budget accommodations with breakfast included. Plan to eat at sodas, local family-run restaurants that serve a hearty plate of Costa Rican cuisine for just a few bucks.

Phuket, Thailand
With more than 36 sandy beaches, where all you need is a towel and snorkel gear, Phuket is a beachlover’s dream. After you save up for big-ticket airfare, the rest of your trip will be an incredible bargain, including Tint at Phuket Town, a great budget hotel. Here, you’ll find free Internet for uploading all those great photos and checking in on social media. Tasty street food vendors let you fill your belly on a dime. If you’re looking for an inexpensive day trip, take the ferry to Phi Phi Island or visit the marine national park at Phang Nga.

Grindelwald, Switzerland
Spend a week in the most picturesque spot in Europe, the Jungfrau Region, where the only gear you need are hiking shoes. While Switzerland is generally pretty expensive, the Mountain Hostel won’t break your budget, and is the perfect jumping off spot for the region’s multitude of challenging hiking trails. Make sure to visit Gletscherschlucht, a glacial gorge with walking paths and waterfalls. You’ll need to purchase a Swiss Pass to explore the area via trains and cable cars. If you’re able to indulge a bit, add the world-famous Top of Europe Tour to your pass, a cogwheel train that takes you to the highest station in Europe that will leave you with views that last a lifetime.

ALSO: Earn CheapCash and see the whole world for less.

Cairns, Australia
Put all those science credits to use and visit the Great Barrier Reef, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. You might be surprised to hear that snorkeling the reef is not only cheaper, but offers the same breathtaking experience as a more expensive scuba dive. Half Day Tours offers budget excursions that will transport you to the best areas. If you blow your budget on this once-in-a-lifetime experience, spend the rest of your trip taking advantage of the free offerings in this part of Queensland. On the Esplanade, for example, right in the city center, there’s a picturesque lagoon that’s a great place to cool off and wile away the day listening to live music. A short drive from Cairns, you’ll find Stoney Creek Falls, a free secret hideaway nestled within the rainforest featuring fresh water swimming holes, rock jumps and waterfalls.

Rocky Mountain National Parks Tour
If airfare isn’t in your post-graduation budget, gas up your car, grab a backpack and head west. If you’re looking to rough it and experience the great outdoors, the Northern Rockies are the place to go. Plan to spend a couple of days in each park, starting at the local park ranger station where you can take advantage of free daily guided walks to get a lay of the land. Grand Teton National Park has more hiking trails than you can conquer and is dotted with lakes, canyons and peaks. Yellowstone, the world’s first national park, offers a different kind of wild life than you saw in college—you’ll see everything from bears to buffalo. Stay at the historic, yet budget-friendly Old Faithful Inn (book early), the largest log structure in the world, where you can actually watch Old Faithful erupt from the cafeteria. End this epic adventure at Glacier National Park and spend the night in an authentic tepee at the Lodgepole Gallery and Tipi Village on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation.

The Florida Keys
Margaritaville awaits you along the 113-mile stretch of the Overseas Highway, where you’ll see some of the state’s most picturesque beaches, kitschy roadside attractions and old-school seafood shacks. Trade in your travel itinerary for flip-flops because the Keys give casual a whole new meaning. Plan to stop on a whim anywhere along the route and chances are you’ll find a roadside stand where you can snorkel, kayak or enjoy a cold beer. Walk across famous Seven Mile Bridge connecting the Middle and Lower Keys because the turquoise blue waters make the perfect selfie backdrop. Drop your gear at the Seashell Motel & Hostel or NYAH in Key West and head for the beach to swim with sea turtles, nurse sharks, parrot fish and spiny lobsters along the shallow reefs. If you’re not burned out on history, visit the Ernest Hemingway House and hang with six-toed cats, actual descendants of Hemingway’s beloved felines.

app

Tagged: Beach, City, Florida, International

Beth Graham

Beth Graham

Beth Graham

Latest posts by Beth Graham (see all)