At the Beach: Kahuna Kupuna Surf Contest

kahuna kupuna surf contest

In Hawaiian, “Kahuna” means “Big Chief” and “Kupuna” means “Grandparent” or “Older member of the community to whom everyone goes for advice and counsel.”  So, “Kahuna Kupuna” means “Big Chief Grandparent” in Hawaiian.

Kahuna Kapuna is the only amateur surf contest in the world that focuses on surfers age 40 and over by offering separate shortboard and longboard heats (pending demand) for men and women in the following age divisions:

  • 40-49
  • 50-54
  • 55-59
  • 60-64
  • 65-69
  • 70-74
  • 75-79

The suggested entry donation is $65 and all net proceeds support Pacifica’s Environmental Family, a 501(c)(3) non-profit fiscal sponsorship organization that provides environmental education and support to local groups and individuals who want to care for and enhance the environment. This contest is run entirely by a dedicated group of over 50 volunteers.

Driftwood trophies, crafted from driftwood collected at Pescadero State Beach, south of Half Moon Bay and Moat Creek Beach up near Point Arena, will once again be given to the top 6 finishers in each division.

There will be a post-contest reception with live music, a full buffet dinner featuring delicious organic mexican food from the Green Enchilada and another lollapalooza of an award ceremony starting at 5:30 PM at the Pedro Point Firehouse. Each contestant’s entry will cover admission for the post contest festivities. A sliding scale suggested donation of between $10 to $20 is requested from additional guests who want to join us at the Firehouse. Will call tickets for your guests are available in advance or during the day of the contest.

For more information visit their facebook page:  Kahuna Kapuna

Teriffic Vacation in Seaside, OR!

Seaside is a beautiful city located in Clatsop County, Oregon.  Seaside is a tourist hotspot because of its fabulous beaches, chic vacation homes, close proximity to Portland, and interesting events that occur throughout the year.  During the summer, you can watch the widely-known Hood-to-Coast Relay or the beach volleyball tournament; and during the winter, you can enjoy the beautiful beaches and serene atmosphere.  You are bound to have a wonderful vacation experience in Seaside no matter what time of the year you visit!

Oregon beach house rental

oregon beach house rental

The terrific beaches of Seaside will keep you coming back to this city.   Seaside Beach is a scenic, sandy beach with clear waters.  At the beach, you will find volleyball, sandcastles, swing sets, kites and much more!  Seaside Promenade is a beautiful two-mile long walkway along Seaside Beach that you must check out.  You can embark on a soothing, beautiful stroll and watch the sunset or relax and soak in the beauty of the beaches and the glow on the sand produced by the reflection of the street lamps.  You can also start a little fire and listen to the sounds of the waves at night for a truly romantic experience.

Two notable state parks are located near Seaside: Del Rey State Park to the north and Ecola State Park to the south.  At the beautiful Del Rey State Park, you can relax, watch the view of the ocean, and have a wonderful family picnic.  The famous Ecola State Park includes Indian Beach and has unrivaled views of the Oregon Coast.  The park also has a historic dimension to it because you can walk along the Clatsop Loop Trail that has footsteps of Captain Clark and his men.

Seaside offers a variety of sports including swimming, surfing, volleyball, golf, tennis, kite-flying, and crabbing at Seaside’s 12 Avenue Bridge.  Fishing is a popular pastime in the city—anglers will encounter steelhead, trout and salmon in the waters!

One of the prime attractions of Seaside is the Seaside Aquarium which is one of the oldest aquariums on the West Coast.  At the aquarium, you can feed the seals and observe fascinating, native sea creatures.  In some of the underwater areas, you can see some exotic life forms including a spectacular 20-Ray StarFish, a brutal Wolf-Eel, or a deadly Moray Eel.  The Seaside Aquarium is most definitely a fascinating place to check out during your terrific vacation at Seaside!

Seaside has a variety of scrumptious restaurants and eateries.  Fresh seafood and well-known Oregon wines are the specialties at restaurants in Seaside.  Doogers Seafood and Grill is a great restaurant for seafood and Guido & Vito’s Italian Cuisine is a superb Italian bistro.  Seaside is a fantastic city for a vacation for the whole family.  By staying at a beautiful beach house in Oregon, and exploring the different aspects of this city, you are bound to have a terrific vacation!

The 10 Greatest Sea-Side Cliffs in the World

Cliffs of Moher, Ireland, 217 m above Atlantic Ocean

Cliffs of Moher, Ireland, 217 m above Atlantic Ocean

#10 – The cliffs of Moher – rise 120 meters (394 ft) above the Atlantic Ocean at Hag’s Head, and reach a maximum height of  about 214 meters (702 ft) just north of O’Brien’s Tower. The cliffs boast one of Ireland’s most spectacular views and are probably the most famous cliff  (if not rock formation) in the world.  Not the tallest cliff on our list, but certainly a crowd favorite.

Vixía Herbeira, Northern Galicia, Spain, 621 m above Atlantic Ocean

Vixía Herbeira, Northern Galicia, Spain, 621 m above Atlantic Ocean

#9 – Vixía Herbeira – is a mountain range in north Spain known for it’s beautiful rock formations and hundreds of sheer cliffs…some small some large.  This made our list not because of a single sheer drop, but for the tremendous views all along the coastal mountain.  A must see! Find Beach House Rentals in Spain for your vacation!

Croaghaun, Achill Island, Ireland, 668 m above Atlantic Ocean

Croaghaun, Achill Island, Ireland, 668 m above Atlantic Ocean

#8 – Croaghaun (Irish: Cruachán) - is a mountain in County Mayo, Ireland. It has the highest cliffs in Ireland and the third-highest sea cliffs in Europe at 668 m.  The most satisfying part of these cliffs lie in the fact that they are not reachable by car and you must either park at Keem beach and make the trek from there or park at the supply lake on the way to Keem bay, or go by boat on a rare calm day.

Los Gigantes, Tenerife-Canary Islands, Spain, 637 m above Atlantic Ocean

Los Gigantes, Tenerife-Canary Islands, Spain, 637 m above Atlantic Ocean

#7 – Los Gigantes - or “the Giants” is a resort town in Santiago del Teide residing on the west coast of the Canary Island Tenerife. The town is named after the Giant (literally) cliffs that make its spectacular coast line. Not to be mistaken for the cliffs of Moher, these rise from the sea to a height of 500-800 metres (1,640–2,625 ft) more than twice the size of #10 on our list.  We seem to mention the Canary Islands a lot…and why not?

Cape Enniberg, Faroe Islands, 750 m above North Atlantic

Cape Enniberg, Faroe Islands, 750 m above North Atlantic

#6 – Cape Enniberg Cliff - extends 754 m above sea level, which makes it the second highest sea-cliff in Europe.  Views from the water are (clearly) spectacular, but if you want to conquer this giant cliff, you’ll likely need an a trained local guide (especially if you intend to scale it from seaside). Normal hikers can only reach a certain height on a designated trail without a problem, and relentless fog can often be a problem. Regardless, this is one of the most spectacular sheer cliffs over water in all of Europe…and #6 (on our list) in the world.

Mitre Peak, New Zealand, 1683 m above Milford Sound

Mitre Peak, New Zealand, 1683 m above Milford Sound

#5 – Mitre Peak - is an iconic mountain in the South Island of New Zealand and is one of the most photographed peaks in the country.  At over a mile tall (yup that’s right) it’s the tallest peak on our list.  The name comes from the distinctive shape which resembles th mitre headwear worn by Christian bishops.  While this may be the tallest peak on our list (as it’s the tallest seaside peak in the world), it may not have the most sheer “cliff” feature, so we’ve demoted it to #5.  Still, however, its height alone is worthy of the placement.

Hornelen, Norway, 860 m above Frøysjøen

Hornelen, Norway, 860 m above Frøysjøen

#4 – Hornelen - is the highest sea cliff in Europe, and has been used throughout history as a landmark for naval navigation. While the horizontal distance from the summit to the sea shore is around 500 metres, it features sheer cliffs at the top and again at the base which put most single cliffs to shame.  Probably one of the most beautiful spots in Norway, it proudly sits at #4 on our list of sea-side cliffs.

The Lion, New Zealand, 1302 m above Milford Sound

The Lion, New Zealand, 1302 m above Milford Sound

#3 – The Lion – or Mount Kimberly, gets it’s appropriate nick-name from its distinct shape which resembles a crouching lion.  This (nearly) sheer cliff rises to over 1300 feet in a very short distance directly up from the famous Milford Sound and is certainly one of the most impressive seaside cliffs in the world.  This is the second cliff from the Milford Sound (NZ) on our list, and while it’s not as tall as Mitre Peak, its cliff side makes it one of the most impressive cliffs in the world.

Kalaupapa, Hawaii, 1010 m above Pacific Ocean

Kalaupapa, Hawaii, 1010 m above Pacific Ocean

#2 – Kalaupapa – is located on the island of Molokai, it is one of the most impressive rock formations in the state of Hawaii (and probably the world).  These 1000 m tall cliffs stretch for miles along the island plateau from end to end and overlook the peninsula village of Kalaupapa and the pacific ocean.  With all there is to see in Hawaii, this one MUST make it to your list of cliffs.  Helicopter ride anyone? See all of the many Hawaiian beach vacation rentals we have here!

Norway, 604 m above Lysefjorden

Preikestolen, Norway, 604 m above Lysefjorden

#1 – Preikestolen - or Prekestolen, in english means Preacher’s Pulpit or Pulpit Rock, and also goes by the old local name of Hyvlatonnå.  It is a massive cliff 604 metres (1982 feet) above Lysefjorden, opposite the Kjerag plateau, in Forsand, Norway. The top of the cliff is approximately 25 by 25 metres (82 by 82 feet) square and almost flat, and is a famous tourist attraction in Norway.  The mere shape, size, and beauty of this cliff speaks for itself.  It’s the largest straight down cliff into water in the planet and overlooks one of the most beautiful countries in the world.  The unique shape also gives it brownie points for us as it sticks out as if to say: enjoy this view…

Honorable Mentions: Some that did not make our list, but deserve special mentions:


Cliffs of Dover, United Kingdom, 100 m over Atlantic Ocean

Cliffs of Dover – not impressive in size, but certainly beautiful (for obvious reasons)


Talus Cones, Isfjorden, Norway

Talus Cones, Isfjorden, Norway – Another not so large, but uniquely beautiful cliff side in Norway.

Norway, 604 m above Lysefjorden

5 Underrated Vacation Destinations

Everyone loves going on vacation and most people usually travel to the same destinations every year, or else they choose different places to go but usually these are always popular tourist destinations. There are so many amazing vacation getaways that many people do not know of, and if they do they may have never thought of them as being a nice vacation hotspot. Since there are so many underrated destinations we cannot list them all so we are going to cover 5 of them with a small description and some videos that may make you want to travel there on your next getaway.

Western South Dakota/Black Hills Country

This area of the United States is very well known, and it gets its fair share of tourists but it is still one of the more underrated destinations for vacationing. In the Black Hills country you can see some amazing landscapes as well as some other amazing things such as Mt. Rushmore. There is plenty of history to discover throughout the area as well since this area has a well known town called Deadwood, which even has a show based on the towns history. Some of the other major attractions that may be for you include some extraordinary fishing, camping, hiking and mountain biking.

Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic is a historic island nation in the Caribbean, whose national heritage reaches back over 500 years. This rich and metropolitan nation has over 800 miles of coastline, with white sandy beaches, diving attractions, and access to unspoiled nature with a caribbean rental. Two popular destinations in the Dominican Republic are Cabrera and Casa De Campo. Cabrera is an unspoiled paradise, home to a national park reserve, which is rarely visited by tourists. Casa De Campo is a resort town on the southern coast of the island, which features amenities like challenging golf and luxurious, private oceanfront villas in Dominican Republic.

Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada

The Valley of Fire State Park is the oldest state park in Nevada and it was made a State Park in 1935, and it is only about an hour from Las Vegas. The largest attraction in the park is the huge rock formations that were made thousands of years ago from shifting sand dunes. There is a visitor center there which can help you learn the history of the park and can also help you discover some of the adventures that can be found there. Lake Mead is also located in this area and archeological buffs will be amazed by the petroglyphs that are located throughout the park.

Santander Region, Colombia

One of the most beautiful regions in South America is the Santander Region in the Northeast part of Colombia. The beaches and landscapes of the area are covered in white sand which makes for a beautiful view throughout the region. There are many things to do in the area and you will encounter other tourists, just not as many as some of the more popular getaways in South America. The capital city of Bucaramanga is referred to as “The Beautiful City” and one of the amazing natural wonders you can see while there is the Chicamocha river canyon, where you can ride one of the longest cable car systems in the world and see breathtaking scenery.

Chacala, Nayarit, Mexico

Chacala is not nearly as popular as Mexico’s tourist hot spots such as Acapulco, in fact Chacala is just a small fishing village about 60 miles north of Puerto Vallarta in the Mexican Riviera region. The people that do travel to Chacala consider it one of the unknown secrets of Mexico. It is an amazing and tropical destination where you can see all kinds of wildlife and there are all kinds of jungle trails to hike and nice quiet white sandy beaches to roam to make for a romantic and relaxing escape. Find Beach Front Villas for rent in Mexico.

10 Best Beach Moments in the Movies

Did you ever see a commercial for a burger joint and say to yourself… “I’ve got to have that RIGHT NOW?” I’ve done it more than my fair share of times. And it doesn’t just happen with commercials either, sometimes a good movie can do it.
It happened to me late Spring where I saw a movie with a really good beach on it and I said to myself “I don’t have anything planned for the summer and I’m so going to the beach.” As I got to thinking about it, I realized that there were a bunch of very memorable beach scenes in movies and I decided that it’d be a great idea to compile a list. Here it is and I hope that it meets your satisfaction. Enjoy!

10. “Saving Private Ryan” (1998)

Ok, so Normandy is not your typical “beach scene” but it is certainly the most memorable. It garners a spot because of its power and unflinching look at the heart of war. It also gets a spot because it is probably the single most important event in History to take place on a beach. If you want a hair-raising experience, get a good tour guide and visit this beach. Find a beach rental in Europe.

9. “Dr. No” 1962

The Bond franchise has spawned over 20 movies and therefore over 20 “Bond Babes”… but for all the excellent scenes of all of the films, none have quite the impact or richness of Ursula Andress walking out of the ocean in a bikini that has become part of pop culture and synonymous with sexy. James Bond Beach sits on a small peninsula at Oracabessa Bay, approximately 10 miles or 16 kilometres from the Jamaican north coast town of Ocho Rios. The beach is noted for its water sports centre, its “crystal clear” water, and its mountains that reach “straight down to the sea.” Other amenities, include a bar and a restaurant. The area has also served as a concert venue for Rihanna, Ziggy Marley, and Lauryn Hill. Find a vacation beach house in Central America.

8. “Pirates of the Caribean: At Worlds End” 2007

So now let’s get this straight. You’re dead, your heart is stuck in a locker, you have to take command of an undersea ship where you help user lost souls into another world, and you only get to come to a desolate island once every 10 years?!?!? But you have Keira Knightly coming to visit you on your shore leave? Not a bad proposition. “At World’s End” filmed the last scene at Pohaku Mauliuli Beach on the small island of Molokai, Hawaii. Find Beach Houses and Villas in Hawaii.

7. “10” 1979

One of the most classic scenes featuring a beach in film history, filmed in Malibu, California. If you’re over 40 then you likely remember this scene. The humor and appeal of Bo Derek running opposed to Dudley Moore has not diminished at all years later. Find California beach rentals here.

6. “Top Gun” 1987

It’s about as classic and memorable a scene from the 80’s can get. The Kenny Loggins backtrack only makes things even more Reganesque. As I look back at it now I realize that the greatest special effect in the entire film is making it appear as if Tom Cruise is actually tall enough to pull off a spike.

5. “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” 2004

A brilliant film about love and loss and the lengths that we will go to in order to shield ourselves from pain. Having erased each other from one another’s minds, Joel (Jim Carrey) and Clementine (Kate Winslet) have killed the memories of each other. But as true love has a way of surviving in even the most tragic circumstances they manage to bring themselves back together again as Clementine tells Joel “Meet me in Montauk.” the beach where they met and shared some of their best times. Without memory of each other they manage to find love again.

4. “Cast Away” 2000

If there is one actor on this planet that can carry an entire movie where he exists by himself and his only co-star is a Volleyball, it would be Tom Hanks. Told in essentially 2 parts being about 4 years apart, the 2nd half of the story opens with a fish being speared and the camera pans out to see Tom Hanks, looking tan and guant, yards away on a beach. The viewer instantly realizes that he has overwhelmingly adapted to his environment and this beach has become his home.

3. “Point Break” 1991

I couldn’t find a video of the infamous “Beach Party Scene” where Keanu Reeves’ “Special Agent Johnny Utah” meets Lorri Petty’s “Tyler”. So instead I’ve left you with the next best thing… Reno 911 and Human Giants awesome attempt to remake “Point Break.” If you grew up in the 80’s and early 90’s you can see how cheesy and delightful Point Break was. The perfect Summer movie.

2. “Rocky III” 1982

Once bitter rivals, Rocky and Apollo Creed meet as friends and compatriots in Rocky III to help Rocky prepare to face the vicious and fearsome Clubber Lang (played with frightening conviction by Mr. T). To help Rocky prepare, Apollo sets him forth in one of the most quintessential training montages in film history, culminating with a beach run and frolic in the surf.

1. “From Here to Eternity” 1953

Without a shadow of a doubt, the most remarkable and memorable film scene including a beach has to be 1953’s “From Here to Eternity.” Featuring Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr, this film made beach kissing seem infinitely romantic. Never mind the sand in odd places or salt water going in your ears and nose… this film made a spontaneous and passionate kiss on the beach the cornerstone of any great relationship.

5 of the Most Beautiful Beaches in the World

Jose Ignacio, Uruguay

Jose Ignacio is an old fishing village in Uruguay that has now become a popular tourist destination. The beach is very beautiful and relaxing and there are plenty of fun things to do, including many water sports, fishing, horseback riding along the beach and some of the best seafood restaurants in the world. There are also many fun nighttime activities on the beach with all kinds of fun music and dance. You may even be surprised and see a celebrity while on vacation there, as it has become a hot bed for famous vacationers because of the breathtaking beauty.

Currimundi Lake, Queensland, Australia

Currimundi Beach is located on the sunshine coast of Australia and is famous for its amazing surfing and fishing. It is a must visit for anyone travelling to the area that enjoys beautiful beaches and fun in the water. Currimundi Lake is what the area is mostly known for, but there are many other exciting things to do that are close to the famed saltwater lake.

Pink Sands Beach, Harbour Island, the Bahamas

Pink Sands Beach is located on Harbour Island, which is one of the less known islands in the Bahamas. It is still popular among tourists, just not as commercial and busy as the larger islands that are always very busy with casinos and many other tourist traps. If you are looking for a laid back vacation with a beautiful beach then Harbour Island and the Pink Sands Beach is probably perfect for you. Find Beach Houses for rent in the Bahamas.

Bora Bora, French Polynesia

Bora Bora is home to another beautiful beach and is another popular getaway for many tourists because of this. The island itself is very secluded and relies heavily on tourism to sustain. Given how beautiful the island is they have no problems attracting thousands and thousands of visitors from around the world year round. If you are a fan of snorkeling or scuba diving then you will definitely want to consider Bora Bora since the lagoon there is one of the best places in the world for these activities.

Anse Source D’Argent, French Polynesia, Seychelles

Anse Source D’Argent is considered by many to be the most beautiful beach in the world. The beach has beautiful pink sands and huge granite boulders arranged naturally around the beach, and these do nothing but enhance the beauty of the beach. These boulders are shaped by the weather over many many years and they have some very unique and interesting shapes and curves. The beach is surrounded by reefs, so there is great snorkeling and scuba diving here as well, and the beach is also one of the most photographed beaches in the world because of it’s beauty. It is a popular tourist island but it is not as commercial as many other well known beach getaways, and it is not loaded with huge hotels and casinos like many other islands that are similar.

Guest Blog – Loggerhead Turtles of North Captiva Island

On my most recent trip to North Captiva Island, I had the opportunity to go on a turtle walk with a conservationist volunteer who is responsible for reporting on sea turtle nests. It was a fascinating fact finding experience. We started before sunrise and walked for approximately 3 hours investigating turtle nests and crawls. This is what I learned.

Each summer from May through August, something wondrous happens along our beaches: An ancient mariner, the loggerhead sea turtle, leaves the water during the night and crawls ashore in North Captiva Island to lay her eggs in a sandy nest.

The task of excavating a nest may take her over an hour to accomplish. The turtle – weighing several hundred pounds – laboriously digs a nest cavity with her rear flippers.


Turtle nest

She then deposits approximately 100 pliable ping-pong ball sized eggs into the chamber, covers them with sand and returns to the sea.

After roughly a two-month incubation period, a cluster of tiny hatchlings emerges from the sand and scrambles to the Gulf. Unfortunately, their sea-finding ability can be disrupted by lights from buildings and streets. Confused, the hatchlings wander inland and are crushed by vehicles or die from heat exhaustion in the sunlight.

Loggerhead Turtle Facts:

  • Loggerheads are air-breathing reptiles, scientific name Caretta caretta
  • The common name refers to the turtle?s large head
  • Loggerheads are the most common sea turtles in Florida.
  • Weighing 250 – 400 pounds, adults can grow to more than three feet in length.
  • Hatchlings are two inches long.
  • Nesting occurs from May through August. Hatching may extend through October.
  • The nest cavity is 18 – 22 inches in depth.
  • Incubation period of the eggs in their sandy nest is 55 – 65 days.


turtle tracks

turtle tracks

Danger of Extingtion
Most adult loggerhead turtles nest every other year or every third year, laying several clutches of eggs during a nesting season. Only a small percentage of hatchlings survive to maturity! Loggerhead turtles have existed on Earth for millions of years with little serious threat to their survival – until recently. Pollution, lighted beaches, loss of nesting habitat, drowning in shrimp nets and other fishing gear have contributed to the drastic decline of these and other sea turtles.

Villa Osprey, Oceanfront Vacation Beach House, Turks & Caicos

Villa Osprey is a beautiful oceanfront villa, located in Silly Creek on the southwest side of Providenciales. The home offers high-end finishes and spectacular 270 degree views, including outstanding sunset views. The lush tropical vegetation that surrounds the home makes this a calm and private estate.

Villa Osprey

Perfect for families with small children, the villa boasts an infinity edge pool, a hot tub, and a shallow pool for kids! Beyond the pools, the veranda features a Tiki Hut and ample lounging space. A sand path leads you to a private gazebo for exceptional sea views. A staircase descends from the villa’s pool deck to a swim platform hovering just above the ocean water and equipped with two kayaks for your use. Enjoy endless views, ideal conditions for swimming, and an inviting space to lounge.

A comfortable great room offers formal dining for 8 on one end and a cozy conversation space on the other. Each of the three bedrooms has a private bathroom and terrace access overlooking the crystalline turquoise waters of the ocean. Villa Osprey, beach vacation rental at Turks and Caicos is simply an exceptional home to relax and savor the pleasures of the Caribbean.

• 270 degree ocean views
• Spacious, light-filled, fully-equipped kitchen
• Well-appointed living room with large screen TV
• Indoor dining for eight
• Oceanside, infinity pool and Jacuzzi with separate shallow children’s pool
• Poolside Tiki Hut
• Shaded outdoor terrace with stunning views
• Steps from the ocean, with a private swim platform
• Hilltop sunset gazebo
• Kayak and snorkeling gear
• $200/week air conditioning allowance included

Please note that reservations less than 7 nights must be approved before booking. Please send an inquiry with your requirements if you wish to book less than 7 nights.

Turks and Caicos Islands is a Caribbean chain of eight major islands and numerous uninhabited cays located 575 miles south of Miami and 39 miles southeast of the Bahamas, just north of Dominican Republic and northeast of Cuba. The islands of the Turks and Caicos are pristine nature preserves and sultry Caribbean resorts perfect for a family beach vacation. From the main tourist center of Providenciales to the quiet and tranquil islands of North and Middle Caicos, to the historic Capital Island of Grand Turk, each island in the Turks and Caicos has a unique character. During your Turks and Caicos beach vacation experience a great year-round climate, breathtaking beaches, and many underwater activities including scuba diving in coral reefs full of marine life.

Top California Beaches

California is known for its beautiful people, great weather, and gorgeous beaches. All along the west coast of the USA are an assortment of beaches with surf and sand to enjoy at almost all times during the year. Book a California beachfront house or condo here.

Whether you’re looking for surf, excitement, a California family beach vacation, or the prettiest views on the coast, there are plenty of options to fulfill every desire you have.

Newport Beach offers decent waves and a relaxed atmosphere. Newport’s beaches aren’t too crowded despite the beautiful surrounding, making the area a great place to skim or just read a book while soaking in some sun. Newport also offers several oceanside beach houses, condos and apartments for rent, making staying there an attractive option for people looking to “get away” at a more affordable price.

Laguna Beach, located just south of San Diego, offers secluded, beautiful beaches. You can get better deals on beach villas here and still be close to the San Diego attractions such as Sea World and its world famous zoo. There are family-friendly areas that tend to be more crowded, but travel further down the surf and you can find beaches where you can isolate yourself and enjoy some gorgeous views of the Pacific Ocean. The sand is hard-packed and easy to walk on, making a romantic walk on the beach a great idea for blossoming Southern California lovers. Book a beachfront villa at Laguna Beach!

Dillon Beach, is a small beach town nested in Northern Marin County, roughly 60 miles North of San Francisco. Far from the hustle and bustle of city life, Dillon Beach is a great destination for families looking to relax in serene beauty along the California Coast, known for being a beach lover’s delight with its beach village of sunbathers, swimmers, surfers, fishermen, and boatmen. Dillon Beach vacation rentals are both large cliffside villas with breathtaking views, and more modest, classic style beach homes further inland.

Two important reasons to pick a Dillon Beach house rental are the community’s pet-friendliness and its popularity during the off-season. In the off-season you can enjoy uncrowded beaches with enticing surf, starry nights and perfect sunsets. Things cool off in the evenings when it gets to be closer to 50 degrees at night, but after September Dillon beach is clean, quiet, secluded, and drop-dead gorgeous. Most house rentals in the area welcome pets, and the community in general is great for families looking to bring along their four-legged friends. Be sure to check beforehand, though, because some breed bans are in place.

While these beach vacation options offer some of the most diverse and enjoyable locations for spending your day on the coast, there are several other beaches to vacation at in California. Generally, you can’t go wrong. Beautiful weather and clean beaches can be found almost everywhere, so pack up your towel, a smile, and a pair of swim trunks, and you’ll most definitely enjoy your day in the sand.

Winter at the Beach – Clearwater Beach, Florida

Fort Desoto Park, Florida

Fort Desoto Park, Florida

On this particular winter vacation, our family opted for jet skis over snow skis and was happy not to wait in long lift lines. We may be trading our snow skis for water skis next year as well!

Our Clearwater Beachfront condo was on Sand Key, just outside Clearwater Beach, Florida and a few minutes from two of the top 10 best beaches in the US: #3 Fort Desoto Park and #8 Caladesi Island State Park. We experienced the best December weather in the country with pure blue skies and highs in the upper 70′s (one day it got to 81). The beach was clean and the sand was like fine powdered sugar. In other words, it was perfect!

island way grill

Island Way Grill

We did everything from feeding Alligators to Parasailing & rented jet skis directly off the beach just steps from the Sand Key State Park. Having jet skied in California, ocean water in the face can be quite cold even in the summer. This, surprisingly, is not the case in December when jet skiing in Clearwater Beach, Florida. Decembers mild humidity made for a perfect air temperature and the spray of the ocean was invigoratingly refreshing. The large ocean shelf off the Florida’s gulf coast reduces the chop and tends to keep the waves perfect for jet skiing and even more perfect for swimming. During our stay, there were several times when the ocean was like glass and calm, allowing for some awesome jet skiing donuts and spins. Florida law provides that if you are at least 14 years of age and pass a test online, you can be certified to legally drive a jet ski. This was great news for our 14 year old son and gave his parents a glimpse of his car driving future!

After a day at the Beach, there’s nothing better than eating conch fritters and fresh grilled grouper stuffed with crab. One of the best restaurants (only five minutes from our beachhouse vacation rental!) was the Island Way Grill. It’s worth the wait if you want to eat outside on the bay.

If your next winter vacation plans include spending hours in traffic to drive to the ski lifts or potentially getting stuck on a plane waiting to de-ice, I would highly recommend that you consider finding that perfect Clearwater Beach house vacation rental and book a flight! Your snow skis might become outdated before you know it!”

-’s own Ski Beach Bum

Insider Interview: Destin, Florida

Destin - Emerald Coast

One of Destin's Beaches

Destin is home to virtually every water sport and activity imaginable.  The water is consistently warm with temps reaching 86 degrees in October. Vacationers can go boating, parasailing, jet skiing, or snorkel with some of the local marine life including manatees, dolphins and sea turtles.  You don’t even have to take a charter out of the harbor to find a great snorkeling location.  Local’s tip: snorkel on the jettys off of Gulf Shore Drive on Holiday Isle, where you can park for free and walk down to the water. The snorkeling here is amazing!

For other activities, there are dozens of golf courses, the Big Kahuna waterpark, the Gulfarium (mom and pop type aquarium that is popular with kids and families) or the Harbor Docks in downtown Destin, offering free parking and a variety of specialty shops, restaurants, ice cream parlors – a great place to rent boats and snorkeling equipment.

Destin is also known for its great dining and shopping.  On the East end of town there is the Silver Sands Outlet Mall, the largest designer outlet mall in the US, and in Mid-town Destin is the newly built Destin Commons, which is home to a Hard Rock Cafe as well as a 14 screen cinema and other retail shops.

The Baytowne Wharf in Sandestin, a bustling sub-community of Destin, has lots of shops and it is a great place to take the family or head out to for a night on the town.   At Christmas they even bring in an ice skating rink and put up lights!

Taken off of Dewey Destins dock

Taken off of Dewey Destin's dock

For food, here are our picks:

  • The Back Porch – known for their fresh seafood and oysters
  • Dewey Destin’s (the town was named after his family!) – located on the harbor and serving up large portions of great downhome cooking
  • Pompano Joes Restaurant – its right on the beach on Scenic 98, and also has outside as well as inside dining, casual entertainment and a casual beach bar
  • Bonefish Grill – good service, consistently great food, and a nice, quiet ambiance – perfect for a romantic dinner or special occasion
  • Donut Hole – a popular locals spot that has been a staple since the towns conception  - makes a great keylime pie
  • Broken Egg – fresh and nutritional food, over 130 menu items, great for breakfast, brunch or lunch
  • Jim ‘N Nick’s BBQ – great southern food made from scratch

Destin’s peak season runs from the end of May through the first part of August but “the luckiest fishing village in the US” as Destin is also known, hosts one of its main annual events in October – the annual “Fishing Rodeo” where the person with the largest catch nets $100,000 in prize money!

Destin Beach Houses For Rent

White Sand Beaches of Destin

What keeps people returning to Destin year after year for a great vacation spot?

We think it is the beauty of the water – it’s turquoise, clear and breathtaking, as well as the clean white sandy beaches.  People can’t believe it when they first pull up to the water.

It’s still family oriented. A quaint town – no crowds or high-rises – and the people are down to earth…good ‘ol boy people.

Destin has managed to maintain this small-town feel, yet is only 55 miles from the Spring Break-type of vacation one can find in either Pensacola, Florida and Panama City, Florida.

And the sluggish economy hasn’t hit Destin as hard as other popular vacation destinations – perhaps due to its central location on the Florida panhandle, making it easy to get to on not too much gasoline from southern Florida, and the neighboring states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia.  Destin is also more accessible thanks to the addition of an International Airport.

Book your dream vacation now in Destin! Check all of our options from private houses with pools to beachfront condos with many amenities, on

Save our Beaches: Rain Gardens – An Easy Way to Minimize Storm Water Runoff

Every day water mixes with common household (cleaning products, fertilizers) and environmental pollutants (oil, pesticides) that flow from our homes, offices, roads and landscapes and, eventually, into our oceans.  Compound this daily, times our population, and multiplied over years and years, and our oceans, lakes, rivers, streams and ponds are paying the price.

And when you stop and think how much of a part our water plays in our everyday lives, it behooves us to keep it clean.  On The Surfrider Foundation’s Ocean Friendly Gardens page of their Website, they report that, “runoff from residential landscapes affects the quality of our oceans and the quality of our lives. The sediment in water reduces clarity; nutrients increase algae populations and red tides; bacteria close beaches; debris can choke and suffocate aquatic species; and pesticides picked up off a landscape can poison fish consumed by humans — all of which degrade the natural beauty, and our enjoyment, of the ocean.”

One of the ways that each of us can do our part to minimize polluted run-off from reaching our waters is by opting to plant a rain garden in your yard instead of a conventionally landscaped garden.

Rain gardens incorporate native shrubs, perennials, and flowers planted in a small depression, which is generally formed on a natural slope of your yard.  The natural design temporarily holds rain water runoff that flows from the roof of your house, patios and the rest of your lawn, allowing your garden to drink from the accumulated water…water that would usually run off into the streets and gutters, picking up pollutants along the way, and eventually landing in our oceans.

Want to make a rain garden at your home or office?  Here are some rain garden tips:

  • Dig a 6 – 12 inch ditch where you want to make your rain garden – typically on the downside of your property so that the water drains away from your house – or you can check to see if your space has a natural depression – any small valley or dip will work perfectly.
  • If you are creating your own ditch, orient it so that it runs parallel (lengthwise) to the widest part of your house – this will help maximise the amount of rainwater runoff you will be able to capture from your roof.
  • Size:  the square footage of your rain garden should generally equal about 20% of the area draining into it – for example, if your roof covers 800 square feet, a rain garden designed to collect all of the roof’s runoff should cover 160 square feet.
  • Any native plants will do well in a rain garden – and they will not need fertilizer to thrive.  Opt for shrubs and grasses over trees and trees tend to hog all of the water.
  • Create your garden at least 10 feet from your house or basement in order to avoid water damage to these structures.

As rain gardens gain exposure and popularity, many landscaping companies are becoming rain garden advocates and experts and home improvement centers often host “how to” seminars on rain gardens if you need more information.

Rain gardens are effective in removing up to 90% of nutrients and chemicals and up to 80% of sediments from the rainwater runoff. Compared to a conventional lawn, rain gardens allow for 30% more water to soak into the ground, making them an easy and beautiful way to help preserve our oceans and waters.

Dolphin soars; wipeouts galore at the wild Wedge

It was another wild day at the Wedge, with more surfers and bodyboarders in the water getting worked on Friday morning, as waves in the 15-foot range and bigger slammed the shore.

More spectators lined the shoreline today, with news crews out and the echos of “ohhhhh” ringing loud when one of the insane riders was pummeled by a huge wall of water. There were big-time wipeouts, as well as some amazing rides.

Wild Wedge thrills and spills on Friday as swell stays strong

Wild Wedge thrills and spills on Friday as swell stays strong

It was a big day for thrills and spills as the guys out in the water tried to take on the big bad Wedge before the swell starts to drop over the weekend. It was day 2 of the swell, a bit cleaner today but more crowded.

A few of us were on the sand Thursday morning when the swell started to hit hard, and all of a sudden a huge dolphin came flying out of the top of a wave, propelling itself way up in the air.

I pulled up my camera and hit the button, but it happened so fast the dolphin was gone in a split second. Another photographer and I looked at each other, mouths dropped “DID YOU GET THAT?!” Neither of us did.

Fortunately, John Minar had the camera rolling, and said he didn’t even see it until he was looking through his footage later that day. It goes to show that the dolphins are the original locals out there, and none of us can compete. Definitely take a few minutes to watch; it’s guaranteed to make your Friday:

Interested in California Beach Real Estate? Find thousands of properties, from beach homes to beachfront lots and acreage here.

In Honor of Father’s Day…

OK, so you’ve already given your dad that customized necktie embellished with your photograph on it, now you have a little down time while your dad is out getting acquainted with the new gas grill your mom gave him.  Before your family sits down to eat, now’s your chance to read up on’s  picks for the top baseball parks to visit….maybe next Father’s Day, instead of giving him some cheap cologne that smells like Robert Downey Jr. trying to cover up after a bender, you can spare your dad the hassle of faking that he loves your gift and give him something he will truly enjoy – tickets to a baseball game and some quality bonding time with you…and a couple of ball park brews never hurt anybody – emphasis on couple.

Wrigley Field is one of the oldest and most notorious fields in the United States.  Despite the field’s notoriety, the Chicago Cubs haven’t exactly made a name for themselves – unless you count the fact that they have never won the World Series, and now that the Red Socks have won theirs, the Cubs are officially the worst cursed team in the league.  But that doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy yourself at the home of Ferris Bueller’s infamous day off, deep dish pizza and organized crime.

If your dad likes the finer things in life, he’d love to be treated to a day at the on-the-water Oracle Park in San Francisco, California.  Some of baseball’s greatest call this park home, including Willie Mays, Willie McCovey and all time home run leader, Barry Bonds.  The park has every amenity your dad could ask for and all kinds of classic and not so expected stadium food – the crab sandwiches and Cuban cuisine (in honor of Orlando Cepeda – former Giant) are some of the fan favorites.  And if your dad is the kind to get a little out of hand after a couple brewskies, it won’t faze this crowd – they’re used to scandals (Steroids anyone?). Find beach houses for rent in California.

It may seem biased to have more than one California stadium on this list, but if you lived here, you’d know why we’re biased.  Even though the National League West is quite possibly the weakest division in sports, the Petco Park and ambiance of the surrounding cityscape’s is unparalleled.  It’s always sunny and there’s plenty to do – so if the team ain’t winning, go surfing or get tipsy with the college kids.

One of the most loved (and hated) franchises in all of sports, the Yankees have a brand spankin new stadium to call home.  They left their monument to baseball history behind them and started this season with a new coach.  Besides being the most winningest team in the history of baseball, they have, arguably, the most loyal fans in the game…so you and your dad, foam fingers and pin-stripes in place, will fit right in.

Fenway Park is the oldest stadium in the US, making it a perfect place for a dad who loves the classics.  With 2 recent championship titles under their jockstrap, the Red Sox are one of the most intimidating teams to compete with and one of the most exciting teams to watch.  Not for the faint of heart or dad’s with young kids (and virgin ears) Sox fans are hard drinking and curse like sailors…they’re also overwhelmingly passionate about their team.  After the game’s over there’s still plenty to do in one of the oldest city in America – so buy a pint, start dropping your r’s and you’ll fit right in.

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Insider Interview: Florida’s North Captiva & Boca Grande

3435492417_cd85059273_bIt’s no wonder Sarah Rapp loves what she does.  For the last 10 years she has worked as a Broker/Realtor and advertising agent for rental properties throughout Southwestern Florida.  As the owner of her own company, Sarah has worked for 8 years in North Captiva and 2 years in Boca Grande and owns a private residence in North Captiva…although she divides her time between Boca Grande and North Captiva.

And who wouldn’t love dividing their time between these gorgeous barrier islands?

 Tropic Ten - Dunes Of Boca

Tropic Ten - Dunes Of Boca

Sarah recalls her first visit to North Captiva, “I loved the natural beauty – it’s still somewhat untouched and family oriented.”

And untouched they are – North Captiva is only accessible by boat and there are no cars on the island, vacationers instead opting to navigate around the island by golf cart, bicycle and boat.

Boca Grande has a land bridge making car travel an option, however many still choose to get around in golf carts or on bike.

“For some people, the fact that they have to be without their car in North Captiva is a bit too much,” says Sarah.  ”So Boca Grande is the next best fit.”

Peak season for both of these lush US islands runs from March through the first part of April.  However, both of these locals have great weather year-round, so go ahead and plan your trip for the off-season when you can enjoy warm weather and great rates on North Captiva vacation rentals!  And if you’re concerned about hurricanes, they are no reason to miss out on a great tropical escape.  Sarah recommends getting travel insurance if you’re planning your trip anytime between August and November.

Once in Boca Grande, vacationers have many options of activities – one of Sarah’s favorites is to head out on one of the many bike paths that wind through the city.  Sarah has also found that Boca Grande has some of the best shelling of anywhere Sarah has been, saying  ”They’re magnificent”

Gasparilla Inn

Gasparilla Inn

She also recommends stopping by the charming Gasparilla Inn & Club for dinner and drinks.  The club has a variety of dining options ranging from The Main Dining Room (open for breakfast and dinner daily), The Pink Elephant, or “The Pink” as many call it (a more casual option for lunch, dinner and drinks), or the popular BZ’s lounge where patrons can lounge on the sofas and chairs and sip one of the Inn’s signature drinks: Gaspartinis, Mojitos and Planter’s Punch.

North Captiva and Boca Grande are only about a 40 minute boat ride apart from eachother – close enough to plan a day trip from one to the other.

Sarah’s North Captiva Picks

A good catch on a North Captiva fishing charter!

A good catch on a North Captiva fishing charter!



  • Island Girl Charters, is a water taxi service to North Captiva, docking at Safety Harbor Club and Barnacle Phil’s Restaurant. They offer daily trips to the Pink Elephant on Boca Grande and Cabbage Key, as well as nature, dolphin watching, shelling, manatee and birding trips.”
  • Visit Boats and Fun run by father, Alberto Barbero, and son, Matias Barbero, who Sarah refers to as “Mr. Fun,” for jet ski, kayak, wakeboard and boat rentals, banana boat and inter-tube rides, and scuba & dolphin excursions.  ”Matias is always smiling, always happy,” says Sarah.  Boats and Fun “has really created a great shop – you can go by and ask them when the tide is, what’s going on around town, anything.”

Vacationers who stay at one of our North Captiva beach house rentals also get to enjoy a guest membership (and all of the amenities that come with it!) to the North Captiva Island Club Resort.  The club offers 2 clay tennis courts, 2 swimming pools, kayaks, bikes, beach chairs, fitness equipment, day excursions, a pool bar that also serves up milkshakes for the kids and more.  The staff of the North Captiva Island Club will also help assist with groceries and luggage!

Hello, my name is Belize!

Traveling through Belize you will see the sign, “No Shirt, No Shoes…No Problem!” nearly everywhere you go. This relaxed approach to life is only part of what is attracting more and more visitors to Belize each year.

Ambergris Caye Island, BelizeLocated between Mexico to the north, Guatemala to the west and south and the Caribbean Sea to the east, Belize is a country of contrasts.  Belize may be the only country in Central America where English is the official language, but Belize has a diverse society, composed of many cultures and speaking many languages and, culturally, Belize considers itself to be both Caribbean and Central American.

Geographically Belize has a lot for travelers to take in as well.  The Caribbean coast is lined with a coral reef and some 450 islets and islands known locally as Cayes.  In total they comprise about 270 square miles of land and form the 200 mile long Belize Barrier Reef, the second longest in the world after the Great Barrier Reef.  Three of the four coral atolls in the Western Hemisphere are also located off the coast of Belize.

And, because over 40 of Belize’s mass is a protected national park, wildlife sanctuary or marine reserve, there is no shortage of wildlife.  Sharks, coral fish, dolphins and turtles troll the waters, and over 570 species of birds, including toucans, fly the skies.

Caye Caulker, BelizeCaye Caulker – one of the tiny islands off of the Belize coast – is a great place to observe the culture of Belize, while staying within a budget.  In fact, this island has been a stop for backpackers and college travelers for decades!  Many of the residents of Caye Caulker are fishermen, making the island a great place to get fresh spiny lobster and snapper.  There are no cars on Caye Caulker but there are plenty of beaches, friendly locals and delicious food.

Another must see while in Belize is Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary, named after the cashew trees that inhabit the village.  For $8 you get access to the community that is actually home to 900 locals, of Creole descent, who have been farming and fishing the area for generations.  If you make it there in the morning, you’ll also get to see the amazing variety of birds that inhabit the area and make this one of the top birding destinations in the world.

After you’ve conquered Belize by land, venture seaward and see Belize’s Hol Chanand the Great Blue Hole.  Hol Chan, also known as “Shark-Ray Alley,” is an split in the reef where nurse sharks and sting rays among other marine life, make their home.  Besides being a prime destination for dive excursions, Hol Chan is also a marine reserve.

Great Blue HoleFirst made famous by Jacques Cousteau, the Great Blue Hole is a large underwater sinkhole that can be seen from space!  The world’s largest feature of its kind, the Hole  attracts divers looking to catch a glimpse of the nurse sharks, Caribbean reef sharks and Blacktip sharks that live in the area.  Dive trips to the Great Blue Hole are usually full-day trips, including a dive in the Blue Hole and two other dives in nearby reefs.

Whatever attracts you to Belize, the warmth of the local culture will make you feel you’ve found a second home.  Actually, many visitors have made it their second home – and when the owners are away, why not take advantage of the great deals to be had by renting a vacation house in Belize rather than paying a nightly rate for a hotel?

Manzanillo – Que Bonita!

Manzanillo, Mexico is a wonderful destination located in the state of Colima. It is a coastal city on the Pacific side with the busiest port in Mexico. However, despite its commercial importance, it has retained its tranquil laid-back Mexican charm.

The port of Manzanillo is made up of two separate bays, divided by the Peninsula of Santiago. On the left is the Bay of Santiago, followed by a smaller notched-out area, known as Playa Audiencia and on the right-hand side, is the Bay of Manzanillo. Both bays are more than five miles long and offer a variety of water sports activities.

Manzanillo is replete with pristine, breathtaking beaches that are undeniably the most beautiful on the western coast of Mexico. Manzanillo is a perfect vacation spot for people that want to get-away-from-it-all and immerse themselves in the best of Mexican beauty and natural charms.  The best way to experience the local way of life in Mexico is to rent a beach house!

In the north side of Manzanillo, the tourist zone offers exclusive gift shops, cultural stores, travel agencies, tour operators, authentic restaurants and beautiful beaches including Playa de Oro, Playa L’Recif, and La Boquita. In addition, the renowned seafood in Manzanillo is scrumptious and fresh due to the vast fishing culture of the city. Start out your delicious seafood lunch with a shrimp cocktail or fresh oysters and clams caught that morning by the local fishermen. You can also choose from a varied menu of seafood for the main course, such as shrimp, filet of dorado, red snapper, or lobster. While enjoying the delicious food in the vibrant town of Manzanillo, you can have the strolling musicians play you a few Mariachi tunes.

There is a vast variety of activities for vacationers that include playing water sports, fishing, golfing, and enjoying the nightlife. Surfing, scuba diving, swimming, banana boat rides, and snorkeling are very popular in this town and Manzanillo also has two of the top golf courses in Mexico. The city is known as the “sailfish capital of the world” with year-round excursions available for sport fishing.

Tours are available of the city and of the historic state of Colima. It’s a great place to shop too—there are stores ranging from upscale to local vendors that you can bargain with for hammocks, toys and authentic jewelry.

Manzanillo is a cultural, relaxing and enjoyable place to visit for vacationers. It is undeniably a must-see for vacationers planning a trip to Mexico.

Guest Blog – Pass-Crabbing in Florida

Pass Crab Fishing, Boca Grande, Florida

On my most recent beach vacation to North Captiva Island, I had the opportunity to go “pass – crabbing” with my friends Captain Dennis and Captain Gretchen. I must say it was a blast! While Dennis and my husband were fishing for the “big fish,” Gretchen and I had our nets out for the pass crabs. Crabs are great bait for many species in Florida waters.

Pass Crabs are almost identical to Blue Crabs in shape, but they only grow to approximately four to five inches in width. You can catch Pass Crabs in south Florida during the outgoing tide on the surface, usually floating along with grass as it flows toward the Gulf.

Tarpon Fishing, Florida

You simply take a long handled net and dip them out of the water. There are a few bait shops in south Florida that sell them, but they are few and far between. The primary use for pass crabs is for tarpon in the Boca Grande area, but they are just as good, maybe better, than blue crabs for a variety of fish. Hook them in the same way as blue crabs – through the back leg hole and out the top shell.

Have a Happy Cinco de Mayo at a Beach Villa Rental!

Children in traditional dress celebrate Cinco de Mayo; © Lawrence Migdale

Children in traditional dress celebrate Cinco de Mayo; © Lawrence Migdale

Cinco de Mayo (Spanish for “fifth of May”) is a holiday held on May 5. It is celebrated nationwide in the United States and regionally in Mexico, primarily in the state of Puebla. The date is observed in the United States as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride, and to commemorate the cause of freedom and democracy during the first years of the American Civil War. In the state of Puebla, the date is observed to commemorate the Mexican army’s unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín. Contrary to widespread popular belief, Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico’s Independence Day, the most important national patriotic holiday in Mexico, which occurs on September 16th.

If Cinco de Mayo has you craving a south-of-the-boarder get-away, click HERE to see’s great inventory of Mexico beach vacation rentals!

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Endless Ways to Have Fun in Cancun

beaches in cancunCancun, a coastal city on the Yucatan Peninsula, is the most popular vacation spot in Mexico.  The city attracts four million tourists every year and an average of 190 flights daily! Anyone is bound to have a great time in Cancun because there is something for everyone in this exciting city.

Vacationers can enjoy the stunning white-sand beaches, play water-sports, eat exquisite food, enjoy the buzzing nightlife, shop, and observe the rich culture and history of the city.  Cancun’s has a superb tropical climate that is characterized by mild weather year-round makes it even more attractive for tourists.

While you are visiting Cancun, explore the many and varying beaches.  The beaches on the north side, including Playa Las Perlas, Playa Linda, and Playa Tortugas, have serene waters that are ideal for surfing, sailing, underwater diving, boat trips, and swimming.  To the east are more beautiful beaches, including Playa Marlín, Playa Ballenas, and San Miguelito, which generally have stronger currents and produce giant waves. 

scuba diving in cancunWhether you are a diver or a snorkeler, the clear water of Cancun is home to a variety of beautiful fish.  Scuba diving is extremely popular in Cancun because the city has clear, shallow waters and a superb coral reef.  The most popular and exciting reefs to dive are Banderas, Chitales, and El Bajito and San Toribio, San Miguel, and Aristos for the experienced divers.  Cancun has many diving centers, including Scuba Cancun, Cancun Scuba Diving, and Manta Divers, that offer safe dives for everyone.

Parasailing is also a popular activity at the beaches and perhaps the best way to view the coastline – the rider is strapped into a colorful parachute and, once airborne, is led over the sand and surf behind a speed boat.  Sailing and windsurfing is offered as well.  The small boats provide enthralling rides especially in a brisk breeze.

Enjoy deep sea fishing and have the opportunity to fish Barracuda, Gruper, Red Snapper, and Sailfish on an air-conditioned yacht!  All of these activities are readily available and easy to find – simply step out of your Mexico beach vacation rental and see where the day takes you!

Chichen ItzaChichen Itza is another must-see for vacationers of Cancun – it is one of the modern wonders of the world and rightly so…its exceptional architectural beauty is bound to leave you in awe!

El Mexicano Restaurant features a live Folkloric Show, a mariachi band, and a folkloric ballet every night, in addition to delicious food and an exceptional ambiance.  The Ballet Folklorico de Cancun at the Cancun Convention Center has a fantastic dinner show and features music and dances from all parts of Mexico.

Cancun’s buzzing nightlife has been entertaining the masses for years!  Missed out on your spring break or just looking for a repeat performance?  The Cancun Party-Hopper Tour offers an exciting evening!  Skip the lines and be treated like a VIP during this tour – enjoy the lively atmosphere and dance the night away!

Cancun has it all!  Historical wonders, adventurous activities, cultural dining and crafts, and a nightlife to be reckoned with!  It is one of the most exciting cities for a vacation as you will never run out of things to do!  Visit Cancun and have the time of your life!

Myrtle Beach’s Golden Shores

North Myrtle beach is a beautiful and peaceful city located along a nine-mile stretch of the Atlantic Ocean coastline in South Carolina.  The beautiful city was created in 1968 when four small beach towns—Cherry Grove, Ocean Drive, Crescent Beach, and Windy Hill Beach consolidated into one town.

The fairly new city has developed into an exceedingly popular tourist hotspot because of its stunning, sandy beaches, enjoyable activities, and world-class attractions.  Thousands of visitors vacation at North Myrtle Beach, especially in the summer, to have a relaxing and fun-filled vacation experience.  Luxurious beach vacation homes are very popular among tourists because they make you feel as if you are at home away from home and you can thoroughly enjoy the real spirit of this city.

North Myrtle Beach is widely known for its superb beaches.  Cherry Grove has scenic salt marshes that have colorful wildlife.  By staying at a beach house, you can relax on your deck while watching the fascinating pelicans and egrets, or go to the fishing pier and catch your own dinner!  Tilghman Beach is an old residential community that has many chic shops and restaurants.  Ocean Drive Beach is a beautiful and exciting beach that is surrounded by many nightclubs.  Be sure to bring dancing shoes and try the Shag which is the indigenous state dance!

The beaches are ideal for relaxing, sunning, surfing, water skiing, kayaking, snorkeling.  Fishing is a very popular activity in North Myrtle Beach and visitors can enjoy inshore, offshore, and surf fishing and find some of the largest and most unique fish in this city!  North Myrtle Beach also offers party boat fishing, private charters, casino cruises, and riverboat cruises.

In addition, North Myrtle Beach is a haven for golfers as the city has over 120 world-class golf courses that are designed by well-known architects.  The Dunes Golf & Beach Club, located right off the beach, is the area’s most prestigious golf course, while the Barefoot Resort up the road features a collaborative design on its courses by some of the best players in the world – Dye, Fazio, Love III and Greg Norman.

North Myrtle Beach is also a wonderful place for a family vacation—the city boasts numerous theme parks, aquariums, adventure parks, race tracks and miniature golf courses.  The city also has a prominent culture of performing arts.  Le Grand Cirque at the Palace Theatre is a mesmerizing performance features the globally acclaimed acrobatic and theatrical performers.  The show is so spectacular and surreal it will leave you in amazement and wonder!

North Myrtle Beach has a wide variety of fine restaurants that have diverse cuisines including Italian, Japanese, French, and classic American.  Among the top to try – Villa Romana (Italian), Rioz Brazilian Steakhouse (Brazilian), Bonefish Grill (seafood), and Abuelo’s Mexican Food Embassy (Mexican).

Whether you want to take a fun-filled family vacation or invest in Myrtle Beach House Real Estate, you are sure to have a superb holiday at a luxurious beach vacation home in the beautiful North Myrtle Beach.

Akumal – the Secret Jewel of Mexico

Akumal is a hidden jewel that will keep you coming back year after year once you discover it! The most distinct attribute of this wonderful community is that its serene, tranquilizing atmosphere provides miraculous tropical therapy for the soul. Akumal is a small beach-front community located about an hour and ten minutes south of Cancun in Mexico.

Akumal has a variety of stunning beaches, fun bars, and enjoyable activities. Tourists of this area have found that renting beach houses, rather than paying top dollar to stay in hotels, allows them to immerse themselves into the local community, rather than looking from the outside in.  Renting a house or villa in Mexico also allows for a private and homey vacation experience!

Akumal is known for the beautiful sandy white beaches where you can enjoy palm trees, the sun, surfing, snorkeling, diving, and feel as if you are in heaven! Akumal, located on the Mexican Caribbean coastline of the Yucatan Peninsula, has six distinct bays: Central Akumal, Akumal Beach, North Akumal, Jade Beach, South Akumal, and Aventuras Akumal.

Central Akumal, established by Don Pablo Bush, is the original Akumal Bay; you can shop, go to restaurants, bars, and enjoy the beautiful beach. La Buena Vida, or the Good Life, beach bar in North Akumal is one of the most romantic spots of this community.  Pick up a bottle of wine and enjoy it with your sweetheart in this surreal location!

The waters of Akumal have an abundance of tropical fish and coral gardens; hence it is an extremely popular destination for divers.  Akumal’s reef, known as the “jewel of the Caribbean,” is part of the Mesoamerican Reef that stretches along the Yucatan Peninsula.  The reef has a multifarious variety of species of coral, fish, flora, and reptiles.  In addition, snorkeling is a popular activity in Akumal’s beaches as well.  Walk out your beach vacation home and enjoy snorkeling any time!

Moreover, Yalku lagoon, a series of lagoons leading out to the sea, is another distinct characteristic of Akumal.  Its serene waters are perfect for swimming and snorkeling.  Many also travel here for its great bird-watching – observe a great variety of beautiful birds in Yalku while taking in a vibrant sunrise!

Akumal has many delicious restaurants that serve traditional Mayan food, fresh seafood, Italian food, and typical American food.  The community has wonderful, indigenous shops that sell folk art, handcrafted jewelry, and traditional clothing.  Markets sell fabulous Mexican pottery, blankets, hammocks, and fresh fruits and vegetables.

Tulum Beach Vacation Rental House

Tulum Beach Vacation Rental House

Besides the exquisite city of Akumal, the famous, historic city of Tulum also offers a variety of exciting things to do and places to see. It is only 19 miles south of Akumul.  Tulum is a spectacular city that has archeological sites where you can see the Mayan ruins – a must-see for vacationers of Akumal!

Akumal is a spectacular town that promises an unforgettable experience.  After one trip to this paradaisical location, you will keep coming back for more!

Need an excuse to travel? has answers for you!

The Economy - it’s the classic example of making lemons into lemonade. Replace the negativity of covid with the positivity of a ticket to paradise!  The economic downturn has forced the travel industry to get creative in order to get people back on the wagon – er, airplane? – and part with their hard earned money.  If you thought the “discount” flight/hotel/rental car vacation packages of last year were something to talk about, you will discover that they are still readily available.  Travel sites and agencies are now practically giving away freebies to popular destinations like Maui, Newport Beach and Mexico…think 7 nights in a beachfront condo for the price of 6, book a flight now and get a free rental car, etc.

Someone’s Getting Married - it happens to everyone at one time or another – that crazy summer where 8 of your closest friends all decide to get married.  Your emotions run the gamut…first comes happiness, hey, they’ve found that elusive special someone!  Next comes nostalgia – guys, you fondly think back to the times when you and your buddies genuinely thought girls had cooties, and girls, you remember all the times when your friends actually thought they were going to end up marrying their First Kiss. But then your mind clears and you realize that 8 weddings = broke by Fall.  The one silver lining?  Bachelor/Bachelorette parties!  Whether you settle on a weekend of The Hangover-style debauchery in Vegas, a trip to a California beach for some wine tasting, or a relaxing spa getaway in Virginia Beach, jump at the opportunity to get away.  One day you’ll all be old and married and these will be the times you reminisce about…if you and your wolf pack don’t get hit with a case of the “floories” and can remember them.

You Just Graduated - Before you hang up your proverbial “party hat” for good, why not embark on one last hoorah!? Gather up your fellow alumni and hit the road to put your education to the test.

Math:  if you’re traveling at a rate of 83 mph and that carload of cute girls next to you is traveling at a rate of 87 mph, what time will you guys meet in Miami Beach?

Foreign Language:  what is the most grammatically correct way to say, “Can you please bring us another round of tequila shots” in Spanish, as you party on the beach in Cabo?

Philosophy:  if, while the Earth is turning on its axis, you’re roaming the ocean on a cruise ship headed for the Bahamas, but you are also in your cabin with a serious case of the spins, does that mean that you’re really standing still?  You get the point.  So get out - before you join the masses and are forced do don a business suit rather than a bathing suit!

You Just Got a New Job - Congratulations – you’ve officially traded in your freedom for a paycheck!  Rest assured…in the long run, that is the smart and responsible thing to do, but in the short term, it can seem like in one handshake and one “Welcome aboard” from the HR woman, your life as you know it ended.  But instead, you’re reading this and contemplating where you want to travel to blow off some of your newfound signing bonus, while your official start date is still a week and a half out! Why not check out the beaches of Panama City?

You Just Got Fired - Congratulations – you’ve officially traded in a paycheck for your freedom!  Rest assured…in the short term, it can seem like in one handshake and one “I’m sorry, but…” from the HR woman, your life as you know it ended.  But in the long run, if you hadn’t just gotten the axe, you’d be stuck in your cubicle right now. But instead, you’re reading this and contemplating where you want to travel to blow off some of your newfound severance pay/unemployment! Bargain vacations can be found in Texas – check out these Corpus Christi beach houses,

Kids - I don’t have kids.  But I can imagine that if I did have one/some, like with every job (regardless of how much I love it) I would eventually be ready for some time off.  Which brings us to, yet another excuse to travel!  Maybe you have one on the way and you need someplace to relax in the sun and cherish the last few weeks of your party of 2.  Or perhaps you and your significant other are thinking it may be about time to get down to – um, business – and are in need of one last wild week while you can still sleep in however late you want.  Whatever your situation, start practicing being a parent now – everyone knows that the best excuse for anything is to blame it on the kids! I suggest a beach vacation in Hawaii!

Truth is… you don’t need an excuse to travel. Check out all of the beach houses and condos for rent on We have thousands of listings all over the world to assist you with checking off that bucket list.

5 Stunning Home Decor Ideas for Your Beach House

Owning a beach house is a sound investment for your family to enjoy or turn into a rental property. Making your beach house an attractive home for personal or commercial use adds a stunning, relaxing, and comfortable space. Are you planning to buy a beach house or redecorate it? Consider the following five home décor ideas for your beach house.

Use the Right Wall Paint Colors

The color of the outside and inside of your beach house depends on your style. Because of the high temperatures in hot areas, minimize the heat from the sunlight by selecting wall paint colors that bounce off light. Dark colors absorb 70 to 90 percent of heat from sunlight, while lighter colors reflect sunlight and thus heat away from your beach house. Heat absorbed into your home can make your beach house feel stuffy and more costly as you end up using more air conditioning to cool your home.

For the interior walls, the use of neutral or coastal colors acts as the perfect background for creative and colorful décor accents, such as cushions, throws, and rugs or carpets. Light neutral colors create a sense of spacious, easy, and comfortable space.

Bring the Outdoors Indoors

The white beach, blue sky, sunrise or sunset, and the green beach trees and plants lend their beauty and color as complements to your beach house. Looking out in nature brings a calming and uplifting feeling that leaves you feeling relaxed. Make use of large windows to invite the outside view into your home. Having shutters for decoration or protection from storms makes it easier to allow the view from outside to seep into your rooms while reducing the sunrays.

wood shutters

Large decorative mirrors provide another great way of bringing the outside view indoors. Placing large wall mirrors strategically close to or opposite a window, adds a sense of space, more natural light, and the image of the outdoor scenery.

Keep it Simple and Classy.

Avoid clutter and stuffing your rooms with more furniture than necessary. A cluttered room causes anxiety, which can remove the relaxed atmosphere in a room. Think about the activities you want to take place in the space you wish to decorate. Then select a simple layout for your room and furnish it with only the essential furniture.

Use Texture and Furniture Layering.

Similar to having to layer different clothes for your dress style, laying furniture and other decor items add depth and warmth to your beach house. Layering enhances the depth, texture, and visual interest of a room. Using different décor items like glass, metal, fabric, and wood brings depth and makes a room more dynamic. For example, the use of furniture and area rugs.


Mixing unique pieces of furniture that complement each other adds depth to a room. A bookcase, plant, or artwork placed behind a sofa accented with cushions creates a sense of warmth and depth.

Define Your Space with Area Rugs

A bold area rug helps you define your living space area and helps make a room statement. Whether it is colorful, patterned, or textured strengthens and unifies your room design. Rugs add pattern, visual depth, and color to neutral spaces. A rug, textured or patterned, in a plain room, accented with matching or complementary décor items, adds interest and intensity to a room.

Decorate with Crown Molding

One way to create a three-dimensional depth to the edges of your wall and ceiling is to add fancy molding. These decorative moldings turn your plain walls or ceiling into interesting feature pieces. They add character, elegance, and personality to a room. For example, crown molding brings out the architectural design of your space, be it a vaulted roof, trimmed windows, or beautiful French doors.

Final Thoughts

Whether you wish to decorate an empty beach house or redecorating your fully furnished beach house, you can make it look inviting, relaxing and elegant. You might not need a huge budget, especially in a furnished home. A simple tweak here and there might be all you need to elevate your room decor. Browse through house magazines and internet sites for pictures and ideas of what you want your room to appear. The mentioned ideas serve as guidelines in decorating your stunning beach house.

article provided by Lauren Webber

Key Priorities When Selling Your Beach House in Malibu

Malibu beach house for sale

Malibu is a beautiful place. Beachfront homes, canyon trails, sightseeing, wine trips, long stretches of gorgeous beach, and endless dining opportunities abound in this American destination that is both a vacation hotspot and an envious locale to own property.

If you’re looking to sell your Malibu beach home, you want to upsell on all the things that make the area great. While Malibu’s beauty seems like it should be enough to make the sales for you, we have a few tips that can make the entire process less stressful.

Find Yourself A Great Real Estate Agent
A great real estate agent will do more than help you sell your Malibu home, they’ll care about your wellbeing along the way. Great real estate agents negotiate the best deals on your behalf. When you choose your agent, you’ll need to do some research beforehand to find a person who knows the neighborhood, who is experienced in the market, and who is a personal and professional fit for your needs.

To sell your home, you need a targeted strategy to effectively market the property. A great agent will market through a network of buyers and agents, constantly working on your behalf to get you the best deal within your preferred time frame. When it comes to selling a home in Malibu, you know that the market is dependent on the selling ability of your agent.

Find The Best Selling Price
Regardless of how you feel about your Malibu home, your house is only worth what the buyers in the market will pay. Even against today’s ever-changing and tumultuous market, you need to price your house in a way that will maximize the number of bids and potential buyers.

Your agent should come equipped with the ability to drive up your final sales price and help you accurately run an analysis that will predict the true value of your home against the market. Finding the best price is a mixture of this analysis, researching the best price, and maximizing your value against potential bids. Seeking the best sale price can be a challenge, and it’s one that a good agent can meet.

Prepare For Showings With Stagings
One of the most important aspects of selling a home is turning it into an imaginative, comfortable, familiar space. You want any of your potential buyers to walk in and immediately imagine themselves living in the home. Remember to remove any photos that are too personal, decorations that aren’t neutral, and place all your furniture in a way that’s appealing, natural, and neutral.

Your agent should be able to help you personalize the space in a way that’s friendly to everyone, as staging includes cleaning, prep, decluttering, and decorating. These steps will create that “wow factor” you want to have when any potential buyers step through your door. You want them to envision themselves as permanent residents in your Malibu home!

Use Professional Videos and Photos
Hiring a professional to stage and record professional videos and photos can make a big difference when you’re marketing your Malibu beach property for sale. Luxury home buyers especially count on virtual tours that take them through the home, giving them a walkthrough regardless of whether they’re currently in Malibu or not. Taking care to host professional videography can make or break your sale, and your real estate agent can help you with this step once your home is properly staged for sale.

Remember that the sale of your home often happens with location, location, location. Remember to frame your Malibu home in its best light, showing off the area both inside and out. Sites such as let potential buyers view properties at their leisure, with an array of professional photos of beautiful Malibu homes.

Facts Over Feelings
You have an emotional attachment to your Malibu property whether you realize it or not. Homes are associated with memories of comfort and happiness, and this process can sometimes feel like a loss. These days, homeowners hold on to their property much longer than they did a few decades ago, and some of us might be reluctant to move on. While sentimental value can sometimes get in the way, remember to focus on the facts of the situation and the necessity of the sale, and don’t get in the way of yourself or your agent. Try and focus on things like negotiations, bids, the competitive market, and what you’re going to do next.

Predict Early Issues
Even though renovations, fixes, and upkeep are expected, sometimes they can take us off guard with their costs, timeframes, or how extensive they may become. Large renovations can be viewed as poor investments, but if your real estate agent suggests you fix that crack in the drywall or check out the electricity, it’s typically a boon in the long run.

Potential buyers might utilize any noticed issues to drive down their bids or to fully renegotiate a sale. If you address any potential or noticeable issues when you first see them, then there won’t be surprises down the line. The suggestions that your real estate agent makes are ones that should be addressed first and it will help smooth out the process overall.

Malibu beach houses for sale

Know Your Area
Your agent can help you showcase the beauty of your area, highlighting what is available outside your home. Show off the gorgeous sights and trails, restaurants, local dentistry, small businesses, markets, fun activities, and everything that a potential buyer can count on to be a part of their life once they make the sale. Boosting the appeal of the area right around your Malibu property can go a long way to securing that bid and entering negotiations.

No matter the home, someone is in the market to buy. Following these key priorities can go a long way when selling your Malibu home.

Author Bio:
Alison Brown

Alison Brown is the Marketing Strategist at Children’s Dental Fun Zone. She has been inclined towards oral care since her childhood as she comes from a family of dental background. She loves spending time with kids and contributes her insights by writing and promoting informative blogs for families to help them adapt to their new homes and localities without any hurdles.

Some History on the Chickee

Seminole Indians gathered under a chickee

Seminole Indians gathered under a chickee

“Chickee” is the word Seminoles use for “house.”  The first Seminoles to live in North Florida are known to have constructed log cabin-type homes, some two stories tall, with sleeping quarters upstairs.  The chickee style of architecture – palmetto thatch over a cypress log frame – was born during 3669333433_d791d04913the early 1800s when Seminole Indians, pursued by U.S. troops, needed fast, disposable shelter while on the run.  Though indigenous peoples in other parts of North and South America have developed similar dwellings, it is generally agreed that the Seminole Indian technique and product are far superior.  So popular, efficient and functional is the chickee that such Seminole architecture can be seen all over South Florida.  The chickee structure should last about ten years and needs to be re-thatched every five years.  Several Seminole Tribal members make a living building custom chickees for both commercial and private interests.

*Thank you to homeowner and property manager, Sarah Rapp, with Beach Vacation 4 Me, for contributing this article.


They’re not Chickee’s, but has some great beach vacation rental properties in Florida…click HERE to browse our inventory.


Where in the world is North Captiva Island?

Florida’s North Captiva Island, located in the Gulf of Mexico, is about as far away from the chaos of everyday life as you can get, while still staying within the United States.  I had heard it’s almost similar to Thailand or Indonesia in its exoticism, with the heat and humidity…and bugs.  But I went into my research with an open mind and now I’m trying to convince any of my friends and family to take a trip to explore the island with me.

North Captiva IslandAs you may expect, being as remote and as small as it is - 4 miles long and 1/2 mile wide at its widest point! - getting to North Captiva Island takes some planning as it is only accessible by water taxi or private charter boat.  The Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers, Florida is the closest airport to North Captiva Island and most major airlines service this airport.  From there, take the Pine Island Taxi to Pineland Marina and board the Island Girl – the only scheduled ferry to North Captiva Island.

Sidebar:  Because the island is sosecluded, you have to either bring what you will need for your trip with you, plan ahead to make sure it will be there for you, or a combination of the two.  This applies to groceries, bottled water, basic first aid supplies (aspirin, bandaids, etc), bug repellent, and especially produce – be sure to check with your airlines and local customs on rules regarding bringing produce onto the island.  Most travelers opt to fax their order – at least 48 hours before you will arrive on the island – to Publix Santa Barbara grocery store, on the mainland (Pine Island Taxi will stop at Publix on the way to the marina).  They will take your grocery order and pack your items for easy transport.  There is a small grocery on the island, but it stocks mostly convenience items is ridiculously expensive.

North Captiva Beach House RentalsOnce on the island, be prepared to sloooooow down and take in the natural beauty that surrounds you.  There are no cars and no paved roads on North Captiva.  Bicycles and electric golf carts (a private golf cart and/or bicycles are included in most North Captiva Beach House vacation rentals, so be sure to inquire about this at the time of booking) are used to explore our sandy paths.

There are over 5 miles of beaches to explore.  Visitors report strolling for hours without seeing anyone else – you will, however, run into some local wildlife.  Two-thirds of the island’s 700 acres are a protected State of Florida wilderness park and wildlife sanctuary for manatees, loggerhead turtles and over one hundred species of migratory birds.

If your idea of a vacation is body shots and disco music, Captiva is not for you.  The 50 or so year-round residents operate on “island time” and there are very few established businesses.  Island activities include shelling, snorkeling, charter sport-fishing, swimming, kayaking, boating, stargazing, bird watching, dining at one of the 2 restaurants and island hopping…Sanibel, Pine Island, Cayo Costa, and Useppa are all within minutes by boat.

So, despite that fact that every article and travel forum I read about North Captiva stressed the need for Deet-strength bug repellant, I’m not scared.  I’m harnessing my inner Robinson Crusoe, packing my spray (and maybe a mosquito net) and going to check out this beautiful and remote island for myself!  North Captiva Island is one of the few places left that has mastered the delicate balance between man and nature.  This unique island paradise is not for everybody – but as the locals will say, it was never intended to be!

Take the family to Dillon Beach, CA – even your dog!

Dillon Beach CliffsEven the most finicky vacationer can find a city in California that satisfies their hunger to travel.  With nearby cities like San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Monterey, Palm Springs, Sacramento and San Francisco, there is never a dull moment where one has to stop and ask, “what should we do?”

But what if you want a different kind of trip?  A mellow one where you spend more time sitting on a beach than walking city streets, eating at cafes than drinking in clubs, and where you don’t come home feeling like you need a vacation to recover from your vacation?

Dillon Beach House RentalsDillon Beach, located about 20 minutes north of San Francisco, is one of California’s best family vacation destinations…and I mean the whole family, as Dillon Beach is one of the few dog-friendly beaches in California!

This serene little town overlooks the scenic Point Reyes Peninsula where visitors can enjoy swimming, kayaking, surfing, windsurfing, sailing, hiking, fishing, cycling, beachcombing, antiquing and even digging for the famous Dillon Beach giant clams!  Children especially love running up and rolling down the sand dunes!

Dillon Beach is Dog FriendlyA long, gently sloping stretch of sand, Dillon Beach is usually crowd-free – which, as some dog owners will attest to, is crucial if you have a Chihuahua who thinks he is about 75lbs. beefier than he really is and insists on finding the largest dog on the beach, chasing it down until the poor unsuspecting thing relents, and proceeds to perform actions too inappropriate to discuss with you all.  What?  Oh, you thought I was talking about my little angel?  I was speaking hypothetically, I swear…

Attracting surfers from nearby Mendocino, Napa and San Francisco counties, Dillon Beach’s surf is clean and consistent, although perhaps not the largest or most powerful surf around (expect 3 – 5 foot swells on most days).  Liquid surf shop, located inside the general store, carries full gear for purchase or for rent.

Dillon Beach House Rentals with hot tubOnce you and your family are tired out from a day at the beach, visit the Dillon Beach Cafe and enjoy delicious breads, perfectly cooked meats, and famous clam chowder – all using locally grown produce!

If you are too sandy to dine (or have your pooch with you) stop by the General Store at Dillon Beach for some groceries to take back to your vacation rental home!  The general store carries a wide variety of groceries including canned clams, fine wines, beer, ice, house-made deli sandwiches and salads, as well as salt-water taffy.  Beach necessities and souvenirs can be found here as well – shells, warm sweaters and hats, toys, tide books, bait, and most anything else you might need.  Local tip:  stand on the brass star and see what happens!

San Francisco Beach House RentalsItching for some excitement but don’t want to drive to San Francisco?  Head west into Tomales (an antique farming and dairying village) where you can chat over a few cold ones at the William Tell House Restaurant and Bar – the prime rib is highly reccomended! There’s also a bakery, a general store and a cafe just a stone’s throw from one another.

Swim with the fishes, sharks, and manatees…

I’m not talking about the creepy kind of swimming with the fishes that you hear about in old mob movies where some poor guy’s feet have just been coated in cement and he’s about to be offed and tossed overboard.  Eeew. 

No - I’m talking about the whole “one-with-nature” kind.  You know…where you get to swim along side whale sharks, or interact with dolphins, or even where you can watch a group of sharks feed.  Maybe this sounds weird to some people, but I’ve always loved animals, especially sea animals.  My favorite show used to be Flipper, I have an adopted manatee named after me, and I only eat dolphin-safe tuna.

swim with manatees in FloridaKnown as the “cow of the sea,” manatees are large, gray mammals with bodies that taper to a flat, paddle-shaped tail. They have two flippers and their head and face are wrinkled with whiskers on the snout. Manatees are gentle herbivores and live in the warm shallow waters off of the coast of Florida during the winter, but are known to travel to Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina in the summer.  Manatees are slow-moving by nature and surface throughout the day making them vulnerable to boat propellers.  Many operations that offer manatee tours donate a portion of their proceeds to wildlife preservation organizations that help to protect these peaceful creatures – these are the only ones you should support as there are other business who add to the problem, rather than trying to educate about manatee preservation and protect against further harm to the species.  You can also adopt a manatee or donate money to help research, education, and conservation programs that promote protective legislation.

swim with whale sharksI’m sure you’ve seen the pictures of divers swimming next to sharks that look about as big as a school bus, and thought to yourself, “um, hasn’t this guy seen Jaws?!”  Well lucky for him, though these enormous creatures (they can grow upto 40 feet in length!) are sharks, they are only whale sharks and prefer plankton over people anyday.  They can be found off of the coast of the Philippines, Honduras, Indonesia, Madagascar, Belize and off of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.  Isla Holbox, in Mexico’s Riviera Maya region, sees these gentle giants migrate through their waters each year from May to September.

dive with sharks in the BahamasA different type of shark encounter entirely, many outfits in the Bahamas offer opportunities for vacationers to defy their basic human instincts and swim with some of the world’s fiercest predators in their natural environment.  Shark dives and feeds can be found in almost every area of the Bahamas (West End, Grand Bahama is rumored to be the best location) and each offers a different experience seeing different species of shark.  Caribbean Reef Sharks are most commonly seen, however, lucky divers may also spot Hammerheads, Tiger sharks, Bull sharks, Silky sharks and Lemon sharks.  Most underwater shark experiences have divers done chain mail (protective shark suit) and orient themselves with their backs against a reef while they, or a guide, feed the sharks.

swim with dolphins in FloridaVacationers who want to swim with dolphins should look for opportunities where the dolphins are wild and free in their natural habitat, rather than with dolphins that are in captivity for the sole purpose of pulling tourists around all day.  Hawaii hosts many of these dives, with their first priority being to respect and protect the wildlife.  Dolphins are some of the most inquisitive, intelligent and playful animals in the world and will often approach swimmers and divers on their own – Sunlight on Water in Kona, Hawaii boasts a 98% success rate of finding dolphins on their excursions!  It is not uncommon for divers to get a bonus and also see Humpback whales, Manta Rays and sea turtles.  Dolphins have been said to have a spiritual connection to humans, making this an experience that any vacationer will not soon forget.

5 Amazing Decor Ideas for a Perfect Beach House


There is nothing quite like relaxing on the beach on a nice, calm and sunny day. It is a great time, and a majority of American families have gone on beach vacations at one point or another. But the only thing better than visiting the beach for a vacation is buying a beach house. This will allow you to visit the beach any time you want, simply by taking a little walk outside your door.

If you are going to own a beach house, you also want to ensure it is decorated well and fits the beachy vibe. Unfortunately, finding the right items or art isn’t always easy. In an effort to help, this article is going to go over five amazing decor ideas for a perfect beach house.

Get Some Customized Art Commissioned

Art plays an important role in any home, and a beach house is no different. Art can help you show off your unique tastes, and allow you to creatively design your home. Art can easily be changed out and swapped as your tastes change over time.

While you could simply go out and buy some beach-themed art, why not get something completely one of a kind? You could do this yourself if you are artistically inclined, but if not, don’t worry. There are companies who can create completely unique oil paintings from photos, to provide you with a wonderful piece of art to show off in your beach home. This could be a photo of your family, your dog, or anything else you’d like turned into a piece of art.

Bring the Beach Inside

While you might only be steps away from the water, that doesn’t mean you can’t bring the beach inside your home as well. Decorating the home with beach-themed items can be a great way to bring the space together. You could use sea shells in a glass bowl, a wall collage, pillows with a beachy design, and so many others.

Of course, there is a thin line here. If you overdo it with too many nautical or beach-themed items, it can be a little overwhelming. Simply start small, and over time you can add to your collection of beachy decor if you feel the space would benefit from it.

Use Wicker Furniture and Accents


Few materials scream beach as much as wicker. These can give any space the texture it needs, while looking incredible at the same time. Wicker chairs, bed frames, stools and more can be easily purchased and added to any beach house to add a coastal vibe to any space.

There are also several different styles of wicker furniture. You can have some that are fully made of wicker, while others combine wicker with other materials and fabrics. While wicker isn’t always the coziest of materials, a cushion or pillow can easily be added to wicker chairs or stools in order to make them more comfortable. If you’re feeling adventurous, you could also paint the wicker your favorite color and help it match the space better.

Muted Tones With Splashes of Bright Color

While there are a lot of directions you could go with for the color of the walls, furniture, floors and decor, going with relatively muted and neutral tones is a good idea. White, light blue, navy, beige, and gray will generally look incredible in beach houses.

Having soft sandy tones like white, gray or light brown can make the transition from your home to beach outdoors essentially seamless. However, don’t forget to add some splashes of color here and there in the form of art, pillows, rugs, or plants

This all leads to a good mix of neutral or muted tones, with a bit of color where it makes sense. If the home is too colorful, especially if the colors clash (with each other or with your decor), it can look a little tacky at times.

Use Area Rugs Instead of Carpet

In many homes across the world, carpet is used in everything from kitchens to living rooms. It is soft, comfortable and can help retain warm air longer. Unfortunately, carpet is rarely the right choice in a beach house. There is normally quite a bit of humidity, which can leave carpets quite musty and make them difficult to keep dry. Also, good luck getting all the sand out of the carpet that finds its way inside.

As a result, your beach house should stick to hardwood or laminate flooring. However, that doesn’t mean you are doomed to have plain hardwood floors all over the home. Instead of adding full carpets, strategically use rugs instead.

Area rugs can look incredible in front of your couch in the living room, by your entryway, in front of the deck or patio, and several other places. This can give you the same look and feel as carpet, without committing to a certain design, color, style and location forever.

In conclusion, we hope this article has been able to help you learn some amazing decor ideas that are perfect for your beach house. CLICK HERE to find your dream beach house!

This blog post was provided by Rebecca Alston