Best Beachside Cities in Florida

By: Ben Holdt

Spending a few days at the beach is a great way to get away from the daily stresses of life and relax. With over 8,000 miles of coastline, Florida is second to just Alaska for the amount of land they have touching, sparkling ocean waters. However, the Sunshine State has the upper hand on being near the warm waters of the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. While there may be a lot of towns and cities dotting the Florida coast, there are only a few that indeed offer the best quality of life. Check out the best beachside cities in Florida for your next beach getaway.

Panama City Beach

Panama City Beach Rentals

Panama City Beach Skyline

With 27 miles of white sandy beaches, Panama City Beach is widely known for its ability to ease away any stress that you brought with you on your vacation. This famous town offers waterfront restaurants as well as plenty of scuba activities thanks to its nearby artificial reefs. Families will enjoy the many water parks in town as well as two state parks that offer an up close and personal look at nature. There are plenty of nearby amusements to fill a vacation at the beach when the sand castle building is all done.

Cocoa Beach

Cocoa Beach House Rentals

Cocoa Beach House Rentals

This popular surfing destination is just south of Cape Canaveral along the Atlantic Ocean. Cocoa Beach is known for the waves that descend upon its shores at the end of the hurricane season that offers a great opportunity for avid surfers. Check out local events to book a vacation with plenty of action out on the water as you soak up the sun from the beach. You’ll also find many things to explore in the area including tours of the Kennedy Space Center, the Dinosaur Store, and many fishing charters.

Destin

Destin Florida Vacation Rental homes

Destin Sandy Beaches

Located in Northwest Florida, Destin features plenty of sugar white beaches and sunshine. As a popular destination point for many Midwesterners, the area is well known for its wide range of fishing activities as well as shopping opportunities. You’ll find excellent fishing charters as well as plenty of events year-round to make your vacation unique. Local restaurants feature fresh seafood from the gulf, and you’ll also find plenty of golf courses in the area as well.

Palm Beach

This widely known beach is as far East as you can get on the Florida coastline. Palm Beach features beautiful palm trees along white sandy beaches and plenty of luxury. The beach sits on a 16-mile-long island that is just 0.5 miles wide with plenty of beach area all around. Many wealthy families choose this area for winter homes which have created a luxury experience in town. You’ll find the most excellent restaurants and upscale shops when you’re not enjoying the beautiful beach.

Fort Walton Beach

Fort Walton Beach House Rentals on the beach

Fort Walton Beach

The beautiful emerald waters along Fort Walton Beach are enough to attract plenty of visitors each year. Located between Pensacola and Panama City, the beach is in an excellent location for visitors to get to from other parts of the country. Fort Walton Beach has powdery white beaches and offers plenty for the family to do once a day at the beach is done. You’ll find golf courses, aquariums, and many other attractions that help make this destination a vacation to remember.

There are plenty of places to choose from when looking for a great vacation on the beach in Florida. White sandy beaches mixed with enough great food and nightlife to keep you busy after a long day on the beach is standard for many of these hot spots. Consider any one of the best beachside cities in Florida for your next vacation to the Sunshine State.

Ben Holt is a fresh air enthusiast and loves writing about it. Ben is always looking to make the most of a summer day, whether he is relaxing in his garden, hiking on an off-beaten trail or entertaining friends on his newly renovated patio.

Newport Beach, California – More Than a Day at the Beach

Synonymous with great surf for decades, Newport Beach, on California’s sunny coastline, is no one trick pony. Newport Beach’s unique culture and climate can probably be chalked up to the juxtaposition of the luxury homes, storefronts and restaurants that are occupied and frequented by sun-kissed beach bums.  I like to think of it as sand between your toes chic.

Newport beach vacation rentalsLocated in the heart of Orange County’s beachfront between Huntington Beach (to the North) and Laguna Beach (to the South), Newport Beach is home to a handfull of the most beautiful beaches in the state, and arguably, the world.
 
Including the beaches on the harbor and back bay, there is over 15 miles of beaches to discover, which I definitely plan on doing! 
Some of the beaches include Balboa peninsula beaches, The Wedge, Corona del Mar beaches and Crystal Cove State Beach, plus some back bays, the Newport Dunes, and some small community beaches.
Each beach has its distinct attributes that set it apart from the others – Balboa Beach, Newport Municipal Beach and the West Jetty View Park with The Wedge are flat, sandy expanses along the peninsula where Corona del Mar, Newport Dunes and Crystal Cove, have cliffs, rocky points and tidepools.

Best Newport Beach Rental

Of Endless Summer fame, The Wedge is one of the best surf breaks, thanks in part to the improvements (done in the 1930′s) to the rock jetty on the North end of Newport’s harbor. South swells reflect off the jetty creating a second wave, which meets up with the following wave of the set and forms a peak. This series of events is the perfect recipe for creating waves that are often several feet larger than waves at other south facing beaches in Newport on any given day.

Newport Beach Rental Property

Newport Beach Rental Beach Houses

Newport Beach offers mostly outdoor shopping in little boutique stores but is also home to the shopping Mecca known as Fashion Island. Fashion Island is an outdoor shopping mall in the heart of Newport Beach where shop-a-holics go to see and be seen. With department stores such as Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus, and Macys, many appreciate the fact that Fashion Island is also welcoming of your furry friends.

Back on the mainland other attractions include Pelican Hill Golf Club, a luxurious 36-hole championship golf course, that is said to rival Pebble Beach, and, The Orange County Museum of Art, a premier visual arts museum.

Considering a beach vacation? Book your beach house today through BeachHouse.com! Find our most popular Newport Beach Rentals here!

The Perfect Wave of Oahu’s Legendary North Shore Beaches

The beautiful North Shore of Oahu is an exceedingly popular vacation destination in Hawaii.
Breakfast on the Balcony!The North Shore is renowned for its beaches that offer breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean, stunning pineapple plantations, orchards, and enjoyable water-activities including world-class surfing. The area has legendary beaches including the Sunset Beach, Ehukai Beach, Waimea Bay, and Pupukea Beach The gorgeous beaches are ideal for swimming in the summer, snorkeling, picnicking, relaxing, and surfing. The beaches are a haven for surfers; in fact, if you were to envision a perfect wave, you are likely to find it at the beaches of Oahu’s North Shore where the waves are as picturesque as you can get! The seven mile long stunning beaches host some of the world’s leading surfing competitions including the Super Bowl of wave-riding and the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing.


2773305082_27c5f70fb2Oahu’s North Shore is comprised by several, unique communities. Waialua, one of the communities, is a beautiful town that promises a memorable vacation for everyone! Waialua has some of Hawaii’s most renowned beaches including the Kaiaka Bay Beach Park, a beautiful, verdant park by the Waianae Mountains, and the Haleiwa Aii Beach Park, a breathtaking beach park with dazzling blue waters, are located in Wailaua. The beaches are ideal for picnicking, reading, and unwinding—you can spend the entire day relaxing and appreciating the exceptional beauty of the beaches. In addition, you can go sailing, scuba diving, swimming, surfing, and you can enjoy the abundant life underwater by fishing and snorkeling! Moreover, Waialua has stunning rainforests, waterfalls, tropical orchards, and art galleries that you can visit. The ideal way to enjoy the Waialua’s exquisite natural beauty is to take an unforgettable helicopter ride around the island. Waialua is only 30 miles away from downtown Honolulu and it is a popular vacation destination among tourists. Tourists often stay at luxurious beach houses to feel at home away from home in this beautiful town of Oahu’s North Shore.

There is never a dull moment in this captivating area of Oahu! The North Shore offers an exceptional dining experience that caters to every taste. You can choose from a wide variety of options including a simple Hawaiian lunch, fresh, indigenous shrimp, casual sandwich shops, and exquisite, upscale restaurants of every cuisine. In addition, shopping is superb in the island as you can purchase quintessential and exclusive Hawaiian items such as home furnishings, gems, pearls, wonderful souvenirs, and clothing. At Oahu’s North Shore, you are bound to have an outstanding vacation experience! You are warmly welcome to stay at a beach house in one of the communities, such as Waialua, and enjoy the activities and beauty of this paradisiacal island.

Great surf spots you’ve (probably) never heard of…courtesy of Budget Travel

Surfing Steamers Lane 1 - by Jim Bahn

Surfing Steamers Lane 1 – by Jim Bahn

* re posted from BudgetTravel

In honor of International Surfing Day on June 20, and another ‘endless’ summer (shaka!), we asked the Surfrider Foundation to put together a list of some lesser-known surf spots around the country that everyone from the novice to the experienced rider can enjoy.

“I tried to pick spots that are legit from a surfing standpoint, but for various reasons don’t get the attention that they deserve,” explained Matt McClain of the Surfrider Foundation, an international non-profit organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of coastlines.

McClain put together this list from West Coast to East:

1. Pine Trees, Kauai, Hawaii: Located off the sleepy surf town of Hanalei on the north shore of Kauai, Pine Trees offers an escape from the circus-like atmosphere of Oahu’s North Shore. It’s a fun break for intermediate and advanced surfers, while beginners can find gentler waves in front of the nearby pier.

2. Yakutat, Alaska: If you want to get away — far away — then Yakutat is the place. Don’t let the towering Sitka spruce and bald eagles fool you. Yakutat is a bona fide surfing destination that has drawn some of the biggest names in professional surfing.

3. Cowell’s, Santa Cruz, California: Located just inside the famous break at Steamer Lane, Cowell’s is the perfect spot to learn how to surf. This break is renowned for its gentle peaks and long, rolling waves. A number of surf schools operate here.

4. Burnout, Torrance, California: Despite being one of the most photographed spots in Southern California, Burnout is still relatively unknown outside of the South Bay. A quintessential California beach break, on any given day pro surfers like Alex Gray and Holly Beck can be found pulling into the barrels at Burnout.

5. Trails, San Clemente, California: Technically part of San Onofre State Beach Park, Trails is often overshadowed by the park’s other spots, Trestles and San Onofre. The surf itself is not the most amazing you’ll ever ride, but the laid-back atmosphere and dog-friendly policy make it worth the trip.

6. Reef Road, West Palm Beach, Florida: With it’s clear, warm water, Reef Road is about as good as Florida surfing gets. A popular spot with local surfers, the sandy bottom break can range from three- to six-footers, up to two times overhead on a storm swell.

7. The Cove, Cape May, New Jersey: If The Cove were located in California or Hawaii, it would probably be as famous as Malibu or Waikiki. The Cove is primarily a longboard spot and attracts surfers of all ages and abilities.

8. Alamo, Montauk, New York: Located out on the tip of Long Island, Montauk pulls in all kinds of waves and weather. The hearty souls that are willing to brave the wind and strong currents are rewarded with thick heaving lefts (waves that break from left to right when you’re looking out from the beach). This spot is for experienced surfers only.

There’s also a whole host of activities taking place around the country, and around the world, over the coming days in honor of International Surfing Day. For a schedule of events and additional information about the day set aside for celebrating the sport of surfing, go here.

In Beachhouse.com’s Backyard: 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. If you were stuck in your office and couldn’t make it to the sand, be sure to check out our slideshow HERE.

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.Check out images from Thursday if you missed them (with newly added evening shots after it cleaned up.)

After you check out the photos, below is a can’t-miss video that hit Facebook last night by photographer and Wedge local John Minar.

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:

*article from orangecounty.com

Beachhouse.com 2010 JAYO International Team Player, James Pribram – In the News!

Yahoo News: Pro surfer rescues woman swept out to sea

Call it coincidence, serendipity or divine intervention, Maira Khan’s alive today thanks to a stranger’s last-minute change of plans.

Swept out to sea, non-swimmer Khan was rescued by a pro surfer who wasn’t supposed to be there.

“The fact that a pro surfer came and saved my life? It’s a miracle.”

James Pribram is a pro surfer. He was supposed to be in Canada that day, but an injured family member had him in California earlier than expected.

While standing on the balcony of his parents’ Laguna Beach home, Pribram saw Khan climbing on the rocks below when a 6-foot-wave knocked her off-balance.

The waves battered her body against the rocks, sweeping her out to sea.

Pribram saw the distressed woman. He called for his mother, told her to call 911, and ran toward Khan.

In the very waters where he learned to surf, Pribram pulled a scraped and bleeding Khan from the water.

He handed her over to the care of paramedics and quietly left without introduction. Only after a lifeguard told Khan her rescuer’s name did Khan discover that her good Samaritan was a professional surfer with an already heroic reputation.

Dubbed “The Eco Warrior” by one journalist, Pribram was named Laguna Beach’s 2011 Athlete of the Year for his work teaching school kids to care for their ocean.

Khan told the Orange County Register, “I feel like he was sent from God to see me at that moment and save my life.”

Khan has since reunited with her hero; she accepted his offer of swimming lessons.

***

The California Surf Project

The California Surf Project

The California Surf Project

“Random Observation No. 3463: It’s illegal to pump your own gas in Oregon!”

Have you ever imagined what it would be like to quit your job, pack your boards, and surf your way down the California coast?   Though it may sound like a daydream, The California Surf Project is a fully photographed travel diary of two surfers who decided to take the 50 day journey of a lifetime.

Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara

Dan Malloy - timeless

Dan Malloy – timeless

“These guys gave us a bushel of apples and a sandwich — I think they thought we were homeless.”

The adventure unfolds through the eyes of two passionate individuals: Eric Soderquist, a professional surfer, artist and world traveler whom resides and surfs in Shell Beach, CA, and Chris Burkard, also an accomplished central California native whose photography has appeared in over 35 international publications.

“A grown man crawled up the beach vomiting:  a sign we shouldn’t have gone out.”

Feel like you are along for the ride as you follow Soderquist and Burkard as they trek along Highway 1 from the Oregon border to the Tijuana Sloughs in their increasingly broken-down Volkswagen bus.  While discovering everything that our Golden State’s legendary coastline has to offer, they treat the reader to their observations of world around them, and their musings of the road behind and in front of them.

“This wave will give you all the speed in the world to launch as high as you want — the only problem is finding the road to get there.”

Santa Monica, circus music, and the flying fish

Santa Monica, circus music, and the flying fish

The California Surf Project paints a vivid experience of their incredible adventures catching perfect (and not-so-perfect) surf, sharing campfires with complete strangers, and rigging the bus with makeshift Duct tape repairs.  The book spans over 200 gorgeous photographs, chronicled with soulful text and a professionally produced DVD.

“Dry sand blowing like a desert.  Heat waves on the horizon.  Must be winter in California.”

If you’ve ever been curious about the liberating experience of west coast surf culture, grab yourself a copy of this book!

Big Sur postcard or just another average turnout along Hwy 1?

Big Sur postcard or just another average turnout along Hwy 1?

Check out the Project’s website, read about these talented and accomplished guys, and take a look at their gallery of stunning photos!

At the Beach: Kahuna Kupuna Surf Contest

kahunaasz

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.

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 the official contest website:  Kahuna Kapuna

Cheers to a good cause…

2007 Surfrider Chardonnay2005 Surfrider Red2008 Surfrider Sauv Blanc
The other night, my friend came over for dinner and, being the great friend that she is, she also brought along a bottle of wine…and not just any wine.  An avid reader of this blog (thanks K!) she knows that the Surfrider Foundation is a frequent topic of conversation, so she brought a bottle of Surfrider Chardonnay!

I know…who knew they even made that?!  Well, technically, Surfrider doesn’t make it.  Rosenthal – The Malibu Estate winery is responsible for this delicious wine.  And even better, 85% of the fruit used in the wine was grown in the Edna Valley of San Luis Obispo where I grew up!

After a glass (maybe 2…) I started researching for this post.  Turns out Rosenthal has a whole line of Surfrider wines:  a 2007 Surfrider Chardonnay, a 2005 Surfrider Red,a 2008 Surfrider Sauvignon Blanc, and even a 375 ml 2005 Red Dessert Wine.

labelI am such a wine novice that I wouldn’t feel right subjecting you all to my review of these wines, so I’ll leave it to Randy Fuller, writer of the Now and Zin wine blog:

It’s a pale straw-colored wine.  The nose features a fragrant show of mainly tropical fruit and flowers.  The palate is not belabored by wood, although it is 30% barrel-fermented, with five months in oak.  In fact, it feels quite clean and crisp in the mouth. The fruit comes from Edna Valley, not Rosenthal’s Malibu estate, which may explain some of the minerality.  I even noticed a slight effervecsence on the second day which I didn’t see in the previous night’s glass.  I’m a big fan of Chardonnay with a hint of oak, but I also love a refreshingly unoaked variety.  Surfrider falls somewhere in between.  I’m glad I could hang five – fingers, that is – on a Surfrider Chardonnay.
___

Randy Fuller, Now and Zin Wine Blog

Rosenthal supports the Surfrider Foundation by donating a portion of the proceeds from the sale of each bottle.

Now you don’t have to feel guilty about having that glass of wine…you’re helping to keep our oceans and beaches clean!  Cheers!

Cool Cause – SurfAid International

surfaidIn 1999, on a surf trip to the Mentawai Islands (a chain of about seventy islands and islets off the western coast of Sumatra in Indonesia) Dr. Dave Jenkins, physician and surfer, fell in love with more than the epic waves  - the Mentawai people.  These people, mostly women and children, were dying from preventable and treatable diseases like malaria, measles, cholera and tetanus.

Once Dr. Dave returned home, he couldn’t forget the people he had met in Mentawai.  A year later, in 2000, along with his long-time friend Dr Steve Hathaway, they co-founded SurfAid International, a non-profit organization dedicated to the alleviation of human suffering through community-based health programs.

“The mission of SurfAid International, a non-profit humanitarian organization, is to improve the health, well-being and self-reliance of people living in isolated regions connected to us through surfing.”

When the Asian Tsunami struck in 2004, followed by the 2005 Nias Earthquake, SurfAid expanded its operations to Nias.  According to its Website, “With the support of the New Zealand and Australian Governments, the global surfing and wider community, and most importantly the Mentawai and Nias people of the affected areas themselves, SurfAid has come to exemplify the healing power of cross-cultural partnerships.”

SurfAid is always coming up with fun events that you can be a part of – think art auctions with a portion of the proceeds benefiting SurfAid, or Swim4Humanity, Kick4Humanity and Paddle4Humanity days.  Bookmark their EVENTS page to stay in the loop on events happening near you!

This is how a simple surf trip ended up changing the world.  Don’t you just love people like this?!

Do you know SurfAid?  Have you ever participated in one of their events?  We’d love to hear from you in our comments section!

5th Annual Surf Nite in SLO to Honor Irish Big Wave Surfers

Surf_Nite_smallWHAT: SURF NITE IN SLO

WHEN: Thursday, March 18 from 7:30-9:30pm

WHERE: Fremont Theatre, San Luis Obispo

PRICE:
$25 General, $15 SLOIFF Film Society and Students

The fifth annual Surf Nite in SLO is featuring a film from Ireland as part of this year’s focus on Irish films. WAVERIDERS is the critically-acclaimed story of Ireland’s roots in modern day surfing and its most surprising legacy — the emergence of big wave surfing along its forbidding coastline. Paying homage to George Freeth, the father of modern surfing, the story follows the wave of surfing culture from west coast America to Ireland’s unforgiving waters. With stunning coastline, thumped year round by unmatched North Atlantic swells, Ireland is the preeminent destination for big-wave surfers. Featuring pro surfers Kelly Slater, Gabe Davies and the Malloy brothers, and narrated by actor Cillian Murphy, WAVERIDERS culminates in awe-inspiring and nail-biting footage of surfers conquering the largest waves ever surfed around Ireland. In attendance will be director Joel Conroy, European Pro Surfer, Gabe Davies, writer/producer, Lauren McCrossan, and more special guests to be announced soon. The evening will begin with an introduction by AmpSurf founder, Dana Cummings and a portion of the proceeds of the 2010 Surf Nite will go to AmpSurf.

A Surf Nite AFTER PARTY will be happening at Mo/Tav, 725 Higuera St. SLO at 9:30pm. The exceptional Celtic band, Molly’s Revenge, will playing and there will be great drink specials and a chance to meet visiting surf personalities and filmmakers. $10 tickets will be sold at the door (free entrance to Movie Mogul and Filmmaker passholders).

For more information, or to PURCHASE TICKETS, click HERE.

Also sponsored by Dolphin Bay Resort, One-Way Boardshop, AmpSurf, Mo/Tav and Quality Suites San Luis Obispo and the Irish Film Institute.

Photo Journey through SE Asia

Beachhouse.com Guest Bloggers, Stacy & Jeff, traveled across 6 countries in Southeast Asia and were nice enough to check in with us all along the way.  This is their journey by the numbers:

  • 21different airplanes they took
  • 6bus rides (varying from 7 hours to 27 hour trips)
  • 2train trips (overnight)
  • 11boat/ferry rides
  • 46different hotels (not including Cynthia and Fernando’s homes)
  • 12the # of languages they came across (at least!) throughout their trip
  • 0sicknesses
  • 0injuries
  • 1root canal
  • 0danger/trouble they encountered
  • 22# of books they read – each!
  • and we both want more!
  • This is their journey in photos (each photo links to the corresponding blog entry):

    We hope you enjoyed this as much as we did!

    At the Beach: the Surfrider Foundation 25th Anniversary Gala

    WHO: The National Surfrider Foundation, along with host Mark Hoppus of Blink-182, will be honoring actor David Chokachi, and the members of Incubus and Pearl Jam with the organization’s prestigious Keeper of the Coast Award – an award that is presented only once every five years to those celebrities who have made significant contributions towards helping the Surfrider Foundation fulfill its mission of protecting and preserving our world’s oceans, waves and beaches

    WHAT: Think of it as Surfrider’s annual gala event on steroids as the event celebrates this quarter-century milestone.  The event will also present the third installment of their Art for the Oceans auction series – Surfrider has commissioned some of the leading contemporary artists to create interpretations of 25 of the world’s most notorious and iconic waves.  Click here to preview some of the pieces that will be up for auction

    WHERE: California Science Center’s Wallis Annenberg Building in Los Angeles, CA

    WHEN: Friday, October 9th, 2009 at 7pm

    At the Beach: Billabong Presents 10th Annual Cosmic Creek Surf Festival

    Reserve October 3rd and 4th for Billabong’s 10th Annual Cosmic Creek Music and Art Extravaganza.  Highlights will include a retro-style surf contest, on-the-beach BBQ and silent auction.  And what better way to wrap the event than listing to the fresh and soulful music of Donovan Frankenreiter?

    Judging from past festivals, Donovan won’t be alone.  Cosmic Creek will also have appearances by an amazing gathering of famous artists, musicians and surf legends.  In previous years these unannounced superstars have included Jackson Brown, Pennywise, G-love, Warren G, & Sugar Ray.

    “Donny and surprise guest musicians will play their hearts out,” says event creator Eric Diamond.”It’s just a super positive symphony of Art/Music/ Food & people all gathered together for Charity,” says Diamond. “Get your tickets now – this will sell out fast.”

    Silent auction items such as Italian Cordoba guitars and ukuleles, brought in by Frankenreiter and painted by well known artists including John Van Hamersveld, Wolfgang Bloc, Andy Davis, Tyler Warren, Herbie Fletcher, Jay Alders, Kevin Short, Daniel Chang, Timmy Patterson to name a few, will be on display at 7-Degrees in their outdoor event space.

    The event is being billed as “part Woodstock/ Warhol Factory/ surf stomp/ & great Charity event all rolled into one evening.”  Proceeds will help local charities, along with Surfrider’s clean water campaign.

    Click here for tickets and here for information about entering the surf contest.


    At the Beach: Meet Quiksilver Surf Team Riders 9/17 in Laguna Beach

    Over at Quicksilver’s blog they just announced that some of their team riders will be dropping by the Laguna Beach Quicksilver store – now’s your chance to meet the dreamy Dane Reynolds, Freddy Patacchia, Jeremy Flores, Aritz Aranburu, Miky Picon, and Nic Muscroft!  The action takes place this Thursday (9/17/2009) from 6 – 7pm @ 255 Forest Avenue in Laguna Beach – the first 100 people will get a signed poster.

    Guest Blog – Stacy & Jeff do SE Asia (32 of 40)

    impossibles afternoon swell

    impossibles afternoon swell

    surfs up ballin
    “after a few more days of small waves in bingin’ we headed north up to cangoo (changoo) where franny and alana live.  many beach breaks up and down the coast, small but fun, and not too many guys. there’s three rivers up and down the beach, so makes for a good break.

    we grouped up with fernando & alana (peruvian and aussie), their friends: jose & marilou (both peruvian, importing from here), and jasmine & jason (surfin buds from australia), and headed up to balian for the weekend.  girls in one car, boys in another, and an hour and a half later we were in the quaint little beach of balian. another rivermouth, some nice fun waves.  an interesting group of expats residing up there, definitely a great place to chill at.

    impossibles sunset

    impossibles sunset

    saturday the gals indulged and lounged all day long, stuffing their faces and tanning.  while the boys, we did what we do best, surf, eat, surf, drink, surf and so on. there was supposed to be a full moon mask party rager, but didn’t really seem to happen.  we went out the night before with franny and alana, so we were good to chill.

    after a good small clean surf in the morning sunday, we headed back to franny’s place in cangoo.  now we sit and decide where to surf next! such a rough life… we see desert point in the near future and probably sumbawa from there.

    here’s a few good pics for the start of the season…

    peace and love”

    bingin tube

    bingin tube

    small bingin

    small bingin

    stacy floatin - view from room

    stacy floatin - view from room

    stacy bobbing

    stacy bobbing

    bingin coastline

    bingin coastline

    our room - top left corner

    our room - top left corner

    wyan and jeff

    wyan and jeff

    girl laughing

    girl laughing

    balian coast - black sand

    balian coast - black sand

    surfs up

    surfs up

    The Heavenly Seven-Mile Long Community of Boca Grande

    Boca Grande is a peaceful seven mile long community in Gasparilla Island, Southwest Florida.  This paradisiacal location is ideal for a get-away-from-it-all location as it offers a tranquilizing alternative to the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

    Boca Grande does not have any high rises or traffic lights and the mode of transportation for most people is golf carts.  At Boca Grande, you can enjoy the pristine beaches, aquatic activities, fishing, golfing, dining, and shopping.  Luxurious beach vacation homes are very popular among tourists on this island as they capture the true essence of this serene destination!

    Boca Grande is widely known for its gorgeous, white sand beaches; that is not surprising because the island has perpetually gorgeous weather averaging 75 degrees.  At the beach, you can enjoy the beautiful view, soak in the sun, people watch, talk a walk, and read.  In addition, you can indulge in more active ventures including swimming, shelling, surfing, and scuba diving.

    If you stay at a beach vacation home, you can have access to the beach twenty-four seven!  Not only will you experience ultimate luxury, you will feel as if you are at home away from home.

    At Boca Grande, you can also go for boating and sailing by tour or on your own.  Boating and sailing are enjoyable activities and you encounter some exotic species like dolphins, white pelicans, and ospreys.  Boca Grande is a haven for people that like to fish because Southwest Florida is globally acclaimed for its fishing.  In fact, fishing is an integral part of the culture of Gasparilla Island. The waters of Southwest Florida are replete with game and food fish.  Tarpoon in the spring is a key fishing season and between August and November, offshore fishing is excellent for grouper, snapper, and kingfish while inshore fishing is great for snook and redfish.  Nevertheless, recreational fishing is an exciting sport in Boca Grande throughout the year by means of your own boat, a rental boat, or one of the many local fishing guides.

    Along with the aquatic activities and beaches, Boca Grande offers scenic beauty, great restaurants, unique shops, theatres, and art galleries.  One of the most special aspects of Boca Grande is that it seeks to protect its distinct atmosphere and its quality of life.  The art galleries have works of local artists that have admirably captured the spirit of Boca Grande.

    All the restaurants in this community have a unique style and they all specialize in fresh, local seafood.  Moreover, the restaurants offer a vast variety of international cuisines with mouthwatering flavors and upscale ambiances.

    Boca Grande has served as a backdrop in many movies including Denzel Washington’s Out of Time and the movie based on Carl Hiaasen’s book Hoot.

    During your vacation at Boca Grande, you can also visit some of the beautiful islands that are very close to it including North Captiva, Cayo Costa, Cabbage Key, and Useppa Island - all are all beautiful, exciting and excluive.

    Boca Grande is a community that is ideal for an unwinding, relaxing vacation. A trip to Boca Grande is a memorable one that will keep you coming back for more!

    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 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 – Stacy & Jeff do Southeast Asia (2 of 40)

    view from our front porch

    view from our front porch

    surfs up in padang padang
    “not really, well sorta.

    after an amazing time in ubud we’re back down in padang. the beach is still beautiful. ubud was a great little place, definitely the hub for displaying their culture, foods, music, and mysticism. we had a great little place looking over some rice paddies, beautiful pool, delicious green banana pancakes with a buddalicous host, all for a mere $10. couldn’t ask for more.

    ubud has the charm of a little community, everyone excited to see you there. great markets with awesome crafts. the foods are everything you want, be it turkish flat bread and hummus, hamburger that actually tasted really good, polish sausages – yes, polish sausages – and the fab local cuisine. we listened to some great jazz, all mostly covers, but still great.

    after leaving slightly frantically yesterday morning due to a painful tooth ache (stacy) we made it down to the clinic in legian/kuta area. great little experience, a little more expensive than expected but whatever. they gave me some antibiotics and pain killers and said ‘if tooth no better in five days, we take out’…. good thing we’ll be gone by then, so now i’m on painkillers and antibiotics and off to find a thai dentist…that’s another story.

    first major rain storm this morning while we lay in our bamboo huts raised on stilts in our mosquito net. thunder like we’ve never heard before, not too much lightning, but buckets of rain. after the clapping stopped we sailed down to ulu and checked the surf. small but people out having fun.

    suns startin to poke out so we’re back to the beach on padang. more pics to come, slow connection out here in the jungle though…

    tomorrow to kula lumpar, malaysia…. from there who knows!”

    Tamarindo, Costa Rica – Pura Vida!

    Tamarindo has gradually evolved from a sleepy surfer’s paradise into one of Central America’s most popular tourist towns.  It’s a place where the local’s slogan of “Pura Vida” or “Pure Life” definitely rings true.  For some though, the fact that Tamarindo is now “on the map” is reason enough to avoid the destination.  I suppose many liked the undiscovered charm that the beach town once had.

    I visited the area for the first time with 7 of my closest friends in 2001.  At that time, Tamarindo was still seen as quite the exotic locale…I think that Costa Rica as a whole still had many asking, “where is that?” or “is it safe to travel there?”

    Pretty quickly after we arrived we figured out that our type of group wasn’t something that Tamarindo saw every day.  We created somewhat of a spectacle wherever we went - there were impromptu “ladies nights” in our honor and other bizarre things that I doubt would have happened had we opted for Cancun or Maui as our senior trip destination instead.

    Because Tamarindo was still flying under the radar, besides us, there was only a handful of other tourists; an Australian couple in their mid 30′s who were on an eco-adventure (before they were trendy), an Italian group who was visiting their friends who had moved to Tamarindo a couple years prior and opened a small hotel, and a pack of 7 professional surfers, along with their photographer and videographer, who were filming for an upcoming Quicksilver surf video.

    By our third day there, we had down the lay of the land, knew the bartenders at both of the bars, Las Olas and the Monkey Bar, had made friends with the gentleman who owned the great Thai restaurant, Pachanga’s, and had invites to be featured in the weekly open mic night at Pasa Tiempo’s.

    Since we had discovered all of the shops, markets and hotels Tamarindo had to offer, and had made enough local contacts, we were therefore able to branch out and explore the surrounding areas.  We hitched a ride with the surf crew to the nearby Witches Rock, Playa Negra and Playas del Coco beaches.

    We rented mopeds and rode – in the pouring rain – to Playa Avellana where they serve up some of the most amazing brick-oven pizza and sat with the beach’s mascot, a pig that was so huge it rarely moved and had long ago claimed a spot on the beach under a tree.

    We took a side trip to the Arenal volcano and sat in the Tabacon Hotel’s natural hot spring pool while sipping a cocktail and watching the volcano, smoldering, and hoping to catch a glimpse of the lava oozing over the rim, fiery red and traffic cone-orange against the inky dusk sky.

    It was amazing – by far the best trip I had ever been on – and one that I have, to this day, had trouble topping.  So good, in fact, that I returned 4 years later, hoping to somehow replicate the experience.  I had heard that the area had changed, been built up, transformed into a ”would you like to buy some silver jewelry” by day and neon sign-streaked hot spot by night.

    Once I got there, I realized that, for the most part, what I had heard had been right.  Las Olas was vacant (rumor had it that immigration officials has come through the town scattering the charming beach bum crew that has amassed – albeit illegally – over the years), Pachanga’s was now a so-so Italian restaurant and our favorite dreadlocked bartender had packed up his Guaro shaker and moved on to discover another surf town.  There were dozens of new tiendas, there were now 2 main supermarkets, and new streets altogether had been carved into the jungle that once used to hang over the roofs of the couple shops that had dotted the one main drag.

    But it was still beautiful and authentically Costa Rica.  You know how some people claim that Puerto Vallarta is no longer “real” Mexico?  Well I don’t buy that.  It’s still Mexico – just a slightly more influenced and modernized version of it.

    I highly recommend traveling to the area – maybe rent a vacation home so that you are encouraged to cook and therefore go out and experience the local supermarket.  Tamarindo and the surrounding Pacific coast of the Guanacaste region is breathtaking.   The locals, or Ticos, are generous and welcoming and spirited.  The food is unique, somewhere between Mexican and Caribbean and quite eclectic.  There are still howler monkeys that throw small fruits down from the trees, iguanas that are bigger around than your thigh, and the occasional toucan that you can spot in stark contrast against the trees.

    Still Costa Rica…still “Pura Vida!”