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The classic conflict that comes up when the family is voting on the next great vacation outing is, Should we go to the mountains or the beach? Well if you review all that America has to offer, it wont get much easier because we have some of the most exciting mountains and the finest beaches in the whole world right here in the USA.
Maybe world travelers can speak of the great beaches of France or Europe but you dont have to fly over the ocean to be on some of the best beaches that can be had this side of heaven. And it stands to reason America would posses some of the most extraordinary and sought after beaches in the world. With an ocean on three sides of the country, the shores of Americas coast are literally thousands of miles long. So it isnt whether America has great beaches but which one to pick that is really a question.
Sometimes we here on the mainland forget that Hawaii is just as much America as Iowa or Massachusetts. But Hawaii has something very special to offer and that is the finest beaches in the world for swimming, surfing or just laying on the sand soaking up the rays. The only problem with Hawaiis beaches is that there is so much to do on the Islands and so much beauty everywhere you look that it is hard to take the time to really enjoy those beaches for all their worth. But they deserve a big part of your vacation schedule so take advantage of these idyllic beaches which you are enjoying your visit to the islands.
Just a short hop over the ocean to the mainland and you can be on the beaches of California which rival Hawaiis and, in fact, any beach in the US or around the world. California has such a long coastline that you can find almost every kind of beach terrain you can think of traveling up and down Californias coast. Not only that, the colorful and eccentric California population is always a great people watching experience as you relax on those beaches, especially on the well known beaches of Los Angeles like Laguna or Venice Beach.
But you dont have to be left without beach access if you live on the east coast because the shorelines of New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Cape Code and even Maine are just as scenic and picturesque as any the west coast have to offer. Even in the middle of the hustle and bustle of city life in Boston, there are wonderful beaches nestled right in with the urban build up. Revere Beach, which lies just north of Boston, is a hidden treasure. With its long sandy shoreline, it is the delight for many a Massachusetts youth looking for a romantic beach or a place to just get in some good ocean fun.
We cannot end our discussion of great American beaches without mentioning the phenomenal opportunities on both the east and west shores of Florida. The perfect pure white sands that is as soft as cotton can be found on the west banks of the peninsula that are so pristine that they compare with some of the great beaches of Europe.
So if this summer sneaks up on your family and that battle of mountain or beach rears its head, you know that you dont have to settle for the mountains if the family has its heart set on some ocean side fun, some swimming, surfing, sailing and all the other great fun that can be had at one of Americas great beaches. From the Midwest, you literally have all the beaches we have discussed plus hundreds more that we will leave for you to get out there and discover. So get out those swim trunks and dust off that snorkeling mask. Americas top beaches are calling for you.
Golden Gate Park offers more than just a Play Date
With its moderate temperatures year round, San Francisco is one of the best cities in the world in which to go outside and play. No matter what time of year it is, there is probably something you can find to do outside that is a lot of fun. Even if it is just “Singing in the Rain”. Beyond singing of course, there are plenty of activities that are best enjoyed out of doors. And there are few places in the world better to enjoy these outdoor activities than Golden Gate Park.
If you like wheels, there are plenty of places in the park where you can either rent biking and skating equipment. Of course if you plan on skating, it is quite easy to bring your own equipment along on your vacation. If you have children and are looking for fun activities that you can enjoy together, these are among the top on my list. Of course there are several more that you will find at Golden Gate Park as well.
I can keep my kids occupied for hours with one little Frisbee tossed between the three of them. And there are plenty of open spaces in this great park where Frisbee tossing is quite possible. In addition to Frisbee there are several other outdoor activities that can be enjoyed by you or your family.
There is an archery field and a shop where you can rent all the equipment you will need. In addition to equipment, which can be purchased or rented, you can also buy lessons for that equipment as well. If this is something you’ve never tried before, you should at least stop by and take a look. I think it’s a great sport that is incredibly fun for young and old alike. It’s also something that isn’t as commonly found as it should be so may actually be a real treat for your children.
If you love the water as I do, you will be delighted to find that in addition to beaches which offer surfing and sea animal watching, there is a huge lake in the park which offers paddleboat and row boat rentals. This is good fun and clean living if you ask me. Of course, I’m a water baby so I’m a little biased.
If water isn’t your thing, have you ever tried swing dancing? If not, it’s time you considered Lindy in the Park. Every Sunday, weather permitting, there is swing dancing from 11:00 am -2:00 pm with free lessons offered at 12:30 pm. Young and old children alike get a real thrill out of this and it’s a great way to trick yourself into exercising. Lindy in the Park is completely free and a lot of fun. If you are planning to include a trip to Golden Gate Park in your San Francisco visit, I strongly urge you to plan it for Sunday and plan to attend Lindy in the Park.
In addition to these activities there are handball tables both indoors and outdoors that can be used for a quick game. If this is something that you find interesting you might want to stake out a spot close by because there are only a few tables and a great deal of interest. Other interesting activities in Golden Gate Park include lawn bowling, tennis, dog runs, basketball, and disc golf. .
If all of that isn’t enough there are several other sites and activities available throughout the park that should spark your interest. Among those is a favorite for young and old children alike–The 1912 Herschel-Spillman carousel. This is very popular among children and seconded closely by the nearby playground. If you think about it, a day at Golden Gate Park isn’t your typical day at the park. With so much to do and see, it is hard to imagine that a day at this park isn’t a vacation in and of itself.
Located in the Ocean Beach Community, Ocean Beach is
actually just south of the entrance to the Mission
Bay channel. Located at 1950 Abbott Street, the beach
is a very popular location in the summer. During the
winter months, couples like to walk the beach and
just bask in the presence.
The Ocean Beach is wide in structure, about a mile
long. Along the north end of the beach, you’ll find
a volleyball court. During the summer, the court is
always teeming with people playing volleyball while
the sand around it is teeming with people watching.
At the south end of the beach you’ll find the Ocean
Beach Municipal Pier. The Pier is open to the public
with plenty of walking and fishing available. Located
on the pier is a bait and tackle shop along with a
restaurant. Although you don’t need a fishing license
to fish off the dock, catch regulations are enforced.
If you walk to the south end of the beach you’ll find
many restaurants, surfing shops, and many other commercial
shops and establishments. Although you can travel to
the north end of Ocean Beach, it’s mostly bordered by
residents of the ocean area.
The unique part of Ocean Beach is the Dog Beach, located
at the north end. This sandy area is where dogs can
run and play without a leash – anytime – day or night.
Although dog owners are responsible for their dogs and
the clean up of them, Dog Beach is actually pretty
nifty for anyone who owns dogs.
For your protection along the beach, lifeguards are
out each and every day, year round. They are generally
on duty from 9 AM until dark although you can check with
them for their specific hours of operation. They are
there for your protection and very willing to answer
any question that you may have.
Keep in mind while on the beach, California beaches do
experience powerful rip currents. It’s because of these
currents that beaches in California experience over
1,000 rescues by lifeguards every year. To be on the
safe side while in San Diego at Ocean Beach, it’s
always a good idea to swim near a lifeguard.
For those who like surfing, surfing is permitted at
Ocean Beach in designated areas. Scuba isn’t recommended
however, because of the lack of undersea life, heavy
rip currents, and the surf.
For swimming or enjoying the California lifestyle, Ocean
Beach is a great place to go. It is a very popular
place in the summer, drawing hundreds of thousands of
people. If you long for a taste of the California
lifestyle, make sure you visit Ocean Beach in San