Thursday, February 14, 2013

Match-made in Coastal Heaven Destinations

Happy Valentine's Day everyone! <3 Hope you all have a lovely day filled with surprises, love, laughter, and great memories with friends and family. Don't forget to take a step back from our material filled world with the seemingly must-do task of finding the perfect gift to buy, and appreciate the things people do every day for you out of the kindness of their hearts, and the little things they say to make your day better because they care about you (they mean so much more!). 

You might find yourself throughout today thinking about that vacation you've been dreaming about for a while without the kids, a little quick get-away from work, or maybe an extended trip to experience the local culture of a destination you've been eying. Summer is just around the corner, but now is the time to start looking at what the best airfare rates are, where to stay, places to go, activities to do, and so on. I'm eying a place with a beach - bet you are too! So here's a mix-match of the top beach destinations easy on your budget thanks to the editors of Budget Travel and myself, plus an ideal outdoor shower space to wash that sand off your feet after a long relaxing day at the beach with the sun in sky and a drink in your hand. Enjoy!

1. Ko Phi Phi, Thiland
Ko Phi Phi is made up of two main islands, turquoise blue waters, pristine beaches with occasional colorful fishing boats, and lush tropical vegetation. Noted new resorts that have been taking advantage of the near 27% drop in price rates (approx. low as $151 a night), one which is the Outrigger Phi Phi Island Resort and Spa.

2. Boracay Islands, Philippines
Take note of these islands, as their beaches only started to have their sands turned by tourists starting in the 1970's. Since then over 300 resorts, hotels, and oceanfront real estate have grown the island mainlands into some of the most attractive travel spots on earth. Late spring is the best time to visit with low numbers of tourists and clear of typhoon season. Since competition is so high, hotel rates are very reasonable, as well as regional airfares. A popular place to stay on a budget is the Crown Regency Resort and Convention Center, with rates around $110 a night.

3. Sanibel and Captiva Islands, Florida
These two sister islands are the epitome of shelling heaven, environmentally friendly accommodations, and different activities to explore every day. Where sandals and shorts are the norm for going out to breakfast on the beach, lunch around the corner at the local cafe, or dinner at the seafood grill and bar down the road, Sanibel and Captiva take your breath away. Sanibel has 5 public access beaches {Gulf City Park, Lighthouse Beach, Tarpon Bay, Bowman's Beach, and Blind Pass}, and Captiva has 2 {Blind Pass and Captiva Beach}. Blind Pass, as you might have noticed, is located on both islands due to being at the center of where they are connected by a small bridge. Hotels, resorts, and oceanfront homes for rent are available throughout the coastline, along with a grocery store, bike rental transportation, and lots of fun shops. Hotel rates vary depending on location, however the best deal I have found from my three trips to Sanibel for a must-do week stay, is Ocean's Reach Condominiums Resort. Other accommodation locations include Casa Ybel Resort, Island Inn Sanibel, and South Seas Island Resort.

Private beach in front of Ocean's Reach Condominiums Resort, Sanibel Island. Copyright 2009. Tiffany Kaminski.

4. Ocracoke Island, North Carolina
For a more urban beach escape with cooler breezes, an 1800's lighthouse exploration, sightings of wild horses on the beach, and some of the best seafood you will ever eat in your life on the boardwalks - Ocracoke Island is an unforgettable experience right next door to the Outer Banks (OBX). Ocracoke Island is small, but holds a lot of history sure to please the history buff in your family as the destination sits on the National Register of Historic Places. If you're traveling with a large group, your best bet is to rent a beach house near the coast, or you can look into these hotels and resorts: Ocracoke Harbor Inn, Blackbeard's Lodge, or even camp in a National Park on the Cape Hatteras National Seashore

5. El Matador Beach, Southern Malibu California
A romantic adventure with a California + Colorado vibe, El Matador Beach practically in Malibu, features an endless stretch of beach with rocky stone hedges outlined by rolling hillsides looking out to sea. To stay right by the beach, check out Malibu Country Inn, Hyatt Westlake Plaza, or the Sheraton Agoura Hotel, each with starting rates between $265 and $118 a night depending on the time of travel. This destination is known for its sunsets, long walks on the beach, shopping, and fine dining. So plan on checking the tide schedule, pack a meal and blanket, and head down to the beach near a hidden nook and camp-out till sunset.  

Hope you have some ideas turning in your head for your next vacation now!  
Let me know where you plan on traveling to this year by commenting on this post, or visit the ArtSea Chic Facebook page to join the conversation with hundreds of beach enthusiasts like yourself.

1 comment:

  1. I think I have to visit Sanibel and Captiva Islands!


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