Thanks for the great insight Kyle! I had a question for you, I have some friends going to Puerto Vallarta in January, the peak of high season. I’d like to join them, but get my own place. Do you recommend the ‘boots on ground’ method here as well? Wasn’t sure since it’s such a popular tourist spot and right now it’s tough to find affordable places online. Thanks for all the shared knowledge! -Matthew
Nearly twice the size of all the other Hawaiian islands combined, the snorkeling on Big Island is fantastic, especially at Honaunau Bay, also known as The City of Refuge, with an historic backdrop to boot. Pu'uhonua o Honaunau National Historic Park has smooth lava rock flats to help you ease effortlessly from shore to sea into year-round crystal-clear water, and you'll find healthy coral gardens teeming with tropical fish, moray eels, and even turtles in shallow depths to the right. Spinner dolphins frequent deeper waters to the left.
Dave and I honeymooned in the Dominican Republic so it has a very special place in our hearts. The Dominican is a part of the second largest island in the Caribbean so there are many places to capture beautiful tropical island pictures. But this one from Puerto Plata captures our view of what a tropical vacation should be about. Beautiful skies, over the water bungalows and a cruise ship off in the distance.
OB is a boho beach community, so what else can you expect but dive bars, right? Winstons Beach Club is your place for live music—usually some sort of cover band in the Dead/Reggae/Jam band vein. Comedy shows are also regularly scheduled there. The Catalina Lounge is your popular, friendly dive bar, as is the Tilted Stick. The Arizona Cafe has cleaned up its act and is now a cool hangout with pool tables and big TVs for watching sports.
While the marine life in Galapagos is dramatic, the aquatic conditions are fairly benign for us humans. Waters are relatively warm, although if you plan to be in the water for more than 20 minutes at a time then it’s worth wearing a short wet suit (these are provided on cruises). Flotation devices can also be provided, if necessary. Keep in mind that most of the marine life lives in areas that don’t have any strong currents or undertows.
The best snorkel reefs start shallow, and few are shallower than Glovers Reef Atoll. At low tide, coral heads pop from the sea, visible to beachgoers at the private-island Off the Wall Dive Center and Resort. Don a mask and jump in to witness the rainbow of reds, yellows and purples of the hard and soft corals, and thriving marine life. You don’t need to cover much ground to encounter diversity. Here, the best tactic is to hover above a patch of reef and check out the hundreds of species, from blenny fish, each only 3 inches long, to toadfish, a pancake-flat, whiskered bottom-dweller that betrays its hiding spots when emitting a loud croak.
One of the earliest residents of Ocean Beach was D. C. Collier, who bought oceanfront property there in 1887 when he was just 16. He later became one of the "fathers" of Ocean Beach, laying out streets, promoting sales, and building the Point Loma Railroad in 1909 to connect Ocean Beach with the rest of San Diego. By 1910 there were 100 houses in Ocean Beach, compared to just 18 two years earlier. According to historian Ruth Held, Collier's rail line "made OB possible." He also built Ocean Beach Elementary School (a two-room school) and donated park land to the city. Most of that land became Cleator Community Park (a ballfield), Correia Middle School (originally named Collier Junior High School), a YMCA and a church; a small remnant at Greene and Soto streets is still called Collier Park.
Go ahead and suit yourself up for the summer of a lifetime. At Hollister, we’ve got all the hottest swimwear looks for summer. Seriously, from bikinis to monokinis, we have a swimsuit for every girl. From strappy off-the-shoulder swim tops to lace trim triangle tops, you’re hardest decision will be which suit to pick. So, go ahead, and snag a couple of pairs. That way you can mix and match depending on where ever the day or night takes you. Whether it’s a day spent splashing in the waves or a late night beach bonfire, you’ll be ready.
These statues, which average 13 feet in height and weigh about 14 tons, were created between the 10th and 16th century by the early inhabitants of the island. These monolithic stone heads are baffling to researchers who cannot figure out why the Rapa Nui people went through such enormous efforts to create them or how they carved them with primitive tools. Another lingering question is what happened to the Rapa Nui people? Rapa Nui’s early inhabitants came from other Polynesian island to this one to build a unique culture away from any influences. One theory is that they may have built these statues to honor their ancestors but had to leave once they had completely depleted the island resources. Once a thriving culture, Rapa Nui is today almost barren, with no trees and most of its soil being washed away in erosion. All that is left are these enormous monuments as a reminder of human achievement and resilience.
Increasingly common glamour shots of popular actresses and models on either side of the Atlantic played a large part in bringing the bikini into the mainstream. During the 1950s, Hollywood stars such as Ava Gardner, Rita Hayworth, Lana Turner, Elizabeth Taylor, Tina Louise, Marilyn Monroe, Esther Williams, and Betty Grable took advantage of the risqué publicity associated with the bikini by posing for photographs wearing them—pin-ups of Hayworth and Williams in costume were especially widely distributed in the United States. In 1950, Elvira Pagã walked at the Rio Carnival, Brazil in a golden bikini, starting the bikini tradition of the carnival.