When it comes to shopping in OB, don't miss The Black, a smoke shop that is also a neighborhood institution. Kind of a head shop/novelty/record store, The Black is like going back in time to the hippie decade. Ocean Beach Antique Mall on Newport Avenue is where to go for unique vintage finds and home goods. Sunshine Daydreams is a little boho-chic clothing boutique, and the Black Bead is a mecca for jewelry hobbyists.
Great list, and having been to half these places I can say we have similar tastes in locales. Regarding Costa Rica, there’s another beach town option a bit up the coast from Santa Teresa called Nosara, which I’d recommend checking out for its mix of yoga and surfing. Wi-Fi is pretty slow though, at just 1Mbps in the cafes. Is it the same in Santa Teresa? I will say that having been there just last year, Costa Rica (or at least Nosara) has poor bang for the buck — basically US prices but in a developing country. We couldn’t find a meal there for less than $7.
Crochet bikinis are big this season. Shop our wide range of bikinis to look super on-trend on your beach holiday. Our crochet swimwear comes in many colours and styles to suit your taste. Show off your tan in a bold shade or go for a classic colour for a subtle but stylish look. Style your crochet bikini with a kaftan and sandals to ensure your style game is on point. 

Thanks for the fascinating article. I’m currently based out of Vancouver myself (but soon back to Toronto). I’m enthralled by the idea of taking my show on the road somewhere cheap and warm next winter. I’m a planner, though, but it seems like (from both your comments and my failed attempts thus far) the best way to get something like this is to show up somewhere and then go from there; whenever I’ve looked at somewhere like AirBNB, it seems like everything is $50/night and upwards (with the exception of some stuff I’ve found in Goa).
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“A tropical sea, sandy beach and palm trees - this is written in a home page of Tropical Island. OK - there si no sea, just few pools with sweet water - 2 inside and L outside (in the winter time), wild river outside. In pools some atrrcations for small kids and some tobogans. most areas are tropical plants and trees, shops, automats, restaurans. Small part of area is wellness with some sanunas, possibility of massage(for extra payment of course). Sauna rituals are abut nothing . You will not receive towel , you must bring your own or pay for 3,5EUR to rent. You have to pay for lockable cupboard - capacity for 2-3 peoples (winter time). Sandy beach - sand was cold and wet. On the other side I must say that environment was excellent. Ok - my opinion - it wasd very nice to see this, but this is not aquapark , just overpriced botanic garden. My opinion is based on the experience of visiting in the winter.”
I came to this beach numerous times during my trip to San Francisco and each time, it was fairly quiet and super clean. During the day, we walked down the hill from Land's End (couldn't hike it since it was closed off due to the govt shut down) passing the Cliff House. On separate visits, I was able to enjoy the sunset and long walks along the water. This isn't something I do often (or ever, tbh) since NY beaches are pretty filthy and cannot compare at all. If you're lucky, you'll get to see all of the sand dollars on the shore. Parking spaces around here are tough to snag, but not impossible. You'll just need a bit of patience, but its worth it.
OB is a vibrant, boho-chic neighborhood, with a classic beach bum vibe. Surfers can be found all over, with lots of fishermen and some stellar views. Nearby you can check out antiques shops, beachwear and surf boutiques, organic groceries, taquerias and bars. There is lots of beach culture- plus you can hear the soothing waves crashing into the rocks throughout the day.

Even cheaper is Nicaragua, I spent some time living in Granada, which is a very nice colonial city (an great spot to learn Spanish) and San Juan Del Sur, which is an excellent beachside town (I highly recommend checking out the surf resort Majagual just to the north). I think Bocas Del Toro would be a good all-round choice. In South America, I really like Florianapolis in Brazil.
Being non-competitive, snorkeling is considered more a leisure activity than a sport.[64] Snorkeling requires no special training, only the very basic swimming abilities and being able to breathe through the snorkel.[65] Some organizations[by whom?] recommend that for snorkeling safety one should not snorkel alone,[66] but rather with a "buddy", a guide or a tour group.[citation needed]
One of the Cyclades islands, Santorini’s distinctive beauty has been captured on film and in paintings. Its submerged caldera, towering cliffs, whitewashed buildings and romantic beaches rejuvenate your senses and put you in the mood for love. The Red Beach of Santorini is unlike any other in the world. Its mesmerizing red cliffs and dark red sand look striking against the blue waters. The town of Oia is one of the most iconic and beautiful locations on the island. It is where all the incredible mountainside photo are taken that you’ve been drooling over. Athens to Santorini is around 45 minutes by flight. (Read about other amazing Mediterranean islands).
Sipadan is located in the Celebes Sea off the coast of Sabah (Malaysia's easternmost state on the island of Borneo—Google-map it!). Best known for world-class diving, and described as an “Untouched Piece of Art” by Jacques Cousteau himself, the snorkeling here is equally stunning with easy viewing of otherworldy coral formations, sea turtles, and Bumphead Parrotfish.
Although Ocean Beach sits on prime waterfront real estate, the neighborhood still exudes a small-town atmosphere, making it an ideal place to live and visit. Where other beach communities have embraced commercialism, Ocean Beach remains fiercely independent and skeptical of wholesale change. You're more likely to see a food co-op than a fast food chain. The Ocean Beach community is so tight-knit that residents often refer to themselves as OBceans, pronounced "oh-BEE-shuns."
An unincorporated United States territory, Puerto Rico is a small island in the northeast Caribbean, east of the Dominican Republic. If you are looking for unique tropical places to visit, the island is covered with green mountains, thundering waterfalls and the magnificent tropical vegetation of El Yunque National Forest. Surrounded by fine sand beaches and rich, vibrant coral reefs, Puerto Rico, which translates to “rich port,” is a popular tourist destination for those who love snorkeling, surfing, diving and sailing.
Swim Slowly! Exhaustion is a common problem for first time snorkelers. Swimming takes a good bit of energy. The trick with snorkeling is to stay relaxed and calm. You can wipe yourself out quickly if you are not careful. Only swim at a speed that allows you to breathe slowly and easily through your snorkel. Your snorkel does limit your breath, so keep your activity level at a pace that does not demand heavy breathing. Your fins will make it much easier. Learn to just float without effort. Only swim rapidly if necessary for safety.

Love this empty beach. When I mean empty, not as crowded as other beaches that I frequent. Parking is easy, there's lots of space and the best part is that it's free! A great place to relax or take a walk. If you are heading to the Sutro Baths, make sure to drop by here first. I did and enjoyed it. I'll be back again when in the area. Maybe set up and enjoy one of their fire pits. From the first time I visited here to my most recent, nothing has really changed, which is great. It's good to know some towns maintain a calmness.
After a few minutes, the group decided to take a break and we walked south towards the pier. The surrounding area is filled with tourist shops, bars, tattoo parlors, and restaurants lined up and down the street adjacent to the beach. We continued towards the end of the street and climbed the steps leading to the pier. The pier was a massive boardwalk that led about a quarter of a mile out to the water. There were people fishing everywhere, some who have been there all day with several rods resting against the railing hoping to catch the big one. We spotted several artists selling their paintings as we walked by. Some of the pictures were abstract paintings while others were canvas paintings of the beach and various landmarks around town.

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The economy of Ocean Beach is dominated by small, independent retail businesses. Newport Avenue, the main business street, featured family-owned businesses from the 1930s through the 1960s, such as a bakery, drug stores, a book and novelty shop, a shoe store, men's and women's apparel shops, and a family-owned pet store. In the 1960s and 1970s larger stores and shopping malls elsewhere in the city gradually ran the small local stores out of business. Many of the storefronts were then turned into antique stores, and the area is now known as the Ocean Beach Antique District.[18] Also on Newport are restaurants, head shops, tattoo and piercing shops, coffee houses, bars, bike and surf shops, and an international youth hostel.[19] In 1969 Hodad's opened on Newport, gaining national attention in 2007 after appearing on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.[20] There are several small independent hotels in O.B., but no nationally franchised hotels.
Which of these great locations would you recommend for a family with teenagers who like to dive and surf? We have been to Hawaii, Costa Rica and Tahiti. We are looking for a safe, yet different, cultural experience with exotic plants, fish and animals. We would prefer to stay in one villa, as opposed to multiple rooms in a hotel. We don’t mind if it is far away from Southern California. I realize this may be painful financially.
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Dehydration is another concern. Hydrating well before entering the water is highly recommended, especially if one intends to snorkel for several hours. Proper hydration also prevents cramps. Snorkelers who hyperventilate to extend sub-surface time can experience hypocapnia if they hyperventilate prior to submerging. This can in turn lead to "shallow water blackout". Snorkeling with a buddy and remaining aware of the buddy's condition at all times can help avoid these difficulties.[citation needed]
Break up the basics and fill your wardrobe with patterned womens swimwear! We’re pretty much obsessed with mixing and matching patterned bikini tops and bikini bottoms. Try cute bathing suits in a tribal geometric pattern for boho vibes. Oh say can you sea an American flag bikini?! It’s a super playful poolside option. Try floral beach wear to keep it girly! Keep it classic in striped swim wear. We love all kinds of printed women’s bathing suits!
Hi Kyle… interesting roundup. I’ve been to most of the places you mention over the past twelve years — the period of time I have been living as a “global gypsy.” I know San Marcos well, love the Oaxaca coast, used to really love my village in Goa until the tourists discovered it, and I really love Africa — for those who want a chill cheap life, Swaziland is an interesting choice, hugged by South Africa and Mozambique. It home to the Bushfire Festival, one of the most acclaimed music/ art/ culture/festivals in the world. I also really love Kenya and the beautiful Diani Beach. Ok, here’s my current situation: I have grown weary (and older!) of living out of a backpack and am currently looking for a base. I have also accidentally adopted a rescue dog and am traveling with him. As such I need a beach destination with calm waters b/c he loves to swim — so Oaxaca is out. I also make and sell jewelry so some tourists are needed. I am currently on Roatan and it is just not resonating. It is more expensive than I expected and doesn’t seem to have that sort of “mindful” community I prefer. So… any suggestions? I’m really stymied… I sometimes feel there is such a thing as too much freedom… peace and out.
If you followed the coverage of Hurricane Irma in September 2017, you might expect that the reefs of Key Largo suffered damage. Thankfully, this upper Florida Key was within the eye of the storm, and thus the reefs were largely spared any consequence. The high-profile corals of Molasses Reef, part of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, are still surrounded by cruising nurse sharks, Southern stingrays, and several species of turtles including loggerhead, green and hawksbill. The famed Christ of the Abyss statue, found at the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, is also unharmed and the park is accepting visitors.
Local events include the Ocean Beach Street Fair and Chili Cookoff in late June, a jazz festival at the foot of Newport in late September, the Ocean Beach Christmas Parade in early December, the Ocean Beach Kite Festival on the third Saturday of May, and the Ocean Beach Canine Carnival on the third Saturday in October. On Wednesday afternoons two blocks of Newport Avenue are closed for a farmers' market.[27]
For scuba diving, the primary piece of equipment you’ll need is a pressurized gas tank with a tube. This tank will be your air supply while you’re underwater. A wetsuit is also necessary to keep your body temperature regulated, even in tropical waters. Foot fins will help you through the water, propelling your movement. And lastly, if you are not an experienced diver, you’ll want a guide to accompany you. At Mai Dive, we make sure your scuba diving in Fiji experience is as safe and enjoyable as it is unforgettable.  We create daily dive plans tailored to the requirements of our diving and snorkeling guests that factor in your experience level, the tides, the water conditions and the weather.
11:00am, 3:00pm moderate 3.5 hrs Food & Beverages
While this price might inspire you to blurt out a string of expletives, take note that it encompasses all 14 bures (Fijian for "hut") on the island -- so you're splitting that nightly rate with 27 other people. Now that is entirely reasonable. Also, it's all-inclusive. Everything. Food, booze (including Champagne by the bottle), activities, private seaplane transfers, the works. Treat yourself to pontoon dinners, sunset cruises on the Blue Lagoon (yep, from the movie), a private butler, fishing, hiking, kayaking, massage... you're paying 35 grand a NIGHT. Basically do whatever the hell you want.
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.

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Teen magazines of late 1940s and 1950s featured similar designs of midriff-baring suits and tops. However, midriff fashion was stated as only for beaches and informal events and considered indecent to be worn in public.[44] Hollywood endorsed the new glamor in films like 1949's Neptune's Daughter in which Esther Williams wore provocatively named costumes such as "Double Entendre" and "Honey Child".[45]
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