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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."
The water at Ocean Beach is noteworthy for its strong currents and waves, which makes it popular among serious surfers. The water is cold, due in part to a process known as upwelling, in which frigid water from below the ocean surface rises to replace the surface water that moves away from the beach as a result of the Coriolis effect. The rapid rip currents and cold water make the ocean dangerous for casual swimmers and even those who simply want to set foot in it, and swimmers have been swept away and drowned. Nevertheless, the beach is one of the Bay Area's top surfing spots. The southern portion of the beach by Sloat Boulevard is one of the cleanest in the state.
Ilha Grande, almost exactly midway between Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, is heaven on earth—somewhat untouched, still, with deeply green jungle, turquoise water, and a totally laid-back vibe. Snorkeling here might include exploring colonial-era ship-wrecks, but take a dip in the Lagoa Azul first (think Brooke Shields in The Blue Lagoon) with delicious water temperatures in the mid- to upper-70s providing the perfect habitat for seahorses.
There are many great places to eat in OB. BO-Beau Kitchen + Bar is a romantic spot as it offers upscale French fare in a cozy, candlelit dining room. If you prefer something casual, try the juicy, loaded burgers at Hodad's, fresh fish tacos at South Beach Bar & Grille, or a slice of pizza and some San Diego craft beer at Pizza Port. Kaiserhof is known for its authentic German food and brews while Old Townhouse Restaurant is the best for diner-style breakfast (especially when recovering from a long night out).
A day as exciting as this is sure to wear you out. So when darkness settles over the tropics and the South Seas paradise falls quiet, why not spend the night in one of Tropical Islands' well-appointed lodges? It's also possible to go rustic and stay overnight in a tropical tent. Well-equipped tents of various sizes are available in the rainforest camp within the dome. Set amid the beautiful scenery of the Brandenburg heath, the nearby Tropical Islands campsite offers an ideal mix of camping adventure, water-park fun and wellness holiday across 6,000m². And best of all: Tropical Islands is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year! Check in here for an experience to remember!
Maui has many ideal snorkel spots, but for something completely different don your gear and sail on the luxury catamaran Kai Kanani to Molokini Crater—a tiny, volcanic crescent off the island's southernmost shore. A State Marine Life & Bird Conservation District, it is home to dolphins, manta rays, turtles, and dozens of varieties of insanely colorful tropical fish.
While the two-piece swimsuit as a design existed in classical antiquity, the modern design first attracted public notice in Paris on July 5, 1946. French automotive engineer Louis Réard introduced a design he named the "bikini", adopting the name from the Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean, which was the colonial name the Germans gave to the atoll, transliterated from the Marshallese name for the island, Pikinni.
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Oceanic islands are islands that do not sit on continental shelves. The vast majority are volcanic in origin, such as Saint Helena in the South Atlantic Ocean. The few oceanic islands that are not volcanic are tectonic in origin and arise where plate movements have lifted up the ocean floor above the surface. Examples are Saint Peter and Paul Rocks in the Atlantic Ocean and Macquarie Island in the Pacific.
The more recently added water slides are surprisingly fast and the absence of lifeguards makes for a chaotic and extra fun experience. The long, steep blue slide with the mad curve accelerates you to such a colossal speed that you feel like you are facing your imminent death as you zoom down. But it's safe, and everybody survives with a smile. Other highlights: a walk-through jungle; a panorama balloon; a huge pool with a sea vista background and a lagoon with some small slides in a jungle/cave setting. You'll find a wild mix of Germans, Poles and Czechs here since the nearby borders are all open: walking around Tropical Islands sometimes feels like witnessing an Eastern European modeling contest.