Beginning in the early 1970s, local development and land interests pressed for the development of Ocean Beach's oceanfront, with plans for tourist-oriented resorts, hotels and a marina outlined in the Ocean Beach Precise Plan. With the passage of a 30-foot (9.1 m) height limit in 1972 and the re-writing of the Precise Plan, the development plans for the waterfront were abandoned.
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Panama is an underrated destination in Central America, including the San Blas Islands. This is a popular spot for sailing and boat tours, though there are also some resorts in case you’re looking for a more luxurious stay. Generally, the islands are quite rustic and make for a great off-the-grid island getaway. There are tons of beautiful spots for good sailing, diving, and snorkeling.
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.
An hour before, in a maze of punch-colored lockers, I located number seven-thousand-something and began shoving all signs of winter weather into it. Puffy coat, recently unwound scarf, thick socks, boots, and sweater all went in, but not before I removed a bikini and beach gear from my overnight bag. An hour outside of Berlin, Tropical Islands (T.I.) fills an airfield hanger originally built in 1938 for the Nazi Luftwaffe. The Red Army overtook the site in 1945 and the Soviet Air Force stayed until 1992. A Malaysian company purchased the hanger at a steep discount in 2003, after some kind of German cargo-blimp enterprise went bankrupt. T.I. opened a year later.
In Hawaii, green sea turtles, known locally as honu, are revered, believed to be the embodiment of guardian spirits. They’re also thought to be good luck — funny because they’re found on every Kona beach. In the water, sightings of this reptile are super common in the town of Kailua-Kona at Kahaluu Beach Park, a tiny bay with minimal waves. Or try the site Two Step, a 30-minute drive south of town. Here, you’ll meet turtles, as well as schools of yellow tang, butterfly- and surgeonfish, plus seals and dolphins.
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.
Generally shallow reefs ranging from sea level to 1 to 4 meters (3 to 13 ft) are favored by snorkelers. Deeper reefs can also be explored, but repeated breath-holding to dive to those depths limits the number of practitioners, and raises the bar on the required fitness and skill level. Risk increases with increased depth and duration of the breath-hold excursions from the surface.
If you desire something a bit more mellow and authentic, the beach towns in the spectacular state of Kerala are worth exploring. I’ve heard good things about the beach town of Varkala, which has beautiful beaches and soaring cliffs. If you want to relax and really explore your inner world through meditation, I recommend spending some time in an ashram in Rishikesh or Dharamsala.
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The easternmost tip of the Polynesian Triangle (Hawaii – New Zealand – Easter Island) is the most mysterious island in Polynesia and perhaps the entire world. Discovered in 1722, Easter Island is home to nearly 1,000 strange monolithic statues known as Moai. Whether depicting ancient ancestors or alien visitors, very little is known about this strange ancient culture which disappeared due to civil war, diseases introduced by early European visitors and 19th-century slave raiding parties. What is entirely clear is that the island’s ancient civilization lived in complete isolation for nearly 1,000 years and slowly depleted the island’s natural resources. A visit to Easter Island is both eerie and enchanting, also raising questions about the future of our own planetary existence.
Guests of the Mai Dive Astrolabe Reef Resort can try snorkeling and scuba diving. We encourage you to check out the resort’s packages to make the most of your Fiji vacation. The islands are beautiful, but there’s also a whole world under the ocean, just waiting to be explored. Whether you snorkel or scuba, don’t miss your opportunity to see this beautiful spot in the South Pacific.
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