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North Carolina Beaches: Come as Guests. Leave as Family!

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May 262016
 

Whoever coined the term “antidote to civilization” must have visited the peaceful and tranquil shores of North Carolina. A warm sunny day, little traffic, a gourmet picnic lunch and a bottle of wine it just doesnt get any better. To help you plan your visit, we present you with information on where to stay, fine dining establishments and some ideas on what to do while you enjoy the coast of North Carolina.

There’s something about North Carolina’s legendary coast that attracts visitors from all over the globe. The commanding splendor of the ocean, sunny and temperate climate of the pristine beaches and the abundant marshes and wetlands are just some of the reasons that North Carolina beaches are one of the hottest attractions in the nation. Whether you are looking for a romantic getaway or a family vacation, NCBeaches.com helps you find the ideal spot for your next trip. With more than 300 miles of unspoiled coast, it’s easy to find the perfect beach for your getaway … whatever the occasion. Take a complete tour, beach-by-beach, of North Carolina’s peaceful shore.

The east coast boasts of the largest sand dunes in the United States, as well as more than 3,375 miles of shoreline (including the offshore barrier islands.) North Carolinians are also quite proud of the beaches as they provide not just a wealth peaceful beauty, but an abundance of history. The United States named Cape Hatteras, NC as the first national seashore in 1953; yet its discovery was well documented nearly four centuries earlier as Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazano set out to find a westward passage to Asia and discovered the unspoiled land. North Carolina was also home to the first English settlement in North America. Roanoke Island, an island situated between the Albemarle and Pamlico sounds, first welcomed explorers in 1585. The second group came to the area in 1587 and from their mysterious disappearance the tale of the Lost Colony was born.

The shores of North Carolina became a huge commerce area for fishing, yet the maritime heritage stands apart from other coasts because of the many shipwrecks rather than the monetary gains. Graveyard of the Atlantic, as it is called, has been responsible for over 600 shipwrecks since the 16th century. The wrecks were due largely to the unique shape of the beaches, especially around the Outer Banks. The area is home to Diamond Shoals, where two great ocean currents meet: the cold Labrador and the warm Northbound Gulf Stream. As the currents meet, the difference in temperatures creates constantly-shifting sandbars that have aided in the numerous wrecks. Historian and author David Stick poetically describes the angular coast. In his book Graveyard of the Atlantic: Shipwrecks of the North Carolina Coast , Stick writes, “You can stand on Cape Point at Hatteras on a stormy day and watch two oceans come together in an awesome display of savage fury; for there at the Point the northbound Gulf Stream and the cold currents coming down from the Arctic run head-on into each other, tossing their spumy spray a hundred feet or better into the air and dropping sand and shells and sea life at the point of impact. Thus is formed the dreaded Diamond Shoals, its fang-like shifting sand bars pushing seaward to snare the unwary mariner. Seafaring men call it the Graveyard of the Atlantic.”

It is because of these wrecks that North Carolina constructed 10 lighthouses along the coast, seven of which stand today as reminders of the rich coastal culture. Perhaps the most famous of the lighthouses is the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, completed in 1870. Two additions to add height were made 50 years later making it America’s tallest lighthouse at 208 feet high. Construction took roughly 1.25 million bricks and cost $155,000.00 in the eighteen hundreds. Today more than 175,000 visitors flock to climb the 257 steps to the top. Recently the lighthouse made quite a stir in the media as the enormous structure was moved nearly 3,000 feet in the summer of 1999 to ensure its preservation from the encroaching Atlantic Ocean.

From the Southern shores of Holden Beach and Wilmington to the narrow stretch of barrier islands known as the Outer Banks, visitors can choose the destination based on the different activities offered or atmosphere of the beach itself. Historians relish in the many museums, national seashores and legends surrounding the coast. Environmentalists enjoy the wildlife refuges, bird watching and nature trails scattered down the beaches. Adventurers enjoy the windsurfing, scuba diving, hang gliding and many more activities. The Southern beaches, such as Wilmington, Oak Island and Holden Beach, are well known for their plethora of nationally acclaimed golf courses. Known as “North Carolina’s Golf Coast,” the area between Wilmington and Calabash boasts of more than 35 champion golf courses. Famous golf pros such as Palmer, Couples and Dye designed some of the best courses in the area. Whether you’re looking to rent or own a fully equipped villa or beach front cottage, the southern beaches accommodate all styles.

The northern beaches of North Carolina, from Emerald Isle to the Outer Banks, offer many different sporting activities. Because of the great winds, kites are a favorite way to enjoy the beach and are found decorating many of the shops in the area. Families flock to the beach with brightly decorated kites to enjoy hours of fun. Kiteboarding, a sport unique to the Outer Banks and growing in popularity, has become one of the biggest activities of the area. Kitty Hawk Kites, a store that offers everything from toys to tours, has every kind of kite possible. Whether it’s single line kites for kids on the beach or Stunt kites that for those who want to perform tricks and advanced maneuvers, you will find everything you need to enjoy the Outer Banks wind.

One of the more popular activities with a long history, fishing brings in many travelers from around the nation. North Carolina beaches provide the perfect spot for fishing as the nearby The Gulf Stream warms the Atlantic. The collision of the warm The Gulf Stream and the cold Labrador currents create a hotspot for all types of fish, and fishermen catch anything from Wahoo to Sailfish, depending on the season. From deep sea fishing to pier and surf fishing, North Carolina beaches have everything you need.

Yet the beaches of North Carolina are more than just a vacation spot; they are a year-round beach community where people work and play. Come visit our spectacular sites and sandy beaches all along North Carolina’s shores. The NCBeaches.com comprehensive database of anything from restaurant coupons and menus to vacation rentals will help you plan your ideal trip to anywhere on the North Carolina coast.

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North Carolina Beaches – Best Beaches in North Carolina

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May 262016
 

The best beaches in North Carolina are found along the Outer Bank. The well known Cape Hatteras and Cape Fear are just the beginning of some of the great beaches in North Carolina. Most of the areas mentioned are also places where excellent North Carolina beach rentals can be located for a vacation stay of a weekend or an entire week. Whether you head to one of the major state parks for North Carolina fishing or plan to hide away at a cabin on one of the smaller North Carolina beaches, beaches in North Carolina are often referred to as some of the best on the Atlantic Coast.

Carolina Beach State Park is one great option for a trip to the beach. Although swimming is not allowed at Carolina Beach State Park, this is a popular place to go for sea life enthusiasts. The creatures and surrounding plants (including native Venus Flytraps) make for a great day of walking and exploring. There are also just over 5 miles worth of hiking trails, and many consider this to be one of the best beaches in North Carolina. The beach goes on for about 10 miles, and there is no entrance fee to use the park.

Another of the best beaches in North Carolina is the Wrightsville Beach. Located on the Cape Fear coast near Wilmington and the Cape Fear Museum, Wrightsville Beach is generally packed with swimmers and loungers during the summer. There is no fee imposed for using the beach, and the beach is actually located on an island which is connected to the main shore by a draw bridge. Travelers will find toilet facilities and picnic areas at the beach, but if you go in the summer get there early, especially on the weekend. By lunchtime, the picnic tables and the entire beach is full of people.

Another great choice among North Carolina beaches is Kure Beach. This is one of the best beaches in North Carolina for travelers looking for an un-crowded place to kick back during the summer. Kure Beach is located close to Cape Fear River and is a relaxed place where a nice selection of beachside cafes comes to life mainly during the summer for tourists and local residents. Kill Devil Hills and Nags Head are also popular beaches in North Carolina.

North Carolina beach rentals can be found near or on all of the beaches mentioned above. The Outer Bank is another place to go in general to find great North Carolina beach rentals for a vacation. Note that in North Carolina, swimming is off-limits at some beaches due to high winds and difficult currents. Some beaches might be closed during summer hours when they would normally be open due to inclement weather conditions, so be sure to check your weather report before packing up your beach gear.

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North Carolina Beaches – Best Beaches in North Carolina

Augusta Visitor Information | Augusta, GA – Official Website

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May 242016
 

Where is Augusta?Nestled along the banks of the Savannah River, Augusta is the second largest and oldest city in Georgia. Located in the east central section of the state, Augusta is approximately 150 miles east of Atlanta on Interstate 20. Augusta is also centrally located just two and a half hours from the beach and the mountains.

Experience the Culture and History of the South When planning a visit to Augusta, you’ll want to come early and stay late. Take time to discover the historic charm of the classic South with its tree-lined streets and majestic antebellum mansions. There are dozens of shops and restaurants, cultural, and historic attractions in Augusta.

Augusta Recreation and ParksYear round, Augusta is the place to be for recreation. With an average temperature of 62.7 degrees, we hope you will make the most of our many parks and recreational facilities. Make time for an afternoon of golf, tennis, fishing, boating, or just enjoying the great outdoors. View Recreation and Parks.

Riverwalk AugustaYou’ll also want to take time to visit Riverwalk Augusta, offering pedestrian access to the Savannah River from a public plaza and focusing attention on one of Augusta’s most beautiful and unique assets. View the Riverwalk / Augusta Commons Calendar of Events.

Augusta Area AttractionsCheck out our other resources section for more info on Augusta area attractions.

Augusta Convention & Visitors Bureau For help planning your trip to the Augusta, contact the Augusta Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Augusta PhotographyMany photos for this website areprovided by the Augusta Convention and Visitors Bureau.

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Beaches Near You in Slidell, LA – YP.com – Yellow Pages …

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May 232016
 

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(228) 466-5819

13031 Highway 603Bay Saint LouisMS39520

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(504) 485-9432

7415 West End BlvdNew OrleansLA70124

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(228) 388-1000

2200 Beach BlvdBiloxiMS39531

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(228) 863-1556

720 S Cleveland AveLong BeachMS39560

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From Business:Bicycle rental in downtown Ocean Springs. Cruise the beach, visit the museums, parks, restaurants and boutiques in the lovely town of Ocean Springs.

(228) 861-3621

110 Porter AvenueOcean SpringsMS39564

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(850) 687-3023

1112 Iberville DriveOcean SpringsMS39564

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(228) 297-3278

4419 Denny stMoss PointMS39563

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(985) 787-2559

108 Admiral Craik DrGrand IsleLA70358

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(228) 497-2244

1034 Graveline RdGautierMS39553

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North Shore Beach 70458 Slidell, LA Neighborhood Profile

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May 232016
 

The Neighbors: Income

How wealthy a neighborhood is, from very wealthy, to middle income, to low income is very formative with regard to the personality and character of a neighborhood. Equally important is the rate of people, particularly children, who live below the federal poverty line. In some wealthy gated communities, the areas immediately surrounding can have high rates of childhood poverty, which indicates other social issues. NeighborhoodScout’s analysis reveals both aspects of income and poverty for this neighborhood.

The neighbors in the North Shore Beach neighborhood in Slidell are upper-middle income, making it an above average income neighborhood. NeighborhoodScout’s exclusive analysis reveals that this neighborhood has a higher income than 78.8% of the neighborhoods in America. In addition, 6.3% of the children seventeen and under living in this neighborhood are living below the federal poverty line, which is a lower rate of childhood poverty than is found in 74.1% of America’s neighborhoods.

The old saying “you are what you eat” is true. But it is also true that you are what you do for a living. The types of occupations your neighbors have shape their character, and together as a group, their collective occupations shape the culture of a place.

In the North Shore Beach neighborhood, 31.9% of the working population is employed in executive, management, and professional occupations. The second most important occupational group in this neighborhood is sales and service jobs, from major sales accounts, to working in fast food restaurants, with 31.5% of the residents employed. Other residents here are employed in manufacturing and laborer occupations (23.5%), and 13.1% in clerical, assistant, and tech support occupations.

Culture is shared learned behavior. We learn it from our parents, their parents, our houses of worship, and much of our culture our learned behavior – comes from our ancestors. That is why ancestry and ethnicity can be so interesting and important to understand: places with concentrations of people of one or more ancestries often express those shared learned behaviors and this gives each neighborhood its own culture. Even different neighborhoods in the same city can have drastically different cultures.

In the North Shore Beach neighborhood in Slidell, LA, residents most commonly identify their ethnicity or ancestry as Italian (21.0%). There are also a number of people of German ancestry (16.7%), and residents who report French roots (15.7%), and some of the residents are also of Irish ancestry (10.7%), along with some English ancestry residents (8.6%), among others.

The most common language spoken in the North Shore Beach neighborhood is English, spoken by 97.1% of households. Some people also speak Spanish (2.5%).

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Best Beaches in the United States – Travelers’ Choice …

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May 222016
 

Not ready to book?

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Best time to go:Year-round

Best time to go:Year-round

Best time to go:Year-round

Best time to go:Year-round

Best time to go:Year-round

Best time to go:Year-round

Best time to go:March – May

Best time to go:Year-round

Best time to go:Year-round

Best time to go:Year-round

Best time to go:Year-round

Best time to go:Year-round

Best time to go:Year-round

Best time to go:Year-round

Best time to go:June – September

Best time to go:March – September

Best time to go:Year-round

Best time to go:Year-round

Best time to go:June – August

Best time to go:Year-round

Best time to go:Year-round

Best time to go:March – September

Best time to go:Year-round

Best time to go:Year-round

Best time to go:June – August

COLLAPSE LIST

Museums

Beaches

Hotels

Destinations on the Rise

Attractions

All-inclusive resorts

Landmarks

Restaurants

Destinations

Islands

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Best Beaches in the World – Travelers’ Choice Awards …

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May 222016
 

Not ready to book?

No rush. We’ve saved this trip in your cart so you can come back any time, compare prices, and complete your booking.

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@C@ of @D@

Best time to go:Year-round

Best time to go:Year-round

Best time to go:Year-round

Picture perfect, with crystal clear, warm waters, shade, sun and powder white sand

Best time to go:Year-round

Best time to go:Year-round

Best time to go:Year-round

Endless sea, fine sand, spectacular views, yachts, fancy stalls, Ibiza on the horizon.

Best time to go:Year-round

Best time to go:November – March

Best time to go:February – August

A long coastline, golden sand, beautiful crystal waters and a completely virgin landscape make a visit to this place unforgettable!

Best time to go:December – March

Best time to go:Year-round

The whole beach is untouched. No stores, no restaurants, just the beauty of nature at its best.

Best time to go:Year-round

Best time to go:May – October

Best time to go:May – October

Best time to go:December – May

I’ve been all over the Caribbean, and this is the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen. We lost count of the beautiful, bold-colored fish that swam near us.

Best time to go:Year-round

The sandy beach and massive, cold waves are just what’s needed on a hot, sunny summer Cape Town day.

Best time to go:November – April

Classic Algarve beach with sand, cliffs, rocks, caves, archesit’s got it all. Plus crystal clear water and an abundance of marine life on show

Best time to go:May – October

Best time to go:November – April

Best time to go:Year-round

One of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever seen. Swim, take a nap, read a book. You’ll be happy to just be here.

Best time to go:Year-round

Serene, tranquil beach, far from the madding crowd. Ideal place for meditation, sun worshiping or reading.

Best time to go:November – April

Best time to go:April – September

The sand is white, the water a gorgeous blue. Swimming, snorkeling, paddle boarding or small water craftsyou can do it all here.

Best time to go:Year-round

The weather, the amazing sandy beach and crashing waves, the fresh fish on the pierall great memories!

Best time to go:Year-round

COLLAPSE LIST

Museums

All-inclusive resorts

Beaches

Landmarks

Restaurants

Attractions

Hotels

Destinations

Destinations on the Rise

Islands

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Best Beaches in the World – Travelers’ Choice Awards …

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Naples Beaches

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May 182016
 

LOWDERMILK PARK/BEACH Banyan Blvd. and Gulf Shore Blvd. Phone: 239-213-3029 Facilities Include: Parking, restrooms, showers, pavilion, picnic tables and concessions.

NAPLES BEACHES From Gordon Pass on the south to Seagate Drive on the North. Facilities: Over 10 miles of sandy beach. Naples Fishing Pier is at the west end off 12th Avenue S., extending 1,000 feet into the Gulf – Great for fishing or watching sunsets. Metered parking, bait, snack bar, restrooms, outdoor showers.

VANDERBILT BEACH Starting in North Naples at Vanderbilt Drive on the South, to Delnor Wiggins State Park at the North. Phone: 239-597-6196 Facilities include: Freshwater Showers, lifeguards, grills, picnic tables, boat ramp, observation tower, restrooms, bath house. Additional Public Parking in lot next to the Ritz Carlton.

DELNOR-WIGGINS PASS STATE RECREATION AREA/BEACH 11100 Gulf Shore Drive, N., Naples Phone: 239-597-6196 Hours: 8 am – Sunset Daily Facilities include: Five parking areas, picnic tables, BBQ’s, boardwalks, showers, bathhouses, picnic pavilion, observation tower, boat-launching ramp, swimming, boating and fishing, restrooms

LELY BAREFOOT BEACH South off Bonita Beach Road, North Naples Facilities include: Showers, restrooms, snack bar, fishing ramps, picnic tables, fishing gear rental.

Also See State and National Parks/Reserves/Sanctuaries

Naples Parks

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Naples Beaches

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Naples Florida Beaches | Beaches in Naples FL

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May 182016
 

Overview of Naples Florida Beaches

Naples Florida beaches consist of long expanses of fine white sand, offering spectacular Gulf views and fantastic sunsets. Naples area beaches stretch over 30 miles from the Ft. Myers Beach to the City of Naples beaches. Beaches are only interrupted by the occasional pass to rivers and inland bays. It is forbidden to swim across a pass because of boat traffic, swift currents and tides in the channels.

All beaches are public beaches. Within the Naples area, just drive west and you will reach the beach. Within the city of Naples the streets end at the beach, with meter parking.

Designated beach areas that have concessions available are either state, county or city parks, or areas that facilitate parking and access to the shore.

Naples is different than many beach communities in that there is no retail along the Naples beaches in terms of shirt shops, fast food, restaurants, stores, etc. Those types of services are away from the beach. Naples beaches differ in that are bordered by single family homes neighborhood, condos, or parks and preserves.

There are only a few hotels on the Naples beaches and these are very upscale accommodations, including the Ritz Carlton. Unlike many beach communities, condos on the beach do not allow daily or weekly rentals. The most common restriction would be a 90 day minimum, with a few allowing monthly minimum rental.

Naples designated beach areas differ by their surroundings, facilities, activities and amenities. You can always bring in your own cooler, beach gear and toys with you. Once on a beach, you can walk until you reach a pass. But, in most cases, once you walk away from the designated beach area, the opportunity to find refreshments are very limited or nonexistent. You could have a 3 mile walk before you came upon another designated beach with a concession available.

Naples Beach areas from north to south are:

Part I

Part II

This beach is at the western end of Bonita Beach road. Parking is available, but is somewhat limited. There are outdoor picnic tables under roof, playgrounds and showers. Renal chairs, umbrellas and jet skis are also available. Directly north of the beach facilities is Doc’s Beach House, a good stop for grabbing breakfast, lunch, dinner or refreshments.

About 100 yards from the western end of Bonita Beach road is a turn south onto Barefoot Beach Blvd. The park comprises 342 acres of an undeveloped barrier island. Many trails and boardwalks crisscross through the preserve. Rangers conduct interpretive sessions and a daily guided canoe tour through the back bay. Wildlife and turtles can be abundant at times. Because Barefoot Beach is such a desirable place to visit, it is possible that available parking could fill later in the day during the season. Call 239.591.8596 for activity information.

This park is at the western end of Immokalee Road just south of where the Cocohatchee River empties into the Gulf. The park is a lush wildlife habitat with mangroves covering 80% of the area. The park offers several shaded picnic and grilling areas along the length of the beach. A concession stand is available that offers food, drinks and beach items. A bathhouse is also available with changing stalls. Phone 239.597.6196.

This park is at the western end of Vanderbilt Beach Road. A parking garage is available off of Vanderbilt Road on the south side of the street. Vanderbilt beach is located near several hotels, and concessions and water sport rentals are available. A their are a few hotel restaurants near buy, in the Naples Ritz Carlton.

This park is at the western end of Pine Ridge Road. Theres a 0.6-mile boardwalk that winds through the mangroves to the beach from the parking area. Golf cart trolleys ferry those not wanting to walk. The concession area has plenty to offer making it great for kids. The rental stand has towels, chairs and beach umbrellas, along with a wide assortment of beach gear, including wind surfers, canoes, Hobie Cats and aqua bikes. The food concession offers a shaded eating area.

Driving to the Beach you’ll pass a Barnes and Noble bookseller, located at the NW corner of Pine Ridge Road and Tamiami. It’s a good stop to or from Clam Pass to grab reading materials or a coffee.

Lowdermilk is at the very northern end of the Naples City Beach, just off of Gulf Shore Blvd. The landscaped area next to the beach has a playground facility, pavilion, bathhouse and a concession stand. The beach is a very short walk from the parking area.

The Naples City beach stretches 6 miles from Gordon Pass on the south side to Doctors Pass on the north side. The nice thing about the Naples City beach is easy access. Parking for the beach is available at the western end of most residential streets between 7th Avenue North, to 19th Avenue South (26 blocks of parking). Many of the access points also have an outdoor shower available for rinsing.

The Naples Fishing Pier is located at the west end of 12th Avenue South where plenty of parking is also available. The Pier is near the midway point of the Naples Beach where you can walk 3 miles south to Gordon Pass, or 3 miles north to Doctors Pass. The area on and around the pier usually has interesting activity, and a refreshment stand sits on the pier. Pelicans are regulars visitors there and you can find them begging for leftovers from the fisherman. Dolphins, schools of stingrays and fish can also be seen from the pier.

The beach is bordered on the east by multi-million dollar single family residences. On the entire six mile length of beach you will only find food and drink available at a few places, including the Pier, Lowdermilk Park or at the Naples Beach Hotel. There’s a beach bar and food available at the hotel, and fine restaurants.

The Marco Beach is lined by luxury hotels and high rise condos with spectacular views. You’re fortunate if you are a Marco Island resident or a visitor at one of the beach hotels. But for nonresidents, beach access can be limited.

Marco Island is a 35 minute drive south of downtown Naples. Tigertail Beach is the best bet for Marco Beach access. Tigertail is a 31 acre Collier County park (that’s big) and is loaded with amenities, concessions and water toys. There’s a large playground facility at Tigertail Beach for children 5 to 12 years of age, and a butterfly garden. If you’re in the mood to relax, you could easily spend the day under a beach umbrella here. Bring your own gear or rent whatever you need at the concessions.

During the busy season, it’s best to get there before 11:00 am to secure your parking and rentals. Turn north off of Collier Blvd onto Tigertail Court (about 1.6 miles from the Marco Island bridge) then then left on Hernando Drive (Map).

Fort Myers Beach is about a 45 minute drive north from the Naples area beaches. Fort Myers Beach is “the area” with vacationer type beach activities, hotel, weekly rentals, etc. Parasailing, jet skis, boat racing, partying and people watching, are all regular activities at Fort Myers Beach. This is the closest beach to the Naples area that draws sizable spring-break crowds.

The beach is lined with many affordable beach hotels with weekend or week-long vacationers. When you walk the beach you are never far from a meal, refreshment, beachwear shops or a Pina Colata. Fort Myers beach is 9 miles north of Bonita Beach. At the end of Bonita Beach Road, head north on Hickory Blvd (which turns into Estero Blvd). The road winds through the beautiful barrier islands that separate Estero Bay from the Gulf. Along the way you’ll see many scenic beach areas and preserves.

If you plan on going to Fort Myers Beach then go early. The beach is very popular. and traffic often moves at a snails pace during the busy season. If you go early you can find public parking available at the pier or at private lots for a fee. If you want a break from the relaxed atmosphere of the Naples beaches, then head up to Ft. Myers beach, it’s worth a visit.

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Naples Beaches: 10Best Beach Reviews

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May 182016
 

The number one attraction for visitors to the greater Naples area, its beaches boast pearlescent sugar sand that runs along the gentle Gulf of Mexico from Bonita Beach in the north to the beaches of Marco Island and Ten Thousand Islands in the south.

The beaches range from thriving mid-city beaches with full facilities and water sports rentals galore to quiet natural preserves and a state park, where observing wildlife and chilling take precedence. Broken only occasionally by passes and inlets, they provide long stretches for walking and communing with the sea.

Take your pick from this 10 Best list of family friendly beaches such as Lowdermilk Park, downtown’s Naples Municipal Beach and Pier and even a freshwater lake beach at Sugden Regional Park.

Activities range from sunning and swimming to fishing, jet-skiing, sailing, kayaking and bar hopping. Naples beaches are known for their seashells and rich shore bird life, so don’t forget your shell bag and binoculars. Throw in a shelling and birding field guide while you’re at it.

Whichever variety of beach beckons your inner beach-bum, you are sure to find one that pleases. Or try a different one each day to experience the vast variety Naples has to offer.

Sugden Regional Park The only freshwater lake public beach in the Naples area, Sugden Regional Park is most well known for its sailing events and programs, but the 60-acre Avalon Lake is also a great place for kayaking and water skiing. The park rents water sports equipment including paddle boats. A scenic walking trail takes you around the lake, and visitors also enjoy picnicking, playing on the playground, fishing from the pier and relaxing on the sand beach. Water-skiing and sailing lessons are available at this county maintained facility in a quiet neighborhood on the east side of Naples – including instruction for those with special needs. ((239) 793-4414)

Bonita Beach Park Big Hickory Island holds the community of Bonita Beach, an erstwhile fishing village turned swank. At the island’s southernmost end, beach-lovers come to play. The closest beach to Interstate 75, it attracts a lively crowd of active beach-goers with all sorts of water sports rentals and beach volleyball. Although many come to party at Bonita Beach Park, it is also family friendly with a playground, picnic shelters with tables and grills, beach rentals and a burger joint that feeds you indoors and outdoors. Heading north, you will find about ten more smaller public beach accesses, with free but limited parking, lining Hickory Boulevard. (239-229-0649)

South Marco Beach Public beach access is limited on Marco Island. This one, at the southernmost end of the island, is easiest to get to and find, although there is a bit of a walk from the parking lot on the other side of Collier Boulevard. Marco Island boasts a soft sugar-sand brand of beach, wide and usually teaming with activity volleyball, jet-skiing, parasailing, paddle-boarding, you name it. Set back high-rises line most of the shoreline. Native vegetation grows between development and the sand. The only facilities are restrooms in the parking lot, but there is a restaurant next to the access where you can use the restrooms if you’re eating or drinking. (239-252-4000)

Clam Pass County Park This beach adventure begins with a tram ride across a three-quarter-mile boardwalk through a mangrove estuary, so you get to experience at least two different Naples habitats within minutes. The park fronts the Naples Grande Beach Resort, located adjacent to its parking lot, which means it can be heavily populated, especially in the winter and spring season. The lovely coastal habitat spans 35 acres and also includes a tidal bay area where beachgoers can observe wading shorebirds, osprey and other marine life. Boat and cabana rentals are available at the county-operated facility, plus there are restrooms, showers and a resort food concession. (239-353-0404, 239-252-8999)

Tigertail Beach At Marco Island’s northern end, an island and a sand spit peninsula intercept the sand, stealing the beach from the main island. Coconut Island and Sand Dollar Spit are both accessible from Tigertail Beach, the public access operated by Collier County. Both barrier sand structures are known for their sea shells. Meanwhile at Tigertail, a lagoon has formed at the public access that fills with birds, especially in the morning breakfast hours. The access also has playgrounds, water sports rentals, a food concession and restrooms. To get to Sand Dollar Spit, you can swim across the lagoon or walk south to where it connects to land. From the spit’s north end, Coconut Island is a short walk away. (239-252-4000)

Vanderbilt Beach Vanderbilt Beach in North Naples fronts a line of resorts, including the Ritz-Carlton. The good news is that affords beach-goers venues for bar-hopping and dining. The bad: It gets a little crowded. Plenty of open white sand carpets the beach along the gently lapping Gulf of Mexico. In the quiet early morning hours, beachers can enjoy hunting for sea shells and watching shore birds. You can walk for miles along this stretch, to Clam Pass Preserve Park to the north and along housing developments and residential neighborhoods to the south. Perks such as a concession stand, public restrooms, showers and bike racks appeal to the midday crowd. (239-252-4000)

Lowdermilk Park Lowdermilk Park holds the most full-service facilities of any Gulf of Mexico beach in the Naples area, making it a good fit for families with children. They can gather for picnics in one of the two gazebo pavilions that the park rents out, go check out the duck pond, play on the two playgrounds and enjoy the calm and safe waters here away from any rushing pass waters. Other facilities include sand volleyball courts, restrooms and showers, handicap access and beach wheelchairs and a food concession stand. Its close proximity to the downtown area adds to its convenience for visitors of all ages. (239-597-6196)

Naples Municipal Beach and Pier A staple in the community for more than 100 years, the Naples Fishing Pier is a must-see attraction close to the downtown goings-on around Third Street South. Once the entry point for those who arrived to Naples by boat, the main mode of transportation in the early days, today its importance lies in the recreational rather than practical realm. Six miles of flawless, white sand meets aquamarine waves that lull beach lovers into relaxation. Bring a rod to try fishing off the pier, or just watch as others reel in their catches. The pier and beach never close, and provide the perfect spot to watch the setting sun dip into the endless sea. It’s a nightly ritual for fishermen, strollers, lovers and pelicans. (239-213-1800)

Barefoot Beach Preserve Park This pristine park offers the ideal beach experience complete with tropical hammocks, scenic tidal creeks and lush mangrove swamps. For those who eschew beach crowds, this is usually a good bet, because it is a little trickier to get to – through a neighborhood development mined with speed bumps and roaming gopher tortoises. The 342-acre preserve features a one-mile nature trail, public showers, a picnic area, a concession stand, a butterfly garden and equipment rentals. Rangers give free nature walks and shell talks at the chickee learning center. Its natural, unspoiled quality appeals to wildlife watchers, fishermen and beach bums alike. (239-591-8596, 239-254-4024)

Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park Recognized as one of the best beaches in the US, the sandy shore at Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park is all-natural and devoid of the high rises and development of most of the other local beaches. A nature trail leads to an observation tower at the beach’s north end. Fishermen head to the pass to hook into fish being flushed out of the Cocohatchee River. This is a popular park, but you can usually find parking in one of the many lots if you arrive early enough. The park posts a sign on the road leading to it when it is full, but there’s another parking lot less than a quarter mile away if you don’t mind walking. Picnic areas have grills, restrooms and showers. (239-597-6196)

About Chelle Koster Walton

Chelle Koster Walton the Local Expert for Naples, Florida and the Caribbean has been covering the destination for 30 years. Her top-sellingSarasota, Sanibel Island, and Naplesguidebook (Countryman Press) is in its sixth edition. She was contributing editor forCaribbean Travel & Lifefor 12 years and has written guidebooks on the Bahamas. A veteran travel writer, Chelle has published thousands of articles forMiami Herald, USA TODAY, Latitudes;has written/contributed to a dozen guidebooks, and produces travel shows for the local PBS station.

Read more about Chelle Koster Walton here.

Connect with Chelle via: Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

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Naples Beaches: 10Best Beach Reviews

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Beaches – Kissimmee Florida Vacations

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May 172016
 

Relax. Feel the white sand between your toes. Listen to the splash of waves. Build castles close to the ocean’s edge. Isn’t that what you’ve been dreaming about for what seems like forever? You just know that the cool breeze gently caressing your skin while the water laps at your feet will wash away all that stress you’ve been carrying around. You’re probably beginning to relax even now as you imagine sunsets along a broad horizon dotted with seagulls and billowing sails. You can have it all, just a short drive from your Kissimmee, Florida vacation destination.

A family or romantic seaside beach getaway is almost a must for a Florida vacation. Just an hour’s trip from the Orlando area are some of the best east coast beaches of theAtlantic Ocean, the ideal setting for lounging, surfing or deep-sea fishing. To the west, theGulf Coastis about a 90-minute drive from Kissimmee, offering sprawling beaches and blue waters where colorful shells arrive with every splash of the surf.

It doesn’t matter if you want to indulge your playful side with some water sports on a Spring Break retreat or just relax with the kids beneath the Florida sun, some of the top beaches in the world are delightfully within reach when you stay in Kissimmee.

Explore our guide map below for ideas on where you can enjoy Central Florida’s beaches.

ViewQuick Beach Day Trips From Kissimmeein a larger map

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Beaches – Kissimmee Florida Vacations

Kissimmee| VisitFlorida.com – Florida Vacation, Tourism …

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May 172016
 

Kissimmee is a family-oriented destination known for its off-the-beaten-path adventures, endless sunshine and proximity to world-famous theme parks.

Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando Resort and SeaWorld Orlando are just minutes away. The parks are sure to create experiences that last a lifetime, and with new experiences opening frequently, there is always something different to see.

In addition to the theme parks, there is a wild side to explore in this destination. Lush landscapes create the perfect backdrop for outdoor adventures. Whether its zipping through treetops, gliding across the headwaters of the Everglades or soaring above it all in a hot air balloon, there is sure to be a thrill for you. Natural scenery transforms into three quaint downtown areas that boast boutique shopping, local dining and lakeside parks. If brand name shopping is more your style, Premium Outlets, The Florida Mall and Mall at Millenia offer everything from family favorites to designer shops.

When you’re visiting Orlando’s theme parks, consider staying and playing in Kissimmee.

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10 Beaches Across Massachusetts – Boston.com

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May 152016
 

Who doesnt love a good beach day? Sand between your toes and the relaxing sound of waves rolling in. But do you find yourself wondering which beach you should go to? If you need beach ideas, heres ten across Massachusetts.

Eric Wilbur

At first glance, the town beach in sleepy Menemsha doesnt appear to be much, but when the lights start to go down over Marthas Vineyard, thats when the show begins. Grab fried clams at the nearby popular shack, The Bite, or steamed lobster from the likes of Menemsha Seafood or Larsens Fish Market and settle in for what many consider to be the best spot to watch a sunset in the entire state. The calmer waves at Menemsha Beach also make this a favorite spot for families with young children. For sure, Menemsha is a more serene, genteel alternative to the busier crowds on most other Vineyard beaches.

Eric Wilbur

Well known on the other island for sunsets is Madaket, located at Nantuckets westernmost point. Sunsets are a seasonal treat here, but so too is an early-morning stroll on the quiet beach. The surf can be heavy, as evidenced by the amount of ocean debris on shore. And even though its easily reached by Nantucket public transportation, a $4 round-trip from Nantucket town, the remoteness can sometimes make you feel as though you know a secret kept from other islanders.

Eric Wilbur

The drive down Route 88 can be a headache on any given day, so do yourself a favor and reach this beach by way of Horseneck Road, which runs parallel. Youll discover rolling farm lands, a winery, and a tranquil alternative to the sometimes maddening rush. Once at Horseneck, youll find ample inexpensive parking ($8 for residents, $14 for non-residents), classic Massachusetts dunes, sparkling, clean sand, and new changing facilities. Birders will love the habitat situated here. Camping is also available nearby, featuring 100 sites. Ocean waves can be rough at times, and seaweed can be plentiful, but Horseneck is still a beautiful spot to spend a beach day.

Eric Wilbur

The fine, white sand at Katama Beach, also known as South Beach, plays well in contrast to the deep blue ocean crashing into it with some ferocity at the shore. The three-mile stretch of land stretches far to both left and right, creating a soothing atmosphere where no land is visible as far as the eye can see a welcome escape. The waves can be a bit more aggressive, which makes it an ideal destination for boogie boarding or body surfing.

Eric Wilbur

The sand is a little whiter and brighter at the tip of the Cape, where Provincetowns crown jewel provides the final stop on the historic Cape Cod National Seashore. The views of the Atlantic Ocean are sweeping, and this is a great spot to make an early destination for a spectacular summer sunrise. Waves tend to be light here on an average day, making it a fine spot for families and those not looking to tangle with seaweed.

Eric Wilbur

Parking can be a real issue, as spaces at the beach are reserved for Manchester-by-the-Sea residents only. But you can find limited metered spots in the nearby downtown area if you beat the crowds, and Singing Beach still gets points for accessibility thanks to the presence of the MBTA commuter rail, just a short walk away. The rocky cliff coast of Singing comes into full view upon arrival, giving the area a feel almost like Maine. The pristine sand makes this a favorite North Shore destination, while the stunning views provide a soothing atmosphere.

Eric Wilbur

Located on the south shore of Nantucket, Cisco Beach is a surfing paradise, with waves just gnarly enough to provide the perfect atmosphere for both beginner and experienced boarders alike. This long stretch of sand is backed on one side by eroding dunes, the other by a cool ocean that boasts a number of wetsuits at any time of day. Beginners can learn the craft from the Nantucket Surfing Co., which is on hand for lessons and rentals. No public transportation to Cisco, reachable only by personal vehicle or taxi. Fare from Nantucket town is generally around $14 for one person, one-way. Each additional person will run a few dollars more.

Eric Wilbur

One of the first stops on the Cape Cod National Seashore, this Eastham favorite places annually on beach guru Dr. Stephen Leathermans list of the top 10 cleanest beaches in the country thanks to pristine ocean conditions, fine, powdery sand, and a concerted effort to protect the nesting piping plovers. Adjacent to the beach youll find miles of salt marshes, providing a dramatic backdrop to a Cape Cod jewel. Plentiful parking is available in the nearby parking lot ($15), from which a free National Seashore shuttle bus will whisk you to the shore. Passes for all National Seashore-run beaches are $45 for the season.

Eric Wilbur

Stare out at the ocean from atop this Wellfleet classics sand cliffs for one of Cape Cods most breathtaking views. Then make your way slowly down the adjacent embankment and it will seem like the beach swallowed you into its beauty. The clay-colored cliffs consume you, as if youve been swallowed up by the surroundings. Be sure to stop for lunch at the Beachcomber atop the cliffs, a typical beachside bar. Tip: Park for the day in the Beachcomber lot for $20; youll receive a food or merchandise voucher for the same amount. If thats full, look for additional parking down the road. As with most popular destinations, parking can be tight, so plan to get there early.

Eric Wilbur

This gorgeous stretch of land on the North Shore features fine powdery sand, clear ocean water, and some impressively clean changing and food facilities. The short walk across the parking lot boardwalk to the beach provides beachgoers with a variety of sights, from the plentiful mounds of sand dunes to the immaculate view of one of the states most beloved summer spots. Parking can be pricey $25 on weekends but spots are normally available if you get there early enough. And since the beach stretches for miles, youre not likely to have a difficult time landing a spot in the sand even on the most crowded summer days. If you want to leave the car behind, consider taking the Ipswich Essex Explorer, from the Ipswich commuter rail station. For just $5 round-trip, the shuttle transports passengers and drops them off right in front of the beacheven if the parking lot is full. The ticket price also covers beach admission.

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best and worst beaches in Massachusetts – Julie A. left tips …

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May 152016
 

This is my favorite beach on the North Shore. the sand is so soft and fine it’s like powder, and it’s got a lot of mica in it so it’s sparkly and glittery. The beach is kept very clean and for some reason always feels warmer than other North Shore beaches. They have a pretty good consession stand and showers and changing rooms which is a plus if you are traveling a long ways home. The beach has a slow decline, so at low tide you can go out for a mile and still be up to your knees. You can actually bring boogie boards and other ‘floatation devices” and just chill in warm water.

As far as I am concerned the beach is separated into 3 areas. The best part, the Private side. If you are not lucky enough to know someone to get over there, you can always drive your boat to it (because we all have one of those) or walk over at low tide. It’s around the big rocky point on the left. It is way less crowded, even warmer than the public side and goes on for a nice several mile long walk (with a sweet sandbar detour or two) The public side as two areas. The nice sandy area when you first enter the beach. then to the right there are some great rocks and tide pools, marsh area and then a whole other sandy beach area. No one knows about the beach in the back, so no one is ever there! when the sand gets wet it’s turns into quicksand and is fun to walk through. There are 2 weeks in July where the blackheads get a little nasty and annoying, but nothing like at Cranes beach.

This is my favorite beach on the North Shore. the sand is so soft and fine it’s like powder, and it’s got a lot of mica in it so it’s sparkly and glittery. The beach is kept very clean and for some reason always feels warmer than other North Shore beaches. They have a pretty good consession stand and showers and changing rooms which is a plus if you are traveling a long ways home. The beach has a slow decline, so at low tide you can go out for a mile and still be up to your knees. You can actually bring boogie boards and other ‘floatation devices” and just chill in warm water.

As far as I am concerned the beach is separated into 3 areas. The best part, the Private side. If you are not lucky enough to know someone to get over there, you can always drive your boat to it (because we all have one of those) or walk over at low tide. It’s around the big rocky point on the left. It is way less crowded, even warmer than the public side and goes on for a nice several mile long walk (with a sweet sandbar detour or two) The public side as two areas. The nice sandy area when you first enter the beach. then to the right there are some great rocks and tide pools, marsh area and then a whole other sandy beach area. No one knows about the beach in the back, so no one is ever there! when the sand gets wet it’s turns into quicksand and is fun to walk through. There are 2 weeks in July where the blackheads get a little nasty and annoying, but nothing like at Cranes beach.

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Blue Mesa Reservoir: Colorado Beach | Colorado.com

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May 122016
 

Updated: 3/21/2016

True, Colorado is a landlocked state, but plenty of Rocky Mountain lakes and reservoirs offer miles of shoreline to swim in and sun yourself by each summer. Blue Mesa Reservoir part of Curecanti National Recreation Area is the state’s largest body of water, which means abundant recreation and lounge-worthy beaches.

As US Hwy. 50 winds through the pinyon-dotted, high-mountain desert between the rural community ofMontroseand the mountain college town ofGunnison, it opens up into a broad landscape of sparkling blue water and talus-sloped hills. Here is the Blue Mesa Reservoir, where the waters of the Gunnison River gather before carving through the steep walls of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison.

Boaters love the 29-mile-long reservoir, which has several arms that lead into secluded canyons. The fishing is legendary, as its stocked with millions of fish each year, and it is home to the largest cokanee salmon fishery in the US.

Colorado’s Blue Mesa Reservoir, near Montrose and Gunnison, CO

And, with camping, windsurfing, waterskiing, hiking, horseback riding and boat tours also vying for attention, it takes a few days to experience it all.

While much of the shoreline is rocky, youll find good swimming areas at the Bay of Chickens, Dry Creek and Old Highway 50 beach. The water is always cool, and theres nothing more refreshing on a hot day spent in the high-altitude sun.

All of these Colorado beaches have plenty of camping nearby so you never have to be too far from the water during the hot summer months.

-Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve:Enjoy the sandy expanses at the base of the tallest dunes in North America nearAlamosa. In springtime, splash away in the gently flowing Medano Creek.

-Boulder Reservoir:One of the larger beaches in Colorado, the swim area is 300 yards of clean sand with views of the famously picturesqueBoulderFlatirons.

-Chatfield State Park:Nestled at the base of the foothills, this reservoir offers a recreation haven just 30 minutes from downtown Denver inLittleton.

-Jackson Lake State Park:ThisFort Morgan-area oasis on the plains is quite shallow, allowing it to warm quickly during the summer.

-John Martin Reservoir State Park:This low-trafficLamarlake offers a peaceful escape perfect for picnicking, swimming, fishing and boating.

-Grand Lake:This massive, glassy lake on the western edge ofRocky Mountain National Parkhas something for everyone and is popular with boaters, waterskiers, anglers and sunbathers.

Plan a two-day itinerary around Gunnison and Crested Butte >>

Discover more great places to drop a fishing line in Colorado >>

Photo Courtesy of the National Park Service/Lisa Lynch.

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Beaches – Tourism in Chicago

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May 092016
 

Chicago boasts 26 miles of shoreline, 26 beaches and an 18.5-mile long bike path along Lake Michigan. While most cities build industrially all the way up to their respective lakefronts, Chicago’s remains an open playground to the public.

We’re proud to boast wildlife sanctuaries, golf courses and, of course, beautiful sandy beaches along our celebrated shores.

Located in Jackson Park, 63rd Street Beach is one of Chicago’s oldest and most storied parks. The designers of New York City’s Central Park, Olmsted and Vaux, planned Jackson Park in 1871. By 1888, an area made from granite bricks extended the lakefront, creating a paved beach. In 1899, when Chicago’s innovative Drainage Canal began diverting sewage to other locations, the lakefront became a common sport for public bathing. They were simpler times.

By the early 1900s community planners extended the beach’s sand area by ten acres. An elaborate bathing pavilion was constructed in 1919 and is better known today as the historic 63rd Street Beach House, a celebrated landmark of the area.

In 1909 the North Shore District concentrated its resources on purchasing beachfront real estate and developing a boating basin known as North Shore Park. Less than ten years later the District had acquired nine more acres of lakeshore property, built a small fieldhouse and provided public game rooms. The popularity of the park quickly sky rocketed, bringing droves to the beach in the summer months and filling the ice with skaters in the winter.

In the mid-1930s the Chicago Park District took control of the property and held a contest to choose a new name for the area. Neighborhood residents favored the name Loyola Park, an ode to nearby Loyola University. Over the next half century Loyola Park grew to over 20 acres in size. Today, it’s a central hub for a series of street-end beaches in Rogers Park.

The largest beach in Chicago is a favorite for dog lovers as it contains one of only a pair of Park District-run dog beaches. A fenced off section on the beach’s northern end is open to playful pups who are free to run without a leash once inside the contained area.

The location’s beach house was designed by EV Buchsbaum and, unfortunately, lost the east wing to a fire in the 1950s. Although the east wing was never rebuilt, the house has been remodeled recently with a 3,000-square-foot patio deck and a full service restaurant. Chicago’s July 4th fireworks are held in three locations throughout the city, Montrose Beach hosts the procession for the City’s North Side.

Widely considered Chicago’s trademark beach, North Avenue is conveniently located just north of Downtown Chicago in the picturesque neighborhood of Lincoln Park. Boasting a seven million dollar beach house and the immensely popular Castaways bar, it’s a favorite amongst locals and visitors.

The beach hosts international volleyball tournaments like Volleywood and the AVP Chicago open. It’s also a popular vantage point for the always exciting Chicago Air and Water Show.

The site of the former Miegs Filed airport is now a 91-acre peninsula just south of the Adler Planetarium. The area boasts a 30-acre prairie reserve and, given its proximity to the Lake Michigan, is a popular “hang out” for migratory and resident birds. The prairie was burned for the first time in 2007 to manage invasive plants and encourage native prairie grasses.

In 2005 the city introduced a temporary concert hall that’s reconstructed every year in accordance with the city’s insistence on the area remaining a nature preserve. The venue holds more than 7,000 people and is a popular destination for boaters who seek some from-the-water entertainment. In December of 2010, the Chicago Park District announced its plans for Northerly Island over the next quarter of a century featuring educational themes and year-round use.

In the late 1800s, the construction of a breakwater system at the mouth of the Chicago River led to a buildup of sand just north of the area. As the space grew in size, it became a haven for squatters who claimed the newly formed land as their own. Naturally, this led to a bevy of property disputes.

Most famous, perhaps, is the land quarrel between the City and George Streeter in 1886. Streeter encouraged dumping around a small sandbar, which eventually turned into a sizeable island. He claimed this manmade oasis for himself, sold parcels to nave buyers at the Tremont Hotel, and, to the bafflement of his neighbors, declared the area “The District of Lake Michigan” – neither a part of Chicago or Illinois. This, predictably, triggered a dispute between Streeter and the City that, at times, involved gun fights. Eventually, Streeter was evicted and the island was filled in, giving birth to the micro-neighborhood known today as Streeterville – and the home to Oak Street Beach.

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Milwaukee County: Beaches

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May 082016
 

Open mid- to late-June through late August

Enjoy sun, sand, and surf at the Lake Michigan beaches of the Milwaukee County Park System.Seven beaches have water-quality monitoring; however, lifeguards are on duty at Bradford Beach only.

Get Real-Time Data -INCLUDING CLOSINGS- on Milwaukee County’s Lake Michigan Beaches at milwcountybeaches.org

We strongly advise against bringing inflatables into the water, and at Bradford Beach, inflatables are not allowed during guarded hours. Coast Guard-approved personal flotation devices are allowed at all beaches.

Beach & Pool Information: (414) 257-7230

For everyones safety and enjoyment of the beaches:

Bradford Beach has . . .

Blue Wave Certification

Visit Milwaukee’s most popular beach for swimming and sunbathing.

The beach isscheduledto be guardedmid-June through Mid-August, 7 days a week,11am – 5pm Please check back for additional hours. Amenities: sand volleyball courts, a bathhouse, and two concession buildings. For information on programs, visit bradfordbeachmke.com (external link)

Note: In addition to the rules above, during guarded hours, inflatables are not allowed in the water

Amenities: sand volleyball courtsand concessions. For information on programs, visit http://www.csmilwaukee.com/page/Leagues (external link)

Questions? Contact Us Milwaukee County Parks Aquatics Office 9480 Watertown Plank Rd., Wauwatosa, WI 53226 MondayFriday 8am4pm 24-hr Pool Hotline (414) 257-8098

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City of Eau Claire, Wisconsin : Public Beaches

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May 082016
 

To help protect the public from injury and reduce the risk if illness from using recreational waters, the Eau Claire City/County Health Department samples the water at six public beaches each week throughout the summer for bacteria levels. The six beaches are; Riverview, Big Falls, Half Moon, Lake Altoona, Lake Eau Claire and Coon Forks.

The ECCCHDclosed the following beach(es) to help protect the public and reduce the risk of illness.The beach(es) will remain closed until we can recheck bacteria levels. Please check back for updates.

Beaches fallunder the authority of State Statute 254.46 “Beaches. The department or a local health department shall close or restrict swimming, diving and recreational bathing if a human health hazard exists in any area used for those purposes on a body of water and on associated land and shall require the posting of the area.

Beaches are closed when:

The ECCCHD takes water samples weekly from public beaches during the summer to check bacteria levels. The department closes beaches when tests show that the level of harmful bacteria is too high or a beach receives 3 or more inches of rain in a 24-hour period.

Hazardous blue-green algae is sometimes present in lakes, ponds, and slow-moving streams when the water is warm and enriched with nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorous (fertilizer run-off). At times it can produce a toxic compound that can make you or your pets ill if you drink or come in contact with the water. The recommendation of the Wisconsin DNR is that if a scum-layer or floating algae mat is present in water it should not be used for recreational purposes. For more information on blue-green algae please visit the Wisconsin DNR Web Site at:

Swimmers Itch is a rash caused by contact with waters that are frequented by birds, snails and small mammals. For information on swimmers itch please visit:

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City of Eau Claire, Wisconsin : Public Beaches

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A Guide to Beaches in the Milwaukee Area

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May 082016
 

A view from Miwaukee’s South Shore Park. Image by Carrie Trousil

By Carrie Trousil

Updated November 25, 2014.

Milwaukee is located on the west side of Lake Michigan, and where water meets land one will often find a beach. Warm weather brings the people of Brew City flocking to the lakefront hubs of Bradford and McKinley beach, but there are other great beaches dotting our shoreline to the north and south as well. But be warned! Taking a dip in Lake Michigan is nothing like sliding into the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, or diving into a heated pool. Be prepared for a “refreshing” experience — especially if you decide to take the Polar Bear Plunge in the middle of winter.

It’s always a good idea to check the water quality at any beach before taking a dip. Check out the WDNR’S Beach Advisories for Great Lakes Beaches website for up-to-date beach water quality monitoring data.

Atwater Beach Where: East Capitol and North Lake Drive, Shorewood Atwater Beach is a north shore beach located in Shorewood that can offer a relatively uncrowded visit.

Atwater recently underwent a concentrated clean-up effort.

Bender Park Where: 4503 E. Ryan Rd., Oak Creek Bender Park is a far southside lakefront gem featuring a safe harbor, boat launch and beach.

Big Bay Park Where: 5000 N. Lake Dr., Whitefish Bay Another nice beach tucked away in Whitefish Bay, Big Bay Park is not recommended for swimming, but is great for soaking in some sun on a hot day.

Bradford Beach Where: 2400 N. Lincoln Memorial Dr., Milwaukee When it’s hot in Milwaukee, the masses flock to Bradford Beach. After undergoing a massive clean-up and concerted efforts by local non-profits, businesses and the County Parks to bring entertainment to this lakeside gem, Bradford Beach is experiencing a renaissance.

Doctors Park / Tietjen Beach Where: 1870 E. Fox Ln., Fox Point Nearly 50 acres set on the bluffs north of Milwaukee, Doctors Park is a great place to work off some calories on the hills before you head down to the beach.

Grant Park Beach Where: 100 S. Hawthorne Ave., South Milwaukee Grant Park Beach is located in Grant Park (surprise!) in South Milwaukee. Hike the Seven Bridges Trail of Grant Park then hit the cold water of Lake Michigan.

Klode Park Where: 5900 N. Lake Dr., Whitefish Bay Located north of downtown Milwaukee in Whitefish Bay, Klode Park offer an uncrowded beach on which to lay a towel in hot weather.

McKinley Beach Where: 1750 N. Lincoln Memorial Dr., Milwaukee You’ll find McKinley Beach south of Bradford Beach on the lakefront. Located on the same stretch of Lincoln Memorial Drive, both are popular warm-weather hang-out spots.

South Shore / Bay View Park Beach Where: 2900 S. Superior St., Milwaukee Located in Bay View, south of downtown, South Shore park is a gem of a park with a sandy beach offering beautiful views of South Shore Yacht Club.

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A Guide to Beaches in the Milwaukee Area

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Wisconsin’s 12 best beaches

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May 062016
 

Wisconsin may never replace the Florida Keys or the blue-water beaches of the Caribbean as a vacation destination. Still, with two Great Lakes and more than 15,000 smaller ones, the Badger State has some real beach gemsfrom hard-to-find clear-water quarry ponds to hard-to-miss rough-water adventures with waves so big you can hear the surf thunder.

With more than 3,300 feet of beaches, Devils Lake is the most-visited state park in Wisconsin. Facilities: restrooms, changing facilities, picnic areas, concessions stands, grills. State fees. S5975 Park Rd., Baraboo; (608) 356-8301.

Six miles of soft, white sand along Lake Michigan make this an ideal beach for sunbathing and swimming. The beach also features the 113-foot Rawley Point lighthouse, which is not open for tours but can be photographed from outside. Facilities:restrooms, concessions, playground, volleyball courts. State fees. 9400 County Hwy. O, Two Rivers; (920) 794-7480. Note:Due to high water levels on Lake Michigan, the beach at this state forest is significantly smaller than in years past.

Named one of the 51 best beaches in the country by USAToday in 2012, North Beach stretches along 1.2 miles of Lake Michigan and has been designated a Blue Wave Beach, a certification for its commitment to responsible beach management practices. Facilities:restrooms, concessions, Kid’s Cove Playground. 89 Kewaunee St., Racine.

The 500-foot beach along the northwest shore of Madisons Lake Mendota has calm waters and a gradual slope, making it a great family beach. Theres even a dog beach. Facilities: restrooms, playground. State fees. 5140 County Hwy. M, Waunakee; (608) 831-3005.

The water off this 1.5-mile beach on Lake Superior stays brisk into July (though its often warmed up by September). Go for it if you have polar bear blood and love a rustic lifestyle. Facilities: pit toilets, picnic areas, drinking water. State fees. 141 S. Third St., Bayfield; (715) 747-6425.

This sandy beach on a clear-water lake in the middle of Hartman Creek State Park is near Waupacas Chain O Lakes. The calm, shallow water makes it family-friendly. Facilities: pit toilets, changing facilities, concessions stand. State fees. N2480 Hartman Creek Rd., Waupaca; (715) 258-2372.

Wind-swept and expansive with miles of sandy beaches and dunes this big-water beach on Lake Michigan can be a little dangerous for small children (but a favorite for surfers). Facilities: restrooms, changing facilities, picnic tables, concessions stands, grills. State fees. 1020 Beach Park Lane, Sheboygan; (920) 451-4080. Note:Due to high water levels on Lake Michigan, the beach at this state forest is significantly smaller than in years past.

Nicolet Beach on the Green Bay side of the Door peninsula has clear, calm waters and 800 feet of sand. Facilities: restrooms, showers, picnic area, playground, concessions stands, kayak rentals. State fees. 9462 Shore Rd., Fish Creek; (920) 868-3258.

Located down a short dirt road, this Lake Michigan beach is an unknown, uncrowded gem. Soft sand and a shallow slope make this a terrific family beach. Facilities: picnic area. No fees. Lake Forest Park Rd., Sturgeon Bay; (920) 743-4456.

This underutilized beach sits beside a 4,500-plus-acre recreation area where you can hike, camp and enjoy a full slate of scheduled activities. Facilities: handicapped access, restrooms, changing facilities, play equipment. State fees. 26313 Burlington Rd., Kansasville; (262) 878-5600.

This Lake Michigan beach, just south of Jacksonport, offers miles of terrific sand and dunes, though the water can be cold even in summer, and rip currents make swimming dangerous. Facilities: handicapped access, pit toilets. State fees. 3275 Clark Lake Rd. (County Hwy. WD), Sturgeon Bay; (920) 823-2400.

Ideal for families with small children, this Waukesha County Park beach is just 17 miles from downtown Milwaukee. Facilities: restrooms, picnic tables, state-of-the-art playground equipment, concessions stand with indoor seating. Fees: $4/car. Annual rates: $28 residents, $38 nonresidents. 2925 N. Barker Rd., Brookfield; (262) 548-7801.

John Ingrisano has written for Fodors Caribbean Guide. This article appeared in the July/August 2007 issue of Wisconsin Trails.

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Wisconsin’s 12 best beaches




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