Dream Vacation at Mission Beach

Summer is just around the corner. That means vacation time and fun in the sun, and there’s no better place to kick back, relax, and catch some rays than sunny Southern California.

You might be under the misconception that staying in California will set you back and make a sizable dent in your wallet, but with California beach rentals, your stay is not only affordable but convenient for you and your fellow travelers.

The only real question is where would you like to have your dream vacation?

Mission Beach: Roller Coasters and Sunsets

If you plan on finding a Mission Beach vacation rental, there are some sites you definitely have to see.

Mission Beach spans almost two miles, which gives you a lot of room to enjoy the popular beach-going activities.

         Lounge around with your favorite book or relax and enjoy the beautiful San Diego sun. After all, you’re on vacation and deserve all the downtime you want.

         Your vacation just isn’t complete without a dip in the ocean. Cool off and enjoy the clean, clear water.

         If you are feeling extra adventurous, take advantage of one of the many surf schools along the beach. Surf lessons go at affordable hourly rates and most schools offer board rentals for cheap as well. Whether you become a pro or wipeout, you are sure to create plenty of summer memories.

         Staying on the beach means you have a front row seat to some beautiful sunsets.

The boardwalk that runs along Mission Beach is a great opportunity to experience some local specialty shops. Take in the atmosphere and enjoy the colorful characters you might see or meet.

Of course, the highlight of Mission Beach is Belmont Park, located in South Mission Beach. Belmont Park is home to some classic carnival rides, including a huge wooden roller coaster called the Giant Dipper. If thrill rides aren’t your thing, restaurants and shops in the area offer local flavors sure to entice your senses.

Crown Point: Laidback and Convenient

A Crown Point vacation rental might be a better idea if you would like to stay somewhere a little quieter. Though it’s not very far from Mission Beach, Crown Point is a much quieter area, featuring more homes and living communities.

That said, you won’t be missing out on any of the fun. Crown Point is a very convenient place to stay. Mission Beach is just across the bay. Not too far off are Sea World, the zoo, and the wild animal park. Nearby is downtown San Diego, which offers plenty of sites, shopping opportunities, and restaurants to satisfy your appetite.

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Perfect Holiday Locations in the South of France

The south of France has a special allure that draws tourists from across the world. While the glamour of the Cannes Film festival, exclusive beachfront hotels and swanky yachts have something to do with this, the region’s more tranquil hideaways are equally appealing to avid travellers. Here is a look at some of the best holiday locations in the south of France.

Marseille

Marseille’s historic Vieux Port is a cruise ship terminal that is surrounded by swish restaurants and buzzing nightlife. As a significant centre of culture, it is home to many theatres. A visit to its opera houses is highly recommended for classic music connoisseurs.

The byzantine church of ‘Basilica of Notre-Dame de La Garde’ offers great views of the city while the Abbaye St. Victor and Château d’If fortress (the setting of the famous Alexander Dumas novel ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’) are other attractions in France’s second largest city.

Cannes

This glitzy city on the French Riviera is probably most famous for hosting the prestigious Cannes Film Festival, which is attended by international movie stars and celebrities. With its exclusive boutiques, hotels, private beaches and yachts, Cannes is a popular hub for the jet set crowd. Tourist traffic is understandably highest during the film festival time, with tourists hoping to catch a glimpse of their favourite show biz personalities. Luxury Cannes apartments and hotels offer great accommodation solutions to vacationers.

Nice

The old world charm of Nice, with its narrow winding streets, blends seamlessly with the modern boutiques and restaurants. A popular coastal destination, Nice is home to picturesque churches and the stunning Musée d’Art Moderne. Its attractive pebble beaches, pleasant promenade and relaxed atmosphere make it ideal for tourists who are looking for a more laid-back experience.

Corsica

With its idyllic beaches, chestnut forests and quaint mountain villages, Corsica has the picture-perfect postcard look. The crystal clear waters of its pristine beaches offer great scuba diving opportunities while Porto Vecchio’s bustling nightlife is ideal for party animals. There is accommodation aplenty in Corsica, with many hotels, apartments, villas and holiday homes catering to tourists.

The transportation system within the south of France is reliable and convenient, which is good news for international travellers. From an excellent train network to house boats and bicycles, the modes of transport are many. The available accommodation options will suit travellers who don’t mind splurging and those with modest budgets as well. From luxury Cannes apartments and pricey hotels to 2-star motels and youth hostels, there is something for all tourists.

This guest post was written by Andy Butler

Andy Butler is a keen blogger and works in internet marketing for Burger Davis, a Luxury Villa Rentals company specialising in luxury holiday villas and apartments throughout the South of France. He enjoys travel, photography and all things internet.

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Vacationing in Dubai

Dubai has carved itself a reputation as one of the most exciting holiday destinations in the world. Synonymous with glamour and excess, a holiday here might look expensive but scratch the surface and you’ll find there are a number of 5 star hotels where you can enjoy a comfortable stay.

There are plenty of interesting sights and attractions to visit in Dubai. Some of the tallest buildings in the world have been constructed here such as the Burj Khalif which stands at a mind boggling 828m high. It is a definite must do while in Dubai, as the views over the city from here are the best you will find.

The shopping in Dubai is a fashionista’s dream with over 70 shopping malls to peruse. Two malls you must visit are the Dubai Mall which is one of the world’s largest in terms of floor space and the Village Mall which is home to an eclectic collection of quirky and one off designs.

Ski Dubai is another of Dubai’s must see attractions. This indoor ski and snowboarding centre features five different ski runs catering for all skiing abilities. All equipment and clothing is provided and there are professional instructors on hand to provide lessons.

The Beaches in Dubai are gorgeous and a great place to spend some time. Jumeirah Beach is the most popular beach in Dubai, with soft white sands and warm turquoise waters, while Palm Beach is renowned as the place to enjoy a wide range of water sports. The Dubai Marina is also an attraction in itself. Set to be the biggest manmade marina in the world the marina is located close to the heart of the New Dubai.

The man made islands in Dubai are another attraction to visit, preferable by air if you can. The World is a collection of 300 manmade islands which reside off the coast of Dubai. A miracle in itself the 300 islands were created by sand dredging from the sea. A landmark for eco-tourism projects worldwide The World Dubai can even be seen from space.

Dubai has a very rich culture and heritage. To discover some of this city’s amazing history, a visit to the Dubai Museum is a definite must do. On display are many historical artifacts dating back to the third millennium B.C. Take the time to walk around the Bastakia Quarter, its narrow lanes and wind towers provide a fascinating glimpse into Dubai’s past. If you are looking for a dream vacation you should definitely consider Dubai.


This guest post was written and submitted by Shon Siemonek

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River Cruise on the Seine

Have you ever dreamed about touring the “City of Lights” up the Seine to the Normandy Beaches? Well we just returned from a wonderful trip on Avalon Waterways’ Creativity. Arriving on a sunny day in Paris with the temperature around 32 degrees we opted for an optional excursion to the Eiffel Tower. With our prepaid tickets we were able to bypass the hugh line for the ride to the 2nd floor of the Tower. With the day clear and sunny the views were simply magnificent. You could go higher but really it wasn’t necessary as the view from here were just as spectacular.

From here it was directly off to the ship where our Captain, who spoke very little English, greeted us warmly and the steward took our carry on directly to the cabin. We had time to get acquainted with the ship rest up and have a wonderful dinner which included wine. Included on the agenda for the next day was a tour of Paris. Two optional excursions were available for the afternoon either to the Louvre or Versailles with an optional dinner & show at the Moulin Rouge that night, or you could take the Metro and go off on your own.

The tour around Paris gave us a great overview of Paris with all its remarkable sights, although I do have to say traffic in Paris is a real problem. We came back to the ship, had lunch and took advantage of the exercise room, albeit tiny, served its purpose.

The next day as we docked in Conflans where there were two included tours to choose from, one a visit to Auvers sur- Oise where Van Gogh spent his last three months or St. Germain en Laye/Chateau Malmaison, the house where Bonaparte governed France, which is the one we opted for… what an excellent tour. The Creativity sailed for Vernon at 7P that night with a very creative crew as the entertainment. Piano music in the lounge and late night snacks were available each and every night.

Claude Monet’s House

Claude Monet’s House

Again, two included tours one of Giverny, with a visit to Claude Monet’s house, studio, gardens and the famous “Water Lily Pond” or an excursion to The Chateau de Bizy, often referred to as the “Small Versailles” we opted for the first one. There was an optional walking tour of Vernon after lunch and at 3:15PM local pastries, small sandwiches and coffee were served in the lounge as we watched our departure from Vernon. During this particular time we had to go through one of the locks on the Seine. You could watch the lock open and close from a front row seat in the lounge.

 

We docked in Rowen within walking distance of the center of the town and took a nice walk into town, what a wonderful day, with their Saturday market all its fruits, vegetables, fish, meats and beautiful flowers. Visited Joan d’Arc Church which was built on the site of where her death on the stake took place.

Honfleur Harbor

Honfleur Harbor

After lunch there was an included tour to Honfleur, a beautiful old and picturesque port, characterized by houses with slate-covered frontages, small cafes serving wine, cheeses, and chocolates. With an overnight in Rouen the next day you could chose from two included tours; Normandy Beaches or a Taste of Normandy. Since we had on a previous trip visited the Normandy Beaches we opted for the Taste of Normandy. I do need to say if you have not been to the Beaches of Normandy then I would highly recommend it. What a wonderful experience for historians and people who had relatives or themselves landed there. It is particularly poignant for them.

Honfleur Sidewalk Cafes

Honfleur Sidewalk Cafes

The Taste of Normandy had us visit the Bayeau Museum with its wonderfully embroidered tapestry of the Normandy invasion. The most important products of the area are dairy, apples, and grain. Camembert cheese is a specialty as is Calvados, a strong apple brandy. Of course we had a chance to sample all of it.

The last day of our voyage we sailed to Les Andelys. One of the most dramatic sights along the Seine is the imposing Chateau Gaillard built by King Richard the Lionheart in 1196. We had the opportunity to explore the town on our own before setting sail back to Paris. We were treated to a Normandy Cheese Tasting with wine, it was great!!! Last evening was the Captain’s Farewell Dinner. As we waited in the airport we reminisced about how wonderful the trip was. River cruising makes seeing parts of Europe really an upfront experience. I highly recommend it.

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This is a guest post by Erick D. Smith

Erick D. Smith is a blogger who lives in sunny San Diego and encourages people to visit “America’s Finest City” during the winter.

This winter has been perhaps the coldest in recent memory, with dramatically low temperatures found all over the country. If you are planning on vacationing this season, you should consider a trip to San Diego, which boasts a warm, sunny climate and countless interesting sites, attractions, and destinations. To get a true taste of the So Cal atmosphere, you should opt for a vacation rental. California vacation rentals give tourists a way to really experience what it is like to live in the Golden State, in a way that a hotel cannot. Here is a list of some of the fascinating cities of San Diego County and what they have to offer:

Carlsbad

Carlsbad is a fun beach town that has a somewhat upscale feel, but only because it has an older crowd than many other San Diego beach towns. This coastal community features a small-town charm, but still offers plenty of exciting attractions. Some of its more famous tourist destinations include Legoland of Carlsbad, one of only two Lego theme parks in the US (the other is in Florida) and the lavish La Costa Resort, where Jimmy Hoffa was allegedly buried, as the popular myth dictates. Less famous, but just as interesting is the Carlsbad lagoon, which serves as a popular destination for hiking, jogging, biking, and fishing. The beautiful Carlsbad cliffs are a must-see for anyone visiting this town. Record collectors should be sure to visit Spin Records, a local shop with a large selection of vinyl records, both new and used.

Pacific Beach

Pacific Beach, referred to by locals as P.B., is one of the main centers of night life in San Diego, and the one that caters to young people. Young adults will love its bars and night clubs, while everyone can appreciate its bustling boardwalk, which contains pedestrians, bikers, skateboarders, shops, booths, and restaurants. Pacific Beach is also considered the coastal hub of San Diego’s music scene, so audiophiles owe themselves a visit.

Mission Beach

Mission Beach contains a huge density of tourist attractions. The Mission Bay area is home to the world famous SeaWorld, which anyone visiting San Diego must see. Like Pacific Beach, Mission Beach features a large boardwalk with no shortage of people and activities. Outdoor sports such as beach volleyball and basketball are played by locals and tourists alike, while joggers, bicyclists, roller bladders, and skateboarders also make their presence felt. The historic Belmont Park is also recommended for first time visitors, as well as the Wavehouse bar, which can easily be spotted by its giant artificial wave outside.

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Finding the Most Affordable Cruises

QThis is a guest post by Tim Smithson

Tim is a travel advisor who helps customers finance vacations. When he’s not advising for vacations he enjoys writing articles about personal finance topics such as Installment Loans, Credit Card Debt, and Budgeting

Believe it or not, cruises are the most budget friendly vacations there are. You get to experience new places and cultures, try new foods, and experience new activities all in one. Cruises are affordable all year round, but the best deals occur in the spring. These tips will help you avoid overpaying for a cruise this year.

Cruise Line

While all cruise lines offer great deals from time to time, some are generally cheaper than others. Royal Caribbean and Carnival typically hold the lowest rates among cruise lines.

Departing Port

In the U.S. there are only several departing ports. Make sure you are looking for flight deals so that you don’t spend the majority of your money on transportation. Some cruise lines offer discounted flights and transportation to/from the airport.

Cruise Itinerary and Length

The length of your cruise will determine the price as well as the number of ports you visit. Generally speaking, the shorter the cruise, the shorter the price and the less ports visited. If you want to see more places, you will need to book a longer cruise and should expect to pay more.

View

Another option determining your cruise price is your room view. A suite with a balcony will ultimately cost more than a state room, which has no windows. If you can go without the view, you can slash hundreds on any cruise line.

Comparison Shop Your Cruise

Even if you believe that you have found the perfect cruise, make sure you visit cruise comparison sites to see if there is a better deal out there. There is nothing worse than paying for a great cruise, and realizing that you could have paid less. Shop around before making your final decision.

Excursions on Your Cruise

Many cruise lines also offer information about activities and tours you can take while at your ports, for a fee of course. You can save money by skipping the cruise line excursions and finding your own. Many locals will provide tours at lower rates, and will know the best views and places to take you. If you can forego the water sports and activities, it’s best to do without. After all most ships already have an array of pools and activities on board.

If you don’t have time to take a cruise during the spring, there are also great deals in August and September. Just make sure you purchase travel insurance, so in the event of a hurricane, you’re covered.

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Caribbean Vacations on A Budget

This is a guest post by Rick Valence

Rick Valence is an avid photographer and has traveled to some of the most exotic regions in the world for photo shoots. He loves great food, great wine, and great company and is always on the lookout for wonderful hidden vacation spots, whenever he travels. Rick is also a digital camera repair technician at C.R.I.S. in Chandler, AZ. When not fixing cameras, he puts his writing skills to use in the company camera repair blog, where he provides useful tips to budding photographers.

Times may be tough right now but that doesn’t mean you have to give up taking a beautiful tropical vacation. With the high prices of flights and hotels you have to be really careful with your vacation funds. Trying to go to the biggest tourist attractions sometimes just will not do. You can have a wonderful vacation without visiting the places that are part of the common tourist trip. Try being creative and make your own original itinerary. Visit the lesser-advertised islands and stay at the budget inns and not the fancy hotels. Here are three destinations that will give you a lot of bang for your buck that will make great lasting memories for you and your family.

1. The Island of Granada in the West Indies

This island is often overlooked but it is a very beautiful spot that is more than worthy of consideration. Because it is off of the beaten path it is a more economical Caribbean vacation choice. You can actually get on the beaches with ease here since tourists do not overrun it and if you are into snorkeling and scuba diving this is the perfect place for you. Great accommodations are available on a slim budget at any of the lesser chain hotels. The waters are warm with one of the deepest shades of blue that you may ever see. The island is small which makes transportation costs pretty low while on the island. You can practically walk to any destination.

2. The Roatan Island in Honduras

Another of the untainted islands that seems to have been forgotten by the mainstream tourism rabble, this is a place to relax. The skies are always bright and the water is warm and inviting. The sandy beaches will beckon to you as you stroll along the quiet lanes. The temperature stays at a pleasant rang 70-80 degrees all year round. This Island has everything you could hope for in a Caribbean vacation. The street crime and violence on this island is so low that you would not have to worry too much about security. Even the hotel prices on this island are an amazing bargain. You can easily find “rustic” rooms for as low as $8.00 or work your way up and check out the luxury resorts that only cost about $175 a night.

3. Santiago in Chile

Latin American vacations can be a whole lot of fun. The city of Santiago in Chile is one place that will inspire and incite your imagination. The country of Chile is a very economical place to visit with rooms at hotels that can be as little as $50 a night. If you would like, staying at hostels can be an adventure in itself with prices that range from $10 to $25 a night. One thing this country has is a host of museums and art galleries to allow you to get a little culture on your vacation.

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