Lovely Beaches

Atlantic Coast Vacations

The Atlantic Ocean is the second largest ocean on Earth (Pacific is the largest) covering about 20% of Earth’s surface. It has a surface area of over 100 million square kilometers. It separates what is called the “Old World” (Africa, Asia, and Europe) and the “New World” (North and South America). 

There are a total of 14 states that border the Atlantic Ocean from north to south: Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. Traveling to any of these states are places you can go to see the Atlantic Ocean. There is no right or wrong place, it is whatever you desire. I liked going to both North and South Carolina because you can have both mountains and beaches.

Myrtle Beach South Carolina USA
Myrtle Beach South Carolina USA

Here are some cities you can visit along the shoreline: Miami, Jacksonville, Charleston, Myrtle Beach, Wilmington, Virginia Beach, Long Island, Boston, and so much more. I personally liked Myrtle Beach because it is a fun family destination.

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Warm Places in the U.S.

If you like the heat or you want to travel to somewhere hot for vacation because you just can’t handle the cold, there are some places in the U.S. that you can go to. They are all down south near Mexico or the Gulf of Mexico. California, Texas, or Florida are just some of all 8 states that border it. California is most likely the warmest of the three, also right next to the Pacific Ocean. 

In California, you can visit cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, San Diego, Sacramento, etc. In Texas, Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, Waco, and San Antonio are some places you can visit in Texas. Corpus Christi and Houston to Galveston are some places in Texas by the Gulf. In Florida, very popular cities such as Tallahassee, Jacksonville, Tampa, Orlando, Miami, Key West, and other cities in Florida are always closer than 80 miles from the Gulf or the Atlantic Ocean, maybe even less depending where you are.

Myrtle Beach South Carolina USA
Myrtle Beach South Carolina USA @travelexplorerusa


Myrtle Beach Vacation is highly recommended for the entire family. Unlike some beaches, Myrtle Beach location highlighted here is family friendly.


Kerala, land of coconuts and curry!

Kerala is located in the West Coast of Southern India. The climate is excellent for growing spices such as cardamon, cloves, cinnamon and peppers.

Cochin (Kochi)
The beautiful beaches of Cochin (Kerala), with graceful coconut trees must have been a welcome sight to weary European sailors. Cochin became a very important trading post settled by the Portuguese. Cochin’s history goes further back. Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Jews and Chinese have all traded in Cochin and along the Malabar Coast. Its natural harbor and trade made Cochin to become the Queen of the Arabian Sea.

Take a houseboat cruise through the calm backwaters of Kerala. The lush greenery is breathtaking.

Or visit Cherai Beach with beautiful coconut groves in Kochi (Cochin), Kerala.

Kerala Food
Seafood is abundant here and many dishes include coconut. Freshly grated coconut has a delicious taste. It is not the same as what we get here in the US in the frozen section. Fresh coconut makes delicious chutneys and coconut oil is used to cook pretty much everything in Kerala.

Try some Kerala Karimeen (local fish) and huge Kerala prawns (shrimp) cooked with local curry leaves and spices. This region of India is a paradise for food lovers. You can find tasty vegetarian and also a variety of delicious meat dishes in Kerala.

Getting here
Now you can fly in style into the green solar powered Cochin International Airport (COK). Cochin International Airport has grown quickly to become the 4th busiest airport in India.

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South Africa’s Wild Coast

South Africa’s Wild Coast (Transkei) is fascinating. How many places in the world can you find cows relaxing on sandy beaches? Wild Coast is a stretch along South Africa’s Eastern Cape’s Northern Coastline. Here you can explore the Xhosa local culture and the natural beauty of South Africa. If you can spare the time, linger a little longer here. Hiking is a good way to soak in the natural beauty of the Wild Coast. There are beautiful seaside villages you can visit as you explore the Wild Coast. Start from East London and head towards Port Edward, South Africa.

Flying into South Africa
Cape Town International Airport (CPT) is the main gateway to South Africa. Since South Africa is in the Southern Hemisphere, the seasons will be opposite of the Northern Hemisphere. So for an example, Christmas will be in the Summer just like Australia! So if you are coming from the USA in December, pack for the Summer! If you live the Northern Hemisphere, you may consider South Africa as a good winter getaway.

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Summer Beach Christmas in Australia’s Queensland

Australia is sure blessed with some of the best beaches in the world! Coming from the Northern Hemisphere, we usually think of December as winter. But it is just the opposite in Australia. Well it is Summer in Down Under!

Getting There
Fly into Brisbane International Airport (BNE), Queensland Australia for a beach Christmas. There are plenty of things to do right in Brisbane for Christmas. Brisbane is a modern bustling city. A good base to launch your exploration of Australia. You should check out either the Sunshine Coast or the Gold Coast Beaches. Head north from Brisbane to explore the Sunshine Coast of Australia. Or head south to the Gold Coast area of Australia.

Food
Christmas food is influenced both by the Summer weather and culture. Enjoy some yummy seafood. You can enjoy great BBQ and prawns. Not to mention English Christmas goodies like English Christmas Pudding and Mince Pie. You got to try the Aussie Pavlova Meringue dessert.

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Aruba

Aruba is a small island that is Southeast of Venezuela, although it officially belongs to the Netherlands. On clear days it is even possible to see Venezuela on Aruba’s south-eastern coast. Aruba’s native language is Papiamento. “Aruba consistently receives the least rainfall in the Southern Caribbean.” Says Aruba Tourism Authority. “We are also located outside the Hurricane Belt, so you can expect excellent weather no matter what time of year you choose to visit.” 
Aruba is an island paradise with beautiful sandy beaches. Just soak in the the beautiful sunshine or go snorkeling at Aruba’s beautiful Eagle Beach. The opportunities are endless, as long as you know how to safely travel there.
The most practical way to travel to Aruba is by plane. For example, the Reina Beatrix International Airport has direct flights from many major cities including New York and Los Angeles.

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Butterfly Grove Inn Pacific Grove California USA

Nice place to stay while exploring the Pacific Coast Highway, Carmel By-The-Sea and Big Sur. Pacific Grove is a good stop with fun things to see and do. We stayed at the Butterfly Grove Inn where the deer roam in the parking lot right outside our room.

Butterfly Grove Inn Pacific Grove California USA

Butterfly Grove Inn Pacific Grove California USA. It is next to the Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary and very close to to Fisherman’s Wharf, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Cannery Row and Pebble Beach.

Butterfly Grove Inn Pacific Grove California USA

Point Pinos Lighthouse in Pacific Grove is the oldest continuously operating lighthouse on the West Coast of the United States of America.

Point Pinos Lighthouse Pacific Grove California USA

Point Pinos Lighthouse Pacific Grove California USA

There are various points around Pacific Grove along on Ocean View Boulevard that is simply stunning.

Lovers Point Park Pacific Grove California USA

Lovers Point Park Pacific Grove California USA

 

Point Pinos Pacific Grove California USA

Point Pinos Pacific Grove California USA


Compass Cove OceanFront Resort, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, USA

Myrtle Beach South Carolina USA

Myrtle Beach South Carolina USA

Myrtle Beach South Carolina is a fun family destination.  Lots of families with kids just enjoying the water. Food and lodging are reasonable. You can even walk to the McDonald’s from the beach in your swimming suit from the Compass Cove Oceanfront Resort where we stayed.

Compass Cove Myrtle Beach South Carolina

Compass Cove Myrtle Beach South Carolina

Compass Cove had its own entertainment including a mini water park, arcade and several swimming pools.

Compass Cove Myrtle Beach South Carolina

Compass Cove Myrtle Beach South Carolina

Our room had a beautiful ocean view. You can view the sunrise from the balcony. A beautiful way to start the day.

Compass Cove Myrtle Beach South Carolina

We walked right to the beach from the hotel. It felt safe and it was fun to get right to the beach from the hotel. It made washing up later so much easier.

Compass Cove Myrtle Beach South Carolina

Compass Cove Myrtle Beach South Carolina

 


Top 5 Places You Should See in West Malaysia

petronas towers kl malaysia

Kuala Lumpur at night – Petronas towers

  There is so much to see and do when you visit Malaysia.  After all, Malaysia is a popular travel destination because it is a microcosm of all of Asia. Whether you want to explore the culture, food, and people of China, India, or the Malay and Indonesian people, you can find it all in Malaysia.  The West coast of Malaysia is the most densely-populated area in Malaysia, so we will focus our list today on that area.

1.  KL Tower

KL Tower

KL Tower, Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

  It goes without saying that you should really visit the capital city of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, also known as KL.  There area lot of great sites to see in the city, including the twin Petronas Towers which were at one time the tallest building in the world.  However, if you want to be at the high point that you can easily visit for a great view of the city, your best bet is actually the KL Tower.   You have the option to go all the way to the top and enjoy an open-air view of the city, including a couple of places with a see-through floor, where you can stand above the city and look down, if you are brave enough!  It’s a great place for souvenier photos.

2. Melaka

Christ Church Melaka

Christ Church Melaka

– The locals have signs with that map of Melaka, reading “Don’t Mess with Melaka”, much like the USA’s “Don’t mess with Texas” saying.  They are known for being independent thinkers.  The city of Melaka is a wonderful place to visit for historical cultural information.  The city square features Christ Church Melaka, established by the Dutch in the 1300’s, and a short walk takes you to the Formosa, a part of an old Portuguese fort.  There is also a beach area with some nice hotels where you can enjoy the beach, and some water park resorts as well.  There are plenty of possibilities for a nice family vacation, not to mention a variety of great eating places.

3. Penang

Penang

Penang Malaysia

It is no wonder why Penang is sometimes referred to as the Jewel of Malaysia.  It has all the makings of a great vacation – nice beaches, great food, interesting historical sites to visit, a butterfly park, great shopping, Penang hill, and more.  There is no shortage of great things to see and do.  You can stay either in the city of Georgetown on the coast, or venture across to the Island of Penang by either one of the world’s longest bridges or a short ferry ride.  In fact, the newer second bridge is the longest in Southeast Asia.  
flamingo hotel pool malaysia penang

Flamingo Hotel pool area, Penang

We have preferred to stay on the beaches on the Island of Penang.  The more popular western tourist beach is Batu Ferringhi, which has a lot of touristy things to offer.  We actually got a better deal at the more local-oriented Tanjung Bungah, where we found the beaches to be less crowded.  Check out the Flamingo Hotel and its wonderful breakfast buffet – we highly recommend it.

4.  Ipoh

 Okay, so the locals don’t necessarily consider Ipoh as a resort kind of place, but there is actually a lot worth visiting there and we highly recommend it.  Especially if you love Chinese food, because Ipoh is a mecca of great Chinese specialty dishes.  And it is near the source of the white coffee that is popular in the region – you really should try it!  It’s an easy train ride from KL, not quite the half way point if you are headed towards Penang.  Just be sure to book ahead for train tickets, as many travel back and forth on the weekends if they work in KL.  Be sure to look around the historical train station when you arrive in Ipoh – the architecture is both beautiful and historical.  Enjoy the closer proximity to mountains with slightly cooler weather.  And experience something closer to a small-town feel than you normally find in west Malaysia, while still enjoying the conveniences of the city.  Again, it’s worth the short trip from KL for the Chinese food and white coffee alone.  

5. Langkawi

Langkawi Cenang Beach Malaysia

Langkawi Cenang Beach Malaysia

If you’re looking for the ultimate island get-away with pristine beaches, Langkawi is the place for you. As a popular tourist destination for not only locals but also Westerners, Langkawi offers a great variety of accommodations and dining options.  You can also find a lot of extra tourist activities, such as boat rides, museums, etc.  Of course, we think of Langkawi mostly for its unbeatable beachfront options.  Keep in mind that it is an island, or actually a main island with a series of related islands, so you will need to either fly there or ride a ferry.  It’s an island get away vacation that you will not soon forget. Depending on what you like for your accommodations, you can stay right on the beach in the photo here for anywhere from $35 USD for the  – $145 USD per night – pretty great deals for a beautiful beach get-away!

Pacific Coast Highway 1 California USA

Pacific Coast

Pacific Coast

California’s Highway 1 is probably the 2nd most famous US highway after Route 66. If you have driven the Trail Ridge Road hugging the side of the Rocky Mountains (Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park), you would observed the steep valleys below. Here you will get to drive high above the cliffs with the  the Pacific Ocean below.  It is a drive with gorgeous views at every turn and along the way.

California

Panaromic view of the Pacific Coast from Highway 1 – California’s Pacific Coast Highway. Stunning beauty and raw power of the Pacific Ocean.  You can see white caps as the waves hit the rocks below.

Pacific Coast

Beautiful Flowers Adorn the Pacific Coast Highway

Beautiful flowers grow on the side of the cliffs from the mist of the Pacific Coast Ocean spray. In some places, you can park the car on the side of the road and get off on a trail to the hidden sandy beaches below.

 

Pacific Coast Highway California USA

Pacific Coast Highway California USA

Amazing engineering work done to build bridges connecting one cliff to another. If you are headed south, you will have land on the left and the Pacific Coast Ocean view on the right.