With summer approaching, it may be a nice idea to take a break from ones gruelling daily routine and splash around in the cool waters of the Atlantic. Talking about beach resorts, why look any further than Miami Beach?Originally established in 1915, the city, located in the Miami-Dade County of Florida, changed its name to Miami Beach in 1917. It is a city known not only for the excitements that it offers as a seaside resort but also for its cultural and artistic heritage.The citys Art-Deco style architecture won recognition in 1979 when the citys Art-Deco Historic District was listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Hundreds of hotels, apartments and other structures built during the period 1923-43 provide the architectural basis for declaring the district a historic place of national importance. Besides Art-Deco, Mediterranean and Streamline Moderne are the other architectural styles that are well represented in the district.The citys South Beach is one of the most popular areas. Being a great draw to European tourists and largely influenced by their preferences, South Beach is one of the few public beaches in the country that tolerate topless sunbathing. Today, this part of the city is a major entertainment destination with hundreds of nightclubs, restaurants and oceanfront hotels. The city is also very well known for its nightlife, fine dining culture, bike riding and shopping. While the once down-trodden Lincoln Road in the South Beach area is today acknowledged throughout the US as the destination for quality food, adventure thrills and great shopping experiences, its real claim to fame is the fact that Lincoln Road and the South Beach area has today replaced Los Angeles and New York City as the countrys top night life destination. Incidentally, the city happens to be among the top 30 destinations for gay tourism in the United States. The city is also the worlds fashion shoot hub with more than 1500 models living in the area and many more arriving during the October to March season.Often called the Sun and Fun Capital of the world, Miami Beach offers tourists several points of interest. Take Collins Bridge for instance. Way back in 1913, John S. Collins and Carl G. Fisher built a 21/2 mile bridge to connect the City of Miami on the mainland and the City of Miami Beach on a barrier island in southern Florida. It was then the longest wooden bridge in the world. Although the Venetian Causeway has today replaced the original Collins Bridge, it was this link that ushered in rapid development for Miami Beach. Today the Venetian Causeway follows the original route taken by Collins Bridge.Another must-see landmark is the Miami Beach Botanical Garden spread across 4.5 acres of land. The garden includes a conservatory and has several varieties of palms and orchids.For fun, sun and so much more there is nothing to beat Miami Beach!
Across the Banana River from the Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island and just north of Cocoa Beach is the city of Cape Canaveral, Florida. In the city of Cape Canaveral you will find, on a protected channel just off the Atlantic Ocean, Port Canaveral.Port Canaveral, which not too long ago was a small cargo port is now, in addition to being a major international cargo hub, one of the, if not the, busiest cruise ports in the Western Hemisphere. It is also a fun filled recreational area. Board a cruise ship for a 2, 3, 4, 5 or 7 day cruise to the Keys, the Bahamas or the Caribbean, on the 855' Carnival Fantasy, the 952' Carnival Glory, the 964' Disney Magic, the 964' Disney Wonder, the 880' Royal Caribbean International Sovereign of the Seas, the 1020' Royal Caribbean International Mariner of the Seas, the 916' Royal Caribbean International Grandeur of the Seas or one of the other cruise ships that are in port. Take a 2 day gaming cruise on the Sterling Casino Lines Ambassador II with it's 26,000 square feet of casino space, or take an afternoon, evening or full day gaming cruise on the smaller SunCruz Casinos' SUNCRUZ XII. Go fishing off the 1200' Malcolm E. McLouth fishing pier, launch your own boat from the public boat launching ramps at Port's End Park and Freddie Patrick Park or take a half, full day or night fishing excursion charter, on the Atlantic Ocean or the Indian River Lagoon, from one of the three marinas at the Port. Go camping at the 35 acre Jetty Park with it's 150 lighted camp sites, ranging from tents to full hookup for RVs, it's four and one-half-acre family beach with designated areas for water-related activities, such as swimming and surfing, covered pavilions and picnic tables, restrooms with showers, refreshment stand, fishing pier and fish cleaning tables. Call (321) 783-7111 for reservations and rules. Check out the Cove with it's more than a dozen dining establishments, most serving fresh seafood fresh from the boats. There are also numerous shops and boutiques. Strech out on the clean well tended sandy beach and watch the fishing boats and cruise ships go by. The sky is blue and the water is clear. Watch a rocket launch from the nearby Cape Kennedy Space Center. Stay at one of the nearby resort hotels in Cape Canaveral, Cocoa Beach, Melbourne, Merritt Island and Palm Bay. Take a 45 minute drive to Orlando and visit Disney World or one of the other theme parks. Visit nearby Cape Kennedy and tour NASA's launch headquarters, see the towering launch pads, huge rockets, history-making technology, explore the Apollo/Saturn V Center and the Vehicle Assembly Building, walk through a full-size Space Shuttle mock-up, see IMAX space films on gigantic five-story screens, and see an actual Gemini program capsule on display in Early Space Exploration. Visit one of the many other area attractions. There is plenty for the whole family to see and do, in and around Port Canaveral. For more information about the city of Cape Canaveral see http://capecanaveralfl.usacitydirectories.com, a directory of links to city of Cape Canaveral guides and directories listing hotels, restaurants, attorneys, real estate brokers, information, resources, services, things to do, places to go and more.
Sharm El Sheikh is heady mix of sun, sand and mountains located on a promontory at the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula along the Red Sea in Egypt at the mouth of the Gulf of Aqaba.Owing to the many peace conferences held there it is also called The City of PeaceBeing located at a strategic location sharm as it is popularly known was used by the Egyptian navy as a port and naval base until it was captured by Israeli forces in 1956 but restored to Egypt subsequently in 1967.In the past it was a small fishing village until it became a naval base and today it is a commercial hub and a stunning and magnificent landscaped beach resort. It is also home to a number of sulphur springs, which have therapeutic value.The virgin fossilized coral reefs in the red sea put the small fishing village and naval base of Sharm El Sheikh on the world map. Sharm El Sheikh has three protected areas- the Ras Muhammad Natural Protected Park, St. Katherine National Park and Nabq Protected area. To gain access to these areas you have to take permission from the tourism department and respective authorities.If you are interested in taking a diving course while in sharm el sheikh, there are a number of private companies offering the course along with a PADI- Professional Diving Instructors Certificate at a very cheap price!Like Nuweiba, sharm is also roughly divided into three parts- Naama Bay, Ras Um Sid Cliff and Sharm al Maya.Naama BayThis is long sandy bay home to one of the first hotels of the area built in the eighties. Today it is fully developed bay with a beautiful paved walkway lined with bougainvillea and oleander along the entire stretch of the bay.Ras Um Sid CliffThe cliff links the Naama Bay and Sharm El Maya centrally located from both the bay and Sharm El Maya. It has magnificent view from atop overlooking the sea. A lot of hotels, restaurants and resorts dot the cliff.Sharm El MayaThis is the bay area of the old town of Sharm El Sheikh, developed recently for tourism. The magnificent bay is a natural harbor and home to many boats local and tourist. Palm trees line the lovely endearing sandy beaches making it a perfect place to laze around and sun bathe!Go scuba diving and snorkeling: There are a number of reliable diving and snorkeling operators in the area. The Tiran strait and the "Red Sea" have a diverse marine life, and its turquoise clear waters make it even more enchanting for diving. Some famous dive centers are Anemone Diving Center at Naama Bay, African Divers at Sharm el Maya; Aqua active Dive center at Nabq Bay, Aquamarine and Aquanaute are other dive centers. Some virgin untouched diving sites are the Ras Mamla and Ras Abu Gallum; to go there you have to take permission from the Tourist Police and Protect the Reefs Office because these sites are under the Ras Muhammad National Park.Colored canyon excursion: This is in the middle of the desert. It is a gorge formed by water passing through the mountain for hundreds of years revealing the different colored layers of rock. The sheer size of the canyon leaves awed. There are no facilities at all here. You have to take all that you need with you and as for natures call you will have to make do with going behind the rocks! Tour operators arrange tours in four-wheel drives to the canyon.Go back into the past:You can also visit the famous St. Catherine monastery between Nuweiba and Taba. The route via Nuweiba is a picturesque one along the flat plains. St. Catherine's monastery was built around the 4th century, which is believed to be the site of the burning bush. The fortress that surrounds it was built around the 6th century and is still an operating monastery.Have a Bedouin dinner: If you are a foodie and love to try different cuisine you can go for a special Bedouin dinner at one of the Bedouin villages. The Night Life: Being a "beach resort" Sharm El Sheikh has an active nightlife. Most hotels have a pub, disco, and arrange beach parties. As for drinks, you can opt for the local brand-Stella, which is cheaper, or an imported one such as Heineken obviously more expensive.
From a global and historic perspective is seems as though Poland had reached its golden era around the 16th century during the wealthy and powerful Jagiellonian Dynasty and that it has been largely downhill ever since. The Polish have taken a tremendous beating during the second 500 years of their existence but have had remarkable and admirable success pulling their vast and stunningly beautiful land back together to make up todays modern Third Republic. Travel to Poland to experience fast-pasted cosmopolitan centers like Krakow, rewind in time in the horse-and-carriage countryside or lose yourself completely in one of the forested national parks.Poland, Pillage and PlunderWhether Poland has been synonymous with bridge or battlefield to its surrounding neighbors, the results have not been pleasant. As early as the 13th century, Polish states were ravaged by Mongolian raiders due to the lack of natural boundaries and its strategic position between east and west, which would again become a curse during the World Wars and the Cold War. There were few cities that emerged from WWII unscathed, but the baffling restorative reconstruction has left even the locals duped by the perfectly replicated Baroque and Gothic architecture. Thriving cities like Krakow and Warsaw are hubs of both traditional and modern Poland, showcasing contemporary art, classic jazz and an unfettered youthful spirit. Auschwitz Nazi Concentration Camp and Holocaust Museum is located just outside Krakow, which became the epicenter for the Nazi battle against Europes Jews. Also in this area is a World Heritage Site known as Southern Little Poland where an enchanting collection of medieval wooden churches still stand among the Carpathian Mountains.Hillside, Countryside, SeasidePoland has a unique draw due to its positioning on the Baltic Sea and its shared borders with Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, and Russia. Poland today is finally the more tranquil, dynamic and cheaper cousin of its neighbors. Visit the Great Mazury Lake District in the northeast where nearly 15% of the area is covered by pristine lakes and canals, dotted with picturesque villages. This is a haven for cycling, canoeing and hiking. Dont miss the 13th century Malbork Castle, the headquarters for the Order of the Teutonic Knights, which holds the title as the largest medieval castle in Europe. Then, as you find your way to some of the Baltic seaside resorts, stop along the coast in Gdansk, the historic medieval Hanseatic trading city that was perfectly restored in the 20th century. While you make your way east to visit Bialowieski National Park in order to see Europes last surviving native Bison, stop in the 14th century town of Torun to pay homage to Nicolaus Copernicus place of birth. For skiing and hiking, the Sudeten Mountain Range winds through part of southern Poland, including the popular escapes in the Tetra Mountains.Although the ravages of the 20th century are behind Poland, they are certainly not out of mind. The Polish have a blossoming culture that emerged vehemently from the violence and repression of the Cold War. The reactive and eager populace finally has found a place to shine artistically, politically (as part of NATO and the EU) and domestically with open arms to those curious about the Polish way of life. Travel to Poland and discover a proud and established nation that is equally as excited to finally welcome you!For more information, visit http://www.cfares.com.
Grandly protruding into the Indian Ocean, India is more of a continent than a country. This subcontinent covers every topographical wonder, from white sandy island beaches and tropical forests to high deserts and soaring mountain ranges. Discover 5,000 years of human history, beginning with one of the oldest civilizations of the Indus River Valley who merged with Aryan invaders around 1500 B.C.E. to create the classic Indian culture that still thrives today. With 26 World Heritage Sites sprinkled about the country, it is easy to be immersed in the intricacies of local culture in nearly each of the 28 states and 7 territories.Thriving Cities and Clashing Cultures: The Beauty of the NorthThe northern region of India is an assorted mix of cultures, traditions, languages and arts. The vulnerability of this area to outside invaders throughout history has been both a blessing and a curse, bringing with the turmoil unique external influences and inspirations. The capital city of New Delhi, with its mix of four major religions, 7 reigns of power and 2500 years of history, is a prime example of coexisting realities. Wind your way through Old Delhi and be surrounded by remnants of the Mughal Empire, including the largest mosque in India, the Jama Masjid, and Humayuns Tomb, a 16th century landmark of breathtaking Mughal architecture that would later be echoed in the Taj Mahal. New Delhi is almost a different world with its imperial architecture and broad stately boulevards. Colonial influence is abundant since the British declared Delhi the capital during their rule. The Taj Mahal is also in the north, about 200 kilometers from Delhi. This is the most iconic demonstration of Mughal construction and should not be missed.A Light into the Heartland: Travel Indias SouthTravel to the more culturally homogenous south of India and witness thousands of years of the caste system still in practice despite the more modern structure of Indias government. With its alluring tales of trade and independence, Goa is one of the most popular destinations along the Indian coastline. Among Goas ancient ruins stands the Vittala Temple, a monumental tribute to the capital city of the primeval Vijayangara Empire. Most notable are the temples musical pillars that represent different musical instruments. Goas intricate architecture and independent culture are also products of 450 years of Portuguese colonial rule. In the south, the traveler will also encounter a plethora of biodiversity and protected wilderness areas. The Western Ghats Range is classified as one of the worlds biodiversity hotspots where Silent Valley National Park protects Indias last tract of virgin tropical evergreen forest.When to Travel to IndiaDespite the gargantuan size of this subcontinent, there are distinct seasons during which travel anywhere in the country can be extraordinarily uncomfortable and stressful. From April to October, temperatures soar above 90F (45C) and humidity escalates to unbearable levels. October also marks the end of the monsoon season during which the southern and coastal regions are plagued with torrential downpour. The rest of the year is very pleasant and mild with consistently warm weather in the south and rather chilly evenings in the north between December and February.