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Walden Pond was just a small lake in Concord, Massachusetts, until writer Henry David Thoreau decided to hunker down there in 1845. He stayed a few years, living off the land in a makeshift cabin and avoiding society's increasingly mechanistic ways. Thoreau's classic text "Walden; or, Life in the Woods" made this pond not only a popular swimming hole, but also a place to contemplate a world that has only grown more chaotic since Thoreau's time.
Residents of Adelanto, California, have many options when choosing a beach to go swimming. They have access to a number of beaches within a two-hour drive, with options ranging from the serene waters of the tide pools at Corona Del Mar State Beach to swimming and surfing the rougher waters at Newport Beach's municipal beach.
An abundant selection of hotels near the Virginia Beach Convention Center range from upscale, luxurious environments to casual, relaxed settings. Whether the hotel is in the city or on the oceanfront, most Virginia Beach hotels are just a 15-minute drive or less to the convention center.
The Long Beach Convention Center is near several hotels that offer accommodations for business and leisure travelers. The properties range from a downtown budget hotel that offers romantic Jacuzzi suites to oceanfront accommodations with views of the retired RMS Queen Mary ocean liner. The hotels are also near the sun-kissed Long Beach State Beach, which offers water sports and activity trails, the Los Angeles Metro Light Rail line, Aquarium of the Pacific and vibrant nightlife.
As its name implies, North Wildwood is the northernmost beach of New Jersey's Wildwoods, a five-mile island of beaches in southern New Jersey that are among the most well-known and celebrated beaches on the state's coastline. The Wildwoods are home to a 38-block, amusement-filled boardwalk and some of New Jersey's only free beaches. When booking hotels near the beach in North Wildwood, note that the amusements of the Wildwood Boardwalk begin at 16th Street and stretch south (higher number streets) to Wildwood and Wildwood Crest.
The Florida Keys is a strip of land that begins at the very southern tip past Miami, stretching west between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. Many beachfront accommodations provide water activities and rentals during your stay. Some of the keys include Islamorada, a common fishing area that offers fishing charters and Key West, where you can dine at Ernest Hemingway's favorite bar, Sloppy Joe's.
Virginia offers visitors a 112-mile coastline that includes what the Environmental Defense Fund calls a "world-renowned tourist destination" at Virginia Beach. The tidal shoreline has approximately 3,315 miles and visitors to The Old Dominion have a choice of a large collection of oceanfront hotels featuring a wide range of amenities at a variety of price points.
The elite community of Newport Beach, California, unveils a coastal playground for the wealthy -- from fleets of luxury yachts that cruise Newport Harbor to multi-million-dollar homes that overlook the waterfront. Visitors to this South Orange County destinations will find world-class shopping at Newport Fashion Island, a bounty of restaurants on Balboa Island, and a roster of lodging choices that range from ultra-upscale to California casual.
The sleepy Gulf Coast town of Biloxi grew quickly as a tourist destination in the 1990s after the Mississippi Legislature authorized casino gambling on barges there. The town now features several casino resorts and plenty of other lodging options along the beach on U.S. Highway 90, with rooms for every travelers' budget.
The small coastal town of Seaside, Oregon, is littered with hotels of various sizes looking to profit from tourists. During the cold, wet seasons of the year, it is simple to find hotel vacancy without reservations, but visitors planning a trip to Seaside for any major summer holiday, like Independence Day, should reserve a room well in advance.
Located just 20 minutes from the seaside town of Laguna Beach, the city of Irvine offers vacationers and business travelers a central location when visiting Orange County, California. Home to John Wayne Orange County Airport, Irvine boasts a number of corporate headquarters including Allergan, Canon and Taco Bell -- not to mention a variety of shopping, entertainment and dining options highlighted by the acclaimed Irvine Spectrum shopping center.
Daytona Beach calls itself “The World’s Most Famous Beach” and provides guests with 23 miles of sandy, white beaches on the Atlantic Ocean. The city provides numerous hotels and inns within walking distance of the coast. Daytona’s inns stand as monuments of the late 19th and early 20th century, featuring antique furniture and palatial properties. The city also hosts NASCAR’s Daytona 500, and several hotels are within walking distance of the racetrack.
The white sand beaches of Virginia Beach draw around 3 million guests each year. Flanking the ocean you will find a wide range of oceanfront hotel options. If you intend to visit Virginia Beach in the summer months, be prepared to pay a premium price for your hotel room. To benefit from warmer weather without the crowds and high prices, consider booking in the late spring or early fall, but be prepared for the water to be a bit chilly.
The beaches of Destin unfurl like white ribbons along the coastline of Florida's Panhandle, in the Northwestern corner of the state. As part of the Emerald Coast, boat charters here are very popular, from deep sea fishing ventures to party boats and dolphin cruises. Deep sea, inshore and bottom fishing are all renowned, pulling from the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, as well as various freshwater rivers. Lodging opportunities run the gamut from high-rise condos to chain properties and luxurious resorts.
Plymouth, Massachusetts, is known as “America’s Hometown” because of its historical significance as one of the oldest municipalities in the United States. Lodging in Plymouth includes historic bed and breakfasts, locally owned hotels and campsites. Guests at these properties enjoy the sound of waves crashing against Long Beach, a three-mile peninsula that offers fishing and sailing. Buildings in downtown, such as the First Parish Church, provide a glimpse of colonial life in Plymouth.
Maryland shares the Delmarva Peninsula with Delaware and Virginia. The non-commercial Assateague Island National Seashore takes up much of Maryland’s ocean frontage, so hotels are concentrated around Ocean City to the north of the protected area. Beaches are far less common on Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay shoreline, but hotels provide access to the water in other ways.
The quiet beachfront community of North Myrtle Beach sits directly north of the busy tourist city of Myrtle Beach. The area, largely made up of rental houses, has a few pet-friendly accommodations with convenient access to the beach as well as the Cherry Grove Fishing Pier, Alligator Adventure and Alabama Theatre at Barefoot Landing.
Orange County’s Laguna Beach could be a caricature of all that is Southern California: sandy beaches, chic cafes, upscale shopping and lavishly landscaped foothill mansions. It’s somewhat smaller and slower-paced than neighboring Pacific Coast Highway towns, with a close-knit arts community. Laguna Beach hotel guests can hit Laguna Beach’s famed surf breaks, search tidepools for miniature marine creatures, catch a show at the Laguna Playhouse, or relax poolside with a glass of California wine.
Miami Beach, Florida, teems with excessively priced upscale accommodations, but a small handful of motels and boutique hotels in the area provide useful amenities, services and vacation specials at affordable prices. These properties are close to Miami Beach's shops, restaurants, nightlife, major roadways like I-95 and, of course, the ocean.
Anchored by a two-mile-long beachfront Promenade, also known as the Prom, Seaside, Oregon, charms visitors with everything from candy shops to artisan cheeses. Spend your days exploring the miles of white, sandy beachfront; fly kites, cycle on the beach, or suit up and take a board out onto the surf break at the south end of town. Accommodations near the beach in Seaside offer short walks to the Pacific Ocean as well as to the town’s bustling center.