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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
More than $100 billion of goods travel through the Port of Long Beach, California, the second largest harbor in the United States, and the port complex offers visitors an opportunity to dine at waterfront restaurants and stay overnight in nearby hotels. The city of Long Beach also features outdoor activities including the Shoreline Village and at Rainbow Harbor, within the boundaries of the Long Beach port.
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.
South Beach, Miami, is known for its Art Deco architecture. Several of the luxury hotels in the area successfully combine the glamour of Art Deco with sleek, contemporary decor to achieve spaces that are unique but cohesively South Beach in their vibe. With plush rooms, highly rated restaurants and bars, and excellent spas, these hotels were among the four-star and four-diamond hotels as rated by Forbes and AAA.
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.
Alas, most major hotels and motels in Myrtle Beach do not allow pets. Renting a condo or vacation home is a popular option for people traveling with pets. But, if you're set on hotel accommodations, there are a handful that will welcome your four-legged travel companions. Also, note that pets are not typically allowed on the beaches and the city has a stringent leash law. The fenced-in, 11-acre Barc Park is the only place in Myrtle Beach where dogs can run free.
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.
Part of the sprawling Hampton Roads metropolitan area, Virginia Beach is the most populous city in Virginia. However, it is the city’s resort area bordering the Atlantic Ocean that is the primary destination for vacationers. Although there are scores of hotels and motels in the area, the selection of oceanfront properties is more limited. If you want to spend your vacation in a hotel right on the ocean, make your plans well in advance.
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.
The South Beach area of Miami is one of the trendiest and most energetic places to "see and be seen" in America. Neon signs light up the boulevards at night, transporting visitors back to the 1930s, when the Art Deco revolution exploded on the beach scene here. With what is considered the world's largest collection of Art Deco architecture, it's not hard to find hotels that are either built during that time period or are reproductions in style and ambiance.
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.
When temperatures soar, dogs need a break from the heat as much as you do, so as you head out to the beach for a refreshing swim, it makes sense to take your pet. Finding a pet-friendly beach in most parts of the U.S. and Canada, however, can be a real challenge. The good news for those who live in Annapolis, Maryland, is there are area beaches where your dog can swim.
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.