Travel on the Side

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Here’s a geography fact: Although Barbados is considered a Caribbean port of call, it’s actually surrounded completely by the Atlantic Ocean. It doesn’t touch the Caribbean Sea at all. A minor quibble, because it has some of the most beautiful Caribbean beaches. Waking up, we were already docked at Bridgetown, the capital of Barbados. We looked out our window and saw an old friend – the Crown Princess – the ship that… Read More

In planning for our 7-day 5-island adventure, we decided to pick two of the islands for driving tours, two of the islands for beach days, and one island for an “adventure.” I posted on the CruiseCritic boards seeking advice on which islands to do a beach day. Hands down, St. Maarten was a top pick. We booked a beach day excursion directly through the cruise ship to avoid the hassle of planning…. Read More

We woke up docked in Basseterre, Saint Kitts. Fun fact: Saint Kitts and Nevis is the smallest independent country in the western hemisphere (in both population and geography). It’s home to around 55,000 people. After breakfast in the Oceanview Cafe, we walked off the ship at around 9:30am and made our way down the pier to Port Zante. In planning the Caribbean cruise, we wanted one day on the islands to be… Read More

We were about to escape a week’s worth of Winter in Wisconsin on our Caribbean cruise. So why not expand it by two extra days by staying in Miami Beach? Sounded like a good plan to us! We penciled in one of those days as a beach day. After having breakfast, we headed over to Lummus Park in South Beach for a relaxing day of lounging and swimming. We rented two beach… Read More

When in Maui, it’s the one thing everyone says to do. You need to do it. You must do it. It’s the Road to Hana. Tropical rainforests, beautiful plants and flowers, a black sand beach, lava caves, waterfalls, and more. Every mile there seems to be an attraction to pull over and see. It’s definitely a full-day experience. What is the Road to Hana? Hana Highway (Highway 36, which becomes Highway 360)… Read More

After three nights in Honolulu, it was off to Maui. We made Kihei, in south Maui, our home base for the next four nights. Only about 30 minutes from Kahului Airport – Maui’s main airport – Kihei is on the dry side of the island, has nice beaches and restaurants, and is just north of the Wailea resort area. We stayed at Maui Coast Hotel. It was close to everything, including good… Read More

Relaxed in Waikiki for three days after arriving in Hawaii. While it may not be a “quiet corner” of Hawaii, I enjoyed the beautiful stretch of beaches, watching the surfers, and visiting the upscale shops and restaurants. A few tips: Hotels: Do you really need an on-the-beach oceanfront view? If you’re like us and you usually just use your hotel room to sleep, you’re better off booking a room a couple blocks… Read More

Cannon Beach is the perfect little Oregon coast town. Walkable, cute shops and galleries, good restaurants, and nice hotels. Oh yeah…and it’s home to Haystack Rock and breathtakingly beautiful views. I spent three nights here just relaxing, walking around town, visiting some of the area’s state parks, hiking the beach, and exploring around during low tide. I opted to stay at the Inn at Haystack Rock which put me within easy walking… Read More

The Pacific coast has many “must see” spots. Ecola State Park near Cannon Beach, Oregon has to be in the top 10. Visitors are treated to sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean at Ecola Point and Indian Beach, plus lots of great hiking. I did the 2.5 mile Clatsop Loop Trail with stunning views of large trees and breathtaking views of the ocean. There’s also the Oregon Coast Trail that traverses the… Read More

Seaside, Oregon is a family friendly beach town. Equal parts saltwater taffy and carnival games. What it really has going for it is its wide expansive beach with room to spread out, dip your toes in the water, sunbathe, play volleyball, or fly a kite.