Montecito in California

January 15th, 2018 | Destination: | Rubric: General |

View over Montecito © Grandhiking/cc-by-sa-3.0

View over Montecito © Grandhiking/cc-by-sa-3.0

Montecito is an census-designated place in Santa Barbara County in California. It is the wealthiest community in the county. Montecito has a population of 10,000. Montecito is located near Santa Monica, south of the Santa Ynez Mountains. A number of celebrities own homes and reside there, including Drew Barrymore, Jeff Bridges, Ellen DeGeneres, Rob Lowe, Oprah Winfrey, Malcolm McDowell, Al Gore, Megyn Price, Eric Schmidt, Jane Seymour and Patrick Stewart. Montecito has 3,010 single-family dwellings.   read more…

Brighton Beach in New York City

January 8th, 2018 | Destination: | Rubric: General, New York City |

© Daniel Schwen/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Daniel Schwen/cc-by-sa-4.0

Brighton Beach is an oceanside neighborhood in the southern portion of the New York City borough of Brooklyn, along the Coney Island peninsula, connected via Coney Island Avenue. The Brighton Beach and Coney Island area, combined, has more than 150,000 residents. Brighton Beach is bounded by Coney Island proper at Ocean Parkway to the west, Manhattan Beach at Corbin Place to the east, Sheepshead Bay at the Belt Parkway to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the south along the beach and boardwalk. It is known for its high population of Russian-speaking immigrants, and as a summer destination for New York City residents due to its beaches along the Atlantic Ocean and its proximity to the amusement parks in Coney Island. The proximity of Brighton Beach to the city’s beaches—Brighton Beach Avenue runs parallel to the Coney Island beach and boardwalk—and the fact that the neighborhood is directly served by a subway station makes it a popular summer weekend destination for New York City residents.   read more…

Hermosa Beach in California

January 3rd, 2018 | Destination: | Rubric: General |

© Estrategy/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Estrategy/cc-by-sa-3.0

Hermosa Beach is a beachfront city in Los Angeles County. Its population is at 20,000. The city is located in the South Bay region of the greater Los Angeles area and is one of the three Beach Cities. Hermosa Beach is bordered by the other two, Manhattan Beach to the north and Redondo Beach to the south and east. The city’s beach is popular for sunbathing, beach volleyball, surfing, paddleboarding and bars. The city itself extends only about 15 blocks from east to west and 40 blocks from north to south, with the Pacific Coast Highway running down the middle. A paved path, called The Strand, runs along Hermosa’s beach from Torrance Beach in the south approximately twenty miles north to Santa Monica and the Hermosa Beach pier is at the end of Pier Avenue, which is one of the beach community’s main shopping, eating and partying areas. Hermosa is a Spanish word meaning “beautiful”.   read more…

Orlando in Florida

December 22nd, 2017 | Destination: | Rubric: General |

Downtown Orlando - Church Street Station © Miosotis Jade/cc-by-sa-4.0

Downtown Orlando – Church Street Station © Miosotis Jade/cc-by-sa-4.0

Orlando is a city and the county seat of Orange County. Located in Central Florida, it is the center of the Orlando metropolitan area, which had a population of 2.4 million, according to U.S. Census Bureau figures released in March 2016, making it the 24th-largest metropolitan area in the United States, the sixth-largest metropolitan area in the Southern United States, and the third-largest metropolitan area in Florida. As of 2017, Orlando has an estimated city-proper population of 277,000, making it the 73rd-largest city in the United States, the fourth-largest city in Florida, and the state’s largest inland city. The City of Orlando is nicknamed “The City Beautiful,” and its symbol is the fountain at Lake Eola. Orlando is also known as “The Theme Park Capital of the World” and in 2014 its tourist attractions and events drew more than 62 million visitors. The Orlando International Airport (MCO) is the thirteenth-busiest airport in the United States and the 29th-busiest in the world. As one of the world’s most visited tourist destinations, Orlando’s famous attractions form the backbone of its tourism industry: Walt Disney World, located approximately 21 miles (34 km) southwest of Downtown Orlando in Bay Lake, opened by the Walt Disney Company in 1971; the Universal Orlando Resort, opened in 1999 as a major expansion of Universal Studios Florida. With the exception of Walt Disney World, most major attractions are located along International Drive.   read more…

New Orleans in Louisiana

December 15th, 2017 | Destination: | Rubric: General |

Royal Street © Jan Kronsell/cc-by-sa-3.0

Royal Street © Jan Kronsell/cc-by-sa-3.0

New Orleans (French: La Nouvelle-Orléans) is the major United States port and the largest city and metropolitan area in the state of Louisiana. The population of the city is at 392,000. The New Orleans metropolitan area (New Orleans–Metairie–Kenner Metropolitan Statistical Area) has a population of 1.4 million. The city is known for its distinct French and Spanish Creole architecture, as well as its cross-cultural and multilingual heritage. New Orleans is famous for its cuisine, music (particularly as the birthplace of jazz) and its annual celebrations and festivals, most notably Mardi Gras. The city is often referred to as the “most unique” in the United States. New Orleans is located in southeastern Louisiana, and occupies both sides of the Mississippi River. The heart of the city and its French Quarter is on the river’s north side. The city and Orleans Parish (French: paroisse d’Orléans) are coterminous. The city and parish are bounded by the parishes of St. Tammany to the north, St. Bernard to the east, Plaquemines to the south, and Jefferson to the south and west. Lake Pontchartrain, part of lies within the city limits, lies to the north and Lake Borgne lies to the east.   read more…

The Moshulu

December 1st, 2017 | Destination: | Rubric: Tall ships, Yacht of the Month |

Moshulu at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia © Acroterion/cc-by-3.0

Moshulu at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia © Acroterion/cc-by-3.0

Moshulu (ex Kurt) is a four-masted steel barque built by William Hamilton and Company on the River Clyde in Scotland in 1904. The largest remaining original windjammer, she is currently a floating restaurant docked in Penn’s Landing, Philadelphia, adjacent to the museum ships USS Olympia and USS Becuna. Originally named Kurt after Dr. Kurt Siemers, director general and president of the Hamburg shipping company G. H. J. Siemers & Co., she was, along with her sistership Hans, one of the last four-masted steel barques to be built on the Clyde, (Archibald Russell was launched in 1905). Constructed for G. H. J. Siemers & Co. to be used in the nitrate trade, at a cost of £36,000, she was launched in 1904. Her first master was Captain Christian Schütt, followed by Captain Wolfgang H. G. Tönissen in 1908 who made a fast voyage from Newcastle, Australia, to Valparaíso with a cargo of coal in 31 days. Between 1904 and 1914, under German ownership, Kurt shipped coal from Wales to South America, nitrate from Chile to Germany, coal from Australia to Chile, and coke and patent fuel from Germany to Santa Rosalía, Mexico.   read more…

Grand Strand in South Carolina

November 29th, 2017 | Destination: | Rubric: General |

Christmas in Myrtle Beach © Matthew Trudeau Photography

Christmas in Myrtle Beach © Matthew Trudeau Photography

The Grand Strand is a large stretch of beaches on the East Coast of the United States extending from Little River to Georgetown in South Carolina. It consists of more than 60 miles along an essentially uninterrupted arc of beach land, beginning around the Little River and terminating at Winyah Bay. The population of the Grand Strand is at 480,000. The term Grand Strand dates back to a November 19, 1949 The Myrtle Beach Sun column titled “From the Grandstand” and another titled “From the Grand Strand” on December 3, 1949 in The Myrtle Beach News. “Strand” itself derives from the German Strand, meaning “beach”. The area has become a major tourist attraction along the Southeastern coast, with its primary city, Myrtle Beach, attracting over ten million visitors each season. It is home to numerous restaurants and theme parks, making it popular with families and college students in the summer and snowbirds during the winter. The Grand Strand’s economy is dominated by the tourist industry, with tourism bringing in millions of dollars each year. Hotels, motels, resorts, restaurants, attractions, and retail developments exist in abundance to service visitors. There are over 100 golf courses in and around Myrtle Beach as the golfing industry represents a significant presence in the area. A manufacturing base produces plastic, rubber, cardboard, foam, and ceramic products usually in small scale.   read more…

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