West Palm Beach, Florida - Here is a view of the attendees in the Palm Beach International Boat Show in 2007. $350 Million worth of boats, yachts and accessories are here for your viewing pleasure. Every year vessels from around the world tie up to the docks at the shores of Palm Beach and show off the boats that separate them from the rest of the working class. It really is an amazing sight to behold at the Palm Beach International Boat Show
Marco Island, Florida - This city lies on the Southwest coast of Florida, and hosts thousands as they visit for vacation and relaxation. The beach is large, but unfortunately, due to "progress" it only has 2 beach access places, one in the north and one in the south. Condos and hotels have taken up the rest of the beach. Luckily there are a few bars and restaurants which provide beach access.
Marco Island is much more laid back than the busy cities on the east coast. Also, for being so seemingly far away from the map, there is great access to the rest of Florida. You are only two hours from Miami, three hours from Tampa and a mere 30 minutes from Naples. To top that off, there is a ferry service that goes to and from Key West and Marco Island. Then if you have another day or two free, you can go on one of the many canoeing or kayaking trips to the everglades.
At the end of the day, go to the beach for the best sunsets in Florida. Don't have too many marguerites or you will miss the dolphins as they swim up and down the beach to feed. Marco Island is a very special place.
West Lake Park, Hollywood, Florida - At West Lake Park you can climb the steps of this overlook onto the park. It is a view that is easier to appreciate when you take the elevator. Also rent a canoe or a kayak and paddle your way around these mangroves if you enjoy being amongst nature and having sore arms.
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico - This is a great spot to play on the southern tip of Baja California, it is only a couple days drive from Los Angeles and an easy flight from any major airport. It is the southern most city of the peninsula where the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean meet. Sadly though, this Mexican location is not the cheap vacation hot spot when compared to other west coast Mexican cities. It is because of these two bodies of water meeting that it has become a fishing haven, with Los Cabos earning the title of Marlin Capital of the World. There are a lot of charter boats to choose from so be sure to pick the one you trust and have fun out there on the water.
Many cruise ships also come into port in Cabo San Lucas. There is no pier, so expect a 15-20 minute tender ride. The excursions are great and the tour guides are reliable. Feel free to not book tours from your ships shore excursions department. They are over priced and you can get a better deal from one of the dozens of people selling tours on the pier. You must practice your skills in haggling because you can always get a better deal than asking price from these guys.
Mazatlan, Mexico, that was a gret place. Well, I think it was. All I can say for sure is that the food was good, the people friendly and the drinks were strong. Taxis? Si, por favor. Con musica, solomente.
Vancouver, Canada was a fun place too. I hadn't spent much time there since the ship was only in port for paperwork reasons. Something called the Jones Act, requiring ships to go to a foreign port so cruise lines can continue hiring foreigners. I'm not political, I don't care. Just make sure I have a place at the buffet line.
St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands - St. Thomas is a great place to visit with panoramic views and a beach around every corner. The cruise ships were quick to jump on this island as it is a very popular destination having two very active docks, in Charlotte Amalie and Havensight. Of these two, Charlotte Amalie is in a much better location being in the city and a nice walk to most tourist places. Many people prefer to go in the tourist off season(summer/fall) when the best deals on hotels are to be had.
Magens Bay, St. Thomas, USVI -
While these islands were once known for offering amazing tax free deals on merchandise it seems with all the ships and tourist traffic driving up demand, the deals are not what they once were. While on the market for a prosumer video camera I stopped in St. Thomas and found prices to be comparable with many US professional camera supply companies.
A great way to see a lot of the island in a short amount of time is to rent a scooter when you arrive. It's about $60USD and they give you a map and a full tank of gas, which will surely get you around. Just don't forget to drive on the left side of the road.
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