Archive for May, 2017

9 amazing beaches you have probably never heard of

May 29th, 2017 by Mariah

We’ve all been there: Beaches so packed with bodies it’s impossible to take a decent picture without forty random photobombers in the background.

But there’s good news. About 71 percent of the Earth’s surface area is water, so there are plenty of empty, albeit scenic stretches of sand silently waiting to become your next cover photo. And what they lack in crowds, boardwalks, surf shops and ice cream trucks, they more than make up for in Mother Nature.

Below are nine lesser-known beaches worth knowing, along with tips for getting your toes in their sand.

 

1. Secret Beach, Dominica

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Dominica is a far cry from the Dominican Republic people often confuse it with. Pronounced “doe-min-EE-ka,” it’s a Caribbean island relatively untouched by resorts. Known as the “Nature Island” because, appropriately, nature has been left alone to do its thing– Secret Beach is a wonderful example of that. This private cove near Dominica’s Secret Bay boasts unique rock features like a natural bridge and a sea-cliff cave filled with rich marine life. So even if the thought of putting on a snorkeling mask and breathing through a plastic pipe scares you, you’ll definitely want to snorkel here.

Getting there: Guests staying at Secret Bay can take complimentary kayaks or paddle boards to Secret Beach. Otherwise, go to Portsmouth to charter a fishing boat from the Indian River Visitor Center or rent a kayak or sailboat from WaveDancer Water Sports & Park at Coconut Beach.

 

2. Benijo Beach, Tenerife

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When it comes to beaches, Tenerife isn’t really on the tip of most Americans’ tongues. But this Canary Island off the coast of North Africa boasts 70 beaches including Benijo beach, something Sergio Barros of Quest Travel Adventures likens to a natural experience at its purest. “It has fabulous views of the Roques de Anaga rock formations and its sunsets are magical. Especially when the glimmering sea contrasts with the red horizon and the dark outline of the volcanic rocks rising from the ocean depths.” Note: This beach is popular among naturists, so you may see a naked beachgoer or two.

Getting there: Tenerife is a four-hour non-stop flight from London. WOW air also offers Newark to Tenerife fares starting at $239. From Tenerife, drive the winding mountain roads to the village of Taganana where you’ll find a path of steep stairs down to the beach.

 

3. Kennedy Island, Solomon Islands

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Although it’s named for one of the most beloved U.S. presidents, Kennedy Island receives only a handful of American visitors each year. (It has just six reviews on TripAdvisor.) While the uninhabited island has great snorkeling, most visitors come for the historical significance. “JFK, who would be 100 years old this May, was stationed nearby when his patrol boat was struck by a torpedo and he swam to this island,” says recent visitor Lisa Niver of We Said Go Travel.

Getting there: From Fiji, fly Solomon Airlines to Gizo where you can pay a tour operator about $30 to take a half-day boat trip to Kennedy Island. You can also stay at Fat Boys, a budget-friendly resort that takes guests to the island.

 

4. No Name Cay, Bahamas

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The only inhabitants of this aptly named beach are Bahamian swimming pigs. Although these feral pigs are friendly (yes, you can doggie-paddle with them), they don’t appear on Instagram nearly as often as Exuma’s aquatic swine. In other words, No Name Cay is not yet an international swimming pig sensation. Still, it’s only a matter of time before the beach, which locals have deemed “Piggyville,” becomes a major tourist trap.

Getting there: The most direct way to get to No Name Cay is to fly into Marsh Harbour from Nassau or select cities in Florida. From there, head to Abaco Beach Resort and Boat Harbour Marina to rent a boat or book an eco-tour. It’s just a 30-minute scenic ride from the marina.

 

5. Praia Formosa, Santa Maria Island, Azores, Portugal

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Praia Formosa on the island of Santa Maria was once home to a 16th century fort built to deter pirates. Today, visitors who navigate the winding cliffside road down to the beach can walk among the remaining ruins. They can also search for sea life in the pollution-free tidal pools. In fact, Praia Formosa was awarded Blue Flag status — indicating it meets the most stringent international water quality standards set by the Foundation for Environmental Education.

Getting there: The fastest way to get to the Azores from the U.S. is to fly nonstop on Azores Airlines. It’s a four-hour flight from Boston. From the Azores, take a 20-minute flight to Santa Maria where you can rent a car or take a 20-minute taxi ride to Praia Formosa.

 

To read the rest of the original article, click here.

Worst airports for summer flight delays

May 29th, 2017 by Mariah

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Even without the snow and inclimate weather, summertime is no picnic for busy travelers. Some delays are inevitable but it turns out several airports perform a lot worse than others during this busy travel season.

MileCards.com recently analyzed on-time arrival data from the U.S. Department of Transportation for the past 10 years dating back to 2007, uncovering the best and worst airports for summer flight delays. The comparison service examined the 50 busiest airports in the U.S.

Three of the four worst airports for on-time summer arrivals are located in or around New York: Newark Liberty International (66.5 percent), LaGuardia (66.9 percent) and John F. Kennedy International (69.2 percent) ranked first, second and fourth in worst on-time arrival percentage between 2007 and 2016, respectively.

San Francisco International and Boston’s Logan International round out the top five worst airports for on-time arrivals in the summer, according to MileCards.com’s 2017 Summer Flight Delay Study.

While undoubtedly better, Chicago’s O’Hare, Philadelphia International, Miami International, Ronald Reagan Washington National and John Glenn Columbus International Airport also cracked the list of the top 10 worst for summer travel with average on-time arrival percentages ranging from 72.3 percent to 73.9 percent.

Hawaii dominates the list of the best airports for on-time arrivals during the summer. Kahului Airport and Honolulu International Airport rank Nos. 1 and 2 at 88 percent and 86.5 percent, respectively.

The West also reigns supreme when it comes to the top-performing airports in the mainland U.S.

Salt Lake City International, Orange County’s John Wayne Airport, Phoenix Sky Harbor International, Portland International, Seattle-Tacoma International, San Jose International, Minneapolis-St. Paul International and Las Vegas’ McCarran International are among the best U.S. airports for summer travel, boasting an on-time percentage of 79.5 percent or better.

MileCards.com’s research also found that 40 percent of the top 50 U.S. airports have more summer than winter delays and that June is the worst month for summer delays—with more than three-quarters of the 50 busiest airports experiencing more frequent delays in June compared to July or August.

The website declared that Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport is the best United Airlines hub for on-time summer arrivals while Phoenix is the top-performing American Airlines hub this time of year. Delta Air Lines’ best hub for summer travel is Salt Lake City.

To combat summer flight delays, MileCards.com recommends air travelers check for waived change fees before they check in, take advantage of in-flight Wi-Fi to rebook on their way to their destination and choose their airports and departure times carefully.

Read the original story from Fox News here.

New Hampshire inn sees surge of business as Navy yard expands

May 29th, 2017 by Mariah

portinn

 

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. –  It’s a familiar sight: employees of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and the staff at The Port Inn palling around on a first-name basis in the lobby of the hotel. They catch up, crack jokes and discuss the day’s events.

Located about four miles from the sprawling PNSY in Kittery, Maine, the Port Inn has become a surrogate home and family for contractors and employees of the nearby shipyard.

This year, inn owner Mark Bouzianis says up to 30 percent of his business will come from the PNSY. Currently, about 20 of the 56 rooms at the boutique hotel are rented by government employees.

“Over the years, the shipyard been a very big component of our business,” he told Fox News – but added that this year the demand is higher than normal. “It’s not like this every year.”

Part of this year’s success can be attributed to a wave of new hires at the PNSY.

Virtually every town and city within a 50-mile radius of the naval base has benefitted from the success of the naval yard. When PNSY does well, business owners like Bouzianis do well.

New Hampshire Democrat Sen. Jeanne Shaheen told Fox News that the shipyard is “not only critical to our national security, but is also a vital economic engine for New Hampshire’s Seacoast.”

“The caliber of people they hire is really high,” Bouzianis said.

Valerie Rochon, president of the Greater Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce, told Fox News, the impact of the shipyard has had a “wonderfully positive effect on the community.”

In 2016, the shipyard made 650 new hires and accounted for $756.1 million in total economic activity, according to an annual report from Seacoast Shipyard Association.

There were 6,914 civilian jobs with a payroll of about $496.2 million – an increase of more than $14 million from 2015.

In New Hampshire, 2,535 civilian workers from 58 communities were paid $177.7 million.

Click here to read the original story from Fox News.