Harbour Island Bahamas – Best Kept Secret

Promise not to tell? One of the best kept secrets of the Bahamas is Harbour Island. This romantic little island, known as “Briland” by its inhabitants, is a short hop from the States. A one hour flight from Florida to North Eleuthera followed by a brief cab and water taxi ride gets you to this Bahamas gem in a hurry.

Harbour Island is less than 4 miles long and a 1/2 mile wide. Its long wide beach is famous for its hard-packed pale pink sand. The likes of Fodors and Conde Nast rate it as one of the “best Bahamas beaches.” The beach, combined with some great restaurants, hotels and vacation home rentals, makes Harbour Island a destination of choice amongst Bahamas enthusiasts. It’s no surprise to find a few “rich and famous” there — they know they won’t be hounded.

Central to Harbour island is Dunmore Town. This quaint and friendly community features old Victorian structures adorned with Bahama’s colorful pastel paint schemes. No high rise hotels, fast food or traffic jams on this island!

Golf cart rentals are the transportation of choice. Swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, fishing, and just plain walking the beach are some of the popular activities. To be sure, Harbour Island is not known for its shopping and night life nor is there any gambling. If you seek large crowds, wild parties or theme park rides, this is not your destination.

Harbour Island’s weather is delightful; especially during late Winter and Spring when there is little chance of rain. Ocean breezes take any edge off of moderately warm temperatures ranging from the 70s to 80s during the day and late 60s at night. Air conditioning during season is unnecessary — ceiling fans are adequate. Nothing beats falling asleep to the sounds of the ocean through an open window.

Dining out is casual. The better restaurants include Pink Sands Hotel, Coral Sands, The Landing, Rock House, Romora Bay Club and Harbour Lounge. For local fare, Ma Ruby’s should not be missed. And there are more… Part of the pleasure of exploring the island is checking out the restaurants. When compared to other Bahamian islands, Harbour Island has one of the best selections of restaurants — all within close proximity to any place you stay.

On the ocean side, hotels include Pink Sands Hotel, Coral Sands Hotel and Dunmore Beach Club. On the bay side, it’s The Landing Inn and the Rock House. On a budget? There are other hotels to choose from. Visiting Harbour Island is not cheap, but if it was, then everybody would be there, right?

Harbour Island’s vacation home rentals and villas are numerous. Location and size come at a price. If you desire “beachfront”, the better locations are usually on the north and south along the east coast. If you want to save a little, there are some nice rentals in Dunmore Town and others located in the interior of the island. The beach is always minutes away.

Look for home rentals on the internet offering more than a few photos so you know what to expect. A number of rentals are handled by rental or real estate agents who may not provide much in the way of details, descriptions, map locations or photos. Owners who care about promoting their home rental typically have independent web sites and accept e-mail inquiries directly.

The better house rentals on Harbour Island are booked nearly a year in advance of prime season. Those who want the best make early reservations — many are repeat customers. You can also take a “standby” position on a number of rentals in hopes someone cancels. Ask for referrals and double check policies for deposits and refunds.

If you seek a memorable and relaxed Bahamas vacation coupled with sun, sea, great food and a romantic beachfront that will knock your eyes out, consider Harbour Island. See you on the beach!

Copyright © 2004 Perry Joseph

Cheap Vacation Packages for Two – An Overview of Some of the Most Affordable, Romantic Getaways

If you want to take your significant other to some place special but don’t have a lot of money, don’t worry: there are a variety of cheap vacation packages for two to choose from. You can spend a few days together at a nice resort or cruise cabin without emptying your savings.

Here is a guide to some of the least expensive vacation destinations for two:

Savannah, GA

Savannah is a very romantic, charming spot in the south. It’s a good mix of the old and the new, and offers affordable accommodation, restaurants, and fun activities. There are nearly 100 hotels for you to choose from, many of which have rates under $100 per night.

St. Petersburg, FL

Just west of Tampa, this beachfront town is among the cheapest vacations for couples. It’s charming and small enough to walk around, so you might not have to spend money on a rental car. Head along the city’s Central Avenue to find dozens of antique shops, book sellers, restaurants, and more.

Las Vegas, NV

Vegas is probably the most affordable of all of the top tourist spots in the US. The resorts and hotels are able to keep the rates very low since they make most of their money through casinos and entertainment. Of course, the trip will only be affordable just as long as you don’t spend too much money on gambling. There are plenty of romantic things to do, from sharing a kiss at the Bellagio Fountains to getting married at the Graceland Wedding Chapel.

Sedona, AZ

Often referred to as one of North America’s most beautiful places, Sedona offers cheap vacation packages for two. In addition to the red rocks and gorgeous scenery, you’ll also find unique spas, hundreds of hiking trails, a variety of low-cost inns and lodges, and a whole lot more.

Riviera Maya, Mexico

There are plenty of inexpensive ocean-view suites, three bedroom penthouses, and all-inclusive resorts located in the Riviera Maya. Your getaway can be as relaxing or as adventurous as you want it to be, as there are a variety of activities from relaxing at a yoga retreat to exploring ancient ruins.

Athens, Greece

If you’re looking for cheap vacation packages for two in Europe, let Athens be your destination. It’s a Pinnacle of Western Civilization and filled to the brim with iconic sights like the Acropolis and Parthenon. Just as long as you don’t go in the summer, as it is peak tourist season. During the rest of the year, prices and airfare are reduced for the most part. There is plenty of live, free entertainment throughout the city.

Whether you want to go on vacation next month or next year, you can always count on online discounts to help you save the most money. Just look over all of the cheap vacation packages for two to find out what kind of deals are available.

Luxury Hotels in USA – They Mean It

United States of America comprises of states, cities and towns adorned with luxury in every element. The luxurious lifestyle, splendid attractions and natural distinction make USA a highly worth visiting place. A large number of fabulous destinations in the country encourage you to plan a long itinerary. And if you are used to luxurious lifestyle, Luxury hotels in USA have everything to offer you a luxurious environment and amenities. Climate in the country ranges from sub tropical to Arctic. However, most of the part is temperate with four distinct seasons. USA is the third largest country in the world. On the east coast, New York, Boston, and Philadelphia are some of the destinations where you become aware of the vivid characteristics of America. New York is famous for splendid skyline. It is also known as the Melting pot of culture.

Obviously, you cannot miss out on visiting the capital city Washington D.C which is the home of the President. White House is an attractive building. Atlanta is another famous destination which is always crowded throughout the year. Farmlands, forests, large cities, smaller towns, mountains and prairies, all are in abundance. Do pay a visit to Miami which hold a lot of promise to entertain you with its wonderful traits–it is quite well-known for its Latin culture, exciting nightlife and amazing beaches.

If you like to roll the dice, come to Las Vegas, a paradise for gambling freaks. You can discover many fabulous monuments and exemplary architectures right here in the desert. And Kentucky provides multitude of avenues to explore the natural artifacts, for instance, the mammoth cave which is the largest cave systems in the world. Numerous campgrounds, state parks, and recreational lakes create an inviting atmosphere to draw thousands of tourists from all across the globe. And Florida’s popularity graph is always high with its sunshine, beaches and hurricanes.

Tourists Rule in Las Vegas

The impact tourists have on local economies varies from state to state and at different times throughout the year but for Las Vegas, tourists are ALWAYS the lifeblood of our economy. Devoted to entertaining tourists, Las Vegas is hailed as the “Entertainment Capital of the World,” and according to Carlson Wagonlit Travel Associates in Minneapolis, Minnesota, results from their 2008 Travel Trends Survey reveals Las Vegas as the number one domestic destination beating out Orlando, Florida for the sixth consecutive year. It seems no matter where you turn television commercials, billboards, and magazine and newspaper advertisements are tempting visitors to this 24/7 town. Even during these tough economic times, Las Vegas is tourist frenzy.

So what’s the attraction? Vegas is no longer a dust-blown desert town in the middle of nowhere with little to do. The ever-changing scenery is one of the many reasons why this city is such a great place to visit; there’s always something new to see. Years ago “Sin City” was a bunch of gambling halls, brothels and bars but today it’s a trendy Manhattan metamorphosis with a sprawling skyline of spectacular skyscrapers consisting of fifteen of the world’s twenty largest hotels, with unique architectural designs, themes and reproductions amid bright lights and neon signs on and around Las Vegas Boulevard (a.k.a. “The Strip”); the oldest street in Vegas.

This city of fantasy and fun is a playground for adults and children alike from rejuvenating day spas, specialty boutiques and souvenir shops to magnificent designer stores and outlet malls; with an abundance of sightseeing opportunities, indoor attractions plus thrill rides, arcades and exotic animals, and outdoor activities such as hot air balloon rides, skydiving, and award winning golf courses, and whoever said there were no beaches in the desert has not experienced the Beach at Mandalay Bay. World-renowned for its vibrant club scene and scintillating night life showcasing elaborate variety shows, comedy revues and spectacular Broadway productions, Las Vegas is the number one hotspot to see and be seen; where celebrity sightings have become the norm, the rich and famous come to party and rising stars and headliners perform nightly.

The diverse dining options also lure tourists. From buffets and bistros to fast food and fine dining, some of the best eateries in the world are located in the luxury resort hotels along The Strip. Famed chefs such as Charlie Trotter, Bobby Flay, Mario Batali, Emeril Lagasse and Wolfgang Puck, to name only a few, have opened unique and outstanding specialty restaurants that have transformed Las Vegas into a mecca for world-class cuisine.

This small town with a big city feel is so much more than slot machines and black jack tables. Las Vegas is also known as the wedding capital of the world, from drive-up window weddings to elegant traditional weddings and everything in between; it’s the host city for approximately 4,000 conventions each year and a colorful backdrop for many films, TV series, and reality and game shows. Yet in the middle of all the glamour and glitz there is a growing culture with museums and art galleries, the Las Vegas Philharmonic and the Nevada Ballet Theatre.

And there is still a little of the “old” Vegas left in the downtown area and the main attraction is “The Fremont Street Experience”, an open-air pedestrian mall with a free nightly show that draws approximately 20 million visitors each year. This unique laser light and sound show of super-sized animations and amazing visual effects are displayed on a 17 million dollar Viva Vision screen, one of the largest screens in the world, under a 90 ft. canopy that extends the length of more than five football fields.

Las Vegas offers a little something for everyone, and for all these reasons and more, it’s one place that has to be experienced at least once. The tremendous draw to this pulsating city of high stakes and high rises is evidenced by the 40 million people who visit each year and the 1.7 million people who call it home. If you like at least 320 days of sun, low humidity, little rain and even less snow, this is the perfect place to visit and it’s also a great place to live. Las Vegas is the fastest growing metropolitan city in the country with an influx of over 6,000 new residents each month who relocate for a chance to live the American dream. There’s no place like Las Vegas; just ask the Mayor, Oscar B. Goodman, who says he is the “Happiest Mayor of the Greatest City in the World”.

Whatever brings tourists to the most happening city on the planet; we are extremely grateful because in Las Vegas, tourists rule!