1710 Chapters
Medium 9781628870190

5. WHERE TO STAY IN MIAMI

David Paul Appell FrommerMedia ePub

5

WHERE TO STAY IN MIAMI

Hotels and resorts have been part of the mix in Miami ever since magnate Henry Flagler’s railroad opened South Florida up to well-heeled tourism from chillier climes. The boom has, if anything, only picked up steam in recent years, mostly in Miami Beach, whose renaissance from the late 1980s onward turned what used to be a beachfront retirement community dubbed “God’s waiting room” into a hot spot for an eclectic mix of both jetsetters and regular folks from across the planet. And although the fanciest/priciest spots get much of the attention, there are also plenty of affordable options that can put you right in the thick of the action.

Particularly in South Miami Beach, many of the old hotels from the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s have been transformed into chic new boutique hotels, and more continue to be added each year (in fact, when booking you may want to ask if any construction or renovation will be going on during your stay). Also keep in mind when choosing a hotel that particularly in South Beach, the scene on streets like Ocean Drive or Collins and Washington avenues is all about the party, not getting a good night’s sleep (it may help a bit to ask for a room at the rear of the property).

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Medium 9781628873863

2 BELIZE IN DEPTH

Wunderman, Ali FrommerMedia ePub

2

Belize in Depth

Belize is the second-youngest nation in the Western Hemisphere, having been granted independence from Britain in 1981. It’s also a decidedly sparsely populated country, with just more than 350,000 citizens and no large cities. Belize is the only country in Central America where English is the official and predominant language.

Originally a major part of the ancient Mayan empire, Belize was next settled by pirates and then colonized by the British, who used slave labor. The descendants of each of these groups are woven into the historical lore and cultural fabric of modern Belize. Add to the mix the independent Garífuna people, who settled along the remote southern shore in the early part of the 19th century, and the more recent waves of Mexican, Chinese, and East Indian immigrants, and you have an idea of the cultural mishmash that constitutes this unique Central American country. Surprisingly, Belizeans of all cultural stripes tend to get along a lot better and with far fewer outward and untoward shows of racism than citizens of most other nations. This is a small country. The sense of community is strong and, even in the big city, people know their neighbors and almost everyone is somehow related.

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Medium 9782067182042

Eugene

Michelin Michelin ePub

The Willamette’s loamy soil gives rise to a feast of foods that enrich the plates of the finest restaurants in Portland. The climate and soil are ideal for vineyards, and more than 500 wineries, mostly west of Interstate 5, draw visitors from around the world to wine-country tasting rooms. Charming small towns, bucolic countryside and farm stands provide additional reasons to stop and savor Oregon’s wine country.

A string of cities, including the state capital of Salem and the free-spirited town of Eugene, are situated along I-5, which runs north to south through the center of the valley. To the west, the forested Coast Range cradles the valley, and 30mi to the east, waterfalls plummet down mossy Cascade Range hillsides alongside wooded hiking trails whose vine maple trees turn crimson and orange in the fall.

SALEMa

The capital of Oregon is the state’s third-largest city (pop. 156,000). Salem traces its founding to 1840, when Jason Lee moved the headquarters of his Methodist mission to this mid-Willamette Valley location. Lee’s house and other early buildings still stand at the Willamette Heritage Center at the Millaa (1313 Mill St.; t 503-585-7012; www.willametteheritage.org; open year-round Mon–Sat 10am–5pm ;$6), a five-acre historical park that includes the 1889 Thomas Kay Woolen Mill. A millstream courses beneath the main mill building, and inside, massive looms operate with water-powered turbines. Four buildings, filled with period furnishings, were moved to this site, and are considered the oldest in the Northwest, dating to the 1840s.

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Medium 9781628873108

1 THE BEST OF COSTA RICA

Karl Kahler FrommerMedia ePub

View of Arenal Volcano from Tabacón Grand Spa Thermal Resort.

Costa Rica continues to be one of the hottest vacation and adventure-travel destinations in Latin America, and for good reason. The country is rich in natural wonders and abundant biodiversity. Costa Rica boasts a wealth of unsullied beaches for sunbathing and surfing, jungle rivers for rafting and kayaking, and spectacular cloud forests and rainforests with ample opportunities for bird-watching, wildlife viewing, and hiking. In addition to the trademark eco- and adventure-tourism offerings, you will also find luxury resorts and golf courses, plush spas, and some spectacular boutique hotels and lodges. In this chapter, you’ll find the very best of what this unique country has to offer.

Costa Rica’s best Authentic Experiences

Taking a Night Tour in a Tropical Forest: Most neotropical forest dwellers are nocturnal, so nighttime tours are offered at rainforest and cloud-forest destinations throughout the country. Some of the better spots for night tours are Monteverde (p. 389), Tortuguero (p. 537), and Drake Bay (p. 493).

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Medium 9781628871609

3 Los Angeles Essentials

Christine Delsol FrommerMedia ePub

3

Los Angeles Essentials

by Christine Delsol

Los Angeles is the second-largest city in the nation, and unlike most other major U.S. cities, it came of age with the automobile. That, combined with the vast valley it occupies, has created an endless thicket of freeways, shifting neighborhood boundaries and punishing distances that can be confounding for a visitor. This chapter will help you navigate and find places to stay and dine.

Getting There

By Air

Of the five L.A.-area airports, most visitors fly into Los Angeles International Airport (www.lawa.org/lax;  310/646-5252), or LAX. The world’s sixth-largest airport in number of passengers carried, it lies oceanside between Marina del Rey and Manhattan Beach, within minutes of Santa Monica and nearby beaches, and about a half-hour from Downtown, Hollywood, and the Westside (depending, as always, on traffic). Free shuttle buses connect the nine terminals. Travelers with disabilities may request special accessible minibuses when they check in.

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