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San Diego is a vacationer's paradise, with year-round temperatures in the seventies and near-constant sunshine. One of America's most family-friendly cities, San Diego is home to LEGOLAND, the New Children's Museum, and the famous San Diego Zoo. Sunbathers and surfers are guaranteed to find their perfect beach, and foodies find delights in artisanal breweries, local bistros, and gourmet restaurants. From the Broadway excitement of La Jolla Playhouse to the European feel of Little Italy to the nouveau-chic of the Gaslamp Quarter, San Diego has something for everyone.
Sunbathing and sipping margaritas is just one of many ways to spend a vacation in Puerto Vallarta. Mexico's prettiest resort town is also one of its most diverse. Old Vallarta—El Centro and the Zona Romántica—is a goldmine of quirky boutiques and winding cobblestone streets. In Marina Vallarta, shopping centers and deluxe hotels spread around the city's yacht marina. And from Costalegre to the Riviera Nayarit, miles of sandy beaches and scores of stellar restaurants and lively nightclubs, surrounded by historic mountain towns, keep visitors returning again and again.
Located on the Pacific coast of Nicaragua, just half an hour from the Costa Rican border lies the pretty fishing village of San Juan del Sur. Considered by some as the “St. Tropez of Nicaragua”, the village certainly has some resemblances. A sleepy little port by day favoured by the local jet-set and curious traveller alike, San Juan del Sur enjoys a laid-back family orientated feel that is closer to southern France than southern America. By night however, San Juan del Sur transforms itself into the hottest of hot-spots. Known principally for its excellent surfing and vibrant nightlife, the town’s charms transcend these more mainstream attributes and it remains an idyllic boutique resort, with bright, colourful houses and remote beaches, offering respite for a community of likeminded cultured travellers. The sunsets here are legendary, so enjoy a Mojito or a local Toña beer, put your feet up and relax.
This town is not on the Nicoya Peninsula, but rather on Costa Rica's mainland. It is best known as a cruise-ship port and launching pad for ferries heading southeast to the coast of the Nicoya Peninsula and for cruises sailing out on the Gulf of Nicoya. Puntarenas is also a major fishing port with a lively fish market. The town’s reputation suffers from the unimpressive parts you see from your car as you roll through town on the way to the ferry dock. But the town has a lot of character off the main drag, thanks to its illustrious past as an affluent port town and principal vacation spot for San José's wealthy, who arrived by train in the last century. Once the port was moved and roads opened to other beaches, Puntarenas's economy crashed, but it's making a comeback. Sitting on a narrow spit of sand—punta de arenas literally means "point of sand"—that protrudes into the Gulf of Nicoya, the town boasts a beautifully groomed, wide Blue Flag beach with views of the Nicoya Peninsula and spectacular sunsets, along with a public swimming pool, the San Lucas Beach Club, and a marine-life museum. Ticos arrive by bus and car to enjoy the beach and stroll the Paseo de los Turistas, a beachfront promenade lined with tree-shaded concrete benches and seafood restaurants. Crowds of locals, called porteños, cruise by on bicycles, the town’s most popular form of transport.
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