5 U.S. Beaches You Can Get to Without a Car

Beaches with a car - Chicago's Oak Street Beach
Flickr, Tom Gill

Summer may be winding down, but there are still a few weekends left to spend at the beach. Rather than sit in traffic or rent an expensive car, you can ride public transportation to many beaches in the U.S. Seasonal routes are especially likely to be popular, so go early and pack light.

Boston – CapeFLYER train to Cape Cod
Reintroduced this summer, the CapeFLYER train goes every weekend from Boston out to Hyannis, connecting to ferries for Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard and buses up and down Cape Cod. Fares are from $18 from South Station, with a few bucks’ savings if you buy round trip. You can bring a bike, get concessions onboard and get free Wi-Fi. The train will run through Columbus Day, October 14.

Chicago – El train to Oak Street Beach
Not everyone thinks of this city smack in the midwest as a beach town, but thanks to Lake Michigan, there are more beaches around Chicago than Bermuda. There are many to choose from, but Oak Street Beach is the most central with the most spectacular skyline view. It’s a few blocks from the El train at Clark and Division, though a bus up Lake Shore Drive will get you there closer. Beaches are free and open until Labor Day, but you can enjoy the water views year round. CTA fares are $2.25, with deductions for transit cards.Los Angeles – Big Blue Bus to Santa Monica
While it’s a major car city, there are ways to get to Santa Monica and Venice Beach from downtown Los Angeles without wheels. The Big Blue Bus serves all of Santa Monica and connects to Venice Beach as well. Fares are just $1, with day passes available. LA Metro has rapid buses to Venice Beach, with fares from $1.50. A new light rail line will connect Santa Monica to downtown LA, getting you on the beach even faster.

New York – A train to Far Rockaway
New Yorkers are lucky to have lots of options for sand and swimming, from Brooklyn‘s Brighton Beach to Long Island‘s Jones Beach, and Rockaway Beach in Queens has long been an urban favorite. While it suffered a lot from last year’s superstorm Sandy, it’s back in a big way, with many boardwalk concessions reopened and a new boutique hotel. A $2.50 subway fare gets you there on the A train, and there’s also a weekend-only ferry from downtown Manhattan if you’d like a more scenic (and spendy, at $20 one way) ride.

Washington, D.C. – DC2NY bus to Delaware beaches
While a bit much for a day trip, budget bus company DC2NY offers seasonal shuttles to Delaware‘s Rehoboth (one of Dr. Beach‘s favorites in the country) and Dewey beaches from Washington, as well as Wilmington and New York. The trip takes about 2½ hours, leaving Friday night and weekend mornings through Labor Day. Fares are $39 each way, but you do get Wi-Fi, a power outlet and a bottle of water.

What are your favorite beaches to visit without a car?

Google Street View Helps Visualize Cool Summer Attractions

summer
As summer blazes on, travelers are looking for cool places to go. A quick escape from summer heat to a water park, beach or lake might be just what they have in mind too. But how about a look first? Google Street View can give us a panoramic view from positions along many streets in the world, including some major summer attractions.

A little warm where you are today? Click on one of these featured attractions for a taste of coolness and summer fun ahead.

Adventure Island is a water park located northeast of Tampa, Florida, across the street from Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, featuring 30 acres of water rides, dining and other attractions.

Discovery Cove is a theme park in Greater Orlando, Florida. Guests can interact with a variety of marine animals, most notably bottlenose dolphins. The park is located adjacent to sister parks SeaWorld Orlando and Aquatica. In addition to swimming with dolphins, Discovery Cove guests can interact with exotic birds, tropical fish, rays and land mammals.

Santa Monica Pier is a large double-jointed pier located at the foot of Colorado Avenue in Santa Monica, California, and home to Pacific Park and a family amusement park with a large Ferris wheel.

SeaWorld Orlando
is a theme park, and marine-life based zoological park, near Orlando, Florida, that when combined with its neighbor Discovery Cove and the Aquatica waterpark, it forms a larger entertainment complex devoted to Earth’s oceans and the array of life that inhabits them.

Google Street View was introduced in the United States but can now be seen in 48 countries around the world.

See more Google summer attractions in the U.S. through Street View imagery, and make plans to cool off today.

Wet and Wild in De Palm Island Aruba

[Flickr photo by matheuslotero]

25,000 runners compete in annual marathon

runnersOn Sunday, March 18, over 25,000 runners traveling from all over the planet compete in the 27th annual Honda LA Marathon. Over a million spectators are expected to watch on routes that pass some of LA’s most famous landmarks. Starting in Dodger Stadium then following a route to Santa Monica, live bands and cheerleaders will be at mile markers throughout the race to entertain spectators and motivate runners. The event also features a number of events and new features, both before and after.

The Honda LA Marathon Expo, two days before the event, is the home of Participant Packet Pick-Up for all 25,000 marathon runners. The Expo is free, open to the public, and is held at Dodger Stadium.

The LA Big 5K, is a unique marathon experience and the official warm up race for the Honda LA Marathon. The race winds 3.1 miles and draws thousands of participants, many of whom are gearing up for the marathon the next day.Later that night, runners will gather for the annual Carbo Load Dinner at another landmark along the Stadium to the Sea course: the Hard Rock Cafe Hollywood, located next to Grauman’s on Hollywood Boulevard and adjacent to the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

The Honda LA Marathon Finish Line Festival is the final celebration for the 25,000 marathon runners and their families. On hand will be exhibitors showcasing the latest developments in sports, fitness, and nutrition. The festival is home to the post-race massage area as well as the Family Reunion area, ensuring that all marathon finishers and their families pass through after the race.

This year’s 26.2 mile-long course, called “The Stadium to the Sea,” will pass The Hollywood Walk of Fame, Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, Sunset Boulevard and Rodeo Drive, then end at the beach by Santa Monica Pier where spectators will be watching on a huge, seaside bulletin board.

How to Run a Marathon: Tips for Race Day

Flickr photo Los Angeles Marathon