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MISSION BEACH, CA–#2 Top Beach Area Vacation Destination

MISSION BEACH, CA–#2 Top Beach Area Vacation Destination

Mission Beach on a Mission for Beach Area Fun

By Deborah Nelson, VRTG Publisher and Travel Writer
Belmont Park, a Historic Oceanfront Amusement park, in the Mission Bay Area of San Diego, California

Leave your stress behind and prepare for a beach area vacation sure to delight all family members–both young and old. Located within San Diego, Mission Beach is found in the hub of many of San Diego’s major attractions.

Planning that special family vacation and looking for unforgettable family excitement, adventure, and world-class fun? Mission Beach, built on a sandbar between the Pacific Ocean and Mission Bay, is part of San Diego; and spans nearly two miles of ocean front. Mission Beach might just fit the bill!

World-class attractions are located near Mission Beach and include SeaWorld–about 2 miles away in Mission Bay; world-famous San Diego Zoo–8 miles; and the historic amusement Belmont Park in South Mission Beach. Belmont Park features the original wooden Giant Dipper Roller Coaster from the park built in 1925.

San Diego Coast Rentals

Since 2007 San Diego Coast Rentals have been helping guests find and enjoy the perfect rental during their visit to San Diego. San Diego Coast Rentals offers guests over 30 properties to rent during their San Diego Vacation Rental Stay.

Activities in the Mission Beach Area

Looking for things to do while visiting Mission Beach? Since the area offers activities for all, boredom is not an option. From beautiful beaches and amusement parks, to vibrant nightlife, Mission Beach offers a plethora of choices.

Where to Eat and Nightlife

Mission Beach in general offers an eclectic assortment of eateries. Award winning french pastries and desserts, Le Parfait Paris is a popular organic bakery which promises the use of non gmo-flour in their pastries. However, if you crave Mexican food, try the ever popular La Playa Taco Shop on Mission Blvd. One of the most popular seafood spots in Mission Beach is the Single Fin Surf Grill.

The nightlife is alive in nearby Pacific Beach, and if you appreciate live music and popular bands, try either The Beachcomber or Canes Bar & Grill. This tropical-themed cantina gives music lovers an intimate venue to see big-time bands. In addition, the San Diego Performing Arts plays host to live entertainment, and 10 miles away is within minutes of Mission Beach.

mission beach, top beach area destination
Mission Beach Scenery Near San Diego, California

Without a doubt, shopaholics will find this beach town a lot of fun. Pangaea Outpost promises a diverse marketplace with indie merchants featuring local and international gifts and clothing. Also, Pacific Beach Marketplace, Gone Bananas, and BouTiki have earned rave reviews among shoppers. And, perhaps as you stroll, and enjoy the ocean breezes, you will also discover your own rave review shops along the Mission Blvd strip.

Getting into the Ocean

Indeed, without entering the ocean your arrival to the San Diego area will be incomplete. Notably, the Mission Beach area is possibly one of the world’s most popular aquatic vacation destinations. Therefore, to answer that need, Jetpack America at Mission Bay Sportscenter offers  skydiving, zipline, parasail and/or paragliding operators. If you cherish the adrenalin rush of extreme sports, you may want to suit up with proper equipment for your adventure at Jetpack.

Or, just enjoy the calm waters surrounded by sandy beaches and open grassy areas, perfect for an afternoon picnic in the quiet bay. Additionally, for those who are afraid to swim or feel lazy, kick off your shoes to feel the cool, soothing waters on your weary feet. Finally, for the ocean lovers, try renting a surf boat, jet ski, or boogie board and immerse yourself in the ocean which soothes and heals the soul.

Sea Breeze Vacation Rentals

Established in 2002, SeaBreeze truly epitomizes what it means to cater to not only vacationers, but to the property owners. A commitment to providing a once in a lifetime experience for guests, and a trusting and professional relationship with property owners is our top priority.

Cal Vacation Homes

If you need a vacation rental to plan a family reunion, a corporate event, church retreat, a memorable wedding or a great family vacation, California Vacation Homes’ inventory of $2 to $5 million San Diego oceanfront homes offer the elegance of a private home in a priceless setting.

SANTA CRUZ, CA – #9 Top Beach Area Vacation Destination

SANTA CRUZ, CA – #9 Top Beach Area Vacation Destination

Santa Cruz Nicknamed Surf City

By Deborah Nelson, VRTG Publisher and Travel Writer
Surfing in Santa Cruz California, Famous for surfing
Surfing is the local pastime in Santa Cruz, CA

What single aspect personifies California’s wonderful beach lifestyle? Is it the friendly nature of locals? Or perhaps it is the attraction of the “Baywatch-esque” lifeguards beachside who keep locals and tourists alike, safe and protected. Whatever it is, for many people, the best answer is … nothing but surfing. Santa Cruz is reputed for being one of the best spots for surfing, hence the nickname, “Surf City”. Surfing is not only a major attraction in Santa Cruz, but also a way of life for residents and tourists.

One of the most famous beach towns in California, this town is synonymous with sun, sand, and summer fun; and visitors naturally feel at home here. Most head straight for the boardwalk to unwind at nearby sandy beaches that stretch for miles along the coast. Or, many choose to also explore the fishing pier. Santa Cruz has significantly more to offer than beach including awesome vacation rentals. Vibrant downtown, landmark buildings, breathtaking nature sights entertain and delight adventurous visitors who want to explore further.

Santa Cruz Festival

Locals here love to party, and every year the entire county gets busy with colorful festivals and events. Revelers will find this quintessential beach town intriguing. The Fungus Faire, which celebrates the joy of fungi, allows participant take part in several activities – mushroom walks and mushroom cooking demonstrations. Are you a movie maniac? Visit the Surf City in May for the Santa Cruz Film Festival featuring new or notable movies in local movie theatres. Other festival activities include panel discussions and colorful parties. In addition, Santa Cruz hosts many unique and unforgettable festivals annually including Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Aloha Outrigger Races & Polynesian Festival as well as Scotts Valley Art & Wine Festival.

Beach House Rentals in Santa Cruz, California

At Beach House Rentals, we specialize in working with our guests to select their next fully furnished vacation rental in Santa Cruz County. Beach House Rentals provides a wide selection of vacation homes, town homes and condos that serve the needs of all budgets, tastes, families, and groups. With the majority of our beach houses located in the charming town of Capitola Village.

Best Accommodations

Santa Cruz California where surfing is king
Beautiful Misty Fog at Sunset in Santa Cruz, California

In planning a trip to the Surf City, you’ll select from area accommodations. You may find it difficult to choose where to stay since many places fall below normal standards. Vacation homes are ideal for groups or families. Vacation rentals include complete kitchens, yards, pools, gyms, common areas with privacy and amenities–for less than most hotel options. Beach Nest, a professional rental company, is the leading vacation rental property management agency in this area. Therefore, if you prefer the privacy and comfort of a home, choose a vacation rental from Beach Nest. Beach Nest offers fully equipped vacation rental homes with world-class amenities for a comfortable and memorable stay.

Beachnest Vacation Rentals in Santa Cruz, California Search Vacation Rentals in the Santa Cruz, California Area

We pride ourselves on our high end portfolio of family and pet-friendly beach vacation rentals and are one of the fastest growing vacation rental management companies in Santa Cruz County. What sets us apart? We focus on top-notch customer service from the time you begin your initial inquiry, to the time that you check-out of your rental property, our highest priority is to exceed your expectations by providing top-quality accommodations with unparalleled guest services….

Best Attractions

For most people who know and love California, Santa Cruz is top on their list of places for summer visits. This county is home to so many attractions and sights. To get the most from your trip, spend at least a week. In the event that you have limited time, here are some of the spots worth visiting in the Surf City.

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

For unforgettable summer vacation fun, Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is the place to be. This amusement park is the most popular attraction in town and has been delighting guests since 1907. Known as one of the world’s best seaside amusement parks, Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is intriguing and entertaining. It is a fascinating setting with fun loving games and historic roller coaster rides and an ideal vacation spot for families. Notably, peak season is during the summer months. The amusement park has everything to ensure everyone including young and old to enjoy delightful and memorable moments.

Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History

Looking for the perfect spot to learn more about the natural world? Visit Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History founded in 1905. The museum houses a collection of Native American and archeological artifacts. A place to learn more about nature, you will interact with a plethora of exhibits–both transient and permanent, Therefore, each exhibit displays the natural world in their own unique way. Notably, collections include countless ethnographic, biological, and historical artifacts.

Santa Cruz Wharf

Built in 1914, Santa Cruz Wharf is a popular attraction. Presently, it is used as a fishing pier. Take a stroll around the pier and enjoy the awe-inspiring views. Moreover, the pier’s shops and stores offer an ideal shopping experience. With many exotic restaurants, pick one to enjoy fresh seafood at its tastiest. Furthermore, Santa Cruz Wharf is ideal for birdwatching and sea-lion viewing year round. Lastly, you must plan a day trip to the pier and catch the stunning sights, sounds, and joys that the wharf has to offer.



Mount Baker: Perfect Getaway Spot in the Northwest for a Memorable Family Vacation

By Deborah Nelson, VRTG Publisher and Travel Writer
Mount Baker in Washington, Top Family Vacation Destination
The Most Average Snowfall on Mount Baker Worldwide

Looking for a family travel experience to change your perception of the world? Visit Mt. Baker on your next family trip. Vacationing in Mt. Baker comes with travel experiences to bring your life back into balance. If you have ever traveled west on the I-90 bridge heading towards Seattle, you may have noticed some amazing structures and water parks upon entering the tunnel. This is Mt. Baker! However, to truly admire its beauty and charm, consider exploring this beautiful destination from the inside.

The ambience in Mt Baker is serene, especially in the Lake Washington area. On the contrary, the Rainier Avenue on the western region boasts a vibrant atmosphere with several blocks of businesses. Access to the city is easy with the light rail station. In addition, Mt. Baker attracts worldwide visitors, too, seeking to enjoy a memorable vacation experience.

Located in the Northern Cascade Mountains, Mount Baker is one of the world’s snowiest places. Home to several ski resorts, Mt. Baker is worth visiting all year round. Every year, the Mt. Baker Ski Area averages 631 inches of snowfall.  This is  world’s record of the highest average snowfall. Mount Baker offers several great attractions and events for a quality family time.

Choosing Accommodations in Mount Baker

Ever considered renting a vacation home? Traveling is often stressful for the entire family. Many travelers are choosing to rent vacation homes when they travel, now. Vacation rentals include complete kitchens, yards, pools, gyms, common areas with privacy and amenities–often for significantly less cost than the equivalent hotel or resort. With the emergence of new vacation rental booking sites, selecting a comfortable home away from home is easy and affordable. Mount Baker Lodging, a professionally managed vacation rental company, is a great choice for booking your vacation rental home in the area.

Mt. Baker Lodging - Foothills of Mount Baker, Snoqualmie National Forest, and the renowned Mt Baker Ski Area! Search for Mount Baker Ski Lodges & Vacation Rentals

Mt. Baker Lodging offers rentals of privately owned, self-catered vacation rental properties in the foothills of Mount Baker, in Washington State. The mountain villages of Glacier and Maple Falls, and the adjacent Mt Baker Ski Area offers a one of a kind vacation destination. Located just 2 hours north of Seattle, and 1.5 hours south of Vancouver, B.C., the Mount Baker…

Activities and Attractions

Lake Washington Boulevard is an ideal place to run or bike, and attracts thousands of health-conscious visitors. As a matter of fact, on Bicycle Sundays, the boulevard is only accessible to bikers and pedestrians. Vehicle owners have no other choice but to go through an optional route, since car traffic  is not allowed.

Washington 542, known as the Mount Baker Highway, rises about 5,140 feet from ground level at a ridge between 10,778-foot Mount Baker and 9,038-foot Mount Shuksan. One of the most rewarding hikes in the area is the Chain Lakes Loop Trail. Hiking the trail offers visitor the chance to get close-up to the Table Mountain, and catch stunning sights of the beautiful little lakes along the way.

Do you want to learn how to track wildlife? Want some training about Lummi Indian basketry? Then, enroll in the Natural History Seminars. Mount Baker is home to several institutions offering seminars on natural history. These Mt. Baker educational outlets offer environmental learning centers all over the area.

Mount Baker Ski Area

Known as a popular destination for skiers and snowboarders, Mount Baker Ski Area is a spot where Snow lovers may be overwhelmed. Located in the center of Mount Baker, this ski area offers everything you need for an unforgettable winter vacation. One of the major gateways into Mt. Baker is the Seattle airport. As a result, snow enthusiasts should gear up for a drive of more than 2 hours to this incredible destination. On the contrary, the Bellingham Airport is a bit closer, which is just about an hour drive to the resort. The Mount Baker Ski Area features several incredible trails. Not only that, the resort also offers a terrain park for skiers and snowboarders of all ages. By the way, the best time of the year to visit the Mount Baker Ski Area is from mid-November to April.

Unlike other ski resorts in the Pacific Northwest, Mount Baker is a small ski area without accommodations. However, you will find exotic restaurants and ski shops, and spectacular vacation rentals. Nonetheless, Mountain Baker is indeed a skier’s and snow lovers mountain.

TRAVEL WORTHY EVENTS: Your Endless Summer in July

TRAVEL WORTHY EVENTS: Your Endless Summer in July

By Deborah Nelson, VRTG Publisher and Travel Writer

Ellicottville, NY music festival

Start Your Endless Summer with a Three Day Music Festival in Ellicottville, New York, Friday, July 1: Rusted Root will play slope side at Hidden Valley. Also, Friday night in the main lodge at Holiday Valley is a Luau! Party starts in the lodge at 7 pm. For those wanting to experience the chair ride to the hill-top, the lift will be open from 5:30 to 6:30. The dinner and lift alone are $60. Add a ticket to the Rusted Root show that night and get all for $80. Holiday Valley Resort at 6557 Holiday Valley Road in Ellicottville, New York.

Heal Your Soul with Yoga Music at Wanderlust in California; Jazz in Colorado; and Philharmonic with Fireworks in Ellicottville, New York

By Deborah Nelson, VRTG Publisher &  Travel Writer
More Endless Music — July 4th Weekend in Ellicottville, New York

Saturday July 2: Be sure to catch the traditional Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra performing to the fireworks! Stefan Sanders leads this concert featuring the music of heroes and villains on the slopes of Holiday Valley. A fireworks show follows the concert. Tickets start at $30.

Sunday, July 3: For the third day of music, enjoy Southern Rock legends, 38 Special (opener TBA), will be playing slope side. “Hold on Loosely” as you go “Rockin’ into the Night!” Tickets start at $30. For more info on the Ellicottville Summer Music Festival, see more details here!

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The concept mindful living is the focus of the Wanderlust Festivals held in high-end resort areas of the United States. Practice. Listen. Explore. Learn. And Taste. These modalities are the vehicles for soaking in mindful living presented by Wanderlust Festivals. This summer’s Squaw Valley location happening July 14-17, 2016, in North Lake Tahoe, addresses multiple facets of mindful living. Wanderlust characterizes its live music lineup as the heartbeat of their eclectic festivals. Wanderlust brings DJ-powered yoga classes and acoustic musical meditations to the stage. Whatever your taste, you will appreciate musical artists you may have loved for years and unique new musicians as well.

Not Just Mindful Music at Wanderlust Festival–Lake Tahoe, California

This isn’t just a festival about holistic health and yoga–it creates structure to support authenticity, intimacy, and togetherness. Listen to music–but also listen to what “thought leaders” are saying about personal empowerment, community betterment, and mindful living. You will get the opportunity to practice what is preached through yoga, meditation, and dining on Farm-to-Table dinners which offer gourmet organic meals to enjoy with new friends. As for exploring, you will have a chance to try out a stand-up paddle board, or take to the trails on a mountain bike–and more! All activities are given in balance and promise to leave you refreshed with a new vision of how you can carry out mindful living into your daily life.


Winter Park Jazz Festival–Winter Park, Colorado

The Annual Winter Park Jazz Festival is typically held mid July. This event hosts world-class artists along with old favorites to the outdoor amphitheater in Hideaway Park in Winter Park, Colorado. Jazz lovers will be in heaven with these musicians in place for a weekend packed with music and entertainment. The line up includes:

events and vacation rentals in Ellicottville, New York

Saturday, July 16 for 2016: See Line up for 2017, 2018, etc at the Winter Park Jazz Festival Website.

  • The Isley Brothers
  • Kirk Whalum
  • Masters of Fusion featuring
    Alex Bugnon, Gerald Veasley, Chieli Minucci
  • Jonathan Fritzen/Vincent Ingala
  • Hazel Miller

Sunday, July 17

  • Anthony Hamilton 
  • Jonathan Butler/Gerald Albright
  • Maysa
  • Dotsero
  • What’s Cookin’ Jazz Band

Get your Jazz Fest tickets today!.

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Why Book with Professionally Managed Vacation Rentals–
Five Travel Savvy Tips to Avert Vacation Rental Scams!

By Deborah Nelson, VRTG Publisher and Travel Writer

dream vacation home: Professionally managed vacation rentals You found a dream vacation home on a popular vacation home site … The photos, reviews, and description paint a picture of paradise. The emails are warm and friendly; engaging and helpful. Hanging out in this vacation rental home might be one of your best vacation memories ever! More space. Less noise. More privacy. Less expensive. More kitchen. Less eating out.

Vacation Rental Travelers Be Aware

Wait. Is it “too good to be true? Maybe. Maybe not. Scammers, thieves, and unscrupulous owners may be looming on the horizon, but most likely not. Most travelers who rent vacation homes never have a problem. Never ever. Yet the slim possibility of a vacation rental nightmare could be yours if you fall prey to their trap. Whether an unscrupulous owner keeps your deposit, or you find yourself in a far away land with a rental in disrepair, your rights may be limited. The simple solution–minimize your risk by booking only with professionally managed vacation rentals.

Use Professionally managed Vacation Rentals to avoid scams

FROM USA TODAY. “You may have found a dream rental on a website like VRBO or HomeAway, but it doesn’t mean the listing is credible or that you have any automatic rights. For instance, as VRBO states on its disclaimer page, the site is an advertising medium for property owners and managers to list properties and it does not verify the accuracy of its listings.” (Read More) But no worries. Vacation rental nightmares are easy to prevent with these five travel savvy tips:

Tip 1 for Professionally Managed Vacation RentalsRandom Online Reviews

It is not wise to base your booking decision mostly or solely on reviews posted on listing sites. Of course trending reviews are reassuring and comforting at the moment. But unscrupulous owners and scammers may engineer “bad reviews” against the competition. At the same time they might also be falsifying good reviews for their own listings. Policies vary between vacation rental listing sites. Some sites allow the account holders to choose options to hide, delete, or diminish bad reviews. Reviews can be skewed according to the taste and experience of guests. And, they are not always accurate or reliable. For professional vacation rental reviews by seasoned travel writers, see The Vacation Rental Travel Guide.

TIP 1: Professionally Managed Vacation RentalsUse Professionally Managed Vacation Rentals (PMVR)FR-Vacation_Rentals_purplestamp_03_01-11-16

”For extra assurances, book through a property management agency. Vacation rental agencies serve as a middle-man for owners and renters. Reputable agencies put in place certain standards their owners meet before agreeing to manage their property, including contracts with rights for the renters and detailing the services provided.” (USA TODAY)

When you book with PMVR, in the event of an emergency, they will offer you options. Should the property become unavailable, the agency can place you in an equal or better property. When renting from an owner directly, the back up properties will not be available. And, if you need multiple properties for retreats, events, and reunions, PMVR can handle your needs. PMVR are on the job full-time and can be responsive to your vacation timeline. And with PMVR you can expect great customer service. When renting with a PMVR you rent with peace of mind knowing that the rental does exist. You will be offered more pricing options and availability. Can’t find a wine opener? A local guide? A massage at home? Perhaps you would like a translator. Most professionally managed vacation rentals are connected to these services, and will help with your extra consierge needs quickly. Learn more about the Find Rentals professionally management seal for professionally managed vacation rentals

Tip 3 for Professionally Managed Vacation RentalsVerify the Property Owner/Manager

If renting from an owner instead of professionally managed vacation rentals, you will need to conduct a property search to verify the owner of the home. Search the county records in the state for the address of the home you want to book. If no address is offered, beware. If the owner‘s name of record does not match the owner’s name you are dealing with, renter beware! A popular scam is to book and collect money for homes not owned by the scammer. When you arrive at the property, the real owner is at home … and not expecting any guests! It may not be possible to verify property ownership in a foreign country. In these cases, we advise finding a reputable property management company outside of the USA. ABC covered a story last year on common vacation rental scams, and how to arm yourself from them.

Tip 4 for Professionally Managed Vacation RentalsGet a Signed Rental Agreement

professionally managed vacation rental homes provide contractThere may be times when some properties are double-booked. This sometimes occurs with the airlines and with accommodations as well. Without a signed rental agreement, you may arrive at the property with no rights. In these cases, you are more likely to be the one who is “bumped.” A signed agreement means the property management is more accountable. They provide in writing, dates, times, services, check-in and check-out, and payments made. A signed agreement can also help avoid any miscommunications and misunderstandings. When you book with professionally managed vacation rentals, it will be standard for you to get a booking agreement.

Number5TypePay with a Credit or Debit Card

Protect your rental purchase by paying with credit card or debit card. PayPal and other banking services offer buyer protection. If you are a victim of fraud, file a complaint with your credit card company. They will refund the monies; and then investigate your case. If your complaint is validated, they will most likely rule in your favor. If it is clear fraud–for example, no vacation home in site, or no such address, you will get a refund. This could take days, weeks, or months, and upset–or even end, your vacation. Never pay for a vacation rental with a wire transfer. Those who ask for money via wire, are common vacation rental scammers. You can avoid vacation rental nightmares by booking with professionally managed vacation rentals.

Christmas Week

Christmas Week

I traveled to Anna Maria Island with my wife and 4 children over 2015 Christmas week, upon arrival to our condo we found the heated pool and hot tub were unexpectedly closed for repairs and cleaning. Imagine my kids disappointment during their Christmas break. Made 1 call to our Vacation Rental Manager and they arranged for us to use the pool and hot tub at the complex next door to ours. This is why I choose to book through a Vacation Rental Manager.

Family of Six

Family of Six

We traveled to Anna Maria Island last year with my family of 6. We pick up our keys and check into our property and upon entering the house and unlocking the front door the lock on the door broke. I call the Property manager and they immediately had someone come out and change out the lock. Nice that we didn’t have to leave our vacation rental unlocked the whole time while on vacation. This is why I prefer to work with a Vacation Rental Manager.



When we traveled to Myrtle Beach last year, we were able to coordinate 3 families for dinner with a private chef in the house. They prepared the meal, brought in tables and chairs and silverware and brought all the food. They designed a menu for us. It was a great 40th birthday celebration with our family. We worked directly with the property manager months in advance of our arrival. On the night of the dinner, they came with 2 vans and left a clean house just 5 hours later. This is why we prefer to work with a property manager.