Traveling Mamas

Inspiring you to explore our world

  • Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman (aka Dr. Beach), Director of Florida International University’s Laboratory for Coastal Research released his list of Top 10 Beaches for 2009. He uses a multitude of criteria to evaluate beaches, which includes water and sand quality as well as safety, facilities and environmental management.

    The Traveling Mamas love Hawaii, but we’re also big fans of beaches. Period. Here’s Dr. Beach’s official list. Some are great for families, others are perfect for that romantic escape, but all are perfect for relaxing and getting some sand between your toes.

    Hanalei Bay by Seany @ Flickr

    Hanalei Bay by Seany @ Flickr

    1. Hanalei Bay Kauai, Hawaii

    2. Siesta Beach Sarasota, Florida

    3. Coopers Beach Southampton, New York

    4. Coronado Beach San Diego, California

    5. Hamoa Beach Maui, Hawaii

    6. Main Beach East Hampton, New York

    7. Cape Hatteras Outer Banks of North Carolina

    8. Cape Florida State Park Key Biscayne, Florida

    9. Coast Guard Beach Cape Cod, Massachusetts

    10. Beachwalker Park Kiawah Island, South Carolina

    Do you disagree with Dr. Beach’s list? Keep in mind that past list leaders are ineligible for inclusion. The annual top beach pick by Dr. Beach has always been in either Florida or Hawaii, with the exception of 2007, which was in the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

    My personal pick for top beach of 2009 would have to be Nannygoat Beach on Sapelo Island, a Georgia barrier island. It is undeveloped, pristine, fantastic for shelling, and the first time I’ve ever actually seen the beach shimmer with gold flecks. Simply breathtaking.

    Here’s a video by brew journalist, Ale Sharpton, that ends on Nannygoat Beach.


    Direct link to video.

    If you were doing the choosing, what beach would be your top pick for 2009?

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  • Red Wine (Flickr photo by smcgee)Wine tourism has become a popular aspect of almost any destination. In fact, it isn’t just a pastime for the wealthy anymore. Moms just like me are learning about color, bouquet, and taste, all while taking some time for themselves and learning how to choose affordable wines to serve when entertaining.

    The TwitterMoms Wine Club hosts online tastings each month. A bottle is selected and participants from all over the world taste and discuss the wine, sharing notes through Twitter. There is also another event that is popular, Twitter Taste Live.

    I’m fortunate that as a travel writer, I am given opportunities to tour vineyards and wineries, learn the stories of how vintners got interested in wine, and of course sample some interesting and flavorful wines.

    But, wine tasting isn’t limited to online events or special occasions. You can broaden your wine knowledge by hosting a tasting with your neighbors, finding wineries during your travels, or just opening a new bottle on a Saturday afternoon.

    Please share your stories of wine tasting or travel to a winery. Whether you visit Napa, Solvang, or even Disney World, we want to know about it. If you toured an Inn and enjoyed some great dinner pairings on a romantic getaway, please share. Even if you have tips for someone’s first wine tasting or if you just want to tell us about awesome wine expert, Natalie MacLean.

    Please leave a relevant link to the specific post/story or it will be deleted.

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  • CajunMama's childhood travel picFrequent readers of Traveling Mamas may already know that the Great Smoky Mountains National Park area is a favorite of the CajunMama family. My parents took my brother and I there as kids, and the tradition has been carried on to my little ones.

    This week is about the Smoky Mountains and any stories or posts you may have about the area. Have you gone on some great mountain hikes? Have a recommendation for a really cool cabin resort? Know of any great summer travel specials? Here’s your chance to let our readers see what you have to say.

    Please leave the name of your blog or company with a topical link. You don’t have to link back to this blog post, but it sure would be awesome. Thanks for reading TravelingMamas.com.

    Family Travel Tips on raveable

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  • The Traveling Mamas get numerous emails and press releases from companies and readers informing us about current events in the travel industry, new products, and great deals. We only recommend products we’ve tested personally and feature destinations and hotels we’ve experienced firsthand, but every once in a while we like to share some travel news with our readers. Here are a few of the more interesting items, such as a new roller coaster, cruise news, and how to find diesel that I wanted to share with TravelingMamas.com readers.

    New VW BlogTDI Truth and Dare

    I love my VW, so it isn’t hard for me to share news about this company that may help consumers planning a road trip. RedBugg isn’t a diesel powered VW, but some of our readers may need this new resource for vacation planning.

    From VW – Since there might be some misconceptions out there about how clean diesel works, this new blog has a wealth of information to dispel myths and stack up the TDI cars against others. It’s a great resource not only about VW but about clean diesel in general.  The “Diesel Finder” feature on the website will help find diesel stations along the way on their vacations during the summer.

    We’ll be sure to update our readers on the best vehicles for road trips as we test them out. We’ve got the scoop on new and updated models coming out this year.

    Royal Caribbean – Why Not?

    I have yet to go on a cruise, but the new ad campaign by Royal Caribbean sure makes me want to join the Nation of Why Not. If you’ve seen the commercials I have, I’ll admit that now I’m ready to go cliff diving or rock wall climbing. Adam Goldstein, President and CEO, has started a blog to show another side of Royal Caribbean International.

    From RCI – Follow Adam as he discusses the latest news, happenings and ship innovations from Royal Caribbean, the different types of experiences Royal Caribbean cruisers can expect from their journeys at sea, and Adam’s personal insights on the travel and cruise industries as a whole.

    I did go check out the site and blog, and while Adam only has his first entry, I will be following the progress of both Royal Caribbean’s Nation of Why Not and Adam’s venture into the world of blogging.

    Universal Orlando – Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit

    I LOVE roller coasters. However, I gave birth to two individuals who don’t seem to get into them like I do. I don’t know what it is about these high velocity rides, but they excite and thrill me to no end. It’s no surprise that I have to share with TravelingMamas.com readers that there is a new ride coming to Universal Orlando.

    From Universal Orlando – Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit is like nothing you’ve ever experienced. It’s selecting a popular song as the soundtrack to your ride. It’s video cameras capturing your ride experience so you can take home your own music video. It’s one-of-a-kind ride maneuvers and a revolutionary ride vehicle system.

    I’m ready to test it out and post the video as proof, Universal Orlando. Woohoo!

    Now that I’m in a roller-coaster mood, here’s a little video I took during my visit to Disney World in February for the American Idol Experience Premiere.

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