Thanksgiving Weekend Top 10 USA Beach Destinations

Waikiki Beach Leads The List That Includes California & Florida

Waikik Beach sunset sailboats
Sailboats frame a gorgeous sunset in Waikiki Beach.

You don’t have to be huddled around a fireplace, freezing when you step outside and stuck watching football for four days during Thanksgiving weekend in the USA .

You can be on a beach!

And here are Surfside Sam’s top beach destinations for Thanksgiving Day Weekend.

Top Beaches List

1.) Waikiki Beach

This is a fun, lively beach with tons of activities. But the reason it’s #1 is because there’s also a big bonus – on the Friday after Thanksgiving there’s a Christmas parade right down Kalakaua Ave. Plus, the water is warm, the temperature is great and it offers the perfect combination of being laid back without the possibility of anyone getting bored.

2.) Kaanapali Beach, Maui

This beach near Lahina offers good snorkeling, a walkway with a few popular outdoor restaurant/bars, sunset cruises and serves as a launching point for seeing the rest of the island.  This is prefect for couples and families but single people can have a good time, here too.

3.) Hermosa Beach/South Bay, CA (Los Angeles)

Hermosa Beach, CA
The wide beaches of Hermosa Beach make for plenty of beach recreation.

The South Bay Beach Cities have a bike path – take a guided tour with Beach Cities Bike Tours – great weather and a long, sunny beach. Hermosa Beach is the center of activity but there’s also Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach. All connected by the bike and running path known as The Strand. And oh, the sunsets!

4.) Mission Beach, CA (San Diego)

How does riding a rollercoaster sound? Not one of those really scary ones but a milder one, right at the beach! There’s one at Mission Beach in San Diego. There are tons of restaurants, a good beach and, like the above South Bay beaches, a bike, walking and running path that connects to Ocean Beach and Pacific Beach. La Jolla, too, is just up the coast.

5.) Key West

Of course the Conch Republic has to be on this list.  There’s so much to do in Key West and yet so little if you choose to spend your time just wastin’ away. Of course, one must-do daily ritual are seeing the sunsets from Mallory Square

6.) St. Petersburg, FL

Ft. DeSoto Park is continually ranked as one of the nation’s best beaches (this is in addition to St. Pete Municipal Beach and others), there’s the St. Petersburg Marina with all kind of boating and fishing opportunities, plus the usual Florida activities such as Par-3  and themed putt-putt golf courses.

7.) Siesta Key, FL

If Surfside Sam were doing a list of top family destinations, this would probably be at the top. This beach by Sarasota is as white, as, well, someone who has not been to the beach in a while. And while there’s enough activities to keep you busy, it’s also pretty quiet. In other words, it’s a good place for a siesta for a few days.

8.) Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Always active Ft. Lauderdale provides for boating, hanging out on a warm beach, going for a swim, walking along it’s intracoastal waterways and having food and drinks at any of its many restaurants and bars overlooking the beach. Surfside Sam likes it better than South Beach because it’s less “intense.”

9.) Florida Keys

This is a different kind of way to spend your long weekend – on the move! You can make your way down the Keys by staying in the little towns along the way: Key Largo, Islamarada, Marathon.  Make your Thanksgiving dinner at at Dockside Tropical Cafe at Sombrero Beach where you’ll hear the best live trop/rock music in the Keys.

10.) Tybee Island, GA (Savannah)

Historical Savannah is 20 minutes away and Tybee Island provides a beachy place to stay for Thanksgiving. The summer crowds are long gone and you can enjoy peel-and-eat restaurants, a couple of bars with character and there’s even a Civil War fort to explore.



Halloween Weekend Hot In The Los Angeles Beach Cities

Hermosa, Manhattan & Redondo Beach To Reach Into 80s

Hermosa-Beach Halloween Spider House
This house along The Strand in Hermosa Beach is fully decorated for Halloween.

Is this Halloween or a summertime weekend party?

From a weather standpoint it’s more of the latter in the Los Angeles Beach Cities of Hermosa, Manhattan and Redondo Beach. In fact, t’s that way all up and down the California coast, from San Diego to Santa Monica to Santa Barbara.

The area is under what locally is known as Santa Ana conditions, which means warm winds from the deserts are blowing westward toward Los Angeles.

Inland in places like Fontana, this means raging winds hitting 70+ mph. This makes for dangerous driving conditions on “the Grapevine,” the section of the 1:15 freeway headed to Las Vegas.

But at the beach, the Santa Ana winds bring temperatures in the 80s, little to no breeze and, because it pushes all the smog out over the ocean, spectacular sunsets.

The high in Hermosa Beach is to hit 85 on Halloween afternoon.  And there’s not a cloud in the sky.

So those wanting Halloween-type weather of rain, howling winds, even a little lightening, this is not the place to be for it. However if your costume involves bathing suits, surfboards or anything you wear in the summertime, then you’ll be in the right spirit(s).

LA Heat Wave Hot Even At The Beach Cities

There’s Little Weather Relief Even In Places Like Hermosa Beach

It’s hot – but also beautiful – at the LA beaches like Hermosa Beach.

I’m wearing the thinnest clothes I own.

Taking showers with no hot water.

Sticking my head in the freezer to cool off, even if it’s for a brief moment.

The heat wave that has hit Los Angeles is hot at the beach and in many ways it’s worse here than in other parts of the city.

That’s because the Beach Cities have no air conditioning. Usually, we only need it a few days a year and it’s not worth the expense, so no apartments or houses have that chill in the air.

There is also only a faint whisper of a breeze, too. Normally, this cools things down considerably by keeping the temperature factor in the comfortable mid-70s range.

But it’s 85 degrees now and feels every like every bit of it. Step outside and it’s like walking into a giant oven.

Many businesses don’t have A/C, either. Especially bars and restaurants. All you get is a fan, which doesn’t provide much relief.

One notable exception is Sharkeez in Hermosa Beach. They have the A/C cranking inside. Maybe that’s where Surfside Sam should be hanging out – is it 5 o’clock somewhere yet!?

Jimmy Buffett Irivne Meadows Party Bus From Hermosa Beach

Fins Up, Parrotheads, Jimmy Buffett is back “In The City,” Los Angeles

Jimmy Buffett Irvine Meadows tailgate party
Jimmy Buffett “virgins” adapt quickly to the tailgate party at Irvine Meadows.

He’s playing Los Angeles – Hollywood Bowl, Verizon Wireless – and has a PARTY BUS to the latter.

The epic show at what Parrotheads affectionately still refer to as Irvine Meadows is the destination.

The date is Saturday, Oct. 24.

Yes, a Saturday! Just like the good ‘ol days.

If you’ve never been to a Jimmy Buffett concert, then you can’t find a better location to break your Buffett virginity than at Irvine Meadows. it has a huge parking lot and row after row after row is filled with people partying in their parking spots.

They put up portable tiki bars, have big churning blenders, sharks, volcanoes and the occasional Sons Of Sons of Sailors.

On the Party Bus, you bring your own drinks (cute girls are also given plenty more in the parking lot!) and go with the flow. Literally.

The mood is fun, the atmosphere is awesome and if you’re not already a Parrothead, you quickly become one of the “flock.”

It is simply not to be missed. IF you like a good party, of course.

This occurs all day and then at some point you hear music coming from the stage, so you pack up and go inside to the show.

Here’s the deets on the bus:
• Hermosa Beach to Irvine Meadows
• $30 cost for girls, $35 for guys (bus only and BYOB)
• Contact:

LInk: Jimmy Buffett Party Bus

Refugio State Beach Recovered From Santa Barbara Oil Spill

Campers Enjoying Pristine Shoreline On The California Coast

Refugio State Beach California
Refugio State Beach has recovered from the 2015 oil spill.

Here’s some good news.

No, make that great news.

There’s no evidence of the oil spill that tarnished and closed Refugio State Beach and neighboring El Capitan Beach north of Santa Barbara  just prior to Memorial Day Weekend.

Surfside Sam knows this first hand because I stopped their on my way driving from Los Angeles to Monterey.

I wanted to see for myself what damage may have been caused and what remained and am glad to report that you would never know anything ever happened to the place.

The campground was nearly full and it was a weekday (this despite a rather ambitious $40 fee just to put down a tent, let alone a camper).

Refugio State Beach California
Looking south at the rocky shore of Refugio State Beach in California.


Refugio State Beach California
Refugio is a tropical, pristine setting along the Southern California coast

This was actually my first time at Refugio, despite having driven by there dozens of times in the past. It has camp spots, a small store, a basketball court and picnic tables and BBQ grills right at the ocean.

What it doesn’t have is much of a beach – the shoreline is comprised mainly of rocks, far bigger than pebbles but a lot smaller than boulders. Those rocks did not show any sign of oil on them.

So naturally, the cleanup crews are to thank for getting this beautiful part of the California coast returned to its natural beauty. And in such a short amount of time, which a remarkable achievement.

Soggy Dollar Bar Hosting Retirement Party

GM Leaving BVIs Legend In Style

Soggy Dollar Bar British Virgin Islands
The Soggy Dollar Bar is home of the famous Painkiller drink.

The Soggy Dollar Bar, one of the iconic bars of the British Virgin Islands, is having a party.

It’s to say goodbye to Martina (Tina) Chinnery, who retired as general manager after 16 years.

“There really aren’t sufficient words to express the gratitude we feel for all the hard work and love Tina has demonstrated in her time here,” the bar wrote in an e-mail to fans and patrons.

“Her genuine hospitality, expert leadership and fierce determination have propelled Sandcastle/Soggy Dollar to a place we could only have imagined.”

And so the Sandcastle/Soggy Dollar Staff will be celebrating Tina’s Retirement at an Octoberfest party on Tuesday, Oct. 13.

This is during the first day of the Moorings Interline Regatta, the annual airplane industry’s play days in the BVIs.

So there will be a lot of Painkillers consumed at the Soggy Dollar, not just on Oct. 13, but for much of the month.

Labor Day The Last Big Beach Weekend Of The Year In The USA

Beach Travel To Decline As Summer Fades Into Fall

The end of summer means the end of fun beach events like concerts in Hermosa Beach, CA.

Well folks, this is it, I hope you had a great summer!

Labor Day Weekend is here and it’s the last big summertime blowout in the U.S.A.

After this weekend of filling up the car with towels, chairs, games and flotable objects that’s it for going to the beach for a while (except here in California, where it’s endless summer, of course).

Now people are trading in their bikinis and board shorts for college or NFL team sweatshirts, jackets and, eventually parkas.

In a way it’s sad, like saying goodbye to family at the end of a great reunion or to friends at the end of a great trip.

But summertime and the beach are for vacations and in the fall it’s back to reality, to school and the everyday work routine.

Hopefully, the beach provided you with some relaxation, entertainment and excitement.

And a forever-sunny mentality!

Beach Lifestyle: The Ultimate Beach Bum's Blog