Courier December Courier - Page 35

LEFT COLUMN, MIDDLE: CC FLICKR/YNNIL: bit.ly/2zGxFZN, BOTTOM: CC FLICKR/JUSTIN ENNIS: bit.ly/2zHWOnd CC WIKIMEDIA COMMONS/ BRITT REINTS: bit.ly/2m56u54 The Original Benjamin’s Calabash Seafood restaurant has been serving ocean-fresh fish for more than 30 years in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Groups can enjoy crab legs, shrimp, oysters and more as part of the 170-item seafood buffet. The 1,000-seat restaurant has 11 dining rooms, each decorated with historical nautical items, that can accommodate both large and small groups. originalbenjamins.com Rusty’s Surf Ranch is situated on one of Los Angeles’ top beach attractions, the Santa Monica Pier. Patrons can choose from a wide selection of traditional American food and Baja cuisine—seafood appetizers, beach burgers and daily fish specials—and sample one of Rusty’s specialty “shark bite” cocktails. The restaurant began a major expansion project last month, so call for details. rustyssurfranch.com Never bored at this boardwalk Among the many famous boardwalks found along the U.S. east and west coasts, Atlantic City’s stands above the rest. Forever immortalized by the board game Monopoly, the oceanside city is home to dozens of confection and taffy shops, amusement rides, luxury hotels and glitzy casinos. Two of Southern California’s finest A drive down the Pacific Coast Highway in California takes travelers past some of North America’s most beautiful parcels of land. Along the scenic byway, groups can visit two NTA-member attractions to learn more about unique aspects of local culture. The grounds at Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch in northern San Diego County are covered each year from early March through early May with thousands of Giant Tecolote Ranunculus flowers. In addition to seeing the colorful buds, groups can enjoy a range of tours, special events and themed activities. theflowerfields.com A visit to Hearst Castle in the coastal city of San Simeon provides a firsthand look at what life was like for newspaper mogul William Randolph Hearst. Guests can see priceless works of art— all part of the Hearst’s vast collection—which are highlighted on themed tours to the various buildings, gardens, terraces and pools. hearstcastle.org CC FLICKR/NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARIES: bit.ly/2AnveYm Whatever floats your boat Each September, a section of the Rhode Island coast along Newport’s America’s Cup Avenue is filled with more than 600 boats and nearly 800 exhibitor booths during the Newport International Boat Show. In addition to seeing new and vintage boats, attendees can take part in educational sessions led by boating industry experts. The 48th installment of this popular event will take place Sept. 13–16, 2018. Where to go to see sea turtles Corpus Christi boasts more than 100 miles of beaches along the Texas Gulf Coast, and the city is home to Padre Island National Seashore, which is one of only a few nesting grounds in the world for Kemp’s ridley sea turtles. From mid- June through August, visitors can watch as scientists release newly hatched sea turtles into the wild at Malaquite Beach. Scenery that’s par excellent The gorgeous stretch of California coast that runs through Monterey and Carmel is a hot spot for golfers. The area is home to Pebble Beach and Spyglass Hill, both of which are staples on the bucket list of any self-respecting golf enthusiast. As players tackle these challenging courses, they can take in sweeping views of the picture-perfect coastline. A salute to sand sculpting Each November, thousands of people descend on Fort Myers, Florida, for the American Sand Sculpting Championships. The local beaches become the canvas for the creations of the some of the world’s best sand artists, who take part in juried competitions. In addition to watching the artists create their masterpieces, festival-goers can enjoy live music throughout the 10-day event. NEWPORTBOATSHOW.COM FMBSANDSCULPTING.COM NTAonline.com 31