Summer 2012 Hot Spots

Need a little inspiration to plan your summer escape? From lively Rio to laid-back Telluride, check out our picks for this summer’s hottest spots.

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South Bay, CA
South Bay, CA

South Bay, CA

Look out, here come the South Bay surfers! Head to the South Bay area, southwest of Los Angeles, for cool waves and plenty of sun. For top surfing action, check out the annual International Surf Festival -- one of South Bay’s biggest events of the year, held in late July. 960 1280

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Waimea Bay, HI

Waimea Bay, HI

If everybody had an ocean, across the USA … they might wish it looked like Hawaii’s Waimea Bay. Top gun surfers -- called 'rhino chasers' in the Beach Boys’ day -- love the area’s tall waves. 960 1280

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Redondo Beach, CA

Redondo Beach, CA

Everybody’s gone surfin’ at Redondo, too. While in the South Bay area stop by Redondo Beach, one of 3 prized beaches in the region. The South Bay waves here turn into killer kahunas -- as high as 20 feet! 960 1280

Neil Kremer, flickr   

Sandals Cay, Jamaica

Sandals Cay, Jamaica

Bodies in the sand, tropical drink melting in your hand … welcome to Sandals Cay. Once known as Kokomo Island, Sandals Cay is just 2.5 acres but big on tropical relaxation: a Thai restaurant, Jacuzzi and secluded beach can be found here. 960 1280

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Auto Club Speedway, Fontana, CA

Auto Club Speedway, Fontana, CA

Tach it up, tach it up, buddy gonna shut you down! The Beach Boys’ Dennis Wilson used to rev it up in a Shelby Cobra car around the now-gone San Fernando Raceway. These days, head to places like Auto Club Speedway, which has hosted NASCAR racing every year since 1997. 960 1280

Massimo Mazzocca, flickr  

Big Sur, CA

Big Sur, CA

Under Big Sur sky, that’s where you belong. This stretch of California’s Central Coast inspired the Beach Boys with its 'cashmere hills filled with evergreens, flowin’ from the clouds down to meet the sea.' 960 1280

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San Miguel, Mexico

San Miguel, Mexico

The Beach Boys sang they could be in San Miguel forever. However long your visit, take time for a stroll through this central Mexican city’s quaint cobblestone streets, lined with colorful homes and churches. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Trestles Beach

Trestles Beach

And who can forget Trestles Beach? The Beach Boys didn’t in ‘Surfin’ USA.’ Trestles Beach remains one of California’s best surfing spots, with some of the last undeveloped coastal areas in Southern California. 960 1280

Rian Castillo, flickr  

Disneyland

Disneyland

Disneyland is worth a trip to LA. The theme park made the list in the Beach Boys’ hit ‘Amusement Parks USA.’ In true Beach Boys-style, get behind the wheel of a specially-designed car and zoom around the track at Disneyland’s own roadway, Autopia. 960 1280

Larry Johnson, flickr  

Narrabeen Beach, Australia

Narrabeen Beach, Australia

It may not be surfin’ in the USA, but Australia’s Narrabeen Beach got a nod from the Beach Boys in their famous hit. The beachside suburb, northeast of Sydney, has 4 beach areas – and plenty of water activities, including rowing. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Islamorada, Florida Keys

Islamorada, Florida Keys

The Beach Boys called Islamorada the real inspiration for their hit ‘Kokomo.’ Four islands in this upper Florida Keys attraction offer tranquil spots to stretch out on the sand. And don’t forget your fishing pole -- locals call this the ‘sport fishing capital of the world.’ 960 1280

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Swami’s Beach, CA

Swami’s Beach, CA

Surf’s up on Swami’s Beach. This stretch of sand near San Diego was made famous in the Beach Boys’ ‘Surfin’ USA.’ To this day, Swami’s remains a major surfing destination -- its large number of right-hand point breaks is a big reason why. 960 1280

Phil Price, flickr  

Kona Coast

Kona Coast

Welcome to an “island mecca.” Yep, that’s what the Beach Boys called Kona’s coast. Part of the Big Island of Hawaii, the coastline includes Kealakekua Bay -- a popular spot for snorkeling, scuba diving and kayaking. 960 1280

Travis Thurston, Wikimedia Commons  

Pasadena, CA

Pasadena, CA

Make like the ‘little old lady from Pasadena,’ and take a drive around this LA County city. One of the most scenic driving spots is Orange Grove Boulevard, a street lined with so many mansions it’s called ‘Millionaire’s Row.’ 960 1280

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Stand-Up Paddleboard

Stand-Up Paddleboard

You don't need to be in Hawaii to experience summer's hottest trend: stand-up paddleboarding. An ancient form of surfing, it's now taking off all over the world since you can try it anywhere there’s water -- no waves required. 960 1280

ThinkStock  

Outdoor Movie Projector

Outdoor Movie Projector

Watch movies in your own backyard this summer. The WowWee Cinemin Slice Pico Projector lets you project any multimedia -- movies, video games, TV -- on a blank wall. 960 1280

WowWee  

High Heel Protector Cap

High Heel Protector Cap

Think you can't pack high heels for that outdoor wedding or party this summer? SoleMates, allows you to "put on your party shoes" without sinking into the grass. 960 1280

Jeffrey Weir Photography  

Emergency Portable Weather Radio

Emergency Portable Weather Radio

Remember getting caught in a storm while kayaking last summer? You told yourself you'd never let that happen again. With Oregon Scientific's Emergency Portable Weather Radio, you'll always be prepared for bad weather (and you'll always have tunes on-the-go). 960 1280

Oregon Scientific  

Underwater HD Video Mask

Underwater HD Video Mask

Capture crystal-clear video on your next snorkeling diving trip with this Scuba Series Underwater HD Video Mask. With your hands free, you'll be able to swim faster from the menacing-looking stingrays. 960 1280

Liquid Image  

Stowaway Backpack

Stowaway Backpack

Travel like the pros with the Kiva Bags Packing Genius Stowaway Pack -- a lightweight and comfortable pack that can be quickly stowed away in its own internal pouch. 960 1280

WWHITEDESIGN  

Pet Stroller

Pet Stroller

Even Fido needs a little break this summer. Treat your pup to a long and leisurely walk in this pet stroller by Pet Gear, Inc. 960 1280

Pet Gear, Inc.  

Portable Grill

Portable Grill

Grill on the go this summer with this portable grill from Cuisinart. Large enough to cook most family meals -- 8 steaks, 8 hamburgers, 6-10 chicken breasts, or over 4 pounds of fish -- you'll be able to feed the entire gang wherever you go this summer. 960 1280

Cuisinart  

Protective Case for Kindle

Protective Case for Kindle

Use your Kindle worry-free this summer at the beach or pool with the splash-proof KlearKase for Kindle. 960 1280

William Poole  

Waterproof Camera/Phone Case

Waterproof Camera/Phone Case

Protect your camera or cell phone against water with this tough vinyl waterproof bag by Austin House. The fold-over design locks to ensure contents stay dry, so you can have fun in the water with your summer essentials. 960 1280

TravelPro  

Cooler Speaker Tote

Cooler Speaker Tote

Keep your food cool and your music hot this summer with this canvas carry-all cooler from Pottery Barn. With its built-in speakers, you can play music from your smart phone or mp3 device. 960 1280

Pottery Barn  

Bocce Ball Set

Bocce Ball Set

Play a round of bocce at your cookouts this summer -- a perfect activity for outdoor family fun. 960 1280

Pottery Barn  

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