Best Beach Awards 2014 Advisors
Get to know our Beach experts, including Beach Tomato co-founder Tom Marchant, Dr. Stephen Leatherman, better known as "Dr. Beach," and Travel Channel's resident beach host, Marianela Pereyra, who hand-picked this year's best beach destinations around the world.
1. Alison Teal
Alison spent her childhood home-schooled in a whirlwind of high adventure by her extreme expedition parents — her father being a world-renowned photographer who’s work has been featured in numerous outdoor magazines including National Geographic, Outside and Patagonia, and her mother a legendary Yogi. Alison grew up living in some of the most primitive, inaccessible, and often-dangerous mountains, jungles, and unchartered wilderness areas that cover the face of this planet.
She now produces and hosts her own film series, Alison's Adventures, where in each country she teams up with a local companion who guides here through their way of life. You can follow her travels on AlisonsAdventures.com and on Twitter @AlisonAdventure.
2. Tom Marchant
In the 7 years since its launch, the group has grown to become known as one of the leading experts in the world on luxury travel and lifestyle services and caters to the travel needs of a globally located, discerning client base.
Responsible for the group’s business development, marketing and creative strategy, Tom also regularly writes and talks on trends and the future of the luxury travel and lifestyle industries.
In 2010, Tom was named young entrepreneur of the year by the British Travel Industry Hall of Fame. In 2011, Black Tomato received many accolades, including being awarded the best online tour operator at the British Travel Awards. In 2012, Black Tomato was named in the globally recognized Cool Brands list -- the definitive list on those brands that truly understand, engage and inspire their audience.
3. Marianela Pereyra
Born to professional tango dancers in Buenos Aires, Marianela moved to the United States at the age of 5. In addition to English, she is fluent in Spanish, French and Italian.
Marianela's Best Beaches web series gives the inside scoop on the best beaches in California and Florida. A true adventurer, Marianela gives her unique perspective on some of the most beautiful US coastlines, from the best beaches for dogs and their owners to the best beaches for watching wonderful weirdos. Marianela is willing to try just about anything once, in between perfecting her beach volleyball spike and starting the perfect beach bonfire.
4. Dr. Stephen Leatherman
In addition to his annual top 10 rankings of America's Best Beaches -- which get more than 400 million hits each year -- he has authored over 16 books including "Dr. Beach's Survival Guide: What You Need to Know about Sharks, Rip Currents, & More Before Going in the Water."
A professor at Florida International University in Miami, Dr. Beach recently shot the pilot for the upcoming reality TV series, Buying Beachfront in Palm Beach, FL.
5. Corinne McDermott
A noted family travel expert, Corinne is also a multi-platform writer, editor, producer, and best of all - mom to Megan and Riley. She launched Have Baby Will Travel in 2007, and is a passionate advocate for the value travel brings to everyone in the family. Her kids say “When are we going somewhere?!’ not “Are we there, yet?!”
6. Kwin Mosby
Today, Kwin manages the destinations and interests content on TravelChannel.com. His role as managing producer requires him and his team to monitor the latest travel news and hot travel trends to keep the website and its accompanying The Traveling Type blog relevant.
Kwin has been lucky enough to experience some of the world’s best bed and breakfast inns, budget hotels, high-end hotels and exclusive resorts. When he’s not working, Kwin visits relaxing beach locations, cultural urban epicenters and prime destinations for outdoors enthusiasts such as Costa Rica, Miami, Santorini, Barcelona, New York City, Paris, London and Brazil. Follow Kwin and his adventures @KwinMosby.
7. Valerie Conners
Her work also appears in many online and print publications including, Aol Travel, Skye on Aol, Discovery Channel, World Hum, Frommers Travel Guides, the Boston Globe, the Baltimore Sun and the Philadelphia Inquirer.
She's happiest when eating spicy Thai food, snorkeling with sea turtles in Indonesia and bargaining for bangles in Indian markets. She blogs about her travels at PassengerConners.com.
8. Sara Gilliam
She has eaten her way through Thailand, sailed around the coast of Greece -- and thought she died and went to heaven in Paris (not literally). In addition to travel, she loves smart design, clever headlines and all things pop culture. For Sara's latest adventures and insights follow her @Sara_Gilliam.
9. Ben Breslerman
Ben is also an avid sports fan, music lover and enjoys playing with his 9-year-old Labrador-mix pup, Layla. The top 5 places on Ben's travel bucket list? Prague, Nice, Florence, Santorini and Barcelona.
10. Kathleen Rellihan
A Washington, DC, resident, Kathleen’s “travel” job mainly consists of virtual travel from her desk, but her love for adventure travel has inspired her to sleep in an ice hotel in Quebec, search for the northern lights in Iceland, learn to surf in Costa Rica and give elephants a bath in Thailand.
Kathleen’s next adventure is volunteering as an English teacher in Haiti. And as long as she can control the radio, she’s always ready to hit the open road.
Check out this year's winners hand-picked by our beach experts.