The Zoos of New York

While some might like to argue that New York City is one big zoo, others might prefer the more traditional understanding of the term and head out to some of New York’s spectacular animal homes. As being one of the greatest cities in the world, it should come as no surprise that it’s zoos are also some of the best.

The Central Park Zoo in Manhattan, is my most favorite place on earth. It’s definitely one of the smaller zoos on my list, but it’s hidden, surprising location, in the middle of the Big Apple, makes it a sort of ironic, quaint, and extremely happy place. Adults on their lunch breaks, kids on field trips, and idle New York wanderers like myself, come to the Central Park Zoo as a sort of Mecca from bustling city life. One second you’re in Times Square, the busiest spot in the country, and the next second, you’re in Africa, or the South Pole, or China! It’s pretty spectacular.

I grew up in Queens, so I have a special affinity towards the Queens Zoo. There’s also the bear habitat there. It the only zoo in New York to host the endangered bears of the Andes Mountains. The Staten Island Zoo is probably the least exciting for me, but does have a petting zoo which I know grabs the attention of the younger crowd. Prospect Park Zoo is the newest of the zoos and you can really tell with its modern (and very humane) naturalistic habitat exhibits.

Last but not least, is the Bronx Zoo, a huge zoo and a fantastic zoo. My favorite exhibit is the indoor acre large rain forest. It’s truly breathtaking!

Ok, so maybe I know a bit too much about zoos. I’ve been a zoo-goer since my own first class trip to the Queen’s Zoo, and now, as a third grade teacher, I bring kids myself to all the zoos in New York City. I have enough stories to fill a book! Maybe I’ll write a book!

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Top 10 East Coast Beaches (not including Florida)

I just got back from a WHIRLWIND of a vacation! As a graduation present to ourselves, 2 of my best friends and I packed a car with plenty of bathing suits and went on an East Coast tour of all the beaches we can find. We brought a tent and sometimes camped out by the water and sometimes were lucky enough to know friends in the area who let us crash on their couches. Occasionally we splurged on cheap motels. Needless to say, we had an amazing time. Here are some of our highlights:

Hampton Beach in New Hampshire was one of our top picks. The Hampton Beach pier has great food and games. The beach is wide. The waters are clear. And we caught a great concert at the Seashell Amphitheater. Before heading out of New England, we stopped at one of Rhode Island’s greatest beaches, Misquamicut State Beach We went for a quick swim, boogie boarded, and then continued on our way. It was a short visit, but somehow won us over with its clean waters and pretty sands.

Further down the coast is Manhattan Beach on Coney Island in Brooklyn New York. Coney Island as a whole is packed and kinda kitschy, but Manhattan Beach is a bit more remote, affordable, and quiet. It’s also just a quick subway ride away from Manhattan, so we counted that as a huge perk. Before we left New York, we swung by South Beach on Staten Island and did some fishing—and caught a few fish!

A few hours drive down the coast brought us to Ocean City Beach, an extremely lively place where we tried our luck (successfully!) at windsurfing. And then an even longer drive down to Wrightsville Beach in North Carolina. This one was actually my favorite, which came as a shock since I had never even heard of it before. It was just so serene and so beautiful. As was Hatteras Island Beach, a magical little place that just screamed relaxation! Another North Carolina island beach we loved was Ocracoke Island Beach, a quaint place that requires a lovely ferry ride to reach it’s pretty banks.

Next was everyone else’s favorite, Myrtle Beach in South Carolina, which for me ranks at a close second. It was just FUN. First of all, we ran into people we knew and ended up staying at this HUGE beach house. The nightlife at Myrtle Beach is fantastic and the weather was perfect. We spent 4 days here which was longer than our stays at any of our other stops.

Before heading back up the coast, we decided to dip into Georgia to catch a Gulf Coast beach, our favorite being Tybee Island Beach, an oasis in that Georgia heat.

We stretched our 3 week trip into 4 and came back home feeling relaxed, looking great, and ready to face the real world! We all agree that these beaches sort of changed our lives—helped us make that transition from one stage of life to another. Anyone who says that a beach is a just beach, needs to check out these 10—who knows, maybe your life will change too!

Take a look at this lovely video I found on YouTube
It shows the beuty of Coney Island Beach:

The Vacationer presents : Video by Rpenni

Related posts » Valentine Vacation Getaways, Best WiFi Beaches in Southern California, The Pier in Atlantic Beach, North Carolina

Traveling to Work

So I’m back at work. The subway ride on the L and then the 4 was atrocious as usual. Thousands of us workers and commuters jammed into the New York Metro and it just never ends. My trip to Yosemite didn’t last long, but don’t worry I’m already planning another escape. My online travel planner has been really helpful and hopefully this job I’m doing will end soon and I’ll be able to leave another trip before I have to start another job–the value of temping!

I can breathe in Yosemite

Its been a fun few days at Yosemite Lodge. I found it using my trip planner. Now I’m about to head back to New York and back to the stress machine known as work. It was fun swimmming at the lodge’s pool and chatting with some of the other guests. I went on some hikes in the park, but mostly relaxed and read with the beautiful scenery around me. I’ve been reading a book on finding the perfect match–a book on finding one’s soul mate. I don’t think its been working since nothing has shown up here in Yosemite, but I really didn’t come here for that sort of thing, just wanted to get away. Anyway I’ll write when I get back to NYC.