Hipmunk Hotels: Snorkeling and Scuba Diving in Half Moon Bay, Bora Bora, and More

Sponsored post in partnership with Hipmunk. All opinions are my own. 

Photo by Pino Moreau via Trover.com

Admiring the ocean from the sand might be relaxing, but nothing beats strapping on some fins and swimming with the fishes. If you love snorkeling or scuba diving, here are five destinations that should be on your radar.

Fort Myers, Florida

You don’t have to swim far past the shore in Fort Myers to catch a view of plenty of fish, crabs and more, but if you really want to experience the diverse marine life in the area, you’ll want to hop aboard a boat and venture out to deeper waters. Seahorses, turtles and even sharks await just a few miles from the shore. If you’re new to scuba diving, there are a number of great tour companies that can help you get started with your diving certification.

West Palm Beach, Florida

West Palm Beach’s reefs are just a short catamaran ride from the shore. This is one of state’s best spots for snorkeling. Not only is the reef itself a sight to behold, just wait until you meet the residents. As you swim through the clear blue water, you’ll find yourself face to face with everything from stingrays to graceful sea turtles. There are few places in the United States where snorkelers can experience such a variety of sea life.

Half Moon Bay, California

There are so many beautiful beaches to explore at Half Moon Bay, you may never get out of the water. Half Moon Bay is located along the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, a spectacular unspoiled stretch of protected marine areas. Because the area is protected, it’s bursting with a variety of marine life just below the water’s surface. After you’re ready to hang up for fins for the day, recount that day’s adventures over a glass of wine at one of the many wineries in the area.

Bora Bora, French Polynesia

Bora Bora is known for being one of the most beautiful island destinations in the world. What’s surprising is the number of travelers who visit Bora Bora, only to experience her crystal blue water from a lounge chair. A trip to Bora Bora is not complete without taking some time to explore the lagoon. Hundreds of tropical fish in every color of the rainbow await you as well as manta rays and reef sharks. You’ll be hard pressed to find water as crystal clear as in Bora Bora, making this one of the world’s best destinations for snorkeling and diving.

Nassau, Bahamas

If you’re looking for underwater adventure in the Bahamas, look no further than Nassau Paradise Island. Nassau is just as breathtaking below the water’s surface is it above. It’s unique location between the Tongue of the Ocean and shallows of the Great Bahama Bank have made Nassau an exceptional destination for snorkelers and divers alike. Here you can explore shipwrecks, coral reefs and the famous Lost Blue Hole, a 200 foot wide natural opening in the ocean floor.

Hipmunk Hotels: Hiking Destinations in the West (Missoula, Glenwood Springs, and More)

Sponsored post on behalf of Hipmunk. All opinions are my own. 

Photo by Steven Hirsch via Trover.com

Not every traveler is looking to spend their vacation laying out on a lounge chair by the beach. If you never pack for a vacation without including your hiking boots, these lesser explored cities might be for you.

Missoula, Montana

The mountains surrounding Missoula are full of hidden gems. For an easy trek, head to Riverfront Trail, a flat paved path that runs along the Clark Fork River. This trail is easily accessible from the University of Montana and Downtown Missoula. If you’re a UM fan, you will want to add a hike up Mount Sentinel’s “M” Trail on your itinerary. Although it’s a only about a ¾ mile climb to the mountain’s signature “M,” the trail is steep and a bit challenging.

Traveling with your four-legged friend? Check out the Blue Mountain Recreation Area for 2 miles of beautiful views of Missoula Valley’s large meadows. Just be warned — you will be sharing this trail with horses and mountain bikers.

Moab, Utah

There are almost too many must-hike trails in Moab to mention, ranging from easy strolls to challenging day-hikes. Many travelers come to Moab to admire its famous sandstone arches from afar, but this destination is heaven to true hiking enthusiasts looking to explore the park the national park a little bit deeper.

Fresno, California

Fresno is home to a number of great hiking trails. Coalinga Mineral Springs National Recreation Trail is challenging but not punishing, making it a great option for novice hikers. Once you’ve made your way up the series of switchbacks on this 2.24-mile hike, you’ll be rewarded with some wonderful views. For more ambitious hikers, Clovis Rail Trail offers a challenging 13-mile route between Fresno and Clovis. Still not challenging enough? Fresno is also home to the John Muir Trail, a 211 mile long route that runs from Yosemite Valley to Mt. Whitney.

Oakland, California

Visitors to the city of Oakland who want to avoid the mobs of tourists at nearby Muir Woods will be happy to know that they can still enjoy the redwoods without the crowds. Redwood Regional Park is home to plenty of the regal redwood trees that people flock to see over at Muir Woods. Take a walk down the Stream Trail where you can enjoy panoramic views of rolling hills and grazing cattle. If you come at the right time of year, you’ll be welcomed by a sea of blooming California poppies that paint the landscape in their signature sunburst orange color. This East Bay gem is home to over a dozen different routes that range in difficulty, but all offer the same fantastic views.

Glenwood Springs, Colorado

The great thing about hiking the many trails in Glenwood Springs is that each has it’s own unique charm. From paved pathways to steep mountain climbs, there is something for every level of hiker in this beautiful Colorado destination.

Wake Up In The City That Never Sleeps: New York’s Best Boutique Hotels

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Sponsored post on behalf of Hipmunk. All opinions are my own.  Photo via Andrew on Trover.com. If you want to wake up in the City That Never Sleeps, you’ll need to find the perfect New York City hotel. Here are five boutique hotels that won’t break the bank located near New York’s most popular attractions. […]

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The Best Boutique Hotels for a Costa Mesa Getaway

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Sponsored post on behalf of Hipmunk. All opinions are my own.  Photo via Charles Arcundi on Trover.com. Sun, surf, whale watching, Costa Mesa has it all. If your family is looking for the ultimate Southern California experience, look no further than Costa Mesa. Not only does it offer close proximity to popular beaches, but it […]

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