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I’ve visited lots of aquariums, or as I like to call them — indoor oceans — but never one located inside a bright turquoise glass-windowed pyramid! A total of 1.5 million gallons of saltwater exhibits are contained within the 10-story aquarium, including ocean life from the Atlantic, Pacific and Caribbean. It is the largest more »

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While no trip to Memphis would be complete without paying a visit to the home of the King of Rock ‘n Roll, this city has a lot to offer beyond Graceland. Of course, much of it is still related to the mark Elvis Presley made after moving with his family to Memphis…

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It had been 15 years since I entered the gates of Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee. This year, 2017, the 40th anniversary of Elvis Presley’s passing on August 16, 1977, the timing was right to return.

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Yes, my home state of Indiana has beaches! My article on the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and State Park entitled “Beaches and Beyond,” which showcases the beauty of Lake Michigan’s shoreline, was published in the Hoosier edition of AAA Home & Away magazine’s July/August 2017 issue. I’ll be adding a new Destination Page on more »

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As a SCUBA diver for more than two decades, one of my favorite places to be is underwater exploring a coral reef, swimming among colorful schools of fish. When that’s not possible, visiting an aquarium like the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores is an excellent alternative.

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Oceans. I’ve been in love with the ocean from the first time I saw the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico in Florida. Since then, I’ve spent a lot of time in, on or under the Caribbean Sea as a scuba diver, as well as the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and the Mediterranean Sea. When I learned there is an annual World Oceans Day, I wanted to do my part to spread the word.

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Wide beaches and wild horses await visitors to North Carolina’s Cape Lookout National Seashore, covering more than 50 miles on three undeveloped barrier islands off its central shore.

Access to the national park, which is a part of the Southern Outer Banks, often referred to as the Crystal Coast, is only by commercial ferry or private boat.

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“The New, All-Inclusive Hyatt Ziva Cancun: A Welcome Addition to Cancun’s Hotel Zone,” my article posted on JohnnyJet.com, received Finalist honors in the 2016 (NATJA) North American Travel Journalists Association’s awards competition. The category was Special Focus Travel Articles – Internet: Resorts. This awards competition, now in its 25th year, honors the “best of more »

A look back at 2016 travels banner

Springtime is a glorious time of year to visit California’s central coast. I spent the first nine days of April 2016 in a roughly 200-mile area within Ventura and San Luis Obispo Counties, venturing as far north as Paso Robles…

Mopion Islet, Grenadines

Mopion islet. I discovered it in 2004 after surfacing from a dive on the surrounding coral reefs, and snapped this photograph that has become one of my all-time favorites. It was only after…

A look back at 2016 travels banner

For those of us who love to travel, looking back at the memories we’ve made in places outside our home territory is a way to extend the pleasure of the experiences we’ve had. It also helps to reinvigorate the sense of wanderlust we feel for seeking out new destinations to explore in the year to come. I hope you’ll enjoy this retrospective of my travels in the past year.

Ever since a Chico’s store opened in my hometown of Evansville, IN, in the early 2000s, my wardrobe has increasingly been filled with Chico’s clothing and accessories. I am truly a Chico’s girl! The classic styling with just enough trendiness to not be boring and stodgy suits me, and many of my Chico’s pieces more »

Thinking of booking a cruise of the Greek Isles that leaves from Athens? If so, you should plan to arrive a day before the ship departs from Piraeus port for a couple of reasons. Most importantly, you don’t want to miss the ship, due to unforeseen circumstances, like a flight delay or cancellation. And you don’t want to miss experiencing the high points of this amazing ancient city.

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Learn more “About Me” in a new interview posted on Anda Galffy’s site, TravelNotesandBeyond.com: Click Here: Interview – Debbra Dunning Brouillette – Tropical Travel Girl I’ve introduced myself here on Tropical Travel Girl on the About Me page, but if you would like to get to know me even better, you may wish to more »

Serendipity: the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.

What were the chances… “You’re going to Santorini when?” My husband and I had booked our Windstar cruise of the Greek Isles and two weeks before we were to leave, I found out that a couple from my hometown — very good friends that I’d known most of my life — were going to be staying on Santorini the same week we would be visiting from our ship.

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Thinking of traveling to Cancun? The all-inclusive resort, the Hyatt Ziva Cancun, is worthy of adding to your list! My blog post about this special place, posted on Johnny Jet’s website – johnnyjet.com, several months ago, will give you a full report on its rooms, restaurants and activities.

Scuba diving to a soundtrack of tunes like Jimmy Buffet’s “Fins” and the Beatles’ “Octopus’s Garden” was a first for me. Typically, the only sounds I hear underwater are the sounds of my own breathing, in and out through the regulator, as I fin along the reef.

“Stow Away,” my article on a Star Clippers Mediterranean cruise, published in the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram, received Finalist honors in the 2015 Awards Competition of the North American Travel Journalists Association (NATJA). The category was Special Focus Travel Articles – Print: Cruises. The cruise departed from Mallorca, one of the Balearic Islands off the more »

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While the focal point of Morro Bay, California, is Morro Rock, one of nine extinct volcanic peaks found along the central coast, the sea life in the bay itself is what attracted me most on a recent visit. Along with a group of fellow travel writers, I boarded Sub Sea Tours’ SSV Seaview, a more »

AnneMcAlpinTropicalBlog-Featured

Anne McAlpin, nationally known packing expert and author of Pack it Up: Travel Smart, Pack Light, travels more than 100 days a year and averages 12 flights each month. She has visited 78 countries on six continents, including lots of tropical islands. In a recent interview she shared specific tips on what to pack more »

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I have strolled through many museums, admiring artwork and sculptures from renowned artists, but my visit to an underwater museum, outfitted in SCUBA gear, was a first for me. Last July, my husband and I visited Grenada’s Underwater Sculpture Park during our stay at the all-inclusive, Sandals LaSource Grenada and found it to be more »

Swimming with whale sharks, the largest fish in the sea, had been on my bucket list for years. On August 18, 2015, my dream was fulfilled, just a few days after my birthday. It was a belated birthday gift worth waiting for, but it didn’t come easily, as you’ll read in my article, published more »

Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge

While Sanibel Island, Florida, is perhaps best known for its world-class shelling, it is also the location of the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge Complex — the largest undeveloped mangrove ecosystem in the U.S.  Covering over 6,400 acres, it attracts over 245 bird species and is famous worldwide for its spectacular migratory bird more »

It’s not every day that you get to walk the beach with a “shellebrity.” Pam Rambo, shelling expert extraordinaire, based on Sanibel Island, Florida, graciously agreed to meet up with me, along with my husband, Stephen, when we were on vacation in Sanibel in early January.