PITTSTON TWP. — A new charter flight from the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport will whisk vacationers nonstop to Freeport in the Bahamas and back beginning in September.
Operated by Regional Sky, the initial flight will leave the airport at 9:30 a.m. on Sept. 19 and return Sept. 23 at 6 p.m. Travelers will be able to purchase flight-only tickets for $552 or a flight and four-night vacation package starting at $977.
Atlantic Ocean shore at Atlantic City, New Jersey (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Before we do anything, let’s address the giant elephant in the room – and we’re not talking about Lucy of Margate.
Nearly seven months ago, Sandy wrought devastation on the Jersey Shore like never before: The largest Atlantic storm on record created more than $30 billion in damage up and down the state’s 127-mile coastline. More than 346,000 structures were damaged or destroyed when Sandy whipped across the state on Oct. 29.
Some of the places that held memories so dear for many of us – beaches, homes, boardwalks, piers, shops, amusements, and restaurants – got washed away. We wondered whether we’d have the chance to enjoy our beloved Shore again.
Well, just as surely as the air and sand and sea will be delightfully warm again, there will be plenty to celebrate this summer. There are still dozens of great destinations and plenty of fun at the Shore this year.
NEW YORK — Superstorm Sandy shifted the sands of the New Jersey shore‘s summer rental landscape, where some resort towns are suffering lasting effects of the barrage and others are, as they say, cleaning up.
Summer rentals are a backbone of the tourist season along the 127-mile stretch of coastline and barrier islands, where vacationers flock to the beaches and boardwalks that are convenient to New York and Philadelphia and more affordable than the celebrity-studded Hamptons on New York’s Long Island.
Some 59 million people visited the Jersey Shore last year, according to state figures.
In Ocean County alone, which is one of the four shore counties and boasts of 44 miles of coastline, the population typically doubles in the summer months to 1.2 million. In some of its small towns, the population grows ten-fold in the summer, according to county statistics.
Kites on the Ocean City, New Jersey beach at 12th Street (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Along with the usual water ice, greasy pizza, and tubes of sunscreen, the unofficial first weekend of summer was marked by a new arrival this year at the Jersey Shore: 175,000 cubic yards of concrete.
It didn’t arrive all at once, of course, but the concrete — the Route 52 causeway bridge — is now a finished product and represents a major feat of engineering. The bridge stretches more than two miles from Somers Point on the mainland to the barrier island of Ocean City, able to accommodate 40,000 cars a day.
The construction techniques to erect such a structure have long been standard in the industry, one of them tracing its roots to a historic 1950 overpass in Philadelphia. But the sheer scope of this new bridge, a $400 million project overseen by the New Jersey Department of Transportation, was unusual.
Florida International University professor Steven Leatherman, aka Dr. Beach, has released his first Great Lake Beaches list. Leatherman has been ranking U.S.beaches for 21 years. This year he decided to expand his list to include non-ocean beaches. Leatherman has received countless emails over the years from fans of Great Lakes beaches to include them.
Leatherman received 30 nominations for best Great Lakes beaches. The winners were:
Sleeping Bear Dunes, Michigan
Presque Isle State Park, Erie
Sand Point Beach, Michigan
Bayfield Beach, Ontario
Oak Street Beach, Chicago
To learn more about Dr. Beach and see the ocean beach list, click here:
Presque Isle State Park is a natural wonder. The seven mile peninsula includes 11 primary swimming areas, hiking, biking, kayaking and fishing, lighthouses, the Perry Monument and the Gull Point wildlife preserve (bird watching). Presque Isle is accessible from the city of Erie by a paved road which runs through most of the park. At the entrance to the park is the Tom Ridge Environmental Center (great for kids and adults). It’s an amazing place!
Being that the summer travel months are upon us and because I support all things Pennsylvania, I have added a generous number of links to Convention/Visitor websites across the state. It is a representative sampling of travel destinations across our 67 counties and is not meant to be a complete list.
With the state of the economy and gas prices being higher than we would all like, I invite you to consider vacationing in Pennsylvania. The diversity of our state is truly amazing.
The new links are found on the right side of the home page (you will need to scroll down as the links are in alphabetical order, by category).