Tag Archives: palm trees

My Favorite New Zealand Beach Shots

Beauty sits everywhere you turn in New Zealand, which includes of course whenever you are on a beach. From the Tasman Sea and remote West Coast to the beaches lying just outside the hearts of Christchurch and Auckland, I’ve had the chance to enjoy many grains of sand and beaches along the waters of the “The Land of the Long White Cloud”.

Some of my favorite New Zealand beach shots and experiences are below. Part of the adventure and fun was just in getting to some of the more remote spots. I can never seem to put the camera down and there is almost always no one else around. No matter the weather they are all just as beautiful.

I’ve shared some of these before, with some new and alternate photos mixed in. Who is ready to visit New Zealand and hit up the beach?! Well without further ado:

Okanto Beach along the West Coast - Favorite New Zealand Beach shots

It doesn’t get much more remote than the village of Okanto and this Tasman Sea beach front along the West Coast.

Piha Beach - Favorite New Zealand Beach shots

Looking down at the breathtaking Piha Beach, my favorite Auckland day trip destination.

Sumner Beach in Christchurch - Favorite New Zealand Beach shots

Sumner Beach in Christchurch, a popular spot for locals along the east coast. Volcanic rock dots the landscape.

The Pines Beach, Christchurch - Favorite New Zealand Beach shots

You’ll find wide open beach along Pegasus Bay at The Pines Beach. Christchurch lies off in the distance.

Shakespear Regional Park, Auckland - Favorite New Zealand Beach shots

Out on the open Shakespear Regional Park beach just outside Auckland.

Shakespear Regional Park, Auckland - Favorite New Zealand Beach shots

Get away from the hustle and bustle at Shakespear Regional Park and the Whangaparaoa Peninsula on the North Island.

Bethellls Beach - Favorite New Zealand Beach shots

Admiring the surf and blue waters of Bethells Beach on the North Island.

Bethellls Beach - Favorite New Zealand Beach shots

Walking the volcanic sand of Bethells Beach near Auckland. Watch out for that quick sand!

Beachfront in Wanaka - Favorite New Zealand Beach shots

Walking the early morning Wanaka beachfront along Lake Wanaka.

Opoutere Beach - Favorite New Zealand Beach shots

No one else around on the east coast of the Coromandel Peninsula at Opoutere Beach

Queenstown beach, Lake Wakatipu - Favorite New Zealand Beach shots

Starring out at the turquoise waters of Lake Wakatipu, along the beach in Downtown Queenstown.

Opoutere Beach - Favorite New Zealand Beach shots

Looking out into the Pacific Ocean and Hikunui Island from Opoutere Beach.

Where have some of your favorite photos come from in your time on New Zealand beaches?

Enjoying the Gulf Coast Day at Clearwater Beach.

Miles of sugar white sand with the turquoise Gulf of Mexico waters on one side and an award-winning Florida beach town on the other, that’s Clearwater Beach.

Approaching the beach all that separates you from the sand are scores of palm trees.

Clearwater Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico #LoveFL

Clearwater Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico #LoveFL

Clearwater Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico #LoveFL

Clearwater Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico #LoveFL

We avoided the crowds and parking issues that can arise, by visiting on a weekday right after a holiday. Yes it is a popular tourist spot, but for good reason. ๐Ÿ™‚ We were hooked as soon as the car went into park.

Clearwater Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico #LoveFL

Clearwater Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico #LoveFL

Amongst the heart of the beachfront is Pier 60. Across its length you’ll find a souvenir shop and a lot of fisherman. In the evening it’s the place to be as “Sunsets at Pier 60” takes over. You’ll find street performers, music and people selling gifts every day as the sun is setting over the gulf.

Clearwater Beach, Florida, Pier 60 #LoveFL

It was hot and humid with the sun coming down directly on us. That’s par for the course on a summer day in Florida. We managed to score some $1 waters and spent some time hiding under palm trees and in shops to cool down. They do have beach umbrellas available for rent as well as chairs.

Tip: Another option for cooling down is to look for the turtle statues. They all sit up-top the showers just off the beach used to clean the salt and sand off. The icy cold waters also make for a great way to cool down in a hurry.

Whether we were on the pier or beach, a beautiful view always stood in front of us. I’ll let the rest of the pictures tell the story. Anyone game for some bungee trampoline jumping?!

Clearwater Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico #LoveFL

Clearwater Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico #LoveFL

Clearwater Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico #LoveFL

Clearwater Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico #LoveFL

Clearwater Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico #LoveFL

Clearwater Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico #LoveFL

Clearwater Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico #LoveFL

Clearwater Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico #LoveFL

Clearwater Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico #LoveFL

Clearwater Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico #LoveFL

Clearwater Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico #LoveFL

Clearwater Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico #LoveFL

Clearwater Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico #LoveFL

Clearwater Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico #LoveFL

Make sure to make the short trip over to Clearwater Beach if your going to be around Tampa and St. Petersburg.

There is more to Clearwater Beach then just hanging on the sand and pier. Stay tuned for stories on some of the fun we had on the water that day.

What other beaches would you recommend checking out along the gulf coast of Florida?

Florida: The Sunsets of St. Pete Beach.

No matter the evening, viewing a sunset on St. Pete Beach along the Florida Gulf Coast is magical. The beach, sand, palm trees, Gulf of Mexico and other beach goers in combo make for a romantic and beautiful setting every time. A great spot for honeymoon! ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ll let the pictures from various summer evenings do all the talking.

St. Pete Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico, beach, sunset

St. Pete Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico, beach, sunset

St. Pete Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico, beach, sunset

St. Pete Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico, beach, sunset

St. Pete Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico, beach, sunset

St. Pete Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico, beach, sunset

St. Pete Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico, beach, sunset

St. Pete Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico, beach, sunset

St. Pete Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico, beach, sunset

St. Pete Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico, beach, sunset

St. Pete Beach, Florida, Gulf of Mexico, beach, sunset

Where are your favorite spots, either around home or that you’ve come across in your travels, to capture a sunrise/sunset over and over and over again?

Silicon Valley: A Walk Around Stanford.

It was cool, early weekday morning recently in Silicon Valley and I was enjoying a coffee at Philz Coffee in Palo Alto. I was looking for a place to continue enjoying my coffee and venture around on foot before getting to work. What better place than at one of the best schools in the United States, Stanford University.

Upon arriving I was immediately in front of Hoover Tower. Standing at 285-feet tall and prominent throughout campus, the tower is named after the former president Herbert Hoover. It houses the appropriately named Hoover Institution Library and Archives.

Stanford University, California, Hoover Tower

Stanford University, California, Hoover Tower

Stanford University, California, Hoover Tower

There is an observation deck up-top, for a nominal fee, where you can get panoramic views of the campus, Palo Alto and beyond. On a good weather day you can see the San Francisco skyline. It was too early on this day for me to go up. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Stanford University, California, Hoover Tower

Since I was out on the open campus sidewalks in the early morning, there were only a few students, facility and visitors around.

Stanford University, California

Stanford University, California

My feet took me to the The Oval Flowers, headlined by the cardinal ‘S’. The school nickname is the Cardinal and they are very successful athletically, even with their tough academic standards. Being American football season I was (and still am) thinking about their season ending game with rival Notre Dame. Go Stanford!

Stanford University, California

Stanford University, California

Across the street from The Oval is Memorial Court and within…

Stanford University, California

…are independent casts of Auguste Rodin’s The Burghers of Calais. The sculptures sit near the entrance to the Main Quad with the first casts still sitting in Calais, France. You’ll find others placed around the world.

Stanford University, California. The Burghers of Calais

Walking through the Memorial Arch and out of the court, I was now in the Main Quad and in front of the Stanford Memorial Church. The church sitting within the center of the university was built by one of the co-founders of the university, Jane Stanford. It’s called “the University’s architectural crown jewel”.

Stanford University, California, Memorial Church

Stanford University, California, Memorial Church

I loved walking through and by the outdoor, column-lined hallways surrounding Memorial Court.

Stanford University, California

Stanford University, California

It being Silicon Valley and California, while walking around I looked up quite a bit at the beautiful palm trees that populated the landscape.

Stanford University, California, palm trees

Stanford University, California, palm trees

Stanford University, California, palm trees

Stanford University, California, palm trees

What a beautiful morning it was walking around one of the most prestigious universities in the world. I’ll be on the lookout for that next opportunity to walk around a scenic college campus.

Stanford University, California, Hoover Tower

Checkout the Philz Coffee deliciousness I enjoyed in Palo Alto on that morning.

What colleges and universities would you recommend going for a walk through?

Silicon Valley: Lunch at a Techie Conference.

Last summer I was at a techie conference in the heart of Silicon Valley in California. It was lunch time and people were eating, calling work or home, mingling, smoking and/or checking e-mail. With travel always on the mind and a camera in the bag I was thinking what can I take pictures of outside. It’s not everyday I’m in Silicon Valley with palm trees.

I walked outside of the hotel and conference onto Great American Parkway in Santa Clara and I had my answer. Time to follow the signs to the interstate which was a few blocks away.

Silicon Valley, California, U.S. Highway 101 Interstate

U.S. Route 101 to be exact. This route runs right through the heart of the valley and is what many people think of when they think of driving in the area. I approached the southbound entrance ramp towards San Francisco which was about 45 miles away.

Silicon Valley, California, U.S. Highway 101 Interstate

Silicon Valley, California, U.S. Highway 101 Interstate

Gotta grab the signage closeups.

Silicon Valley, California, U.S. Highway 101 Interstate

There she is, the interstate.

Silicon Valley, California, U.S. Highway 101 Interstate

I’m in the middle of the overpass now with a straight shot of northbound U.S. Route 101. The interstate is famous for its traffic backups during peak times, but everyone’s moving right along at this hour.

Silicon Valley, California, U.S. Highway 101 Interstate

Across the overpass now, I’ve reached the northbound entrance ramp going towards San Jose.

Silicon Valley, California, U.S. Highway 101 Interstate

Silicon Valley, California, U.S. Highway 101 Interstate

It’s California so there are going to be palm trees everywhere. Interstate on- and off-ramps were no exception.

Silicon Valley, California, U.S. Highway 101 Interstate

Silicon Valley, California, U.S. Highway 101 Interstate

How do you get good shot of the blue skies straight into the sun? Have a palm tree help you out!

Silicon Valley, California, U.S. Highway 101 Interstate

Heading back across the overpass I captured a shot of southbound U.S. Route 101 heading towards San Jose.

Silicon Valley, California, U.S. Highway 101 Interstate

You can see a straight on view of U.S. Route 101 heading towards the south in Photo of the Week: U.S. Route 101 in Silicon Valley.

It was time to head back. I managed to grab some food and do some mingling as well at lunch, but the walk over to the interstate definitely hit the spot and gave my camera and the traveler in me some time too.