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Beach Tomato's Top 5 City Beaches

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Expert advice from our friends at Beach Tomato: The perfect beach isn't always about undiscovered sands in far-away places. Sometimes, tucked in the most frenetic of cityscapes there's that paradisiacal pocket of bliss. The urban buzz makes the sands come alive—for after-work sundowners, to do your morning workout, or to meet friends as the weekend arrives. As coastal capitals the world-over show us, beach-life and city-life can go hand in hand. Here are our favorite city beaches right now:

1. Hat Jomtien near Bangkok, Thailand
A 90-minute taxi ride from downtown Bangkok drops you in the upbeat beach town of Hat Jomtien. Just a few km south of its big brassy sister Pattaya, Jomtien feels a world away. The vibe is calmer and the waters clearer, attracting a host of water-sporties and in particular windsurfers who ride on the light coastal breezes. A long, straight stretch of sand with plenty of shade it has all essential elements of a typical Thai beach town. Without the go-go bars.

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Guess Where? Coastal Town

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As a heat wave is melting New York, I'm day-dreaming of this gorgeous coastal town where the average summer high hovers just below 70. Can you guess where this is?

Log in and leave your guesses below and check back on Monday for the answer.

UPDATE 7/25/11: We stumped you this time! Some people guessed Monterey on our Facebook page. They were close, but not quite right. This is Carmel Bay in California. If you look closely, you can see the golf course at Pebble Beach in the upper left corner.

Lyndsey Matthews is an online editorial assistant at Travel + Leisure.

Photo by Lyndsey Matthews

Coastlines + Beach Photo Contest Voting Open!

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T+L Editors have picked the Top 10 semi-finalists for the Coastlines and Beaches photo contest, and now it's up to you to vote for the winner! Will it be this lovely shot of Santa Monica's boardwalk at twilight? Or one of the other semi-finalists? Click here to vote for the one you think deserves to win.

You have until July 31, 2011 to make your opinion count, so vote now and vote often! The winner will receive Elgato: EyeTV HD and publication in Travel + Leisure.

We also just launched a new round of photo contest categories, so if you missed this round you can still submit your photos here to win such prizes as a Zumi Triple Plus Camera (courtesy of Photojojo), an ONA Camera Bag, or even the Grand Prize trip to South Africa, courtesy of South African Airways and partners.


Lyndsey Matthews is an online editorial assistant at Travel + Leisure.

TODAY Show: T+L 2011 World's Best Winners!

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

What are the best hotels in the world? Travel + Leisure's features director, Nilou Motamed, shares the winners of this year's annual World's Best survey. Plus, our readers also weigh in on the best cities, cruises, famiy travel, and more. Find a complete list of award-winners here, and start planning your next vacation today!

Ritz-Carlton for $10 a night. No, really.

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Yep, just 1 Alexander Hamilton can get you a room at Florida’s Ritz-Carlton, Key Biscayne. Of course, we didn’t say there wasn’t a catch. Actually, there are several, so listen up: the Ritz has set aside only 10 rooms for this ridiculous rate; it’s available over selected dates in July (5-7, 10-13, 18, 25, 26); it’s a resort-view room (you want to see water for $10?); and to get one, there’s just a 4-hour window in which to make your reservation—this Friday, June 10, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. EST. Here’s the magic number to call: 305-365-4582.

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Beach Tomato Names Its Top 5 Favorite European Beaches

SPECIAL REPORT: With summertime now in full stride, UK-based Beach Tomato has announced its list of favorite European beaches. Check out its expert picks for the best southernly stretches of sand around:

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1. Cala Boix, Ibiza
On the sleepy side of the Balearic island, just outside the typically Ibizan whitewashed village of San Carlos is a little known black-sanded beach popular with local families and off-the-clock DJs seeking respite from the thud thud thud of Ibiza’s glamorous beach clubs. Pack a picnic and that book you’ve been meaning to read since Christmas. Then, at sundown, hop a couple of beaches over to dine at the waterfront beach shack El Bigote. The seafood supper (think fresh daily catches) served here is an island institution.

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TODAY Show: Secret Island Escapes

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

T+L Features Director Nilou Motamed shares her pick of the best island escapes, including Southport Island, Maine, and Caye Caulker, Belize.

TODAY Show: Affordable Beach Getaways You’ll Love

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

This time of year, there’s nothing more tantalizing than a sunny getaway. Or is there? Sure, a bungalow on the beach sounds great, but what if you could stay there for less than $250 a night? T+L Features Editor Nilou Motamed shares her tips for where to soak up the rays—and save.

Want more? Check out our slideshow of all 30 of T+L’s picks for best affordable beach resorts right now.

Vacationist: Charleston + London + Belize

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Dear Vacationist,

In our opinion the only thing better than daydreaming about escaping the winter doldrums this time of year, is actually planning a trip—and of course, shaking off cabin fever in an exciting new locale. Good thing this week's featured hotel destinations offer something for everyone—history and charm in Charleston, big city sophistication in London, and a tropical escape in Ambergris Caye, Belize. Read on for details.

Not a member? Join here.

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Are Red Sea Shark Attacks on the Rise?

Mentioning Jaws is de rigueur whenever a shark attack draws headlines. For this weekend's fatal incident in Egypt, however, the reference actually makes sense. Having already caught two sharks in the area of earlier (non-fatal) attacks, authorities assumed the coast was clear. Now they're worried that more attacks are in their future. AOL Travel explains:

Authorities in Egypt gave the all clear, thinking they had caught the killer shark that had severely injured four tourists in a Red Sea resort area. They were wrong. And now an elderly German woman is dead from a shark attack.
The most recent attack occurred just a day after beaches were reopened in Sharm el-Sheikh, a resort town on the Sinai Peninsula, popular with divers and snorkelers.
The incident is drawing comparison to the storyline of the movie "Jaws," in which the mayor makes the wrong decision in the wake of a shark attack.
The woman was swimming off Sharm el-Sheikh when the shark tore off her arm, according to Egyptian officials. Witnesses reported hearing the victim screaming. She was killed almost immediately.
"It was definitely a shark attack," says Hesham Gabar, the head of Egypt's Chamber of Diving and Water Sports.
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