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Medium 9781743217702

Santa Catarina

Lonely Planet Lonely Planet ePub

Pop 6.25 million

Life’s a beach. At least in sunny Santa Catarina, which boasts 560km of spectacular coastline. If you like your beach deserted, there is a spot of sand for you in the south of Ilha de Santa Catarina. If you prefer a party scene, head further north on that same island. If you’re all about big surf, it's up in Guarda do Embaú and Praia do Rosa, two absolutely stunning surf villages south of Florianópolis.

Sun and sand aside, the inland regions are also where Santa Catarina exhibits the profound influence of its German ancestry, most evident during Oktoberfest, Blumenau’s huge festival for folk dancing, accordion playing and beer drinking (mostly beer drinking). But the Alpine architecture and fresh-brewed beer are here to enjoy year-round.

Like the other southern states, Santa Catarina enjoys some of Brazil’s highest standards of living, with sound infrastructure and a blonde-haired, blue-eyed population that often feels more European than Latin.

AJan, Feb & Oct Whether Sommerfest or Oktoberfest, Blumenau is awash in beer and brats.

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Medium 9781743215791

Northern Virginia

Lonely Planet Lonely Planet ePub

1Walk around Arlington National Cemetery and you can’t help but be moved: from the Tomb of the Unknowns’ dignified guards; to John F Kennedy’s eternal flame; to the simple white headstones sparkling out in every direction.

2Get lost amid sleek jets and one massive space shuttle in the mammoth hangars of the Steven F Udvar-Hazy Center.

3Cycle the Mount Vernon Trail to Theodore Roosevelt Island, Old Town Alexandria or beyond to George Washington’s estate.

4Take a trip through upper-crust 18th-century society on a tour through the grand Carlyle House.

5Come face to face with the horrors of slavery in the Freedom House Museum.

Safe, green-conscious, well-trimmed and full of surprises. Northern Virginia (NoVa) is DC’s perfect neighbor, just across from the picket fence of the Potomac River. NoVa communities are basically suburbs of Washington, attached via the Metro. We concentrate on the towns of Arlington and Alexandria, which combine crucial capital sites with historic sites, cozy pubs and a buzzing food scene.

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Medium 9781742208770

Disneyland & Disney California Adventure

Lonely Planet Lonely Planet ePub

Mickey is one lucky mouse. Created by animator Walt Disney in 1928, this irrepressible rodent is a multimedia juggernaut, and he lives in the ‘Happiest Place on Earth.’ The land of Disney is a slice of ‘imagineered’ hyper-reality, where the streets are always clean, the park employees – called cast members – are always upbeat, and there’s a parade every day of the year. Even cynics must admit that since opening his home to guests in 1955, he’s been a pretty thoughtful host to millions of blissed-out visitors.

u Anaheim is 25 miles southeast of downtown LA on I-5, exit Disneyland Dr.

d Orange County line from Union Station to Anaheim Regional Transit Intermodal Center, then transfer.

GOOGLE MAP
% 714-781-4565 ; disneyland.disney.go.com ; 1313 Disneyland Dr ; adult/child $99/93, 1-day pass to both parks $155/149 ; c

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Medium 9781743210130

Manly

Lonely Planet Lonely Planet ePub

Laid-back Manly clings to a narrow isthmus between ocean and harbour beaches abutting North Head, Sydney Harbour’s northern gatepost. With its shaggy surfers, dusty labourers and relaxed locals, it makes for a refreshing change from the stuffier harbour suburbs nearby. The surf's good and as the gateway to the Northern Beaches, it makes a popular base for the board-riding brigade.

MJump on the ferry at Circular Quay for the leisurely and extremely beautiful journey to Manly. Before it gets too hot, hire a bike from Manly Bike Tours, grab a map at the visitor centre in front of the wharf, and explore North Head, dropping into the historic former Quarantine Station on the way back. Return the bikes, cool off with a dip at Manly Cove and head to Belgrave Cartel for lunch.

RIt'll take less than an hour to breeze around Manly Art Gallery & Museum. If you're not planning on visiting Darling Harbour's Sydney Aquarium, Manly Sea Life Sanctuary is a trimmed down alternative – plus you can swim with sharks here. Head along the Corso and spend the rest of the day body-surfing and lazing around Manly Beach.

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Medium 9781743215562

Monkey Mia & the Central West

Lonely Planet Lonely Planet ePub

The pristine coastline and sheltered turquoise waters of Malgana country draw tourists and marine life from around the world. Aside from the dolphins of Monkey Mia, the submerged sea-grass meadows of World Heritage–listed Shark Bay host dugongs, rays, sharks and turtles. On land, rare marsupials take refuge in remote national parks, and limestone cliffs, red sand and salt lakes litter a stark interior.

Further south in the land of the Nhanda people, the gorges of Kalbarri invite adventurers to explore their depths, while wildflowers carpet the plains, and ospreys wheel away from battered Indian Ocean cliffs as humpback whales migrate slowly southwards.

Veggies are ripening in Carnarvon as anglers and board riders check the tides, and windsurfers are waiting for the 'Doctor' (strong afternoon sea breeze) to blow. In Geraldton, good cafes, weekend markets and an excellent museum combine with Indian Ocean views along the city's foreshore.

AJun–Aug The winter swells pump the breaks off Gnaraloo and Quobba.

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