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Thursday Travel Ticker: Best beaches picked

March 08, 2012|By Chris Erskine | Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
  • Beaches in Honolulu finished 5th in the rankings, despite trees and mountain views. The list generally favored barren stretches of sand.
Beaches in Honolulu finished 5th in the rankings, despite trees and mountain… (TripAdvisor )

What do you look for in a beach? Judging by TripAdvisor, most travelers prefer long stretches of sand and not much else. The top finishers in its Travelers’ Choice Beach Destinations awards tend to be rather featureless. Top U.S. beaches, according to reviews by readers: 1. St. Pete Beach, Fla. 2. Miami Beach, Fla., 3. Myrtle Beach, S.C. 4. Virginia Beach, Va., 5. Honolulu. San Diego, at 9th, was the top California finisher . . . . From March 22-30, three-star Michelin chef Pierre Gagnaire returns to his eponymously titled restaurant, Twist by Pierre Gagnaire at Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas . . . .  All drinks are just $1 at selected bars at Cannery Casino, beginning St. Partick’s Day afternoon in Las Vegas . . . . Spirit Airlines and MyAssist are teaming up to provide concierge services to Spirit customers for $9.99. For details, go to www.spirit.com/concierge . . . . The Monterey Jazz Festival holds its annual Next Generation Jazz Festival, March 30-April 1, at the Monterey Conference Center. The event will be open to the public, free of charge . . . . Lake Tahoe’s water clarity improved last year, according to UC Davis scientists, who are reporting a 4.5-foot improvement. Average clarity is now 68.9 feet . . . . TheDailyMeal.com has unveiled its London Olympics 2012 preview. The mega food site offers a sneak peek at the pop-up restaurants, specials and events to look forward to. Click here for details . . . . Caltrans says crews will be placing cable netting on the slope above Highway 1, about 25 miles south of Big Sur on Thursday. Motorists can expect up to 30-minute traffic breaks/delays . . . . Extreme competitions seem to grow more elaborate each year. Participants of the Gladiator Assault Challenge in Lake Geneva., Wis., will battle obstacles such as mud pits, tunnels, barbed wire, snow and fire over a 6.5-mile course March 31-April 1.  For info, click here . . . . Travel quote of the day:  “In Paris they simply stared when I spoke to them in French; I never did succeed in making those idiots understand their own language.” (Mark Twain)

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