I've been having such a wonderful time sharing all the meals from my Israel trip with you. While the focus of my vacation posts has been food, today I wanted to talk about the multitude of other things Tel Aviv offers that make it such an incredible destination.
First, the beach. The beaches in Tel Aviv have soft sand that cushions your feet as you walk, the water is warm and welcoming and the waves are perfect for paddle boarding. All along the beach is a boardwalk where people run, walk their dogs and ride bikes. There is also a walking path above the boardwalk that runs between the beach and a gorgeous public park.
How beautiful is this?
The shoreline of Tel Aviv has numerous beaches and each one has its own personality. You can tell a lot about person by which beach is his or her favorite.
I'll tell you which beach I wanted to be on . . . the dog beach! There is an entire section of the Tel Aviv beach just for people and their pooches.
One thing that's distinct about Tel Aviv's beaches is the sound. No matter which beach you sit on, along the water line pairs and pairs of people will be playing matkot (paddle ball).
The sound of all the racquets smacking balls back and forth creates this hilarious chorus and energy. I took several videos because I knew people wouldn't believe it unless they heard it.
In addition to the beaches, Tel Aviv also has many pretty streets for strolling. My personal favorite is Ben Gurion Blvd. In the center of the bustling street is a pedestrian walkway that has benches beneath the shade of the trees, a bike lane and plenty of dogs.
It reminds me of Commonwealth Avenue in Back Bay.
At the end of the pedestrian portion of the street there is a juice bar called Tamara. It always has a line. It's kind of like Shake Shack in Madison Square Park, waiting in line is part of the experience.
In the past few days I've talked a lot about the restaurants my family ate at, but I never mentioned one of the other cool things about eating in Tel Aviv - the open air markets. These markets are famous for their fresh produce, baked goods, candy, tea, spices and of course, haggling!
Shuk Ha'Carmel (the Carmel Market) is the most famous one and a must do for people visiting for the first time. You can also visit Levinsky Market, but do that one with a tour guide.
Lastly, Tel Aviv has become known for its graffiti. In fact, there are a few graffiti tours of the city. I have wanted to go on one for my last three visits and I keep missing the times!
Here is one of my favorites in the neighborhood called Yafo:
And another one in Neve Tzedek that reads "Tel Aviv is where my heart is."
If you're considering an international vacation, I hope you'll put Tel Aviv on your list. It's quickly become one of my favorite places in the world.
If you missed any of my Israel posts, you can catch up here: