Short of the holidays, summer is the busiest travel season in the U.S. Each year thousands of Americans board planes headed for distant and exotic locales where they will have fun in the sun on some far-off beach. Though there may be some destinations that are more popular, beach-going travelers would have a hard time finding better shore-side accommodations than the French Polynesian island of Tahiti.
A part of the Society Islands Archipelago in the Southern Pacific Ocean, Tahiti is the crown jewel of the Polynesian islands. The diminutive island, which measures only 1,945 square kilometers in area, consists of two large round portions boasting gigantic volcanic mountains and a narrow isthmus that runs between them, forming the rough shape of a turtle.
The tiny island features a number of smaller cities, though none compare to the unique Parisian style of the capital city of Papeete. As the country's administrative center and travel hub, the city still bears the marks of its former position as a French colony with many open air cafes and shopping centers like the two-story "Le Marche." Of course travelers would be remiss if they didn’t spend some time on one of the Island's world-renowned black sand beaches or at the famous Pointe Venus Lighthouse.