Couple with skyline in the background, in Tel Aviv, Israel (Israel Tourism)

Beachgoers in Tel Aviv, Israel (Israel Tourism)

Boats in harbor in Tel Aviv, Israel (Israel Tourism)

Skyline and coast in Tel Aviv, Israel (PhotoDisc)

Cityscape and coastline, Tel Aviv, Israel (Sylvester Adams/Photographer's Choice RF/Getty)

Aerial view of Tel Aviv, Israel (iStockphoto/Thinkstock)

Boats docked at a harbor in Jaffa, Tel Aviv, Israel (Medioimages/Photodisc/Thinkstock)

Sea coast and view of Tel Aviv, Israel (iStockphoto/Thinkstock)


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What to do in Tel Aviv

“Every Jew, myself included, has two requests from God: a place in paradise in the afterlife and a place on Tel Aviv’s beach in this world.” So wrote author Sholem Asch in 1937. There’s still 14 kilometers of pale Mediterranean sand on Tel Aviv’s western edge, but now the Orthodox beach abuts the gay beach, models with yoga mats strut on the promenades, and people line up three deep at open-air espresso bars. Tel Aviv became a city in 1909, and its youth—not to mention its tolerant, hedonistic population—keeps it from getting weighed down. In Israel, contrast is a given. Case in point: The annual Gay Pride Parade brings 20,000 people to the streets, but there’s no public transportation on Shabbat. Taking a stroll on the boardwalk, dodging baby joggers and inline skaters, it feels just like Miami—with baggage.

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