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    Sea Air and Savoir-Faire

    Known for its sandy beaches and good nightlife, Bournemouth is a popular seaside resort on the Dorset coast between Poole and Christchurch.

    The town is centered on the Bourne River, running downhill towards the sea by Bournemouth Pier. This pier looks back towards a promenade lined with beach huts at the foot of grassy cliffs. The promenade continues west to Poole, while a road heads east to neighboring Boscombe, where anglers often fish from its pier. Overlooking it is a clifftop road housing some Bournemouth hotels with sea views.

    Booking.com also has hotels near the BIC (Bournemouth International Center) in the West Cliff area. This convention center and music venue is a short walk from the Art Deco Pavilion Theatre next to the Lower Gardens. In this popular city park is the Bournemouth Eye, a tethered hot air balloon with far-reaching views.

    At the park’s top end the river disappears under a large square, then emerges in the Central Gardens. Overlooking these gardens is the Victorian town hall, which used to be one of several spa hotels in Bournemouth. Nearby, there's a Grade I registered historic church, and St. Peter’s Church has the grave of Mary Shelley, author of "Frankenstein."

    On the outskirts of town, near 4 golf courses and the Castlepoint Shopping Center, is Bournemouth Airport.