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Hawaiian shirt optional

Three days off, clear skies and skin that's already undergone the obligatory first sunburn of the season.

It's the perfect equation for a weekend filled with beaches and cabana boys, but I'm stuck within the confines of Columbus.

Fortunately, simulating a weekend at the beach is easy.

Start your day by grabbing a fruity smoothie at Fountain City Coffee (1007 Broadway). I like the orange one. Regardless of its color, the tropical beverage will leave you feeling as if you purchased your drink at a sandy snack shack.

And you won't even have to contend with back hair and kids in ill-fitting floatable devices.

Later, have dinner at Spices from the Caribbean (4022 University Ave.). With sand on the floor and a beach atmosphere all around, this Columbus restaurant will instantly transport you to an exotic island party.

Finally, end your day with some dancing at The Uptown Tap (1024 Broadway). The bar's outdoor courtyard is bound to be one of the hottest party spots this summer. Even better, with the onset of summer fashions, you likely won't be able to decide if most of your fellow partiers are wearing swimsuits or street wear.

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