Herzliya Beach. Photo by Ron Almog, courtesy Creative Commons

Adjacent to Tel Aviv to the north is the elegant city of Herzliya, which stretches up along the Mediterranean and operates at a somewhat more stately pace than its hopping neighbor. This is the home of many ambassadors, foreign diplomats, business moguls, and others from among Israel’s well-to-do population, and it is a magnet for Tel Avivians who want to slow down, stroll the marina checking out yachts, or succumb to the temptations of the chic Arena shopping mall.

A magnet for Tel Avivians who want to slow down.

Mornings on the Herzliya beach begin precisely at dawn, with one or two determined walkers or joggers taking their daily constitutionals; by 9 or 10 a.m. the numbers have grown to the hundreds and include swimmers, sunbathers, breakfast picnickers—and if the wind is high and the waves indulgent, even a few surfers. The beach and the sea accommodate all of this so easily.

The district of Herzliya Pituach is home to the headquarters of many major high-tech firms; their glossy modern office towers line the nearby highway, advertising the future. This is a central hub of what is now commonly referred to as “Silicon Wadi.”