Monthly Archives: June 2017

Weekend Getaways

Weekend Getaways

Some  weekend getaways exist in the most populated destinations in the US.  Here are a few to consider.

EMPIRE STATE BUILDING

EMPIRE STATE BUILDING

I’ll Take Manhattan.  You can spend a fabulous weekend in New York City and stay either at the Marriott Hotel on Broadway,  which is right near the Theater District; or you can book a weekend at the Plaza Hotel overlooking Central Park. Perhaps you would like to stay at the Mandarin Hotel and Spa where you can both be pampered for the weekend. No matter what your budget is; Manhattan is more than accommodating.

Manhattan has something to offer everyone but it is also considered one of the most romantic spots in the U.S.  Whether you enjoy dinner in your hotel suite or dine at any one of the five-star restaurants, the night is always young for lovers who seek solitude in a city that hosts millions of tourists each year.  Whether you take a carriage ride through Central Park, enjoy an opera or symphonic performance at Lincoln Center, or walk along Fifth Avenue during the evening hours; the city offers something for everyone.

cable-car-near-knob-hill-and-powell-street-san-francisco-california

CABLE CAR NEAR KNOB HILL AND POWELL STREET SAN FRANCISCO

San Francisco. With its rolling hills, fantastic cuisine, and friendly people; San Francisco offers hotel stays that are sure to enhance your romantic side.  Among the most notable hotels are the Fairmont hotel, in the Nob Hill area; the Mandarin Oriental, which is known for its best views of the Bay and the city; or the downtown W San Francisco hotel that is close to cable cars, shopping, restaurants, and theaters.

Stroll along Fisherman’s Wharf and stop by Ghirardelli Square where you can pick up some of their famous chocolate before having dinner at one of the many seafood restaurants there such as McCormick and Kuleto’s, where the panoramic view of the Bay, as well as Alcatraz island; both of which give a stunning backdrop.  You may also wish to stop by O’Neill’s Irish Pub for an after-dinner drink. You may leave your heart here after departing this great city by the Bay.

m-m-world-las-vegas-

M & M WORLD LAS VEGAS

Las Vegas. Time will stand still at this resort destination.  With a myriad of hotels to choose from you can enjoy your time here without having to worry about time, because there are no clocks in the casinos.

With great weather year round (hot, but always dry), you can wile away the early morning hours at the hotel’s pool and enjoy the evening attending a fabulous show or visit lady luck at the casino.

Whether you take a stay at the Venetian Hotel and enjoy a romantic ride on a gondola; enjoy the Spa and Salon at the Hotel Bellagio; or marvel at the lush indoor gardens, aquarium, and the Secret Garden at the Mirage; Las Vegas is both affordable for any budget and is the perfect weekend romantic getaway.

Lake Istokpoga Lake Placid

SUN SETTING OVER LAKE ISTOKPOGA IN LAKE PLACID

Lake Placid.  Far away from the maddening crowd, you will find comfort and romance at the Mirror Lake Inn.  With gorgeous mountain and lake views, fireplace, and very large tubs, you will find food and lodgings more than satisfactory.  In fact, they are quite conducive to a romantic weekend.

Among the many things you might like to do is to take a walk to the neighboring town of Lake Placid, only two miles away. Here you will find shops along Main Street and you can stop at the Cottage for lunch.  Swimming, fishing, canoeing, and kayaking are some of the activities available at Mirror Lake Inn.

The calm and quiet ambiance of this Inn is the perfect weekend getaway destination for couples yet families can also enjoy the surroundings.

 

 

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Family Camping Fun

Family Camping Fun

While getting away from the hustle and bustle of city life is one of the reasons families choose to go camping, for kids – it’s the greatest adventure.   If you are planning a family camping trip this summer, here are some tips that will make sure your vacation is both a safe and fun experience.

FAMILY CAMPING WITH TENT AND CAMP FIRE

FAMILY CAMPING WITH TENT AND CAMP FIRE

Pre-camping preparation. If you have small children, you may want to select a tent that will accommodate all if you comfortably. On the other hand, if you are camping with older children, buy more pup tents to give them some sense of independence.

Another great tip is to practice assembling the tents in your backyard avoiding wasting time at the camp site.

CAMPER

CAMPER

  1. Selecting a campsite. Depending upon whether you decide to “rough it” or choose a campsite that is close to amenities, you can research the many campsites online that offer comprehensive information on the area. This will enable you to decide not only what equipment, clothing, and food you need to take, but the available hiking areas and points of interest as well. Ensure that the campsite you select is an official campsite area.  Moreover, when researching camping sites it’s a good idea to look for those areas that are on the high ground.  Thus, if it rains, your tent and equipment will not become water-logged.
CAMPING WITH CAMPFIRE AND TENT

CAMPING WITH CAMPFIRE AND TENT

  1. Make a checklist. This is very important so that you do not forget anything on your camping trip. Among the items on your checklist, some of the more important items you will need are:

* Cooking gear such as a frying pan, a few pots, a bucket, barbecue grill or stove, bags with a Ziploc, and cooking utensils.  In addition, food containers and canned goods are best.  It is also recommended that you prepare meals at home and package them in containers for the trip.  Also bring water, a can opener, hot water kettle and coffee pot, and a cooler with a block of ice.

* Packing proper clothing is also essential.  Depending upon the site, wearing light layers is a good idea as well as packing some sweaters and jackets for the evening hours.  Extra socks, hats, and gloves may also be warranted. If you intend to engage in some hiking, proper hiking boots are necessary.

* Sleeping bags, first aid kit, flashlights, cell phone, garbage bags, toiletries, sunscreen, ointments, a map of the area, insect repellent, games for the kids, and rain wear.

For a complete checklist on what to bring on a camping trip, there are many camping websites that offer a myriad of suggestions.

ARMY KNIFE

ARMY KNIFE

  1. When you reach the camp site, choose an area to set up the tents. Make sure there are no rocks or debris in that area.  Most campgrounds will post warning signs or instructions about specific animals and vegetation.
FIRE WITH LOGS

FIRE WITH LOGS

5.When preparing a campfire, set it up further away from the tents. After you have roasted the marshmallows, sang songs, and told ghost stories; douse the fire before going to bed.

Finally, enjoy the entire camping experience.  Sleeping under the stars, communing with nature, and relishing the time spent with family will not only bring a family closer together, but the memories of this experience will last forever.

 

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Best Family Beach Vacations

Best Family Beach Vacations

The best beaches are along  the Atlantic and Pacific Coast.  Here are a few ideas you may wish to consider for your next family beach vacation.

PANORAMA MIAMI

PANORAMA MIAMI

Florida.  From Ft. Lauderdale to Miami Beach, Florida is a prime resort area for family vacations.  With perfect weather and miles and miles of beaches, this area is affordable, diverse, and has a variety of water-sports, restaurants, and a myriad of activities for children. Cocoa Beach is only an hour away from the Kennedy Space Center and Disney World.  In addition, Disney’s Vero Beach Resort is one of the best in Florida.

VIEW OF THE SEA

VIEW OF THE SEA

Myrtle Beach.  Among the many favorite activities for children include: Ripley’s Aquarium, Le Grande Cirque, a show quite famous for its acrobatics and other circus performers; and Myrtle Waves Water Park.  For older children, a definite must-see is the NASCAR Speedpark.

The number one choice for  family beach vacations in the U. S. Is Myrtle Beach. There are many dining options, shopping and historic sites to see.

BENCH CHAIR AT THE BEACH

BENCH CHAIR AT THE BEACH

Hamptons.  One of the most affordable vacations for beach-loving families is East Hampton, New York.  The best place to stay is at the East Hampton House.  The rooms are available in one and two bedroom units that contain fully equipped kitchens and/or kitchenette.  Moreover, you have privileges at the nearby beach that are available to all guests.

Although this vacation spot does not offer food, it does have an indoor gym and offers morning coffee there as well.  But, across the street is a deli that has an array of items on their breakfast menu and is very affordable.  In addition, there is a Chinese restaurant across the street as well as a take-out barbecue, and deli.

The grounds are impeccable and there is a very large pool (one for the kiddies, too) where you can lounge in the sun.  A tennis court is also on the premises.  Every room has its own balcony with lounge chairs and a table.

If you live in the New York area, it is a 90-minute trip by car.  The East Hampton Inn is centrally located – five minutes from town, restaurants, shopping, and a movie house.  You can even take a short trip to Montauk and visit the historic lighthouse or spend time at the beach there.

SEA SHELLS & STAR FISH

SEA SHELLS & STAR FISH

Hawaii.  Of course, nothing can compare to the beaches that are in Oahu, Maui, and Kauai.  No matter what island you choose, Hawaii has the most pristine beaches anywhere in the U.S.  Moreover, there are black-sand beaches on the island of Maui as well as a myriad of activities for the entire family.

SUN SETTING

SUN SETTING

San Diego.  Shifting to the west Coast, your family might enjoy a stay at the Beach Cottages.  This site offers many amenities such as water sports, biking, as well as an amusement park.  For the kids, San Diego Zoo and Sea World are not far from the Beach Cottages.

Centrally located to restaurants and shopping, Beach Cottages is an affordable vacation spot where the family can enjoy the sun, the surf, and other amenities available.  In fact, you can book a studio that offers a fully equipped kitchen.

SUNRISE

SUNRISE

Redondo Beach.  Located on Santa Monica Bay, this report haven is perfect for family beach vacations.  Here you can enjoy water sports, fishing bicycling, kayaking, as well as fine restaurants shops located not far from the Santa Monica Pier.  There are many hotels across the street from the beach or within walking distance.  Each has its own set of amenities geared towards families.

 

 

 

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Top 5 Kid Friendly US Destinations

Top 5 Kid Friendly US Destinations

Although there are a multitude of destinations considered kid-friendly, here are the top 5 you may want to consider on your next family vacation.

EPCOT

EPCOT

  1. Disney World. This  family vacation has been the source of great joy for adults and kids alike.  Whether you stay several miles from the theme park or enjoy the on site amenities, this vacation affords you an endless array of activities designed for the entire family.  From Epcot Center to Sea World; from Disney Village to Universal Studios; Water parks to Wildlife parks; there is always something to do at this world-famous resort.

Moreover, many online travel sites are offering special packages to Disney World as well as Southwest Airlines and others.  In addition, you can save  money by selecting hotels that offer free stays for children, as well as free meals for the little ones. This is one destination where you can easily book a trip based on your budget and stick to it.

RANCH

RANCH

  1. Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch. From Alaska to Wyoming, there are a multitude of dude ranches perfect for a family vacation.  But, one of the most notable is the Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch in Colorado, about 20 miles from Rock Mountain National Park.  Here, your family can engage in an array of activities including: horseback riding, hay rides, nature walks, and a host of amenities provided by the ranch.

This dude ranch is perfect for families who love the outdoors as well as enjoy visiting such historic sites as Fort Collins, Old West Museums, and Cheyenne (where you can buy tickets to the world’s largest rodeo held from July 17 to the 26th).

SEA SHELLS

SEA SHELLS

  1. Hawaii. While Oahu has always been a popular destination, it is Maui that attracts family vacationers more than any of its islands.  The reason is that it offers a variety of activities such as whale watching (seasonal); Lahaina, a famous whaling village; and Maui Ocean Center, home to the largest aquarium in Hawaii.

Your family can also take a ride on the Sugar Cane Train, circa 1890; visit Oheo Gulch to marvel at the spectacular waterfalls; spend a day at Iao Valley and view the Iao Needle; or visit the black-sand beaches at Waianapanapa in East Maui.

For fabulous weather, magnificent sunsets, and beautiful beaches; Maui is the perfect spot to unwind and enjoy spending quality family time.

NEW YORK SKYLINE

NEW YORK SKYLINE

  1. New York. Probably the most exciting vacation spot for families is New York.  The “Big Apple” has something for everyone; from Broadway to Rockefeller Center, you will never run out of things to do here.  Among the many sites to visit is Radio City Music Hall where you can take in a show; Madison Square Garden; the Empire State Building; the Village; 42nd Street, the Theater District; museums; shopping, fabulous cuisine; the list is endless.

Spend a day walking along Fifth Avenue and stop at St. Patrick’s Cathedral; take a tour of NBC Studios; spend an afternoon in Central Park and visit the zoo there; go to the South Street Seaport or take in a matinée performance on a Wednesday afternoon.

Whether you stay uptown or downtown, you will always be near to the many historic sites and sounds that form Manhattan.  Moreover, your kids will enjoy all this city has to offer.

M & M WORLD LAS VEGAS

M & M WORLD LAS VEGAS

  1. Las Vegas. The city that never sleeps offers a range of attractions for kids.  This is why it is among the top family destinations in the US today.  Moreover, it is an affordable vacation because the hotel packages and meals will fit any budget.

Among the many attractions offered for families include: M&M’s World, the Lion Habitat at MGM, Adventure Canyon, Game Works (a video game-playing wonderland), Sports Park, Circus Circus rides; Dolphin Habitat at the Mirage hotel; Shark Reef; New York, New York’s roller coaster; Madame Tussaud’s; Lake Mead; Children’s Museum (the largest of its kind); and Adventuresdome, the largest theme park in the U.S.

Many of these attractions are free and are well worth visiting.  Don’t forget the Flamingo Habitat at the Flamingo hotel or the spectacular water fountain show across the way at Caesars Palace.

For great fun and awesome rides and venues, Las Vegas is a wonderful choice for your next family vacation.

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