This haven of Southern hospitality was voted the USA’s friendliest city in 2017 by readers of Condé Nast Traveler magazine. It also was named the No. 1 city south of the Mason-Dixon Line by Southern Living magazine readers. Step back in time by choosing a B&B in an antebellum home in the compact tourist area. Get a view of historic Fort Sumter from the waterfront Battery. Some come to this city just for the cuisine. (You can always diet after you get back home). Acclaimed Hyman’s Seafood won’t drown your budget. FIG —another award winner — serves creative, seasonally inspired cuisine and is worth a splurge.
Designed to focus on the magic of Hollywood, Disney’s Hollywood Studios gives visitors the opportunity to travel back in time to Hollywood’s heyday of the 1930s and ’40s. The park is home to attractions such as the Great Movie Ride, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and the Toy Story Mania ride and the American Idol Experience. Visitors can enjoy performances such as the “Lights, Motor, Action!” stunt show or the “Voyage of the Little Mermaid” stage show. Learn about the history of Disney animation, and get a chance to draw your own Disney character at the park’s Animation Courtyard, or let your children experience life from a bug’s point of view in the “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids” Movie Set Adventure playground.
In the summer, the property offers a fifth night free, a free Friday with each seven-day stay, a $90 EZ-cash card for those who book their trips 90 days in advance, and 15-percent off of stays from June to August on select rooms every Sunday through Wednesday.
theme park ticket windows. More Information Beginning of tooltip content *Savings compared to the price of the same ticket sold at theme park, Guest Relations and water park ticket windows, along with Sports Welcome Center. End of tooltip content
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This stunningly set hotel has on-site stables (you can bring your own horse or borrow one), a cookery school, 500 acres to wander, and a beautiful spa with a pool that has children’s hours, plus bicycles, board games, and a spectacular play cottage filled with toys and activities (though children must be accompanied by an adult). The fine brasserie has a children’s menu, and the Michelin-starred restaurant is a treat and welcomes children over the age of five. Read expert review
Summer is in full swing in July, but there’s still time to plan a getaway. Family trips are on the agenda for some, and others just want to escape the heat or do something fun and different. We have a few suggestions for travelers who wish for cool weather, including snow in the southern hemisphere ski destination of Chile. If warm breezes, an ocean swim, and a lounge chair in the sand mean summer vacation to you, Hawaii beckons with all that and enticing restaurants too. July in Fiji also offers warmth, luxury, and unrivaled diving and snorkeling.
Tyler Place Resort’s formula for good, old-fashioned family fun features morning and evening children’s programs with afternoons free for families to bike, hike, canoe and sail together. Little ones fish for perch and play dress-up; preschoolers listen to stories and jump on trampolines; and grade-school kids go on nature hikes, participate in gymnastics and put on marionette shows. Tweens take to zip-lines and go on fishing trips while teens add bicycle trips and water skiing. The accommodations, whether in the resort’s Inn rooms or cabins, tend toward basic, but are comfortable. Kids and parents are separated at dinnertime, ensuring parents have time to relax, too.
Walt Disney World began operation on October 1, 1971, with the Magic Kingdom park at a cost of $400 million. The Magic Kingdom had six themed lands: Main Street, Adventureland, Fantasyland, Frontierland, Liberty Square, and Tomorrowland.[CDW 7] Additionally, Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort campground and two hotels, Disney’s Contemporary Resort and Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, also opened.[CDW 8]
Founded with the works collected by Reynolds and Eleanor Morse, the Dali Museum brings together a collection of over 2,100 breathtaking pieces that include 96 oil paintings, original drawings, photos and of course that famous portrait of Abraham Lincoln that makes you look twice. The Dali’s calendar of events showcases daily story times and creative activities to engage and educate children while at the museum.
“I cannot speak highly enough of how well-organized this tour was. Everything matched up to the tour description and our tour guide Nick and driver Tony made the day absolutely fantastic. Nick was very informative about all landmarks and aspects of the DC area and was happy to answer all questions that came his way. Highly recommended to anyone looking to experience the monuments and history of DC!” — TripAdvisor Reviewer
Walt Disney Attractions, LLC changed its name to Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, LLC on April 14, 2000, then to Disney Destinations, LLC on April 25, 2006. Tokyo DisneySea at Tokyo Disney Resort opened on September 4, 2001. The Walt Disney Company in selling its Japanese and US chains decided to keep the Disney Stores in Europe, along with the store in Manhattan, which was converted into a World of Disney store run by Walt Disney Parks and Resorts in 2004.
Two hotels that might fit your needs with family accommodations that can sleep 5 or 6 people are the Belleclaire, on the Upper West side, convenient to subways, or the Skyline on West 42nd street, a three block walk to Times Square and multiple subways. The motel-like Skyline has an unusual New York amenity, a swimming pool. The Belleclaire offers discounts for stays of 3 nights or more. The alternative is to book two rooms with two beds, one for you and your wife and younger daughter, the other for your older daughter and her aunt. You may find good rates on weekends at hotels in the Wall Street area that cater mostly to weekday business travelers such as Aloft Manhattan Downtown or Doubletree by Hilton. In the Times Square area, Days Inn Broadway is a possibility and the Radisson Martinique or NYMA hotels near Macys and many subways are other budget choices. Hotel rates vary with the seasons. When you know your travel dates, try using discount services such as Booking.com or Hotelscombined where you specify travel dates and the number of guests and see which hotels are offering buys when you want to visit And remember to add 14.75% NY hotel tax to the rates you are quoted. If you can find a lodging with free continental breakfast, that is a big saving for 5 people.
Quickly view your tickets, annual passes, reminders, dining reservations and Disney Resort hotel reservations. You can even see the plans of other people on your Family & Friends list when they share plans with you. It’s a great way to get ready for your vacation!
HI David! Great article! Can you recommend a hotel that has suites (bedroom separate from living area). We have 2 adults and 2 kids ages 11 months and 4 years, so somewhere within walking distance of things for that age group to do would also help! Thanks so much in advance!
When historic rainfall pummeled California last February, the damage to Big Sur was severe. Mudslides cut off access to Highway 1, the region’s only thoroughfare, from the south; then a crack ripped through the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge, blocking the northern end. Almost overnight, this 90-odd-mile stretch of craggy coastline — long beloved for its sense of remoteness — became an island. Nearly a year later, Big Sur is stirring back to life. The bridge has been replaced and a major slide has been cleared. After an elaborate renovation, the 160-acre Ventana Big Sur has reopened as the first Alila property in the U.S. — and is a luxurious rival to Post Ranch. The place is a stunner, whether you’re facing a forested canyon from the pool or enjoying pink and orange sunsets from the terrace. In addition to the plush ocean-view suites, clad in weathered wood, there are now glamping tents nearby that marry rusticity and comfort, with amenities like luxury linens and fire pits. —Jonah Weiner
Indy’s a pretty hospitable place. And if you’re visiting with children, there’s no better starting point than the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis—the largest of its kind in the world. We challenge anyone to be bored in this place, where kids are encouraged to explore arts and culture through exhibits, workshops, and live performances—there’s even a steam engine. You might also like to see the animals and plant life at Indianapolis Zoo.
This family-focused hotel set in a wing of a National Trust property caters well to under-10s. Like all members of the group, two free hours of crèche care are included in your stay (allowing you to wander the grounds or book into the spa), and the listening service means adults can dine solo while children snooze upstairs. Adults will enjoy gazing out over the Georgian rotunda and Capability Brown designed parkland. Children will relish exploring it – encountering sheep, secret gardens, lakes and countless trees for climbing. Read expert review
Downtown Disney opened at the Disneyland Resort on January 12, 2001, between Disneyland and the future California Adventure. [CDC 11] Disney California Adventure Park opened at the Disneyland Resort on February 8, 2001, with three major areas: Paradise Pier, Hollywood Pictures Backlot, and the Golden State. In California Adventure on October 6, 2002, A Bug’s Land area opened.[CDC 12] Parks and Resorts chairman Jay Rasulo announced at Disney’s D23 Expo in Anaheim, California on September 12, 2009, that Walt Disney World’s Fantasyland would be overhauled and increased in size by 2013.[CDC 13] A $1 billion expansion/renovation of Disney California Adventure Park was announced in 2007 to be completed by 2012.
Quirky and delightful, Augill Castle is located in the lovely Eden Valley between the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales. With the trappings of a neo-Gothic castle — tower, turrets, castellations and mullions — but in miniature, it appeals equally to children as to adults, and you’d be hard pressed to find a more family-friendly castle, with a tree house, playground and tennis court in its 15-acre grounds, and inside, a 12-seater cinema, not to mention the popular children’s cookery school. Read expert review
Marvel Publishing with Disney announced in October 2013 that in January 2014 it would release its first comic book title under their joint “Disney Kingdoms” imprint “Seekers of the Weird”, a five-issue miniseries inspired by a never built Disneyland attraction Museum of the Weird. On March 31, 2015, the first novel in The Kingdom Keeper sequel trilogy series was released.
The toughest part about being a pint-size tourist in Costa Rica is that many of the activities are often — literally — out of reach, with size, weight or age restrictions. Instead, peg your adventure to nature. Manuel Antonio National Park, which stretches from the Pacific coast up into the mountainous rainforest, is brimming with wildlife: Hundreds of species of mammals and birds live within its 1,700 acres. (If you don’t spot a few white-headed capuchin monkeys, you aren’t looking.) Visitor numbers are capped, so start early, and take the flat, easy main trail. Pack a swimsuit for this family vacation: Off the trail is the famous Playa Manuel Antonio, with warm blue waters and a crescent-shaped ivory-sand beach. (Note: The park is closed on Mondays.)
Not sponsored at all. Hotels don’t know who I am or when I stay there. With just a few rare exceptions I have no interaction with the hotels I review (beyond what a normal guest would have – e.g check-in, check-out).
While most tourists come to the Sunshine State to get away from the snow and indulge in the beautiful sandy beaches, there’s actually more to Florida than just our infinite sunny days. With endless history, some of the best-kept secrets are the spots that many seem to skip over altogether. So next time the clouds open up and the rain starts falling, escape the present and enjoy the past with some of these must-see museums around Florida.
One of the best shows at Disney is playing right outside your room at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. From your private balcony overlooking the 43-acre wildlife preserve, you can spot over 200 birds and animals, including zebras, giraffes, and gazelles. The resort also has a savannah-facing swimming pool modeled after a natural watering hole—but with a waterslide. Only a short walk away, you’ll find an animal observation water playground with squirting Venus flytraps, a rope bridge, and water cannons. In the evening, drop the kids at Simba’s Playhouse and enjoy a parents-only dinner at Jiko, an upscale restaurant serving African-inspired cuisine. Then make a reservation for the whole family to tour the grounds by open-air truck. With the assistance of special night-vision goggles, you’ll be able to wish all the animals a good night.
The Florida resort is not within Orlando city limits but is southwest of Downtown Orlando. Much of the resort is in southwestern Orange County, with the remainder in adjacent Osceola County. The property includes the cities of Lake Buena Vista and Bay Lake which are governed by the Reedy Creek Improvement District. The site is accessible from Central Florida’s Interstate 4 via Exits 62B (World Drive), 64B (US 192 West), 65B (Osceola Parkway West), 67B (SR 536 West), and 68 (SR 535 North), and Exit 8 on SR 429, the Western Expressway. At its founding, the resort occupied approximately 30,500 acres (48 sq mi; 123 km2). Portions of the property have since been sold or de-annexed, including land now occupied by the Disney-built community of Celebration. Now the resort occupies nearly 25,000 acres (39 sq mi; 101 km2).
A Star Wars-themed section of Legoland California’s Miniland USA opened in 2011, with a similar version opening at Legoland Florida in November 2012, just weeks after Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm and the Star Wars franchise.
St. Augustine’s picturesque and historic center appeals to all sorts of visitors. Many families come here for the St. Augustine Pirate and Treasure Museum, a fabulous swashbuckling resource offering interactive exhibits, treasure hunting, and more. For some outdoor fun, you could see the town on one of Ripley’s Red Trains, hit the play areas at Davenport Park or Project Swing Park, or turn towards the beach for a kids’ surf session. And for a truly unforgettable introduction to the locality, there’s always a helicopter tour over St. Augustine and Fort Matanzas.
At the Florida Museum of Natural History we strive to fulfill our mission of understanding, preserving and interpreting Florida’s biological diversity and cultural heritage. We depend on people like you to help us realize this mission.
More like a home than a hotel. Generously sized rooms on upper east side – close to Central Park, shopping, and Museum Mile. Suites have kitchenettes or full-size kitchens. Some have terraces and many have working fireplaces. Service is friendly and second to none. Although there is no pool, babysitting services are available and Central Park is just a block away. Phone: 212-838-1400
One of the most unusual strolls anywhere is the High Line, an abandoned overhead freight railway transformed to an elevated park running roughly from 15th to 34th streets on the city’s far west side. Along the way are lush plantings, art installations, videos, a place to take off your shoes and wade in an inch-high pool, or to sit back, relax and take it all in.
The Luxury Bahia Principe Fantasia, Don Pablo Collection is ideal for guests of all ages! Make a splash at the theme-based children’s pool, hang out at the Bahia Scouts Kids Club, or keep cool at the waterpark.
Plans for a Hollywood-style theme park were announced in April 1985 for the Walt Disney World resort at a project cost of US$300 million.[CDW1 5] In April 1985, Disney signed a licensing agreement with MGM, giving Disney the right to use the MGM name, logo and movie library for this third park. Construction of the Disney-MGM Studios theme park began in 1986.[CDW1 6] Disney-MGM Studios opened on May 1, 1989,[CDW1 7] along with a Pleasure Island entertainment area;[CDW1 8] its second water park, Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon, opened on June 1.[CDW1 9] In 1983, Walt Disney World Village’s name was changed to the Disney Village Marketplace.[CDW1 10] A new themed area, Mickey’s Birthdayland, opened in the Magic Kingdom near Fantasyland on June 18, 1988.[CDW1 11]
Many of the live shows at WDW are described in our individual park sections above, but there are also some parades and shows that warrant special mention. We’ve also included a generous selection of photos when it’s warranted:
What’s not to love about the Caribbean? So many resorts, so little time. To help you make the most of your precious family vacations, we conducted the first-ever data-driven survey looking at the family-friendliness of Caribbean resorts. We worked with the Caribbean Tourism Organization and the Caribbean Hotel Association to compile our initial list of 159 resorts. Then we dug in. We looked at the quality of the children’s programs, staffing and safety, and a multitude of other factors to come up with our final 10. These are the best of the best!
Children are always welcome on Alaskan Dream Cruises’ smaller ships, but even more so on the Become a True Alaskan Family Cruise sailings (July and August). For ages 7 and up, the eight-day Alaska’s Glacier Bay and Island Adventure trips feature an onboard youth-expedition leader who guides photo scavenger hunts, teaches navigation basics, and heads hiking and kayaking excursions. You’ll sail on the 74-passenger Chichagof Dream, which offers convertible family cabins. Bonus: Kids under 15 save 30 percent.
Star Wars Land 14 acres (5.7 ha) themed land for both Disneyland park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios announced at the D23 Expo on August 15, 2015. Construction began at both locations on April 14, 2016.
Some popular resorts in Florida include The Breakers which has many family-friendly facilities and programs, Doral with its pool complex and famous golf courses, and The Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island with its Ritz Kids program. Ginn Hammock Beach Resort has a year-round water park, a 9-hole putting course and a program for guests ages 4-12. While kids are busy with their own activities, parents can treat themselves to relaxing massages at the spa, fitness and a selection of outdoor activities.
Early rumors and speculation about the land purchases assumed possible development by NASA in support of the nearby Kennedy Space Center, as well as references to other famous investors such as Ford, the Rockefellers, and Howard Hughes. An Orlando Sentinel news article published weeks later on May 20, 1965, acknowledged a popular rumor that Disney was building an “East Coast” version of Disneyland. However, the publication denied its accuracy based on an earlier interview with Disney at Kennedy Space Center, in which he claimed a $50 million investment was in the works for Disneyland, and that he had no interest in building a new park. In October 1965, editor Emily Bavar from the Sentinel visited Disneyland during the park’s 10th-anniversary celebration. In an interview with Disney, she asked him if he was behind recent land purchases in Central Florida; Bavar later described that Disney “looked like I had thrown a bucket of water in his face” before denying the story. His reaction, combined with other research obtained during her Anaheim visit, led Bavar to author a story on October 21, 1965, where she predicted that Disney was building a second theme park in Florida. Three days later after gathering more information from various sources, the Sentinel published another article headlined, “We Say: ‘Mystery Industry’ Is Disney”.
The Big Easy turns the Big 3-0-0 this year, and in this city where the good times roll, the parties will be epic — think citywide art shows, supersized Mardi Gras parades, and a festival of lights using landmark buildings as backdrops. Thirteen years after Hurricane Katrina, there is much to celebrate: The Central Business District, once a dead zone after dark, now crackles at all hours thanks to four new hotels (the Ace, Troubadour, Catahoula, and NOPSI), each with its own rooftop bar. The neighborhood is also home to new restaurants like Maypop — a Vietnamese-Creole joint from acclaimed chef Michael Gulotta. Another area coming to life is the three-mile riverfront, where a renovated Spanish Plaza will reopen this spring. More riverfront updates, including a new Four Seasons Hotel, will roll out in the next few years. Toast the tricentennial at the Sazerac House, a French Quarter museum dedicated to the official cocktail of New Orleans, opening later this year. —Allison Entrekin
The Moroccan city has attracted an artistic crowd since the 1960s, when everyone from Yves Saint Laurent to Mick Jagger fell for its vibrant sensory landscape. Now the city’s cultural scene is being reinvigorated, thanks to two landmark happenings in the world of art and design. First came last October’s launch of the YSL Museum — a striking geometric building next to the Jardin Majorelle, which Saint Laurent and his partner, Pierre Bergé, bought and restored in the 1980s. Then, in February, the 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair will debut at the storied hotel La Mamounia. Marrakesh has had an art biennial since 2005 — the next is slated for 2020 — and the city is home to a number of well-regarded galleries. But the arrival of 1:54, which has editions in London and New York and draws names like Billie Zangewa and William Kentridge, is set to position the city as a hub for African art. There’s also hotel news. Oberoi is poised to open its third African property here, a lakeside resort surrounded by citrus orchards. And Royal Mansour has added a 6,450-square-foot pool flanked by seven air-conditioned cabanas. —Flora Stubbs
Our travel experts — from travel writers around the globe to T+L’s A-List travel advisors to our own editors — offer their recommendations. Then, we take a look at what places are now at the forefront of the global conversation, whether for new hotels and museums or major international events. In any given year, the cities and countries we recommend as the best places to travel in the world have a lot going on. And of course, we think about those travel destinations that are perennial favorites to determine which ones are reinventing themselves, ensuring there’s always something new to explore.
Welcome to the FAM on-line database of Florida museums. This database of over 400 Florida museums includes in-depth information on their collections, exhibits, programs, etc. This information is constantly updated, and we’re adding new information and museums all the time. So bookmark this database and visit it whenever you need to research Florida museums.
Adding Park Hopper Plus to a Base Ticket is a good deal if you will be visiting the water parks at least twice or playing three rounds at Oak Trail. Adding Plus to a Park Hopper is worth it if you will be visiting a water park or Oak Trail even once! The value of the other options (ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, Fantasia Gardens or Winter Summerland) is much lower. There’s really not much worth doing or seeing at the ESPN Wide World of Sports unless you’re seeing an event, and most of those have their own admission tickets which will include admission to the complex. (See the Other Admissions section of this page for regular prices.)
Here’s the crucial bit: parents must feel they’re on holiday, too. Adults-only spa time, a romantic meal for two and decor that doesn’t scream ‘Wipe me!’ or ‘Don’t touch!’ all play a part in making the perfect family hotel.
Inhale the refreshing ocean spray and the essence of Gatsby-era glamour at this stunning property dating back to 1868. The Ocean House, which underwent a modernization not too long ago, is perched on a bluff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and has a private white sand beach for sunning, swimming, and sandcastle building. During the summer, kids ages 5-10 can go sailing, take nature walks, make crafts, and go scavenger hunting with the resort’s Sand Castles supervised children’s program. Special outings, such as clamming at local farms, can also be arranged.
The Walt Disney World Resort, commonly known as Walt Disney World, or often just as Disney World, is an entertainment complex in Bay Lake and Lake Buena Vista, Florida, near Orlando and Kissimmee, Florida. Opened on October 1, 1971, the resort is owned and operated by Walt Disney Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products, a division of The Walt Disney Company. It was initially operated by Walt Disney World Company. The property covers nearly 25,000 acres (39 sq mi; 101 km2), featuring four theme parks, two water parks, twenty-seven themed resort hotels, nine non-Disney hotels, several golf courses, a camping resort, and other entertainment venues, including the outdoor shopping center Disney Springs.