Western Caribbean Cruise | Articles and Reviews at Family Travel Blog

The city of 100,000 that’s just off the Blue Ridge Parkway in western Virginia has been off tourists’ radar lately. But thanks to an influx of businesses, it has undergone a quiet renaissance. The stunning Taubman Museum of Art, whose curvy silver-colored roofline pays homage to the Blue Ridge Mountains, was designed by a onetime associate of famed architect Frank Gehry. Admission is free. Roanoke has craft beer, wineries, food trucks and an affordable menu of restaurants. Sip iconic peanut soup at the rejuvenated Hotel Roanoke. A sign of Roanoke’s revival: Amtrak recently added service from Washington, D.C., and other cities.
The New Yorker has a good location – central and steps from Penn Station for subway and train to Newark (if that’s where you’re flying to). Hop On/Hop Off is good for a quick trip around the sights but it’s not great for transportation. Think of it as a tour, not as a way to get from point A to point B (it’s slow and hard to get a spot on if not starting from Times Square). You can buy discounted tickets from salesman that wander around near Times Square. Ask for a deal. Cabs are sometimes cheaper for a family of 4 but subway is faster. The big Toys R Us store has closed but there is a temporary toy store near Times Square (Broadway & 42nd).
Travel to beautiful Punta Cana and stay at Ocean Blue and Sand! Ideal for your next family getaway, your young travelers will love the bowling alley. The club for teens comes complete with Nintendo Wii stations, non-alcoholic beverages bar, and more.  
Walt Disney World, located near Orlando, Florida, offers a wide range of attractions for its guests to enjoy, including two water parks, the Downtown Disney Shopping area, golf courses and a selection of hotels and dining establishments. However, the main attractions at Walt Disney World are it’s four theme parks: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios and the Animal Kingdom, each offering its adventure.
Best Beach Vacations for Couples: Couples often like similar things: spas, golf, hiking, swimming or just relaxing by the pool. The best way to find your perfect vacation is to make a dream list of 10 things that would make you most happy. Bucket list destinations in the U.S. include Key West, New York City and Sanibel Island.
I’m heading to New York City in April (9-13) with my family. My wife, 8 year old son and I are taking the train up to NYC. We have opening day tickets to the Yankees game on the 10th. We also have Statue of Liberty (pedestal only) and Ellis Island scheduled for the 12 April. I still haven’t reserved accommodations yet, but came across your site and found a wealth of info. We prefer to stay in a place with a kitchenette to save money on meals. We plan to eat out, but not every meal. We are also interested in hotels that provide free breakfast if hotels with kitchenettes are too pricey. My wife loves to shop and just walk the city, so we have no specific location in mind. We prefer to be close to good shopping, restaurants, and activities for our son, but not to busy (I.e., Times Square). Are there any new moderately priced locations you can recommend for a family of 3 traveling to NYC in April?
We are often asked if you can buy, say, a 10-day Base Ticket and use it as a 5-day Hopper by visiting two parks per day. The answer is no. You can only enter one park per day with Magic Your Way Base Tickets (the gates will prevent you from entering another park on the same day with that ticket). You must buy the Park Hopper option if you want to go to more than one park per day.
The district soon began construction of drainage canals, and Disney built the first roads and the Magic Kingdom. The Contemporary Resort Hotel and Polynesian Village were also completed in time for the park’s opening on October 1, 1971.[10][11] The Palm and Magnolia golf courses near Magic Kingdom had opened a few weeks before, while Fort Wilderness opened a month later. 24 days after the park opened, Roy O. Disney dedicated the property and declared that it would be known as “Walt Disney World” in his brother’s honor. In his own words: “Everyone has heard of Ford cars. But have they all heard of Henry Ford, who started it all? Walt Disney World is in memory of the man who started it all, so people will know his name as long as Walt Disney World is here.” After the dedication, Roy Disney asked Walt’s widow, Lillian, what she thought of Walt Disney World. According to biographer Bob Thomas, she responded, “I think Walt would have approved.” Roy Disney died at age 78 on December 20, 1971, less than three months after the property opened.[12]
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A Chincoteague Island escape offers the chance to enjoy relaxing on this small, serene island off the Virginia coast that’s home to wild ponies, foxes and more than 320 species of birds. If you can be here on the last Wednesday of July, you can watch the wild horses swim across the channel during the annual Pony Swim. The Waterside Inn is an ideal place to base your stay, with cheap room rates and a family atmosphere. It hosts its own pier for fishing an crabbing, a marina and a seasonal outdoor heated pool that overlooks Chincoteague Channel.
The Magdalena Grand Beach Resort, set among a virgin mangrove forest and lush tropical vegetation, offers the ultimate escape to paradise at a more affordable price. It includes lots of family-friendly features, like three large swimming pools and a free kids’ club with the chance to learn about Tobago’s green, leatherback and hawksbill turtles. A free shuttle will bring you to popular Pigeon Point beach, while the complimentary buffet breakfast offers lots of tasty hot items, including an omelet station. Rooms feature ocean view balconies and even marble baths, along with numerous dining and drinking options, including a piano bar and a coffee shop.
Art Museums: Visit top art museums in the U.S. on your romantic getaway, such as the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and the Cincinnati Art Museum. Look up best things to do in a city near you or travel across the continent or to Europe to view famous art.
One of this hotel’s great attributes is that it feels right for many different types of people, including the well known, the unknown, the young and the not so young; and families are particularly welcome and well looked after. The rooms and suites, many connecting, have class and style, and there are plenty of imaginative and luxurious extra touches. Every child that stays will find new toys and books in their room, plus personalised presents, fun duvet covers, mini robes and slippers, and gingerbread men with their name iced on. Read expert review
Does your family thrive on challenges? Multiple escape rooms now pepper Charlotte, and near the intersection of the city’s two interstates, you’ll find Escape Kings. This family-friendly attraction lets those over 10 years of age test their collective wits by escaping from Aztec Ruins and Kings Quest rooms. The puzzle clues are for all ages, and escape is neither too hard for kids nor too easy for adults. To avoid disappointed faces, pick up tickets for escape rooms, Segway tours and other family-friendly activities in advance.
Dreams Playa Mujeres Golf & Spa Resort offers plenty of fun for adults and children! Swim in any of the three pools, go snorkeling, or take a yoga class, among other exciting daily activities. Kids ages 3-17 will always find something exciting at the Explorer’s Club or Core Zone!
California: California is often a favorite getaway for couples and families, home to sandy beaches, laid-back towns, great wine growing regions like Napa, Sonoma and Paso Robles, as well as leading universities, great museums and attractions.
Located on the southern edge of Lake Erie is chilled-out Sandusky. This place is home to the Cedar Point amusement park, which draws rollercoaster-crazy visitors each year. It’s mostly for the thrill-seekers, but there are also gentler options available for younger children. Alternatively, you can take jet skis out on the lake or enjoy a stroll with stunning views along the Sandusky Bay Pathway.
Alexander Brest Museum and Gallery Jacksonville Duval Northeast Art Part of Jacksonville University, includes changing exhibits of contemporary art, collections of carved ivory, Pre-Columbian artifacts, Steuben glass, Chinese porcelain, Cloisonné, Tiffany glass, and Boehm porcelain
Thanks to Fusions Restaurant and the work of Chef Ash Helal, you don’t have to go far for a creative take on delicious cuisine. Enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner indoors or outdoors in the courtyard, or opt for a quiet meal in the comfort of your own room with in-room dining.
The resort’s tropical gardens, saltwater lagoons and two golf courses are tempting, but the most popular retreat is Dolphin Quest. It provides guests with a variety of interactive dolphin programs, including training adventures, a family experience and kids’ quest. Meanwhile, at Waikoloa’s 4-acre lagoon, water lovers can schedule kayak trips, snorkel sails and seasonal whale-watching tours. After dark, attend the Legends of Hawaii luau to experience traditional island dancing and music, as well as a buffet dinner.
You won’t find any place good (even decent) in Manhattan at those prices. Your best bet is something on Airbnb that’s in Queens but on a subway line. But yes, you’ll get a big discrepancy in Airbnb reviews. Airbnb is very social for some which makes it hard to give a negative honest review. Instead guests feel pressured to say something nice since they met the host and stayed in their house and chatted about their families. Also, expectations of guests can be very different. When it comes to Airbnb be prepared for anything. I’ve had friends stay at Airbnbs that had pages of 5 star reviews and the place was a dump.
Those with a predilection for high-thread-count sheets will soon be able to luxuriate at the Grand Bohemian Hotel, a ritzy boutique property with Carolina charm. In the meantime, discerning visitors can bunk at the swank Westin Poinsett, a historic hotel that was rescued from the wrecking ball in the late ’90s, laying the groundwork for Greenville’s great Southern revival. —Rachel Tepper Paley
As the biggest island in Thailand, Phuket offers tons of great beaches. Besides its clear waters and prime snorkeling stops, Phuket is also home to attractions like the Anthem Wakepark, a cable wakeboarding water park. Family-friendly accommodations can be found for under $100 per night.
The best way to find cheap hotels in New York is to use Hotelscombined.com – it searches hundreds of websites and finds the best deals. That said, you’ll need to compromise on some of your criteria if you want to find a budget hotel anywhere near New York City. And that most likely will be size or location (or both).
Summery daytime temperatures in the mid-80s and cool nights make July a lovely time to visit Santa Fe. The city’s well-known creative culture is in full bloom, with the four-day Art Santa Fe show set for July 12-15, this year presenting contemporary art from around the world. The Traditional Spanish Market to be held in downtown Santa Fe on July 28-29 will feature the work of around 250 Spanish colonial artists with woodcarving, tinwork, weaving, jewelry, pottery, ironwork and more. Music lovers come for the month-long Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival beginning July 15. For opera fans, the annual festival will include performances of Madame Butterfly and Candide. Hiking, horseback riding, biking, and simply taking in the views of the nearby Sangre de Cristo Mountains will keep visitors busy when they’re not enjoying the art and music. The Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado would make a perfect home base no matter what your other plans are.
4) The Soho Grand has a very cool/trendy bar in the lobby area. Good beer and funky music. A block north from the Soho Grand is Lucky Strike – sort of a french bistrot/bar. Delicious food and open late.
Thailand has it all: good food, friendly people and a fascinating culture. Start a Thailand Family Holiday in Bangkok, where you can ride through the city’s famous canals and see the Temple of the Emerald Buddha.  In Kanchanaburi, stop for the night where two rivers converge (they were featured in the film, Bridge on the River Kwai). Head north to Chiang Mai to visit a temple (you may hear Buddhist monks chanting at the end of the day). Kids will like the Northern Thai Doll Museum, where over 400 handmade dolls represent Thai culture and dress. Later, tour one of the biggest aquariums in Southeast Asia, Sea Life Bangkok Ocean World, and shop in Bangkok for everything from Jimmy Choo shoes to flower garlands and live crabs. 
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
Golf Weekends: Great for team building and re-connecting with friends, golf getaways can include a day trip to a nearby public course or a weekend vacation to a luxury resort. Plan on PGA courses in California, check into a famous resort in Florida or play a few rounds on your business trip to Las Vegas. Best vacations for golfers can also mean a day trip to a nearby golf course which is fun and cheap.
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The 640-acre Tanque Verde Ranch is a serene oasis nestled in the Sonoran Desert, near Saguaro National Park. With more than 120 horses, it’s no surprise that this dude ranch offers ample riding opportunities. Specialty options available include breakfast rides (with a meal at the Old Homestead), six-hour-long day rides, and picnic rides with lunch in Cottonwood Grove. Newcomers can take riding lessons at a variety of levels.
“We wanted to spend time at the Grand Canyon so I looked for a place that could accommodate all 9 of us (this included some children). Rather than rent numerous hotel rooms I decided it might be fun to all stay together in a house. The description of this house made it sound interesting and close to town so we chose it. Best decision ever!” — TripAdvisor Reviewer
You don’t have to travel overseas; try a Western USA Family Holiday. Hit the beach in San Diego to surf and swim. Then head to the Grand Canyon to watch the sun paint the canyon walls and hear rangers explain park geology. Drive on toward dazzling Las Vegas, and, if you dare, venture into Death Valley, the hottest, driest spot in the country, where you’ll find volcanic craters, mountain peaks and salt flats. Don’t miss the giant sequoias and granite cliffs at Yosemite National Park. End your trip by returning to San Francisco via Monterey, where you can visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium, go kayaking, or journey by boat to spot sea lions, otters and whales.
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Yes, baseball season begins in early April. You can get schedules of home games and order tickets at the web sites of the New York Yankees (nyyankees.com) or the New York Mets (nymets.com). If you want better seats than the team has available, check sites like Stubhub.com and Seatgeek.com, where season ticket holders often sell tickets for games they cannot attend. When the teams are playing out of town, both stadiums offer behind-the-scenes tours, with the chance to visit locker rooms and dugouts, see some of the expensive private boxes, and actually go on the field. Early in the month you can also see basketball and hockey in action. Madison Square Garden hosts the Knicks (nba.com/knicks) and the women’s Liberty (liberty.lnba.com)basketball teams as well as Rangers hockey (rangers.nhl.com) Barclays Arena in Brooklyn is home to Nets basketball (nba.com/nets) and Islanders hockey (islanders.nhl.com).

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