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 22-acre Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort complex, set on the widest strip of beach in Waikiki, is a family-entertainment mecca. You can swim, surf, snorkel and paddleboard right from the hotel. Ideal for little ones is its beachfront lagoon, which lets them experience salt water without the big waves. Four nights of the week, the hotel stages Waikiki’s only outdoor luau, with traditional food, Polynesian dancing and music, and fire dancers. The resort’s Spirit of Aloha snorkel tours include a visit to Turtle Canyon. Sea turtles come to a spot where fish “clean” them before the turtles push off, making way for the next ones in line. If you don’t want to get wet while experiencing the ocean, descend 100 feet in an Atlantis Submarine to see reefs, sunken boats and planes, along with fish, sharks and turtles. — Todd Pitock
Florida Museum of Natural History Gainesville Alachua North Central Natural history Located on the campus of the University of Florida, flora, fauna, fossils and historic peoples of the state of Florida
“This adorable house was very comfortable and had every amenity needed for a family vacation. Everything was close by, from amazing restaurants to cute shops, and of course the beach. I was impressed at how quickly we were able to get to Disneyland and down the coast to Newport Beach.” — TripAdvisor Reviewer
Looking for other passes, such as the special Silver and Weekday Select passes available to Florida residents or the Gold passes for Florida Residents or DVC members? Check the links below for other pass options or to find discount sources for annual passes.
I’d stay somewhere close to Times Square or a little north towards Central Park – good location for shopping, catching shows, buying tickets for shows, and hopping on the tour buses. If you do visit one museum make it the Natural History Museum. Otherwise the hop-on/hop-off tour buses that leave from stops around Times Square (one goes north, one south to the financial district, and one into Brooklyn) are great. One of the buses stops right at the Brooklyn Bridge and you can walk across to Brooklyn and catch a different bus (or subway) back. The Highline is also a fun walk for kids and adults. Central Park itself offers lots to do: good playgrounds and water play areas. Renting bikes is fun (and there are rental shops in and around Central Park) but the Citi bikeshare program is for people 16 and over. To buy tickets for Broadway shows visit the TKTS booth in Times Square for discount tickets 1 to 4 hours before show times. They’ll be able to tell you what shows are good for kids. The best way to the airport for a family of 4 is a taxi.
Hawaii’s Napili Kai Beach Resort, located on Maui, comes close to an all-inclusive resort. Kids’ activities are provided free of charge during the summer and peak seasons, kids ages 12 and younger eat free, and the resort is one of few that don’t charge a resort fee, meaning parking, beach gear and Wi-Fi are all included in nightly rates. The resort prides itself on its intimacy and family-friendly environment, and it shows in the number of guests who return year after year.
Designed to supplement Disneyland in Anaheim, California, which had opened in 1955, the complex was developed by Walt Disney in the 1960s. “The Florida Project”, as it was known, was intended to present a distinct vision with its own diverse set of attractions. Walt Disney’s original plans also called for the inclusion of an “Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow” (EPCOT), a planned community intended to serve as a test bed for new city living innovations. After extensive lobbying, the government of Florida created the Reedy Creek Improvement District, a special government district that essentially gave The Walt Disney Company the standard powers and autonomy of an incorporated city. Walt Disney died on December 15, 1966, during construction of the complex. Without Disney spearheading the construction, the company created a resort similar to Disneyland, abandoning experimental concepts for a planned community. Magic Kingdom was the first theme park to open in the complex, in 1971, followed by Epcot in 1982, Disney’s Hollywood Studios in 1989, and the most recent, Disney’s Animal Kingdom in 1998.
Three great hotel with interconnected (adjoining) rooms are the DoubleTree Suites – Times Square, Hilton Times Square, and StayBridge Suites. One other idea you might explore is an apartment. Booking.com has a list of furnished apartments available for short-term stays. As does furnishedquarters.com. A variety of neighborhoods will be available so you can decide which is closest to the sights you hope to see. Just be sure you are close to public transportation. For seeing the sights with a minimum of walking, the hop-on, hop off bus may be a good option, especially given your range of ages. It will take you to most of the city’s main sights and leave it to you where you choose to get off and how long you want to stay. That said, it can be hard to get back on the bus and get a seat from a non-Times-Square stop.
The Hilton Waikoloa Village offers the fantasy version of Hawaii—swimming with dolphins, a kaleidoscopic Luau show with hula and fire dancers, a 175-foot-long twisting waterslide—and kids go crazy for it. The sprawling 62-acre resort on the Big Island’s sunny Kohala Coast has its own saltwater lagoon filled with tropical fish and rare sea turtles. Mahogany wood boats glide through the canals between buildings, shuttling guests from the 1,240 guest rooms and suites to the 14 restaurants and bars and three swimming pools. Visitors can also opt for the air-conditioned trams that traverse the property. There are two golf courses (for grown-ups) as well as a putting course with glow-in-the-dark mini golf tournaments (for kids and grown-ups). Adults can also slip away to the oceanfront beach and rent snorkeling equipment or simply camp out in a cabana. The Waikoloa Village is also known for being one of the more affordable places for families to stay.
Of all the islands that make up Italy’s Aeolian archipelago, Salina is arguably the most alluring: it is not yet a celebrity haven like its neighbor Stromboli, where Giorgio Armani, Domenico Dolce, and Stefano Gabbana have homes; and it’s not yet overrun with the luxury yachts of affluent soccer players like nearby Panarea. That the isle has stayed blissfully unspoiled for this long eludes those who know of its imposing natural beauty — steep mountains blanketed in blossoming trees and wildflowers, small villages speckled with olive and lemon groves, fig trees, and miles of terraced Malvasia vineyards. The Relais & Châteaux property Capofaro Malvasia & Resort is one of Salina’s finest places to check in to, thanks to its secluded location, private beach, Tasca d’Almerita wines, and restaurant spotlighting local flavors (think wild fennel, orange, and caper leaves). Once you’ve settled in, skip on over to the town of Lingua to watch the sun set on the Marina Garibaldi, and order the best almond granita of your life at the Da Alfredo waterfront café. —Rocky Casale
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
Located inside the park, the eco-friendly Falls Resort is set among lush gardens filled with sloths, toucans and monkeys, and it’s just five minutes from wide, sandy Esterillos Este beach. All rooms, including double queens, have outdoor space. Stay tuned: Plans are underway for three-bedroom treehouses.
“Funny and entertaining! Had a great driver/guide who was full of odd facts and opinions about various areas, events and structures in Boston. Provided commentary that assisted and enhanced both the educational and entertainment value of the tour. Also had a perfect sunny autumn day for the tour so that was great as well.” — TripAdvisor Reviewer
Stop by the concierge desk for special Junior Guest registration, and children will receive a Kids’ Fun Pack introducing them to the resort. The kids’ camp is the perfect opportunity for 5- to 12-year-olds to play tennis and golf, swim, fish, have theme days and make arts and crafts. Don’t forget to sign little ones up for Kids’ Night Out, a pizza and game party that allows parents to have a romantic date night at one of the four signature restaurants on-site.
Catch behind-the-scenes glimpses of Hollywood-style TV and movie magic with live performances, thrilling attractions, backstage tours and special events in a theme park with the vibrancy of a bustling film set. Explore 8 sections: Hollywood Boulevard, Echo Lake, Sunset Boulevard, Streets of America, Commissary Lane, Pixar Place, Mickey Avenue and Animation Courtyard. Be part of the action and take part in entertainment that puts you center stage!
As part of The Walt Disney Company’s March 2018 strategic reorganization, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts merged with Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media segments into Walt Disney Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products. Parks and Resorts chairman Bob Chapek was named chairman of this new segment, who also previously served as head of Disney Consumer Products.
Another Place is aimed primarily at families and younger adults. The showpiece 20-metre glass-fronted indoor pool has children’s swimming times, while parents will enjoy the Canadian outdoor hot tub, sauna and spa treatment rooms. Older children can enjoy watersports on the lake including stand-up paddle-boarding, kayaking and wild swimming. There’s a fully equipped Kids’ Zone for all ages, from babies to teenagers, with an indoor playroom/nursery, outdoor play area and safari tent for older children. Children’s meals are available, as well as family rooms and suites. Read expert review
Since the government’s 2016 peace deal with the FARC paramilitary group, memories of Colombia’s civil war have begun fading. As a result, new parts of the country are becoming accessible — among them the Pacific coast, which contains a once-dangerous strip of virgin beach and rain forest known as El Chocó. Regular commercial flights now connect travelers from Bogotá and Medellín to the fishing villages of Nuquí and Bahía Solano. From there, small boats run along the shore to chic eco-lodges like Punta Brava, which sits above two private beaches, and El Cantil Ecolodge, which is near surf breaks and a thermal spring. —Nicholas Gill
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.
In 1999, plans were announced for a new resort in Hong Kong, Hong Kong Disneyland, as a joint venture, Hong Kong International Theme Parks Ltd., between the Hong Kong Government and Disney Resorts. The Disney Wonder cruise ship began operation on August 15.
Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, Disney’s fifth resort and its second in Asia, opened September 12, 2005. The resort is located in Penny’s Bay, Lantau Island, Hong Kong. The resort consists of Hong Kong Disneyland theme park, Inspiration Lake Recreation Centre, and three hotels, with land reserved for future expansion. It is owned and operated by Hong Kong International Theme Parks, an incorporated company jointly owned by The Walt Disney Company and the Government of Hong Kong. The first phase of Hong Kong Disneyland Resort occupies 320 acres (1.3 km2).
A new crop of five-star brands are coming in 2018, including the Zadún, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, the Four Seasons Los Cabos at Costa Palmas, the Montage Los Cabos, 1 Hotel & Homes, and the first Nobu Hotel in Mexico. Foodies will want to make a reservation at Acre, a restaurant-farm from executive chefs Kevin Luzande and Oscar Torres, who are set to unveil 12 new treehouse guest rooms on site. —Christopher Tkaczyk
Walt Disney World’s first of four theme parks here in Orlando, Florida. If you only have time for one Disney park, this is the one most choose. It has the iconic Cinderella’s Castle with all the Disney classic characters like Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Donald and Daisy Duck, Pluto, Goofy and more!
Coworth Park is the only hotel in Britain to have its own polo club and fields; the equine theme dominates activities and décor, but there’s also biking and tennis to balance all the riding. Coworth Park Kids’ club is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday (£25 per day), and there’s a teen den with games room, and designated children’s hours at the pool. Grown-ups will love the Michelin-starred restaurant. Big families should go for the Dower House, a private, Grade II-listed, three-bedroomed cottage. Read expert review
The Whitewater rafting on Kicking Horse River, in Banff, is awesome. Choose from a variety of family packages; options include passes to Banff Hot Springs, a ride on a gondola for a 350-degree view of Sulphur Mountain and the Canadian Rockies; a canoe ride or a tour of a grizzly bear refuge. Packages can also include certified rafting guides and equipment. Kicking Horse, which flows from a glacial lake, is considered one of the most exciting whitewater runs in the Canadian Rockies, with a drop of about 50 feet about every 6/10 of a mile. You’ll enjoy stunning scenery as you journey down this Canadian Heritage River.
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Our 1-Day Peak, Regular and Value Tickets must be used by December 31, 2019, but the amount paid for an unused, expired ticket may be applied towards the purchase of a new ticket at the current price, so long as the new ticket purchase price is equal to or greater than the amount paid for the original ticket.
Right on 42nd Street, Five Guys Burgers at 253 West 42nd Street is a good family bet and though it is a familiar chain, the big Dallas BBQ at 241 West 42nd has something for all tastes and good prices. Remember that restaurants around Times Square are really busy around theater time, so dine before 6 or after 7:30 to avoid crowds.
Have a little one (or maybe even a hubby) who loves fast and shiny things? With over 300 cars, the Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing houses one of the largest collections of Fords in the state. The museum opened in 1984 and since has become home to the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame.