Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Guest Post - Five Family Favorites for Vacation

By Alexandra Jacobs

Traveling with a family is a completely different experience than traveling without kids. Many parents are unsure about the best place to go on vacation with a family that will easy, relatively inexpensive and fun. The good news is that there are wonderful vacation spots for families, including these top five locations:

New York City, New York

New York City may not be the first place you think of when you think of vacationing with the kids, but the truth is that there is much to do, see and experience. Go see a Broadway play, take a carriage ride through Central Park, stroll through famous neighborhoods like Greenwich Village or go on a ferry ride over to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. Check websites like and to find deals and coupons for popular destinations in New York City and consider buying the New York Pass, with paid admission and discounts to more than 70 places and attractions.

One of the best places to stay in New York City for families is the West 57thStreet Hilton Club Hotel, located right by Times Square, Broadway and Rockefeller Center. The hotel also offers a complimentary continental breakfast every morning, which significantly cuts back on the daily costs of keeping an entire family fed. While this may not be quite the same as living in elite New York City Real Estate, it’s as good as family-style hotel living gets.

After a day of sightseeing, take the family to Big City Bar & Grill for dinner, where there is a large supervised play area for children under the age of nine so the grown-ups can sit, relax and chat in peace for a while until your American-style dinner arrives.

Key West, Florida

          Photo by flickr user placesaroundflorida

Sometimes you want some sun and sand instead of busy city streets. If this is the case, take the family to beautiful Key West, Florida.

Stay at the Hyatt Key West Resort and Spa, which has a waterfront pool and a sheltered beach where kids will be safe wading and swimming (all with parental supervision, of course). The hotel even has its own turtles and parrot, which just adds to the family appeal.

During the day, head for Founders  Park, which has an Olympic-sized pool, kayaks, pedal boats, paddleboards, sailing lessons, skate park and on-site picnic and barbeque sites. Bring your own food and a cooler to cut down on costs and do not forget plenty of sunscreen.

When you have had enough sun, visit the Key West Shipwreck Museum and view the artifacts from the “Isaac Allerton”, which sank in 1856. Get discounted tickets at their website.

Head to Blue Heaven Restaurant for dinner, which even has a ping-pong table, roosters and a gift shop to keep kids busy and yummy seafood for dinner when everyone is ready to eat. 

San Diego, California

                Photo by flickr user Russ May

Another great beach vacation for families is San Diego, which has plenty of sun and surf for everyone but much more, including the famous San Diego Zoo. Check out for discount tickets to the San Diego Zoo and be sure to give yourself all day to spend at the zoo.
After a tiring day at the zoo or any of the other attractions in San Diego, check into the Rancho Valencia Hotel, rated one of the best hotels in America by U.S. News. The hotel is about 30 minutes outside of San Diego and offers beautiful gardens and a peaceful setting.

Do not forget that you need to eat after all that activity, so check out and sort by Locations, Takeout & Delivery and then either Dine-In or Takeout/Delivery to find the latest deals on nearby restaurants to feed your hungry tummies.

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Photo by flickr user jimmiehomeschoolmom
Embrace your inner Yogi Bear and go enjoy the incredible natural beauty of Yellowstone National Park.

One of the best things about Yellowstone is that you can do many of the most popular attractions free. Just pack your hiking boots and layer your clothes wisely, since weather can vary from hot, sweaty to cold and windy very quickly. Most walks and hikes throughout Yellowstone can take anywhere from an hour to all day, depending upon your route and chosen sights, including the Yellowstone Grand Canyon, Old Faithful and Yellowstone Lake. Plan accordingly if you have small children.

If you’re ready to rough it (at least a little bit), then stay at the Old Faithful Inn, which offers small rooms right inside the park itself. However, if you are staying with children, reserve a room with a bathroom to avoid using the common bathrooms and showers, which can be difficult with small kids. In addition, stock up on your food and beverages before you check in because you may not want to head back out once you are there.

Do not expect fine dining in Yellowstone, but if you want a good burger and a beer, head to the Lake House in Grant Village.

Monterey Bay, California

 Photo by flickr user eutrophication&hypoxia
 Sometimes trying to arrange all the details for a family vacation, from the flight to the rental car to the hotel to the local attractions and things to do can leave you so exhausted that you do not even want to bother.

Consider a family vacation package deal, courtesy of Living Social to the Monterey Peninsula in California.

The package includes a two-night stay at the Anton Inn, a voucher for a delicious lobster and wine dinner, daily continental breakfast and even tips on where and what to go and do, such as visiting the famous Monterey Aquarium or shopping along Cannery Row.

Alexandra is a travel enthusiast who loves to write about tourism, beaches, food, and the wonderful things in the world.  She provides her own insights on vacationing to the blogosphere.  If you would like to learn more about her, follow her @alexsjourneys or visit her blog


K'owNeysa said...

the writing style? so not u..;p
anyway great info..jom pegi new york 2015...

Shondra from Dwellable said...

What a great list! My favorite places are San Diego, Monterey, and Yellowstone. :)

I'd love to feature this list on our site. If you're interested, shoot me an email.

Thanks! :)


::Ida:: said...

@kown : haha obviously its not even me writing it :)

@shondra : hi! sure thing! you can just copy this and link back to my site. thank you :)