10 tips for using ferries for Northwest travel with kids

If you travel extensively throughout the coastal northwest, your route will eventually necessitate using Washington State (WSDOT) ferries or BC Ferries. Both are well-run ferry transportation options, but can seem intimidating to the occasional … [Read more...]

Where to stay on Orcas Island: a review of Doe Bay Resort and Retreat

Popular Orcas Island, WA can get busy during the summer season, and lodging on this less developed San Juan Islands vacation destination can fill up fast. Families will find they don't have too many options: only a few established hotel resorts, lots … [Read more...]

Five things to do with kids in Moran State Park, Orcas Island WA

Orcas Island is a great destination for families in the San Juan Island network. Kids will enjoy kayaking or exploring the numerous farmer's markets and two public beaches, but the highlight for us was Moran State Park. Located on the Doe Bay section … [Read more...]

Where to eat in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Alabama

A decade ago, families visiting Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Alabama could expect baskets of shrimp and fries on the beach, bushwhackers in the bars, and not much else. Today, the culinary scene on the Gulf Coast of Alabama has changed significantly, … [Read more...]

24 hours in Carpinteria CA with kids

If you're not familiar, Carpinteria, California is a beach town just south of Santa Barbara that, in the three decades I've visited, has managed to retain its beach-town charm and distinct lack of city or suburbia influence. Located just off Highway … [Read more...]

Five free things to do in Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Sioux Falls is a surprising city in many ways: it's larger than most visiting families would guess, and is well-stocked with family friendly activities and historical sites...many of them cheap or free. Read on for our top five cheap or free things … [Read more...]

A Southern California Ojai retreat: a stay at The Blue Iguana Inn

When you arrive at Ojai, California's Blue Iguana Inn, the first thing you'll feel is peace. If you have kids in tow, it will be because of the lush gardens, tucked-away lawns, outdoor pool, and spacious lodging options. If you're vacationing … [Read more...]

15 ways to fill the dog days of summer: late summer getaways and tips

By this part of summer, some families have already begun the school year, and the rest of us are in the last leg of vacation. If you're like us, the planned summer trips are behind you, yet empty days still stretch ahead. How to fill these dog days … [Read more...]

Montana dude ranch vacation: Flathead Lake Lodge

On my very first morning of a week-long dude ranch stay at Flathead Lake Lodge in western Montana, I sat down to breakfast in the historic lodge dining room and couldn’t find a spoon. I looked about, but the wait staff was busy, so I turned to a … [Read more...]

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Hilton Carlsbad Oceanfront Resort and Spa review

Want to be central to LegoLand and San Diego, but stay at a hotel with a distinct ‘beach’ feel? The Hilton Carlsbad Oceanfront Resort and Spa is located one street off a lifeguard-manned beach, with ocean views from both rooms and the outdoor pool … [Read more...]