Consider sleeping somewhere spooky. If you dare, here are five hair-raising places to consider:
1.La Fonda. Santa Fe, NM. Located in the historic district of this storied state capitol, the hotel site has reportedly been the scene of important business meetings, legal wrangling, fur trading, gambling and even hangings, since it began welcoming tourists as early as 1607. The ghosts of a distraught salesman and a former Judge, as well as several other long term guests are said to walk the halls. The establishment has been rebuilt many times and today serves as an ideal central location from which your family can explore the art, culture and history of Santa Fe. Contact: 800-523-5002; www.lafondasantafe.com.
2.The Stanley Hotel. Estes Park, CO. Some say the chilling laughter of young children still fills the hallways of this 138-room historic inn that served as the inspiration for scare-master Stephen King’s popular book and film The Shining. Located within six miles of the Rocky Mountain National Park, outdoor activities abound. But don’t miss the history and ghost tour offered for families eager to hear more about Room 217, where King’s Shining story began. You will also stop by the hotel’s other most haunted spaces including an underground tunnel. Children must be five or older. Tour reservations required. Contact: 800-976-1377; http://stanleyhotel.com
3.Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel. Alberta, Canada. Put your ghostly fears aside and check-in to this expansive hotel set in a majestic mountain setting. Designed in the likeness of a Scottish Baronial Castle, the inn welcomes kids with prince or princess crowns, the offer of a castle scavenger hunt, and a coupon to stop by the Castle Pantry for milk and cookies. However, should your bags be delivered, know the ghost of “Sam”, a former bellman, is said to sometimes roam the halls, still clad in his 60’s style- uniform. Contact: 866-540-4406; www.fairmont.com/banffsprings/
4. 1886 Crescent Hotel and Spa. Eureka Springs, AR. Take the nightly tour and hear of strange happenings, odd noises and creepy disturbances said to have transpired in what is known as America’s most haunted hotel. Hear about the Irish stonemason who fell to his death while building the hotel and is said to occasionally visit Room 218. Other ghosts, including a nurse, a gentleman in Victorian finery and a cranky Doctor, reportedly roam the halls and play innocent pranks. Forewarned: the tour includes a trip to the basement, a spooky space once used as a morgue. 877-342-9766, www.crescenthotel.com.
5. The Queen Mary. Long Beach, CA. Throughout October and beyond, the opportunities to learn about paranormal particulars aboard this 314-room, historic ship are plentiful. Former passengers, from sailors to socialites, met their demise on the Queen Mary or were somehow determined to return and keep their spirits alive. Take a self-guided tour (Don’t get lost!) or choose from a menu of options that include touring with the resident paranormal investigator. For visits during October, ask about Dark Harbor, an extra-scary Halloween extravaganza, and Dark Harbor packages. Bring your flashlights. Contact: 877-342-0742; www.queenmary.com/
Hotels and resorts are wooing the next generation of spa goers with signature treatments and soothing beauty sessions.
Check out these places where spending time at the spa is a family affair:
1.Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa. Kauai, Hawaii.
Explore the island of Kauai’s famous coastline. Then retreat to the Anara Spa for a family-friendly pampering session amidst lush tropical surroundings. Teens will tune in for pineapple-coconut mani/pedis, plus eye-brow shaping, makeup lessons and a facial, especially designed for their unique skin care needs. Kids of all ages can opt for temporary Polynesian tattoos, Hawaiian princess hair styling (think gorgeous flowers in their hair), flower polishes and island hair braiding. Adults may choose from the spa’s comprehensive menu or create their own sampler package. Choose two or more treatments and save with the Pampered in Paradise package.
Contact: 808-240-6440; www.anaraspa.com
2. Great Wolf Lodge. Grapevine, TX.
Splash the day away in the resort’s 80,000 square foot water park. Later, youngsters from four to 12 can primp for dinner in the Scooops Kid Spa. They’ll climb aboard the super-sized, banana split pedicure throne for foot massage and the chance to transform their toes with ice-cream-inspired colors. They can also opt for sherbet scrubs and flavored fizz soaks followed by an edible ice cream treat at Bear Paw Sweets & Eats. Birthday party packages are popular.
Contact: 800-693-9653; www.greatwolf.com/grapevine/amenities/scooops.
3. Four Seasons Resort Whistler. Whistler, BC.
Among the first to offer kid-focused spa treatments, this picturesque mountain resort continues to tempt the next generation of spa goers with tasty and sweet smelling options. Dip into hot fudge sundae or strawberry flavored treatments. Junior scrubs and rubs also include Lavender Lullaby Mini Bath Ice Cream, Strawberry Kiwi Shower Sherbet, and Vanilla Purity Body Icing in tandem with an Ice Cream Sandwich Pumice Stone. Ask for treatments using the ME! Bath line of bath and body products for preservative-free and PETA certified ingredients.
Contact: 604-935-3400; www.fourseasons.com/whistler/spa/
4. Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort, Orlando.
This grand resort, adjacent to Walt Disney World, includes Bonnet Creek's Blue Harmony Spa, offering treatments for junior travelers as well as mom and dad. Designed for teens, the Clear and Pure Facial includes tips from skilled aestheticians on how to create effective home care routines that will enable healthy skin. Teens can tap in to the relaxation provided by the Sapphire Shine Mani/Pedi which includes a scented hand or foot massage, trim, cuticle and buff followed by polish and nail art. Guests six and older will like Fancy Fingers, which includes a scented hand soak and a nail polish.
Contact: 877-999-3223; www.wyndhamgrandorlando.com.
5. Hotel 1000. Seattle, WA. The Spaahh , tucked within this Northwestern luxury hotel, is offers Pink Glamour Pedicures, designed for mom and her young daughter or special friend. The grown-up service includes pink Champagne and strawberries. Junior companions can enjoy a specially designed Spaahh Signature “mocktail” with strawberries. A portion of the proceeds are donated to the Breast Cancer Awareness Foundation. Also available: the Chocolate Pedicure, during which young spa enthusiasts sample a chocolate treat ( brownies or ice cream ) while enjoying a bubbling chocolate foot scrub and pedicure.
Contact: 877-315-1088; www.hotel1000seattle.com/index.php
Irene Lane, founder of Greenloons, offers her picks for ten compelling eco destinations:
1. Jordan’s eco-lodges combine local heritage and educational experiences while exploring a mix of modernity, ancient wonders and nature. Think horse or camel safaris, Bedouins, the endangered Arabia oryx, Petra, the Dead Sea and trekking through Dana Nature Reserve.
2. Borneo’s jungles, beaches, caves, exotic wildlife and more than 5,000 diverse and endemic plant species are revealed by, among others, trekking the relatively untouched Mt. Kinabalu and exploring the Kinabatangang River, home to wild boar, orangutans, elephants, king fishers, macaque and proboscis monkeys. Award-winning eco-lodges harvest rainwater, use solar power and manage wildlife rehabilitation.
3. The Philippines is among National Geographic’s 20 Best Destinations and Palawan Island its top eco-destination. Among 7,000 islands guests swim with whale sharks, discover endangered sea turtles, spy on the rare Philippine eagle and discover the mountain-to-sea ecosystem of the Puerto-Princesa Subterranean River National Park. Eco-lodges serve locally sourced food and wildlife education.
4. Belize offers more than 87 distinct types of ecosystems, making ecotourism the lifeblood of its economy. Along with 150 identified species of mammals are rainforests, Mayan temples, the world’s second longest barrier reef and an abundance of eco-lodges educating travelers about the fragility of its ecosystem.
5. Botswana favors low volume, high quality, environmentally conscious safari travel into the Okavango Delta and Kalahari Desert, the savannahs of the Moremi Reserve and the forests of Chobe and Linyanta Game Reserves. Guests enjoy game drives, walking, elephant/horseback/bicycle safaris and boating, plus youth explorer programs emphasizing conservation and bush survival skills. Tented bush camps are environmentally friendly.
6. Poland has mountains, rivers and wetlands and is a haven for hundreds of thousands of migratory birds as well as avid hiking enthusiasts. With 23 National Parks and forests covering nearly 30 percent of the country, Poland has its own Big Game: the European bison, lynx, stoats, martens and red deer. Guests can enjoy eco-ranch lodges.
7. Croatia’s eco/agritourism focuses on culinary tours with locally sourced organic produce and family farm stays. Activities can include hiking, biking, rafting and canoeing.
8. Guyana’s mountain ranges, savannahs and jungle canopy walks combine with river and rainforest eco-lodges for close-up views of exotic birds, jaguars, red howler monkeys, giant river otters and other wildlife. The famed Karanambu Ranch rehabilitates orphaned giant river otters so they can be released back into the wild.
9. Argentina is home to Glacier National Park and the active Perito Moreno, one of the world’s only advancing glaciers, as well as the tropical rain forests of Iguazu Falls near Brazil, the Antarctic environment of Tierra del Fuego, the Andean mountains, the wind-swept Patagonian steppe and the coastal marine habitat of the Valdes Peninsula. Eco-lodges are crafted from local materials to integrate with the environment.
10. Ethiopia may be a trek across the Roof of Africa through the virtually untouched Simien Mountains, home of the Gelada baboon, Walia ibex and endangered Ethiopian wolf. Or it may be Rift Valley Lakes and Blue Nile Falls or Lalibela, considered to be one of the greatest spiritual-historical sites of the world. Eco-lodgings are built in the traditional “tikka” style and solar-powered.
Photo: Petra, Jordan
Can't make it to the spa this month?
Eat healthy now and book a stay later!
Canyon Ranch (Massachusetts)
Quinoa & Endive Salad
1 cup dry quinoa
3 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup carrots, julienne
1/4 cup diced red or yellow bell peppers
2 tablespoons diced red onions
2 tablespoons dried currants (or raisins)
2 tablespoons crushed almonds
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon chopped mint
3 ounces Belgium endive
1. Preheat toaster oven to 375°.
2. Rinse quinoa thoroughly. Lightly coat a baking sheet with canola oil spray. Spread quinoa evenly on sheet. Toast for 5 minutes or until golden.
3. In a medium saucepan, over high heat, bring water to a boil and add toasted quinoa. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until all liquid has been absorbed. Set aside.
4. In a large bowl, toss together carrots, bell peppers, onions, currants or raisins and almonds.
5. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients for dressing.
6. Add quinoa and dressing to bowl with vegetables and stir together until well combined.
7. Place 3 endive leaves on a plate and top with 1/2 cup quinoa salad. Repeat for remaining salads.
Makes 16 servings, each containing approximately:
85 calories, 10 gm. carbohydrate, 4 gm. fat, 0 mg. cholesterol, 3 gm protein, 46 mg. sodium, 1 gm fiber
The importance of tourism, and the incredible rolling tourism dollar, has been recognized by the United Nations as an “official day” since the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) became a UN specialized agency in 2003.
The concept is an important one: "Tourism – Linking Cultures", highlighting the industry’s role in bringing the cultures of the world together and promoting global understanding through travel.
Shouldn't every day be about supporting global understanding through tourism?
I’m all for that!
These adorable young men were there to meet us when we landed in our small plane in the Sepik River region
of Papua New Guinea.
Copyright: Lynn O'Rourke Hayes
Each time I embark on an air travel trip I am reminded of what an adventure it can be. And I’m a grown-up! I marvel at the challenges faced by parents of young children today. Getting through the security check point with diaper bags, strollers, toys, snacks, gear can be daunting.
If boarding a flight with the kids is part of your travel plan, here are a few tips to help you avoid snags in the system:
Print boarding passes in advance. Confirm flight departure times. Remind older children to bring their IDs and have yours ready. Arrive at the airport with time to spare.
TSA’s 3-1-1 program means:
Don’t forget your passports.
Will you be spending time on the beach in Mexico or skiing Whistler in Canada? Don’t forget. Passports are now required.
It is important stay hydrated when traveling. But water bottles are not permitted through the security line. Rather than buy high-priced water bottles in the airline gate area, bring an empty bottle through security and fill up at the drinking fountain. It’s more eco-friendly too.
Pack your snacks.
Airlines rarely serve complimentary food on board. So avoid expensive airport and onboard dining options by packing healthy and familiar food for the flight. By keeping everyone fed in a timely manner you’ll avoid cranky kids and parents.
Talk with your children about how you will spend your time on board. Then be sure to pack the books, art projects, ipods, games and other technology necessary for the flight.
The rules continue to evolve and seem to vary slightly by destination and change regularly. So before you head to the airport check the TSA website for the latest updates. Resources: www.TSA.gov; www.travel.state.gov.
Backpacks or roller bags for all.
Children like taking responsibility for their own gear. Ask everyone to carry as much as possible in their own backpack or carry –on. It’s good practice and lightens the load for the adults.
Different country, different rules. Shoes on? Shoes off? Computers out or in? Review country and airport guidelines before departure. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when moving through security in another country.
As nature parades her fall colors, share the glory with your family. Here are ten spectacular places where the crisp air will invigorate every member of your crew:
1.Purity Spring Resort. East Madison, NH.
Check in to this family-owned getaway and enjoy apple picking, country fairs, and antique shopping in the picturesque White Mountains of New Hampshire. The kids will love racing through the Sherman Farms corn maze and exploring nearby hiking, mountain biking and sunset paddling on the Saco River; all with spectacular fall colors as your backdrop. Grab your cameras and visit nearby covered bridges and waterfalls. Contact: 800-373-3754: www.purityspring.com.
2.South Carolina Upcountry.
Choose from a wealth of scenic side trips off Highway 11, the 112- mile long Cherokee Foothills National Scenic Byway. Ride a zip line through the changing colors and picnic near Campbell’s Bridge, South Carolina’s only remaining covered bridge. Kayak at Paris Mountain State Park then stop for homemade fudge or visit local apple orchards. Don’t miss Devils Fork State Park for wildlife watching and to marvel at the half-dozen waterfalls that spill into Lake Jocassee. Contact: www.greenvillecvb.com; www.theupcountry.com; www.scenic11.com.
3. Oregon Orange.
Enjoy the changing hues as you and your family explore the 44-mile trail that winds through Oregon’s National Wild and Scenic Rogue River Canyon. The pathway, originally carved by miners, offers respite along the way in the form of five historic lodges that enable trekkers to explore by day and relax in comfort come nightfall. What’s more, your gear will be transported via river raft during the four-day, three-night outing, enabling hikers to catch a ride when weary and to enjoy the scenery with only a camera and binoculars to weigh down your packs. Contact: 1-800-336-1647; www.wildrogue.com
4. Horseshoe Canyon Ranch. Arkansas.
Visit Ozark country for purple, gold, orange and red fall colors set against stunning sandstone bluffs. Make time for horseback riding, a rock climbing challenge, hiking, archery, family games, elk viewing, and skeet shooting. The whole family will enjoy time in the petting zoo. Family cabins make for a cozy retreat at day’s end. Ask about discounts for four or more. Contact : 800-480-9635; www.horseshoecanyonranch.com.
5. Spectacular Sedona.
Marvel at the splendor of the season in Northern Arizona, savoring the rich, visual treat from a Pink Jeep, a helicopter or a hot air balloon. With the Red Rocks of Sedona providing their own rich hues, take advantage of world class hiking amidst shimmering aspen leaves, check out canyon petroglyphs and shop for local arts and crafts. Stay at the pet friendly Bell Rock Inn and enjoy studio accommodations where families can spread out, cook in and enjoy a warming fireplace on a cool Autumn evening. Contact: 877-444-8044 www.arizonatourismcenter.com.
6. Southern Utah.
Pile into the car for a Fall foliage road trip that includes brilliant color set against the backdrop of some of our country's most stunning national parks. Travel along Utah State Route 143, a recently designated Scenic Byway. Also known as the Patchwork Parkway, the path runs from Parowan through Brian Head to Panguitch and commemorates a time when pioneer travelers used handmade quilts as protection from the winter cold. The region includes Cedar Breaks National Monument, Zion and Bryce National Parks, as well as lava fields, historic and petroglyph sites. Take advantage of scenic overlooks and pull out to view aspen stands. Contact: 1 (800) 354-4849; www.ScenicSouthernUtah.com.
7. Leavenworth, WA. Celebrate Fall at the Washington State Autumn Leaf Festival tucked in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains. The kids will enjoy a Main Street parade, clowns, a climbing wall and air trampolines. The town's longest running festival also features Bavarian brass bands and other musical entertainment for all ages. Contact: 509-548-5807; www.autumnleaffestival.com.
8. Canadian Color.
Visit New Brunswick for spectacular fall foliage and family fun. The Miramichi River region is home to the elusive Atlantic salmon and a popular haunt for fishing enthusiasts. Doaktown's Fall Frolic festival includes a lumberjack contest as well as home tours, quilt shows, and canoe runs. Stop by the Atlantic Salmon Museum and the historic Doak House to see how early settlers to the area lived. 1 (506) 365-1105; www.tourismnewbrunswick.ca; www.Doaktown.com.
9. Empire State Beauty.
See New York State's fabulous Fall foliage from aboard a unique vessel. Get comfortable on the Esperanza Rose, an elegant 65-foot wooden boat offering leaf peepers dinner and lunch cruises on the waters of Keuka Lake. Or consider viewing the colors while traveling through century -old canal locks and passing through historic towns aboard vintage water craft. Take part in the non-profit and education focused Sam Patch and Mary Jemison Cruises and you and the family will learn about the legendary Erie Canal and adjoining Genesee River, the development of which many consider to be an engineering wonder. Contact: 315-595-6618; www.esperanzaboat.com ; 585-662-5748; www.samandmary.org.
10. Rocky Mountain Wonderland.
Glimpse Colorado's golden aspen leaves by taking advantage of a Fall bike packages that includes rooms in Breckenridge, rental bikes and a free shuttle ride to the top of a mountain pass so you and the family can enjoy a downhill cruise and stunning Fall scenery. Or change saddle strategies and appreciate the beauty of Fall in the Rocky Mountains on horseback. Beaver Creek-based one and two hour trail rides or a three hour picnic ride will provide the family the chance to enjoy the crisp mountain air and time to wander through the splendid aspen stands. Contact: (888)906-6303;www.breckenridge.com; 1(970)845-7770 www.vailhorses.com/
Learn to sail or relax and let the wind ( and your ship’s captain ) set your course. Spending time on the water gives family travelers a chance to reconnect and see the world from a different point of view.
Here are seven ways to set sail with your family on board:
1.Out The Front Door.
Beautiful resorts like the Palau Pacific Resort, in Micronesia, offer colorful sailboats for the use of their guests. Relax on the beach, then invite one of your family members to share time on the water. (Go ahead. Race! ) This enchanting 160-room resort opened in 1984 on the site of a WW2 Japanese Seaplane base. Abiding by Palauan law, it was constructed no higher than the tallest coconut tree on the property and provides a picturesque, natural setting for a family holiday. Plan to spend time at the spa, snorkel, dive, kayak, hike nature trails and of course, sail!
2. Hop on a Maine Schooner.
Uniting their passion for historic windjammers with delectable food and top side fun, this “mom and pop” entrepreneurial pair (mom is the gourmet chef, pop is on deck) will share their love for the Maine coast with you and your family aboard the J&E Riggin. Book three, four or six day outings. Pitch in or chill out – the choice is yours.
Contact: 1-800-869-0604; www.MaineWindJammer.com.
3. Darwin’s Destination.
Have you seen the blue-footed boobies? If not, set sail through the Galapagos Islands where the water and islands are teeming with exotic and colorful wildlife. It’s a trip of a lifetime.
Contact: 1-800-941-8010; www.BoundlessJourneys.com
4. Turkish Delight.
Wander through small coastal villages. Explore hidden rock coves, wooded inlets and magnificent ruins from the Roman, Greek, Byzantine and Ottoman empires. Guests explore the coast and learn from local guides. This 15-day adventure is hand-crafted by ROW founder, Peter Grubb, and provides active exploration on the Aegean Sea and Lycian Shore. Departures: June, September, October.
Contact: 800-451-6034; www.RowInternational.com
5. On Your Own.
Sail from Tortola , St. Martin , St. Lucia , Canouan , Belize , Baja or the Bahamas and enjoy relaxing days on tranquil seas. The Moorings provides sea worthy vessels, enabling families to sail on their own or hire a crew.
Contact: 1-888-952-8420; www.moorings.com.
6.Small ship. Big luxury.
Board a small ship and set sail for the Mediterranean, Greek Isles, Caribbean, Costa Rica, Polynesia
or through the Panama Canal. Windstar Cruises operates three sailing yachts known for their pampering without pretense and their ability to visit the hidden harbors and secluded coves of the world’s most treasured destinations. Best for older children.
Contact: 1-800-258-7245; www.windstarcruises.com.
7. Great Lakes Getaway.
Spend a few hours or a few days aboard a charming, but floating “bed and breakfast”. Sailing from Traverse City, Michigan, you’ll enjoy the grandeur of the Great Lakes from a majestic sailing vessel.
Contact: 1-800-678-0383; www.TallShipSailing.com
In their book 101 Best Outdoor Towns (The Countryman Press, 2007) Sarah Tuff and Greg Melville provide a list of great places for visiting, playing – and perhaps staying. Most of the towns make for great family travel destinations. You’ll find tips on where to bunk for the night, rent great gear, find local favs and often affordable dining spots.
Here are five of my favorites:
1. Livingston, MT – Oozing western charm, this historic town is home to fly fishing enthusiasts, writers, artists and mountain lovers. As the scenic backdrop for many Hollywood movies, Livingston is a popular stop over for families heading into Yellowstone Park just 60 miles to the south. One of the country’s most important professional rodeos takes place here over the Fourth of July holiday. Contact: www.LivingstonMontana.com.
2. Taos, NM - Nestled against the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, this artsy town is steeped in Native American history. Enjoy galleries, great Southwestern food as well as hiking, kayaking, down hill and cross country skiing. The adobe architecture and stunning light also make it a photographer’s paradise. Contact: www.TaosChamber.com.
3. McCall, ID – The 5,500 acre glacial Payette Lake is the summer centerpiece in this mountain enclave of fewer than 3,000 full time residents. Surrounded by miles of pristine wilderness the whole gang will enjoy hiking, biking, fishing, rafting and paddling. Once the more than 300 inches of annual snow begins to fall, head to Brundage Mountain Resort or Tamarack Resort for some family friendly skiing. Contact: www.McCallChamber.org.
4. Girdwood, AK – Strap on crampons and hike the glacier or enjoy the mid-summer blueberry festival. This funky and fun town just 40 miles south of Anchorage offers year-round outdoor excitement. Plan now for winter heli-skiing, snow cat and dog-sledding trips led by Iditarod veterans. Contact: GirdwoodAlaska.com
5. Peterborough, NH – Here mountain climbers, hikers, paddlers and skiers are proud of their high energy crossroads and their well-known home town peak Mount Monadnock. At 3165 feet, the pinnacle provides stunning views that compete only with the picturesque town’s winding roads, churches and taverns that are right out of a Currier & Ives print. Trails of nearly every length lead out of town. Contact: www.TownofPeterborough.com
Don't miss Chase Guttman's tale of adventure, in which he outlines his experience in the hot springs, among the monkeys and sloths, and discovering the beauty of the local cultures.