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Let’s Go to the Zoo!

Do your kids love animals of all shapes and sizes? Then they’ll love Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium! The zoo is ranked number one in the world by TripAdvisor and was named the top family-friendly attraction by FamilyFun Magazine.

The zoo is not just a great place to visit! It’s also nationally renowned for its leadership in animal conservation and research. The zoo features amazing exhibits that are fully immersive and just plain incredible! Kingdoms of the Night is the world’s largest nocturnal exhibit and indoor swamp. The Lied Jungle is one of the world’s largest indoor rainforests, and the Desert Dome is the world’s largest indoor desert. And don’t forget the aquarium where you’ll explore habitats from polar regions to temperate oceans to coral reefs and the Amazon!

The zoo’s latest exhibit is The African Lodge, the first completed building of the African Grasslands exhibit. Modeled after lodges found in the African savanna, the facility is situated at the center of the 28-acre African Grasslands exhibit and serves as a convenient waystation for visitors.

In addition to all the great exhibits, the zoo offers classes for all ages. And they mean it! There’s something educational for everyone from toddlers all the way through adults. Each age group gets its own class with age-appropriate material presented. You can even go “backstage” and experience hands-on how the zoo is run!

photo credit: Jered and Alexis Hofker via Flickr cc by-sa 2.0
Map Credit: Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium
photo credit:
Josh Grenier via Flickr cc by 2.0

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Visit Mexico and the Viceroy Zihuatanejo!

Viceroy Zihuatanejo

Mexico is one of the trendiest destinations right now—hosting its greatest number of visitors ever in 2014. With the lovely seaside destination of Zihuatanejo at the heart of this tourist boom, the Viceroy Zihuatanejo is offering an exciting summer program for families!

Viceroy Zihuatanejo

Nestled on one of the country’s most beautiful beaches, with warm and tranquil waters, Viceroy Zihuatanejo is a paradise in the sun. Relax on loungers at the beach while being pampered by Beach Butlers. Indulge in treatments at the Spa Palapa on the sand. Engage in a full array of water sports from windsurfing, sailing and water-skiing to snorkeling, kayaking and scuba diving. And keep a look out for the dedicated “Beach Boy” offering water sports instruction.

Viceroy Zihuatanejo

What’s on the menu for the kids? Tons! When not collecting sea shells or building sand castles on the shore, the kids can make piñatas, take Spanish or dance lessons, paint espadrilles to take home as souvenirs or learn to prepare guacamole! If the entire extended family is getting togther, the Family Reunion experience includes a Salsa dancing class, group dinner on the beach and a cooking contest!

Viceroy Zihuatanejo

In addition to yoga, meditation and alternative medicine classes, you can try paddleboard yoga. Play tennis or opt for a lesson from the resident pro with high-tech video instruction. Work out in the air-conditioned fitness center, swim in three pools and go on long walks or runs on the miles of white-sand beach. When hunger strikes, try some of the exquisite cuisine that is prepared with the freshest, natural, locally produced ingredients.

Viceroy Zihuatanejo

You’ll never run out of activities at Viceroy Zihuatanejo! Try golf on the Robert Trent-Jones Jr. and Robert von Hagge 18-hole courses, deep-sea fishing, a yacht excursion, special tasting menus in the La Cava wine cellar, tequila lessons and even cooking classes for either just adults or the entire family that includes going to Zihuatanejo’s central market to buy the ingredients.

However you choose to spend your time at Viceroy Zihuatanejo, you’ll have the time of your life!

Posted by Elizabeth on 06/05 at 08:30 AM
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The Ultimate Culinary Experience at Clifton Inn

Clifton Inn

If you’re heading to Virginia this year, you won’t want to miss the new Forage & Feast package at the historic Clifton Inn. Only available this spring through the colorful Virginia fall, this package is the ultimate culinary experience!

Clifton Inn

You’ll get the chance to fish, forage, cook and dine with resident chef, Jarad Adams, in a stunning natural setting. At this award-winning Relais & Châteaux property known for its exquisite service and fine dining, you’ll spend two days exploring Clifton’s 100-acre retreat, sourcing your own wild and cultivated ingredients, getting a quick culinary education and enjoying the “fruits” of your labor.

Clifton Inn

From fishing at the private, fully-stocked and undisturbed lake to foraging with Clifton’s gardener looking for wild grown herbs, mushrooms and berries to gathering gardening tips at the onsite seasonal vegetable and herb gardens, you’ll definitely have a full sensory experience. After fishing and exploring, you’ll join the chef in Clifton’s state-of-the-art demonstration kitchen for a fun, hands-on preparation of your meal using some of the edible delights you gathered!

Clifton Inn

Originally built in 1799 by Thomas Jefferson’s son-in-law, Thomas Mann Randolph, Clifton began as a small office for Randolph, eventually developed into a private residence and, in 1985, was meticulously restored and converted to an inn by its current owners.

Clifton Inn

The Inn has 17 uniquely appointed rooms for you to choose from, ranging from private suites to carriage houses and even an offset farmhouse where you can book a single private en suite or—when the whole family is along—the entire house! Clifton balances traditional American décor of regional antiques, classic furniture and bold stripes while also offering the modern amenities our broods expect! Flat screen TVs, Wi-Fi, Mascioni Linens and Molton Brown toiletries top off the wonderful outdoor setting with private lake, walking trails, clay tennis court, croquet, infinity pool and award-winning restaurant and bar for an amazing family experience!

Posted by Elizabeth on 06/02 at 08:30 AM
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Make a Splash in Chicago!

Chicago

The gorgeous and luxurious Hyatt Regency Chicago is celebrating the warmer weather with their new Shedd Aquarium package!

Chicago

With this package, you’ll enjoy overnight accommodation in a standard guestroom and two VIP Tickets with priority entry to Shedd Aquarium. And when you’ve got your brood in tow, priority entry is quite the help! Shedd Aquarium is one of the world’s largest indoor aquariums with more than 5,000,000 gallons of water and is home to more than 32,600 animals! You’ll have tons of fun learning about the many species that call the Shedd Aquarium home through its permanent exhibits, aquatic show, dive presentations, chats and more. VIP Tickets provide access to the Aquarium galleries, Wild Reef, Abbott Oceanarium, Special Exhibit, and Stingray Touch. And the Aquatic Show (One World) is included with VIP Tickets.

Chicago

So what’s there? Kids will love the Amazon Rising exhibit that features piranhas, tarantulas, stingrays, monkeys and even an anaconda! Caribbean Reef is where visitors take a 360-degree tour of an underwater reef with green sea turtles, moray eels, rays and a few small sharks. Abbott Oceanarium immerses visitors in the coastal ecosystem of the Pacific Northwest with beluga whales, Pacific white-sided dolphins, sea lions and sea otters amongst a host of fishes and invertebrates that call this unique ecosystem home. Polar Play Zone is designed specifically for the youngest Shedd Aquarium visitors and lets little ones experience a kid-sized submarine and dress in a penguin suit. And, of course, this isn’t a complete list! There are tons more to do throughout the aquarium.

Families will also love exploring the new Maggie Daley Park located just down the block from Hyatt Regency Chicago. Whether looking for a summer vacation idea for the family, or a weekend getaway to enjoy the warmer weather, Hyatt Regency Chicago is a great destination for making the most of a Chicago visit.

photo credit: Hyatt Regency Chicago
photo credit: Adam Alexander Photography

Posted by Elizabeth on 05/29 at 08:30 AM
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Stay in Fabulous Vacation Homes with 3rd Home!

3rd Home

This week we’re loving the website 3rd Home! If you haven’t heard of it yet, it’s a fabulous way to travel the world while staying in the best vacation homes!

3rd Home lets you get value from your empty vacation home without going through the hassle of renting it out. Instead of letting that asset go to waste the majority of the year, join 3rd Home, and leverage it safely to other members while getting access to more than 3,300 fabulous vacation homes around the world! And the site’s affiliation with The Ritz-Carlton Destination Club doesn’t hurt either!

All you do is list the details of your vacation home on the site and what weeks you’re willing to make it available to other members. You’ll earn “Keys” that can be spent on stays at other member’s vacation homes. The better your home and its amenities—and the more time you make the home available—the more Keys you’ll earn and the more fabulous your vacations will be!

When you want to take a trip, whether it’s planned or last minute, hop on the site and use the Keys you earned to book another member’s vacation home. It really is that easy.

The vacation homes listed on the site are located all around the world. In order to be eligible for the club, you must have a second home with a value of $500,000 or more. And, don’t get confused! This isn’t AirBnB. You must be a member of the club who has made your own vacation home available in order to reserve someone else’s vacation home. 

Are you a member? How has it worked out for you? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

Posted by Elizabeth on 05/26 at 08:30 AM
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Making the Most out of the Stunning Beaches of San Diego

San Diego Beaches

San Diego is famous for mild weather and seventy miles of stunning coastline. A city that has something to offer everyone, San Diego is brimming with museums, golf courses, world-class dining and tons of family-oriented activities. Though San Diego beaches are wonderful in all seasons, they’re particularly welcoming on those scorching summer days when the ocean is beckoning you in for a relaxing swim.

Getting the most out of the beach lifestyle is about more than taking an annual vacation. A far better idea is being able to hit the shores whenever you want! That’s why so many people invest in one of the Welk timeshares that are available on many of the beautiful beaches in San Diego.

And that’s why this week we’re reviewing the most popular beaches in San Diego!

San Diego Beaches

Coronado Beach

Coronado Beach benefits from the almost perfect weather all year round! Getting to Coronado Island is easy, as it’s possible to reach it by public bus, car, private shuttle or taxi across the Coronado Bay Bridge. You might even recognize the shoreline from the Marilyn Monroe film Some Like it Hot! Always wanted to try surfing? The flat, wide beach area is ideal for beginner surfers, and the sandy shore is well-known for being incredibly romantic!

San Diego Beaches

Mission Beach

Mission Beach ends at the north of Pacific beach and starts at Mission Bay’s channel entrance. Mission Beach has something for everyone! That’s why it’s one of the most popular attractions, drawing in crowds and sun worshippers from all over the world! Whether you’re strolling along the boardwalk, riding your bike or laying out on The Strand, your brood will not run out of things to do. Ride the Giant Dipper, join in an action-packed game of volleyball or just people watch!

San Diego Beaches

Carlsbad Beach

The beaches of Carlsbad are one of the best kept secrets in San Diego—a fact that is definitely appreciated by the locals. The northern portion of the Carlsbad’s coast is made up of numerous beaches separated by sea walls. Generally, the cliffs in these locations are low and offer a beautiful unobstructed view of the ocean.

Where should you go?

Trying to decide where you go? Or even where you’ll find your ideal holiday home? You’ll probably want more info than just the beaches. With the help of Welk timeshare review, you’ll find what you need!

photo credit: Chad McDonald via Flickr cc by-nd 2.0
photo credit: Leandro Neumann Ciuffo via Flickr cc by 2.0
photo credit: Chris Lee via Flickr cc by-nd 2.0
photo credit: Joe Wolf via Flickr cc by-nd 2.0

Posted by Elizabeth on 05/22 at 08:30 AM
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Five Reasons to Visit the Turks and Caicos this Summer

Turks and Caicos

This week we’ve got five Posh reasons you should be scheduling your trip to Providenciales, Turks and Caicos this summer! First up, the island topped the 2015 TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards for best vacation island in the world and is home to crystal-clear turquoise waters, beautiful coral reefs and stunning sunsets. Of course, we know Poshbrood readers want more, and we’ve got all the info you’ll need!

Turks and Caicos

#1 Easy In, Easy Out!

The Providenciales International Airport welcomes direct flights from major cities like New York, Newark, Boston, Miami, Charlotte, Philadelphia, Dallas, Atlanta, Toronto, Montreal, Nassau and London, so travelling to Providenciales is easy-peasy!

Turks and Caicos

#2 Grace Bay Beach

Ranked “Best Beach” by Conde Nast Traveler and by the World Travel Awards for several years, Grace Bay Beach has 12 gorgeous miles of powdery white-sand shoreline and infinite aquatic possibilities. Vacationers go swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding, windsurfing, sailing, kiteboarding or simply relax on one of Ocean Club’s pink umbrella-accented lounge chairs… and do nothing at all.

Turks and Caicos

#3 Fabulous Snorkeling and Diving

Warm, calm and amazingly clear waters provide the perfect conditions for diving and snorkeling. The country has the third largest reef system in the world, and its impressive array of marine life is healthy and flourishing. Divers rave about the exceptional levels of visibility when they are submerged alongside dramatic vertical walls and when they are exploring sunken cannons and shipwrecks.

Turks and Caicos

#4 It’s Family-Friendly!

Family vacations in Turks and Caicos are popular because you can maximize that kid-parent bonding time frolicking in the sun, savoring unrushed meals and enjoying fun-filled watersports or nature and wildlife expeditions. Choose from sunset cruises, adopting a puppy for the day, horseback riding on Long Bay Beach or a day trip to Little Water Cay to get up close and personal with indigenous rock iguanas and more.

Turks and Caicos

#5 The Best Food and Drinks

Whether you prefer upscale and gourmet or beachfront and basic, the food and beverage options in Providenciales have one thing in common—they’re all super yummy! The island is world-renowned for its remarkable seafood, so no visit is complete without a trip to Da Conch Shack to sample freshly harvested conch and Turks Head, the local beer.

The Seaside Café and Cabana Bar & Grille at Ocean Club Resorts are great options for casual, toes-in-the-sand-style dining. After a long, exhilarating day, adults also can enjoy a bottle or glass of wine over dinner at Opus Wine Bar Grill. The venue boasts the island’s largest cellar and is Fodor’s pick for one of the best places to drink wine in Turks and Caicos. All three restaurants provide live music, daily specials and a Monday rum punch party.

For more info on where to stay when you visit Providenciales, check out Ocean Club Resorts!

Photo Credit: Ocean Club Resorts

Posted by Elizabeth on 05/19 at 08:30 AM
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A Wonderful Weekend Visit to 41 North

41 North

This Poshbrood chick and her hubby just spent a lovely weekend at Newport’s new 41 North property located downtown right on the water. From sitting on the deck that juts out onto the water and watching boats pull up, to waking up to amazing water views, this little babymoon was well-worth the three hour drive from New York. We were married in Newport and visit regularly. But we usually stay in older, more historic inns further up the hill. The 24-room 41 North is hipper, attracts a younger crowd and has the best views in town. The hotel has many eco-friendly aspects, including an iPad in every room! Each one comes with a room service menu pre-loaded, so they don’t use paper for anything.

41 North

The Room
We stayed in room 14 and enjoyed a full harbor view. I loved the quirky touch of a Dr. Seuss book in every room, even though the hotel seems more adult-friendly than kid-friendly to me. The Malin and Goetz products along with the deep, soaking Koehler tub gave the space a seriously luxurious feel. The tub was so deep my husband had to help me in and out of it because of my huge pregnant belly! Waking up to the sounds of a busy harbor was so lovely, and from our balcony, I could see all the way to the Newport Bridge. We got to enjoy watching a sailing class from nearby college Salve Regina University practice one afternoon. Room 14 looks out onto the long stretch of The Grill restaurant’s waterside deck, so if noise bothers you, I’d suggest an interior room. Guests are encouraged to use the bathrobes provided, as well as take home the terry cloth slippers. I saved mine for my upcoming hospital stay with baby #3!

41 North

The Location
41 North is located directly on Thames street, so we took a super-easy walk back after dining our favorite restaurant, The Black Pearl. I loved the proximity to the shops, especially the Armory Antique center around the corner at 365 Thames street. We also walked to the Madeline, a beautiful 72-foot yacht, and took a sunset cruise around the harbor. The ride was so gentle one mom breastfed her infant next to me the entire time!

When we felt adventurous, we walked about a mile to The Breakers. We took an audio tour of this splendid 1893 mansion on the sea, and returned to town by walking along the front of the historic houses on the recently restored famous Cliff Walk. Large sections that were closed last year to the public are now open.

Without a doubt, once again, we had a wonderful time in Newport! 41 North is a great find in a beautiful location, but definitely an adults-only venue. If you want to bring the kiddos, I’d suggest their lofts and cottages which are separate buildings just off the water that include a full kitchen.

Our guest poster this week is Kate Rockland. Kate lives in New Jersey with her husband and three unruly children. When she’s not making forts out of pillows or begging people to buy one of her two novels, she loves traveling through New England.

Find Kate here: http://www.katerockland.com

Posted by Elizabeth on 05/15 at 08:30 AM
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Poshbrood & Trump Central Park Welcome Princess Charlotte!

Trump Central Park

A great big Poshbrood welcome to the new Princess of Cambridge! In true Trump-style, the Trump International Hotel & Tower New York is celebrating with a delightful Central Park Princess Package! From shopping sprees to museum visits, Trump Central Park’s youngest guests are exploring NYC in royal style!

Trump Central Park

Enjoy accomodation in a park-view suite complete with delicious in-room milk and cookies from Jean-Georges. Hang out in the room with complimentary coloring book and crayons, watch kid’s DVDs on your 55” HDTV or take advantage of all the usual Trump Kids Services and Amenities like menus designed just for kids, swimming lessons, board games and children’s books!

Trump Central Park

Of course, this wouldn’t be the Princess Package without a Princess Rhinestone-Studded Tiara and a shopping spree at FAO Schwartz with a $100 gift card courtesy of Trump Central Park! While you’re out shopping, take advantage of the four tickets to the family attraction of your choice: Central Park Zoo, Manhattan’s Children’s Museum or the Museum of Natural History. A trip to Trump New York is sure to be one your litte princess will never forget!

Want more info? Find everything on this exciting Princess Package here!

Posted by Elizabeth on 05/12 at 08:30 AM
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Nantucket Island Resorts Celebrates New Chris Hemsworth Movie!

Nantucket Island

Headed to New England this summer? Summer guests at Nantucket Island Resorts have the opportunity to experience the brand-new “In the Heart of the Sea” package created in celebration of the December 2015 debut of the Chris Hemsworth movie of the same title. Based on the true story of the sinking of the Nantucket-based whaleship Essex (the inspiration for the book Moby Dick) the package includes two tickets to the iconic Whaling Museum as well as two nights’ accommodations.

Nantucket Island

Get a little activity in and add a historical walking tour to explore the island that flourished in the 17th century as one of the world’s most lucrative whaling capitals. You can still feel a great deal of this history throughout Nantucket—the Whaling Museum is housed in an original candle factory built during the whaling era and former whaling captain mansions still stand. The cobblestones that were used as ballast for the whaling ships can still be found around town!

Nantucket Island

Two great properties for families are the White Elephant and the White Elephant Village Inn & Residences. At White Elephant, kids receive a gift of select beach toys at check in. Throughout your stay, they can refer to their “Nantucket Kids’ Adventure Guide” and participate in the hotel’s scavenger hunt (prizes afterwards!) And a bonus! You’ll find the tub stocked with bath toys to make even sleep routines special!

Nantucket Island

At White Elephant Village Inn & Residences, you’ll have access to cribs and pack n’ plays, and tons of baby essentials! In addition, guests have unlimited access to strollers, joggers, wagons, beach chairs and beach towels for various outings. Bath amenities for children include Dolphin Organics in kid-pleasing citrus scents and kid-sized plush terry robes. Complimentary squirt toys are fun for both bath and pool time. Also at the pool is the Village’s own ice cream cart, serving complimentary ice cream every afternoon in-season. Older kids will be entertained with board games, choose from a variety of kid-friendly DVDs and Blue Ray discs, play Xbox 360 or Nintendo Wii while in the hotel and grab some boogie boards and toys when headed out for a beach trip.


Property images courtesy of Nantucket Island Resorts

Posted by Elizabeth on 05/08 at 08:30 AM
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Summer Travel Deals for Posh Broods!

With summer vacation on the way, we’ve got a round-up of the hotels and resorts you’ll love to go to and hate to leave. Beaches, golf and spas—you won’t want to miss out, so come with us and check out the latest summer travel deals!

El Conquistador Resort, Fajardo, Puerto Rico
Who’s ready for some fun in the sun?! For a Caribbean escape this summer, El Conquistador Resort & Las Casitas Village, Waldorf Astoria Resorts in Puerto Rico is offering a Summer Splash package—with free tickets for a family of four to the resorts’ state-of-the-art Coqui Water Park. Also included in the package is a $50 per night resort credit that can be used towards rounds of golf on their renowned Arthur Hills designed 18-hole golf course, spa treatments for kids and adults alike at the Waldorf Astoria Spa and Ki’ children’s spa, watersports on the resort’s 100-acre private island, dining at the resorts’ 23 food and beverage outlets and so much more! Inspired by the nearby El Yunque Rainforest, the 2.4-acre Coqui Water Park delivers an adventurous jungle experience, including waterfalls, rapids and a jungle rope bridge!

Ponte Vedra Inn & Club, Ponte Vedra, FL
Does someone in your family love golf? Just steps away from the Atlantic Ocean, the AAA Five Diamond Ponte Vedra Inn & Club invites golfers to experience its Grand Slam Golf Package at both of its two picturesque, yet challenging, 18-hole courses. A hole in one, the Grand Slam package provides golfers with unlimited access to both immaculately manicured golf courses, range balls, guaranteed advance starting times, a 30 minute daily golf clinic, daily club cleaning and storage, a golf gift set, complimentary breakfast and luxury accommodations. A premiere East Coast golf destination just south of Jacksonville, Ponte Vedra’s Ocean Course and Lagoon Course feature meandering water obstacles, undulating fairways and elevated greens protected by strategically positioned, steep-faced bunkers, making for some very exciting rounds!

El San Juan Resort & Casino, San Juan, Puerto Rico
The foremost hotspot and entertainment venue in Puerto Rico, travelers can celebrate with the iconic El San Juan Resort & Casino, A Hilton Hotel, this summer as the resort marks its 30 years of splendor in the tropics. Guests who book the package for stays now through December 22, 2015, receive a $30 daily resort credit for use at select food and beverage outlets, $30 in casino credits at the hotel’s recently relaunched Royal Casino, a $30 spa credit to the Edouard de Paris Day Salon & Spa, daily breakfast buffet for two and an anniversary gift! Set on uninterrupted miles of one of Puerto Rico’s most picturesque beaches, the resort boasts refreshed rooms and suites that seamlessly blend Miami trendy and classic elegance, a renowned lobby experience—the epicenter of San Juan’s vibrant nightlife, nine dining options, the alluring Encanto Beach Club and the rooftop Spa.

Posted by Elizabeth on 05/05 at 08:30 AM
Family TravelHotelsLuxuryTravel DealsPermalink

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Where Will the Well-Heeled be Summering this Year?

Virtuoso

Where are you and the brood headed this summer? Well, if you want to know where everyone else is going, we’ve got the answers! Leading luxury travel network, Virtuoso, recently released the Top 10 destinations where the most posh of us will be summering. Europe is well-represented, but there are a few surprises as well!

The Virtuoso Top 10 Destinations for Summer 2015 are:

1.    United Kingdom
2.    Italy
3.    France
4.    Canada
5.    Spain
6.    Germany
7.    Netherlands
8.    South Africa
9.    Ireland
10.  Greece

What fancy locale jumped up the list the most since last summer? Our friendly neighbors to the north, Canada!

So now we know where everyone is going this summer! Of course, loads of families are headed out to other more unusual destinations. Many exotic countries have experienced increases in travelers between this year and last. These are the countries that had the greatest spikes in interest!

The Virtuoso Hot 10:

1.    Australia (+137%)
2.    China (+101%)
3.    Ecuador (+84%)
4.    Iceland (+49%)
5.    Greece (+41%)
6.    Japan (+35%)
7.    Turkey (+29%)
8.    United Arab Emirates (+22%)
9.    Canada (+20%)
10.  Croatia (+18%) 

Looks like a lot of families are headed Down Under this summer. Australia is great to visit—especially when it’s their winter!

If you’ve not yet booked the family vacation for the summer, we hope this gave you some inspiration!

Where will you be heading this summer? Let us know in the comments below!

Posted by Elizabeth on 05/01 at 08:30 AM
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The Lodge at Torrey Pines

Torrey Pines

While on vacation in San Diego, this pregnant Poshbrood chick and her hubby were lucky enough to escape the kiddos and immerse ourselves in the family-owned Lodge at Torrey Pines. The 6.5 acre property is only a 20-minute drive from downtown San Diego and is perched on the peak of the rugged cliffs of La Jolla overlooking its famous 18-hole golf course that will host the 2021 US Open.

Torrey Pines

Part of the Torrey Pines State Reserve, with sweeping vistas of the Pacific Ocean, this 170-room resort stays true to Southern California style with Craftsman-style furnishings and architecture. The doormen wear kilts, and the food at in-house restaurant A.R. Valentien that overlooks the golf course, comes from local farms. The wine list is exclusively from California vineyards. Or if your up for more casual dining, try The Grill & Bar!

Torrey Pines

After taking a hike together through the trails of the reserve, which guests can access directly from the hotel, my husband spent the afternoon golfing. He chose to carry his own bag and walk the public course instead of use a caddy or rent a cart (though both options are available) as the views of the hang gliders and landscaping down to the ocean are spectacular. There are two courses, North and South.

Torrey Pines

I tried one of the May specials, the “Mommy to Be” package at the spa, which felt amaaaaazing ($150 for a massage and pedicure). The Spa at Torrey Pines is famous for its Coastal Sage Scrub that uses some of the 17 varieties of sage found around the reserve (50 minutes, $140). When I came outside after my massage, a yoga class was being held on the lawn. You can also get your girlfriends together for a private yoga class that can be customized to your level of experience! ($150, 3–20 people)

Torrey Pines

I would definitely come back to the Lodge at Torrey Pines on a future trip without our kids, and stay longer in the lodge to take advantage of its amenities. This hotel is one of those places that is surrounded by such beauty it almost needs no introduction—but the luxurious property and features don’t hurt! Hopefully, by our ten-year anniversary, we can find someone brave enough to watch our brood back east so we can visit again!

Our guest poster this week is Kate Rockland. Kate lives in New Jersey with her husband and three unruly children. When she’s not making forts out of pillows or begging people to buy one of her two novels, she loves traveling through New England.

Find Kate here: http://www.katerockland.com

Photos courtesy The Lodge at Torrey Pines

Posted by Elizabeth on 04/28 at 08:30 AM
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Family Vacation in a Luxury Hotel in the Algarve? Yes, You Can!

Martinhal


So you’ve probably heard of the Algarve—that sunny Portuguese paradise, voted the best European Beach Destination two years in a row with its beachside towns, nautical sports and beautiful golf courses. But here’s what you don’t know: in a little historic town called Sagres, there is an award winning luxury family resort. Now we have your attention!

Martinhal

This is the kind of town that has been able to keep true to its legendary history. Having been a place where various Mediterranean peoples worshiped their gods, this town was also home to the most important nautical base during the Portuguese Age of Exploration.

Martinhal

Sagres sits at the southern-most point of Portugal and Continental Europe, where Martinhal Beach Resort & Hotel opened for business in 2010. The resort has already collected an array of awards including Gold Award for Best Landscaping Design Concept, Worldwide by Homes Overseas Awards, Portugal’s Leading Family Resort on the World Travel Awards in 2013 and Europe’s Leading Villa Resort in 2014.

Martinhal

It’s easy to understand all this rapid recognition! The resort was beautifully designed, and the architects’ choice of natural materials—such as cork, wood or stone—blends it with the surrounding landscape, in a simple, sustainable harmony. There are accommodation types for all tastes, from stylish hotel rooms to luxury villas and vacation homes. And they all come with indoor and outdoor swimming pools with the beautiful Atlantic Ocean on the side.
Martinhal
Because this is Portugal after all, the food is a high point. Based on local ingredients and traditions the three restaurants and four bars onsite use only quality, local produce. From the traditional fish dish at O Terraço restaurant to the international cuisine at the Os Gambozinos to the light food at the family coffee shop and surf bar, M—Bar. Of course, all this comes with award-­‐winning Portuguese wine.

Martinhal

And we are not done with “incredible” just yet!

Martinhal

Lovely beaches, stylish rooms and great cuisine are all excellent. But how can parents enjoy all this and still keep the brood happy? Well, the resort has put together a diverse set of programs to make sure your kids have as much fun as you!

Martinhal

Martinhal features a wide range of activities for children of all ages, from toddlers to teenagers. There are several activities clubs that provide fun workshops, face painting, treasure hunts, arts and crafts, sports activities (tennis, windsurfing, swimming, etc.) and a game room with the most popular video games, pool table, table tennis and Foosball.

Martinhal

In fact, it seems like the resort has thought of everything! There’s a baby concierge service, a wide variety of baby products at the convenience store, babysitters, children menus and kid’s corners at the restaurants. Everyone will be happy and entertained throughout your stay at Martinhal!

Martinhal

While your kids are having the (supervised) time of their lives with other children, you’ll be pampering yourself at the Finisterra Spa or simply enjoying a lazy afternoon looking at the Atlantic Ocean from the beach pool. Take a walk down the private path to the beach, and explore the fortress. Or if you want the kids to join you at the spa, book a children’s spa treatment or even a baby massage!
Martinhal
From November 2, 2015 to March 18, 2016, you can actually check your children in at the resort’s Kid’s Clubs and daycare for free (from 6 months to 8 years of age).
Martinhal
Martinhal offers family deals, specifically for the US market, and has recently started a Babymoon package designed to give parents-to-be a luxury relaxing escape vacation during pregnancy. This offer includes accommodation, breakfast, one meal per day, access to all facilities and a spa treatment for the mother-to-be.

Martinhal

There you have it. Martinhal has luxury accommodations, an incomparable setting, the perfect space to enjoy a glass of wine as the sun sets on the Atlantic and plenty of activities for the kids!

Martinhal

Martinhal Beach Resort & Hotel is a luxury family resort with a playground of possibilities and more than 365 different things to do all year-round. Located close to the historic village of Sagres, in the Western Algarve, Portugal, this region has a temperate climate year round, and the Costa Vicentina Natural Park surrounds the 100-acre beachfront resort. For more information about booking or the Martinhal Beach Resort & Hotel, visit http://www.martinhal.com or call +351 282 240 200.

Posted by Elizabeth on 04/24 at 08:30 AM
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The 1920s Are Alive In Annapolis!

It seems our visit to the 1920’s is not yet over! For one weekend each year, the tiny city of Annapolis, MD turns a little (or lot!) Great Gatsby when an annual Croquet Tournament is held. The matches are held on the campus of St. John’s College—one of the smallest and oldest liberal arts colleges in the country—with teams consisting of students from St. John’s College and the US Naval Academy. Legend holds that the event got its start in 1982 when the commandant of the Naval Academy boasted that his athletic Midshipman could beat the more book-oriented students from the smaller school at any sport. When croquet was suggested, a rivalry and a tradition was born! Although both teams compete at the collegiate level, the team from St. John’s has taken home the esteemed Annapolis Cup 26 times in the 33 years the match has been held. This year’s match, which took place this past weekend, restored the St. John’s team to the winning spot after two years.

The day is kicked off with musical performances from the St. John’s Freshman Chorus and the Naval Academy’s Trident Brass Band. The event, which Sports Illustrated claims has “no parallel in intercollegiate sports” is incredibly popular with more than 5,000 attendees of all ages attending.

Spectators are decked out in their finest 1920s attire with picnics, swing dancing and croquet-watching taking place throughout the day. The team from St. John’s plays in a different “uniform” each year, from Greek togas to this year’s Hawaiian shirts. The Midshipmen play in uniforms that meet the US Croquet Association’s dress code.

If you’ve been looking for an opportunity to dress you and your brood in fancy hats and posh attire, this is it! Bring a picnic basket, stake out some lawn space and party like it’s 1920!

photo credit: (c) 2015 James O’Gara Photography
photo credit: Rob Nease
photo credit: Citlali McDowell via Flickr cc by-sa 2.0

Posted by Elizabeth on 04/21 at 10:15 AM
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