Tag Archives: Vacation

‘Game of Thrones’ Tour in Croatia

Winter is coming this weekend and fans of the HBO drama (like me!) will know that this “Game of Thrones” tour in Croatia is too good not to share. If you are a fan of the show and want to know what King’s Landing really looks like this tour will introduce you to the magic behind the stunning “Game of Thrones” locations.

Dubrovnik is the backdrop for King's Landing.
Dubrovnik is the backdrop for King’s Landing.

The Game of Thrones: A Unique Tour of Croatia is a 7-day, guided immersion into the breathtaking locales of Split, Krka National Park, Hvar, Ston and Dubrovnik. While others may offer one-day trips to “Game of Thrones” filming locations, this week-long tour will introduce visitors to the wonders of Croatia, showcasing the best scenes from the beloved series as well as the historical and cultural highlights of this beautiful destination.

Highlights Include:

  • Explore newly added filming locations for the 4th season of “Games of Thrones” in Croatia; Split’s Diocletian’s Palace and the rugged Klis Fortress, where Daenerys memorably plots her return;
  • Immerse into Dubrovnik, the real-life setting of King’s Landing;
  • Get a lesson in falconry, which has long been regarded as the Sport of Kings;
  • Marvel at the beauty of Krka National Park and Hvar island;
  • Enjoy gastronomy delights in Ston – home to some of the world’s best and rarest oysters – and Peljesac Peninsula known for some of the best wines in Croatia.

Pricing for this private tour begins at $3,200 per person, double, based on travel during mid-season (2nd half of September). The package includes accommodation at 4-star hotels, daily breakfast, airport transfer*, land transportation, entrance fees, expert English-speaking tour guides, some additional meals and wine tastings. Travel dates and level of hotels are fully customizable. Travelers who book by June 15th will receive the Blue-Ray/DVD Combo sets of Seasons 1-3, PLUS the 5-Book Boxed Set of “Game of Thrones” by George R.R. Martin.


FamilyFun Magazine Announces Travel Award Winners

FamilyFun magazine announces travel award winners. // (c) 2014 FamilyFun
FamilyFun magazine announces travel award winners. // (c) 2014 FamilyFun

For those who want to know where the best family-friendly travel spots in the U.S. are, FamilyFun magazine has announced the winners of its Travel Awards. Family travel destinations were ranked by families across the U.S. in a variety of categories, including kid-friendly cities, zoos and aquariums, and theme parks.

From Disney’s Magic Kingdom Park to The Strong Museum in New York, locations across the country were selected as the top spots by region. Check out the list of your regional winners below and visit facebook.com/FamilyFun to vote for your area as the “Most Fun Region.”

Top Destinations by Region


1. The Strong, NY

2. Hershey Park, PA

3. Bronx Zoo, NY

4. Acadia National Park, ME

5. New York, NY


1. Disneyland Park, CA

2. Disney California Adventure

3. Yellowstone National Park, WY, MT, & ID

4. Yosemite National Park, CA

5. Sea World, San Diego, CA


1. Magic Kingdom Park, FL

2. Universal’s Islands of Adventure, FL

3. Orlando, FL

4. Universal Studios Florida

5. Disney’s Animal Kingdom, FL


1. Cedar Point Amusement Park, OH

2. Mount Rushmore National Memorial, SD

3. Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, NE

4. Toledo Zoo, OH

5. Brookfield Zoo, IL

Dr. Seuss Sets Sail With Carnival Cruise Lines

Dr. Seuss sets sail with Carnival Cruise Lines.
Dr. Seuss sets sail with Carnival Cruise Lines.

It might be time to think about a Carnival Cruise. If your children are as obsessed with Dr. Seuss as my children are, you should know that Carnival Cruise Lines has launched Seuss at Sea onboard the Carnival Splendor, which currently sails to the Bahamas. The Carnival Splendor is the first “Fun Ship” to offer Seuss at Sea, a fleetwide program that features youth, family, dining and entertainment experiences inspired by the amazing world and words of Dr. Seuss.

My daughters, who fancy themselves Thing One and Thing Two already, would be thrilled to dine with the Cat in the Hat, and a character breakfast onboard would make their dreams come true. Good thing that’s just what’s on offer. Onboard, kids (young and old) can enjoy a character dining breakfast with the Cat in the Hat himself, as well as a variety of other characters, including Thing One, Thing Two and Sam-I-Am who will join guests at their tables for fun interactions and photo opportunities.

Also debuting on Carnival Splendor is Seuss-a-palooza Story Time, an interactive reading event for kids of all ages, hosted in a vibrant, custom-created tent on the stage of the main show lounge. There is also the Seuss-a-palooza Character Parade, where guests join Dr. Seuss characters in a swirly conga line along Carnival Splendor’s promenade.

It’s great to be able to take a vacation and also encourage children to read and learn and another great feature of this new program is that Carnival Splendor is stocked with a selection of classic Dr. Seuss books, toys and games and is hosting special showings of beloved movies such as “The Cat in the Hat” on the giant outdoor Dive-In Movies screen.

The next ship to launch the new Seuss at Sea program is Carnival Freedom, which will be outfitted with a variety of specially designed Dr. Seuss spaces following its multimillion-dollar makeover this spring. For Los Angeles residents who can’t wait to experience this new program but don’t think flying to Miami is the way to go — you won’t have to wait too long. Fleetwide roll out of Seuss at Sea is expected by 2015, and the program will also be featured on the new Carnival Vista which is set to debut in 2016.


Five Family-Friendly Activities in La Paz

Swim with the sea lions at Espiritu Santo // (c) 2014 La Paz Tourism Board
Swim with the sea lions at Espiritu Santo // (c) 2014 La Paz Tourism Board

Pristine waters, unspoiled nature, white-sand beaches and striking natural wonders — that is what I love in a vacation and it can be found in our own backyard, La Paz. Jacques Cousteau called the Sea of Cortez the “aquarium of the world” and La Paz is its gateway. Located at the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula, a short flight away from Los Angeles (Aeromexico flies direct), a once-in-a-lifetime adventure awaits families. Here are five activities that the La Paz Tourism Board recommends for a memorable family vacation.

1. Espiritu Santo. Espiritu Santo is a UNESCO-protected natural area north of the Bay of La Paz and home to one of the largest sea lion colonies in the world. Families can swim with the sea lions at a rocky atoll known as Los Islotes. The experience was called the “best animal encounter of 2014” by Scuba Diving Magazine — and you don’t even need your scuba gear. FunBaja provides daily transportation to the site.

2. Eat Like a Local. As a traveler with a passion for food, Mexico holds a special place in my heart and is my favorite food destination. Mexican food is also exotic enough to be a culinary coup for adults, but not to strange to turn off young palates, making culinary adventures enjoyable for the whole family. The La Paz Tourism Board recommends stopping into El Bismarkcito, (located on Paseo Alvaro Obregon, between Constitucion and Hidalgo) to savor the local flavors of the sea. The family-friendly seafood restaurant offers a variety of fresh, authentic seafood dishes, including what are arguably the best fish tacos in town. Kids don’t despair: There are a variety of kid-friendly, non-fishy dishes, just for you.

Afterward, La Fuente (located onAlvaro Obregon and Ocampo) offers homemade ice cream with flavors such as jamaica (hibiscus) cucumber with chile and pitahaya (dragon fruit) for the adventurous as well as your standard strawberry and vanilla.

3. Play Like a Local. Stroll the malecon (boardwalk) for an afternoon to get a feel for the heart of the city. The three-quarter-mile paved cement boardwalk is lined with bronze sculptures and a perfect place to watch the sun set.

4. Beach Day. Uncrowded crystal waters and miles of white-sand beaches are located within minutes of the city. Balandra Beach offers calm, shallow waters perfect for young children and is one of La Paz’s most famous natural sanctuaries. El Telecote Beach is also popular with children for its variety of activities, including Jet Ski, kayak and paddleboard rentals.

5. Nature Tour. Exploring La Paz’s rich cultural history is not enough. An eco-tour is a must. Companies like RED sustainable travel offer turtle conservation expeditions that will  enrich educational experiences for families. The kids can play marine biologist for a day monitor sea turtles, interact with researchers and care for the endangered species.

It’s hard to imagine that such biodiversity can exist just a short distance from Los Angeles. Families who dream of heading to the Galapagos one day or who desire natural and cultural experiences will delight after a trip to La Paz.


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Retreat of the Week: Santa Monica’s Shore Hotel

M.A.K.E.-Wellness-Suite // (c) 2014 Shore Club
M.A.K.E.-Wellness-Suite // (c) 2014 Shore Club

Is it too early to start planning for Mother’s Day? Maybe. But, for those looking for a unique mother-daughter getaway, check into the Shore Hotel in Santa Monica, Calif. It’s by the beach and, if you’re already in L.A., it’s a staycation with eco-friendly appeal. The Shore Hotel is honoring Mother Earth and mother’s around the world with a special promotion that pampers them both.

From Earth Day to Mother’s Day, guests who opt into the Green Clean program to protect Mother Earth will receive a complimentary breakfast in bed for their mom. As Santa Monica’s only LEED Gold certified property, the Shore Hotel was designed to be an environmentally conscious beachside getaway. The Green Clean program allows guests to minimize their impact by choosing to reuse their towels and sheets during the course of their stay. Shore Hotel guests also have Green Concierge at their disposal, the hotel’s own local expert on all things sustainable and eco-friendly.

Additionally, mom will receive a re-usable canvas tote for shopping at the Santa Monica’s Farmers Markets or the Green Light Shopping District.  From limiting emissions and exploring the city by bicycle, treating mom to a dinner at one of Santa Monica’s sustainable seafood restaurants, to shopping at certified green boutique shops, a stay at the Shore Hotel provides a wide array of options that treat mom and the environment.