Archive for March, 2011

As an Orange County resident, I can be assured of two things: 1. I will always have visitors and 2. Every day feels like a California vacation. With summer around the corner — and constant temperatures around the high 70s to low 80s — I’m happy to share my tips for where to stay, play, eat and drink — whether you’re on the beach or at the Happiest Place on Earth.

As the weather warms up, the mind and the body start to yearn for the bliss of immersion in a body of water, preferably one with some amazing features, and maybe, if one is lucky, one with proximity to cool drinks, crispy chips, and awesome fireworks at the end of the day. While South Padre Island and Daytona Beach certainly have their beachy Spring Break charms, you’ll find a vacation paradise as you relax poolside at the Walt Disney World Parks and Resorts.

With exactly a month to go before the royal wedding, here’s one question that should have the tabloids on fire: Where will William and Kate honeymoon? Gotcha. You thought I was going to say, “Who will Kate wear?,” in which case, I would have posited Sarah Burton, but I’m no fashion insider. And it’s not like Miss Middleton needs help in this department. How many women do you know who can easily go from a sheer dress to an oversized feather hat with such poise?

Eating and beach-bumming — that’s all there is to do in Anguilla. When I first visited this Caribbean island, I couldn’t believe how perfectly in sync these two indulgencies co-existed here. The trick is not to fight it, and succumb to Anguilla’s way of life.

Food is very important here, so much so that the 16-mile island has more than 70 restaurants. My biggest issue with Caribbean vacations is that even in the best restaurants, all the fresh veggies have to be imported and are really expensive. And because I don’t eat meat or dairy, I always have a very limited choice. So when I discovered CuisinArt Resort & Spa, the only Caribbean resort that grows its own veggies hydroponically, my life was complete. I couldn’t get enough of fresh salads or grilled vegetables for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Traveling with teens or tweens poses special challenges, especially if you’re dealing with a picky eater or someone who’s easily bored by the usual tourist attractions. Fortunately, Hawaii is the perfect destination for family vacations, because it offers something for everyone: museums for the art or history enthusiast, beaches for the sun worshipper or the adventure junkie, breathtaking sunsets and other views for the nature lover, delicious meals and unforgettable memories for all.

By Nina Gass Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, located in the downtown area, offers a wide range of fun things to do all within walking distance of dozens of Baltimore hotels. Our family always enjoys sneaking in some learning opportunities on vacation. Inner Harbor provides a number of places to do so, including Port Discovery: The Children’s Museum and [read more…]

For a recent family vacation to Northern California’s Monterey Bay, I had my heart set on the Monterey Bay Aquarium, a whale watching excursion and a jaunt to Carmel-By-The-Sea. We figured we’d beat the crowds, catch the whales, and not even notice the cool air — after all, it would take more than a brisk ocean breeze to make these tough Chicagoans shake their boots.

Caribbean vacations aren’t just for couples in love or those seeking to rekindle the spark of romance — the Caribbean is also a great place to take your family. Needless to say, you’re going to want to pick your destination carefully if you’re bringing along the spouse and kids, because not all Caribbean hotels were made equal and some offer a broader variety of fun family activities than others. Here are a few tips on what to look for to help you narrow down your search of the best family Caribbean vacations.

Seattle is one of those great American cities that’s far too often trumped by places like New York, Chicago and Los Angeles on travel wish lists. But as anyone who’s ever been to the “Jet City” can tell you, Seattle’s nobody’s second-rate Big Apple. To help you find out for yourself, here are a few of the best Seattle hotels, ranked by cost for every budget.

San Antonio may be known for its famous River Walk, but each year in April, the River Walk area comes alive for Fiesta San Antonio, celebrating the diverse history and culture of the Alamo city. This year Fiesta will take place from April 7 to 17, and if you have never visited San Antonio during this event, you are in for an incredible party.

As the weather turns gorgeous, vacationers begin to flock to California for spring break vacations and great deals at all-inclusive beach resorts. California vacations aren’t complete without a trip to iconic Disneyland. This spring, visit the park to experience fun seasonal events and mild temperatures. It’s the perfect time to experience the magic.

By Michael Peck Who says the penguin is a flightless bird? Recently spotted at about 30,000 feet: a troop of Chilly Willy’s cousins upstaging the stewardesses and drink cart. First seen on, the footage was reportedly shot as the birds were being transported back to SeaWorld San Diego after making an appearance in San [read more…]

Looking for a deal to motivate you to get away this spring? Check out these five hotel offers on that are sure to set your sights on a warm weather escape.

Florida vacations to Key West: 4 hot spring break bars

Nobel Prize winning author Derek Walcott, who was born in St. Lucia, once defended his stance against singing the praises of his native island country by saying “I don’t want everyone to go there and overrun the place.” Of course, the comment just begs for a closer look. If you’re of the same mind, perhaps it’s time to peruse some of the many St. Lucia all-inclusive resorts that have been offering couples unparalleled romantic beach vacations for years.

Between the kids’ diorama projects, birthday parties and dance classes, plus a mood-draining winter, I, like the rest of the country, am looking to the spirit-freeing week of spring break. I can’t wait to don the white sundress that’s been sitting in the back of my closet — the one bit of sunshine during this frigid season. If you’re like me, though, you haven’t even started planning a family vacation. How did the CEO of the household forget such an important detail as this? Instead of making excuses, I’ve got my eye on these three last-minute cruises:

Opening day was a game-changing moment in so many areas: tourism, the travel industry as a whole, popular culture … the list goes on. And the entire Walt Disney World entity has become a great source of joy for people of all types. I am one of those people who lives her life wrapped in the Disney paradigm, a mindset of happiness, of contentment, of togetherness.

Need to know what Disney hotels have the best pools? Want intel about what attractions will be too scary for kids? Heed the advice of Jill E. Cooper, a member of the Disney Moms Panel and one of our new guest bloggers. Look for her regular posts on the Orbitz blog. By Jill E. Cooper [read more…]

Last spring we settled on North Myrtle Beach, S.C. Most of the resorts are set up with multiple bedroom condominiums and full kitchens. The benefits far outweighed the travel time in the car. We were able to put the kids to bed and enjoy our moments alone with adult beverages and the ocean views.

If there’s anything that true gamblers find more important than getting the best odds, it’s finding the best casino in which to practice their passion. After all, being able to look around at glorious surroundings has a way of lessening the blow of losing your shirt, just as much as it has a way of accentuating the thrill of a comeback from the brink. In America, there are two gambling meccas: Las Vegas and Atlantic City. But if you have to choose between the two, which one’s better? Here’s a quick rundown on how Las Vegas vacations and Atlantic City vacations stack up.