The Best European Golf Destinations For Family Holidays Family Vacation Deals A Walk Along Kingston Road To Discover A Wealth Of Creativity And Shopping Choices Travel Tips Visiting National Parks

Golf holidaying with a family presents its own special challenges. Keeping non-golfers in the family happy and feeling like they are having a real holiday, while at the same time getting your fill of golf, is worth that bit of extra travel planning. The following European golf resort holiday destinations are perfect for family holidays.

Central Algarve

Central Algarve, with its beautiful scenery, perfect weather, and exceptional golf courses, is one of Europe’s top golfing destinations. Resorts such as Vilamoura, Quinta do Lago, and Vale do Lobo, and Vilamoura offer much more than golf and will provide non-golfers with all the holiday variety they would expect from a first-class resort. At Quinta do Lago, a 2,000-acre exclusive residential and recreational estate, you have countryside and pine forests, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Ria Formosa nature reserve as your playground, plus 72 holes of golf. Horse riding and tennis as well as a variety of water sports will keep your family occupied during the day, and there are classy restaurants, hip nightclubs for night-time entertainment, as well as the Bourganvilla Shopping Centre and a health club. The stunning two-mile stretch of golden-sand is a bonus.

Vale do Lobo, receiver of accolades such as “Best Resort of the Millennium”, and the Algarve’s largest leisure resort, has quality accommodation and diverse sporting facilities, including one of the largest tennis facilities in Portugal. Vale do Lobo, with its two (going on three) 18-hole championship courses, hosts around 100,000 golfers each year.

Vilamoura, twice the size of Vale do Lobo, has tennis courts, a riding school, fishing and shooting facilities, and indoor and outdoor sports complexes, as well as five golf courses. Amazing vessels are moored at the large marina, home to restaurants, cafes and shops. A surprisingly cosmopolitan nightlife consists of bars, clubs and restaurants.

Costa Del Sol

Costa del Sol offers variety both on and off the fairways, and the mild winters and beautiful springs and autumns are perfect for golf. There are around 20 courses, leisure areas, playgrounds and family attractions, as well as beaches and seaside promenades. Three excellent water parks are open from Easter for the summer season, with water slides, pools for all ages and abilities, as well as picnic areas and restaurants. At a number of nature parks you can see animals and enjoy educational programs. Selwo Aventura has over 2,000 wild animals and an unrivalled nature reserve, and Selwo Marina has exotic birds, an underwater observation centre, and dolphins. At the Benalm
Ah, the family vacation. It can strip of you every ounce of patience, and leave you strapped for cash. When all is said and done, you’re left feeling more stressed than you were before taking your holidays!

Maybe there is another way. To be sure, traveling with the entire family can be expensive and hard to plan; but there are some holiday destinations that will actually help you get great family vacation deals.

Family Cruises

Cruises are awesome choices for family getaways. There are plenty of deals available, when you know where to look. Search the Internet for cruise websites and you can stumble upon a good deal on a great cruise for your family. Some cruises offer discounts for certain age groups, like “kids stay and eat free” with paid adults. These are the deals that you should watch for. Other package deals can include family-friendly tours and extras, like Disney cruises.

Florida Vacations

If Florida is your idea of a great family vacation, you’re in luck. There are great family vacation deals available for all sorts of Florida destinations. Some packages will include free tickets to the most popular tourist spots, like Universal Studios and theme parks. Many hotels included in package deals will provide free meals for kids–and anyone with hungry mouths to feed will know what a huge saving this can be. Most Florida hotels are kid-friendly and welcome families by offering discounted rates and kids’ activities.

Air travel

Ask questions when you book your airline tickets. While they may not advertise it, some airlines have deals for young passengers. You may save half or even the full price of your child’s ticket when you purchase yours. Other airlines offer special rates for kids under a certain age. These savings can really add up, particularly if you have several children.

Many travel agencies, resorts and airlines offer promotional periods when they will accommodate your entire family for one great price. These special packages are generally offered once or twice a year as a means to promote their businesses. Ask around to see which companies will be offering special family promotions, and when they will be available. If you’ve already booked your time off, don’t be afraid to adjust it if it means saving a few hundred dollars.

If you are still in the preliminary stages of booking your holidays, find out where the family vacation deals are. Locate the big bargains; narrow them down to find the ones that suit your family’s needs and fit your budget, then decide together. Some agencies and resorts are so family-friendly, they’ll offer tips and tricks to help you find the biggest savings. Do a little research before you book. The time you spend looking for family vacations now will pay off in big savings and a holiday that’s truly fun and relaxing.

My recent history tour with Gene Domagala through the eastern and northern part of the Beach introduced me to the Kingston Road area and the historic significance that it played in the development of East Toronto. Gene also introduced me to Carolyn Pitre who helps to run the Kingston Road Business Community. Through an interview with Carolyn I discovered that the Kingston Road area between Main Street and Victoria Park Avenue is an interesting and diverse shopping district on its own right, so this sunny Saturday morning I set out to discover some of the merchants and products on offer along Kingston Road.

The first place I visited is housed in a beautifully renovated former movie theatre; gorgeous picture windows light up the tasteful interior of Memories Now and Then, a high-end consignment store owned by Nadine Steinberg. Nadine welcomed me to her store and explained that her store features select pre-owned furniture, rugs, china, lamps as well as vintage jewelry. She added that all the pieces that she carries are upscale and hand-picked.

Nadine has many years of experience in the china, crystal and silver retail business. Her mother and sister have been in the antique business for many years, so Nadine’s love for high-quality items with a history was kindled a long time ago. She likes that the pieces she chooses are in good condition and well taken care of, and her store is an opportunity for her customers to see attractive home d
With 388 national park sites to choose from, picking a park should be easy. At the tip of your travel tongue may be Yellowstone or the Grand Canyon, but dig a little deeper and you will find many surprises. America’s National Parks are more than just hiking trails into mountain valleys, campsites overlooking sweeping vistas and unparalleled chances to watch moose and elk run wild. Many are famous historical sites, battlefields and small parks with big-time scenery.

Whether you want a wild adventure or an historical quest, follow these helpful tips:

Follow Your Sense of Adventure

Choosing the park that’s right for you. In America’s National Parks, you can scale an active volcano in Hawaii; raft over class V rapids through magnificent gorges and valleys at Gauley River National Recreation Area; cap off a day on Alcatraz Island back at your hotel with a spa treatment before hitting the streets of San Francisco; embrace history by tracing footprints at Antietam National Battlefield or watching oil droplets bubble to the surface of Pearl Harbor above the USS Arizona Memorial; shine a solitary beacon of light into the dark depths of Kentucky’s Mammoth Cave; snorkel off the coast of Padre Island National Seashore; experience a mystifying sense of neighborly warmth around the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site; or conquer the ice age by hiking along Glacier National.

Redefining &quote;Crowds&quote;

Picking the park for you may depend on how well you like crowds, according to travel agents. Some National Parks reel in millions of visitors a year, though a crowded park is not like a crowded bus. There is plenty of room for everyone, and even the most crowded parks, like the Great Smokey Mountains in Tennessee, have plenty of areas where your footprints will be the first ones of the day.

Most Visited National Parks – 2003

1 Great Smoky Mountains National Park

2 Grand Canyon National Park

3 Yosemite National Park

4 Olympic National Park

5 Rocky Mountain Naional Park

6 Yellowstone National Park

7 Cuyahoga Valley National Park

8 Zion National Park

9 Acadia National Park

10 Grand Teton National Park

Source: Based on data from the National Park Service

Visitors may flock to the parks on the list above, but the good news is that others are relatively free of crowds, leaving more room for solitary adventure, quiet family outings and undisturbed wildlife. Here are a few possibilities for your next escape.

Nez Perce National Historical Park (Idaho, Oregon, Washington and Montana) These 38 sites in the valleys, prairies, mountains and plateaus of the inland northwest honor the history of the Nez Perce people as they mixed with explorers, fur traders, missionaries, settlers, soldiers, gold miners and farmers. Several sites feature interpretive trails, and visitors will often see golden eagles, marmots, black bears and mule deer.

Isle Royale (Michigan, Minnesota) You’ll escape crowds of people in these wild woods of the North, but encountering crowds of wolves, otters and moose is another thing. Roadless Isle Royale is a 45-mile long wilderness archipelago in the heart of Lake Superior, gloriously threaded with 165 miles of scenic hiking trails connecting historic lighthouses and shipwrecks, ancient copper mining sites and plenty of spots to observe wildlife.

Catoctin Mountain Park (Maryland) You will not see the President on Catoctin Mountain, for his nearby, well-known retreat, Camp David, is closed to the public. But you will see plenty of white-tailed deer, wild turkeys and woodpeckers among the beauty of this rolling forest. Camping and hiking dominate the minds of visitors here, with relaxation in resplendent nature the ultimate goal for presidents and common folk alike.

When to Go

Travel agents suggest you check with each individual park to confirm that it will be open to the public. The summer and winter months are generally the most popular times. To avoid crowds, gain better access to the viewing areas and enjoy more time in leisure pursuits, travel during the spring and fall.

Peak periods also follow school schedules, so avoid winter break, spring break and the summer holidays. Visiting during the week will garner you much more open spaces than weekends. That said, traveling during peak times, like most of us are forced to do, should never deter you from visiting, for the parks are well worth the trip 365 days a year.

Where to Stay

Camping is the most popular option, whether in a tent, RV or in the backcountry. Most parks have cottages, cabins, lake houses or houseboats to rent. And, near some parks there are hotels. As with any trip, book your accommodations as far in advance as possible.

Fun for the Whole Family? Children, Yes. Pets, No.

National Parks are perfect for kids. Many parks run Junior Ranger Programs, nature walks and wildlife talks specifically geared towards children.

The wilderness is not pet-friendly. Some hiking trails prohibit all pets, while others demand that they remained leashed. Bears, wolves and mountain lions prey on small animals and will be attracted to your trail or tent if you bring your pet(s) along.

General Tips

Stop in at the Visitors Centers for the latest information about safety hazards, closures, weather and wildlife notices.

Always stay on the trails when walking and hiking to protect both you from the wilderness and the wilderness from you.

Clean up after yourself. We all must do our part to preserve the parks, so that everyone can experience the wonders they have to offer for years to come

Get out of your car. Too many people drive through the parks, stepping out here and there for a quick view. To truly experience the park, get out and find a hiking trail.

Save on park fees by getting a pass. A National Park Pass costs $50 and is good at all parks for one year. This will allow you to pass through the entrance gates more quickly and motivate you to visit more parks throughout the year.

388 Ways to Say, &quote;Wow&quote;

The United States goes to great lengths to preserve the best of its natural and manmade heritage. With 388 National Parks to choose from, millions of Americans enjoy this privilege, while millions more are welcomed to explore.

Travel agents can help you choose which park to visit, where to stay, and what you can do when you get there. And since most parks are unfortunately not in your neighborhood, travel agents can get you there with little cost and littler worries.

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