Sharing books with your kids is a great way for them to step into other worlds, build imagination, have amazing adventures, hear about other cultures, and learn to empathize with characters. It’s also a very special way to spend time together as a family and a great bonding experience for family members of all ages. 

Wouldn’t it be fun to visit the destinations where some of your favorite books take place? Here are a few classic children’s books with accompanying locations to add to your bucket list. 

Fairy Tale Places to Visit with the Kids

Kindred Spirits Country Inn

Anne of Green Gables, by Lucy Maud Montgomery – Prince Edward Island: This is one of my all-time favorites! Those who love this book will find Anne-related attractions all over this lovely and remote island, including Avonlea Village, Green Gables Heritage Place, and the author’s family home where her descendants still live. Kindred Spirits Country Inn and Cottages is the perfect family-friendly location to stay when visiting, offering cottages complete with kitchenettes, a heated swimming pool, and bike rentals. 

London’s Tower Bridge

A Little Princess, by Frances Hodgson Burnett – London, England: In London, the entire family can enjoy some of the same sights Sarah Crewe might have in the book, which is set in the early 1900s. Big Ben, the famous, huge clock in the Palace of Westminster; the Tower Bridge, a suspension bridge which crosses the River Thames; and the Royal Albert Hall, a concert hall that hosts a variety of concerts and shows. Flemings Hotel in Mayfair is a great choice for families as children under eight years old receive a copy of Fleming Frog’s book about adventures in London, frog shampoo, milk and cookies at bedtime, and slippers and a robe.

Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House

Little Women, Louisa May Alcott – New England: A trip to Concord, Massachusetts, one of the most picturesque New England villages, after reading this classic book must include a visit to the Minute Man National Historical Park where you can watch a video all about the American Revolution. Tour the Orchard House, the historic home of the Alcott family, and the place that Louisa May Alcott used as the setting for the book, and then visit nearby Walden’s Pond, which is a lovely place for swimming and hiking. Concord’s Colonial Inn is a great family-friendly hotel with fully furnished one and two-bedroom cottages, complete with kitchens, and a complimentary grab-n-go breakfast. 

Little House on the Prairie Historical Site

Little House on the Prairie, by Laura Ingalls Wilder – Kansas: Families, like myself, who love this entire book series based on the real-life adventures of the author will enjoy visiting the Little House on the Prairie Historical Site near Independence, Kansas, then they can check out the Moon Marble Factory, the Kansas City Zoo, or see the Kansas City Royals play. The whole family will enjoy Great Wolf Lodge in Kansas City with a complete indoor water park and family-friendly suites.

Alyeska Resort

Julie of the Wolves, by Jean Craighead George – Alaska: Alaska is a place for family-friendly outdoor activities after reading this survival story, so plan to take a hike and see glaciers, go whale watching, take a dog sled ride, go fishing for salmon or pan for gold. Alyeska Resort is an all-season resort with lots of kid-friendly activities available, an indoor pool, and townhouse suites with a separate bedroom and two full baths.

Chincoteague ponies

Misty of Chincoteague, by Marguerite Henry – Assateague Island: Most want to see the world-famous ponies. You can take a boat tour or rent a kayak, and you can also go hiking on the island to see them on foot. The Princess Royale Oceanfront Hotel is located right on the beach, has fully furnished condos, and an Olympic sized, heated indoor pool. The property is perfect for families!

Horse-drawn carriage Central Park

From the Mixed up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, by E. L. Konigsberg – New York City: Any visit to New York has to include the world-famous New York Metropolitan Museum of Art where the two characters ran away to, as well as nearby beautiful Central Park, which is the most visited urban park in the world and offers plenty of space to run and play. From the park, a horse-drawn carriage ride will introduce visitors to the area around the park and museum. Family-friendly Affinia 50 has large suites with a separate bedroom and full kitchen, cribs, strollers and highchairs available, and you can have a complete picnic delivered to your room!

Gyeongbok Palace

A Single Shard, by Linda Sue Park – Korea: Korea is home to many glorious temples, which help visitors learn the history of the magnificent country. Bulguksa Temple was designated as a World Cultural Asset by UNESCO, and the artistry of the stone relics is well worth a visit. Nearby is the Gwangju National Museum, which has cultural relics on display from Korean history through the ages. Gyeongbok Palace in Seoul was the main royal palace of the Joseon dynasty and was the most beautiful and grandest of all the palaces in Korea. Today, the walled palace complex is being restored to its original form. The Lotte Hotel World in Seoul is great for families with large suites, an indoor pool, and a direct connection to the beautiful Seokchon Lake and Lotte World Adventure, one of the world’s largest indoor theme parks.

The Great Wall of China

Dragon’s Gate, by Laurence Yep – China: Naturally, visitors to China are curious to see the Great Wall, which is over 13,000 miles long and was built over 2,000 years ago to keep invaders out of China. In Beijing, take a rickshaw tour of the hutongs, traditional Chinese neighborhoods; in the village of Guilin, take a cruise along the scenic Yangshuo River to see traditional villages, bamboo groves and local farmers in the fields; and in Xian, see the notorious Terracotta Army, which is composed of stone figures of warriors, horses and chariots built in 246-208 BC. The Hilton Beijing offers large suites with separate bedrooms, an indoor pool, and special amenities for kids like cooking classes, five restaurants with children’s menus.

Lisa Crow contributed to this article. She is a travel writer and lifestyle blogger based in Waco, Texas. Lisa is the Head of Content at Gigi’s Ramblings and L&S Freelance Writers. She spends her free time traveling when she can and making memories with her large family that consists of six children and ten grandchildren.

*Note: This article was written pre-coronavirus outbreak. Keep these destinations in mind for next Easter.

Fancy a fantastic Easter vacation with the kids featuring seasonal treats, great attractions and fun activities, all set in wonderful family-friendly destinations? Depending on your family’s interests and budget, you can choose a resort in popular Florida, Caribbean getaway, Latin American adventure or upscale European break.

South Seas Island Resort, FL

Located on the stunning Captiva Island in the Gulf of Mexico, South Seas Island Resort is home to superb family-friendly facilities such as the Resort Pool complex featuring water slides and lagoon-style pools, a private beach, tennis court and a golf course. Accommodations range from guestrooms to condos and private villas. Kids will enjoy exploring the 330-acre wildlife preserve, learn how to swim, dress up as mermaids and pirates (for ages 4-5) and take part in the social activities offered by Skully’s Family Interactive Center. They can also get familiar with marine conservation at Sanibel Sea School. So whether you’re traveling with a 12-month baby or a teen, this resort has something to keep every kid entertained. With the resort’s Spring Getaway offer, rooms start from $499 a night and guests receive a fourth night free and over $250 savings. 

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resorts, FL

Located between  Epcot and Disney Hollywood Studios, the Walt Disney World Swan Resort and the Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort offer complimentary transportation to the park’s attractions, 17 restaurants, and five pools. For Easter, the two resorts have devised an exquisite Easter program for guests. Expect meet-and-greets with the Easter Bunny, bunny hop races, and traditional and glow-in-the-dark Easter egg hunts. Kids will also be able to join arts and crafts tuitions and watch the movie “HOP” by the poolside. In addition to these, there’s a sandy beach, fitness club, mini-golf, golf course and spa. The kids’ club, Camp Dolphin (for ages 4-12), is open late afternoon till late at night and offers special dinners, craft workshops and movies, plus video arcades. 

Carambola Beach Resort St. Croix, US Virgin Islands

Set between a beautiful rainforest and idyllic white sandy beach, the kid-friendly Renaissance St. Croix Carambola Beach Resort & Spa offers accommodation in spacious studio suites overlooking the tropical surroundings and the ocean. The fully equipped kitchenettes make it easier for families to make their own meal; otherwise you can eat at the on-site restaurants and nearby eateries. The elegant Caribbean resort also has a spa, golf course in the near vicinity, fitness center and pool. 

Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort, Curacao 

Located in the Southern Caribbean Sea, Curacao is a wonderful destination to spend the Easter break. The Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort is home to varied restaurants and bars, a spa, Pete Dye designed 18-hole golf course, and on-site dive operator. Kids can splash out in the protected swimming lagoon, snorkel or join the Kids Camp Arawak (for ages 3-12) that offers arts and crafts sessions, nature walks, cave exploring, sports and games.

Lisa Crow contributed to this article. She is a travel writer and lifestyle blogger based in Waco, Texas. Lisa is the Head of Content at Gigi’s Ramblings and L&S Freelance Writers. She spends her free time traveling when she can and making memories with her large family that consists of six children and ten grandchildren.


With vibrant, diverse cultures, a booming economy and southern hospitality, it’s no wonder people love visiting Atlanta. It’s easy to fall in love with the city’s delicious comfort foods, decades of rich history, and mild weather.

Interesting Facts:

  • Atlanta is the most heavily forested urban area in the country, according to The National Forest Service.
  • There are more than 70 streets that have the word “Peachtree” in their name.
  • The world’s largest drive-in restaurant, The Varsity, can be found in Atlanta.
  • Atlanta is the only city in North America that was destroyed as an act of war.  
  • The Atlanta Braves are the oldest continually operating team in Major League Baseball.

Useful information:

  • Best Time to Visit: Anytime, honestly. During Spring, especially late March and April, daytime temperatures tend to be more enjoyable. Everything is in bloom and the weather is at its best. Autumn is also a good time to visit. Late September through mid-November often has pleasant days and cool nights.
  • What to Wear: When packing for a trip anywhere in Georgia, you will always want to check the forecast in advance. The weather can be very unpredictable from one day to the next but is generally mild.
  • Getting around: Driving is naturally the most popular option. The city does cover quite an expansive area. Many people fly into the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the world’s busiest airport, and then rent a car. MARTA and the Atlanta Streetcar are available for those interested in public transportation.

What to Do:

  • The Georgia Aquarium is the nation’s largest and most magical aquarium! More than 10 million gallons of fresh and saltwater house the largest single aquarium habitat in the world and more aquatic life than any other aquarium in North America.
  • Tour Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Birth Home and historic Ebenezer Church. Explore the neighborhood and places that shaped the life and civil rights legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for the world.
  • Piedmont Park is the premier green space and central gathering place of Atlanta with picturesque views of the Midtown Atlanta skyline. The park features jogging paths, picnic facilities, playgrounds, tennis courts, public swimming pool, two ponds, and a dog park.
  • Ponce City Market is the epicenter for shopping, dining, and gathering among locals. The venue covers over two million feet. This historic building is home to retail stores, restaurants, office space, and live entertainment venues.

Lisa Crow contributed to this article. She is a travel writer and lifestyle blogger based in Waco, Texas. Lisa is the Head of Content at Gigi’s Ramblings and L&S Freelance Writers. She spends her free time traveling when she can and making memories with her large family that consists of six children and ten grandchildren. This is the next installment in the Let’s Travel to…series, a collection of short informational articles covering some of the world’s top travel destinations.

The city of Dallas offers lots of exciting activities for families to enjoy, making it a top vacation destination for travelers with kids. From its zoos and aquariums to its beautiful outdoor gardens, there are lots of attractions to see while visiting. Parents will be happy to know that there are also a number of hotels that offer family amenities and cater specifically to children. Here’s a short list of our recommended family-friendly hotels in the Big D.

Westin Hotel Galleria Dallas

For a completely non-smoking establishment, families can stay at the Westin Hotel Galleria Dallas, which is located inside the Galleria Dallas shopping center. This gives families easy access to popular retail stores and restaurants that are located in this complex. Room service is available 24/7 and front desk service is available around the clock as well. Kids stay for free and can visit the onsite kids club for a chance to enjoy fun activities like arts and crafts. The hotel welcomes dogs that weigh up to 40 pounds, so small family pets are welcome to stay so long as they are properly supervised by their owners. The Second Floor Restaurant and The Oceanaire Seafood Room are two wonderful restaurants at the hotel where guests of all ages can enjoy seasonal entrees and locally-inspired dishes.

Residence Inn Central Expressway Dallas

The Residence Inn Central Expressway Dallas is ideal for extended stays, so anyone planning a long family vacation should consider booking a room at this hotel. Complimentary amenities include high-speed internet access and a free daily breakfast. Onsite laundry facilities make it easy for parents to wash their children’s clothing. Cribs are available upon request for people traveling with young infants, and rooms feature pull-out sofas for families who need extra sleeping space. Local restaurant delivery is a convenient option for guests who want to eat great local food from the comfort of their lodgings. The outdoor pool is perfect for hot days when families need to cool off. The hotel is only two miles away from a miniature golf course and about four miles from popular hiking trails.

Hyatt Place Hotel Park Central Dallas

For a kid-friendly hotel in North Dallas, families should try the Hyatt Place Hotel Park Central Dallas. Guests have easy access to the Dart Light Rail, which offers public transportation to local attractions in the area. The hotel also offers complimentary shuttle service within a five-mile radius. Free Wi-Fi is available so that guests can stay connected and 24-hour room service ensures that hotel patrons can always order something to eat. A complimentary breakfast is offered to guests every morning to help them start the day off right. People of all ages will love the onsite swimming pool and the 24-hour fitness center. Pets under 50 pounds are welcome for an additional fee, so kids can bring their favorite small dog along for the trip.

Hotel Crescent Court

Families who are in search of a luxury hotel in Uptown Dallas can stay at the Hotel Crescent Court. With a perfect blend of modern style and traditional Texas hospitality, this hotel is ideal for travelers who want to enjoy high-class amenities and comfortable accommodations while visiting the Lone Star State. The Rose Buds program is designed especially for children so that they can enjoy fun activities during their stay. The program offers kids menus for onsite dining and makes it easy for parents to request cribs, baby monitors and babysitting services. Families that want extra room can even choose to stay in spacious suites with full kitchens.

Ritz Carlton Hotel Dallas

Another luxurious place to stay in Uptown is the Ritz Carlton Hotel Dallas, which features upscale amenities and elegant furnishings in every guestroom. In-room dining is available 24 hours a day and the hotel features an onsite restaurant called Fearings Restaurant and has poolside dining options. The Ritz Kids program is designed to welcome children and help them enjoy their time at the hotel by offering fun activities and helping them explore the local area. There are several types of rooms and suites to choose from, including rooms with two queen beds to accommodate families with at least two children. The hotel is less than a mile from popular attractions like Victory Park, the Dallas World Aquarium and American Airlines Center.

Lisa Crow contributed to this article. She is a travel writer and lifestyle blogger based in Waco, Texas. Lisa is the Head of Content at Gigi’s Ramblings and L&S Freelance Writers. She spends her free time traveling when she can and making memories with her large family that consists of six children and ten grandchildren.

Chicago, Illinois is a city full of culture, history, and interesting facts. The city is a major business hub and an important seat of culture. There are literally a million things to see and do in the city. This is a destination everyone should visit at least once in their lifetime.

Interesting Facts

  • Many famous people have roots in Chicago, including Oprah, Walt Disney, Hugh Hefner, Al Capone, and Kanye West. It was once the home of former president, Barack Obama.
  • Chicago has many nicknames including the City of Big Shoulders, the City that Works, and the Windy City.  
  • Chicago River runs through various systems, and it’s the only river that flows backward. 
  • Over 48 million people visit the city each year. 
downtown chicago

Useful Information

  • Best Time to Visit: Over 48 million people visit the city each year. Summer travel is most popular, but if you want to avoid large crowds, fall may be a better option. It’s wise to have a general idea of what places you plan to visit before deciding which season is best.
  • What to Wear: Spring and summer tend to be mild and comfortable in the Windy City. Late fall into winter can be brutal if you aren’t used to the cold, so pack accordingly.
  • Getting Around: Most visitors choose to drive or use services like Uber and Lyft, although traffic can be very hectic. The trains of the Chicago Transit Authority can be a fun way to experience The Loop. Like most big cities, many prefer to walk in the downtown area.
Lincoln Park

Things to Do

  • The Cheney House Bed is one of the most unique places to stay. You will experience breathtaking panoramic views and a real feel for old town Chicago.
  • Lincoln Park is the home to several attractions, beaches, monuments, statues, and playgrounds. The best part is the free admission zoo found on the grounds.
  • The Navy Pier which was built as an amusement park will keep you busy throughout the day. A popular place to visit within the park is the Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows.
  • Millennium Park is located in the legendary Loop community and home to the famous “bean”, the #1 place in the city for selfies.
the bean

Lisa Crow contributed to this article. She is a travel writer and lifestyle blogger based in Waco, Texas. Lisa is the Head of Content at Gigi’s Ramblings and L&S Freelance Writers. She spends her free time traveling when she can and making memories with her large family that consists of six children and ten grandchildren. This is the next installment in the Let’s Travel to…series, a collection of short informational articles covering some of the world’s top travel destinations.

Every year, millions of travelers head south of the border — and with so much to see and experience, it’s no surprise that the Mexican Caribbean is the most popular multi-destination to visit in Mexico.

The island of Cozumel can be found just off the eastern coast of Mexico. Cozumel is located in the Caribbean Sea, close to Playa del Carmen and just south of Cancun. A member of the Mexican Mayan Riviera, visitors choose to go to Cozumel for its beautiful beaches and tropical climate.

Cozumel drink

Interesting Facts:

  • Cozumel was first settled by the Mayan Indians and they remained there until the 16th century when Spanish settlers infected with smallpox arrived and annihilated the entire population.
  • Cozumel features a small section of the world’s second-largest barrier reef system, known as the Mesoamerican Reef.
  • The island was thought to be sacred to Ix Chel, the Mayan Moon Goddess.
Mopeds on Cozumel beach

Useful Information:

  • Best time to visit: The optimal time to visit the island is from March to June when the daytime highs top out around 90 degrees. It is not uncommon to experience tropical storms during late summer – early fall when hurricane season arrives.
  • What to pack: Shorts, tank tops, sundresses, beach attire, and other light clothing. If you are traveling during the warmer months, I suggest outfits that are loose-fitting and comfortable because it can get very humid and hot during the day. Don’t forget the sunscreen!
  • Getting around: Travelers arrive on the island a variety of ways, including cruise ships, airplanes, and ferry rides. Once on the island, travelers are able to rent a vehicle if they chose. Taxis and buses are also available. Many single travelers and couples choose to rent a moped to get around.
Dolphin Cozumel

What to Do:

  • Dolphinaris Cozumel is fun for all ages! Dolphinaris offers you the exhilarating opportunity to swim with dolphins in five tropical locations that are extremely popular among tourists. Dolphinaris can be found in Cancun, Tulum, Riviera Maya Park, Cozumel and at Barceló Hotel.
  • Playa Mia Grand Beach Park is the perfect place to make memories with the family. Take the plunge at Cozumel’s largest water park. Work on your tan while surrounded by numerous activities, authentic Mexican cuisine and relaxing spa treatments. See the cultural sights and sounds of Mexico with tours that showcase tequila, chocolate, and other local flavors. If you’re adventurous, take a trip down the 200-foot long Twin Twisters water slides. Set your kids free to become pirates at Buccaneer’s Bay while you kick back under a shady palm on the beach or at the swim-up pool bar and restaurant. Here, anything is possible.
  • Of course, the beach has to be on the list of things to do! Playa Palancar has beautiful turquoise waters and sugary sands, everything you would expect from this part of Mexico. This is one of my favorite beaches around Cozumel. It has the atmosphere of an exclusive beach but is free and open to the public. The clear waters make it the ideal spot for snorkeling.
  • Cozumel Pearl Farm is a family-owned and operated pearl farm nestled on a beautiful white sand beach along the north shore of Cozumel Island. Being the only active Pearl Farm in the Caribbean, Cozumel Pearl Farm is located in a natural protected area that remains pristine and untouched; it is only accessible by boat. This is a unique and highly popular attraction among visitors.
Palms on beach Cozumel

Lisa Crow contributed to this article. She is a travel writer and lifestyle blogger based in Waco, Texas. Lisa is the Head of Content at Gigi’s Ramblings and L&S Freelance Writers. She spends her free time traveling when she can and making memories with her large family that consists of six children and ten grandchildren. This is the next installment in the Let’s Travel to…series, a collection of short informational articles covering some of the world’s top travel destinations.

Truly magical, in my opinion.

There’s really nothing that I don’t love about the Christmas holidays. Fall is my favorite season, but Christmas has always been and will always be my favorite holiday. Once Thanksgiving dinner has been served and football games have ended, we head out in search of the perfect tree.

For me, Christmas is a holiday that brings an abundance of love, laughter, happiness, and Jesus Christ into our home. It is rarely ever a White Christmas (because it never snows in Texas), but it is undeniably the most beautiful time of the year.

Christmas tree

Trees, Lights, Mistletoe, Stockings and Candy Canes….These are a few of my Favorite Things

The smell of a freshly cut Douglas Fir and twinkling lights pull at my heartstrings, always taking me on a nostalgic trip down memory lane of Christmases past. Fall scented candles and wax melts are replaced with cinnamon and pine.

I absolutely love decorating for all occasions, but this one is extra special. Thanksgiving evening all of the pumpkins and scarecrows come down and the tree and lights start to go up. Stockings are hung by the chimney with care, while reindeer are strategically placed on the lawn. This process usually takes the entire weekend, but I don’t mind.

Reindeer

Christmas Eve Traditions

Christmas traditions in my family have been the same every year for as long as I can remember. Christmas Eve is always the festive day for my bunch. When I was a child and when my kids were little, we always participated in the church Christmas play. Some of my fondest childhood memories were made on that little stage at Concord Baptist Church. My youngest daughter actually got to play baby Jesus when she was just a few weeks old – priceless. It makes me sad my grandchildren don’t attend this church to carry on this tradition.

Once the goodie-filled stockings were passed out at church, we would head home to open our gifts from family members while watching Santa’s sleigh on the 10 pm news. As a child, Christmas Eve festivities were always held at my grandparents’ house – until I had all my kids, then it was moved to my house. My parents, my kids, and grandkids still come over to open presents and eat some delicious tamales on the 24th.

I know everyone does Christmas differently. For my family, gifts from the parents and other family members are wrapped and placed under the tree to be opened on Christmas Eve. Christmas morning, the kids wake up to unwrapped gifts from Santa. I realize a lot of kids receive wrapped gifts from Santa, but we never have.

Santa

My dad always threatened us girls with black marks on the bottom of our feet if we were being bad. I’m pretty sure he made that up, I’ve never known anyone else who was familiar with this tale. We believed if we had misbehaved throughout the year Santa may mark the bottom of our feet with coal instead of leaving gifts.

It was so funny, every Christmas morning we checked the soles of our feet before running to the living room to see what had been left under the tree. Regardless of how deserving, none of us ever received black marks.

Christmas ornament

Christmas Day 

The 25th is usually pretty chill around my house. It’s more of a day of reflection more than anything else for me. When my Grandma was alive we would go to her house Christmas Day, but since she’s gone I just stay around the house trying out my gifts, watching parades and basketball on TV. When my kids were little I had to share holidays with their dad, so they always left Christmas Day. Now that they are grown, they spend it with their own kids and in-laws. I don’t mind, it’s almost like a day to recover from all the festivities.

rawpixel

One last thing I love about the holiday is that it’s so close to the new year. Do you ever imagine what it would be like if Christmas was not in December? It would be weird right? We wouldn’t get to say “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year” at the same time. It brings a joyous close to a long holiday season.

These are just a few reasons why I love the holidays so much! Feel free to share some of your favorite holiday memories and traditions!

Happy New Year

I want to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from my family to yours!

Lisa Crow contributed to this article. She is a travel writer and lifestyle blogger based in Waco, Texas. Lisa is the Head of Content at Gigi’s Ramblings and L&S Freelance Writers. She spends her free time traveling when she can and making memories with her large family that consists of six children and ten grandchildren.

If you have never had the pleasure of visiting Yosemite National Park, in California’s Sierra Madres, you are missing the experience of a lifetime. Home to grassy meadows, granite cliffs, lakes, giant sequoias, glaciers, forests and waterfalls galore, this place is a nature lover’s paradise.

shutterstock_1155679408

Interesting Facts:

  • Yosemite Falls, the tallest waterfall in North America, can be found within the park and has a staggering 2,425-foot drop.
  • Scientists believe a glacier is responsible for forming the unique shape of the Yosemite Valley.
  • There are at least 90 species of mammals in the park, including black bears, coyotes, beavers, bobcats, bats, and chipmunks.
  • The park was home to the Ahwaneechee Indians for more than 4,000 years.
shutterstock_1161303565

Useful Information:

  • Best time to visit: The recommended months to visit Yosemite are May and September when the park is open but not too crowded. I should mention, many roads and trails in Yosemite are closed for the majority of the year due to snow. Seasonal park closures are the primary reason why so many travelers visit during the summer months, making these months the park’s busiest time of year.
  • What to wear: Dress appropriately for the season that you are visiting. In the cooler months, a jacket or layered clothing is usually required for comfort. When picking your shoes for the day, consider your planned activities. Waterproof shoes are recommended. Due to the higher elevations and exposure to the sun, I suggest packing hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen.
  • Most visitors chose to drive personal vehicles throughout the park. Keep in mind, road closures are common between October- March. The Yosemite Valley Shuttle provides free rides to and from all the major vista points, shops, and accommodations within the Yosemite Valley, from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. year-round.
shutterstock_1162256476

What to See:

  • Yosemite Falls, like I mentioned earlier, is the highest waterfall in the U.S. The best time to view is during late spring when the excess water from melting snow flows most vigorously.
  • Half Dome is probably the most popular geographical feature in the park. Some people just want to witness it and snap a few pictures, others prefer to hike it. Whichever you choose, it’s a must-see. If you plan on hiking you must purchase a permit.
  • Glacier Point is considered one of the most breathtaking lookouts in Yosemite. The panoramic views are indescribable. The point is accessible by vehicle, making it convenient for those traveling with small children.
  •  The Mist Trail is one of the park’s most frequented trails. To reach the top of the falls, visitors must hike up a 600-step granite staircase that runs alongside a raging waterfall, taking you close enough to where mist from the falls sprays out onto the trail.
shutterstock_1122796040

Lisa Crow contributed to this article. She is a travel writer and lifestyle blogger based in Waco, Texas. Lisa is the Head of Content at Gigi’s Ramblings and L&S Freelance Writers. She spends her free time traveling when she can and making memories with her large family that consists of six children and ten grandchildren. This is the next installment in the Let’s Travel to…series, a collection of short informational articles covering some of the world’s top travel destinations.

With world-class theme parks, fantastic shopping, family fun galore and wild nature experiences – who wouldn’t want to visit Orlando? Packed with so much to see and do, it’s easy to understand why it is one of the nation’s most sought-after destinations.

Disney Entrance

Interesting Facts:

  • The city is known as “The Theme Park Capital of the World.”
  • Gatorland was the first theme park to call Orlando home, opening in 1949. The primary attraction was a 15-foot alligator which was thought to be the biggest in the world at that time.
  • The number of daily visitors in Orlando is equal to the population of Atlanta, GA.
  • Orlando is home to more than 100 lakes.
Roller Coaster

Useful Information:

  • Best time to visit: The most desirable time to visit is between the months of January and April, depending on your actual destination. If theme parks are at the top of your to-do list, March-May is optimal. The weather is mild, and accommodations are reasonable during this time.
  • What to wear: Shorts, tank tops, sundresses, and other light clothing. If you are traveling during the warmer months, I suggest outfits that are loose-fitting and comfortable because it can get very humid and hot during the day. The theme parks are casual, so you should wear clothing that won’t bother you during a long day of walking in the heat.
  • Getting around: Most people either drive their own personal car or rent a car. This is the most affordable and convenient way of getting around the city. Companies like Uber and private tour operators are also popular options. Many hotels offer a complimentary shuttle and taxi rides to major attractions.
Universal Studios

What to Do:

  • Of course, Walt Disney World is going to be at the top of my list! I have been obsessed with Mickey Mouse since I was an infant. I don’t think this one needs an explanation – It’s Disney!
  • Universal Studios is another theme park that you must do when in Orlando. This is an amazing way to experience your favorite TV shows and movies. The complex actually houses two theme parks. Universal Studios for entertainment, and Islands of Adventure for thrills.
  • SeaWorld Orlando is perfect for those who are both thrill-seekers and animal lovers. This is one of the only places in the country you see killer whales, orcas, penguins, stingrays, otters, dolphins and many more amazing sea creatures up close while learning how to protect these majestic animals.
  • When you need a break from the amusement park scene, I suggest a 45-minute day trip to Kennedy Space Center. The complex is large, so it’s recommended that you plan to stay all day. This is an educational and exciting destination with something of interest for family members of all ages.
NASA

Lisa Crow contributed to this article. She is a travel writer and lifestyle blogger based in Waco, Texas. Lisa is the Head of Content at Gigi’s Ramblings and L&S Freelance Writers. She spends her free time traveling when she can and making memories with her large family that consists of six children and ten grandchildren. This is the next installment in the Let’s Travel to…series, a collection of short informational articles covering some of the world’s top travel destinations.

With hot springs, geysers, mud pots and wildlife like wolves, bison, bears, and elk, there’s almost too much for kids to see at Yellowstone National Park. The park is massive, expanding over more than two million acres across Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho.

Interesting Facts:

  • Yellowstone was the world’s first national park.
  • The park covers more ground than Rhode Island and Delaware combined.
  • Yellowstone has between 1,000 and 3,000 earthquakes each year.
  • This area is home to the largest herd of free-range bison in the world.
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Useful Information:

  • Best time to visit: The most desirable times to visit are April – May and September – November. Peak times are from July – August, but temperatures are much warmer and crowds are larger during these months. If you are planning on staying at one of the nine lodges inside the park, be sure to make reservations at least one year in advance.
  • What to wear: Depending on the season, what you bring along may vary greatly. You will want to pack accordingly. During the summer months, light clothing is recommended, along with a hat and sunglasses. Cooler months will require a jacket or sweater. Most importantly, make sure you are wearing well-fitting comfortable shoes.
  • Getting around: Personal vehicles, tour buses, and transportation concessionaire are the most common ways to get around the park. It covers such a large area, with the Grand Loop taking anywhere from 4-7 hours by car if you are looking to see a lot of the park your best bet is in a vehicle. Of course, many people love to hike and bike in certain places as well.
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What to See:

  • Naturally, Old Faithful is at the top of the list for attractions. You cannot truly experience Yellowstone without witnessing Her Majesty erupt. Visitors will find several hotels and restaurants in this area.
  • The Mammoth Hot Springs are another must-see attraction. This is a uniquely beautiful area of the park. They are a bit secluded, but well worth the scenic drive.
  • Artist Point can be found along the South Rim Trail. You will find some of the most breathtaking panoramic views of the Lower Falls in this area.
  • The Norris Geyser Basin area is home to more than 500 geothermal features and the park’s hottest geyser. The Museum of the National Park Ranger can also be found here.
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Lisa Crow contributed to this article. She is a travel writer and lifestyle blogger based in Waco, Texas. Lisa is the Head of Content at Gigi’s Ramblings and L&S Freelance Writers. She spends her free time traveling when she can and making memories with her large family that consists of six children and ten grandchildren. This is the next installment in the Let’s Travel to…series, a collection of short informational articles covering some of the world’s top travel destinations.