When you are planning a family weekend getaway there are several factors to consider. The cost (everybody enjoys finding a good deal), season and activities: what does everyone like to do? Some families love spending their weekend getaway by the pool, while others will prefer to go on tours and explore the area.
Accommodations are very important. Do you want to be able to prepare some of your meals or will you eat out while you are on vacation?
Beach Getaways for Families
In Florida, many full-service resorts like Doral and the Turnberry Isle Resort offer beautiful pools, water-based activities, golf and spas. You'll be able to combine a family weekend getaway with relaxing at the spa and a round or two of golf. Visit Florida with the family in the winter, spring and fall.
The Breakers in Palm Beach, Florida offers great rooms, a private beach, an oceanfront spa, 36 holes of golf, and 10 tennis courts. There is a childrens program, children under 16 stay free in their parents room and, for families with kids under 3, they will take precautions to childproof your room before you arrive.
There is a 6,160 square foot family entertainment center with a children's movie room, a toddlers' playroom, and a computer room. There is also the Coconut Crew Interactive Camp that hosts kids from age 3-12 in two different groups; the Parrots (3-6) and the Coconuts (6-12). The Coconut Crew Interactive Camp is flexibly scheduled and priced per session. Room rates start at $285.
Spend some time relaxing by yourself while your kids participate in the Registry Resort's Adventure Passport program. The Adventure Passport includes one all day camp and one evening camp. Rates start at $65 per child. If you can't remember the last night you have a romantic dinner with your partner, check your kids into the Kids Night Out program. Every Friday and Saturday, from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm, the resort offers the Kids Night Out package for $39 per child, including dinner. Room rates at the Registry Resort & Club start at $189 in the summer; from $229 in the spring and fall; from $319 during the peak winter season.
San Diego is a popular weekend getaway, offering the famous zoo and proximity to many fun kid-frindly activities. Stay at Hotel del Coronado which has a sandy beach, kid's programs and many family-friendly activities, ranging from Bocce Ball to Ping Pong. Hotel del Coronado is located right on the ocean, giving families the opportunity to enjoy the beach and the sun on vacation. Take a bike tour of historic Coronado, or rent a kayak and explore the shore. If you want to visit the spa or play golf, Hotel del Coronado offers diverse programs for kids. Choose from historic rooms and suites, or contemporary accommodations. Room rates start at $285 per night.
Lakeside Vacation Ideas
On the shores of Lake Sydney Lanier lies Lake Lanier Islands, a 1,100 acre resort just 30 minutes from downtown Atlanta. Stay at the 216 room Emerald Pointe Resort or try one of the 18 private lakeside cottages. The resort has a golf course, an equestrian center and a fleet of rental boats, however, the main attraction for families is the beach and waterpark. Lake Lanier Islands' Beach and Waterpark features rides, slides, and water attractions with names like the Intimidator, the Twister, SplashDown, and Triple Threat. The waterpark is open from May to September. Rates Start at $139 per night.
On the East Coast, head to the Sagamore on Lake George where weekend activities include fishing, swimming in the lake, sailing, golf and pampering at the spa.
If your family likes exploring a big city, head to New York City where hotels are offering some great deals on weekend stays. You can visit the Museum of Natural History, see a show at the Planetarium, and play in Central Park.
The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park is a luxury New York City getaway with great views and family-friendly service. Whether your family decides to enjoy an outdoor day in Central Park, or visit the American Museum of Natural History while on vacation, the hotel offers a great location for exploring the city. Kids will love the telescopes and bird watching books available in park view rooms.
Enjoy central location and historic ambiance at the Westin St. Francis when you travel to San Francisco with the family. This Union Square hotel features classic elegance with its ornate balconies and detailed woodwork. Visit Union Square Park, ride a cable car, or relax at the hotel while your children are entertained at the Westin Kids Club. The hotel is just minutes from Chinatown and Fisherman's Wharf. Ask for one of the rooms with views of the bay. Doubles start at $179 per night.
Weekend Resorts for Families
Club H for teens ages 13-17 at the Homestead Resort in Virginia provides a fun place to socialize and play games. Club H, located on the tenth floor, offers activities that appeal to teenagers, such as arcade games, billiards, snacks and music. There is a choice of indoor and outdoor activities lead by Club H counselors, including hiking, biking, caving, kayaking, mountain boarding, canoeing and paintball. Cookouts, hayrides and dinners at Club H give kids the opportunity to meet new people. Doubles at the Homestead start at $131 in the winter; from $211 in the summer.
Take the family to the Horseshoe Bay Marriott in Texas and let the kids enjoy tennis, an 18-hole putting course, and three different swimming pools. Rent a pontoon boat at the Horseshoe Bay Marina and spend the day on the lake. In the afternoon, you can water ski on the Marina's ski boat, an inboard 2002 Master Craft complete with a great sound system and wakeboard tower. The best part about the ski boat is that it comes with a driver, so that's one less thing to worry about. If you don't feel like actually going out on the water, you can always relax in a cabana on the lakeside beach.
La Quinta Resort in Palm Springs offers an array of activities for the whole family, including great pools, golf, spa and a year-round program for kids. Ride the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, take a jeep tour in the desert, or go horseback riding on your family vacation. Choose from casitas, suites and Spa Villas. Rates start at $300 per night plus tax and resort charge.