• Top 10 Tuesday!Lonely Planet’s “Travel With Children” Guide lists the Top 10 cities around the world that are ideal to visit with children (our comments on brackets:
  • 1. Oaxaca, Mexico: This colorful Mexican city is pint-sized, charming and fun to explore on foot. A central plaza provides plenty of run-around space for kids and there’s a vibrant market.
  • 2. Istanbul, Turkey: With its mosques, palaces, museums, bazaars, multicolored carpets, food markets, Bosphorus cruises and sweet apple tea, children will be fascinated and enchanted at every turn.
  • 3. London, England: You could stay in London for a whole year and find interesting things to do with the children every day. In summer don’t miss out on playing in the fountains at Somerset House where there’s an outdoor ice-skating rink in the winter.
  • 4. Los Angeles: A good destination for teenagers – choose between the original Disneyland, Universal Studios and Santa Monica. There’s heaps to see and do in this sprawling city that encapsulates the American Dream.
  • 5. Vancouver, Canada: Vancouver is frequently named the most liveable city in the world. There’s lots of water as well as beaches, the huge urban Stanley Park and numerous hiking and biking trails. In addition, all the attractions of the Rocky Mountains are just over 60 miles away. [By the way they will be hosting the 2010 Winter Olympic Games]
  • 6. Lisbon, Portugal: With trams trundling up to a castle, a state-of-the-art aquarium and a fascinating museum that explores Portugal’s great seafaring past, this city captivates kids. The fairy-tale town of Sintra, too, is a just a short train ride away.
  • 7. Copenhagen, Denmark: Oozes old-world charm, with a compact city center, a lively waterfront and pedestrian-only zones. Thrilling rides at Tivoli Gardens and Bakken, a royal palace and museums designed especially for children will keep you busy.
  • 8. Singapore: Safe, clean and accessible, Singapore is a gentle introduction to the cities of Southeast Asia – and an excellent jetlag-busting pit stop on the long haul between Europe and Australasia. Also, Sentosa Island with its beaches, butterfly park, dolphin lagoon and underwater world has to be seen to be believed.
  • 9. Sydney, Australia: If beaches, swimming pools and numerous ferries aren’t enough, there’s Sydney Aquarium, Taronga Zoo and the Koala Park Sanctuary, which are all huge hits with the young ones.
  • 10. Rome, Italy: With some of Italy’s best gelato, the impressive Colosseum and Castel Sant-Angelo, spooky catacombs under Via Appia Antica and the green spaces of Villa Borghese, the challenge in Rome is not to do too much.

VANCOUVER with a FAMILY OF FIVE OR MORE

The Westin Bayshore
by
sleeps5.com

The Westin Bayshore in Vancouver

The Westin Bayshore in Vancouver

This hotel is a tower of 10 floors situated right near a harbor busy in the daytime. The entry is a wide expanse of landscaped driveway and inside the entrance is a wide expanse of polished floor tile. There is an indoor pool with a sauna and whirlpool, and an outdoor pool with chairs and a large bin of fresh towels aplenty. At the outdoor pool, a waitperson will take beverage and food orders and deliver to you outside from the bar nearby. You can add it to your room tab. We had a great rate for a room with two double beds. Since we reserved through Hotwire, we figured we’d get a ground floor room, or one near the elevator. We were happily surprised to find our room was on the 9th floor with a great view of the pool and harbor, and the only noise came from seagulls and waterplane engines. However, we were appalled at the $14 per day for internet service, and the $23 per day parking fee. We were also charged under $10 per day for the extra bed we requested upon our arrival. But it was the best folding bed we’d ever seen! Very plush with fine linens, and promptly delivered to our room and set up between the two double beds. The room was not huge, so with the extra bed, it was wall-to-wall beds. There is a Starbucks in the lobby area, very handy for early morning snacks, though the room did have coffee making equipment.

ENGLAND with a FAMILY OF FIVE

Blades Hotel
by sleeps5.com

Near Pimlico station, in a quiet, residential area of London’s city center, this hotel offers a large family room for 5, with a double bed and 3 single beds. This family room has a private bathroom, for use only by the family room occupants, but the entry to this private bathroom is outside of the room in the hall. All the hotel’s rooms are en-suite, so other occupants won’t be seeking this bathroom to use.

Breakfast buffet is included in the room rate.

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