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Ask the Travel Agent
Q. Where on the Yucatan Peninsula can our family have beach fun yet also see the ruins?
A. Fiesta and Palace Resorts, Marriott, and Club Med in Cancun are family friendly with kid’s programs. From Cancun you can visit the Chichen-Itza and Uxmal Ruins.
For a slower pace, try Akumal, 60 miles south of Cancun which offers condominiums on the beach. The Tulum and Coba ruins are near by.
Friendly Holidays usually offers affordable charters to Cancun.
Q. Our family is going to New Orleans--any ideas?
A. The French Quarter, once the original settlement of New Orleans offers 70 blocks of history located in the heart of the city including antique shops, historical buildings, legends, music, and good eateries. The Audubon Zoo has many attractions as does the amazing Aquarium of the Americas. See how the parade floats are made at Blaine Kern's Mardi Gras World; it’s full of floats, costumes, and props. City Park with its famous oaks includes the Bo-tanical Gardens and the Museum of Art with an extensive Faberge collection. Louisiana Nature Center with the planetarium is fun as are the many old cemeteries--see the elaborate tombs, all above ground! Louisiana Children's Museum will keep your little ones busy. There are guided walking tours available as well as self-guided routes. You can see the city and historical sites by paddleboat, too. Or, arrange to visit the swamp by boat!
Q. What is there to do on Cape Cod with the kids?
A. From the Sagamore Bridge, you can drive US 6 through all the towns on the Cape to Pro-vincetown at the point. There is also a 39 mile inland bike trail--a great way to explore the island.
Many of the sea captain's homes have been restored as museums--find unique objects
collected from their world travels.
Cape Cod National Seashore has dunes, marshland, glacial cliffs, dense forests, and 40 miles of coastline. Enjoy hiking nature trails, biking paved trails, visiting historical sites, swimming the ocean (use beaches with lifeguards), fishing, and shelling. The two visitor centers offer guided hikes, movies, and exhibits. Camping is available at privately owned campgrounds.
Woods Hole has Fisheries Aquarium, Marine Biological Lab and Oceanographic Institution's Exhibit Center. Bassett Wild Animal Farm is in Brewster.
You can try your hand at fishing in Chatham. The Old Schoolhouse Museum in Eastham is fun. Falmouth is a resort area with many historical sites. Here, you can catch the ferry
to the small island of Martha's Vineyard.
Ride the Cape Cod Scenic Train past great sites from Hyannis to Cape Cod Canal. Hyannis offers harbor tours and whale watching cruises.
Learn about the U.S. history at Pilgrim Monument in Provincetown and at Heritage Plantation in Sandwich. Watch for wildlife at the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, a 1000 acre nature preserve with 5 miles of hiking trails.
Q. We would like a family oriented tour to Great Britain, any ideas?
A. FamilyHostel designs family travel programs for Europe (800-733-9753). Also check out Abercrombie & Kent (800-323-7308); and Rascals in Paradise (800-U RASCAL). It's About Time Tours offer a delightful journey through England's fabled and beloved Nursery Rhyme areas (800-846-8980).
Q. What winter activities are offered in the Mammoth Lakes area? And, can you suggest a lodge with a children’s program?
A. The Mammoth Lakes area of southern California provides plenty of winter fun–skiing, snowboarding, crosscountry skiing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, dogsledding, bobsledding and gondola rides. Request more information from the visitor's bureau (888-466-2666 or www. visitmammoth.com). The Mammoth Mountain Inn offers children's programs (760-934-2581).
Q. We are traveling to London and want to visit Exeter. What do you suggest?
A. The variety of architectural styles in Exeter range from medieval to modern. Medieval walls partly surround the city, and passages built in the Middle Ages run under the main streets (tours are available). There are pubs claiming to be the regular haunts of famous folks like Sir Francis Drake. Don't miss the Exeter Cathedral.
The southwest countryside provides great drives, quaint villages nestled in rich pastures, varied coastlines, desolate Dartmoor National Park, and plenty of history (from Plymouth to Bath). Renting a car in Exeter would be ideal. In London, you might consider the Orion Apartments in Covent Garden, within walking distance to many sites. Between the tube and bus, getting around London is quite easy and fun. You may want to rent a car for day trips out of the city. You'll find many great travel books on England--a good idea before heading off on what sounds like a wonderful vacation!