Family travel: Sunshine in paradise

Warm up with a sun-drenched family getaway in paradise. Here are five ideas to consider.


1. Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo  

Seamlessly integrating the Peninsula’s vibrant landscape with the amenities of a contemporary eco-luxury hotel, this Forbes five-star luxury 182-room resort has recently reopened, revealing the results of an imaginative $35 million renovation. Tap into the “pura vida” lifestyle and choose from a long list of adventure, spa, fitness and wellness opportunities served up in a relaxed and welcoming indoor-outdoor environment. Access kayaks, paddleboards and jet skis from the beach or relax by one of several pools that overlook the volcanic sand beach areas. For a family-friendly introduction to the exotic fauna and flora of Costa Rica take a guided tour of the Trail of the Giants, a scenic adventure that showcases the region’s birds, monkeys, iguanas, butterflies and giant trees while providing jaw-dropping views of the resort’s Arnold Palmer golf course and the Pacific Ocean. The Kids For All Seasons club features a kid-sized pool and junior lounge chairs as well as a range of immersive programs to entice the youngest guests.  


2. Hotel del Coronado, San Diego, Calif.  

This iconic Victorian gem is the crown jewel of Coronado Island, one of the most popular beach vacation spots in the United States. The long, wide stretch of sand provides easy access to the water and thus the perfect home base for your family’s seaside activities. Get out the boogie boards, issue a beach volleyball challenge, take surfing lessons, learn the secrets of mermaid fitness or join a clambake. Top-notch children’s and teen programs and spa options are also available. You’ll create your own family history in this legendary beach destination.  


3. Set sail with Royal Caribbean  

You’ll find plenty of family adventure onboard the megaships headed for the sun-drenched Caribbean waters. Snap a selfie with your favorite Dreamworks characters or test your skills on the rock-climbing wall. Go ashore and enjoy water sports and cultural outings. Push your limits on the longest zip line over water, test your skills on the Flow Rider surf simulator and take in high diving and acrobatic performances at an outdoor AquaTheatre. There is entertainment for every age group, an array of dining options to suit every taste and the option to relax by the pool with your favorite book. Check for special savings on last-minute departures.  


4. Del Mar, Calif.  

Immerse your family in Old World, Mediterranean-inspired luxury when you check into the family-friendly, 249-room Fairmont Grand Del Mar. Lounge aside one of four heated pools, check out the equestrian center, sign up for a guided hike into the adjacent canyon preserve, or consider a mother-daughter spa treatment. Get in the swing of things on the Tom Fazio-designed golf course or pile into the free shuttle for a day at the beach. For an extraordinary dining experience, indulge in an adults-only evening at Chef William Bradley’s Addison, Southern California’s only five-star, five-diamond restaurant.  


5. Hawk’s Cay Resort, Duck Key, Fla.  

While some parts of this popular family resort continue to recover from hurricane damage, guests eager to return to this sunny stretch in the Florida Keys can take advantage of up to 30 percent discounts for stays in resort villas. The Can’t Wait Rate includes access to Coral Cay, the kid’s activities center, where a putting course, the wet and wild Pirate Ship pool and a long list of other activities will be available. The spa, boat ramp and Angler & Ale waterfront restaurant will also be open. Families can also check out the dolphin research facility, learn to stand up paddleboard, go fishing or explore the underwater world with a snorkel.  



(Lynn O’Rourke Hayes ( is an author, family travel expert and enthusiastic explorer. Gather more travel intel on Twitter @lohayes, Facebook, or via

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