reflecting pool small

When you think of Alabama, odds are you don’t think of the beach, but you should. Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama, offer miles and miles of stunning shoreline, along with other surprising options that will have you wanting to visit over and over.  It’s easy to see why they refer to this state as Sweet Home Alabama when you see the entertainment and dining options that are available in the region.

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New York City from the Water, 60SecondEscapes

NYC

 

There’s no place in the world quite like New York City…it’s always alive, energy oozing from everywhere you turn.  On this 15th anniversary of one of the worst days in our country’s history, we dedicate this 60SecondEscapes to the city that never sleeps.

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Ariel’s Rock: Travel Photo Fun

daly ariels rock

When you love to travel, it’s easy to take fabulous photos of amazing places.  The notion of freezing a moment in time is what photography is all about for me, whether it’s a person’s emotion on their face or a perfect afternoon spent with your child. This photo captures both for me–a moment of sheer bliss in a beautiful place. Do you have amazing photos from your travels? I’d love to see some, so please leave me a comment in photos with a link to one of your favorite shots–from a blog post to a Facebook link–share your best shot!

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60 Second Escapes: Omni Orlando Resort

Omni Orlando Resort

The Omni Orlando Resort offers all kinds of active family fun for a family visiting Orlando, from multiple swimming pools, a lazy river, a family-friendly golf course and fun activities that will get your children up and active.

The resort hosted my family on a recent trip to Orlando and we found super soft, comfortable beds and spacious rooms.  There’s free wifi for guests and some delicious restaurant options, including an ‘art of breakfast’ buffet.

The nine hole, par 3 golf course is a ton of fun for families, especially for children who have never played before (and there’s a larger course for the more ‘professional’ players in your family.  For the smaller course, there’s a minimal fee, and clubs are included with that cost.

There’s also a Kids Club and Arts and Crafts option to keep the children busy when you can’t take them to the family pool for fun.  Parents can take advantage of that option if they’re looking for a quiet dinner together, for example.

The Omni Orlando at Champions Gate is located about seven miles from Walt Disney World (the resort offers a free shuttle, but it must be arranged through the concierge 24 hours in advance) and 22 miles from the Orlando International Airport.  It’s just close enough to be convenient, but far enough away to escape the crowds.

You can see video of some of our favorite parts of the resort below.  And you can find out more in our article on TravelingMom.com.

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A stroll through Puerto Vallarta’s ‘Malecon’ area, also known as the downtown boardwalk, could entertain anyone for hours with its artwork, shops and stunning sunsets.

The area was remodeled in 2012 and is now an oceanfront open-air art gallery, bordered by shops and restaurants.

The artwork is epic in many ways, from the massive metal pieces to the stacked stone people to the incredibly detailed sand sculptures.

Block after block seems to be better than the last.  The bordering streets are also filled with beauty, including the Guadalupe Church.   And there’s no shortage of natural beauty, too, with flowers in every color seemingly blooming from cracks and crevices everywhere you turn.

Be sure you time your visit close to sunset.  The Malecon has stairs leading down to the ocean that offer up seating for anyone who wants to stop long enough to celebrate the sunset.

We take you to Puerto Vallarta’s Malecon area in today’s 60 Second Escape.

After you watch the video, let us know if you’ve ever been…and please leave a comment below with one tip you’d give others taking this journey! 

 

Puerto Vallerta Downtown Art

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60 Second Escapes: Aruba, One Happy Island

Sometimes, you just have to feel the sun on your shoulders and taste the salt on your skin from a delicious day at the beach.

That’s what Aruba gives me: a dreamy getaway that provides the right amount of relaxation, while offering up sports and social fun that will satisfy the more active people in your group.  From casinos to beach tennis courts, from parasailing to just sitting your butt in the sand, Aruba truly has something to make everyone happy, which is the point of the place, actually.

Their motto is ‘One Happy Island’ and the people of Aruba do their best to make sure you are happy while you’re there.

So, put the schedule and long to-do list on hold and take this 60 Second Escape to Aruba with me.

After you watch the video, let us know if you’ve ever been…and please leave a comment below with one tip you’d give others taking this journey! 

What to do in Aruba, oceanview

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The marketing folks for Los Cabos, Mexico, sent out a press release this morning letting the media know that Cabo has bounced back from last year’s hurricane, and several new resorts are opening their doors, adding a combined 2000 more hotel rooms to the destination.  That’s wonderful news, on many levels, but this gal already knows of a fabulous place to rest up, relax and recharge in Cabo.  It’s the Hacienda Encantada.  I spent a few days there on a press trip last year and have to say, I look forward to returning again soon–maybe during whale watching season the next time.   So, in this 60 Second Escape, we travel to Hacienda Encantada for a quick peek at this very special resort.

After you watch the video, let us know if you’ve ever been…and please leave a comment below with one tip you’d give others taking this journey! 

Enjoy!

Cabo, Mexico, Hacienda Encantada, StressFreeBaby.com

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Tucked away off the coast of Georgia, there’s an island filled with history, adventure, and opportunities for all kinds of family fun–St. Simons Island.

It’s size is not very big, but the personalities of the people you’ll find there sure are.

St. Simons Island is home to the King and Prince Resort, a recently renovated hotel that sits on the water and offers swings to relax in while you enjoy the view.

It’s a real treasure on the coast, and we take you there in today’s 60 Second Escape.

After you watch the video, let us know if you’ve ever been to ‘SSI’…and please leave a comment below with one tip you’d give others taking this journey! 

60SecondEscapes.com St Simons Island

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60 Second Escapes: A Romantic Sleigh Ride Dinner

In my mid-40’s with four kids in tow, it’s hard to find romance in real life, much less on vacation with the whole crew.  But, given the right circumstances, it’s entirely possible, as I found on a recent trip to Keystone, Colorado, where one of the adventures included a sleigh ride dinner.

My definition of a romantic destination in the past included a secluded tropical island where very little food was involved, and even less clothing.  That wouldn’t fly in a sleigh ride through the snow…layers are a life-necessity.  And a steak dinner with live entertainment and warm drinks only add to the ambience.

You’ll see the beauty and experience the fun of the trip in today’s 60 Second Escape, but know that what is not recorded is a very romantic ride back through the snow, in the dark, where pretty much all you can see is the snow falling around you, and the face of the person you’re cuddled up next to, with a thick blanket wrapped around you both.  The heat of the experience is much steamier than anything I’ve found on the tropical islands I’ve visited so far.

Talk about filling your belly and your soul!

(Note to readers: This experience was part of a visit to Keystone, Colorado, and can be booked through the resort.  They offer sleigh rides without the dinner, too, but that won’t be in the dark and I have to say, that was the most magical part of this experience.)

After you watch the video, let us know if you’ve ever been to Keystone Resort…and please leave a comment below with one tip you’d give others taking this journey! 

sleigh ride

 

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Nothing says family fun to me like a day spent splashing around in the water with the kids, especially when that day is part of a getaway at a gorgeous spot like the Beaches Resort in Turks & Caicos.

This all-inclusive destination makes it so that parents can be on vacation, too, and not worry about much more than which restaurant they want to eat at next.

They don’t even have to worry about what that meal is going to cost because it’s all already covered.  In fact, pretty much everything is covered at these destinations, including the water activities–even SCUBA!  At this resort, water  fun can be found throughout the property, from the pools and wild slides to the snorkel trips that take place pretty much every other hour.

Find out more  about what makes this destination special in our article about the Beaches Resort on our sister site, StressFreeBaby.com.

But first, let us take you there in today’s 60 Second Escape.

After you watch the video, let us know if you’ve ever been…and please leave a comment below with one tip you’d give others taking this journey! 

Turks and Caicos Beaches Resort

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