For some, summer doesn’t start until the wet drops from their kid’s perfectly executed cannonball lands on their body. Lounging and playing in the pool are huge parts of summer fun and many hotels created programs to extend that fun in new directions, thus creating the perfect poolcation.
Guests of Fashion Island Hotel don’t have to get out of the pool just because the sun drops. Evenings are now filled with Dive-In Movies. Every Friday night, all summer long, swimmers can discover a new favorite from the hotel’s rotating line-up of recent box-office hits without having to dry off. Guests can lounge in chairs poolside or on a floatie with snacks and cocktails to please everyone in the crowd. Fashion Island Hotel has special offers that include free perks and entry to a fun family poolcation. Visitors are welcome with a $10 admission fee.
The Hilton Orlando loves its poolcation programs too. Along with the summer Dive-In Movie sets, they’ve invited local critters to also come and play. In a partnership with local wildlife preserve and unique amusement park Gatorland, alligators and other wildlife are brought poolside for an educational, up-close-and-personal meet and greet. And you won’t have to get out of the pool to do it! Visitation dates run through summer and into September. Check with the hotel for specifics.
Minutes away from the Hilton Orlando is the Orlando World Center Marriott with a water park to rival the ones operated by the Big Boys. Its 104-step waterslide tower offers adventurous pool lovers two, 200-foot winding waterslides and one 90-foot speed waterslide. For the smaller kids, a nearby Splash Zone offers them a zero-entry pool and playground. But the poolside fun doesn’t stop when evening arrives. Nighttime brings a brilliant laser-show to light up any poolcation.
Not to be outdone, the Grove Resort Orlando not only has two waterslides that drop into the lazy river but also a Flowrider, a surf simulator where ocean lovers could practice skills on a stand-up or boogie board.
On the other side of the country is Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa with two scream-for-your-life waterslides and three more mellow ones for younger kids, plus a play structure with bridges and water guns. One of its three pools has sounds of whales singing underwater. But the best part is the Rainbow Reef glass- and faux rock-enclosed snorkel lagoon. The Rainbow Reef is stocked with 40 varieties of 1,000 fish that swim in a cooler version of their ocean home. This is perfect for those who prefer the pool to the ocean but also want to view the exotic fish that live there.
If you like a bit of whimsy and history on your poolcation, you won’t want to miss a swim in the pools of Hearst Castle. Once owned by William Randolph Hearst, a media mogul from the turn of the last century, the castle is inspired by the European travels Hearst took as a 10-year-old boy with his mother, Phoebe. Once visited by celebrities like Joan Crawford and Charlie Chaplin, the normally closed-to-the-public Neptune Pool just underwent its third renovation since its construction in 1924. Now you too can wade in these historic waters. Also available for a refreshing, but rare, dip is the Roman Pool Room. Tiled in azure blue, from floor to ceiling, and modeled after the intricate Roman bath houses, the vibrant room is adorned by alabaster statues and Art Deco pieces. There are four dates available in 2019 to swim in the Neptune Pool and one for the Roman Pool. Your admission money will be used to support the preservation of Hearst Castle by its foundation.
While each Disney park offers something exciting for all ages, EPCOT is most known for its World Showcase and, for many adults, its “Drinking Around the World” experience. Although Disney does not sponsor that activity, it does offer an “Around the World” activity for kiddos.
The Peninsula Beverly Hills makes staying in a suite even sweeter! Guests who book one of the hotel’s elegant suites are offered complimentary use of a luxury BMW for the length of their stay. While Beverly Hills has so much to offer, having a car gives you the freedom to see even more of Southern California, whether it is driving up the Pacific Coast Highway to Malibu, or continuing on, past Santa Barbara, to Santa Ynez wine country.
Following Orlando's Walt Disney World Resort's discontinuation of the Magical Express, Transportation Management Services launched The Sunshine Flyer as a new option for park-goers traveling to and from Orlando International Airport (MCO). The Sunshine Flyer steps in to not only transport passengers between the parks and airport, but also to transport passengers into a place reminiscent of the 1920s.
Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort in Northern Thailand introduced transparent Jungle Bubbles in 2019. The bubbles allow for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to spend the night observing majestic elephants in their natural habitat during a stay in the unique accommodation. Now, the resort is offering families and small groups the chance to take part in this unique opportunity with a new, two-bedroom Jungle Bubble Lodge.
The Family Vacation Guide analyzed more than 100 resorts in the United States to find the top-rated ski resorts for U.S families. Factors such as the total length of ‘easy’ runs, the cost of a lift pass for a family of four and the availability of people movers went into the ranking of each ski resort.