The gorgeous coastline … charming inland family-owned wineries … a fascinating political history … ancient architecture — the number of reasons to visit Croatia go on and on. But for fans of a little TV featuring some dragons, drama and more royal nonsense than a recent wedding in London, there are even more reasons to plan a visit. Game of Thrones fans will instantly recognize many filming locations in this unsung European gem.
Before HBO’s smash, the walls of the Old City and the overlook toward the Adriatic Sea and Fort Lovrijenac were undoubtedly some of the country’s most-photographed images. But today, the city that is King’s Landing and Blackwater Bay (where the scene were Myrcella Baratheon is shipped off to Dorne was filmed) boast even more visitors than ever before, angling for a good selfie while walking down Stradun (or the main street) for a fanboy or girl t-shirt. Grab a Dubrovnik Card and you’ll get access to walk the shorter or longer winding pathways over the city along the walls and you’ll also get complimentary admission to the ethnographic museum, monastery, public transportation and much more. If you’re angling to be more green, take an Uber over to Tresteno Arboretum (about nine miles away); the pathways here double as the Red Keep’s gardens.
Fans of Arya Stark and the Braavos storyline will instantly recognize Sibenik, and its coastline and cathedral. The Cathedral of St. James, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and its adjacent plaza with fun coffeeshops to watch passersby and locals with their dogs, was transformed into the Iron Bank in season five, the most powerful financial institution in the Free World. Get up close and personal with the 71 sculpted faces of men, women and dogs decorating this Gothic/Renaissance masterpiece, or take a tour inside and marvel at the vaulted baptismal fountain. Trek on up to St. John’s Fortress, which doubled as Meereen and its fighting pits (also in season five).
Marvel at 1,700-year-old Diocletian’s Palace in Split — also the catacombs where two of Daenarys’s dragons were chained and her throne room. It’s well worth a tour here, getting insight into the life of the emperor apartments and the astounding lack of time it took to build the 30,000-square-meter complex. Besides also doubling as the city of Meereen, narrow Papalićeva Street served as the setting of Meereen’s slave rebellion.
Make your family trip to Orlando so much more than just visiting the theme parks. Thanks to new vacation bundles from luxury hotels in Orlando, available as of Sept. 1, you can enjoy exclusive boating experiences during your trip.
As the only major U.S. airline to own a flight school, United Airlines already hit a major milestone, and now the carrier celebrates another important — and historic — step as the inaugural class of United Aviate Academy pilots graduates, leading the next generation of aviators. The 51 students in the graduating class were majority, at 80 percent, women and people of color — another stride toward United’s goal of training 5,000 new pilots by 2030 with half women or POC.
Where can family travelers experience a truly unique (and possibly unusual) Halloween tradition? Look no further than Morro Bay, California, a city hosting the annual Witches Paddle. Just as it sounds, the Witches Paddle sees hundreds of people don witches’ costumes in honor of Halloween before taking to the water on stand-up paddleboards.
If you’ve always wanted to hang out with an astronaut, here’s your chance: British astronaut Tim Peake will be in residence at Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas Resort on Nov. 2 to present his “Journey Beyond Earth” talk. Peake’s presentation will take place on the resort’s Sky Observatory Deck, where he’ll share the day-to-day life of an astronaut from training to launch, including what it’s like to take a spacewalk and the sensation of re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere.
United Airlines is in the midst of a major initiative to modernize its fleet over the next several years. After first announcing the plan in 2021, planes fitted with United’s signature interior are finally beginning to appear across the airline’s narrowbody fleet of Boeing and Airbus planes. United flyers are sure to notice these enhancements from the moment they step on board: Each new or updated plane sports remodeled seats, seatback entertainment screens for everyone, Bluetooth connectivity and more, all adding up to a better experience on every journey.
Walt Disney World is the single most visited vacation resort in the world for family travelers. With a yearly average attendance of more than 58 million people, you should expect crowds on any given day of the year. Crowds can fluctuate throughout the year, so choosing the dates for your family vacation is crucial.