For the ultimate city/beach combo vacation, how about combining a trip to the Azores islands — complete with snorkeling in crater lakes and swimming in thermal springs — with an exploration of Lisbon, Portugal’s enticing capital city? Off the Map Travel’s custom package includes all of these activities and more.
The brand-new City Living and Island Loving program, available through Oct. 31, can start in Portugal’s capital city, perfect for families to wander Lisbon’s steep, narrow streets — or hop on one of its picturesque funiculars, perfect for little or tired legs. Save time to sample the pastel de nata pastry at the famous Pasteis de Belem pastry shop, where the long line is worth the wait; try the linguica sausage and, for mom and dad, taste the local Porto or Madeira wines.
Accommodations in Lisbon are at the Hotel Portugal, a luxury property in the center of the city, classically designed in a Portuguese white-and-blue color scheme. Kids old enough to appreciate beautifully ornate castles will also get a kick out of a daytrip to the mountain town of Sintra, followed by an afternoon at one of the local beaches.
After exploring the mainland, families hop aboard a flight to Ponta Delgada Airport on Sao Miguel Island in the Azores. Accommodations are in the White Azores Hotel, located on a cliff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.
First timers to the Azores might not realize the destination, an archipelago of nine volcanic islands in the Atlantic, is the closest European land to the United States.
Providing a fun contrast to the urban charms of Lisbon, the Azores offers enough water sports to keep even antsy teens happy for days. Activities include a guided exploration of the thermal springs of Furnas on the northern part of Sao Miguel Island. Travelers swim, snorkel and even plunge into dormant volcanic crater lakes or, on an extended visit, can take scuba diving lessons.
Marine life in the Azores is plentiful and includes parrotfish, eels, octopuses, stingrays and barracudas, which live in the clear water of the volcanic crater. Families can also keep an eye out for dolphins and whales on a whale-watching trip on the White Azores’ private boat reserved exclusively for their guests.
Landlubbers get a birds’ eye view of the lakes, visiting the volcanoes and hiking to the Lagoa do Fogo in the mountains of Barrosa (nearly 2,000 feet above sea level) and to the colorful lakes of Sete Cidades.
Typical Off the Map Travel vacations are custom-made, but a sample weeklong itinerary to Portugal and the Azores, including a stay at Hotel Portugal in Lisbon and White Azores in the Azores, is around $2,540 per person, not including air.
The rate includes private transfers; a snorkeling trip; a full-day tour of Furnas island with a traditional cozido lunch and visit to the Terra Nostra Park botanical garden; a stop at the thermal water and cold springs at Caldeiras das Furnas; a full-day Lagoa do Fogo and Sete Cidades trip; and a whale-watching excursion on the White Azores’ boat. Diving can be added to this itinerary for about $90.
Halloween is right around the corner, which means its time to start making plans for spooky and scary stops for having fun with the family this fall. New York’s Cayuga County is always a fun visit for family travelers, but if you plan on being in the area this October, you will definitely want to explore its haunted history with some choice spots along New York’s Haunted History Trail. This curated list of haunted and spooky stops throughout New York features incredible locations showcasing the perfect combination of the state’s beautiful charm and fascinating history.
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.
The next two seasons see Franklin, Tennessee, come alive with festive events, fun pop-ups and colorful lights. Family travelers planning a trip to Tennessee this fall or winter must make time for Franklin, a city just south of Nashville with plenty of history and festivities awaiting.
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.
Mysterious glowing seas? Yes, actually! Through October, Florida’s Space Coast waters within Mosquito Lagoon, Banana River and Indian River Lagoon glow with blue-green bioluminescence — a phenomenon resulting from the presence of comb jellies and dinoflagellates (tiny, single-celled marine plankton that exist in some freshwater locations).