Costa Rica has been high on the list of great family travel destinations for awhile now, but did you know it’s also a top surfing destination? Thanks to the country’s two coastlines — the Caribbean and the Pacific — the destination boasts some of the best waves and breaks in the world.
Best of all, there are surf spots that work for everyone from first-timers to experts, and no need to bring a wetsuit as temperatures range from the mid-80s to 90s during the day year-round.
Not sure where to hang 10? Here are the five best surf towns, courtesy of International Living:
- Dominical, on Costa Rica’s southern Pacific coast — known for its dramatic mountains, rainforests, howler monkeys and sloths — offers powerful waves just right for experienced surfers. In nearby Dominicalito, the surf is calmer and the little beach town offers a few open-air eateries for just-caught seafood and handicraft vendors.
- Jacó, on the central Pacific coast ,is the closest major beach destination to San José, Costa Rica’s capital, at two hours away by car. The area, formerly known as a party town, morphed in recent years into a family-friendly destination, thanks to its many surf schools and miles-long beach. Here newbies and experts alike can learn to surf or perfect their skills, and you can also enjoy daytrips from here to other surfing destinations, like Playa Hermosa and Playa Esterillos.
- Tamarindo, on Costa Rica’s north Pacific coast, offers a long, gracefully curving beach and both beginner-friendly surf and powerful waves ear the river mouth. Tamarindo, known also for its beach bars, restaurants and surf schools, is also a great jumping-off point to Playa Grande, just across the river, as well as to Playa Avellanas and Playa Negra, about a half-hour south.
- Playa Cocles on Costa Rica’s relatively undeveloped Caribbean coast offers some of the best and most challenging surfing in the country, along with a few restaurants, hotels and shops. The area hosts some of the destination’s biggest annual surfing tournaments and the vibe is bohemian and lively.
- Playa Guiones in Nosara on the Nicoya Peninsula is so undeveloped you’ll need to bring your own drinks and snacks, but if secluded beaches are your thing, you’re in luck. Nicoya itself offers shops and restaurants along the coast, as well as yoga studios and centers for alternative healing.
With all these choices — all 800 miles of coastline — the hardest part will be deciding which beach to hit first.
With cooler weather and fall colors on its way, it’s time to plan your fall family travels. Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resort PA Wilds in Mansfield is the perfect destination, and with both scary and not-so-scary events, kids and parents alike can celebrate the festive season with trick-or-treating, fall crafts, fun with the Yogi Bear characters and more.
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.
Oktoberfest is not all about beer. Although beer does play a major role, many of these German-themed fall festivals include activities fun for the whole family. You don’t need to travel to Munich to enjoy the oom-pah bands, lively dances, colorful Bavarian dress and traditional German foods; you can find them in almost all regions of the United States this October. Here are some good choices for families:
Rome is a city full of musts for visitors. You must visit the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps. And the list goes on, all the way down to trying gelato. No trip to Rome would be complete without the obligatory sweet treat, and for good reason. Gelato is delicious, refreshing and it comes in every flavor you can imagine. But while you can find it just about everywhere you turn in the Eternal City, it’s important to know not all gelatos are created equal. The city is brimming with fakes, and once you know how to tell the difference, not only will you see the fake stuff everywhere, but you will also refuse to settle for less than authentic.
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.
Looking for a unique, fun and educational activity for the kids during your next family travels? Well, Kidzania has you covered. Located in Dallas, Texas, this city is not only built for kids but also run by kids. It’s unlike any other entertainment parks; in Kidzania, kids learn useful knowledge, skills and experiences, all while having the chance to be independent.