It was a short drive to St. Andrews from the U.S./Canadian border at Calais, Maine, where our girls asked to have their passports stamped, not the usual practice at this drive-across border. Less than an hour later we were checking into The Algonquin, on a hilltop overlooking the historic town of St. Andrews, New Brunswick. The town’s official name is St. Andrews-by-the-Sea, but hardly anyone calls it that.
The girls immediately went to the large windows of our third-floor room and discovered they could see Maine across the bay. Really cool, they proclaimed, to sleep in one country with a view of another. They were to find more U.S. connections in St. Andrews, including the fact three American presidents had stayed in The Algonquin.
Once we dropped our luggage in the bright, smartly furnished suite, we set out to see what else The Algonquin offered. Fresh from a two-year restoration and update, the hotel still has the aura of a historic grand hotel, with its large lobby and soaring ceilings. A deep verandah stretches the entire length of the façade with a view down onto the lawns and beyond them the swimming pool.
The girls had located that important feature as we arrived, and were anxious to dive in. The Algonquin is well-supplied with places to swim. Along with the large outdoor pool, there’s an indoor pool and a private beach at the adjacent Katy’s Cove. After trying all of these at various times, they settled on the newly added indoor pool as their favorite, largely because of the giant three-story waterslide that dropped them splashing into the pool.
The buffet breakfast was especially kid-friendly, as they could choose from a good variety of fruits, cereals, hot dishes and pastries, and most mornings we chose to eat at tables on the wide verandah where we could enjoy the morning sun. We returned here in the late afternoons for an aperitif — the genial waiter offered elegantly presented Shirley Temples along with the adult drinks — and to play one of the board games in the hotel’s collection. Touches like these — and of course the pools — endeared the resort to the kids, while we appreciated the family package rates.
St. Andrews had plenty to occupy our days. Just down the street is the beautiful Kingsbrae Garden, 27 acres of gardens in various themes and for different environments. Brilliant flowers and blooming shrubs were everywhere, and surprising features like a Dutch windmill, two Victorian-era play houses and a hedge maze were particular hits.
A special garden designed for younger children included a row of play houses and a climbing wall leading up the side of a miniature castle. The adjacent sculpture garden had several works that appeal to kids, as did the winding paths through the park, landscaped to show off the sculptures.
Beyond it was a café with a terrace where we had lunch and watched a pair of geese devour an entire pot of geraniums — a nature-watching experience we didn’t think the gardeners intended.
Filled with hidden treasures waiting to be discovered, Seoul invites travelers to unearth its many gems, and Seoul Tourism Organization is here to help travelers do just that. Through thoughtfully created initiatives like the Theme Tourism County Competition, Seoul Tourism Organization works closely with local districts to identify and showcase what makes each district unique and charming in all seasons.
Northwest Florida is a haven for beachgoers seeking the waters of Panama City Beach, Pensacola and Destin. But this region of Florida also has some extensive history, offering family travelers a great way to introduce young ones to Florida’s Spanish and indigenous past.
More than 1,000 miles from Spain’s capital city of Madrid, the seven Canary Islands are also part of Spain. They are the tallest peaks of ancient volcanoes rising out of the Atlantic, not far from the coast of North Africa. Two of these volcanoes, both still active, offer exciting adventures for families traveling to the islands.
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If you think you have to head into the wilderness just to get some hiking time in on your next vacation, rest assured. Cities across the country pride themselves on being great all-around family destinations, and that often includes fun urban hiking opportunities. These cities prove you don’t have to hike to a mountaintop to stretch your legs and get some fresh air. They are home to great parks and walking trails designed for easy walks that let you enjoy the fresh air, and get to know the personality, culture and history of the city you are visiting.