Resting against the Levantine Sea’s deep Mediterranean waters at Haifa Bay, the ancient town of Akko (the local name for Acre), Israel, was documented in Egyptian hieroglyphics. Today, its old city quarter is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Active archaeological sites continue to uncover its 5,300 years of history, during which it came under the rule of Romans, Islamists, Moors, Crusaders and Ottomans. For the past six years, the Suffi Mosque in Akko has been undergoing a massive renovation, and the doors are nearly ready to open. Time your visit for 2020 to see this historic building in all its newly polished glory, and enjoy one of the popular local festivals such as the 39th annual Akko Fringe Theater Festival, the 36th annual Kol Hamusica festival, or the new International Arabesque Music Festival. Many festivities are staged within the city’s ancient ruins.
While you’re there, make time to visit The Knights’ Halls of the Hospitallers Order’s Fortress, dating to the Crusader period 4,000 years ago. The site includes a courtyard, reconstructed halls and original streets. The site is embellished with a marketplace displaying artisans and craftspeople that include potters, weavers, glass blowers, leather workers, basket makers, blacksmiths and perfumers.
Other fascinating places to explore include the Tunisian synagogue Khan al-Umdan, mysterious subterranean city tunnels, street markets and the colorful and lively fishing port. Stay at the elegant Efendi Boutique Hotel overlooking the sea and the old city walls. Once an Ottoman Palace, the serene rooms are replete with hand-painted motifs and frescoes adorning the walls and ceilings. One of the most notable frescoes depicts ancient Istanbul, created in 1878 to celebrate the opening of the Orient Express train station.
The boutique property has 12 rooms built above a Byzantine foundation. Features include high ceilings, stone arches and a cellar from the city’s Crusader era. Guests can also enjoy spa sessions in an original, fully restored 400-year-old Turkish bath. The hotel project was the vision of legendary local Chef Uri “Buri” Jeremias, whose Uri Buri restaurant gained a worldwide reputation as one of the most outstanding seafood establishments in all of the Middle East. Hotel renovations were presided over by Israel’s Antiquities Authority, while skilled artisans from Italy were employed to oversee some of the delicate restoration work, which included the stunning original ceilings.
While urban wine country might sound like an oxymoron, it’s actually a reality at the stunning City Vineyard in New York City’s Tribeca neighborhood. The water-side venue is the perfect host for your next event — whatever that may be, from 20 to 200 guests and from cocktail party to plated dinner.
Traveling with young children and, dare we say, toddlers, can often mean packing everything but the kitchen sink. You’ll need all the essentials, from food, clothing and baby hygiene products to travel gear and just-in-case accessories for every scenario under the sun. Sounds like a lot because it is, but companies like Totts can cut out a significant part of the packing process by shipping all the consumables you need for your trip, like wipes, diapers, body wash, detergent, hand sanitizer and more, to your destination. Travel a little lighter and have all the what-if necessities waiting for you at your Airbnb, hotel or campsite.
There are a lot of creatures rumored to be walking this earth, but no one knows for sure if they are real or mythical. One of these creatures is Bigfoot; you hear about it in stories, see it portrayed in movies and even hear people report sightings from all over the United States. There is no way it can travel throughout the United States, so could that mean there are multiple Bigfoots and they are just extremely good at hiding?
This summer, family travel at The Peninsula receives an upgrade with the debut of Camp Peninsula, a children’s experience that recreates the spirit of camping right in the heart of Beverly Hills. The journey begins with a special welcome from Peter Bear, the hotel’s lovable mascot, at check-in. After taking a picture with the life-sized teddy bear, kids will be whisked away by a Peninsula Camp Counselor to a luxurious guestroom where a charming teepee awaits. An afternoon of camp-themed games and activities, including a hotel-wide scavenger hunt, rounds off the family-friendly experience, fun for children of all ages. Whether it’s a luxe staycation or an extended holiday, Camp Peninsula is an ideal way to ensure the little ones are happy campers.
Cruising seems tailored for families. With great deals (and there are a lot right now), endless entertainment and great shore excursions catered to children, it seems like you can't go wrong, but not all cruises are created equal. Choosing a line specially designed to accommodate families with children is crucial when planning a family vacation and Norwegian Cruise Line makes your decision easy.