Cave Creek is a small town about 25 miles north of downtown Phoenix and 40 miles north of the airport- but I'd strongly recommend Villas of Cave Creek if you're visiting.
The villas are large two-storey houses with big living rooms, kitchens and king size bedroom/bathrooms downstairs. Another bedroom, bathroom, living room is upstairs. Hot tub outside plus washing machine/dryer.
Incredibly comfortable with great restaurants nearby (try Cartwright's) but the big plus is the value. We used them for two days rest after flying from London before heading north to the Grand Canyon - and through Expedia it cost about £65. That was for two of us - but would be incredible value for a family.
Villas of Cave Creek
38001 N. School House Road
One is the high tea at the Shangri-La hotel. Sit and gorge in decadent surroundings in three hour sittings. Waitresses indulge your every whim, there's over 100 teas to choose from, and a seemingly endless choice of food. From Chinese roast pork to Scottish smoked salmon via sushi and a wicked dessert trolley, beware...you will need the rest of the weekend to recover!
The other is the Col bar, a former officer's mess and much more low-key. Perfect for homesick comfort food like sausages, beans and chips, and set in a lovely rural setting (well, by Singaporean standards!). Cheap, fun and great for families.
22 Orange Grove Road, Singapore 65 6737 3644
Jalan Hang Jebat, off Portsdown Road
Largest and last piece of original rainforest left on the island. Walk up the incredibly steep hill (mind the monkeys!) for a fantastic view from the top. Thick forest offers a respite from the high temperatures.
Bukit Timah Road; get the bus toward Malaysia (I think it's the 70 and/or 170), or a taxi.
Award-winning zoo has very few fences, using natural boundaries and breakers to corral the animals instead. Gives a real feeling of being among the animals instead of peering through bars. Watch out in the butterfly house if you don't like insects landing on you!
Also, try Jurong Bird Park - exotic and beautiful
Easiest way to get there is to take a taxi - plentiful and cheap from downtown or anywhere, really!
Used to live there - fab place, 5 minute walk out of big bustling city, nice restaurants, boutiques and coffee shops. Laid back way of life out of fast pace of city.
Turn left at bottom of Queen Street and then follow road round, up big hill and there you are - it's a great place to have a slow stroll around eating drinking and viewing things and especially people watching.
Here you can cycle, rollerblade, walk, run, eat drink, or sit and read your book. Bikes and blades can be hired cheaply by the hour. This is a fully landscsaped linear park with lots of trees and flowers, running alongside the sea halfway between the airport and the centre of town.
There are also several work-out stations, and a couple of reflexology circles. These are uptured pebbles of varying degrees of sharpness laid out in a circle for you to walk on and invigorate you feet with a self foot massage. There are also clumps of restaurants and bars serving different kinds of foods.
About 20 minutes by taxi from Orchard Road. Ask for East Coast Park.
Not usually a fan of zoos but this is definitely the nicest one I have seen. The 2000 animals are mostly kept in natural conditions, with moats rather than bars and cages. The night safari is a highlight, allowing you to see nocturnal animals as well as the others who haven't yet gone to bed!
MRT to Ang Kio station then bus number 138. Cost S$10.30.
Found this online today: for $199 (adult) the City Pass gives you entrance to five (5) amusement parks: Disneyland, Disney's California Adventure, SeaWorld in San Diego, Universal Studios Hollywood and San Diego Zoo or San Diego Zoo's Wild Animal Park. You have 14 days to use it. Saves a bundle if these parks are your funky thang.
Theme park of extreme proportions that is well worth the price ($59). It's a day trip with loads of events and the famous train ride around the film lot.
On their website they actually write this:
"Located conveniently in Los Angeles, CA." Hilarious.
100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608.
A picturesque fishing port on the border of Spain and Portugal, at the far western end of the Costa de la Luz. Great for seafood, golf, bowling, kitesurfing, sailing ... phew!
Nearby Isla Canela is where the Spaniards go for THEIR holidays, but the rest of Europe seems to have missed it!
The music festival held in the middle of September. This is the most relaxed festival of it's kind i have ever attented, everyone brings a chair and just sits around drinking wine and watching fantastic live music. Right in the middle of Austin the transport is organised with millitary precision. The grounds are clean, grassy and have plenty of shade - perfect for people of all ages.
Harrods, a magnet for the tourists. Whatever you think of the store itself, the Food Halls are a wonder in themselves and not to be missed! They are historically Listed in their own right, due to the wonderful decorative wall tiles.
The selection of food and wines are among the best in London, and not always as expensive as you might think. And make sure you visit the wet fish section, truly spectacular!
Harrods Ltd, SW1
Nearest tube, Knightsbridge (Piccadilly Line).
Rani serves the most wonderful Gujarati vegetarian cuisine and prides itself on making all the items on the menu. The owner is invariably on hand to welcome you into the warm and friendly environment. Waiting staff are knowledgeable, attentive and, if needed, will help you work your way to making the difficult decision as to what to choose from such an extensive, well-priced menu. If this is too difficult, they have a yummy range of set menus, or go on Sunday when it is buffet lunch. They are child-friendly, too!
7 Long Lane, Finchley Central
Tel: 020 8349 4386/2636
Sited on that increasingly buzzing area, the South Bank, this reproduction of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre is a refreshing change from the theatre district of the West End. It's an opportunity to see great plays performed by superb actors in the setting in which they are meant to be seen; oh, and the only way to see it is as a 'groundling' standing in the open area in front of the stage - where else can you get a good night's entertainment for a fiver?!!
Watch out for other events as well, as the Globe has been used in the past for musical events and the London venue for a certain Mr Billy Connolly on his 'World Tour'.
21 New Globe Walk
Two museums, right next door to each other, and a great way to occupy all of the family.
The Natural History Museum is wonderful before you enter it, a beautiful example of Victorian extravagance. Plenty to see and do, especially the dinosaurs; be warned though, the animatronic T Rex is very real and great for scaring small children! There's a decent little coffee shop, although it was a bit disturbing eating chocolate cake sat next to Chi Chi the Panda!
The Science Museum is more modern, although the exhibits go back some way. All kids will love the 'Launchpad' area in the basement, all hands on, noisy, messy and great fun. The Deep Blue Cafe does a decent lunch as well.
Both museums have regular exhibitions as well, although these will have an entry charge; usually well worth it though. There is also an Imax Cinema in the Science Museum, any of the underwater or outer space movies are good value.
The Spaghetti Factory is a quirky restaurant that is excellent value for money - a loaf of freshly baked sour dough bread, free refill soft drinks, starter, ice cream and tea and coffee, are included with the price of your main course. Fantastic for feeding a whole family!
The restaurant itself is a treasure trove of Tiffany glass panels and lights, mismatched furniture means you may be seated on a grand wooden throne or inside a reclaimed streetcar, and should you glance up check out the many artefacts and trinkets that adds to the family atmosphere.
#54 The Esplanade
Parking available; Meter & pay parking
The Seven Stories is an ongoing project that preserves original manuscripts and artwork from renowned childrens' authors such as Allan and Janet Alberg, JK Rowling, Tony Ross, Michael Bond. This is a fun, interactive environment for children and adults that subtley encourages reading and learning through play.
Also there are regular events where authors and illustrators will visit, give a reading of their work and sign books for visitors too. The ground floor is also host to an excellent bookstore dedicated to the very best in children's literature.
Workshops are regularly available throughout the summer and the cafe is well worth a visit for a quick refuelling and a nice view of the river! Or if a big lunch is required pop along to the Cluny, where they do a mean handmade beef burger, with handcut chips and salad.
See www.sevenstories.org.uk for information about events, and detailed directions.
Seven Stories 30 Lime Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 2PQ.
Close to Byker Metro Station, but if you are feeling energetic take a good walk along the Quayside or get off at the very last stop on the Q2 bus (Runs Haymarket-Quayside) and ask your driver for further directions.
The best mexican food in all of London. The restaurant has been here since 1982, so it must have something going for it!
I can recommend the chimichangas, especially washed down with a bottle (or two) of Dos Equis!
5 Langley Street, 2 minutes walk from Covent Garden tube
Tucked away next to The Barbican, this museum 'does what it says on the tin'; it's about the history of London, from prehistory to modern times. I've been coming here, on and off, since I was 13; my son is now that age, and loves it as much as I do!
All Londoners should visit here at least once, to help your understanding of what makes London the unique world city we live in. With lots of interactivity for the children, and well laid out exhibits for the rest of us!
Just one tip; the Museum Cafe is good for a cup of coffee and a sticky bun, but I wouldn't recommend it for lunch.
Nearest Tube, Barbican or St Pauls
Three room B&B (single, twin and family room for up to 4) in 1906 house in quiet street 10 mins walk from centre of Verona, so ideal for the opera. Also 5 mins from superb public playground at the end of the old brigde over the river. Manuela speaks fluent English and is very happy with children running about and playing with her toy cars. Breakfast is served out in the back garden terrace and she is very keen on organic/quality food. Rooms have ceiling fans with remote control, so expect your kids to enjoy playing with it. She is also the local World Wildlife Fund rep.
Close enough to Venice to allow a long day trip so you avoid the high prices. Family room for 4 plus breakfast was 100 Euros per night in August 2006.
Il Piccolo Principe B&B
Viale del Risorgimento 10
+39 045 914110
Nearest station Verona Porta Nuova and then 10 mins by bus (just off main core bus routes so very frequent).
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