With Memorial Day behind us, it’s time to celebrate the unofficial start of summer and enjoy the sunshine! Busy schedules and travel make it hard, though, to carve out time and travel to a destination vacation. However, a staycation in the City is well within reach and at the McCarren Hotel, located in hip Williamsburg, fun in the sun is closer than ever! With complimentary Brooklyn Bicycle Co. bikes and an outdoor saltwater pool, your little ones can break out those sporty sneakers and the cool swimwear to enjoy the weather. And as your weekend comes to a close on Sunday, be sure to check out the Brooklyn Flea Market, located only a few blocks to the east.
The Gansevoort Meatpacking is another exciting staycation option located in the Meatpacking District of Manhattan and has an outdoor pool (including this ever-cool swan) as well as close proximity to the Highline Park and the brand-new Whitney Museum. And if you have a pet, fear not! The Gansevoort was voted the most pet-friendly hotel in America!
Here at Babesta the temperature won’t affect are mood, spring has officially sprung, and we are raring to go! We’ve looked all over to come up with a collection of “not-to-be-missed” locales, events & activities this season. We got to chat with Henley Vazquez from our fave travel site, Feather + Flip, about family getaway spots!
1. Malliouhana, Anguilla:
“I’ve always loved Anguilla—easy to reach, cool beach bars, casual restaurants, seas so calm my daughter could safely play in the water even as a toddler—but the new Malliouhana that just reopened after a huge renovation is my favorite place to stay. They have big rooms with two queen beds and private patios, so you don’t have to pay for two rooms to fit your family, but you have space to sit outside with a glass of wine after the kids go to bed.”
2. Havana, Cuba:
“I can’t tell you how many people ask us about traveling to Cuba with kids. It’s a fascinating place to explore, and now is definitely the time to do it, but it’s a much better fit for families with teenagers versus the toddler set. We just interviewed two moms who specialize in organizing Cuba trips so we could share their tips with readers.”
3. The Chequit, Shelter Island:
“I love Shelter Island, but Sunset Beach gets booked up well ahead of time, so finding a place to stay if you aren’t a summer renter can be tricky. This spring, the old Chequit will reopen with a new look thanks to the team behind the Salt House in Provincetown. It’s cute and quirky plus walking distance to the ferry, a beach, shops and restaurants. Shelter Island Heights is full of storybook Victorian homes and feels like something from another era. Bring on the hot dogs and apple pie!”
4. St. Regis Sanclemente, Italy:
“Venice is pure magic for kids, but it’s also crowded and hot in the summer. The St. Regis is opening a resort on a neighboring island, so you can boat in to tour around San Marco then spend the afternoon hanging out by the pool. The best of both worlds!”
5. Edition, Miami:
“It’s not new but it keeps getting better. I have a huge hotel crush on the new EDITION, which opened last December. It has huge grounds with plenty of space for kids, two gorgeous pools, direct beach access, massive rooms and even an underground nightclub so you can have an adult night out but still be an elevator ride away from the babysitter. For hipsters, check out the new Thompson. It’s not as family oriented but is still great and a lot less expensive.”
We were inspired this week by Newport Rhode Island, a beautiful and elegant town replete with seaside mansions, museums, great restaurants, beaches and more.
The “Must Do List” in Newport, includes Cliff Walk, where visitors can take a walking tour of the shoreline dotted by spectacular mansions, home long ago to the Vanderbilts and their ilk. If just seeing the outside is not enough, get a ticket to go inside and enjoy the opulent furnishings and lush settings- saddle up to a tour guide, as some of the stories are entertaining, especially for the kids, of well dressed dog companions, table manners and dining habits.
Speaking of dining, when you’re done drooling over these over-the-top pads, for a bite, head on over to The Clarke Cooke House on Bannister’s Wharf, for some fresh fish and lively atmosphere. For an after dinner ice cream, Sprinkles is a good choice on Bowan’s Wharf, where you can enjoy a casual cone while you check out the shops in the area.
Our heart belongs to TheChanler at Cliff Walk (a hotel with a delicious restaurant inside) for Sunday brunch – their menu and enviable perch are both scrumptious. The hotel is hop and a skip from Second Beach that surely wins beach with best land-view (back at the Chandler House). After showering off the sand after a delightful day at the beach, catch a movie in town at the charming Jane Pickens theater, and then grab an appetizer or two at Forty 1°North, one of the chicest hotels in town.
Tempted? Time to pack: get yourself in the spirit with these hand picked goodies: Go old school with the vintage mauve bathing suit, snazzy it up with a pair of stylish shades, hold tight to a Coco Chanel doll(in lieu of teddy), don’t forget a Pride & Prejudice primer and play set, and, if you’re really setting up shop and outfitting more than just yourself – say installing yourself in the Breakers or Rosecliff – we suggest a (so not shabby) shabby-chic canopy bed- perfect for those of us who’s last name should have been Rockefeller.
One of the biggest problems in the city is how to get a toddler around in a cab or car service safely and easily. Enter, UberFamily to solve the problem. We had first heard about this revelation while it was in development from Dr. Alisa Baer, “The Car Seat Lady” who collaborated with Uber on the service. Now a couple months in, it’s addressing a true, underserved need in the market, much to city parents’ delight. She trained and certified the highest rated UberX partner drivers on how to safely secure the car seat so you know its properly installed in the car.
Uber now offers an on-demand car seat option for a $10 surcharge (additional to the UberX rates). That’s a small price to pay for a lot of peace of mind.
What a great opportunity to spend some family time at a beach that’s only a subway ride away! Here are some of the best beaches that New York has to offer:
Coney Island! It’s so much more than a beach, check out the amusement park rides, carnival games, food, and so much more to explore. And to top it all off, Labor Day weekend is the last fireworks display of the summer! What a great way to end a day on the beach.
Orchard Beach! As the only public beach in the Bronx, this beach spans for 1.1 miles of glorious sand. Its the perfect location for a family picnic and any activity you can imagine in one of the 26 sporting courts.
Rockaway Beach! The beach with the very best wave and only surfing spot in New York City. This 170 acre beach has 7 playgrounds and fun for absolutely every member of your family!
Water Taxi Beach! The perfect day-adventure for your family. Its on Governor’s Island, ever been? Now’s your chance! Labor Day weekend marks the end of the summer season for this perfect picnic spot. It is also the site of the NYC Unicycle Festival, full of awesome activities and entertainment!
How about an easy Getaway?
Adventure Aquarium, Jersey Shore! Why not check out this awesome aquarium? It’s just a 2 hour drive from NYC and would be a fantastic fun-filled day trip for the entire family. You’ll never run out of activities or things to see inside this aquarium, especially since Labor Day weekend is the last weekend of the summer that offers extended summer hours. Spend one day at the aquarium, one day at the beach, and maybe even a day exploring Philadelphia!
Montauk, Long Island! Surpass the Hamptons this Labor Day weekend and go all the way out to Montauk. There’s a huge variety of lodging options from hotels to houses, your sure to find the perfect fit for your family! Chill on the beach, go fishing, shop all day in town, or even rent a boat and spend the day at sea with the family!
Berkshires, New York! Escape to the opposite of the Big City and try the humble Berkshires. From outdoor concerts and farmers markets, to tent-sale and so much more, the Berkshires offers a variety of fun and new experiences for the whole family. Maybe you’ll even stay in your first bed&breakfast!
Poconos, Pennsylvania! Labor Day weekend at the Poconos is the location of an enormous variety of the festivals, fairs and carnivals! It is also one of the biggest weekends of the year for family-friendly music festivals. There will be a never-ending supply of animals, entertainment, food, and so much more! The Poconos is one of the most beautiful mountain ranges around NYC, and offers almost every outdoor activity you can think of! You’re bound to find the perfect combination of new experiences for your family!