By: Maria Smith
While there are many great family destinations to add to your summer itinerary, why not head down South?
In addition to great hospitality and a fantastic glass of sweet tea, you can find some great deals and special events since it isn’t peak season in many places. Check out these three destinations and see if they don’t tempt you to take a trip past the Mason-Dixon Line…y’all.
Get Away and Give Back: Gaylord Hotels
Gaylord Hotels are helping travelers feel good about the vacation dollars they spend by donating a portion of profits in April and June to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Guests at the family-friendly Gaylord Hotels can choose the Rooms for Good package to help grant wishes of children with life threatening medical conditions. Rooms for Good package rates start as low $179 per couple/per night and include one-night accommodations and breakfast for two. Gaylord Hotels are located in Nashville, TN, Kissimmee, FL (near Orlando), Washington DC, and Grapevine, TX.
Affordable Luxury: Ritz-Carlton New Orleans
Summer is a great time to experience the unique culture of New Orleans. Yes, it’s hot, but it’s summer so who cares? There’s jazz clubs, a bunch of festivals, and beignets waiting for you in the French Quarter. Since it is “low season” you can nab some terrific deals at the historic and luxurious Ritz-Carlton New Orleans. Rooms are going for as low as $169/night. And while you’re there, check out the Crawfish Concierge each Saturday and learn how to cook, peel and eat this Louisiana staple ($12/portion).
Splurge on a Mommy Holiday: LaPlaya Beach and Golf Resort
LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort is a luxury beachfront, boutique resort in Naples on the Gulf Coast of Florida. They are currently offering the “Aspiring Connoisseurs Package”, that includes everything from ‘artinis’ and a private cooking class to wine tasting and pampering at Spa Terre. This package is a little pricey (starting from $765 per night) but is the perfect splurge for a Mother’s Day gift (to yourself perhaps?). The resort claims this indulgence will leave ladies relaxed and ready to create their own masterpieces in the kitchen. It is available through May 2011. And if this is a bit too expensive for your budget, regular room rates at this swanky resort are around $300 throughout the summer.
Maria Smith resides in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband and three kids. In her pre-baby days, she was a TV producer for shows like Oprah, and now fills her child-free time with freelance writing and public relations projects. You could reach her at email@example.com or on Twitter @MariaRSmith.