FRANCE, Nice with Kids – It’s dusk in the south of France and you’re enjoying the sun’s last rays at an outdoor café as amber light shines on the faded… The post The 411 on Nice with Kids appeared first on Family Travel 411.

The 411 on Nice with Kids

FRANCE, Nice with Kids – It’s dusk in the south of France and you’re enjoying the sun’s last rays at an outdoor café as amber light shines on the faded façade of the centuries-old building across the street. Take a sip of rosé and glance at your slightly sun-burnt, very quiet children who have seemingly adopted the type of manners you only really see in French children. OK, that last part may be a stretch but don’t worry, you are in Nice and between the mild climate, the clear Mediterranean Sea, the romantic architecture, and the cultural offerings, the kids will be too busy and too tired to misbehave. Truth is, Nice is a great place to spend a family vacation and the perfect base for exploring the French Riviera. If you’ll only have a few days, here are my top recommended activities for experiencing Nice with kids, along with recommendatons of 1 great place to eat and 1 great place to stay while there.


Activity 1: Stroll or roll on the Promenade des Anglais

Bike or stroll along the promenade on your trip to Nice with kids.

Bike or stroll along the promenade on your trip to Nice with kids.

The Promenade des Anglais is a seven-kilometer boulevard that runs along the Mediterranean Sea. Built in the 1830s for the then plentiful English tourists to enjoy their daily constitutionals(!), it has been expanded into truly one of the most gorgeous stretches of paved road this side of heaven. You’ll see local families, athletes, cyclists, and the occasional elderly British sorts out for their evening walks.

A great way to enjoy the Promenade as a family is on wheels. You can rent bikes (including child seats), roller skates of all sizes, scooters, and long boards at Roller Station. And if the kids get tired, park your bikes and boards and just head a few steps down to the stone beach. Find out more:


Activity 2: Eat and Shop at the Antiques Market

A glimpse of Nice's colorful art market.

A glimpse of Nice’s colorful art market.

For locals, outdoor markets seem to be as much about shopping as they are about catching up on the latest gossip. Strolling through them in the early mornings with your children and seeing merchants set up their wares is like seeing a movie set come to life.

The Antiques Market, or Brocante, is held every Monday in Old Town’s market square, Cours Saleya.  Exploring the market with kids is a real treasure hunt. A favorite thing for us is to dig through old clothes looking for unique pieces and accessories to add to our dress-up box back at home. You never know what you’re going to dig up. Bargaining is de rigueur here so go ahead practice your French numbers before you go!

Pssst! Don’t miss the map of our Nice recommendations and pinnable at the end of this feature.

Grab a chair, a croissant, and a hot cup of coffee and chocolat chaud for the children at one of the many outdoor terraces circling the market for a uniquely French breakfast experience. Find out more:


Activity 3: Visit Roman Ruins

Get your gladiator on with a visit to the Roman ruins on your trip to Nice with kids.

Get your gladiator on with a visit to the Roman ruins on your trip to Nice with kids.

In a quiet neighborhood just a couple of miles from Old Town Nice lie ancient ruins from Cenemelum, a Roman city about the size of Pompeii that served as the capital of the Riviera between the 1st and 4th centuries. They also happen to be perched on a hill in a huge gorgeous park with plenty of room to run around and, obviously because you’re in Nice, a lovely café to get lunch, ice cream, and a glass of rosé. You can also stroll—cough, cough, play hide-and-seek in—500-year-old olive groves and a spectacular Italian garden.  In short, your’e in for a perfect family afternoon outdoors with a little history lesson thrown in.

A small part of the ruins is accessible for free. To have access to the rest, you’ll need to buy tickets to the small museum, which contains a collection of Roman artifacts, including gladiator helmets. Find out more:


Activity 4: Take in Some Art at the Musée Marc Chagall

At the Musee Chagall in Nice, France.

At the Musee Chagall in Nice, France.

Chagall’s love of color, life, and heritage continues to resonate with young and old. The Musée Marc Chagall boasts stunning modern architecture that showcases the artist’s bright large-scale paintings, brilliant stained glass, and mosaics. It is also the rare museum that was designed in collaboration with the artist himself. Marc Chagall worked closely with French architect André Hermant to design the space in 1973. It’s a small museum that packs a big punch—perfect for a family visit.

The museum is located in the beautiful hilly neighborhood of Cimiez and is surrounded by a large native garden the kids will love to roam through, with the promise of ice cream in the gardens’ quaint outdoor café. Find out more:


1 Great Place to Stay: La Perouse

Perfectly perched Hotel La Perouse in Nice.

Perfectly perched Hotel La Perouse in Nice.

The unassuming entrance to this gem of a hotel is deceiving. After check-in, you’ll be directed up an elevator that hugs the hillside that nestles the hotel. The views of the Mediterranean and the city are insanely gorgeous, the rockside pool surrounded by lush vegetation divine, and the location is perfect.

Step outside and you are on the Promenade, just steps away the old town, though you may not need to venture far for dinner. The onsite restaurant, Le Patio, is excellent and kid-friendly. Junior suites can accommodate an extra bed and connecting rooms are available. Find out more:

Tip: Book directly through the hotel and enjoy complimentary breakfast with your stay.


1 Great Place to Eat: La Cambuse

Outdoor dining at La Cambuse in Old Town Nice.

Outdoor dining at La Cambuse in Old Town Nice.

In our experience, children (and some adults) do better eating outdoors. Lucky for you, Nice’s climate makes that possible almost year-round. La Cambuse is located right on the Cours Saleya, a gorgeous square in the heart of Nice’s Old Town, great for some prime people-watching. Try a local specialty, like boeuf a la nicoise, a red wine and tomato-based beef stew, or petit farci, stuffed tomato, pepper, zucchini, or eggplant. Kids not feeling it? Don’t worry. They also serve great pizza. Find out more: La Cambuse on TripAdvisor


Map & Pinnable For Your Trip Planning:

The 411 on Nice with Kids

The 411 on Nice with Kids

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The 411 on Lima with Kids

PERU, Lima with Kids – Many travelers bypass Lima when they visit Peru, preferring to start their adventure in the picturesque colonial city of Cusco, instead. But this large, modern city actually has a lot to offer travelers, not least its incredible food. Lima is one of the world’s top food capitals and the culinary scene here is second to none.  

Positioned on the rugged Pacific coastline, the city spreads out along the shore with much of the capital perched high up on imposing cliff tops overlooking the ocean. Its seaside location means that the city can be grey and drizzly at times but fortunately there are lots of indoor events to enjoy. Peru’s capital is home to excellent pre-Columbian museums, contemporary art and photography galleries, and some fun, hands-on activities for families. If you’ll be visiting Lima with kids, here are my 4 top-recommended activities, along with suggestions for 1 great place to stay and 1 great place to eat while you are there.  

Activity 1: Learn and Create at the ChocoMuseo

Choco Museo, Lima

Hands-on learning for mini chefs make the Choco Museo a favorite stop for families visiting Lima with kids.

Lima might be most famous for its ceviche and cuy (yep, that’s guinea pig!), but kids are more likely to enjoy its chocolate. And what better place to learn about this food of the Mayan gods than at the ChocoMuseo? Lima is home to two branches of this popular Latin American chocolate museum and workshop chain, one in the neighborhood of Miraflores and the other in Barranco. Both museums offer the same menu of activities allowing kids, and adults, the chance to get their hands dirty. Particular favorites for younger children are the ‘Bean to Bar’ and the Mini Chef classes. Both workshops give a brief history of chocolate before children are let loose to create their own chocolate bars topped with all manner of brightly coloured sprinkles. Both branches also have a café where you can enjoy a hot chocolate or just a very good coffee. Find out more:  


Activity 2: Get Snap Happy at MATE

MATE - Photography on a grand scale at this fun Lima gallery & museum.

Photography on a grand scale at this fun Lima gallery.

Peru’s most famous photographer is also the founder of the popular MATE – Museo Mario Testino. Established in 2012 by the fashion photographer himself, the space showcases Testino’s work alongside that of Peruvian artists and a handful of international talents. The ground floor houses Mario Testino’s permanent collection and includes shots of celebrities including Kate Moss and Madonna (who my nine-year-old daughter did not recognize in the slightest!). Upstairs is the excellent Alta Moda series, a series of portraits of Peruvian locals from the Andean region of Cusco, taken by Testino. There is also a separate room dedicated to the photographer’s portraits of Princess Diana. The prints are enormous, with many covering entire walls, and the museum was one of our trip highlights. Find out more:  

Pssst! Don’t miss the map of our Lima recommendations and pinnable at the end of this feature.


Activity 3: Stroll (or Bike!) El Malecón

Enjoy the views from Lima's six-mile Malecon.

Enjoy the views from Lima’s six-mile Malecon.

Often referred to as the Garden City, leafy Lima has some wonderful parks, especially in the upmarket neighborhood of Miraflores. Here, the government has poured money into renovating El Malecón, a six-mile stretch of green space that runs along the cliff tops with views over the Pacific Ocean. This long, paved pathway is ideal for walking, running, paragliding or cycling. Along the way you’ll pass statues created by famed Peruvian artists including the Intihuatana (sun anchor) and El Beso (the kiss) that sit either side of the Villena Bridge. Bikes (for kids aged 10+) can be hired from Bike Tours of Lima. Baby bike seats (for kids aged 1-5 years) are also available. Find out more: 


Activity 4: Dance in the Fountains

Magic, color, and fantasy mix in this family-friendly fountain complex.

Magic, color, and fantasy mix in this family-friendly fountain complex.

Guaranteed to please the kids is Lima’s fantastical Circuito Magico del Agua (The Magic Water Circuit). This complex of 13 illuminated fountains in the Parque de la Reserva was inaugurated in 2007 and has fast become one of the capital’s main attractions. The star of the show is the Fuente de la Fantasia (Fantasia fountain), a 120-metre-long fountain that bursts into life every evening with a choreographed show of lights, lasers, water and music. What the kids will really love, however, are the interactive fountains including the Laberinto del Ensueño (Maze of Dreams) where you have to try and reach the center of the maze without getting wet. Tip: Bring a change of clothes!  Find out more:   


1 Great Place to Stay: Tierra Viva

Tierra Viva hotel's great location in Miraflores.

Take advantage of this Tierra Viva hotel’s great location in Miraflores.

Tierra Viva is a small chain of cozy hotels located in Peru’s main destinations. The hotels are comfortable, personal and very good value for money and the Lima branch is no exception. Located in the upmarket Miraflores neighbourhood, not far from the Malecon, this is a great option for families looking to explore Lima’s main sites. Rooms are simple and welcoming but not built for spending much time in – you’ll be too busy sightseeing instead! The hotel operates on a B&B basis only meaning you’ll have to go elsewhere for lunch and dinner. Fortunately, you are well positioned here to take advantage of some of Lima’s best restaurants. Also nearby is Kennedy Park, once famous for being home to dozens of stray cats. The feline residents are being moved on but you might see one or two still lying out in the sunshine. Find out more:


1 Great Place to Eat: La Barra Moreya in Astrid y Gaston

Dinner at the more wallet-friendly, but also amazing La Barra.

Dinner at the more wallet-friendly La Barra.

You will eat well almost everywhere in Lima, but if you’re looking for a top-notch Peruvian dining experience treat yourself to a meal at Astrid y Gaston. This chichi restaurant is located in a beautifully renovated 17th century plantation house, Casa Moreyra, and is frequently ranked as one of the best in in Latin America (if not the world). Not surprisingly, such accolades come at a price so if you’re looking for something a little more wallet-friendly, try their casual dining option, La Barra Moreya. Located in the same building, adjacent to Astrid y Gaston, the food here is excellent. We ordered a few dishes from the various menus – del mar (from the sea), del campo (from the countryside), and de la ciudad (from the city) – and everything was absolutely delicious. As were the pisco sours!  Find out more:  

For more help planning your Peru family vacation, check out the Peru with Kids guide and don’t miss The 411 on Peru’s Sacred Valley with Kids

Map & Pinnable for Your Trip Planning:

The 411 on Lima with kids

The 411 on Lima with kids

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The 411 on Northern Ireland with Kids

UNITED KINGDOM, Northern Ireland with Kids – Northern Ireland is a juxtaposition of cultures. It’s both Irish and British, lush and sparse, regal and disreputable all at the same time. And though there have been clashes in the past, the Northern Ireland of today stands ready to welcome travelers eager to explore its distinct culture, mythology, and history. But be warned: you won’t want to rush through ‘the North’. It is worth your time and not just as an ‘add on’ to an Ireland vacation. For those planning a visit to Northern Ireland with kids, here are my top 4 activities I suggest you put at the top of your list, along with recommendations of 1 great place to eat and 1 great place to stay while you are there.


Activity 1: Visit the Titanic in Belfast

Visit the shipyard where the Titanic was built, now a contemporary museum.

Visit the shipyard where the Titanic was built, now a contemporary museum.

There is a saying in Belfast about the Titanic, “The ship was fine when she left here.” Decide for yourself the verity of that statement as you discover the full story of the Titanic at the place she was built. Explore the shipyard and walk the full length of Titanic and her sister ship, the Olympic, before joining a tour that leads you through the golden age of ship building and separates truth from legend of the ‘unsinkable’ Titanic.

Before leaving the shipyard be sure to take a guided tour of the SS Nomadic, dry docked in front of Titanic Belfast. The last remaining ship in the White Star line, the Nomadic ferried passengers to her ‘big sister’ in high style. A guided tour by one of the volunteer “Titaniacs” brings the history of this little ship to life.


Activity 2: Discover the Causeway Coast and Glens

Ruins of medieval Dunluce Caslte on the Causeway Coastal Route.

Ruins of medieval Dunluce Caslte on the Causeway Coastal Route.

Explore some of the most storied and mythical lands in Ireland along a 120 mile coastal route. Begin with the Irish mythology of Finn McCool as you tread along the polygonal stones of the Giant’s Causeway. Follow that with years of fishing history as you cross a rope bridge to a small island of stone, before indulging in a bit of fantasy at the Dark Hedges. Beyond these well known sites you’ll find breathtaking cliff-top castles, wonderful sandy beaches, a fairy land of magical waterfalls, and the world’s oldest distiller of uisce betha, the ‘water of life’, aka whiskey.


Activity 3: Walk atop Derry’s City Wall

Entrance to Northern Ireland's "Free Derry."

Take a guided tour of Derry, one of Ireland’s oldest continuously inhabited places.

A few hundred years ago Irish cities were protected by massive walls with gated entry points. Today Derry is the only city whose walls remain completely intact. A walk atop the Derry city wall is like walking through time, cannons placed for protection hundreds of years ago now overlook the civil rights murals that decorate the buildings of the Bogside below.

Derry (aka Londonderry) is also a place noted for unrest, from the Nine Years War and Plantation of Ulster through the end of the 20th century. The Troubles, the Battle of the Bogside, Bloody Sunday, and the Good Friday Agreement are all points in time that have shaped the city, and Northern Ireland. The best way to wrap your head around the history and culture of this city is with a guided walking tour. Gleann Doherty of Derry Guided Tours will guide you from the city’s founding by St. Colmcille in the 6th century, through the Plantation period, and into the more recent history in a way that is understandable but not overwhelming for children.


Activity 4: Discover Fabulous Fermanagh

FErmanagh An ancient stone circle dating to 2250 BC.

An ancient stone circle dating to 2250 BC.

Northern Ireland’s most south-westerly county, Fermanagh is divided by Upper and Lower Lough Erne, creating an outdoor paradise for vacationers. As a relatively overlooked county, tourists may feel like they have discovered an untouched bit of Ireland. Begin your explorations in Enniskillen, a town built around a castle located on an island between the two lakes. Military history runs deep here, with the castle hosting English regiments from 1689 through World War II.

Pssst! Don’t miss the map of our Northern Ireland recommendations and pinnable at the end of this feature.

But it is around- and even beneath- the surrounding countryside that Fermanagh shares its true treasures. As you circle Lower Lough Erne you’ll discover a stone circle dating to 2250 BC as well as ancient Celtic carvings. A castle still exists in Castle Caldwell Forest, though you have to look hard to find it, and nearby Belleek is home to the famed pottery. Explore beneath the surface of County Fermanagh at Marble Arch Caves Geopark, a stunning show cave that is one of the longest in Europe, stretching into the Republic of Ireland.


1 Great Place to Stay : Lakeside Lodges at the Killyhevlin Hotel in Fermanagh

Killyhevlin Hotel's waterside cabins

Killyhevlin Hotel’s waterside cabins.

If you’re looking for a truly tranquil getaway there is no place better than on the shore of Lough Erne in one of the lodges at the Killyhevlin Hotel. The self-catering cabins offer the best of both worlds- loads of privacy and space with the luxury of the resort just a short stroll away.

Our lodge, with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a large open living area, and full kitchen, was a welcome break from busy hotels and bed & breakfasts. We enjoyed the uniqueness of grocery shopping in Ireland, and laughed as we attempted to understand gas marks on the oven. But what really made the stay memorable was the absolute stillness of the lake each morning, as I sat on the small jetty, tea in hand, as birds welcoming the sun and gentle waves lapped the shore.


1 Great Place to Eat: St. George’s Market

Sweet treats at St. George's Market.

Sweet treats at St. George’s Market, Belfast.

For a true taste of Northern Ireland plan to visit St. George’s Market in Belfast. A large weekend market, you’ll find foods ranging from fresh – fish stalls and local produce- to ready-to-eat. Local food producers and restaurants have stalls interwoven with local crafters, book sellers, and antiques dealers. Arrive hungry and work your way through the maze of booths tasting, trying, and buying. Enjoy a meal here and take away cheeses, breads, and sweet treats for later.

Get more! Click here to see all of our 411 features on Ireland.

Map & pinnable for your trip planning:

The 411 on Northern Ireland with kids pinnable

The 411 on Northern Ireland with kids.

The post The 411 on Northern Ireland with Kids appeared first on Family Travel 411.


The 411 on Guatemala’s Lake Atitlán with Kids

GUATEMALA, Lake Atitlán with Kids – Deep in the Guatemalan Highlands lies the serenely beautiful Lake Atitlán. Easily one of the country’s most visited, and most loved, destinations, it’s also a wonderful place for families. Formed some 85,000 years ago by a titanic volcanic explosion, the crater lake is today flanked by steep green hills, characterful Maya villages and three younger volcanoes – Tolimán, San Pedro and Atitlán.

It’s both the dramatic location and the lake itself (it’s the deepest in Central America reaching depths of 340 meters / 1,115 feet) that continue to wow visitors. Few places boast such crystal-clear skies, such brilliant sunshine and such breath-taking views as Lake Atitlán. The best way to explore the lake is by boat and you can spend days crisscrossing the waters visiting the lakeshore towns. If you’ll be visiting Lake Atitlán with kids, here are 4 great things to do along with 1 great place to stay and 1 great place to eat while you are there.

Activity 1: Discover the Lake

Explore more with boat rides to the many lakeside villages at Lake Atitlan.

Explore more with boat rides to the many lakeside villages at Lake Atitlan.

El Lago de Atitlán is the star of the show and you’re guaranteed to fall under its spell whether you choose to hit the waters or simply admire them from the lakeshore. There are a number of ways to explore Lake Atitlán including scuba diving and kayaking, but the best way to get a feel for the lake, and its villages, is by boat.

Water taxis ferry folk across the cobalt waters from morning to night, and from village to village. There is no official timetable (not that we could find, anyway!), rather the taxis wait until they are full before they head off. A better option for cruising the lake with kids is to hire a private boat or book a tour. Hiring a boat is easy to do and you’ll find any number of “captains” down at the docks offering day tours of the lake; most include stops at the villages of San Juan La Laguna, San Marcos La Laguna and Santiago. Remember to negotiate the price before you take your seat! Find out more: (scuba diving), (kayaking) 

Activity 2: Learn to Weave

weaving in Guatemala

Visit a lakeshore village weaving cooperative to learn more about Guatemala’s glorious textiles.

Guatemala is world famous for its incredible textiles and weaving techniques. At the village of San Juan la Laguna you can learn all about this traditional art in a fun, hands-on way that kids will love. This small lakeshore town is home to a number of weaving cooperatives established by the Tzutujile Mayan people to both preserve their art and to create a sustainable income. Demonstrations take visitors through the entire weaving process, from preparing the cotton to dying the thread and weaving using a traditional back strap loom. Particularly fascinating for kids is the part that details how different fruits, vegetables, plants, and herbs are used to dye the cotton. There’s a shop on site and all profits are injected right back into the community. Find out more:

 Pssst! Don’t miss the map of our Lake Atitlán recommendations and pinnable at the end of this feature.

Activity 3: Fly Through the Air  

Fly through the jungle during your stay at Lake Atitlán with kids.

Fly through the jungle with a zip line adventure during your stay at Lake Atitlan with kids.

Although the waters of Lake Atitlán are the main attraction there are activities on dry land to keep kids busy, too. The Atitlán Nature Reserve (Reserva Natural Atitlán) is well worth a visit for its butterfly garden, its walking trails and its zip lines. Fly through the air above waterfalls and canyons with spellbinding views of forests, volcanoes and the shimmering lake waters. There are two circuits and both are suitable for kids; children can choose to fly solo or go in tandem with a guide. If that all sounds too extreme, then the reserve is home to three main hiking trails that wind through coffee groves, across hanging bridges, and past monkeys! You may even spot a coati if you’re lucky; this South American mammal is closely related to the raccoon family. Find out more: http://Atitlá

Activity 4: Get Cooking

Let the kids cook you one of your best--and most authentic--meals while visiting Guatemala.

Let the kids cook you one of your best–and most authentic–meals while visiting Guatemala.

To get a real taste of Guatemalan cuisine and an insight into local life try a cooking class with Lake Atitlán Cooking School run by Anita. This half-day class is a wonderful way to learn about village life and local flavors. Best of all, it’s very kid-friendly. The class starts with a trip to the local market to choose ingredients before heading back to Anita’s home to begin prepping dishes. Our kids were involved from the get-go (even choosing our menu) and were responsible for most dishes from prepping the tamales to making potato pancakes. At the end of the class you get to sit down and enjoy your lunch. For us it was one of the best meals that we had in Guatemala! Find out more:

1 Great Place to Stay: Hotel Atitlán

Great views from family-friendly Hotel Atitlan.

Great views from family-friendly Hotel Atitlan.

The villages surrounding lake Atitlán are full of backpacker hostels and spiritual retreats that can only be reached by boat. For somewhere a little more family-friendly head to Hotel Atitlán. Located just outside the town of Panajachel, one of the few villages accessible by road (and your first point of call when arriving from Antigua), this 60-room hotel sits directly on the lake shore. All rooms come with unobstructed water views, and a balcony from which to enjoy them. The swimming pool and Jacuzzi overlook the lake, making for a magical sunset-watching spot. The hotel is also well-known for its gardens, which are beautifully maintained, a riot of color, and home to oodles of birds. Find out more: http://www.hotelAtitlá

1 Great Place to Eat: Mr. Jon’s

Mr. John's restaurant pancakes, Lake Atitlan

Authentic Guatemalan cuisine? Not so much. But really tasty breakfasts? Absolutely.

If it’s local fare that you’re after, better book a cooking class (see above!) as the majority of restaurants in Panajachel cater to foreign taste buds. That’s not to say the foodie scene is not good, however; there are lots of yummy eateries to choose from. Our favorite was Mr Jon’s, home to some of the best breakfasts in town. This is the place to come for stacks of buttermilk pancakes, bottomless coffee and the perfect poached eggs with homemade hollandaise sauce. The décor is simple (if not a little sparse) but the food more than makes up for it. Find out more:

For more recommendations for family vacations in Guatemala, see the Guatemala with Kids Family Destination Guide. You might also like The 411 on Guatemala’s Antiuga with Kids.

Map & Pinnable for Your Trip Planning:

The 411 on Lake Atitlán with kids

The 411 on Lake Atitlán with kids

The post The 411 on Guatemala’s Lake Atitlán with Kids appeared first on Family Travel 411.


My Six Picks: Great Maui Vacation Rentals for Multi-Gen Family Vacations

Just back from an epic 80th birthday family reunion celebration with thirteen Rivolis sleeping under the same roof—with plenty of beds and bathrooms for all—I am feeling especially attuned to the comforts and conveniences a vacation rental can provide for a multi-gen family vacation. This week, I’m taking a look at family-friendly Maui vacation rentals in particular (sponsored). Here are six of my hand-picked recommendations that are ideal for family vacations with grandparents, aunties and uncles, and various combinations of friends and families. These rentals sleep from six people up to sixteen, as noted.


1. Kapalua – Ocean Breeze (value pick)

Ocean Breeze is ideally situated for golfing enthusiasts.

Ocean Breeze is ideally situated for golfing enthusiasts.

Sleeps 6 / 3 Bedrooms / 3 Bathrooms

If the family that golfs together stays together, they’d likely like to stay here. Ocean Breeze is within the Kapalua Golf Residences, located just off of one of the two courses here. It’s a great option for the family of four plus grandparents, with two king bedrooms and one bedroom with two twins. Each bedroom has its own en suite bathroom. Guests have four swimming pools to choose from at the resort, and Kapalua Beach is just a 5- to 10-minute free shuttle ride away. Tennis enthusiasts can also be on the Kapalua courts in just a 5-minute walk.


2. Puunoa Beach Estates – Condominium 104

This Puunoa Beach condo is just a 5-minute walk to Maui's Baby Beach.

This Puunoa Beach condo is just a 5-minute walk to Maui’s Baby Beach.

Sleeps 6 / 3 Bedrooms / 3 Bathrooms

Aside from each of its three bedrooms featuring its own bathroom, this ground-level condo may be ideal for many families because it is just that: ground level. There’s no worry of stairs or wait for elevators here, and grandparents can step out onto the terrace for fresh air, ocean views, and lounge chairs with ease. Two bedrooms feature king-size beds, and a third offers up two queen-size beds. Better still? It’s only a 5-minute walk to Baby Beach (Puunoa Beach), so pack your stroller and soft-side cooler and leave the car where it is. See photos and find out more >


3. Wailea Beach Villas Resort – Sandcastles Suite L509

Open (your doors) wide and say, "Ahhhhh...." at Wailea Beach Villas

Open (your doors) wide and say, “Ahhhhh….” at Wailea Beach Villas

Sleeps 8 / 4 Bedrooms / 3 Bathrooms

This penthouse villa not only offers sweeping views from a prestigious Maui address, it also comes loaded with en suite entertainment “goodies” like Xbox, DVD/Blue ray/CD player, Netflix, Pandora downloads, and then some (and yes, you can feel like a rock star with your own private elevator entrance). The spacious kitchen and dining area were designed with a group in mind and include a breakfast bar plus a dining table that can seat all eight of you. The resort offers two swimming pools–one for those with children (including a shallower area for smaller swimmers) and one for those without and is just a 5-minute walk to Wailea Beach and also to the Shops at Wailea. Extra perks are available for extra fees, including butler service, private chef, or access to the neighboring Grand Wailea pool & water slides. (You can read about our stay in a similar villa at Wailea Beach Villas in “Postcards from the Penthouse” at our sister site.) See photos and find out more >


4. Ka’anapali – Rainbow Hale Estate

Rainbow hale vacation rental

With 2,400 square feet of lanai and views like this, you may forget to go inside.

Sleeps 8 / 4 Bedrooms / 3.5 Bathrooms / Private Pool

Want plenty of space to yourselves? Sit pretty in this 3,600 square-foot private estate with its own infinity swimming pool and hot tub perched within a working coffee plantation. There’s also plenty of room to enjoy the breeze outdoors and ocean views from 2,400 square feet of lanais and lounging areas. Though you’ll be driving to get to the beach (1.1 miles to Kahekili Beach Park, 2.1 miles to Ka’anapali Beach), it is still within easy reach of great snorkeling, shopping, and dining. See photos and find out more >


5. Kihei – Shambala Estate (bucket list pick)

Your own private paradise--in paradise.

Your own private paradise–in paradise.

Sleeps 12 / 6 Bedrooms / 9 Bathrooms / Private Pools

For the ultimate family reunion, consider this 2-acre gated estate with three grotto-esque swimming pools, water falls, water slide, and hot tub. There’s also an open-air pool bar with billiards, volley ball, and private putting green complete with sand traps. Inside, enjoy a snorkel-free view of the underwater world with the sizable salt water reef aquarium. And if your family holds fast to the adage that “many hands make light work,” meal prep will be a breeze in the commodious gourmet kitchen with two islands–and for variety, there’s an outdoor kitchen with its own dining area as well. Two of the six bedrooms offer two twin-size beds for family-style flexibility. And yes, it really has nine bathrooms. See photos and find out more >


6. Lanai – Maui Oasis Estate and Lahaina Oasis (big family pick)

Great views for big groups at this private estate in Maui.

Great views for big groups at this private estate in Maui.

Sleeps 18 / 8 Bedrooms / 8 Bathrooms / Private Pool

Extended family can extend throughout three separate buildings on this private property: the five-bedroom Maui Oasis and the three-bedroom Lahaina Oasis with its detached third bedroom. The architecture maximizes views of the Pacific and island of Lanai on one side, and verdant West Maui Mountain views on the other. A swimming pool and hot tub invite all to step out beyond a covered lanai that’s more like an outdoor living room. There are also plenty of ways for your group to get its game on here with foosbol and ping-pong tables, badminton, and croquet sets. See photos and find out more >

For more help planning your Maui family vacation, see these other Maui features and see my “Maui with Kids” board on Pinterest.

The post My Six Picks: Great Maui Vacation Rentals for Multi-Gen Family Vacations appeared first on Family Travel 411.


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