Hotels and Other Favorite Places to Stay
- Pacific Inn Motel,Forks,Washington: If you have any fans of the Twilight movie series in your family, the Pacific Inn Motel is the place to stay. The “Twilight themed room” are a must for any fan of the movie series. The proximity to the Olympic National Park is a major draw, and kids can visit the tide pools on the nearby beaches to look for sealife and especially starfish.
- Refuge Inn, Chincoteague,Virginia: We recently stayed at the Refuge Inn on the beautiful eastern shore of Virginia. Chincoteague is an easy-going back beach town, adjacent to the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, which is home to the famous Chincoteague Wild Ponies. The Refuge Inn is located within biking distance to the Wildlife Refuge, with the bike rental shop adjacent to the Inn. For kids, you can’t beat having their own ponies to visit right on the adjacent property, as well as the large indoor/outdoor pool and free breakfast.
- The Magic Castle Hotel, Hollywood, California: If you are going to spend a day or two in Hollywood, this is the place to stay. The suites are huge, the location is so convenient to the Hollywood Walk of Fame and Grauman’s Chinese Theater, and the staff is the nicest you will find at any hotel. They are so knowledgeable and will tell you about all the local events (for us it was a movie premier at the Dolby Theater). Breakfast is included and kids will love the pool and the menu of snacks and drinks that are always available!
- Sea View Inn at the beach, Manhattan Beach, California: This place is great if you just want to spend a few days at the beach during a California trip but don’t want to bring all your beach supplies. They provide complimentary bikes, beach chairs and towels, boogie boards and even umbrellas. There is a wide paved biking path along the beach that runs for miles, and yet the town is close to Los Angeles (just 3 miles from LAX airport). The hotel offers larger rooms, which are great for families with 3+ children.
- Lazy L at Willow Creek, Lewes Delaware (dog friendly!) . If you and your dog are looking for a relaxing getaway near the wonderful Delaware beaches, this Bed and Breakfast is the place to go. The house is situated on 8 acres next to a marsh, with 5 bedrooms, a private cottage and plenty of outdoor space for relaxing. There is a pool and fire place, along with a fenced in dog run. This place is truly dog friendly; the owners go out of their way to make both you are your dog feel comfortable and at home. We even brought our dog with us to the wonderful complimentary breakfast. They also keep a supply of ice cream in the freezer in case the humans need a quick pick-me-up! There are several rooms that you can rent together, and the house comes with hotel amenities such as toiletries and hand-made soaps. The nearby town of Lewes is also dog-friendly, and the owners have all the information about where to go.
- Motel Del Rogue, Grants Pass, Oregon: If you are planning to visit Crater Lake National Park (which should be on every family travel bucket list), Grants Pass is a great town to spend the night. This unique, older motel is right on the banks of the Rogue River, and offers some larger rooms for families. You can picnic on your porch, or hang out by the river. It’s truly an old-fashioned, relaxing experience.
- Parry Lodge, Kanab, Utah: If there are old western fans in your family, this is the place to stay in the southwest. It is within a 2 hour drive to the spectacular Bryce and Zion National Parks, the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, as well as the Lake Powell recreation area. Over the years, many famous movie stars stayed at the Lodge while filming in the surrounding area, including Hollywood favorites Clint Eastwood and Gregory Peck. , and several of the rooms have nameplates to show who stayed there. According to the hotel website, the local Kanab area was used in over 100 movies and many television shows over the years. If you are there between April and October, there are classic movies shown in the Old Barn Theater (movies that were made in the area). The barn was previously home to famous animals such as Roy Roger’s “Trigger” and the Lone Ranger's “Silver.” While it’s not a modern hotel, the history and magic make it worth the stay.
- Loews Royal Pacific Resort, Orlando, Florida: For fans of Harry Potter, “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” at Universal Studios Islands of Adventures is a must see. To fully take advantage of the park, splurge and stay at the on-site Loews Royal Pacific Resort. The hotel grounds and lagoon style pool are beautiful, and you can either walk or ride by free water taxi to the theme parks and Universal CityWalk. Another valuable amenity is the free Universal Express pass, which allows you to skip the regular lines, as well as early admission to “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.” In my mind, these two features alone balance out the extra cost of the rooms, especially during the busy summer months.
- Columbus Inn, San Francisco, California: If you are looking for a hotel for larger families in a convenient location, this is the place. The Inn is close to the cable car line, and a short walk to Fisherman’s Wharf. They offer two room suites as well as complimentary parking (although the garage is quite small). There are plenty of restaurants and even a small Trader Joe’s nearby.
- Econo Lodge Times Square, New York City: Everyone knows how expensive it is to stay in New York City. If you are looking for a reasonably priced hotel convenient to Times Square and the Theater District, the Econo Lodge may be a good choice. My daughter and I stayed there recently on an overnight trip, and while the rooms were a bit small, the location, cleanliness and cost were excellent in comparison to some of the bigger hotels in the area.
- Driftwood Lodge, Springdale, Utah: My kids will always remember this as the hotel with horses in our back yard! Located just 2 miles from the entrance to Zion National Park, this hotel is also perfect for larger families. There is a big grassy area for kids to run around, a large pool and beautiful views from your patio or balcony.
- Inn at Northrup Station, Portland, Oregon: This colorful boutique hotel fits right in with the vibrant area of Northwest Portland. Rooms are all suites, filled with bright colors and funky decor. We visited in the summer and enjoyed taking the free breakfast up to the rooftop deck. Overnight guests also get complimentary tickets for the Portland Streetcar, which conveniently runs to downtown Portland.