The Fall Go List: Monterey, Montana, National Parks, Cuba, San Francisco,  and more

School has started in the Bay Area, and even though I cannot wrap my mind at how early the academic year starts for kids, I am glad that weekends are always opportunities for golden getaways.  The coast at this time of year is warm and as visitors begin to trail off, it is an ideal time to swoop in to book a vacation.  

We urge you to consider some new places and new hotels in the local vicinity.  The Monterey Tides Hotel is now under Joie de Vivre family of hotels since March, and this former Best Western underwent a $12 million facelift.  Enjoy our thorough review of the property.  While in Monterey, be creative and try a never-done-before activity like paddle boarding, kayaking, or whale watching.  Bring your bicycle and jump on the bike path hugs the ocean vista. Try a restaurant on the wharf that you have always wanted to visit, but never had the time.   Drive the 17-mile dream route in Carmel.  In other words, break out of your routine, and your kids will thank you for it, especially as they get older.

And historic hotels are looking pretty good this time of year in Mendocino. Read our review of the Little River Inn, and find out how you can enjoy a weekend up in this coastal retreat with the kids. 

BAFT contributor Donna Corwin offers up Montana as a place that can become your new favorite state.  Check out her review of Flathead Lake Lodge to see what memories you can drum up with your family.  

Continue your planning by reading our Consumer Update on new activities and renovations at national parks in Alaska, Washington, and Colorado. And if you want to stay in the state of California, you may have a lot of fun visiting and collecting artistic key cards from select Hilton Hotels that are providing a summer promotional.  See our Deals page here

As you plan your travels, you may want to try something new in the transportation category.  Have you ever wondered what it would be like to fly on a private airplane, but you always thought it would be too expensive.  We introduce to you JetSuiteX, a new entrant to the private jet market which offers the convenience of first-class treatment for budget rates.  See How Suite it Is on JetSuiteX  in our review. 

We recently returned from Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau, and we are celebrating our international travels wtih a three-part series.  In this edition of BAFT, we offer up a review of the island country of Taiwan. Read our story, Taiwan's Melting Pot will Melt Your Heart.  We also offer to you, Hong Kong's new art focus.  Bring the kids, and you'll never be sorry!  

International travel is an adventure and education for all families. Our latest story Cuba: A Country of Contrasts is an eye-opener as the country is still very old world in many ways.  Learn about Havana and the various places you can bring the kiddos to enjoy. 

NorthBayJuly18-1.jpgHowever, staycations are not a fad, people!  Enjoy your local treasures.  Joyce Kiefer takes us to the redwoods... in Silicon Valley. Find her story, and be amazed at how close it is to home.  She has also traveled to San Francisco where she has found hidden gems in staircases and swings. It's a Must Read, so click on  Having a Swinging Good Time.  If you plan to stay in the city for a weekend, we recommend Hotel Zoe for kids. See our  review on Hotel Zoe, a family-friendly place to take everyone. While you have probably been to San Francisco a million times, keep coming. There is so much more to see each and every time. 

And since we love our big city so much, check out the views of our fabulous San Fran. 
 Read Where to Find The Best Views in San Francisco – North Bay   During your time in SF, book tickets to see Soft Power, a hilarious look at what it means to be American, Chinese-American, and how to view this post-election age. Since language is R-rated, it's probably best to see with older teens or just as mom and dad. See Gwen Leong's review here.    

Next, we go up north, and we hit up the Westin Napa Verasa. Check out our review here.  It's a place right in downtown Napa, and you will have access to activities, restaurants, and all you need to have a great time.

And it comes to practical matters, learn how to go green on your next vacation - Consumer Lookout. It's not that hard.

Don't miss this summer issue's other relevant and timely columns:
Healthy Recipe for Cacao Bites - Consumer Lookout
Kids Eat Free Tuesdays, New York Hotel Specials - Deals
Alkaline water bottles - Products
Vice Cream Ice Cream Hits Stores- Products

 Happy Fall and may you continue building fond memories through travel!

Kathy Chin Leong
Executive Editor


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