Did you know - Land of Oz!
Autumn at Oz
September 9th-11th, 16th-18th, & 23rd-25th at Land of Oz - Beech Mountain, NC
Travel Over the Rainbow to Beech Mountain, North Carolina and celebrate Land of Oz's annual Autumn at Oz Festival - one of the world’s largest Wonderful Wizard of Oz events! Experience the magic of Oz during this three-weekend event where the Scarecrow, Tin Woodman, and Cowardly Lion are ready to perform for you on your journey to meet the Wizard! Keep a lookout for the Wicked Witch and her Winged Monkeys, plus other favorite characters from this classic story! Visit the Gale farm in Kansas, experience the twister, meet Glinda in Munchkinland, and follow the real yellow brick road to Emerald City where the Wizard grants everyones' wishes - right before your eyes!
Shop unique craft & memorabilia vendors, enjoy delicious varieties of food and beverages, get your face painted, and watch live performances. Plus, there are plenty of photo-ops along the way including our Over the Rainbow Observation Deck - one mile high in the sky! Enjoy the magical Land of Oz on the site of the original 1970's theme park where the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true.
In the Land of Oz:
- Don't wear your high heel ruby slippers - Oz has uneven paths, ramps and stairs and therefore is not wheelchair or stroller friendly.
- The weather in Oz (Beech Mountain) can be cold and blustery, so be prepared for the weather by dressing in layers and wearing comfortable shoes. It is also suggested that guests bring a jacket and an umbrella just in case.
- You can get to Oz by bus or scenic lift ride (additional cost). The lift ride from Beech Mountain Ski resort will give you amazing views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
General Admission Tickets: $55.00 + Taxes & Processing Fees Children 2 & Under are free.
Walt Disney World® EPCOT's Food and Wine Festival Begins
EPCOT® International Food and Wine Festival runs July 14 to November 19! Like a passport specially for your palate, the EPCOT® International Food & Wine Festival is a magical taste tour—one that whisks you off on a fun and flavorful journey across six continents. It’s a delicious celebration filled with over 25 global marketplaces, live entertainment and more. Sip, savor and stroll your way through EPCOT®, as you delight in some of your favorite flavors, and try plenty of new ones along the way. There’s even an entire menu of family fun including a Remy inspired scavenger hunt and Emile’s Fromage Montage, where you can sample a variety of unique cheeses and even indulge in an opportunity to earn a very special festival treat.Throughout the day, you’ll find that taste isn’t the only thing on tour. Catch performances throughout the festival, including the return of the Eat to the Beat Concert Series—where internationally recognized artists perform on stage Friday – Monday, while local Orlando bands rock the spotlight Tuesday – Thursday. Plus, don’t miss all the other amazing acts including Voices of Liberty, Mariachi Cobre and the Jammin’ Chefs.All the magic kicks off this summer and spans 129 days. What’s more, you couldn’t have picked a more delicious time to visit, during The World’s Most Magical Celebration—the Walt DisneyWorld® 50th Anniversary.EPCOT® International Food and Wine Festival Global Marketplaces More than 25 Global Marketplaces throughout World Showcase to sip, savor and stroll your festival favorites and new delights! Emile’s Fromage Montage Families can enjoy Emile’s Fromage Montage where they can sample a variety of delicious cheeses served in inventive ways. Purchase any five cheese dishes from the official Global Marketplaces listed in the Festival Passport and make sure to collect a stamp for each cheese dish purchased. Once you’ve collected all five stamps, bring the stamped Festival Passport to Shimmering Sips for a specialty, unique to EPCOT® International Food & Wine Festival presented by CORKCICLE®. Eat to the Beat The Eat to the Beat Concert Series presented by Florida Blue Medicare is ready to serve up some piping hot tunes! This year, we’re following the same recipe as our recent festivals, with internationally recognized artists as well as local bands bringing their sizzling sounds to the America Gardens Theatre stage. Jammin’ Chefs This funky drumming crew breaks it down as they drum up fun in the kitchen using pots, pans, and other unlikely instruments. Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak Embark on a Ratatouille-inspired adventure that’s très magnifique! Kids of all ages can search for Remy on a savory scavenger hunt around the Festival. Simply purchase your map and stickers from select Festival merchandise locations – including Port of Entry, Pin Traders – Camera Center, and World Traveler at International Gateway.Find discounted tickets to EPCOT® here.
Four Great American Trains to Discover
There is just something about historic railroads. Unfortunately, many of the engines and trains that have been saved are static. Lifeless. But there are places in America where you can see a steam engine come alive and run at speed (go fast), where you can climb America’s only accessible 14-thousand-foot mountain, ride on a 150-year old railroad lost in time and coming back to life in the beautiful valleys of central Pennsylvania and ride on the original subway cars from 1916 and 1930’s to places such as Coney Island in Brooklyn. This is where open windows, strap hangers and swaying cars are as fun as the rides found at Coney Island. Yes, there are great train rides this summer, and here’s a ticket to four of the most interesting. THE BROADMOOR, MANITOU & PIKES PEAK COG RAILWAY (Manitou, CO to the summit at Pikes Peak – 14,115 feet) Climb every mountain. Well, there is only one 14-thousand-foot mountain in the US that you don’t have to climb. You can take the train. A unique train – a cog. At The Broadmoor Manitou & Pikes Peak Cog Railway, America’s highest railway reaches a height of 14,115 feet. This is where the words to the song “America the Beautiful” were composed. Completely rebuilt it is back and better than ever climbing up America’s Mountain. This iconic railway is one of only two cog railways in the U.S.Originally built in 1891 and owned and operated by The Broadmoor since 1925, this historic railway is the highest railroad in America, the highest cog railway in the world, one of Colorado’s top attractions, and one of the nation’s most unique experiences. The Railway runs every day. For information and reservations hop onboard at www.cograilway.com THE GRAND CANYON RAILWAY (Williams, AZ on Rt. 66 to steps from South Rim, Grand Canyon) Courtesy Xanterra Travel Collection Grand Canyon Railway has been taking people to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon since 1901 when it was built by the legendary Atkinson, Topeka and Santé Fee (ATSF). Grand Canyon Railway runs daily from Williams, AZ on historic Rt. 66 to within steps of the Grand Canyon South Rim and El Tovar. The pristine train, comprised of railcars from the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, including luxury dome cars and an open platform observation car, as well as vintage coaches with opening windows, departs at 9:30 a.m. and returns at 5:45 p.m. with a 2.5-hour layover at South Rim of Grand Canyon. The train rolls directly into Grand Canyon National Park, taking an estimated 70,000 cars off the road.During most of the summer and into early fall, the Railway pulls the daily train once a month with a steam engine built in 1923 and that runs on waste vegetable oil.There is no extra charge for the steam engine pulled trains. It be believed Grand Canyon Railway is the last standard gauge passenger railroad in the US where steam engines are still scheduled to pull revenue trains.You can save 30% on train tickets when you book in conjunction with any 1 or 2-night stay at The Grand Canyon Railway Hotel. Visit thetrain.com or call 1-800-THE.-TRAIN (1-800-843-8724) for updated and current information on both the hotel and the train.It is now also possible to charter an entire luxury private railroad car or even an entire private train complete with chefs, bartenders, entertainers, and staff. These are ideal for “milestone” moments, such as graduations, family reunions, anniversaries, weddings, birthdays, etc. For charters call 928-635-5700 or visit www.thetrain.com/charters. THE EAST BROAD TOP RAILROAD (Orbisonia, Central Pennsylvania) Courtesy of The East Broad Top Railroad It's one of the true treasures in American railroading. The East Broad Top Railroad (EBT) located in Orbisonia, PA and nestled in the rolling hills and farmlands in the central part of the state-started train rides and historic railroad shop tours this spring. The 150-year-old railroad is considered by the Smithsonian to be one of the best-preserved examples of 19th century American narrow gauge railroads (the rails less than 4 feet apart so the trains, and everything is smaller than "standard" railroads) and industrial complexes in the country.It was already an antique when it was shut down in 1956; today is it a true treasure that far exceed the trains and tracks. The EBT still has six narrow-gauge steam locomotives, each awaiting their turn for restoration, one of which is expected soon. Initially, the railroad will offer one hour train rides in a vintage caboose, passenger car or even an open-air car on a nine-mile round-trip ride from the historic roundhouse and shops in Orbisonia to Colgate Grove and back. Prices begin at $20 for adults and $18 for children.Reservations are strongly suggested. For information and reservations visit www.eastbroadtop.com or call 814-447-3285. THE NEW YORK TRANSIT MUSEUM & NOSTALGIA RIDES (New York City) Brooklyn Union Elevated Car Courtesy of The New York Transit Museum Yes, the New York subway is a railroad and a rather large one at that with 665 miles of mainline track and 472 stations that caters to more than a billion rides a year. It even has a museum in Brooklyn. Founded in 1976, the New York Transit Museum is dedicated to telling and preserving the stories of mass transportation – extraordinary engineering feats, workers who labored in the tunnels over 100 years ago, communities that were drastically transformed, and the ever-evolving technology, design, and ridership of a system that runs 24 hours a day, every day of the year.Housed underground in an authentic 1936 subway station in Downtown Brooklyn, the Transit Museum’s working platform level spans a full city block, and is home to a rotating selection of twenty vintage subway and elevated cars dating back to 1907.However, what most people don’t know is that this is not just a static museum. It maintains and operates a wide variety of vintage train cars dating back to 1907. These historic subway trains are occasionally run on what's called “Nostalgia Rides.” Some go to Yankee Stadium, other to Coney Island or the Rockaway Beach & Boardwalk, and some venture to historic cemeteries or decommissioned subway stations. We’re talking open windows, flickering light bulbs, hanging on to strap hangers and swaying cars. It’s a trip, and a trip back in time on the real things, right down to the rattan seats and car card (ads) that try to sell everything from bras and cookies, the ZIP code and baseball games at the Polo Grounds, Ebbets Field and of course, Yankee Stadium. For information on the museum and Nostalgia Rides visit www.nytransitmuseum.org.
The best states to visit on a camping trip with kids!
But what are the best states to visit on a camping trip with kids? To find out, The Family Vacation Guide researched and revealed a list of all the states in the country and ranked them based on family activities, family campsites, Instagramability, and safety, to find the perfect states for a family camping adventure. With safety a top concern when traveling with kids, New Jersey has the highest safety score out of 100, of all the states in the US, at 72. California is the ideal state for families who love outdoor hiking. The state is home to 4,383 family-friendly trails, more than any other state. Florida has the most family-friendly things to do out of all states we looked at, at 4,622, providing endless opportunities to make memories as a family. Hawaii has the highest percentage of family-friendly campgrounds, with 44.4% of all campsites in the state providing the perfect time away for those with kids. TOP 5#5 Massachusetts Martha’s Vineyard Family Campground - Courtesy of campmv.com Most people know Massachusetts for its important role in American history, its sports teams, universities, delicious seafood, and, of course, Boston, dubbed the “Hub of the Universe.” But the most populous state in New England is also home to prime camping opportunities for outdoor lovers. From seaside campgrounds on Cape Cod to the scenic woodlands of the Berkshires to bustling RV parks just outside of Boston to the unique experience of camping on the Boston Harbor Islands, Massachusetts has a little something for everyone. Sleep under forest canopies in the Berkshires, or near the beach on Cape Cod. Campgrounds vary in what they offer, from showers and flush toilets to R.V. sites offering electric and water hook-ups. You can also try island camping, yurts, cabins, or a hike-in area. Spacious Skies Minute Man Campground - Littleton - Spacious Skies Minute Man Campground is a peaceful campground located in a piney forest grove in historic Littleton, Massachusetts, set between two National Historic Parks and famed Walden Pond, and just a short drive or ride on public transit into Boston. Relax by the heated pool, hang in the rec hall, send the kids to the playground, or play fetch at one of the dog runs. The camp store carries many convenience items and treats, and nearby restaurants offer both takeout and delivery. (Starting at $64 a night) Martha’s Vineyard Family Campground - Martha’s Vineyard - Camping on Martha’s Vineyard doesn’t get much better than Martha Vineyard’s Family Campground. Although the campground is geared towards RV campers with a wide range of full-hookup RV sites suitable for RVs up to 40’, tent camping and even cabin rentals are both also offered. All these campsites are located in a quiet, wooded setting with each site receiving plenty of shade during the day. This top-rated Massachusetts campground is just a hop, skip, and a jump away from everything that Martha’s Vineyard has to offer, including its world-class dining, beautiful beaches, and pocketful of adorable small towns. (Starting at $63 a night) #4 VirginiaWalnut Hills Campground and RV Park - Courtesy of Campspot There are many campgrounds in the state of VA that have all sorts of activities aimed to keep the whole family enjoying their vacation and experiencing quality family time together. From waterfront to mountaintop camping Virginia offers it all. It has one of the most varied and beautiful landscapes of any state in the U.S. Whether you’ve got your own RV camper or plan to rough it in a tent, making sure your family has a safe, clean, and comfortable place to call home-base is of utmost importance. Harpers Ferry Adventure Center - Purcellville - is all about non-stop activities, exciting challenges, and family fun. Camping options include cabins, riverside tent sites, mountaintop tent sites, and mountaintop platform camping (raised wooden platforms to put your tent on to keep it level and off the wet ground). The most difficult part of staying at Harpers Ferry will be choosing which activities to do as a family – there are so many choices. From whitewater tubing to zip lines and ropes courses – there is something for every age, ability, and daring level in your group. There is also an adventure day camp for kids ages 9-14 that includes activities specifically tailored to that age group. (Starting at $48 a night) Walnut Hills Campground and RV Park - Staunton - Pitch a tent, have a fire, and create a memory with your family. Camp in the shadows of 250-year-old locust and walnut trees in Virginia's beautiful Shenandoah Valley. Kids can fish in the pond, play in the game room or swim in the pool. Visit nearby attractions, such as Woodrow Wilson Birthplace, New Market Battlefield State Historical Park, Monticello, Natural Bridge, Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive, Frontier Culture Museum and countless antique shops and flea markets. (Starting at $30 a night) #3 New YorkTriple R Camping Resort - Franklinville - Courtesy of Campspot The ‘Big Apple’ state is more famous for its bustling cities and tall skyscrapers than its natural areas and camping reservations, however, it is one of the best states for families planning a camping trip in the US. New York comes in third place for family-suited activities, with 1,733 family-friendly things to do throughout the state. Only 16.2% of all campgrounds in New York are family-friendly, which is fewer than in most states we looked at, however, New York has more tagged Instagram posts than any other state. New York has 1,997 family-friendly hikes, and the highest safety score out of our top three, at 61.7/100. North Pole Resorts - Wilmington - If you like to do your camping in the Adirondacks, then North Pole Resorts are for you! This family ran resort is a camper’s paradise located right on the edges of the Ausable River in the Adirondacks and also located near Lake Placid. Bring your tents, and RVs, or rent a cabin at this awesome resort. For the kids you will find two swimming pools, two playgrounds, mining experiences (both gemstones and fossils), biking, an arcade, mini golf, boat rentals, and more! (Starting at $40 a night) Triple R Camping Resort - Franklinville - Triple R sets a new standard for camping. They take pride in being the cleanest park with many amenities, beautiful views, and pet-friendly accommodations. Come have dinner on their new patio with a hot tub, tiki tables, palm trees, and splash ground called LeeKee Lagoon. Other fun activities include gem mining, corn hole, guest DJs, live music, ceramics, fireworks, and bubble ball. This is a great campground for kids. (Starting at $30 a night) #2 California Santa Cruz Redwoods RV Resort - Courtesy of Campspot One of the US’ most-visited states, famous for its beaches, sunshine, and for being the home of Hollywood. The coastal state is one of the US’ best locations for family camping fun, coming in second place out of all states we looked at. California is home to more family-friendly things to do than any other state we looked at except Florida, at 3,210. California is in the top five states for family-friendly campgrounds, with 34.2% of all campgrounds in the state listed as family-friendly on Tripadvisor. The second most-Instagrammed state, there are 97.8 million posts with #california on Instagram. For families who love keeping active, California has the most family-friendly hiking trails of all states, at 4,383. Lake Siskiyou Resort & Camp - Mt Shasta - This family campsite is has a true gem of a lake, a jewel set at the foot of Mount Shasta at 3,181 feet, the prettiest lake on the I-5 corridor in California. The lake level is almost always full (because it was built for recreation, not water storage) and offers a variety of quality recreation options, with great swimming, low-speed boating, and fishing. The campground complexes are huge, yet they are tucked into the forest so visitors don’t get their styles cramped. (Starting at $36 a night) Santa Cruz Redwoods RV Resort - Felton - 2022 Campspot Awards Winner: Top Campground in USA, Most Popular in USA. Santa Cruz Redwoods RV Resort is nestled in the California Redwoods of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Situated on the beautiful San Lorenzo River and backed by Henry Cowell State Park, this clean and well maintained RV Park and campground offers guests a year-round, family-oriented place to relax or explore the great outdoors. (Starting at $60 a night) #1 Florida The state, popular among vacationers, retirees and spring breakers is also the best location in the country for families looking for a camping adventure. Florida has the most family-friendly things to do out of all states. 40.9% of all campgrounds in Florida are family-friendly style sites, which is a higher percentage than any other state on our list except Hawaii. Florida is the third most-Instagrammed state on our list, with 65.8 million posts including the hashtag #florida, and Florida comes in third for the most family-friendly hiking trails, at 1,662.Camp N Water Campground - Homosassa - Camp N Water is hidden away on a tree shaded bank of the Homosassa River, its a quaint RV Campground for those who prefer the relaxed and congenial atmosphere of a natural setting. This fully equipped campground is a short drive from major and local attractions in Citrus County, Florida. (Starting at $60 a night) The St Augustine Beach KOA Holiday - St. Augustine is placed in Anastasia Island within a walk of the beach and offers a large selection of tent pitches, RV sites and deluxe cabins. All year round your child can enjoy the site’s outdoor pool and games area and there’s even a dog park available! (Starting at $60 a night) To read more about their study and see the rest of the list visit The Family Vacation Guide.
Bike Tours for Everyone
With 2022 lining up to be the busiest travel season ever, those who haven’t booked a summer vacation yet may already feel they are missing out. For those still undecided on where to go this summer (or hesitant to travel too far from home) we have compiled a list of biking tour destinations that explore the natural wonders and culture of America.Intrepid ToursTeddy Bear Cove Fairhaven Bellingham Bay Washington Overlooking San Juan Islands - IStock / Seastock Cycle Washington's San Juan Islands - Combine cycling, stunning coastline, relaxed island life and the best that western Washington has to offer. Ride quiet roads from delightful fishing villages to the pristine waters separating the USA from Canada. With great weather and scenery and marine wildlife second to none, the San Juan Islands are a cyclist's paradise. Off the bike you’ll find fascinating history, friendly locals and amazing cuisine – this cycling adventure takes in the best of it all at a pace everyone can enjoy. If you're looking for an unforgettable cycling vacation away from the stresses of everyday life, then this is it. Cycle Sonoma & the Napa Valley - Combine wine, rugged coastline and the best Northern California has to offer as you cycle from stunning wine country to epic redwood forests and on to the rugged Pacific Ocean coast. With great weather, breathtaking scenery and over 500 vineyards, the valleys of Napa and Sonoma are a cyclist's paradise. Off the bike, you’ll find wine tastings, amazing cuisine and a wealth of history to experience, and this cycling adventure takes in the best of it at a pace set to enjoy rather than race, making it a trip for every rider. If you're looking for an unforgettable vacation for all five of your senses, look no further. Cycle Utah: Bryce & Zion National Parks - Combine cycling, stunning rugged landscapes and laidback Southwestern life and you get some of the best that Southern Utah has to offer. Ride winding roads through iconic Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks, past red rock canyons, sandstone cliffs and through sprawling forests, or escape the crowds and enjoy the endless vistas of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and Snow Canyon State Park. With great weather and scenery, the cycling here is second to none. Off the bike you’ll find some of the country’s best hiking as well as fascinating history, friendly locals and authentic cuisine – this cycling adventure takes in the best of it all at a pace everyone can enjoy.Budget Travel readers get 15% OFF Use Intrepid coupon code: 691016 Family Tours Adventure Cycling Association is offering its Family Adventure tours in summer 2022, with two departures of the new Cape Cod Family Adventure and one departure of the Idaho Trails Family Adventure. Family Adventure tours are designed to help introduce parents and their children to the transformative power of bike travel with the support of tour leaders, catered meals, accommodations, luggage transport, and more. Departures are available in July, starting at $699 per adult and $499 per child. On Adventure Cycling’s Family Adventure tours, children must be accompanied by adults, and adults must be accompanied by children – parents, aunts and uncles, grandparents, and groups of friends with their children are all welcome. Children must be between the ages of 8 and 17 years old at the time of the tour. Tour highlights include: Cape Cod Family Adventure (new), July 9-12 and July 14-17: Experience four action-packed days while exploring beautiful Cape Cod, Massachusetts, from Provincetown, at its northern tip, to Upper Mill Pond, near Brewster. At the core of the trip is nearly 100 miles of great cycling, including traffic-free paved trails such as the Cape Cod Rail Trail and the Head of the Meadow Trail. Participants can even take some time off the bike to go swimming and hiking, and try stand-up paddleboarding. Starts at $699 per adult and $499 per child. Idaho Trails Family Adventure, July 17-22: On this six-day tour, ride through the gentle terrain and gorgeous scenery of the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes as it follows an abandoned Union Pacific Railroad right-of-way past lakes between the Silver Valley, near the Montana border, and Plummer, not far from the Washington border. Also spend a day on the Route of the Hiawatha, which originates in Montana and then crosses the state line into Idaho in the middle of the 1.7-mile-long Taft Tunnel. Starts at $1,099 per adult and $799 per child. To find out more about Adventure Cycling’s Family Adventure tours, read their full descriptions and register, visit their site. Courtesy of VBT Bicycling Vacations Tour operator VBT Bicycling Vacations has compiled a list of their legendary biking destinations in the US. Some of these destinations have been driven by and flown over for decades, which means fewer crowds exploring the road less traveled. If biking isn't your thing check out their sister company Country Walkers which offers walking tours. E-bikes are available on all VBT itineraries, and an added bonus: since VBT take care of all the logistics, there’s less stress involved when it comes to planning (in case the past two years have left one a little rusty in that department!). Mississippi: The Natchez Trace (VBT, Guided) – ponder the legacy of the Civil War at the ruins of the Windsor Plantation, relive the Siege of Vicksburg with a local historian on a guided tour of Vicksbury National Military Park, visit one of the largest Native American ceremonial sites Emerald Mound, and marvel at stately antebellum homes. Maine: Bar Harbor & Acadia National Park (VBT, Self-Guided) – explore Acadia National Park, browse Bar Harbor’s shops and art galleries, ride through unspoiled landscape of rugged coastline, forested coves and idyllic fishing harbors, and sample mouth-watering dishes infused with Maine blueberries. California: Wine Country & the Pacific Coast (VBT, Guided) – enjoy private tastings at some of the most renowned wineries in the region, bike along the Pacific coastline and into the rolling countryside blanketed with grapevines, explore Healdsburg and some of the most charming Spanish Colonial towns in the West, cycle the Napa Valley Trail, and more. Arizona: Saguaro National Park & the Sonora Desert (VBT, Guided) – soak in sprawling desert landscapes and ride across vast, versatile ranges. Enjoy picnics and tastings in winery row, bike among the cacti of Saguaro National Park and Tumacácori National Historical Park, and savor local cuisine infused with Native American, Spanish, Mexican and Anglo-American influences
Win a 7-night stay in Colorado & $5,000 cash!