Fall Family Travel Deals for Columbus Day Weekend and Beyond


Columbus Day Weekend and Fall Getaways

With the stress-inducing routines of school just getting under way, families may be looking for Columbus Day weekend getaways that are easy to undertake.  Washington D.C. is pleasantly cool in early fall, so you can enjoy its many free attractions without overheating.  October is peak foliage season in colorful upstate New York and Vermont, both easy to reach via Amtrak.  The beach can still be glorious this time of year, perfect for walks and building sand castle even if the water is chilly.  California families can consider an overnight trip to Los Angeles, where they can catch the Cleopatra Exhibition and spend the night in a stylish downtown hotel.  If you are not quite ready to part with your flip-flops and say goodbye to summer, the Riviera Nayarit in Mexico is offering real bargains right up until Christmas Day.

Washington, D.C.

The Presidential election is on the horizon, and The Liaison Capitol Hill, An Affinia Hotel, in Washington, D.C., invites guests of all political affiliations to score a bargain.  The 'Swing Into the Election' package starts at $159 per night and includes a newly redesigned room for two adults and up to three kids under 18, two welcome cocktails, First Lady cookies and milk (Michelle Obama's White and Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies or Ann Romney's M&M's Cookies), a walking tour kit and more.  The offer is available for travel through Jan. 17, 2013 and must be booked by Election Day, Nov. 6, 2011.  To book visit www.affinia/election or call 866-246-2203 and mention promo code VOTE12.

Another good hotel for families is the newly renovated all-suite Capitol Hill Hotel, located in the heart of the Capitol Hill Historic District.  The spacious accommodations include daily complimentary breakfast and Wi-Fi.  If you have four nights to spare, the hotel is offering a special deal, ‘Because 3 nights are not enough − get the 4th night free’, which gives you one free night when you pay for three.

The Beach

The Westport Inn is just an hour drive from midtown Manhattan.  This 117-room boutique hotel is luxurious, with high-definition televisions, ritzy linens and fancy bath products, while remaining kid-friendly.  The indoor pool, complimentary bikes and proximity to Sherwood Island State Park, with its Long Island Sound beach and interactive nature center, make it a winner for the whole family.  The Maritime Aquarium Adventure Package includes a big room, 4 tickets to the nearby Norwalk Aquarium with IMAX tickets, and a $50 voucher for breakfast at the hotel, starting at $199 per family per night.

Maine’s nickname, ‘Vacationland’, is well deserved, but summer can be crowded and expensive here.  Fall is a beautiful time to visit, when crowds are non-existent. Ogunquit is about a 90-minute drive from the Boston area.  This small coastal community is known for its family-friendly art and food scene.  Harvestfest is the town’s fall celebration that takes place from October 13th and 14th.  A pumpkin stroll, Native American Pow-Wow, live music, a classic car show and lots of lobster roll specials are just part of the fun.  The Meadowmere Resort has a Harvestfest Celebration package where a room rates start at just $139.95 per night.  While you’re in the area, visit nearby Old Orchard Beach, a Mommy Poppins favorite, for a game of mini-golf and a seaside ice cream cone.

Train Discounts
Amtrak is offering a ‘buy one get one free’ train ticket for adults from New York City to Ticonderoga, New York in the scenic Adirondacks.  Kids 2-15 ride for half the regular adult fare.  You can explore historic Fort Ticonderoga and enjoy the natural beauty of the area. This discount is valid through October.
If you choose to ride the rails to play in the leaves in Vermont, Amtrak’s Visit Vermont deal treats you to 20% off adult fares until October 31st, with kids riding at half fare. 

West Coast Deal

West Coast families may want to visit the California Science Center in Downtown Los Angeles for the Cleopatra Exhibition.  The Queen of Egypt Package at the Omni Los Angeles Hotel at California Plaza includes room, 2 VIP tickets to the exhibition, valet parking and more, starting at $199 per night, per room, valid through December 28th.

Tropical Paradise

Escape to Mexico’s Riviera Nayarit on the Pacific coast, easily accessible from the Puerto Vallarta International Airport.  The Hotel Paradise Village Beach Resort & Spa is offering fantastic family value with the  'Last Minute Deal' promotion. This all-inclusive package starts at $104 per person per night based on a double occupancy, valid through December 25.  Two kids under twelve are free, so a family of four can vacation starting at $208 per night.  This includes three daily meals, free in-room Wi-Fi, free non-motorized water sports and all taxes and gratuities.   Stay for three nights and receive a $200 resort credit to boot. Reserve online at or by phone at 1-866-334-6080. For more information on this serene part of Mexico, visit




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