Polynesian Culture is what Makes a Hawaiian Vacation so Special

When you rent a Hawaiian timeshare and enjoy a vacation in the beautiful Hawaiian Islands, you soon realize that Polynesian culture is one of the things that makes a vacation in Hawaii so special. Each island has its own cultural experiences to offer its visitors. And by far the most popular and most comprehensive way to learn about Polynesian culture is on Oahu at the Polynesian Cultural Center.

Almost 35 million people have visited the Polynesian Cultural Center, located on 42 acres on the North Shore of Oahu, since its opening in 1963. This world-famous "cultural theme park" provides visitors with fun and entertainment while teaching about the cultures and people of Polynesia, which covers almost 12 million square miles of the south Pacific.

The word Polynesia actually means "many islands." Not only are Hawaiians represented at the Center, but you'll also encounter the Polynesian culture of the islands of Samoa, Fiji, Aotearoa (Maori New Zealand), the Marquesas, Tahiti, and Tonga, each in its own village setting. As you visit the various villages you'll have an opportunity to interact with native people and enjoy arts and crafts, cooking demonstrations and even language lessons.

The Center also puts on several entertaining shows. The Canoe Pageant, presented every afternoon, acts out five thousand years of legend and lore, history and myths in a memorable, rousing show, involving almost 50 Polynesians in traditional costumes. The spectacular night show, "Horizons," features over 100 native performers in the largest Polynesian revue of song and dance in the world. And you won't want to miss the newest evening show, "Ha - Breath of Life," which beautifully tells Polynesia's ancient story. The entire family will be awed by the stunning "fire stick" performances.

The Polynesian Cultural Center is especially geared for the family. The Ohana Adventures (Ohana means "family") includes special activities for the keikis (children) in your group. Your youngsters will delight in hula lessons, Tongan shuffleboard and even Tahitian fishing. And they'll proudly show off their Marquesas cultural tattoo (don't worry - it's temporary). At the end of the day your little keiki will have learned words from each island's language, have crafts to take home, and with a passport stamped at each village, even collect a free prize.

Visitors who have been to the Polynesian Cultural Center suggest planning a two-day visit. The first day you can take guided tours, which provide information and answers to your questions. The second day you can go back and explore the Center on your own, returning to places where you'd like to spend more time. With your Oahu timeshare as a hub, time is all yours, and you can spend as much of it as you like at special places like the Polynesian Cultural Center.

Travel to London this Spring

PhotobucketSpring is a great time to visit London, England. Although the weather can be changeable, you'll avoid the summer crowds and hiked up prices. Those in the know advise renting a timeshare in London between March and June. During this time you'll get the "most manageable off-season weather," off-season prices, shorter lines at most of the attractions, and London in full spring glory. You can even plan a timeshare exchange in other areas of England and take an easy train ride into the capital city.

There are a multitude of quintessential things to do and see in London. A must-see, of course, is Buckingham Palace (see photo). This is the official residence of Queen Elizabeth II when she is in London. (A flag will fly above Buckingham Palace if the Queen is in town.) Tours of the Palace are available during the summer. However, if you're visiting London in the off-season, you'll still get a thrill out of watching the Buckingham Palace changing of the guards. If you're lucky you might even be there on a day to see the Queen's magnificent horse guard march out.

The Tower of London is another popular attraction. Here you can have an entertaining tour by a Beefeater and hear about the incarceration of historical figures, the murders of future kings, and political beheadings. Besides this rather infamous entertainment, you'll also have the unique opportunity to see the Crown Jewels up-close and personal, among them the diamond-encrusted Coronation Crown. And imagine seeing a sparkling red ruby almost the size of a hen's egg.

A cruise on the Thames River will yield even more famous London attractions. You'll motor directly under the Tower Bridge, past a replica of Shakespeare's Globe Theater, past the apartments where Dickens penned many a novel, and past the building where the pirate Captain Kidd was hung. You'll arrive in Greenwhich where you'll see the clipper Cutty Sark, and have the unique experience of straddling two time zones as you stand where Greenwhich Mean Time establishes time as it is observed by the entire world.

The Swedish pop group ABBA, the top-selling band of the '70s, is being celebrated with a touring exhibition in London from January through the end of March, 2010. To resurrect the magic of ABBA, "ABBAWorld" creates an interactive and audio-visual exhibition using state-of-the-art multimedia technology, including a stunning 3-D holographic stage show where visitors can actually "perform" with the pop icons.

So plan a timeshare rental or exchange in England and give your family a wonderfully unique vacation. And be sure to ride London's ubiquitous red double-decker buses while you're there. Seat the kids on the top deck in the very front for a real thrill, especially when the bus turns corners!

Family Travel: Places Kids Should See – American Civil War History

One of the most important events in America's history for kids to learn about is the American Civil War. Continuing our series "Places Every Kid Should See," we'll explore a couple of destinations where you can rent a timeshare and allow your kids to actually see, hear and feel what the Civil War was like.

Rent a Pennsylvania timeshare and drive to Gettysburg to visit the site of the most famous battle of the Civil War. Fought over 3 days in 1863, this battle had the largest number of casualties in the Civil War. There are a number of ways by which your kids can explore the battlefield and learn about this turning point in American history.

Ranger programs with campfire talks and living history events are a way for your kids to become immersed in the sites and sounds of this historic Civil War battle. Or you can take a bus tour that is narrated by licensed Gettysburg guides. A self-guided driving tour is another option, using CDs and photo guidebooks. A unique way for your kids to tour the historic battlefield is on horseback. Choose guided horseback riding tours from either the National Riding Stables or Hickory Hollow Horse Farm for an experience your kids will never forget.

While at Gettysburg, why not take a quick detour from the Civil War, and visit the Eisenhower Farm. Adjacent to the Gettysburg Battlefield, this farm served as a weekend retreat for President Dwight D. Eisenhower, and was also a favorite place for him to meet with world leaders. Your kids will have fun joining a park ranger and exploring 1950's Secret Service operations.

The U.S.S. Monitor was the first ironclad warship ever built by the United States. In 1862 the first ever naval battle between two ironclad warships occurred when the U.S.S. Monitor clashed with the Confederate States Navy's C.S.S. Virginia. That event "marked the turning point in the history of modern warfare and the way war is waged at sea," as explained by the Mariner's Museum in Newport News, VA. Rent a timeshare in Williamsburg and take the short 30 mile drive to Newport News, where the museum houses the 65,000 sq ft U.S.S. Monitor Center, close to where the encounter between the two famous ships actually took place. Here your kids can climb through a full-scale replica of the U.S.S. Monitor, and experience the drama of the battle in a high-definition theater.

(Photo from old-picture.com)

Top 5 Places to Visit on Your Hawaiian Vacation

The Big Island of Hawaii is an absolutely amazing place to plan a family vacation. Rent a budget timeshare here and explore an island that runs from desert to rain forest, and includes everything from coffee plantations to volcanoes. We have listed the top 5 places to visit on the Big Island to help you with your vacation planning.

  1. The Volcanoes National Park, established in 1916, showcases the results of hundreds of thousands of years of volcanic activity that has created a unique land with complex ecosystems. Visitors learn about Kilauea, one of the world's most active volcanoes, which has been erupting constantly for two decades, and about Moana Loa, the earth's most massive volcano.

    You'll appreciate the fact that you are in an area of active volcano eruptions when you drive the Chain of Craters Road which used to take visitors to a park entrance, but that portion of the road is now covered by hardened lava flow. And there are areas of slow moving lava that you'll be able to approach fairly closely.

  2. Puuhonua O' Honaunau, the City of Refuge on the Kona Coast, was designated a National Historic Park in 1961. It is the best preserved of Hawaii's ancient places, covering 182 acres. Visitors here not only see fascinating archeological sites, but can watch builders make out-rigger canoes using ancient methods, and enjoy exciting demonstrations of ancient Hawaiian games such as spear throwing.

  3. Parker Ranch, near Wiamea, is one of the largest working cattle ranches in the United States, covering 175,000 acres. Founded in 1847 it is also one of the country's oldest ranches. The ranch raises 30,000 Angus cattle, marketed under the Parker Ranch Angus Pride Brand label. Join a Paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) for a fun horseback riding tour of the ranch. ATV tours are also available, as are tours of the historic ranch buildings.

  4. The Rainbow Falls, Waianuenue, is a stunning waterfall in Hilo. Cascading for 80 feet, it is 100 feet in diameter. The huge volume water plunges over a lava cave, and creates mists where rainbows dance in the sun. It is accessed through the Wailuku River State Park, which also contains the Peʻepeʻe Falls and an area called the Boiling Pots, a series of small falls and pools.

  5. The Kona coffee plantations are situated in the uplands of Holualoa and Moana Loa near Kona. Almost 600 coffee farms take advantage of the rich volcanic soil of this area to produce the prized Hawaiian coffee bean. In February and March you'll see the coffee trees covered in white blossoms known as "Kona Snow." In August the red coffee "cherries" begin to ripen, and each coffee tree will be picked several times between August and January, a prime time to tour the coffee plantations.


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Lake Tahoe Vacation: Where to Ski and What to Do

cool skiing Pictures, Images and PhotosWhen you plan a ski vacation to Lake Tahoe you get much more than just world-class skiing. Rent a timeshare and enjoy skiing at more ski resorts and terrain than any other ski destination in North America. Lake Tahoe offers a mind-boggling array of choices of things to do in two different states. And to top it off, this year, thanks to an El Nino weather pattern, the area has seen record snowfall.

Located along the border between California and Nevada, this is the largest fresh-water alpine lake in North America. Surrounded on all sides by the Sierra Mountains, Lake Tahoe is known for its spectacular scenery, and for the stunning clarity of its deep blue water. Seven major ski resorts and a number of smaller ones are located around the lake, offering more than 100 lifts and more than 500 runs over 17,000 acres of terrain.

Heavenly Valley Mountain Resort is Lake Tahoe's largest ski resort with 4800 acres spread over California and Nevada. It's also Tahoe's highest ski resort with a peak elevation of 10,067 feet. With an average snowfall of 360 inches, the ski season here often runs into late April or even early May. See South Lake Tahoe timeshares.

Tahoe's second largest ski area is Squaw Valley, located in Olympic Valley on the California side. It was the site of the 1960 Winter Olympics, and is known for being one of the most high-concept ski areas in the U.S., including having the only funitel, a type of aerial lift, in the country.

One of Tahoe's smallest ski areas is Donner Ski Ranch, a family-owned and operated ski area on Donner Summit. Offering good skiing for beginners and intermediate skiers, there are also 16 advanced runs. This ski area is significant because it is located near Donner Memorial State Park which tells the story of the ill-fated Donner Party who became trapped in heavy snows during the winter of 1845-1847. Here you can visit the Emigrant Trail Museum that tells their story, and see Pioneer Monument dedicated to them.

Besides downhill skiing, winter sports enthusiasts will find plenty of opportunity for other activities in the Lake Tahoe area such as cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling. You can take a break from the snow and enjoy a cruise on America's second deepest lake by riding one of the lake paddle-wheel boats that take visitors across to beautiful Emerald Bay. Stateline, the Nevada town immediately over the Nevada border, offers gambling casinos and headliner shows, major restaurants, and lots of nightlife.

See all Lake Tahoe Nevada side timeshares.
See all Lake Tahoe California side timeshares.

Travel to Kauai: The Garden Island

Kauai is called the Garden Island of Hawaii for good reason. Rent a budget timeshare here and plan your 2010 family vacation to the most beautiful of all of the Hawaiian Islands. At just 10 square miles you can rent timeshares anywhere on the island and still have easy access to all there is to see and do.

First-time and frequent visitors alike all have the same reaction to Kauai - "How can so much beauty be found in one place?" On Kauai the best tourist-attractions are those created by Mother Nature herself. In order to travel about the island, renting a car is the best suggestion. There are bus tours available, although your choices of sightseeing stops are limited, of course. You'll also find many opportunities for walking tours and hiking, as well as sightseeing by boat and even helicopter.

The Alakai Wilderness Preserve is a natural preserve of bog land. Located on a plateau, this wetlands area is created by its proximity to Mount Wai'ale'ale, one of the wettest places on earth. Here you can hike the mist-shrouded Alakai Wilderness Trail through a unique ecosystem where you'll discover rare plants and birds. If you manage the entire 3.5 miles, the lookout at the end of the trail will reward you with a spectacular view of famous Hanalei Bay in the distance, the sight of several sparkling waterfalls, and a chance to actually walk through clouds.

Breathtaking Wiamea Canyon is known as the "Grand Canyon of the Pacific," so called because the vistas of this 3,000 ft. deep canyon go on for miles, reminding many of the panoramic views Arizona's Grand Canyon. The main road is easy to drive and will take you to several lookouts, ending at Kokee State Park. Many hiking trails, appropriate for both beginners and advanced hikers, will take you further into the magnificent interior.

The awe-inspiring views of the incredible Napali Coast along Kauai's North Shore can be enjoyed by hiking along the Kalalau Trail, an 11-mile trail that crosses five different valleys and ends at secluded Kalalau Beach. Be warned that this challenging and sometimes dangerous trail is best undertaken by advanced hikers, and taking a trail guide is encouraged. Many hikers break the trail up into two days, setting up camp on the beach at Hanakapiai. Zodiac boat tours and kayaking trips will also provide you with gorgeous views of the Napali Coast. And for an especially fun experience take a helicopter tour to see enchanting scenic Napali areas not accessible by land or water.

See all Kauai timeshares.

Rent an Anaheim Timeshare for Disney's California Food and Wine Festival

Disneyland for Grown-ups! Rent a budget timeshare in Anaheim, and enjoy a special Disneyland event specifically designed for guests over 21. Disney's California Food and Wine Festival will be held April 16 - May 31, 2010, in Disney's California Adventure Park. This festival showcases the delectable tastes of California, including its many special wines.

Complimentary activities, food and wine samplings, and Signature events are all part of the festival. Festival highlights include the "Taste of California" Marketplace" located on Stage 12 in the Hollywood Pictures Backlot, the "Hollywood and Wines Lounge" for wine by the glass, and the "Wine Seller" for purchase of full bottles.

You'll be able to attend exciting seminars and demonstrations by some of your favorite celebrity chefs at both the Festival Showplace and the Sunshine Plaza. Other highlights include Culinary Demonstrations at the Bountiful Valley Farm and Pacific Wharf, along with Wine, Beer and Spirits Tasting Seminars. Educational and Lifestyle Seminars will be hosted at the lower patio of the Golden Vine Winery and Pacific Wharf Stage.

Open for advance reservation booking beginning February 16, 2010, are the Festival's Signature Events. These special events include "Taste Food - Wine - Life," a wine and food tasting that is the most anticipated event of the Festival. At "Sweet Sunday" one of several acclaimed pastry chefs will teach you how to make three signature desserts. "Winemaker Dinners" allows you the unique opportunity to meet various California master winemakers. And at the "Napa Rose Cooking School" Executive Chef Andrew Sutton will help you create your own culinary masterpiece.

These experiences are so exciting it'll be hard for you to wait until you're back home to try out all that you learned and experienced. But why wait? Your wonderful timeshare provides you with a fully equipped kitchen - so get started now! Bon Appetit!

Family Vacation in Beautiful Central America

It's time to plan a family vacation to explore a couple of countries in beautiful Central America - Costa Rica and Belize. Costa Rica, which translates as "Rich Coast," boasts coasts and beaches on both the east (the Caribbean) and the west (the Pacific Ocean.) Close to 25% of this country's land area is in protected national parks and reserves, the largest percentage of such protected areas in the world.

For vacationers that translates into an abundance of pristine places to explore flora and fauna. The Corcovado National Park is internationally renowned for its biodiversity, including big cats and tapirs. The Tortuguero National Park is home to several monkey species, and is the most important nesting site in the world for the endangered green turtle. Besides 400 types of birds and over 100 species of mammals, the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is home to 2,000 plant species, including hundreds of beautiful orchids.

Rent a budget timeshare at Melia Vacation Club Paradisus in Playa Conchal and give your family an exciting vacation exploring fascinating Costa Rica.

Belize was formally known as British Honduras, and is the only Central American country where English is the official language. A number of natural factors contribute to the astounding growth of tourism in Belize. Both the sunny climate and the Belize Barrier Reef make this country a perfect beach vacation destination. The offshore Cayes (islands) offer excellent fishing, scuba diving and snorkeling, and safe waters for boating.

The country's numerous rivers give vacationers other opportunities for water activities including rafting and kayaking. Tours are available to various jungle and wildlife preserves as well as Maya ruins. Belize also has the largest cave system in Central America.

Rent a Belize timeshare at Captain Morgan's Vacation Beach Club (see photo above) on a white sand beach on Ambergris Caye and explore alluring Belize.

Family Travel: Places Kids Should See – Colonial Virginia

Colonial Williamsburg Pictures, Images and PhotosThis is the third in our series "Places Every Kid Should See" - the Historic Triangle of Colonial Virginia: Williamsburg, Jamestown and Yorktown. Rent a budget timeshare at Williamsburg and take the family back to America's beginnings.

Central to the core of America is its colonial period and the Revolutionary War. There's no better way for kids to really understand how America came to be, and have fun at the same time, than to walk the very streets, enter the very buildings, and basically breathe the same air as did America's forefathers.

Jamestown
Nicely situated in an easy-to-get-to grouping are three of the most famous, and most important, towns to America's early history. Jamestown, Virginia, was established in 1607 by Captain John Smith as the first permanent English settlement on American soil. Located on an island in the James River, Historic Jamestowne and the Jamestown Settlement museum, tell the story, through living history sites, films and tours, of the settlers who founded Jamestown and of the Powhattan Indians they encountered. Your kids can explore a reproduction of 1607 Fort James and see an Indian village. They'll also be able to actually board moored replicas of three sailing ships that brought settlers and supplies to Jamestown.

Colonial Williamsburg
Just 11 miles from Jamestown is Colonial Williamsburg. Here your kids will be able to see many of the actual buildings that made up Virginia's capital and the social hub of the colony. Your kids will have fun interacting with the interpreters who dress, and even speak, as the colonists did. The kids can take a tour of the capitol, the actual building that housed the colonial government. They can actually sit at tables in Raleigh Tavern where George Washington sat. They can tour the home of George Wyeth where Thomas Jefferson stayed as a young man attending William and Mary College, also on site at Williamsburg. And your kids can walk the very street strolled by Thomas Jefferson on his many visits to the Governor's Palace to see the governor of colonial Virginia, appointed by the British king.

Yorktown
Drive on down the scenic Colonial Parkway for just another 13 miles and you'll come to Yorktown. Here your kids will see the story of America come full circle as they visit the Yorktown Battlefield where British General Cornwallis surrendered to General George Washington, ending the Revolutionary War. A variety of activities designed just for kids are available, including the Young Soldiers program where your kids can join a costumed interpreter and experience the siege of Yorktown.

By renting a Williamsburg timeshare you'll have the perfect hub from which to help your kids explore the very beginnings of America.

Colorado Timeshares in Ski Country USA

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Ski Country U.S.A. - that's Colorado. With the spectacular Rocky Mountains as its central spine, Colorado offers the best skiing in the country. By renting a Colorado timeshare you and your family and friends can hit the slopes that are the envy of the skiing world, while still staying on a budget. Ski resorts abound in Colorado, so to make your selection of a budget timeshare easier we're listing a few for you here.

Breckenridge
The Grand Timber Lodge is a ski-in, ski-out resort located next to the Snowflake Chairlift. It's just a short stroll from historic downtown Breckenridge where you'll find restored buildings dating back to the 1800s that house great restaurants and shopping. There's plenty of après ski activities at the resort, including an indoor-outdoor swimming pool, 6 hot tubs, and an athletic center. To learn more, read a Family Winter Vacation in Breckenridge.

Vail
Built along Gore Creek, you'll enjoy the burbling winter sounds of water as it tumbles through ice at the Eagle Point Resort. This resort is known for its beautiful views, and has a free shuttle that leaves every 15 minutes to Vail's many world-class ski slopes. There are even plenty of activities on-site for the non-skiers in your group, and a large barbecue deck for grilling that sizzling steak when you cook dinner in your timeshare kitchen.

Steamboat Springs
Rent a timeshare at Worldmark Steamboat Springs Resort or Wyndham Vacation Resorts and experience the joys of skiing the Champagne Powder™ of Steamboat Springs. Both resorts offer free shuttle service to the ski runs. When off the slopes head to the town's two natural hot springs - it's great fun to soak in hot steamy water while surrounded by snow.

Pagosa Springs
Located in southwest Colorado the Wyndham Pagosa Resort is a short drive from the breathtaking Rocky Mountain scenery of Wolf Creek Ski Area. Less than an hour away is Hermosa Ski Bowl and just over an hour's drive is the world-class skiing of Purgatory Ski Resort. Built on an astounding 18,000 acres, this resort also offers cross-country skiing and snowmobiling.

Rent a timeshare at one of the Colorado timeshares listed above, or from the many other Colorado ski resorts available and get ready for the spectacular skiing that only Colorado can offer!

Easter Vacation Planning – Top Easter Parades

Easter Parades! You know spring has arrived when you munch chocolate bunny ears and watch parades of people decked out in their bright and colorful finest. There are so many wonderful Easter parades across the country, that it'll be easy to find the perfect budget timeshare to rent where you can enjoy this welcoming of spring. We've listed a few Easter parades here to help you plan your family Easter vacation.

New York City
The most famous Easter Parade in the country marches down 5th Avenue in New York City (see photo). Rent a New York City timeshare and watch the parade that actually had a movie named after it ("Easter Parade" starring Judy Garland and Fred Astaire). The quintessential Easter parade song "In My Easter Bonnet (With all the Frills Upon It)" came from this movie. This parade has been an annual NYC tradition since Civil War days, and features marchers in some of the most extravagant Easter hats you'll ever see.

Atlantic City, New Jersey
The Easter parade in Atlantic City is actually the oldest one in the country. Rent a timeshare in Atlantic City and watch this Easter parade "From the Beach to the Bay." Part of the route will take the parade right along the Atlantic City Boardwalk.

New Orleans
As usual, the Crescent City pulls out all the stops, having more than one Easter parade, and they're all "interactive." Rent a New Orleans timeshare and enjoy not one, but two French Quarter Easter parades. The Historic French Quarter Parade marches down Bourbon Street Easter morning, after which you can join the participants as they attend Easter mass at St. Louis Cathedral. The Chris Owens Easter Parade winds its way through the French Quarter in the afternoon, but only after you've enjoyed a continental breakfast with the parade's participants at the Astor Crowne Hotel Ballroom.

And New Orleans isn't done yet - The St. Charles Easter Parade begins an entire day of Easter fun and frolic along beautiful St. Charles Avenue. Instead of just watching this parade, you're invited to ride in a carriage. Your fun will start with a continental breakfast and Champaign reception complete with musical entertainment. After the parade, as a participant you'll be invited to a seated Easter dinner buffet.

San Francisco
In the City by the Bay it's The Union Street Spring Celebration and Easter Parade, which has been an eagerly anticipated annual event for almost 20 years. This Easter celebration lasts all day and includes a street fair, special performances, outdoor dining, children's activities, and, of course - Easter bonnets. Rent a San Francisco timeshare and enjoy this wonderful Easter celebration for the entire family.

(Photo provided by About.com)

Family Travel: Places Kids Should See - Hawaii

As you plan your family vacation this year, consider renting an Oahu timeshare and taking the time to teach your children about the day that President Franklin Roosevelt said "would live in infamy" by visiting Pearl Harbor. Located on Oahu, just west of Honolulu, Pearl Harbor was named because it was teeming with pearl-producing oysters until the 1800s. It is the home of a United States deep-water Naval base, and is the headquarters of the U.S. Pacific Fleet where on December 7, 1941, Japan attacked the United States starting WWII.

Many generations of Americans have been born since that fateful day, and have grown up needing a real place to touch and feel to understand the great import of what happened at Pearl Harbor. The U.S.S. Arizona Memorial is just such a place where your kids can truly become immersed in history.

The most popular attraction for visitors to Hawaii, the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial is built over the sunken battleship and its crew of 1,117, among the first to parish in the on slot of bombs dropped by Japanese planes, in the surprise attack on that peaceful Sunday morning. Nine ships were sunk and 21 were severely damaged in just minutes. The death toll reached 2350, including 68 civilians.

In 1964 the Navy base itself was recognized as a National Historic Landmark district, including not only the U.S.S. Arizona, but other ships as well. There are several different tours that you can take your kids on to spend a day at Pearl Harbor. The tours include the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial, and the U.S.S. Bowfin, a submarine that traveled over 100,000 miles and sank a total of 38 ships during WWII. Also on the tours is the U.S.S. Missouri, the last battleship ever constructed by the U.S., and famous for being the site where the Japanese signed surrender papers to end WWII in the Pacific theater.

Standing above the sunken U.S.S. Arizona, clambering through the U.S.S. Bowfin, and walking underneath the gigantic guns of the "Mighty Mo" to the spot on her decks where the Japanese Imperial Navy formally surrendered to the United States, will give your kids not only an appreciation of this time in history, but the thrilling experience of being up-close and personal to some of the United States Navy's finest ships.

See all Honolulu timeshares.

(Photo from NPS.gov)

Rent a Colorado Timeshare in Winter or Summer

Wondering where to plan your 2010 vacation? Colorado, is a spectacular winter and summer vacation destination. Rent a Colorado timeshare at the Wyndham Pagosa resort and you'll be giving your family a unique vacation they'll always remember.

Pagosa Springs is nestled along the San Juan Mountains in southwest Colorado, 30 minutes from the Continental Divide and 35 miles from the New Mexico border. This picturesque town is world famous for its hot springs, one of the largest and hottest natural springs in the world. Still celebrated for its therapeutic powers, the ancient Utes called these sulfur-rich mineral springs "Pah gosah" meaning "healing waters." The rushing San Juan River also flows through the heart of town offering exciting white-water rafting.

The Wyndham Pagosa resort sits on an incredible 18,000 acres of outdoor activity and beauty. Six tennis courts, an 18-hole miniature golf course, an 18-hole world-class golf course, and on-site lakeside fishing are just for starters. The Activity Center offers a variety of classes from watercolor painting to tai chi. Many hiking and biking trails, as well as horseback riding, will get you out into this breathtaking country.

During the winter the nearby Wolf Creek Ski Area has downhill skiing for beginners to advanced, in a truly spectacular Rocky Mountain setting. World-class skiing is available at Purgatory Ski Resort just over an hour drive away.

A 45-minute drive will get you to the town of Durango, Colorado, where you can ride the popular Silverton-Durango Narrow Gauge train. This coal-fired historic train has been in continuous operation for 127 years. During the summer the vintage train will take you on a journey from Durango to the high-mountain town of Silverton, through magnificent scenery that can only be seen by train. In the winter you can still enjoy the sites and sounds of a yesteryear train ride on its shorter Cascade Canyon winter loop.

Also an easy drive from Pagosa Springs is the world-famous Mesa Verde National Park, home of the ancient Anazazi. Visitors from around the world flock to this extraordinary area of over 4,000 known archeological sites, including 600 cliff dwellings. Guided tours will take you through some of the best preserved cliff dwellings in the United States, where you can actually climb ladders up to living areas and down into sacred kivas.

Colorado is known for its spectacular mountain scenery and year-round outdoor activities. By renting large variety of Colorado timeshares available, your family can experience the best of everything Colorado has to offer.

Timeshare Vacation Planning: Spring is in the Air

It’s time to start planning your Spring vacation. There is nothing more glorious than Spring in full bloom. The riotous explosion of color that is nature's way of celebrating a renewal of life makes us want to pack winter away. Vibrant azaleas, delicate dogwood, feathery gold forsythia, pink and white cherry blossoms - spring is spectacular. There are a number of places where you can rent a timeshare and take your family on a vacation that celebrates all of the wonders of spring.

Rent a Gatlinburg timeshare or Pigeon Forge timeshare and explore the fabulous Great Smokey Mountains National Park - also known as America's "Wildflower National Park." Hiking trails will take you through intoxicating acres of azaleas and rhododendrons. Renting a Branson timeshare in Missouri will get you hooked up with special wildflower tours that show off the Ozarks in their stunning spring regalia.

Colonial Williamsburg celebrates spring as the colonists did, with everything from the small backyard gardens of cottages to the massive formal gardens of the Governor's mansion overflowing with colorful tulips, daffodils and irises. Even your timeshare resort will be wrapped in a floral tribute.

Spring Festivals abound and one of the most famous is the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C. Rent a timeshare at the Old Towne Alexandria, and be part of this world-renowned celebration of spring. The beautiful pale pink and white cherry blossoms surround the Jefferson Memorial and the Tidal Basin, and are the focal point of a festival that includes entertainment near the monuments, special events at the Smithsonian museums, and the Cherry Tree Festival parade. As you stroll along the National Mall you'll be walking under spectacular blooming tulip trees. And don't forget to check out the cherry blossoms at night. Special lighting gives a wonderfully ethereal experience. The 2010 festival will be held March 27 - April 11.

Renting a California timeshare in Southern California will not only give you a great beach vacation, you'll also be able to celebrate spring as the spectacular purple blossoms of the jacaranda trees put a soft lavender haze over the world.

(Photo provided by freefoto.com)

Family Travel: Places Kids Should See – New York City

PhotobucketWondering where to plan a family vacation this year? Rent a timeshare and show the kids history where they can see it, feel it, and touch it. This is the first in our series of "Places Every Kid Should See” and we’re starting with New York City.

There are three must-see places in New York City. Rent a New York City timeshare and your exploration of history here can be very affordable.
  1. Elis Island Museum
    Start by taking a fun ferry ride out to the Elis Island Museum. One of the country's most popular historic sites, Elis Island, where 12 million immigrants were processed, has been transformed into an exciting museum complete with fun interactive exhibits. The "Living Theater" uses professional actors to bring to life the experiences of the people, including children, who left their homes to come to a strange land in search of freedom and opportunity available no where else on earth. Because the Elis Island Museum is so heavily visited by families, good planning will make your experience a happy one.

  2. Statue of Liberty
    There is nothing more iconic to NYC than the Statue of Liberty. Your kids have seen this image over and over, and now is the chance for them to actually experience it in person. The statue sits on a 12-acre island in New York Harbor, so getting out to the island will be another chance for the kids to enjoy a fun ferry ride.

    Your kids will be thrilled to know they can actually climb up inside the statue. There are 168 steps to reach the top of the pedestal on which the statue rests. Access to the crown, itself, is allowed, but due to the narrow, winding stairs few people can pass through at a time, and therefore reservations and tickets are required. The inside of the statue is cramped and often hot, so be sure members of your family are up to the challenge. When your kids have climbed the 354 steps (22 stories) and are actually standing up inside the crown of the Statue of Liberty looking out across the harbor, they'll experience the thrill of a lifetime.

  3. Ground Zero
    The third must-see site in NYC for your kids is Ground Zero. To most adults the September 11, 2001, attacks on the twin towers of the World Trade Center feel like they happened just yesterday. But it's been enough years now that many children were too young at the time, or hadn't even been born, and so perhaps do not understand the great importance of this disastrous attack on America. Audio tours, or a guided tour, at the Memorial Museum will teach your kids about this event, and will help you discuss their questions and feelings.

Full Body Scan Travel News Update

Britain's transportation security agency has announced that they will begin using the full-body scan at Heathrow and Manchester airports, followed by Birmingham and then nation-wide. The new airport security tool has also been implemented in the Netherlands, and Nigeria has stated their intent to begin using it. Other countries that have expressed interest include Japan and Thailand. In the U.S. the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) is currently testing the full body scan as a primary security check at six airports across the country. Other U.S. airports have installed the full body scan as a secondary check option which the passenger can voluntarily choose.

Airport security concerns were heightened in December, 2009, when a Nigerian national attempted to blow up a U.S.-bound plane by carrying onboard powdered explosives hidden in his underwear. The global terrorist group al-Qaeda has claimed responsibility. Up to that time only metal detectors were in use in major airports, which are unable to detect powder or plastics or non-ferrous metal (not containing iron).

While the full body scan will allow airport security officials to more thoroughly detect dangerous items, including explosives, it has become controversial due to concerns about privacy. Both the TSA and foreign airport security agencies are attempting to alleviate these fears. The full body scans now being used require two security officials, one at the scanner who does not see the image, and another in a room located elsewhere who does not see the person. Additionally, the passenger's face on the image that projects onto the monitor is intentionally blurred, and the image is not stored in the computer.

A recent CBS poll showed that 4 out of 5 Americans currently support the full body scan. It takes just a few seconds compared to a full two minutes of a pat down, and respondents also felt it was less invasive than the pat down. The CBS poll indicates that most people agree with Katy Couric, anchor for CBS Evening News, who stated, "New airport security tactics may make many Americans uneasy but safety has to come first."

During a news conference at The Hague, Dutch Interior Minister Guusje ter Horst explained, "We've escaped a very serious attack with serious consequences, but unfortunately in this world there are individuals who do not shy away from attacks on innocent people."

As you prepare for your timeshare vacation this year, be sure to allow extra time at the airport for this important safety measure.

(Photo compliments of TSA.gov.)

Timeshare Travel Ideas for You and Conan O’Brien

The ezine "Budget Travel" has posted an article discussing the possibility that Conan O'Brien, the embattled former host of NBC's "The Tonight Show" may be in dire need of some rest and relaxation. The article suggested "5 Places Conan Should Go on Vacation." Since timeshare owners are a considerate and compassionate group, we are going to list some of those places here, so that if he takes the advice, you'll know where to make a timeshare exchange in order to vacation along with Conan. Perhaps you can invite him over for a dinner of comfort food and homemade cookies in your timeshare kitchen. Heaven knows the man could use it.

Australia
Now that Conan is out of work, he'll appreciate that air fares to Australia are at a 5-year low. This will help you, too, of course. There are timeshare exchanges available from Queensland to New South Wales, where you can enjoy everything from the Great Barrier Reef to shrimp on the barbie. Winter in the U.S. is summer in Australia, so if you and Conan are looking for a vacation spot with blooming roses, warm nights and plenty of sun for tanning, Australia is the place. See all Australia timeshares.

Canada
First of all, there's the 21st Winter Olympics in Vancouver. With timeshare exchanges, and rentals, still available at the Games, you and Conan can forget your every-day woes and root for winners and cry with losers on a global scale. Apparently The Globe and Mail, Canada's largest newspaper, is calling for Canadian television to hire Conan, so exploring the entire country of our neighbors to the north might be fortuitous. You can exchange your timeshare and experience everything from the stunning natural beauty of Banff to the fun French culture of Quebec. See Canada timeshares.

Mexico
This is the perfect vacation spot for Conan. As the ezine article suggests, Conan could become hugely popular with his alter-ego, "Conanado." Always a great destination for discriminating timeshare owners and renters, you, too, should head south of the border. Relax on sun-drenched beaches, watch gray whale calves cavort with their moms, enter marlin fishing tournaments and at the end of the day, be sure to invite Conan over to your timeshare for dinner. See Mexico timeshares.

Travel to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter Theme Park

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is the new, highly anticipated theme adventure scheduled to open in the spring of 2010 at Universal Studios in Orlando. Plan your family vacation this year to include this exciting and dramatic experience by renting a budget timeshare in Orlando, Florida.

As everyone knows, Florida is not only a great place to plan a beach vacation, but Orlando has the highest concentration of theme parks in the country. Opened in 1990, Universal Studios is the second largest theme park in Orlando after Walt Disney Resorts. Universal Studios invites you to "Ride the Movies" by making you feel like you are in a movie set with rides that are inspired by popular films.

The massively popular series of books written by J.K. Rowling about the adventures of adolescent wizard Harry Potter were made into hugely popular films, and now have been transformed into "a completely immersive environment" that will bring the characters of the films as well as the wizarding world itself, to life. Both the Production Designer and the Art Designer of the film series have guided the creation of the Harry Potter theme adventure to ensure that the expectations of Harry Potter fans are met at the highest level.

Universal Studios has unbelievably transformed Harry Potter's fantastical world into a real place that you can touch, taste and feel. You'll first encounter the town of Hogsmead Village, entering by the station where the billowing steam of the iconic train signals your arrival. In Hogsmead you can sip Butter Beer at the Three Broomsticks, buy extendable ears at Zonko's, and have an amazing interactive experience at Diagon Alley's Wand Shop where, as you know, you don't choose the wand but the wand chooses you.

At the Sweet Shop you'll be able to try Chocolate Frogs and All-Flavored Bertie's Beans. Outside town near the Forbidden Forest Hagrid will train you how to properly ride a hippogriff. Your adventure with Harry Potter culminates, of course, at Hogwarts Castle, where you'll have the mind-blowing experience of "Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey."

Vacation Planning Time! Visit the Big Island

When planning your vacation consider the Big Island of Hawaii. Rent a Hawaii timeshare here for a family vacation experience unlike that of any of the other Hawaiian Islands. This island is so different that we are listing 10 facts that will help make your vacation on the Big Island even more fascinating.
  1. The Big Island is the eastern most and the southern most island of the Hawaiian chain, and thus is the southern most point of the United States. It is larger than all of the other Hawaiian Islands combined.

  2. The Big Island was formed by the overlapping eruptions of 5 different volcanoes. The volcanoes of the Big Island are: Kohala (extinct), Mauna Kea (dormant), Hualalai (active but not currently erupting), Mauna Loa (active), and Kilauea (very active, erupting almost continuously for the past two decades). Because of the two active volcanoes, the Big Island is still growing.

  3. As recently as 1990 Kilauea completely destroyed two towns on the Big Island - Kalapana and Kaimu.

  4. Moana Kea is the highest mountain on earth. Rising directly from the sea floor its total height is 33,476 feet, making it taller than Mt. Everest.

  5. Due to the relatively young age of the Big Island most of its coast is lava rock with only a few scattered sand beaches. The few beaches it does have are primarily "black sand" beaches formed by the action of the ocean grinding down the hardened lava.

  6. The rich lava soil makes agriculture one of the island's leading industries. Today's major crops include Macadamia nuts, papaya, orchids, tropical vegetables. Any coffee that is labeled "Kona" must come from coffee plantations in the Kona district of the Big Island.

  7. One of the largest cattle ranches in the United States is the Big Island's Parker Ranch by Waimea, at 175,000 acres.

  8. Astronomy is also a major industry on the Big Island due to the remarkable clarity of the atmosphere and the lack of light pollution on the summit of Moana Kea.

  9. Hot molten lava from Kilauea runs to the shoreline and drops into the cold ocean, causing huge billows of steam. At night the steam is lit up by the hot lava, giving it an orange glow. This process is continually occurring as Kilauea constantly erupts.

  10. An undersea volcano, Lo-ihi, is just 18 miles off the Big Island's southeast coast. Its continued active eruptions will eventually cause it to "breach" the sea and attach to Kilauea, adding even more surface area to the Big Island (in 50,000 years or so).

See all Big Island of Hawaii timeshares.

Marriott's Cypress Harbour – A Top Timeshare Resort

There's a reason that Marriott's Cypress Harbour in Orlando, Florida, consistently ranks in the list of top preferred timeshare resorts. Just 15 miles from Orlando's international airport, and minutes from all of the excitement of Orlando's theme parks, Marriott's Cypress Harbour is an oasis of charm, beauty and quiet relaxation. Rent a timeshare here and discover a wonderful family vacation rest spot.

Designed in the Old Florida style of Key West, this resort has been called "graceful luxury." Lush landscaping that includes elegant live oak trees next to swaying palms surrounds a large lake of sparkling blue water. Repose and comfort are the order of the day, with peaceful views sure to help you unwind after an exciting and hectic day at the theme parks.

Marriott's Cypress Harbour offers three swimming pools, all with hot tubs, a kiddie pool, a children's playground and even a marina on the lake. Picturesque sail boats add to your sense of relaxation, whether you lazily watch them from shore, or out on the water enjoying a boat ride. Stroll the meandering walkways across the water to a serene island. Or enjoy the bike trail that winds through the grounds, a lovely way to truly appreciate the beautiful scenery.

There is an on-site store where you can pick up groceries for your timeshare kitchen. Or call ahead and the resort's staff will be happy to stock your kitchen prior to your arrival. When you want to enjoy an evening eating out, the resort is close to International Drive where you'll find everything from family burgers to gourmet dining.

Rent a timeshare at this tranquil "Hideaway in the Heart of Orlando," where every member of the family, including the littlest ones, have a chance at the peaceful down time so needed to re-charge before jumping back into the hub-bub of Orlando and the theme parks again. See all Orlando timeshares.