the island forever, to look at, Bali is the picture postcard island that you dream of, located just east of the island of java in the Indonesian archipelago.
The island of Bali is less than 150 kilometres long at its longest point, with lush tropical forests, scented by clove and cinnamon trees, emerald rice paddies and beautiful white sandy beaches. From east to west, there is a chain of six volcanoes between 1,350 and 3,014 metres high.
Bali is home to incredible wildlife, including 300 species of birds, barking deer and monkeys. Unfortunately the native elephants and tigers are now extinct, but nature lovers will not be disappointed with the rest of the wildlife that is on offer.
Although Bali is just over 5,500 square kilometres (2,000 square miles) in area, there are about 4000 hotels to be found there, which is approximately half the number of hotels found in Indonesia.
Hotels cover every price range: it is possible to live quite cheaply, in various guesthouses, or in rooms rented within the houses of the Balinese people. Most hotels have shrines in their gardens and throughout Bali, you will find stunning Hindu temples including Besaikh, Bali’s ‘mother temple’ which encompasses about 200 temples and shrines.
Bali goes under many names, the ‘Island of the Gods’, the ‘Dawning of the World’ and Shangri-La – ‘The Last Paradise’.
Aruba is a small island (in length of 33 kilometers or 21 miles) located in the Leeward Antilles (together with other two Dutch islands – Curaçao & Bonaire – and several smaller islets belonging to Venezuela), part of the Lesser Antilles, in the southernmost part of Caribbean Sea.
This part of Netherlands is since years one of the most visited islands in the entire region due to the numerous high-end hotels and beach resorts that provide fantastic all inclusive vacation packages, but also because of the excellent weather. Due to the excellant weather conditions Aruba resorts are extremely popular among tourists. You can find more details here.
Most people know about the Caribbean Sea that it features a warm tropical weather and only two seasons, one dry and one wet, the last one including a hurricane season. These characteristics are just partially recognizable in Aruba because it is located completely outside of the hurricane belt and features a unique and very specific weather.
Is Long Beach, Washington really the longest beach in the world? Located on the beautiful Peninsula of Washington State, Long Beach runs 25 miles long and 2 miles wide. It certainly isn’t the longest beach in the world that I’ve been to but it sure is long enough to be called Long Beach!
We were coming from Victoria, BC along the 101 south down the scenic route. Any scenic route is always longer and winder but traffic was light since it was the August long weekend in Canada we were heading the opposite direction. It doesn’t matter what time of year or time of day the ferry crossing on the Coho which sails from Victoria Inner Harbour to Port Angeles is always full. I recommend reserving a spot which ever way you are heading unless you want to wait around for 2 sailing if you can even get across on the same day.
The crossing is generally a little choppy and can be hard with a family since family seating is limited. The Coho is a private run company and as with any private run company trying to make a few bucks it’s over crowed with expensive tasteless food so bring your own food unless you want to be feeding the kids greasy fries. They pack the cars in like sardines and the border crossing in Port Angeles is long and not well organized however it is the only crossing so be prepared to put up with long waits and lots of people.
The drive down is extremely scenic with many places to stop in for a picnic lunch or catch a beautiful sunset. I’ve driven this road twice now and by far the best time is after dinner when the traffic is low and the roads are clear. Driving along the coast in the dark can be hard on the eyes and tired-some.
The long drive out is worth it once we arrived in Long Beach Washington. The beautiful beach side town if filled with family friendly activities and attractions. With family friendly restaurants, cafes, bakeries and plenty of sweet shops.
Activities range from digging for clams, bicycle build for two along the beach walk way, to amusements such as carousel an carnival rides you find at a fair. With bumper cars to arcades kids of all ages will enjoy.
Our favourite part of Long Beach by far is the fresh tuna that can be purchased for $7lb and the beach walk that extends for miles int the sand dunes and beach.
The price for accommodation is reasonable and beach houses can be rented out by the night, or week. The beach house is obviously more family friendly as this gives you the opportunity to BBQ your own fresh fish and enjoy the afternoon on the deck. But if you don’t want to rent a house you can always BBQ on the beach. Long Beach offers family friendly picnic areas with BBQ and tables. In fact you can even bring your own BBQ and drive your car down to the waters edge for a picnic.
The best time of the year to visit is late July and to mid August. Long beach is right on the coast with no land cover so the temperatures can range from extremely warm to mild and breezy along the beach. We have been fortunate to have outstanding weather during our visits but we always pack a jacket and warm pj. The homes can be cool at night and in the evening!
If you are looking for a more budget way to enjoy Long Beach you might want to check out local websites or craiglist.com that offer housing swaps. We always manage to find a family that wants to swap their beach house for our condo in Victoria, BC. This makes a very affordable summer break.
One of the many events offered in Long Beach is the Kite festival that happens every year in mid August which Long Beach is well known for. The Kite festival is a must for any family!
Long Beach also offers plenty of farmers markets, whale watching and art festivals. As you can see the attractions, activities and events are endless.
For a family friendly vacation with a home away from home Long Beach has got to be one of the must do with a family!