As voted by Trekaroo families, here are the Reviews of the Day from back in the day to today.
Our family of four stayed here for 1 night last summer in between weeks spent in Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island. We stopped in Halifax so that my older daughter could tour Dalhousie University but also wanted to spend a bit of time sightseeing.
We chose the Halifax Marriott Harbourfront because of the hotel's amazing location. It's located on Water Street directly on the waterfront and just a few steps from the entrance to the Historic Properties area which has many unique shops and restaurants and is the departure point for several boat tours including Theodore Tugboat. It is also just a short walk to the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic and just a short drive to Dalhousie.
We booked a 1 Bedroom Junior Suite with a sofa bed and also requested a rollaway bed for the room as my two daughters (15 and 9 at the time) refuse to sleep together. Generally these types of room arrangements tend to be crowded but our room at the Marriott was HUGE! Even with the sofa bed pulled out and the rollaway in place we still had all kinds of floor space.
The bathroom was modern and luxurious with a walk-in shower that I loved. There was also a whirlpool tub in the main room which we didn't use but my 9 year old thought was great to play in.
There's a Starbucks located on-site where we had our breakfast the following morning on the outdoor patio with a view of the waterfront and the Historic Properties area. Our favourite ice cream in the world is COWS and the Halifax outlet is also just steps from the back entrance to the waterfront area.
The concierge staff at the hotel were extremely helpful when we asked for directions the following morning. We were planning to visit the Titanic cemetery in the city before driving to Peggy's Cove and then on to Prince Edward Island. They printed out Map Quest directions for us for each leg of our journey which I appreciated as I find written directions easier to follow than a map.
Our only possible complaint about the Halifax Marriott Harbourfront is that there is a charge for WIFI which wasn't so bad for one night but would have bugged me if we had been staying longer. And I loved the hotel so much that I really would have liked to have been there for a longer stay. If my daughter ends up going to university in Halifax then I think I'll be spending more time at this fabulous hotel!
The Florence Griswold Museum is a beautiful place with historic buildings, interesting art galleries, lush gardens, and fantastic views. It's a great place for adults to enjoy themselves, but unless you visit on Sundays or during special family event days, your children won't want to stay for more than a few minutes.
Sundays are "Make-A-Painting" days, a free program with admission where kids can choose from a variety of hands-on activities. For painters, you are
" supplied with canvas, palette, paint, brushes, a smock and a quick lesson in color mixing and painting techniques visitors discover for themselves why Miss Florence's was THE place to paint! " (http://www.flogris.org/activities_kids.php). This program is offered April-Dec.
We visited the museum during the Family Day a few weeks ago and my 3 yr old daughter loved all of the art activities offered in the Artists Studio. She made a quirky paper hat, paper plate wand, and pipe cleaner jewelry. The museum also offered free drinks and snacks for visitors, and for older children, they held a scavenger hunt in one of the historic homes. The museum also invited a local band, Steve Elci and Friends, come to play 2 shows for the kids. Our family had a lot of fun and we though it was a well-planned event.
Another time we visited on a Saturday and there was nothing for kids under the age of 3. The art gallery was a bit too stuffy for a couple with a young child in tow, and the historic home was a bit too scary for us to bring in a child with "wandering hands."
The Florence Griswold Museum is however a great place to bring a picnic. With views of the water and shade under the trees, it's a great place for the kids to have their lunch and explore while the adults relax and admire the scenery.
The Museum also offers children's classes and summer camps. Check out their website for more information. Also, if you live in the area, check your local library for free passes.
If you haven't tried a farm stay experience, we highly recommend it. A good farm stay doesn't just incorporate a working farm into your vacation, but rather folds your vacation into the farm experience. Your family enjoys a getaway that's relaxing, centered, and hands-on, and you leave feeling as though you've truly rested (even though you've been doing chores!). At Leaping Lamb, my farm-crazy eight-year-old got his fill of the farm life, but the rest of us also fell in love: with the nature surrounding us, the tranquility, and the lifestyle we were fortunate enough to live for our two night stay.
FARM LIFE ON LEAPING LAMB FARM:
You'll want to devote at least 2-3 nights to the Leaping Lamb experience. While the farm is within easy driving distance of the Oregon coast, and within 2 hours of Portland, if you plan to use it as a base for day trips, you'll want to spend even longer. Why? There's so much to do on the farm! Once we'd arrived, we had no interest in leaving the grounds. Families can hike on-site in the coastal range of the temperate rain forest, play in the creeks, and picnic, in addition to helping out on the farm.
There are two main chore times at Leaping Lamb, and owner Scottie Jones will come get you to assist if you'd like to participate. We loved it, and because of Scottie's inclusive nature, we never felt as if we were in the way. Rather, by the time we were heading home, the kids felt as if they knew all about the workings of the farm: what to feed which type of livestock, where to let the sheep go to pasture, how to feed the chickens and collect the eggs...all of it! Guests can collect eggs and let the free range flock in and out, feed the sheep and lead them to pasture, care for the two horses and donkey, and pick produce in season. Many of the animals have names, and within only hours, we could name them all!
The kids especially loved the Tom turkey, P-Diddy the peacock, Paco the donkey, and Tater the Quarter Horse, and fell head over heels for Boots the lamb. We spent our days exploring the creek, playing in the pastures, playing in the hayloft, hiking, and just sitting with a good book, listening to the bird calls.
Leaping Lamb hosts only one family at a time, so the farm is yours to explore! The guest cottage is cozy and warm, with a living room, full kitchen, bathroom with tub, and two bedrooms. It sleeps six, and if you have little ones, everything you need is there: a port-a-crib, high chair, safety screen for the wood-stove, etc. There's a great porch with bird feeders and picnic table, and a washer and dryer!
The kitchen comes stocked for your stay with breakfast foods. We had more than enough. Every morning, we made waffles and fried eggs (fresh from the farm) and had fruit, cinnamon bread, and muffins leftover for a picnic lunch. We brought food for dinner (there's a small convenience store in nearby Alsea, but will only have the basics) and there are lots of boots and extra jackets to use while you're there. We were snug at night for sure: there's a DVD player and a TV with a VHS player and a selection of family-friendly movies, games, and puzzles. There's WIFI at the cottage, but cell service is spotty at best.
You won't want to leave the farm, but if you must, Newport OR and the aquarium is just over 45 miles away, and Portland is two hours' drive. Closer in, there are additional hikes and a fish hatchery.
Don't use your car GPS system. Instead, follow the directions given to you when you reserve the cottage. From I-5, the farm is about one hour away, through Corvallis.
When you arrive, you'll get an initial tour of the farm, and after that, you're free to roam at will. The main rule: close any gates you open! Depending on the season, you may be on-hand to see lambs born, bottle feed them, and/or pick produce from the garden. During our May stay, we helped feed a smaller 'runt' lamb, helped herd a missing lamb back to the barn, and mucked out stalls in between chore times. Two days weren't enough!
Bring plenty of play clothes, as you all will get dirty, and use the boots provided for the stalls and pastures. Bring hiking boots for the trails, and water shoes for the creek! Yes, a lot of clothing is required, but there's space in the cottage to store it all!
The Leaping Lamb farm stay was like no other vacation. It makes for a great alternative to a hotel stay, for roughly the same price ($150/nightly, plus $25 for additional people, at time of this review). For this price of a hotel room, you get breakfast, farm life, and so much nature to explore!
Disclaimer: we stayed at Leaping Lamb on a complimentary stay, for the purpose of this review.
The Cave Junction Treesort is right on the way to the Oregon coast and Oregon Caves National Monument, so we've driven nearby several times. We finally stopped. Thank goodness! These treehouse accommodations are not cheap, but well worth the expense for the awesome experience! Call for reservations so you can chat with the owners about which treehouse is right for you: they're all different, and suit people differently.
Once you're there, school-aged kids can explore the rope swings, rope and plank bridges, and empty treehouses at will. There are great swings, and our own treehouse, the Swiss Family, was a virtual jungle gym. There's also a swimming hole,and some of the best zip lining we've experienced.
There's a community kitchen and bathrooms as well as a community fire pit, so prepare to get to know your neighbors! Breakfast is in the main lodge kitchen and is all homemade. Spend your day hiking, going to the Caves, or just playing around the resort. Awesome experience!
The Cave Junction Treesort is right on the way to the Oregon coast and Oregon Caves National Monument, so we've driven nearby several times. We finally stopped. Thank goodness! These treehouse accommodations are not cheap, but well worth the expense for the awesome experience! Call for reservations so you can chat with the owners about which treehouse is right for you: they're all different, and suit people differently.Once you're there, school-aged kids can explore the rope swings, rope and plank bridges, and empty treehouses at will. There are great swings, and our own treehouse, the Swiss Family, was a virtual jungle gym. There's also a swimming hole,and some of the best zip lining we've experienced. There's a community kitchen and bathrooms as well as a community fire pit, so prepare to get to know your neighbors! Breakfast is in the main lodge kitchen and is all homemade. Spend your day hiking, going to the Caves, or just playing around the resort. Awesome experience!