Our Green Vacation


Last year, over spring break our family went to an RCI affiliated resort called Waterside by Spinnaker in Hilton Head, SC. It is a wonderful resort just minutes away from the beach, restaurants, and a great shopping center. I called this our Green Vacation, as we ate healthy, got plenty of exercise, plenty of rest, did without a car, and actually enjoyed it.

Our accommodations were very comfortable and the staff was extremely professional and efficient. This resort had many activities for the children as well as adults - and we participated in them. Across from us was the main pool area and a hot tub where we spent part of every day. At the beach we found many different kinds of creatures like starfish and hermit crabs. It was a great experience for the grandkids because they have never seen sea life like that on a beach since we live in Maryland. The beach at Hilton Head is unique. We enjoyed a very wide beach where we could actually ride our bikes not only to the beach but on the beach, and the water was very calm. This is a great family vacation place. We played golf at several of the area courses, while the rest of the family enjoyed the pool and the beach area. We parked our car when we checked in, rented bikes, and never took the car out of the parking place the entire week. Talk about going green, this is the place. We rode our bikes every evening to dinner to different restaurants, rode bikes to the grocery store, rode on the beach, rode to the shopping center to shop, and took evening bike rides around the area. Make sure you get the child cart attached to the back of your bike; it comes in handy to carry not only tired toddlers, but great for groceries, beverages, and shopping bags. I think on this vacation I lost 5 lbs. instead of putting on 5 lbs.! I never thought I could do without a car for a week, but it was easy being so close to everything. We enjoyed this place tremendously and would suggest it to any of our friends and definitely would go back there. Keep up the great work RCI.

- Kathy M. from Waldorf, MD

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How active are you on vacation?


Emily S. - EndlessVacation.com and Destination InfoHappy New Year and welcome to 2013! It’s that time of year to start putting your New Year’s resolutions into action. Some of the top resolutions, year after year, center on staying healthy, being more active, eating better, and losing weight. So why should vacationing stop you from achieving these goals and staying on track?

This week on the RCI Blog, we’ll share stories and photos from RCI subscribing members who told us about their hiking and biking adventures, the great fitness amenities available at the resorts they stayed at, and aerobic activities they participated in. How do you stay active while on vacation? Let us know your tips and we’ll share them with other members!

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Mazatlan Myth or Reality


I vacationed in Mazatlan for 10 days in Septmeber 2012. I stayed at Torres Mazatlan and had a great time at the resort. I enjoyed several great meals and entertainment at Plaza Machado in downtown. I have been coming here for the last five years and have had no problems in the tourist zone or downtown. We have played golf at Estrella Del Mar, El Cid and the new course course in the marina. I would recommend Mazatlan to anyone that wants to relax, play golf,get some pool time and enjoy good sea food.

-J. M. from Oxnard, CA

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Christmas in Florida


My favorite vacation was the one where we surprised my son (who was away at school) and picked him up at his residence. We took him to the airport and flew him to Orlando. We didn't tell him where we were going but ended up staying at Summer Bay Resort. We had a great time and two days later, to my surprise, my daughter and her husband flew down as well.

What a great vacation and a very special Christmas. It is a vacation we will all never forget. Thanks RCI for making it all possible for all of us!!

- Heather C. from Clermont, FL

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Gatlinburg Christmas Trip


When our daughter was 6 years old she had some medical issues and we had to take her to Emory University in Atlanta. We decided to turn it into a vacation for her. We visited Tree Tops Resort in Gatlinburg, TN, and had a wonderful unit. She had her own little "section" in the unit. On Christmas Eve around 11:00 p.m. it started to snow. This was the first time she saw snow and it was an awesome experience for us to see her little face light up. We all played in the snow, making snow angels and having snowball fights. She even tried rollerblading in the parking lot! That is one trip we will never forget. She wrote a book about it in school which was bound and I still have it.

- Adrienne F. from Harriman, TN

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My Husband's 60th


My daughter and son-in-law gave us a wonderful weekend (an Extra VacationsSM Getaway) in NYC for my husband's 60th birthday. We saw a Broadway show, walked Central Park, and ate at great places. The special timing was that it was Christmas-time in the city, too. The lights, decorated windows, and shopping around New York made it extra special. It is the best place in the world during the holiday season and The Manhattan Club was a terrific resort.

- Debra K. from Bay Shore, NY

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Winter in the Berkshires


Winter in the Berkshires - We take our whole family on vacation. I only go to resorts that allow dogs.

 

We take our whole family on vacation. I only go to resorts that allow dogs.

- Lisa S. from Rolla, MO

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Los Cabos – No Bad Days


Jozef W. - North America Travel StoriesHave you been enjoying these fantastic photos so far?

What is there to say about Los Cabos that hasn’t been said?  Maybe not much, but I will attempt to provide some insight into one of the most popular Mexico vacation destinations.

Los Cabos is made up of three main areas for tourism and averages only 6 days of rain per year.  Let’s start at the Eastern side of the Baja Peninsula and take the coastal highway heading west.

Starting in San Jose del Cabo provides us a glimpse of traditional Mexico.  The vibe from the people is very laid back with a charming small town feel.  There are many options to enjoy, such as the local taco stand or a stroll on the pristine beach.  San Jose del Cabo offers the opportunity to have an exciting vacation with the luxury of staying in the quieter area of Los Cabos.

Driving west on the coastal highway, we begin to enter the Corridor.  This area contains some of the larger and newer resorts in Los Cabos.  It also has become a popular surfing area if you are looking to catch some waves.  This puts you closer to the action yet still distant enough to get away from it all.

As we reach our final destination, the Arch comes into view.  The Arch is a magnificent natural rock formation that provides ample photo opportunities for everyone.  It is especially mesmerizing when you take a catamaran to ride out closer to the Arch as you may even catch a glimpse of a sea lion!

The final stop on our journey is Cabo San Lucas.  This town is the heart of the Los Cabos Area as it is where all the action begins.  You have a large amount of shopping to choose from, ranging from flea markets to full size malls.  The nightlife here is fantastic as well with many restaurants and bars to choose from for a wonderful evening.  The beach, shopping and bars all within a 5 minute walk….what’s not to like?

Los Cabos is a wonderful place to visit, discover, and explore.  “Leave it all behind” and go to the place with “No Bad Days”!

Keep coming back to the RCI blog this week to see more photos about this amazing destination!

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Take a Seat and Relax, Vermont Style!


Smugglers' Notch Resort truly offers an amazing family vacation and as this photo shares...the views are priceless!

 

Smugglers' Notch Resort truly offers an amazing family vacation and as this photo shares...the views are priceless!

 

- Brian H. from Charlotte, NC

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Top of Stowe


This was one of my family vacations were we stayed at The Seasons Resort in Warren, Vermont and took day trips to the sites. One of the trips was to the top Stowe.

 

This was one of my family vacations were we stayed at The Seasons Resort in Warren, Vermont and took day trips to the sites. One of the trips was to the top Stowe.

 

- Joann M. from Cornwall Bridge, CT

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A Serendipitous Encounter in Vermont


Dan C. - Food and Travel Tips and InfoSix years ago, my then fiancé (now my wife) and I decided to take a road trip to Vermont. It was our first time to New England and we were looking forward to seeing the beautiful fall colors. We drove from New Jersey, up through the Catskills and Adirondacks of New York, and finally into Vermont. We stayed off the interstates and drove along Vermont’s local highways through many charming and quaint small towns.

 

We stayed at Smugglers’ Notch Resort, located on Vermont’s scenic highway VT 108 just north of Stowe, a popular ski town. As we drove into Stowe, we were enchanted by the beauty and serenity of the covered bridges, mountain views, and the small-town charm. As a foodie, I really appreciated the wide array of quality restaurants in Stowe. I also appreciated the farm-to-table food culture of Vermont’s residents – sourcing locally grown, sustainable, and organic produce and meats from local farms and purveyors.

 

My wife and I fell in love with Vermont on our first visit and we’ve been going back ever since. A few weeks ago, we celebrated our two year wedding anniversary, also our 4th  fall-foliage trip to Vermont. In a serendipitous moment, my wife and I bumped into fellow RCI subscribing members Larry and Mary Whitney. They are happy RCI members since the mid-90s. They saw my picture in the RCI Directory of Affiliated Resorts, along with my recommendation to visit Vermont during fall – and they recognized me! I was humbled that the Whitneys decided to plan their vacation based on my recommendation. It was a truly serendipitous encounter.

 

A Serendipitous Encounter in Vermont - The Whitneys and me

The Whitneys and me

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RCI® subscribing membership benefits that you might not know about


Catherine S. - Cruise Stories and RCI NewsWe love helping to send you, our RCI subscribing members, on vacation!  In order to provide you with even better vacation options and enhancements to your overall membership, we have an established alliance with International Cruise and Excursions (ICE) – which is sometimes referred to as Our Vacation Center.

 

Through this alliance, we’re able to provide you with many benefits that you may already be familiar with:

 

  • The RCI Cruise program gives you the option to purchase a cruise at a reduced price with exchange, or purchase a cruise without exchange (sometimes referred to as “Cruise Extra VacationsSM getaways”) both with the Best Rate Guarantee.

 

  • RCI Cruise & Resort Vacations* offers you the opportunity to receive up to two weeks of vacations in one convenient and flexible package.  You can spend one week cruising to great destinations like Mexico, Alaska or Hawaii, and the second week in an awesome resort destination like Las Vegas or Florida.

 

  • With RCI Vacations*, you can save up to 70% off at select preferred hotels in popular destinations worldwide. Our members can purchase up to five hotel savings certificates which can be used to book hotels and save hundreds of dollars on each stay compared to popular online travel sites.  In addition to the hotel savings certificates, every RCI Vacations package includes a choice of a prepaid cruise, resort or hotel vacation. 

 

  • RCI Platinum® Lifestyle Benefits, including golf discounts, spa getaways and gift certificates, ski packages, an online wine store, tickets to movies, concerts and sporting events, and online shopping. 

 

  • RCI Travel, which allows you to get the best pricing on air, rental car, and hotels, making your vacation planning more convenient!

 

Our alliance with ICE helps us provide you with even greater enhancements to your RCI membership.

 

Have you taken advantage of any of these benefits yet? Let us know what you think by commenting below!

 

 

*Not available to all members

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LEGOLAND Fantasy Fulfilled


My two young boys were Lego fanatics. I considered their passion for the colorful little bricks when we made our vacation plans. I was so excited to find an exchange at the Grand Pacific Palisades Resort. The beautiful resort, also known for their amazing flowers in the spring, is situated next to the LEGOLAND theme park in Carlsbad, California...My boys were in heaven and we had a two day pass. As a father, I can say that the joy my kids experienced on this vacation made this one of my favorite RCI exchanges.

 

- Vincent R. from Honolulu, HI

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Glacier National Park


We stayed at Meadow Lake Golf and Ski Resort in a one-bedroom on a golf course. Every day we had breakfast in our condo, packed our lunches, and then drove 15 miles to the entrance of Glacier National Park, where we hiked different hikes with park rangers and on our own. it was a very memorable vacation.

 

We stayed at Meadow Lake Golf and Ski Resort in a one-bedroom on a golf course. Every day we had breakfast in our condo, packed our lunches, and then drove 15 miles to the entrance of Glacier National Park, where we hiked different hikes with park rangers and on our own. it was a very memorable vacation.

 

- Judith F. from Delmar, NY

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Ahhhhhh....


Several years ago, my husband I took a trip to Mazatlan, Mexico - my first trip south of the boarder! We stayed at the Pueblo Bonito Resort at Emerald Bay, which is one of THE nicest resorts we've ever stayed. A lot of times you go on vacation and you need another vacation when you get home to recover from all the activities you did, right? Well, not this one. We excelled at relaxing on this vacation, which is super easy to do when there's a beach chair, sun, awesome pool, and Victor - the poolside drink waiter. Ahhhh. If ever I need to calm down and think of a happy place I picture myself in our room there, laying on that comfy bed, listening to the ocean waves, with the breeze gently flapping the sliding glass door curtains, staring at the ceiling fan going round and round and I have no place to be.... ahhhhhh.

 

- Kristin F. from Albany, OR

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Shelling Near Sanibel


At the very last minute, my sister, my three children and I hopped in the car and drove for 24 hours straight to get to Florida! I had worked all summer and had missed being a stay at home Mom with my kids. This was a special treat for us to hang out on the beach together. Lehigh Resort Club in Lehigh Acres had plenty for us to do, a cool bed in the wall, and a kitchen so we could save money by eating in. Nearby, was Sanibel Island. We went shelling everyday, and once after a day of thunderstorms we jumped in the waves and found the greatest shells ever.

My husband has had 3 layoffs in three years and we are now trying to build our own business, plus I am back to work...I am so grateful that we were able to book a vacation through RCI and have one week of pure summer fun!

 

- Kristine T. from Lisle, IL

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Spring Camp


Along the gulf coast of Florida, is a hidden gem on Bradenton Beach - Smuggler's Cove Resort. The resort offers beautiful sunsets along the gulf coast. On the back side of the resort, they have a Florida-style deck to gather with others to recap one's adventures of the day.... There is a trolley which runs the length of the island, taking you to local hot spots. Within walking distance is a host of bars and restaurants. This modest resort reflects the style of old Florida, offering a truly relaxing getaway...Play on the beach in the morning and sit on the deck after the sunset...casting a fishing pole in the water to see what might hit. My husband brought in a 28" redfish, the perfect end to a wonderful vacation getaway!!!

 

- Debra B. from Stronach, MI

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FORE! A golfing vacation


Marcel O. - Occidental Vacation Club1I consider myself very fortunate. I live and work in the Dominican Republic and spend much of my time in Punta Cana where there are plenty of great opportunities to golf. My role takes me all around the Caribbean to great resorts and great golf courses. Even with all that, one of my favorite vacations is (you guessed it), golf, golf and more golf.

 

Each year a group of my golf buddies and I get together for a golf trip. Before we even leave we are counting down to the excursion. Three weeks. Two weeks. One week. We even shop for the perfect attire; making sure to match our socks with our belts. It can be a bit extravagant.

 

For six years, our tradition has been to go to a great location and play a round of golf every day for seven days. Sometimes we even play two rounds the same day. We tee off early enough to go for 36 holes on many days.  And certainly, by the time we get to the 19th hole we are reliving the first 18 holes all over again…which certainly makes it seem like we have played two rounds at the end of the day.

 

Most years we have gone to Myrtle Beach, SC to be challenged with the great courses that the area is known for – TPC Myrtle Beach, Barefoot courses, among others. This year, however, we changed the destination to Florida and tackled a course at Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Club & Lodge in Orlando and Copperhead Course in Innisbrook Resort & Golf Club near Tampa. We also played on some other great courses, such as Disney’s Magnolia Golf Course and the Reunion Resort’s Palmer, Nicklaus and Watson courses. Whether it’s a Fazio-designed or Nicklaus-created course, no matter what, we are there to have fun and challenge the course.

 

We are setting our goals high as we start planning next year’s trip and the next.  Our group hopes to get to destinations like Pinehurst, or maybe England, Ireland and…Scotland…where it all began.

 

This may not be the Masters, but it certainly is the best “tournament” ever to a group of guys from the Dominican Republic.  We are already counting down to next spring!

 

PS:  handicap 2, wishing to be 0 hcp, one day!!!

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Myrtle Beach October Vacation


View of beach and SkyWheel from Pier 14, on the boardwalk right in front of the resort (Seaglass Tower).

 

View of beach and SkyWheel from Pier 14, on the boardwalk right in front of the resort (Seaglass Tower).

 

- Diana C. from  Pickens, SC

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Myrtle Beach in August


What a fantastic time in Myrtle Beach, SC this August! We selected a three bedroom resort in Plantation Village so that my entire family could vacation together. We had cousins, aunts and grandparents together under one roof to enjoy each other's company. During the day, we traveled to Myrtle Beach, Surfside Beach and Broadway at the Beach. During the evenings, we'd head home to make a glorious family dinner, share precious memories and enjoy ourselves. We're looking forward to visiting Myrtle Beach and Plantation Village again soon!

 

- Lisa D. from Stanhope, NJ

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