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Scavenger Hunt Launched at Florida’s South Seas Island Resort

family on the beachScavenger hunts built around a destination’s unique characteristics are quickly becoming my favorite trend in family travel.  Engaging a kid in something beyond the hotel swimming pool is a sneaky way to keep them learning while on vacation and to cultivate passionate travelers and fun travel companions.

Sarah Khan reported this month about Colonial Williamsburg’s current patriot/spy game that has young visitors in blue neckerchiefs burning up the cobblestones.  Now there’s a new way to play at a family destination.

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Spy Games in Colonial Williamsburg

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When this package came across my desk, I couldn't help but be intrigued.

Turns out it contained my set of orders for RevQuest: Sign of the Rhinoceros, a new alternate-reality game going on through the end of the August at Colonial Williamsburg. Geared toward "spies" ages eight and up (though history-geek adults like me apparently make up a huge chunk of the players), RevQuest begins with a top-secret mission that is explained in hushed tones by Agent 368 at Mr. Prentis's Shop.

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TODAY Show: Staying Overnight for Less

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

T+L Features Director Nilou Motamed shares great resources for saving money on accommdations. Plus, family-friendly summer deals!

Snorkel Surprise on Alaska Cruise

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The giant purple starfish had me trying to say “wow” in my snorkel mask. The big, spiky red sea urchin looked like dinner. The long, wavy sea kelp reminded me of TV “housewives” with flowing blonde hair extensions.

The colorful undersea delights might have seemed less surprising in a warm weather climate, say the Caribbean. But this was in Alaska.

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National Park Service Announces 6 New Natural Landmarks

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Looking for some inspiration for your next summer road trip? Take advantage of the warm weather and head out west to check out the six new national natural landmarks!

Named on June 15 by the National Park Service, the newly dubbed landmarks are part of Obama’s "America’s Great Outdoors" initiative, which aims to conserve the natural beauty of some of the most beautiful areas of the country for future generations. Highlights of the newest batch of national treasures include Golden Fossil Areas, which are internationally-renowned for having unique fossil footprints, and Hanging Lake, a stunningly gorgeous lake that plays home to both a rare wetland ecosystem and hanging gardens. (Both are in Colorado.) However, if these don’t trip your trigger, there are over 500 other national natural landmarks to choose from.

For a complete listing of the new national landmarks, check out the National Park Service’s website.

Kirsten Stamn is an ASME intern at Travel + Leisure.

NPS photo courtesy of J.B. Bell

TODAY Show: Quick Weekend Getaways

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Effective Today, American Airlines Requires Large Strollers to Be Checked As Baggage

If you're ever among the last to board a flight, as I often am, you're familiar with the sight of baby strollers, sometimes a dozen or more, parked in the jetway near the aircraft door. Long a tradition with family travelers, "gate-checking" strollers is commonplace on most airlines. Passengers often prefer to keep infants in their strollers until they enter the plane, leave the carriers with a crew member to be stored just before departure, and then brought back out onto the next jetway after arrival. But don't count on doing that with many types of strollers anymore if you're flying on American Airlines. Starting today, a new AA rule stipulates that "all strollers that are large, non-collapsible or over 20 lbs." must be checked at the ticket counter.

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Loews Hotels Roll Out Family Fun Programs for Summer

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It seemed like New York would never emerge from the clutches of winter up until a few days ago. But with the temperatures now in the 70s and Memorial Day weekend nearly here it seems like summer has finally arrived.

To celebrate that, Loews Hotels is rolling out the “Summer of Loews” to treat families to the extra things that make the season so much fun—including dance parties, BBQs and roving ice cream carts.

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Winner! Family Getaways Photo Contest

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Congratulations to the winner of our family getaways photo contest, James Mandeville! Members of our online community picked his photo "Those Summers on the Lake" from the 609 images that were submitted to the contest. For his photo, taken in Pond Eddy, NY, he won an AOC: Breeze Tablet and publication in Travel + Leisure. Congrats, James!

3 Fabulous Family Getaways

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Craving a proper vacation, even with a new baby in tow? Try this great all-inclusive family getaway in Riviera Maya, Mexico. Twenty minutes from the Cancún airport, Azul Beach Hotel by Karisma (from $288 per adult, all-inclusive; kids under 3 free, ages 3–13 $144 per day) features round-the-clock room service and cribs, changing tables, strollers, toys, and high-quality baby food on request. Best of all: free babysitting twice a week during happy hour, cocktails for parents included.

201102-b-greenturtlejpgHide out at this remote family resort in the Bahamas. Its soft sand, calm seas, and stellar bonefishing are well-known among sailors and yachting types—and almost no one else. That’s surprising, given the quick flight from Miami or Fort Lauderdale to Abaco’s Treasure Cay and the water taxi to the Green Turtle Club Resort & Marina (doubles from $169). Feast on conch and spend your days tooling from beach to beach—all empty, all extraordinary.

201102-b-alaskajpgSee the state in truly epic fashion on the weeklong Seldom Seen Alaska package from Off the Beaten Path (from $3,695 per person, excluding airfare). The route goes from Anchorage to Nome, with stops for snowshoeing, a helicopter ride, and a snowmobile tour of the Bering Sea ice pack. Given the ambitious itinerary, the trip is best for ages 13 and up.

Margot Guralnick is a contributor to Travel + Leisure.

Photos Courtesy of Azul Beach Hotel, Green Turtle Club Resort & Marina, and Brown W Cannon III

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