Trips for Two
These destinations are too sexy, too adventurous and too faraway for tikes. So enjoy them now!
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Bus from the capital, Phnom Penh, to the ancient city of Siem Reap. It's not the sort ofride you'd take kids on; it's six hours, and the locals have a habit of singing karaoke (funfor entertainment, bad for napping). Plus, the buses rarely have seatbelts, and you'd behard-pressed to find a car seat even if there were something to strap it in with. The ride'swell worth it though to see the 900-year-old ruins and stunning landscape. ( Viroth-Hotel.com ).
Go for the name, stay for the bargain basement nightly rates at The Kool Hotel, where you'll also get discounts on food and massages. The friendly staff rolls out the welcome mat with a refreshing drink when you arrive, serves up awesome local dishes and can arrange any day trips you desire (from $37; KoolHotel.com).
What To Do:
Check out the ancient temples at Angkor Wat at sunset -- or sunrise -- nicknamed the“magic hours" for shutterbugs.
Explore the floating village of Kompong Phluk and the flooded forest with a local tour service like Saron Tours. Or have your hotel arrange a trip with a local guide (SaronTours.com).
Shop for silk hangings and Buddhist curios at the stalls of the Old Market (PhsarChas) on the south side of town.
Hunker down in a plastic chair on the north end of the Old Market and try the super-cheap street food, like Khmer satay.
Drink and dance at Nest, a bar-café that serves up small plates while DJs set a relaxed lounge vibe (NestAngkor.com).
What to Bring:
Bug spray. The (very) hot, humid climate is essentially a gigantic breeding ground for mosquitoes and other insects that bite.
Ready for some serious action? Touch down in Anchorage and take a bush plane to the one-time mining town of Talkeetna. The treacherous transport alone makes this a not-so-kid-friendly destination (although it's a wild ride for adults).
Where to Stay:
A five-mile hike from a historic 59er homestead cabin, the family-run Denali Fireside Cabins & Suites brims with welcoming charm in its cute cabin suites with gas fireplaces, covered outdoordecks and hand-sewn quilts (from $99; DenaliFireside.com).
On the south side of Mount McKinley, the mid-size Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge is a comfortable base with romantic add-ons like Jacuzzis and fireplaces (from $209; TalkeetnaLodge.com).
What To Do:
Flight-see over the alpine tundra, granite gorges and glaciers that surround MountMcKinley and Denali National Park. Tip: This isn't an excursion to take if you getmotion sickness (TalkeetnaAir.com).
Heli-ski (a commonly used term for accessing off-trail, downhill skiing via helicopter instead of a ski lift) near Anchorage with Chugach Powder Guides (ChugachPowderGuides.com).
Put your best camera to use in Denali National Park & Preserve, but respect the park's guidelines on how close you can actually get to the grizzly bears that inhabit the area (NPS.gov/dena).
Register at least two months ahead of your trip if you want to go on a climbing expedition on Mount McKinley (you'll need to get a permit). Hire a guide or head out on your own (NPS.gov/dena).
What To Bring:
A sleep mask. During summer months, the sun sets as late as 11:40 p.m. in southernparts of the state and doesn't set at all for 84 days in the northernmost regions.In the winter, bring a watch with an alarm setting -- Anchorage only gets six hours ofdaylight in December, making it somewhat hard to keep track of time.
Want more trips for two? Check out our summer issue of The Nest Magazine on newsstands now!