Looking for a Luxury Spring Break! Here’s Why You Need to Head to Monte Carlo

There aren’t many places in the world that give off a clearer air of luxury than Monte Carlo. Because of this, a lot of people write it off as a place they’ll probably never actually visit. But this is actually a mistake! Yes, it’s a luxurious destination. Getting there can be expensive, and some of the activities and meals you’ll enjoy once there will be pricey as well. But you can actually spend a night in a fairly nice hotel for under $200 – which is expensive, but really not too bad for international tourism.

If, then, you decide that Monte Carlo doesn’t have to be taken off the map, you might start exploring what a trip there would actually look like. The best time to go is during the spring, and below we’ll get into a few of the things you might do there.

Explore The Harbor

If you have a picture in your head of Monte Carlo, chances are that picture includes a large Mediterranean harbor filled with yachts and sailboats. This indeed is the trademark postcard image of the city, and it’s one of the more iconic city views in the world. Exploring the harbor and taking a look at the spectacular boats is an absolute must when you’re in Monte Carlo (and it’s free!). As one write-up put it, the harbor sits like the stage of an amphitheater upon which the rest of Monaco looks down. That’s about as nice a way to explain its situation and appeal as there is. And if you want to enjoy it even more intimately, there are a few different opportunities to essentially rent time on one of the yachts.

Lounge On Larvotto Beach

In a place like Monte Carlo it’s only natural that there will be a few great beaches. The most famous of the bunch (and probably the most fun) is Larvotto Beach. It’s very much a city beach in one sense, just steps away from luxury condos and fancy restaurants. However, it’s also a very pretty shoreline where you can lounge, swim, and even rent a kayak or jet ski to go out on the water.

Visit The Casino

Visiting just any casino may not sound like your ideal hobby. It may also sound somewhat unnecessary or old-fashioned given that casinos have been reborn as a thriving online industry. Where once there were crude poker sites there are now full-fledged online platforms, complete with their own mobile apps. A single download can include over 500 games, begging the question of why anyone would need to visit a real life casino. Monte Carlo, as it turns out, has the answer. This establishment is not about the gaming or the money, but rather the experience. It’s an elegant, beautiful, world famous venue where you almost can’t help feeling like a movie star. Even if you don’t sit down at a poker table or spin a slot reel, it’s worth checking out as a sightseeing point of interest.

Tour The Oceanographic Museum

The Oceanographic Museum is actually one of the more famous attractions in Monte Carlo, which is saying something in a city like this one. It’s known primarily as a museum – a large, striking building on a hillside sticking up over the sea. The museum largely contains sea-related relics retrieved by Prince Albert, who founded the establishment early in the 20th century. What really sets it apart though is the fact that it doubles as an aquarium. The museum contains more than 90 tanks with sea creatures in them, including an indoor shark lagoon.

Eat At Elsa

As you would no doubt expect there are a lot of truly wonderful places to eat in Monte Carlo. Elsa is certainly among the best of them though. A combination of fresh local ingredients, Mediterranean seafood preparations, and seaside seating make for a simply delightful experience. Plus, it’s one of the few very nice restaurants in Monte Carlo where you don’t necessarily feel like you have to be dressed up and formal.

Watch The Grand Prix

As a final point, if your trip happens to overlap with the Monaco Grand Prix (which is one reason it’s great to visit in the spring), you’ll have the opportunity to see one of the world’s most iconic sporting events. It’s an annual Formula 1 race through the streets and by the harbor, and it’s a true treat for everyone who’s able to see it. The whole town tends to be abuzz with energy during the race and the few days on either end of it, and there are numerous ticket packages you can look into that allow you to experience the action, whether via watching the drivers practice or sitting on a yacht during the race.

~ By guest blogger, Jonathan Nelson. 

Spring break staycation

Spring break is around the corner and you may be thinking of what to do for fun with your family. A lot of people are also tight on budgets this year. The economy is improving slowly, but not everyone has extra cash to go on a trip. Here’s an idea – Why not have a staycation? The term didn’t exist until 2009 so let me first explain to you what it means.

Wikipedia says – A staycation (also spelled stay-cation, stacation, or staykation; known in the United Kingdom as a stoliday or holistay) is a neologism for a period of time in which an individual or family stays and relaxes at home, or vacations in their own country, possibly taking day trips to area attractions. Staycations achieved popularity in the US during the financial crisis of 2007–2010. Staycations also became a popular phenomenon in the UK in 2009 as a weak pound made overseas holidays significantly more expensive.

While the usual activities during a staycation may include backyard camping, pool parties, visit to local festivals, I am urging you to think outside the box.

Be a tourist in your own city without breaking the budget – Go out and see those attractions that you don’t get to when caught in the everyday life. You can buy a city pass and cover the highlights without having to rent a hotel or car. Read reviews about your own city online (on sites such as TripAdvisor, Frommers, etc.) and find out where the tourists go to dine and view. A lot of museums offer discounts (or free) passed if you enter during the weekdays. You can also arrange for group discounts if you take a group of neighbors or friends. Now may also be the time to check out those nearby waterfalls you have been meaning to see someday.

Create a resort at your own home – Who says you need to spend thousands of dollars and fly a few hours to relax? You can create a resort-like environment in the comfort of your own home too! Pack the kids, the cooler, the beach ball and head out to the pool (river, lake or ocean) if you have one nearby. Put on your “vacation-only” bathing suit, an umbrella in your drink and the sun tan on.

A cruise on land – A cruising vacation involves non-stop fun all day long. But you can get the same experience on land if you plan it out in advance. Fill up the day with activities for the whole family. Go to a local Caribbean restaurant for lunch. Book a dance lesson or a cooking class, a massage at your local spa for the adults and a few hours at the game arcade or bowling alley for the kids. End the day with a family poker night where you have your very own casino.

 Some rules of staycation are:

  •  Plan ahead
  •  Make a schedule
  •  Avoid routine
  •  Have fun!

Do you have any rules for your family staycation that you would like to share?