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National Geographic Guide to Caribbean Family Vacations, Includes the Islands and Coastal Mexico, Belize, Costa Rica, and Honduras

By Candyce H. Stapen, National Geographic, 2003

Families seeking the ideal Caribbean vacation will find it in these pages. Whether you’re traveling with toddlers, teens, or twenty-somethings, look inside for the best activities to be enjoyed in the islands – as well as on the Caribbean coasts of Mexico, Belize, Honduras, and Costa Rica.

“Stapen’s travel tips are right on, and she covers lodging, contact and outfitter information. This book is a valuable source for family vacation travel. The author, herself a parent, packs as much quality between the covers of her book as she does insight and insider information.” – Travel Weekly.

“A comprehensive, authoritative, user-friendly guide for traveling families…with kids of all ages.” – USA Weekend

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National Geographic Guide to Family Adventure Vacations: Wildlife Encounters, Cultural Explorations, and Learning Escapes in the U.S. and Canada

by Candyce H. Stapen, National Geographic, 2000

You and your children of any age can learn to play toe-tapping fiddle turns, join in a Hawaiian luau, go dogsledding in the North Woods, sleep in a Hogan on a Navajo reservation, take a polar bear safari, or cross the prairie in a wagon train. These are just a few of the more than 300 exciting learning vacations this guide presents.

“Award-winning travel writer Stapen is the author of eight previous travel books, including 50 Great Family Vacations and Cruise Vacations with Kids. Organized by region in the United States and Canada, her new book offers 327 top family recreational ideas that also have educational value-a refreshing change from the usual tourist attractions. Experiences range from dogsledding in Minnesota to a wildlife safari in Texas to gold panning in Canada’s Yukon territory, and many of the sites are recommended for children over eight years old. Stapen warns about weather hazards, discusses the strain of various adventures and the appropriate attire, and provides names and phone numbers of tours and lodging.” – Library Journal

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An Explorer’s Guide to Virginia

By Candyce H. Stapen, Countryman Press, 2011

Virginia, as the motto goes, is for lovers – lovers of history, the great outdoors, sports, relaxation, art, music, and fine food! You’ll find all this and more in the state where George Washington was born and where Thomas Jefferson built Monticello.

Hike and kayak in gorgeous Belle Isle State Park; soak up historic splendor in Colonial Williamsburg; roam the Blue Ridge Parkway, taking in Shenandoah Valley Views; or pay respects at Arlington National Cemetery, overlooking our nation’s capital. From the shores of the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the peaks of the Appalachian Mountains in the west, from the underground caverns to the heights of Skyline Drive, and from amusement parks to wildlife sanctuaries, Virginia’s joys are virtually endless.

“A classy series with encyclopedic coverage.” – National Geographic Traveler

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Fun with the Family Virginia Series

By Candyce H. Stapen, Globe Pequot, 8 editions, 1995-2010

Written by a parent, for parents, this opinionated, personal and easy-to-use guide has the best things to see and do to keep the kids busy and happy for an hour, a day, or a weekend. Fun with the Family Virginia leads the way to amusement parks, historical attractions, children’s museums, wildlife habitats, festivals, parks, and much more.

“Not many travel guides cater to the entire family by combining activities and stops that both parent and child can enjoy. With [this book] Stapen fills this niche. She includes restaurants that satisfy both mature and youthful palates…and fun sites to visit: from the educational to the whimsical.” – The Bloomsbury Review

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Great Family Vacations Series

By Candyce H. Stapen, Globe Pequot, 1993-2010

Family-travel expert Candyce H. Stapen has taken the hassle out of vacation planning with these guides. Inside each edition you’ll find 25 complete vacations loaded with enough activities to keep every member of your family happy for weeks.

Whether you’re looking for museums and historic sites, thrill-a-minute amusement parks, animal attractions, natural wonders and the great outdoors, sporting events, or a healthy dose of all the above and more, here’s everything you need to make your next family vacation a great family vacation.

“Stapen is a respected travel writer who has done some awfully good books on family travel. They’re well-researched, very well done.” – USA Today

“[A guide] to unusual family getaways, with insights into making the trip a happy one…A mix of country outings…city tours…history lessons…and just plain fun.” – The Washington Post

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Later editions available on

Cruise Vacations with Kids, Revised 2nd Edition

By Candyce H. Stapen, Prima Publishing, 1999

In Cruise Vacations with Kids, Stapen gives parents useful advice that will enable them to make the most out of their cruise vacations. The book focuses on the most popular cruise spots—the Caribbean, Bermuda, Mexico, the Bahamas, Hawaii, Alaska, and Europe. The book also covers windjammer cruises on the New England Coast, river trips in the heartland along the Mississippi, and options such as barge excursions on European canals and eco-adventure voyages.

“With more families than ever taking cruises, this is a particularly timely book. People who are sorting through the many choices available today need this kind of objective advice when they are deciding on a cruise for the whole family.” – CruiseReports

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Ski Vacations with Kids in the U.S. and Canada

By Candyce H. Stapen, Prima Publishing, 1997

Dig out the parkas and dust off the skis and snowboards, it’s time to hit the slopes. Every winter thousands of families head off to the snow in search of the perfect ski vacation. How can families ensure that their snow-filled family excursion will be fun as well as affordable? It’s easy with Ski Vacations with Kids in the U.S. & Canada.

“Whether your family whizzes down the steepest mountains or merely tackles the bunny slopes, this informative guide will make your vacation planning a lot easier. Organized by region, it includes details on more than 75 family-friendly places to ski and snowboard. Plus, get tips on everything from buying equipment to choosing ski instructors.” – USA Today

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Blue Guide Washington, DC

By Candyce H. Stapen, W. W. Norton, 2000

This… Blue Guide is a spectacular tour through the nation’s capital city and its environs. Packed with fascinating historical information charting the city’s development from the 1600s to present day and highlighting the political luminaries who have called it home, this guide provides the visitor with a thorough knowledge of this wholly unique and grandly designed city. This is the definitive guide to the area, with over thirty walking tours including detailed information on the many federal buildings, monuments, museums, and other important places to see, as well as information on additional sites within the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia, and suggested day trips to Civil War battle sites, Baltimore, and Annapolis.

“Blue Guides: Sure command of history, art, architecture…The most engrossing guidebooks since the 19th century Baedekers.” – Travel & Leisure

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Stapen’s books have been praised by The Washington Post, USA TODAY, USA Weekend, FamilyFun magazine, St. Louis-Post Dispatch, Vacations magazine, Washington Times, and many other publications.

“Stapen is a respected travel writer who has done some awfully good books on family travel. They’re well-researched, very well done,” USA Today

“The Great Family Vacations series is an inspiration to parents in search of worthy destinations. Stapen is an eminently practical parent and travel expert, down to the fine details. Perhaps even more important, she understands that exploring new places is a thrill that brings families closer together,” FamilyFun magazine

“…guides to unusual family getaways, with insights into making the trip a happy one.  Each guide highlights 24 destinations and they are a mix of country outings…city tours…history lessons…and just plain fun,” The Washington Post