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None of these packages is a last resort

Email|Print| Text size + By Richard P. Carpenter
Globe Correspondent / June 24, 2007

The New England Inns & Resorts Association , nearly 300 properties that work together despite an occasional friendly rivalry, is featuring New England Family Vacation Packages , a few of which follow here. Travelers can get details about each offer from the home page of NewEnglandInnsandResorts.com , or from the contact information for the lodging spots.

Hotel to Hut adventures at the Mount Washington Resort at Bretton Woods, N.H., combine a resort stay with a mountain getaway in an Appalachian Mountain Club full-service hut. Families can hike through the back country, learning about the AMC's goal s to protect alpine and forest ecosystems and promote the use of renewable energy. Youngsters can earn their junior naturalist patch on the trip. Rates start at $185 per adult per night, $109 per child, with a two-night/two-person minimum. Also offered: Our Family Rocks rock climbing packages.

The website is mtwashington.com, the phone is 800-314-1752.

A Family Golf School at the Bethel Inn Resort in Bethel, Maine, includes two nights' lodging, all meals daily, unlimited golf with carts, daily instruction for the family, club rental for adults and youngsters, and full use of resort amenities and activities. The package is available Sunday through Thursday, starting at $1,499 for a family of four. (Children must be 8 or older for instruction.)

The website is bethelinn.com, the phone is 800-654-0125.

Ah, Cape Cod. The Lighthouse Inn in West Dennis calls its offering By Land or By Sea. The package consists of three nights' accommodations at the only privately owned US Coast Guard sanctioned lighthouse. Three breakfast buffets and three New England-style dinners are included, as are tickets to the local junior theater on the first evening. Parents then have a one-hour "Inn" Room Massage, while youngsters take part in an "InnKids" program. On the third day, there is a seal cruise for the family, and at night parents have dinner in the oceanfront dining room while the children again participate in "InnKids." Prices, based on two adults and two children ages 3-12, start at $1,932, tax included.

The website is lighthouseinn.com, the phone is 508-398-2244.

Family Adventures in Vermont at the Wildflower Inn in Lyndonville is a four-night package highlighted by such activities as moose searches, horse-drawn wagon rides, Oreo cookie cow tours, and a geocaching lesson. Breakfast is included each day, and lunch and dinner vouchers are included. Morning programs are available for children ages 4-11. The package starts at $569 per person, double occupancy; an additional person 12 or older pays $167.80; children 4-11 $207.80, and those under 3 $43.

The website is wildflowerinn.com, the phone 800-627-8310.

And what would a New England summer be without lobsters and bugs? The Inn by the Sea 's Land & Sea package in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, starts at $1,932, including taxes, for a family of four. It features two nights in a two-bedroom suite, a lobster boat excursion on which the family works side-by-side on the Lucky Catch hauling lobster traps and catching dinner. There is also family participation in the inn's Bug's World Family Garden Tours. Youngsters create their own fantasy bug costumes and learn about ecosystems from a bug's viewpoint. Parents, meanwhile, learn how to "plant for wildlife" in the garden.

The website is innbythesea.com, the phone is 800-888-4287 or, in Maine, 207-799-3134.

The New England Inns & Resorts Association was founded in 1907 and includes properties of all types and a variety of prices. Visit the website or call 888-705-5353.

Hey, big spender
Because July 7 (7/7/07) is supposed to be the luckiest day of the year or century or something, the Taj Boston is spotlighting an ultra-exclusive Lucky 7 Package. Included are a room for two on July 7 in Garden View Room No. 707, with Taj Club privileges and welcome amenity of cookies shaped like 7s; 77 Massachusetts Lottery tickets; a Dorfman Jewelers ' $7,770, 18-karat yellow gold necklace with a diamond pave motif ; games of chance; wine from the 1970s; a seven-course dinner for two; and Lucky 7 Taj Boston cocktails for two. All this for a price of $7,770. But if that's not your lucky number, the Taj has other packages this summer beginning at $305.

Call 877-482-5267 or 617-536-5700 or visit tajhotels.com/boston.

When not included, hotel taxes, airport fees, and port charges can add significantly to the price of a trip. Most prices quoted are for double occupancy; solo travelers will usually pay more. Offers are subject to availability and there may be blackout dates. Richard P. Carpenter can be reached at carpenter@globe.com.

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