Next weekend — March 16-18Biarritz, France: 79.38 pounds round tripFly Ryanair from London Stansted to Biarritz.

A great place to start an exploration of this seaside resort city is at the Museum of the Sea. With more than 24 aquariums containing hundreds of species of fish and invertebrates from the Gulf of Gascogne, visitors can spend an afternoon exploring the sea. According to the museum’s Web site,, visitors can watch the seals being fed daily.

From there, head for the Le Phare de Biarritz on Cape Hainsart. Although the lighthouse is open for touring only during July and August, the surrounding cliff offers magnificent panoramic views of the area and is open all year.

Those with a sweet tooth should tour the Museum of Chocolate, which explains the treat’s history and manufacture. The museum includes an unusual exhibit of chocolate sculptures and offers tasting sessions. According to the city’s Web site,, the museum is closed on Sunday.

The Asiatica Museum of Oriental Art, in the center of the city, holds more than 1,000 works of art, primarily from India, Nepal, Tibet and China. There’s also the Historical Museum of Biarritz, located in an old Anglican church, that tells the city’s story.

Visitors wanting to rest their tired feet while still enjoying the sites should catch the little train from the Grande Plage promenade. It makes a 40-minute loop around the city’s sights.

Next month — April 13-15Blackpool, England: 49.94 pounds round tripFly Ryanair from London Stansted to Blackpool.

Blackpool is a holiday option for families wanting a quick, action-packed vacation away from home.

Start at Blackpool’s promenade and the Doctor Who Museum, which includes characters, costumes and props from the BBC series’ inception in 1963.

From there, head to Blackpool’s Pleasure Beach, where families can take in a 4-D cinema show, ride a roller coaster, enjoy some fine dining and even take in an ice skating performance. Visitors also can walk though the two-story Ripley’s Believe It or Not museum.

According to, exhibits include a fertility statue, two-headed cow and figures made of salvaged junk. Those wanting to mingle with politicians, royals and celebrities should visit the Louis Tussauds Waxworks.

Famililies will enjoy a visit to the Blackpool Zoo, home to more than 1,500 animals including elephants, lions, otters and kangaroos. The zoo also offers play areas, crafts, a cafe and a miniature railway.

Visit the Dinosaur Safari in the zoo to explore the dinosaur world. Thirty “dinosaurs” are on display, as well as spouting water geysers.

Another stop, if time allows, could be the Blackpool Model Village with handcrafted models and figurines depicting everyday life.

Airfare prices include estimated taxes and are courtesy of the Web site Prices were verified as of Monday afternoon when Stripes UK went to press. Deals are not guaranteed to be available; restrictions may apply.

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