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Checking In: Travel and learn

Katarina Kovacevic is a freelance travel writer specializing in hotels and resorts. She's the author of The Food Lovers' Guide to Phoenix & Scottsdale and founder/editor of Style Jaunt, a blog about fashionable travel. Her work has appea...

Learning vacations

Sometimes the best life lessons happen on the road. Gain a fresh perspective and expand your travel horizons with a learning vacation.

Checking in

Learning vacations

Sometimes the best life lessons happen on the road. Gain a fresh perspective and expand your travel horizons with a learning vacation.

Sticky Rice Cooking School

Sticky Rice Cooking School

With its long summers and mild winters, South Australia is a popular beach getaway also known for its wine and culinary scene. Near the capital city, the Adelaide Hills wine region is home to Sticky Rice Cooking School, a hands-on Asian culinary program led by Australia's top chef personalities. Each one of Sticky Rice's new, eco-savvy villas feature a different design scheme. There's the Yoko Villa with its Japanese gardens and stunning Shoji screens; the Bali Villa complete with a stone bath and ambient-lit hut; and the Manager's Suite with its sunny kitchen and courtyard barbecue pit.

Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel Chicago

Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel Chicago

Feel the excitement of jazz-age Chicago and learn all about Al Capone (aka Scarface) with The Gangster Package at Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel. You'll journey into the past as you explore the city's hoodlum haunts, brothels and gambling dens that personified its tumultuous 1920s and '30s. The special also includes daily breakfast for two in the hotel's contemporary Italian restaurant Filini, a $50 gift card for Chicago-style pizza and drinks at Giordano's plus a free upgrade at check in based on availability.

ZAMAS Hotel

ZAMAS Hotel

Located just 3 miles south of Tulum Mayan ruins, ZAMAS Hotel takes you off the beaten path with a variety of learning vacations for summer and fall. Swim with one of the ocean's largest inhabitants by booking the Whale Shark Excursion, a five-night travel tour that also includes a visit to Coba, home to the Yucatán Peninsula's largest pyramid, and a guided snorkeling adventure. You can also build your own customized itinerary with options like a day trip to a local village, a visit to a Tulum pueblo and bird watching at nearby Sian Ka'an biosphere reserve.

Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel

Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel

Designed for families with kids age 8 to 12, Yellowstone for Families at the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel is a four-night excursion of Yellowstone National Park. You'll spend the first half of the trip at the hotel, followed by two nights at either the Old Faithful Snow Lodge and Cabins or Grant Village. A naturalist guide from the Yellowstone Association Institute leads you on daily field trips through the park while the little ones work on earning their Junior Ranger badges. Besides the lodging and exploration, the family travel tour includes breakfast and boxed lunches, in-park transportation and optional evening programs.

Inn at Dos Brisas

Inn at Dos Brisas

Learn the ins and outs of gardening with Texas Organic Farming 101 at the Inn at Dos Brisas. During the informal lessons at its onsite organic garden, tasting is encouraged as instructors walk you through the process of starting a garden, making the right varietal selections and creating a natural pest control system. Put your new skills to use with The Bartender’s Garden class and find out how to mix creative cocktails using homegrown, seasonal ingredients. The Washington, Texas ranch resort also offers lessons in horseback riding, clay target shooting, baking and more.

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