Sea of Galilee - Galilee
Galilee, the most lush area in Israel, its greatest claim to fame is, of course, as the place where Jesus was baptized and did most of his preaching. A land of forests, green valleys, farmlands and, of course, the Sea of Galilee (Lake Kinneret). Kids will also have fun exploring ruins of ancient Iron and Bronze Age, and Roman towns.
Bet Hashomer Museum - The museum's location provides a spectacular view of the Upper Galilee, which works perfectly with the purpose of this museum: to provide an overview of the region as settled in the 20th century. There are displays of early 20th century clothing, buildings, weapons and an audio-visual presentation covers the settlement and defense of the area. Check their calendar for family activities.
Tiberias - A town on the Sea of Galilee with wonderful archaeological sites but also some modern spots for relaxation. Those who've seen it throughout the year suggest that spring is the best time to come, when you'll see wildflowers blossoming on the hillsides. The town was founded by Herod's son, and it is famous as the place where the Hebrew alphabet came into its modern form. It is considered one of the most holy places in Israel both because it's believed that Jesus was baptized on this shore and because of its importance to the Talmud. It is also the site where the philosopher Maimonides is buried, and where the first kibbutz (collective farms) were established. With all of this, Tiberias is a walking town - just bring comfortable shoes and drinks for the kids.
- It can be a bit touristy, but it's a lovely walk along the shores of the Galilee and a great place to stop for lunch or a sunset dinner.
- Who could resist taking a boat ride in this place? Your view of the city from a boat ride is quite pretty, as it sits hillsides along the edge of the water.
- Built of black basalt, and rebuilt in the 18th century.
Tiberias Hot Springs Spa (Hamat Geder)
- A hit for its thermal baths for over 2,000 years.
- Two thousand years of burials give you quite a selection in the town. Check out the Romans, the Hebrews, the Palestinians, and the Israeli "cities of the dead" if you want to do a little history while you're strolling. The most famous "resident" is probably Maimonides.
Zippori National Park - Zippori is an intact ruin of a Judean town during the Roman period. This town chose to side with the Romans over the Israelite rebels during the revolt of 68 AD, and for that reason was spared destruction. It is a Roman-planned city, with beautifully preserved mosaics. There's also an older Iron Age site, and a Crusader-era fort. Highlights are the Roman mosaics and zodiac mosaic on the synagogue floor.
Meggido National Park - Tel Meggido was a vibrant and strategically important city since the Bronze Age. It controlled the vital access road through the Jezreel Valley between Egypt and Babylon. It was here that the first battle of history was recorded, between Egypt and the Hittites of Anatolia. The Greek word Armageddon is derived from this site's name, Megiddo.
The ruins visible today are all Iron Age Israelite ruins, from Solomon's reign until the Babylonian conquest. The ruins are made more impressive with a little imagination and with knowledge of this site's historical significance. The incredible Iron Age cisterns dug beneath the city are still accessible to visitors!
Beit She'an - This city enjoyed immense prosperity during Roman rule, and is built like a Roman provincial city, complete with baths, a library, and a colonnade. On the hill towering above the site, Iron Age ruins are still somewhat visible. The most remarkable aspect of the site is the Roman ruins set before the dramatic backdrop of the Jordan valley and the cliffs of Jordan opposite.
Ein HaNatzi - A very short drive from Beit She'an is a natural spring that turns into a large river, perfect for a hot sunny day after a trek around Beit She'an. After paid entry into a parking lot, it's just a hundred feet to this relaxing oasis with lush grass and pools with natural waterfalls. The site has restrooms, showers, and a snack bar and dining hall.