The summer vacations for kids have started. You must be planning a trip. However, if you have inadequate leave or budget for an exotic vacation, then escape to any of the following hill stations near Mumbai. They are equally enjoyable.
Mahabaleswar: This beautiful hill station near Mumbai is about five hours drive. Mahabaleswar is famous for its strawberries. Just pack your bags and get set for this amazingly scenic and serene destination.
The major tourist attractions are Wilson point, Elephant point, and Kate’s point. The kids will love the Elephant point which resembles the head of an elephant. You can also take the kids for boating on Veena Lake or, enjoy go-karting. Do not forget to visit the eco-park.
Panchgani: The twin town of Mahabaleswar, Panchgani is equally beautiful and tranquil. The kids would love exploring the vintage charm of this quaint and picturesque hill station. The major tourist attractions in Panchgani are Sydney Point, Table Land, Parsi Point, and Mala’s. Panchgani is famous for its residential schools, which are nice to pass by. Films like “Taare zameen par” were shot in this hilly town.
The one place that you should never miss during your Mahabaleswar and Panchgani trip is the Mapro Garden. I can guarantee that you will have a hard time pulling your child away from this place. Mapro garden is a strawberry farm and has a chocolate factory. The kids can have a look at how strawberries are grown and also peep into the chocolate factory and observe the process of chocolate making. Do not miss to taste the awesome strawberry ice-cream here! The cafeteria inside Mapro Garden is one of the major attractions. Pack your bag with chocolates before you head out from here.
Matheran: This is another beautiful hill station near Mumbai. It takes hardly three hours to reach Matheran. From Mumbai, travel to Neral either by Central railway or by road and from there take the toy train to Matheran. The kids would enjoy the toy train ride. It takes around two hours to reach the top on this train. The view from the train window is definitely amazing. Matheran is an eco-friendly hill station where cars are not allowed. So be prepared to do a lot of trekking and walking with your little one. The kids can enjoy horse rides. Strolling around in Matheran could be lot of fun. There are various adventure sports available which the kids can enjoy. Lazy nature trailing is an interesting option too.
Lonavla: This is the favourite destination for Mumbaikars. Lonavla is hardly two hours from Mumbai and it is beautiful. Even though the waterfalls are not available during summer yet the Bhushi Dam can be a cool retreat. The wax museum here is worth a visit. You can take the kids to Kalra caves nearby. The kids would relish the chikis (a local peanut delicacy) here.
Khandala: Next to Lonavla is Khandala. You can quickly escape to this place to beat Mumbai heat. Every time we go there, my son is thrilled to visit the Monkey point where he feeds the monkeys and chases them. In summer months, the waterfalls would not be there but you can always enjoy a nice walk and view of the hills here.