Why - Arco is beautiful, and perfect for anyone who loves climbing, biking, wind surfing, or simply seeing a beautiful part of Italy. And best of all, it is a great area to travel with kids. We have been 5 or 6 times now with our little ones, and have always had wonderful weather, great climbing, and fun touring the area.
Where - Arco is located at the top of the beautiful touristy Lake Garda, in northern Italy. If you are wanting to see some of Italy, as well as getting in some excellent climbing while visiting Europe, this is the place to go. Verona is only an hour away, Milan 2.5 hours away, Venice 2 hours. Lake Garda has enough small towns/castles/and theme parks to keep you busy for at least 2 weeks as well.
When - Climbing is awesome in the fall and spring, but we have also lucked out throughout the winter (Christmas Break and Thanksgiving Break and even in February). Summer would be excellent for the lake, and there are shady crags, but we like to avoid the crowds.
Accommodations - There are tons of hotels and apartments you can find by googling, but we always prefer to stay at either http://www.guesthouse-arco.com/en_arco.php or http://www.lacolombera.it/residence_eng.php. Both are very close to the climbing, are kid friendly, and you have your own apartment so you can prepare dinner and breakfast and not deal with the stresses of going out with kids and save some money. La Colombera has a sandpit, slide, and swings even for the little ones!
Food - We had a lot of trouble finding any places open in the winter season for eating lunch. For dinners, the restaurants opened around 6, but many are not open in winter still. Riva has a lot of nice pizzerias and cafes right on the lake. Arco has a lot of pizzerias as well and will even let you order them for carry out. We like to stock up at the grocery store in Riva the first day we get there with fresh pasta, sauce, pesto, and fruits and veggies. Easy to make dinner in 20 minutes after coming back late from climbing that way... And we bring a baguette with cheese and salami and snacks for lunch at the crag in the day. Look for Kinder Eggs by the check out for a nice treat for the kids at the crag (a chocolate milky egg with a toy inside they get to put together). They aren't sold in the US because of the choking hazard of the toy size, but are super popular over here for a reason!