When most folks think of California beaches, thoughts of Southern sun soaked places like Malibu, Venice and Manhattan Beach typically come to mind. They’re all great destinations, but there’s more to be had at California beaches than a great tan. Visitors willing to trade a swimsuit for a sweatshirt will find reward and maybe even treasure in Mendocino County.
I remember riding by the drive-in movie theatre in my hometown as a young kid, craning my neck to catch a glimpse of whatever was playing on the big screen. The theater, like most across the country, closed before I was old enough to actually watch a movie from the comfort of my parent’s car. Every now and then in your travels you pass by a big screen just off the highway, but I’d never come across one still nightly lighting up the screen until my kids and I rolled into Santa Barbara.
Long known to fishermen out to hook dorado for dinner, the seaside town of Loreto on Baja California’s east coast is slowly making a name for itself with folks who would have no idea what to do with a rod and reel.
About 250 miles north of Cabo San Lucas, Loreto is classic old Mexico and, for the most part, still largely untouched by tourism’s influence. This is not a party town. You’ll find all the cerveza and tequila you’ll need, but life here is quiet and slow.
Washington DC and American history go hand in hand, but that doesn’t mean you have to be a history buff to enjoy a summer trip to the nation’s capitol. There’s plenty to keep all ages entertained, and with a number of airlines offering direct flights from SFO, getting there is a snap.
Canada has what seems like an endless list of great family vacation spots. But for all those famous known locales, there are just as many unknowns to discover. One of my favorites is also one of the easiest to explore. Richmond, BC is Vancouver’s next door neighbor and home to the Vancouver International Airport making direct flights from the Bay Area quick and easy.
Spring has arrived and for many families it’s the only motivation they need to get outside and soak up some Vitamin D. Heading to the beach is a popular activity, which is no surprise, really, considering Northern California has so many beautiful stretches of sand to choose from. But every now and then you discover a shiny gem that reminds you how lucky we are.
Head north over the Golden Gate and in about an hour you’ll find yourself rolling into Santa Rosa. The biggest city between San Francisco and Portland, it’s an easy daytrip, but packed with enough activities to easily fill a weekend or two. Add in a professional cycling road race, the Amgen Tour of California, and it has all the makings of a great family getaway.
Somewhere along the line, someone started a bad rumor families can’t have fun in wine country. Granted most kids prefer apple juice to that funny tasting old grape stuff, but that’s ok, because you can taste the flavor of wine country in St. Helena without ever setting foot in a tasting room.
Family-fun in wine country without wine starts with wheat at Bale Grist Mill Historic State Park. A stone’s throw off of Highway 29 between Calistoga and St. Helena, it’s one of those places that’s easy to zip by.
Bet you didn’t know San Jose boasts an average of more than 300 sunny days per year. That fact alone makes San Jose a great weekend getaway for many Bay Area families. Just an hour south of San Francisco, a short car ride has all the makings for a great long weekend.
Winchester Mystery House
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