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Generational Travel in California

Travel is, and always will be, a bonding experience. With that, California offers several activities perfect for kids and grandparents to enjoy together. From national parks, landmarks and seaside beaches, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in the Golden State.


Family Activities in Huntington Beach
Experience family-friendly surf lessons in Surf City USA® and explore the scenic Huntington Beach bike path, perfect for leisurely rides with stops for refreshments and photos. Create memories on the water by renting electric boats in Huntington Harbour or immerse yourself in nature at Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, California's largest saltwater marsh, ideal for birdwatching and nature enthusiasts. Visit the Bolsa Chica Wetlands Interpretive Center for insights into the wetlands and access to trails within the expansive 1,400-acre reserve.

Explore Eureka
Eureka offers a perfect setting for family bonding, with ADA-accessible attractions like the Redwood Sky Walk providing memorable experiences for all ages and abilities. Families can also explore the Humboldt Botanical Garden together, where children and grandparents can stroll through diverse gardens, relax and learn about native plants. Additionally, a ride on a horse-drawn carriage through Old Town Eureka and a visit to Samoa Beach for relaxation and sunset views create unforgettable moments for kids and grandparents alike.

A Day of Fun in Torrance
Torrance boasts some of Southern California's finest beaches along with renowned craft beer, delectable cuisine, famous film sites and historic landmarks, including the expansive Del Amo Fashion Center. Visitors can explore contemporary art for free at the Torrance Art Museum during the day, followed by indulging in craft beer at one of Torrance's breweries. Additionally, families can enjoy the universally accessible Wilson Park Annenberg Tree House for a unique perspective and end the day watching the sunset at Torrance Beach.

Buellton: Small City with Big Hidden Gems
Buellton in Santa Barbara County offers big adventures featuring unique attractions like The Mendenhall Museum of Gasoline Pumps & Petroliana, showcasing one of the West Coast's largest petroliana collections, and Ostrichland USA, where visitors can interact with emus and ostriches in their natural habitat. Families seeking thrills can enjoy the Highline Adventure with California's longest and fastest zipline, while horse lovers can explore the scenic Santa Ynez River on horseback with Santa Ynez Valley Horseback Rides.

Sweet Treats, Art, and Toys in Beverly Hills
Centrally located in Beverly Hills, The Peninsula Beverly Hills offers the Camp Peninsula package, providing special memories for grandparents and grandchildren with a welcome from Peter the Bear and an in-room teepee and s’mores setup. Together, they can explore public sculptures in Beverly Gardens Park and capture a photo at the iconic Beverly Hills Sign, followed by sweet treats from Sprinkles Cupcakes' cupcake ATM or shopping at charming boutiques like Tom’s Toys and English Rabbit.

Naturally Connected in Monterey County
Discover the wonders of the ocean at the world-renowned Monterey Bay Aquarium and through tide pooling at Point Lobos Natural Reserve, offering interactive experiences for young learners. Delve into Monterey's history at the Ed Ricketts Lab and Cannery Row, then dive into the literary world of John Steinbeck at the National Steinbeck Center in Salinas. For an unforgettable marine-life encounter, embark on Monterey Bay Eco Tours in Moss Landing, where visitors can glide through Elkhorn Slough amidst sea otters and migrating birds.

Historical Outdoor Adventures in El Dorado County
Embark on an enriching family adventure in El Dorado County, where whitewater rafting on the South Fork of the American River offers a thrilling blend of natural beauty and history. Explore Marshall Gold Discovery State Park for a chance to pan for gold, picnic under huge oak trees, hike to the James Marshall statue and explore the Gold Bug Mine & Park's extensive grounds. Additionally, visit Wakamatsu Tea and Silk Farm Colony, a historic Japanese settlement and ranch listed on the National Register of Historic Places, where visitors can learn about Japanese horticulture and pioneer heritage.

Scenic Activities in SLO County
Situated in the heart of SLO County, San Luis Obispo offers diverse activities for all ages, with easy access to surrounding towns and attractions like Hearst Castle in San Simeon and local family-friendly wineries such as Biddle Ranch Vineyard. Families can also enjoy outdoor adventures with over 60 miles of trails in the city, including the Railroad Path and Sterling Trail, providing a scenic backdrop for quality time together, especially during sunset.

Mariposa County: The Ultimate Outdoor Playground
Embark on unforgettable family adventures in Yosemite National Park and Mariposa County, where iconic granite peaks and waterfalls offer breathtaking views for all generations. With various trails catering to different abilities, from strolls through wildflowers to challenging ascents, there's something for everyone to enjoy. Mariposa County provides accommodation options ranging from luxury hotels to vacation home rentals, ensuring comfort for travelers exploring the area together.

SLO CAL Family Fun
In SLO CAL (San Luis Obispo County), experience fun at Hambly Farms in San Miguel, where children can explore lavender fields and pet farm animals. At Kelsey See Canyon Vineyards, indulge in lawn games and live music while savoring cider and wine, then rent an electric boat from Estero Adventures in Morro Bay for a harbor cruise with wildlife sightings. For a cozy stay, book a room at Oceanpoint Ranch in Cambria, offering ranch-inspired activities like cornhole and horseshoes, private beach access and evenings filled with campfire s'mores and movies under the stars, along with homestyle dishes at the on-site restaurant, The Cow Tipper, to satisfy both grandpa and the little ones.

Family Friendly Fun in Rancho Cordova
Rancho Cordova offers a plethora of family-friendly activities, from the Sacramento Children's Museum to glow-in-the-dark mini golf at Sac Town Family Fun, to watersport rentals at Sacramento State Aquatic Center and educational experiences at Nimbus Fish Hatchery. With temperate weather year-round, affordable attractions and unique events like the California Capital Airshow and California Mermaid Convention, grandparents and grandchildren alike will find plenty to enjoy in this vibrant city.


Timber Cove Resort Along the Sonoma Coast
Nestled along California's Highway 1, Timber Cove Resort offers a blend of relaxation and activity suitable for all ages, featuring newly renovated Family Rooms equipped with amenities like board games and a record player. Families can unwind in the spacious Outdoor Living Room, and indulge in activities like s’mores by the fire, stargazing and games, while grandparents can enjoy wine tasting and dining at the resort's signature restaurant, Coast Kitchen. Enjoy all of this amidst the resort's natural surroundings with access to hiking trails, beaches and national parks nearby.

Lakehouse Resort in San Diego
In San Diego’s north county, Lakehouse Resort offers a hidden escape on the 80-acre Lake San Marcos, just a short drive from downtown and close to popular attractions like Legoland, San Diego Zoo Safari Park and Del Mar Racetrack. Ideal for multi-generational families, the resort provides a wealth of activities including golf, tennis, pickleball, swimming pools and kayaking, with accommodation options ranging from lakefront cottages to adventure suites featuring unique tent setups.

Eco-Conscious Luxury at Desolation Hotel in Lake Tahoe
Desolation Hotel, an eco-conscious luxury brand, offers convenient locations in South Lake Tahoe and Hope Valley, with Lake Tahoe accommodations featuring spacious rooms with private balconies, indoor fireplaces and kitchenettes. At Desolation Hotel Hope Valley, guests can indulge in various outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, stargazing and complimentary winter sports equipment, followed by cozy evenings at the on-site restaurant Sorensen’s.

San Diego’s Campland on the Bay®
Campland on the Bay® in San Diego is a beloved resort campground catering to all ages, offering affordable waterfront RV and tent camping along Mission Bay's shores for over 50 years. With a wide range of amenities, activities and scenic campsites, including beachfront and nature preserve views, it's the ideal destination for families seeking unforgettable experiences and multi-generational bonding.

Mendocino County’s Mar Vista Farm + Cottages
Mar Vista Farm + Cottages offers 11 vintage cottages nestled on nine picturesque acres along Mendocino County's "secret coast." Guests enjoy private beach access, redwood forest walks and interactions with local animals. Each cottage has a fireplace, antique furnishings and a well-equipped kitchen sourced from on-site gardens and nearby vendors. At the same time, outdoor spaces provide opportunities for family games, relaxation in hammocks and stargazing under the night sky.

San Francisco’s Cavallo Point
Set amongst over 75,000 acres of national parkland within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Cavallo Point offers a luxurious bayfront retreat with access to various activities including watercolor classes, kayaking, paddle boarding and hiking trails offering stunning views. With proximity to kid-friendly eateries and partnerships with nearby attractions, like the Bay Area Discovery Museum and Muir Woods, Cavallo Point ensures a memorable family-friendly experience in the Bay Area.

Orange County’s Centrally Located Hilton Anaheim 
For family vacations, Disneyland offers an inclusive experience suitable for all ages and is conveniently situated near Hilton Anaheim, an ideal accommodation boasting various amenities like the MIX Restaurant and Lounge, a large pool with a Kid’s Splash Zone and weekly activities for kids such as arts, crafts and character visits. The hotel's central location also provides easy access to Angels Stadium, Great Wolf Lodge, Orange County beaches and more, ensuring a memorable stay for the entire family.


Ribbit Exhibit at Sonoma Botanical Garden
Sonoma Botanical Garden welcomes spring with the Ribbit Exhibit, Apr 5 – Aug 31, featuring over 20 whimsical frog sculptures by artist Andy Cobb. Each with its unique name and story including Zenny meditating on a leaf, Bentley and his tortoise friend Tortuga, dapper Floyd and his elegant partner Grace cutting the rug amongst the flowers, and many others. These 4 to 6-foot-tall sculptures crafted from copper offer enchanting scenes for visitors to discover, including frogs sitting in trees, playing jazz or enjoying a cup of coffee on a garden bench.

San Diego Botanic Garden
San Diego Botanic Garden offers an urban oasis with 37 acres of trails, ocean views, and 29 themed gardens with over 5,300 plant species. Perfect for family outings, the garden features three children's areas, including the expansive Hamilton’s Children’s Garden, where kids can engage in interactive activities. Families can also participate in hands-on learning programs like Garden Time in the Incredible Edibles Garden on Wednesdays and Toddler Tales & Tunes with Grandma Kathy on Fridays, fostering quality time in nature for all.

Big Bear Activities for Kids & Grandparents
Create lasting memories at Big Bear Alpine Zoo, which not only rehabilitates wildlife but also educates visitors about coexisting with our animal neighbors. Explore Bear Valley Historical Museum to learn about Big Bear's past and visit Baldwin Lake Petting Zoo on weekends to interact with various farm animals. Enjoy the natural beauty of Big Bear Valley with hiking trails for all levels and picturesque picnic spots by the lake or in the forest. 

U-Pick Farms in Modesto
In Modesto, families can embrace the city's agricultural heritage by visiting its numerous U-Pick farms, offering a blend of California sunshine and fresh produce. Whether picking berries, stone fruits or flowers, these local farms and stands provide an ideal setting for bonding and shopping with loved ones amidst the fresh air.

Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park
Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park offers a unique experience where rides are integrated with natural elements like trees and gardens. With over 10,000 trees, including the renowned Circus Trees, families can enjoy attractions like the Bonfante Railroad through the redwood forest, the Panoramic Wheel with views of the 26-acre park, vintage car rides and serene boat paddling. Additionally, the Green Barn provides an eclectic mix of nature exchange, science lab, art studio and reading nook, making it a multifaceted space for exploration and learning.

Los Angeles Zoo
Located within Griffith Park, the Los Angeles Zoo offers an immersive experience for families with over 1,400 animals from around the world. Kids can engage in interactive activities like feeding giraffes and riding carousels, while grandparents can enjoy leisurely walks through gardens or educational keeper talks on conservation efforts. Remember to visit the Treetops Terrace for breathtaking city vistas and memorable family snapshots.

Safari West: Where Luxury Meets Wildlife
Safari West, a 400-acre sanctuary dedicated to wildlife preservation, hosts over 900 animals across 90 species, offering immersive guided safari tours for up-close encounters. Additionally, families can indulge in exclusive glamping accommodations featuring luxury tents imported from Botswana, providing a cozy retreat amidst the African wildlife soundscape, promising an unforgettable blend of luxury and wilderness in Sonoma County.

Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach
Experience undersea magic and bonding at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, where grandparents and grandchildren can explore over 12,000 ocean animals, enjoy animal shows, dine at Cafe Scuba, and immerse themselves in the interactive theater of Pacific Visions. From touching sharks and sea jellies to feeding lorikeets and taking home ocean-themed souvenirs at the Pacific Collections gift store, it's a day filled with unforgettable moments and cherished memories for all.


Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center 
The Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center in Santa Rosa celebrates Schulz's legacy with exhibits showcasing original comic strips and offering insights into his creative process, providing an engaging experience for visitors of all ages to explore and appreciate the iconic Peanuts characters.

Friday Nights at Oakland Museum of California 
The Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) hosts unforgettable Friday Nights suitable for all ages. Starting at 5:00 p.m., free activities in the OMCA Garden include lawn games, hands-on activities and rotating museum programming. Guests can also indulge in culinary delights from Off the Grid food trucks while exploring OMCA galleries and special exhibits, with admission free for museum members. 

Irvine’s Pretend City Children’s Museum
Pretend City Children’s Museum offers a captivating, interactive environment where kids can explore various adult roles like working, shopping and visiting the doctor. It's an ideal setting for grandparents to nurture their grandchildren's creativity and cognitive skills while enjoying quality bonding time together. 

Aviation and Space History in Santa Maria Valley
Immerse in aviation history at the Santa Maria Museum of Flight, showcasing a century-long legacy of flight from the Wright Brothers to present-day aviation. Explore exhibits across two hangars featuring full-sized aircraft, memorabilia and photos. Nearby, the Santa Maria Discovery Museum offers interactive sensory exhibits, including space-themed exhibits like the Vandenberg Launch and Discovery Space Shuttle, and hands-on experiences exploring the region's history and agriculture. 

Journey Through History at the USS Potomac in Oakland
Touring the USS Potomac is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that takes all generations on a journey through history. Once aboard the vessel, visitors are transported back to the days of former U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who used the ship as his presidential yacht. Affectionately dubbed “the floating White House” by the press, the USS Potomac is one of the few floating museums in the country.


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