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California Vacations in the Bay Area

See below for kid-friendly sightseeing and vacation ideas in the San Francisco Bay Area. You may also be interested in Southern California Destinations for Families including San Diego, LEGOLAND California, and Disneyland.
  1. San Francisco (4)

Pismo Beach with Kids

With cliffs perched over white sand beaches and jaw-dropping ocean views, the scenic town of Pismo Beach is a gem on California's Central Coast. It is an ideal base from which to explore the 'Five Cities' community along Highway 1 as it winds through the beautiful landscape south of Big Sur.

Santa Cruz with Kids

With its family-friendly beaches, miles of open space and fun events for kids, Santa Cruz makes for a fantastic family getaway. Here are some of the most popular kid-friendly attractions.

Monterey Bay
Monterey Bay, south of San Francisco, is home to Cannery Row,the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Fisherman's Wharf, and a host of sea mammals in the ocean including sea lions, harbor seals, sea otters, and gray whales. The Big Sur Coast is a short scenic drive away. Stay at budget-friendly spots, or splurge at the Monterey Plaza Hotel and Spa.

Napa Valley for Families
The Napa Valley, a beloved getaway for wine-lovers, is also a fine place for families. About.com's Guide for California Travel recommends staying in Calistoga, taking a safari tour, and visiting the Petrified Forest and the (other) Old Faithful Geyser. Napa Valley is day-trip distance from San Francisco.

Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay
The luxury Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay resort has a scenic location amid miles of unspoiled a coast just forty minutes south of San Francisco. Family-friendly features include a Ritz Kids program and Kids Night Out.

Jelly Belly Day Trip
Take a tour of the Jelly Belly factory in Fairfield, about one hour north of San Francisco: About.com's Guide for California Travel has details (plus interesting facts about jelly bellies, which date back to the Civil War.)

Family Houseboating on the California Delta
Here's a novel way to get an extended family or group of friends together: rent a large houseboat with all the comforts of home (and maybe a waterslide on the back.) This guest article describes a family houseboating getaway on the California Delta, which has thousands of miles of waterways in the San Joaquin Valley.

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