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Summer Vacation Ideas - by Region

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10 of 14

California
Photo courtesy of Legoland California.
Photo courtesy of Legoland California.
Most visitors to California come to its coastal cities, where temperatures stay more moderate in summer months.

Northern California has some stunning beach scenery - the sea is cold for swimming, though. Instead, take in San Francisco's great sightseeing for families.

Forty minutes down the coast, the Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay has a scenic spot, for an upscale kid-friendly getaway. Continuing south, Monterey Bay is a popular tourist spot, with a well-known aquarium, and a good chance to see sea lions and sea otters. Or head inland to the Napa Valley, for some kid-friendly fun.

Halfway between San Francisco and LA, San Luis Obispo has some affordable and kid-friendly sightseeing, plus free fun at beaches with tide pools, piers, or sand dunes.

For swimming beaches, head to Southern California where many beaches are great spots for surfing too. Even kids as young as eight can take surfing lessons -- take a try at Huntingdon Beach, dubbed "Surf City USA". Southern California is also home to Disneyland, Universal Studios Hollywood, Knott's Berry Farm, LEGOLAND California.

Still further south, San Diego has fine family sightseeing. And for a summer-only idea, check out the Santa Barbara Family Vacation Center: all-inclusive price with kids programs, on the beach-side campus of the University of California. - continue to Caribbean and Mexico
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