California Family Vacation Ideas

California Family Vacation Ideas #1: Take the family on a adventure vacation at a circus and performing arts camp. Camp Winnarainbow in beautiful Mendocino County, Northern California has a kid's camp and an adult camp where you can satisfy that dream of running away to join the circus.

While the kids are learning circus and performing arts, they are also discovering personal achievement and developing respect for themselves, others and the environment.

At the adult camp you will be learning performing arts such as stilt-walking, clowning, mime, juggling or mask-making.

Enjoy swimming in the 3 acre lake with a 350 foot world class waterslide. Camp Winnarainbow is loads of fun at a fraction of the cost of other vacation options.


California Family Vacation Ideas #2: The beginning of the California gold rush of the mid-1800s was the quiet little town of Coloma, about an hour from Sacramento. It was here that James W. Marshall found gold flecks at his sawmill.

The rest is history and today you can visit this historic town and relive some of the gold fever that swept the country back then.

The famous Sutter's Mill has reconstructed the way it was on that exciting day along with the old school house and the blacksmith's shop. There's a creek near the where you can try your luck with panning for gold.

The village of Coloma has a number of interesting living history programs and a gold rush museum. The town really gets in touch with its gold fever history in January when it puts on the annual Gold Discovery Celebration.


California Family Vacation Ideas #3: By Melissa from TX - Of all places I've been so far, choosing my favorite vacation place is a tough one. My family and I recently took a week-long vacation out to California (from Houston, Texas). We started by flying into San Francisco.

Southern CA Coastal Highway One
Photo Credit: flickr.com/photos/billselak
We drove over the Bay Bridge out to Sacramento to visit relatives and the scenery was definitely different from Houston.

We spent a little time in SF Chinatown and I have mixed feelings about it. It was interesting to be there because it was just one LONG street full of Asian stores and restaurants. But at the same time, there were so many people walking along the streets of different cultures.

It was fun and chaotic at the same time. From San Francisco, we drove along the Pacific Coast Highway down to San Simeon to visit Hearst Castle. The drive down south was sensationally gorgeous! The view was so breath-takingly beautiful and the weather was unbelievable! Some of the turns were a little unappealing, but the view definitely made up for it.

After spending the night, we continued our drive down Pacific Coast Highway to Los Angeles where we stayed in Redondo Beach. I loved Los Angeles! There was so much to do there. You can walk along the Hollywood Walk of Fame, drive up to the Hollywood sign, spend the day at Universal Studios and Disneyland, walk to the beach, go shopping on Rodeo drive, the list just continues on and is endless! But if I had to narrow down the list to just one city that I enjoyed, no doubt about it that it would be Los Angeles!


California Family Vacation Ideas #4: California's Historic Mission Trail is a great place to take a visit into the state's past. There are twenty-one pre-1824 era Spanish missions located on the route that follows the original El Camino Real, which means The Royal Road. The missions are in use today and offer a variety of old-world architecture and historical interests. The route winds up the coastal Highway 101 between San Diego and Sonoma making an excellent road trip. Stop along the way for self-guided tours of the missions.


California Family Vacation Ideas #5: The Griffith Observatory is a beloved Los Angeles icon and houses a state-of-the-art planetarium in the large central dome. Here you can view all the stars and planets that are usually invisible behind the typical L.A. smog and pollution.

In the adjacent Hall of Science you can test your weight on the different planets or view the 6-foot topographical models of the earth and moon. There are also two telescopes to look at the sky with. One points at the sun and the other is trained on the moon and planets. The Griffith Observatory is a wonderful California vacation idea for the whole family.


California Family Vacation Ideas #6: Monterey Bay Aquarium has live exhibits, hands-on activities and multicultural displays. They now offer supervised scuba diving for children in the Great Tide Pool exhibit, whale-watching and kayak tours. Some award winning exhibits are Jellies: Living Art, Splash Zone, Vanishing Wildlife and Outer Bay. A visit to the aquarium will be an unforgettable experience for the whole family.

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