Fun overnight trip with teens?

Seeking suggestions for smart, nice teens (2 or 3 boys, 14/15 + 2 adults) for a birthday weekend getaway.  I was thinking train from Emeryville to Sacramento Train Museum and old-town, stay in hotel with plenty of time for swimming and lounging around, then train back.  Other suggestions?  Within 2 hours of Bay Area please.  No camping.   Driving is an option too.  

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RE: Fun overnight trip with teens? ()

Your idea sounds fun. I would also suggest Santa Cruz, stay walking distance to the boardwalk and get the teens all day passes (buy one membership and get two free day passes along with it, I think?). They can alternate between rides and beach as they wish; set some geographic boundaries and then let them be free range. At both Santa Cruz and Old Sacramento, bike rental would also be fun.

RE: Fun overnight trip with teens? ()

If you teens are more adventure-seeking, you could try river rafting or cave exploring. There are beginning trips for an afternoon on the South Fork of the American River that are more like floating. My thrill-seeker recently went on the daylong raft trip on the Middle Fork of the American and he rated it an 8 out of 10! Another outdoor adventure activity he likes is cave exploring at Moaning Caverns or California Caverns. Both activities are with a few hours of the Bay Area. 

RE: Fun overnight trip with teens? ()

I like the train to Sacramento idea.  Poking around Old Town and hanging at the pool will be fun for them.  And going by train rather than car would be nice.   But you might want to reconsider the Train Museum.  It is actually quite interesting, but I think some teens would dismiss it as a little kid thing.  Many of them will have gone there during their Thomas / Chuggington years and will associate it with that. It will be packed with preschoolers making their pilgrimage, along with elderly train buffs.  What if you substituted that part with an Escape Room?   Sacramento is full of them, and that would be really fun for smart teens. Also, maybe one of “haunted house” tours — it might be fun in a kitschy, silly way.   If it’s not too hot out, I agree that bike rentals are a great idea.

RE: Fun overnight trip with teens? ()

We recently took our now 30-year-old son to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. We rented an airb&b which included 2-day passes, and some hotels offer two-day passes as well. You can also get a family yearly pass which may be cheaper than separate admissions. It is a long drive, but if you leave early enough, you can get a full day in at the aquarium or two shorter stays. If you buy tickets ahead of time, you can avoid the lines.