Family Vacation Ideas
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– Sep 11, 2022(5 replies)
Hello! It may be a bit early but my family has been researching xmas vacation spots! : ) It always takes us a while to decide so we'd love ideas please!Sep 11, 2022
– Mar 21, 2022(4 replies)
Does anyone know of any hotels in California (could be in the Bay Area or southern CA) that have a kids’ club or childcare? We’re looking to take a vacation somewhere where the grownups can get a little bit of a break to enjoy some swimming or quiet time, even if it’s just for a few hours a day.Mar 21, 2022
– Mar 7, 2022(1 reply)
Are there vacation type spots within a day's drive that have activities for preschool age kids so that they can get their play time in for the day, away from their boring parents? One model for this is Tahoe, where the kids can go to all day ski school - are there other places around here that have a similar structure? We would love to get away for a bit, especially during all the school holiday weeks that are coming up, but know our only child will probably want more in the way of activities than this tired mom can provide on her own. Thanks for any recommendations!Mar 7, 2022
– Sep 30, 2021(3 replies)
Looking for recommendations for spring break locations (April) - looking for within driving distance (3-4 hours max) since we have a young child who may or may not be vaxxed by then. We would love to do something with a heated pool. We were hoping for Sea Ranch but the pools are not open to kids and unclear when that will change. We can do a rental house or condo that has a pool in the community, housing for 6. Prefer not a hotel since we want to stay for a week.
Thank you!!Sep 30, 2021
– Nov 10, 2019(7 replies)
Some good friends of ours asked if we wanted to go on vacation with them for a week after Christmas. There will be 4 adults and 7 kids ages 7-15. We probably want somewhere warm with things to do. Probably better at this late date to go within a (long) day's drive than a flight. Ideas about where to go? We've been kicking around San Diego (Wild Animal Park, zoo, tide pooling) and Las Vegas (shows, good pools, maybe a (long) day trip to the Grand Canyon). Ideas about where to go and where to stay?Nov 10, 2019
– Oct 17, 2019(8 replies)
Hello! I am considering taking my 7 year old-who loves reading/books, animals, art, shopping, and dancing-on a weeklong vacation abroad. What are some fun vacation spots that you would recommend? Any survival tips and specific lodging and tour recommendations would be appreciated!Oct 17, 2019
– Feb 4, 2019(5 replies)
Baby #2 is coming in June. My husband and I are overlapping our maternity and paternity leaves at the end and would like to take a vacation with our daughter (age 3.5 at the time) and infant (3 months or so) in September. Our thinking is that if we having to be feeding the baby every three hours, we may as well do it someplace warm where we can swim and relax in between. Likely to bring a set of grandparents with us. We will be flying out of SFO. Europe is too far for us. Any other suggestions of great places for a 3.5 year old and a baby in late September? Many thanks!Feb 4, 2019
– Dec 27, 2018(3 replies)
Hello all! I'm pondering our next vacation. What has been your favorite family vacation spot/activity (preferably outside of Northern California, but somewhere in North America)?
We have a 3 and a 4 year old. We can be adventurous with them though, so it doesn't necessarily have to be an overly-kid-centric destination, although we are open to those ideas too :) Happy with beaches, or mountains, or... anything that sounds cool & fun!
Thank you!Dec 27, 2018
– Oct 19, 2018(3 replies)
HI all, I'm looking for advice for a fun road trip to take with my 1 and 4 year old over winter break. Requirements:
-not more than 4-5 hour drive
-easy with little kids, ie lots of stuff to do and a nice place to stay with maybe an indoor pool and activities, bonus if a suite where kids can sleep separately.
-either warm beach (unlikely in a 4-5 hour drive) or winter without feeling like a fancy ski resort.
-wont break the bank
Send me your thoughts!Oct 19, 2018
– Jun 10, 2018(7 replies)
I’m looking for a peaceful, beautiful, reasonably-priced and family-friendly place to spend an August week within a half-day’s drive from here. We’d like to rent a place with 3 bedrooms within walking distance to a warmish swimming beach and interesting activities within driving distance. I have elderly parents who can’t drive too far away and a couple of sports-obsessed kids who need to get more comfortable in the water. Don’t need any tech bells and whistles as we like to unplug during that time. Would welcome any suggestions. Many thanks!Jun 10, 2018
– Aug 18, 2017(8 replies)
My husband and I want to leverage our parental leave to go on a month-long "vacation" with our two year old and infant, and are brainstorming where we could go. We're planning to go in November and want to get a long-term rental in one place, versus traveling to multiple places. Given that we'll have a 3 month old, we don't want to go anywhere too rustic or exotic. We want to opt for a relatively easy experience versus tons of culture. (We've both done a fair amount of traveling ourselves.) We also don't want to deal with inclement weather, so cities in Europe could be limited. Any thoughts or recommendations? I know we're rather limiting in our parameters but I'm hopeful we can find a place we're excited about. Thanks!Aug 18, 2017
– Jun 3, 2017(3 replies)
I'm looking for suggestions for a place to spend a week or more this mid-August with a family of four and one set of elderly grandparents (probably 3BR 2Ba). I'm hoping for something within several hours' drive of Berkeley where the pace is slow, there is natural beauty, lots to do, an abundance of reasonably-priced vacation rentals, and finally, a calm, warm-enough-for-swimming beach on a lake or river for shaky swimmers. Is this pie-in-the-sky? So far we have already tried Pinecrest Lake. I'm wondering if the Russian River would be a good choice? We may not be able to commit until July, to further complicate things.
Thanks in advance for any tips.Jun 3, 2017
– May 26, 2017(7 replies)
Since I'm not a Bay Area native, I'm wondering if there are any vacation communities near here (summer cottages or similar) where families tend to go year after year for generations. I'd like to find a place where my kids can grow up seeing the same kids every summer (and/or winter) throughout their lives. Ideally it'd be less than 6 hours drive from the East Bay and have swimming, sports, etc. I know about the various family camps, but wondering if there are other places with homes available for purchase or rental.May 26, 2017
– Jan 22, 2017(9 replies)
Hello BPNers! Preschool is out first week of Apr, and we could use advice on where to go with our 4yr old and 2.5yr old. We have done Hawaii a couple times, though in all honesty I am not sure that the money and efforts are worth it. We are thinking ideally a place we can drive to, where we have a chance at renting a place with two bedrooms where we'd chill for a week, and ideally with some decent food options, and maybe near some kiddie diversions(beach? park?). We did a trip last Aug to Marina Del Rey and had a townhouse one block from the beach and had a great time. We could do it again, but are there other places we should consider? Down the coast - Santa Barbara? Pismo Beach? Up wine country? Could also go into the mountains though not sure about weather or food or two bedrooms.
Thank you for your advice!Jan 22, 2017
– Oct 6, 2016(13 replies)
A dear family friend left us a bit of money in her will, specifically intended for a special trip or experience. I am now trying to decide how to use the money to take a 1-2 week vacation with my family. We have two young daughters who will probably will be 3 and 6 at time of travel (or we might put it off until 4 and 7). I've been considering somewhere in the US, Europe, or Latin America. We would probably stay in one city/area the whole time and do a couple of day trips. Although we like beaches, we're not really looking for a beach vacation, but just a new experience that both kids and adults can enjoy. I used to travel extensively, but that last real trip I took was my honeymoon, so I feel as if I'm starting from scratch. We know some Spanish and French. Did you have a great vacation destination with young kids that you can recommend?Oct 6, 2016
Archived Q&A and Reviews
- Relaxing cheap winter vacation?
- December trip with 12-year-old
- February vacation resort for baby and toddler?
- Reasonable Family Summer Vacation 2-3 weeks
- Kid-Friendly (school age), Nature-Oriented trip?
- Week-long family vacation within California
We had to change travel plans last summer and couldn't cancel our plane tickets, so as a result we have credit that we have to use or lose by winter. We're trying to decide where to go during winter break. What we want is to relaxe, swim in warm water, snorkel, hike, with some more adventurous options for our teens. Oh, and we don't want to spend much money! We don't want anything fancy, we're really happy in rustic lodgings, but would love to find something near or on a beach. We have quite a lot of credit, so we can travel somewhere pretty far away. New Zealand? Costa Rica? Belize? Mexico? We'd love to get recommendations. ann
Last December we went to Akumal on the Yucatan Peninsula, and it was wonderful. We rented a bungalow with Hotel Akumal http://www.hotelakumalcaribe.com/ It was very reasonable, a few hundred yards from the beach. Not fancy but clean and wonderful, with a great restaurant right on the beach. There's swimming, snorkeling, and it was very relaxing.
Greetings - we have an unusual situation coming up - each summer, we have taken a family vacation somewhere fun, different, memorable, to expose the kids to the rest of the country and spend the vacation time wisely. Two years ago, we moved from the Bay Area to the country; there are limited options here and I think I'll have a nervous breakdown if I have to entertain the kids from June 17 to August 1 when they leave for summer camp. So the question is, with an especially limited budget this year, where to take a family of four for two or three weeks, for about $1000 - $1500? Since we live in the country, I must say I'm really not in to camping, which I know is the least expensive option. Somewhere drivable would be great, accessible from Northern California (that would be all of California, Arizona, Oregon, Washington, perhaps even Idaho/Montana). The kids are now 9 and 11 and great travelers. I think having a destination would be great, rather than just a road trip for the sake of driving. Thanks for any ideas.
Preparing for a long summer
This is what my family is doing this summer - www.holdenvillage.org.
This is a Lutheran retreat center (open to non-Lutherans) in the Cascade Mountains in Washington in an abandoned copper mining camp. It is only accessible by hiking or by boat. No TV, no internet, no phones - cell phones don't even work there - but great hiking, kids activites (half day childcare!), great food and VERY INEXPENSIVE.
The maxium rate for a week for a family of 4 is just over $1,000 - all enclusive. There are also discounts for those who volunteer on top of this.
This is an unapologetically Christian retreat center. But, bear in mind, Christian does not equal Christian Right. Holden is LGBT friendly, enviromentally engaged, and socially involved. Everyone in the community is required to worship together every night, but no one is going to force you to take communion or get baptized.
Check out their web site. Maybe we'll see you there. Katie
Last summer I went to Stinson Beach for a week ... (click for full review)
I wished to ask the recommendation to travel with a 12 yr old boy to Mexico, Cancun, Costa Rica or Hawaii big Island in January. When I compare the 3 for quality of water clearness, temeprature of water. Safety to drive and other attraction. Which is most recommended?
I can't speak to all your options, but I've been to Cancun and to the Big Island. I would not recommend Cancun: It seems to be geared toward young singles, with a spring break feel (even though I was there in September). The water is not clear and if you are interested in snorkeling or diving you will have to travel away from the city (Cozumel and the coast south of Cancun are supposed to have more to offer in this area; maybe other poster can offer personal observations). I would highly recommend the Big Island, particularly if you are into hiking as well as water activities. The west side of the island is dry and has extremely clear water and beautiful underwater scenery. Kilauea Volcano (SE corner of island) would be fabulous for a 12 year old. You may be able to hike out to view lava flowing, but even if Mother Nature does not cooperate, the hikes through the craters, the steam vents, lava tube, etc. are great. The east side of the island is lush, rainy and offers great scenery, waterfalls and hiking. I highly recommend the book Hawaii: the Big Island Revealed Carrie
I would like to get specific recommendations for a good resort to take my family to. We are planning a vacation sometime in February. My husband and I will have a 4 month old and 23 month old by then. We are looking for a warm climate, good swimming pool, and most important--good childcare! We are considering Mexico but open to any other suggestions including Hawaii. Thank you! sadie
We recently visited Santa Barbara with the toddler and baby and had a fabulous time... (click for full review)
Hi - Can anyone recommend (based on recent experience) a nature- oriented destination for a mom & school-age girl, both of whom enjoy nature (but not ''extreme sports'' or anything). e.g., animals, bugs, plants, birds, more than rock-climbing or steep hikes. This could be a rental, or a guided-trip, or an all- inclusive place. Any place where the emphasis is more on the natural history than on rides/parks/commercial areas. Any and all ideas welcome! Thank you!
Seeking nature-oriented but comfortable places
Check out Michael Ellis, an amazing naturalist who leads everything from day hiking in Marin to a week in the Mojave/Death Valley to three week trips to Africa. When our kids were little (probably about 6 and 9) we went down to the Mojave with him and it was fantastic. He has kids (or maybe just one) and was great with ours. One of our best family vacations ever. You will see and learn so much. His website is http://www.footlooseforays.com/
I would like some updated recommendations as to where we can take a week long vacation within California. We being myself, husband, two year old son and 10 week old son. We usually whittle away vacation by spending it with relatives - so this will be our first vacation (in a long while) where it will be just the four of us.