Family Vacation Center at UC Santa Barbara

Outside the Bay Area, CA
Ages: 
All Ages
Affiliation: 
College/University-run
Editors' Notes: 

Located at UC Santa Barbara, CA

Parent Q&A

  • Montecito-Sequoia Family Camp or Other All-Inclusive Resort with Activities for the Kids?

    (3 replies)

    Are there any recent reviews on the Montecito-Sequoia Lodge Family Camp or other recommendations for all-inclusive resorts with kids' clubs?  Our family spent a few days at Basin Harbor Club in Vermont with my parents and brother and his family this summer and my parents want to do something similar on the west coast next summer.  I'm coming up short on similar resorts and am wondering how "rustic" the Montecito-Sequoia Lodge is.  How are the new "luxury" cabins?  How is the food?  The city family camps are definitely too rustic for my parents.  We'll have kids ages 2-7 in our group and are looking for someplace that provides three meals per day and has some sort of kids' camp. 

    Family Vacation Center at UCSB. The dorms are not rustic, and adult beds are transformed into 'kings' with foam padding and zip ties. The staff is amazing, you are steps from the beach and the pool is on site. If you decide to go, share my user name!

    We love Montecito Sequoia Lodge. We haven't done the summer family camp as we go to the Berkeley Family Camp. But we go with friends to Montecito Sequoia Lodge for Winter Break or Presidents' Day weekend and we love it. The food is pretty good for a family camp. We have stayed in the lodge and the luxury cabins on different occasions. The luxury cabins are very nice and comfortable but we like staying closer to the action in the main dining room and game room when staying with friends with kids. 

    Fans of Montecito Sequoia

    UCSB has something like family camp, with a kids' camp on-site, but you stay in the dorms which I assume are not rustic. It's expensive though!

Parent Reviews

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Archived Q&A and Reviews


August 2008

Re: Family camp next year for 6 and 7 year olds?
Try Family Vacation Center at USCB in Santa Barbara. We went to San Jose family camp for a few years, but sleeping on a cot in a tent in 100 degrees did not make for a comfortable week for us parents! ''FVC'' at UCSB houses you in dorm rooms. We have two children and arrived to find we were placed in a 4 bedroom dorm room. We had two bathrooms, two showers, a bed for each child and a bedroom to store the bikes. Privacy for mom & dad was a real plus!

We went knowing nobody but both my kids had ''best friends'' in a day or two. There is enough activity to keep any parent happy. It's just a bit higher class than many other camps, but the price is very reasonable. We enjoyed wine tasting and tours, yoga, kayaking, horseback riding, surf lessons, BBQ on the beach, movies, etc. but you can also do nothing but read by the pool if that suits you.

I also can't say enough about the counselors for the kids. I don't know how they do it, but they are unfailingly enthusiastic and fun, and the kids just LOVE them. They participate in so many activities as well. As parents we seem to have just the right amount of alone time and also the right amount of family time. No matter what I think, both kids voted to attend three more years and still want me to book next year. I really can't say enough about the location, the staff, and the fun times we have there. We have met really neat friends there and even learned to surf (fairly badly - but it's not for lack of quality instruction!) Check it out before you decide. For us, the drive is well worth it. Kirsten


Santa Barbara Family Camp

Feb 2006

We are considering a family vacation this summer at Santa Barbara Family Camp. Has anyone had any experiences with it? Gina


If you are talking about the Family Vacation Center at UCSB, we have attended with our three children 2 years and are going again this year. We love it. The counselors are great. The family activities are wonderful. The accommodations are suites with several bedrooms and a living room. The food is really quite good. The activities for the adults are fun too. Something for everyone and there's no pressure on the adults to do anything if you don't want to do it. The only thing is that it can be hard to get into because it is very popular. If you are looking into it, you should call soon as I imagine the most popular weeks are already sold out. Shannon