Family Getaways, Wine Country, Day Trips, Family Travel

Five Fantastic Fall California Getaways for Families

October 17, 2017

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Fall can be a fantastic time to travel in California, with less crowded destinations and wonderful weather, especially at the coasts. There's no shortage of fantastic destinations for families—from the Pacific to the Sierra mountains, there's something for the whole family! Here are our picks for five fantastic places to head to this fall, all of which are only a few hours away from Marin and the Bay Area.

Lake Tahoe Ski, Snowboard & Snow Play Family Fun

October 8, 2017

Skiing in Lake Tahoe

It's only October, but already there's some snow up in the Sierras, which means it's time to get ready for the start of ski and snow play season in Lake Tahoe. Many of Tahoe ski resorts have already announced their anticipated opening dates for the 2017–2018 season. Generally, big resorts with their own snow-making equipment open earlier in the season.

The Lake Tahoe area has a variety of resorts and ski areas to suit anyone's taste and budget. Here's our guide to places to ski, snowboard, tube, sled, and play in the snow around Tahoe. We're tried to focus on resorts that offer not only skiing and snowboarding, but tubing, snow play, and other winter activities, too. If we've omitted your favorite, please let us know.

Experience Life on the Farm at McClelland's Dairy Pumpkin Patch

September 26, 2017

McClelland's Dairy Pumpkin Patch

McClelland's Dairy is a family-run, certified organic dairy farm located just west of Petaluma, and their annual Halloween pumpkin patch just keeps getting better and better every year. McClelland's offers a lot of fun for families, especially if you are looking for a genuine farm experience. If you haven't been there yet, it's definitley worth putting on your fall family itinerary. Attractions and activities here range from a farm animal petting zoo and a look into the dairy's milking barn to a giant slide and obstacle course to a new Haunted Forest and an air-powered pumpkin cannon. You can hang out here and play all day!

Pumpkin Patches Further Afield

September 19, 2017

Pumpkin Patch

While there are plenty of awesome pumpkin patches to choose from in Marin and southern Sonoma counties (see our list of those here), you can find other great places to pick up pumpkins and other Halloween and autumn treats throughout the greater Bay Area. Maybe you're headed on a road trip to the south bay, or bound for the grandparents' house in Sacramento this October—there's probably a pumpkin patch on the way. Here are a few out-of-town pumpkin patches, in Solano, Contra Costa, and San Mateo counties, that we've visited at one time or another or had recommended to us.

6 Last-Minute Family Getaways Before Summer Ends!

August 10, 2017

Asilomar State Beach Pacific Grove

The new school year is almost here, but that doesn't mean that summer is over! There's still time pack up the kids and take a last-minute summer family getaway. Here are 6 of our favorite destinations that aren't that far away and are perfect for an impromptu end-of-summer trip.

Take a Family Summer Staycation at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco

August 6, 2017

Palace Hotel San Francisco

When we make our summer vacation plans, sometime we forget that we live in one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world—the San Francisco Bay Area! We recently got a chance to play tourist and spend a fun and luxurious summer "staycation" weekend right in our own back yard at the famous Palace Hotel in downtown San Francisco. This recently renovated historic hotel in the heart of the city has been a favorite place to stay since its founding 1875, hosting presidents, royalty, and of course families!

We had a blast at the Palace. With welcoming and helpful service, fantastic amenities, and plenty of things to do, it makes for a fun and memorable getaway. Here's why the Palace Hotel is perfect for a fun getaway with the kids this summer:

Gravenstein Apple Fair: An Old-Time Country Festival

August 3, 2017

Gravenstein Apple Fair

Where can you spend the day walking under ancient oaks following your nose from food booth to food booth (featuring frying apple fritters or slices of four-inch high apple pie), taking in terrific acoustic music, and experiencing the sights and sounds of a turn-of-the-century barnyard? At the annual Gravenstein Apple Fair, of course!

Sonoma County's summertime jewel takes place in Sebastopol's Ragle Ranch Park this weekend, August 12 and 13. 2017's event is the 105th Gravenstein Apple Fair, which showcases the best in arts, crafts, food, wines and beers, games, entertainment, and farm life activities.

Squaw Valley Is the Place to Go for Summer Family Fun in Tahoe

August 1, 2017

Squaw Valley bike trail

It's been a while since I've spent some time in Squaw Valley, the famous resort located west of Lake Tahoe, so when my family and I went there this summer, I found myself wondering why it's been so long since I last visited! There's so much for families to do here—it's the perfect destination for a summer family getaway in the mountains.

Celebrate the "Holidaze" at the 2017 Sonoma County Fair

July 24, 2017

Sonoma County Fair carnival

In case you missed or just didn't get enough of the Marin County Fair, you'll be happy to know that the 2017 Sonoma County Fair starts Thursday, August 3 at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa, and runs through Sunday, August 13. This year's theme is "Holidaze", and the fair will celebrate a whole year's worth of holidays in its 11-day run, with a different holiday theme each day, including Easter (August 3), New Year's (August 4), the winter holidays (August 5 and 6), and even International Talk Like  Pirate Day (August 9). Check their website for a complete schedule.

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