Five Fantastic Fall California Getaways for Families
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.
Monterey and Pacific Grove
Drive three hours south of Marin you'll be on the Monterey Peninsula, home to the famous Monterey Bay Aquarium, Pacific Grove, Asilomar State Beach, and more. The best time of year to visit is in the fall, when the Monarch butterflies arrive in Pacific Grove.
This laid-back seaside town about two hours from Marin boasts beautiful beaches and the world-famous Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, which has been delighting visitors since 1907. You'll also find a surfing museum housed in an old lighthouse, an interactive visitor center for the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, the nearby Roaring Camp Railroads, and even the Mystery Spot, a roadside attraction that seems to defy the very laws of physics.
North Lake Tahoe
Head to the mountains this fall for some family fun. Tahoe is just a three-hour drive away, and there's so much for families to do there at every time of year, even during the shoulder season. Some of our favorite places to visit there are Truckee, Tahoe City, and Squaw Valley.
California's Sierra Foothills are famous as the site of the Gold Rush in the 1800s. Ride a Harvest Haunt train at Railtown 1897, pan for gold in the historic mining town of Columbia, and more. Everyone will find something to fun to do. We like to stay in the town of Sonora, which has a great location with close proximity to Railtown and Columbia, as well as the cute town of Murphys and its nearby caves.
Yosemite National Park is far less crowded and particularly lovely in the fall. We like to stay at family-friendly Evergreen Lodge right outside the western entrance to the park, which has tons of activities for everyone.
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