You can also get out of town to explore some of the area's other fun beach locales. Older kids might enjoy a kayak tour. A look at the top 10 most livable cities in the Golden State. The local schools are also highly regarded, earning a 10 out of 10 rating by greatschools.org. While it boasts many great beach options for families. Kids appreciate the tide pools; parents like the restrooms and picnic areas. Your family fishermen could go on a fishing trip, or even the bravest member of your group could enjoy a jet boat ride. Tiny Pacific Grove sits between Monterey and Carmel and is often overlooked by visitors, but it has some gorgeous beaches and a cute little downtown area to explore. You'll find plenty of beaches in the Golden State that can be the backdrop for your family's perfect trip. History buffs might enjoy a tour of a WWII submarine and other Navy vessels at the Galveston Naval Museum. With a plethora of family-friendly activities, a sophisticated feel and a gorgeous setting between the Pacific and the Santa Ynez Mountains, this SoCal destination 90 miles north of Los Angeles appeals to parents and kids alike. When you’re ready for treats, seafood and souvenir shopping, head to Galveston’s charming Victorian downtown. Best family beach: Santa Cruz has lots of beaches to play on and oceanside campgrounds that are perfect for bonfires and s'mores. Plus, with the boardwalk nearby, you’ve got easy access to food and drinks. Fittingly, the region is home to an assortment of challenging endurance races, which explains why Auburn bills itself as the “Endurance Capital of the World.” The Auburn State Recreation Area is popular with casual outdoor enthusiasts, while more sedentary residents can be found in historic Old Town Auburn, which features more than 50 shops and restaurants. You can also check out the tidepools at the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve or watch elephant seals at Ano Nuevo. For youngsters who enjoy shopping, Carmel is the perfect place to go—and the town is also famous for being dog-friendly in case you brought the family pet along. In order to find the best places to raise a family in California, we looked at a number of livability and cost metrics. Beach” describes Carpinteria Beach as the safest beach on the West Coast thanks to its natural offshore breakwater and gentle surf. Ensure your home-cooked meals are within the ideal temp range by lunchtime. Check the site for kid-friendly ranger programs such as Fish with a Ranger, All About Turtles and Pirates!`. The multi-platinum singer got real about parenting in the pandemic and how she’s been able to stay sane over the last eight months. On the peninsula, you can also stop to enjoy the amusements at the Balboa Fun Zone. Fremont and Irvine were the only California cities to make the report's top 10 places to raise a family. Eighty-three percent of residents own their own homes, and the median household income is just north of $65,000. Vacation rentals tend to be the most popular places to stay in Gulf Shores. Read on to find the 10 best cities to raise a family in California. The hotel provides a summer kids’ program with activities like beach-jewelry making, scavenger hunts, beach bowling and tie-dye t-shirt-making. Moody Gardens Hotel Spa & Convention Center, St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park, Embassy Suites by Hilton St. Augustine Oceanfront Resort, Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center, Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education, Handheld Can Openers That Pop Lids Off With Ease, Manager Dad's Hilarious Sign Will Prevent Your Kids from Disrupting Important Calls, Jordin Sparks on Mom-Shaming: ‘I’m Not Worried About What Anyone Thinks of My Family’, Learning the Soft Skills Makes a Better Tech Leader, These Kitchen Racks Will Make You Feel Like the Master Chef of Staying Organized, Indoor Bar Carts that Serve Up Drinks in Style, Bento Sets That Make Foods Look Insta-Worthy While Keeping Them Warm. The new Embassy Suites by Hilton St. Augustine Oceanfront Resort, nestled to the edge of Anastasia State Park right on the beach, offers bike rentals and fishing as well as kids’ activities such as shark-tooth hunting on the beach, pool activities and lawn games. Another popular activity: sand dune sledding at Jockey's Ridge State Park, the tallest sand dune on the Atlantic coast. Ready to live out your basic fall dreams? It's just a short distance to the beautiful Santa Monica beach and is home to great restaurants and boutiques! You can even visit the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park, a 15-acre historical attraction. Vacation here for the lively boardwalk and myriad of kid-focused activities. You’ll also get an indoor pool, an outdoor pool, hot tub, bike rentals and a fire pit for hanging out after a day at play. Other options include getting your adrenaline up at one of the country's few remaining oceanside amusement parks or visiting an iconic California beach town. You'll find miles of oceanfront paths to walk, bike, or skate on and lots of sandy beaches to enjoy. In Orange County, Newport Beach is well known for high-end shopping centers, but for families, the best part of Newport Beach is at the seashore. It's also one of the best spots in the area for those with food allergies. Check out the tide schedule to see when you can find the most critters and shells. Or let your kids exercise their minds (just don’t tell them that) at the newly opened STEMporium, which serves up a menu of making robots, slime, solar ovens, laser mazes and more. Also in La Jolla, you can visit the Birch Aquarium to see some sea dragons or take a stroll along the cliffs above the La Jolla waterfront. Mariner’s Pier is ideal for families, with classic rides including options for smaller children. At the Wright Brothers National Memorial, stand where Orville and Wilbur made the first powered flight and let it sink in that their 12-second journey covered only 120 feet—a shorter length than most of today’s airplanes. This area has beaches for almost any activity you would want to take part in. From Traverse City, take a day trip just 30 miles west to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore to hike, swim and soak up the breathtaking views in the spot Good Morning America has selected “Most Beautiful Place in America.” Challenge your kids to join you at the top of the infamous Dune Climb and you’ll be rewarded with magnificent scenes of both Glen Lake and Lake Michigan. Ride the rides on Galveston’s Pleasure Pier. Stop for a burger at one of the many fifties-era diners, or head to Maui’s Doghouse, where you can choose from more than 30 hot-dog toppings. Bike and kayak rentals available. Ride the SkyWheel and get beautiful views of the Boardwalk and beach. Venture out to Pirate’s Cove Adventure Park for mini golf, a zip line and a ropes course. Spend mornings on the beach and evenings on the mile-long boardwalk playing games, eating Thrasher’s fries and riding the carousel and bumper cars at Funland. Many products featured on this site were editorially chosen. On the way back to Traverse City, reward yourself with a stop at nationally recognized Grand Traverse Pie Company for a well-earned treat of pot pie or quiche, followed by their summer special: Vernors Cherry Pie—appropriate in this “Cherry Capital of the World.”. The downtown area is vibrant, with more than its share of unique restaurants, galleries, shops, a weekly farmers market and numerous merchant events. Older kids might also enjoy renting equipment for surfing, boogie boarding, or skimboarding in one of the two places in California that claim to be the original Surf City. A 39,000-square-foot indoor water park. and visiting the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo. You’ll find lots of mini golf and Go-Karts here, but the Outer Banks is known for its natural beauty, including our first national seashore, Cape Hatteras National Seashore. This article is part of a series featuring working women who've had a big impact in tech, developed in partnership with multinational tech services company HCL…. On the island, get a hand-dipped Balboa Bar or a chocolate-coated frozen banana from one of the two sidewalk stands that both claim to be the "original.". It also has beach and Morey’s Piers access and a pool. But residents are more likely to highlight the plethora of outdoor recreation opportunities, the great beaches, and how little effort it takes to find great food, with delectable fresh fruit, inexpensive Mexican fare and In-N-Out Burger among the most appreciated delights. Don't miss Moody Gardens—its three giant pyramids house a newly renovated aquarium, a rainforest (with free-roaming sloths!) Animal lovers will enjoy hiking the Hugh Branyon Backcountry Trail complex in Gulf State Park (if you’re lucky, you might see eagles and otters!) And, yes: Some say the natural spring might have been Ponce de Leon's legendary Fountain of Youth. You’ll still appreciate the white sand beaches—good for building sandcastles—and spectacular vistas of Lake Michigan’s shoreline. Here's a Monterey and Carmel beach guide to find the one that's just right for you. Escape to this small, Gulf Coast town to enjoy miles of sand and warm waves. Such a combination of qualities makes California the ideal place for parents to … and—new for 2019—the traveling "Dora and Diego Let’s Explore" exhibit for preschoolers. Back in Gulf Shores, sample the shrimp, gumbo and fried green tomatoes—all southern specialties—at Lulu’s Gulf Shores. For its part, Auburn (population 13,500), located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains, made our 2015 list of the Top 100 Best Small Towns, thanks in part to its lower than average median home prices and strong healthy-lifestyle indicators, including low rates of obesity and excellent access to health care. Head north of 100th Street for fewer crowds. Some parents say that the ferry ride alone can keep the kids occupied for hours, just going back and forth. Families will love to watch the sea lions and check the surf La Jolla Cove. Moorpark is a family-centric city with charming small town events such as the annual Apricot Festival. At Anderson Ocean Club and Spa on the Grand Strand, part of the Wyndham Group, you’ll have the option of studios or one, two or three bedroom suites plus a full kitchen and washer/dryer. Spend some time at MOXI, a three-story, hands-on science museum that just opened in 2017 (don’t miss the rooftop Lookout Tower, where kids can check out the city through five scopes—a kaleidoscope, telescope, periscope, heat-sensing thermal imaging lens and speed-detecting device) and the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, which recently completed $20 million in renovations.
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