The Unofficial Guide to California with Kids

Overview

The Unofficial Guides are the Consumer Reports of travel guides, offering candid evaluations of their destinations' attractions, hotels, restaurants, shopping, nightlife, sports, and more, all rated and ranked by a team of unbiased inspectors so even the most compulsive planners can be sure they're spending their time and money wisely. Each guide addresses the needs of everyone from families to business travelers, with handy charts that demonstrate how each place stacks up against the competition. Plus, all the ...
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Overview

The Unofficial Guides are the Consumer Reports of travel guides, offering candid evaluations of their destinations' attractions, hotels, restaurants, shopping, nightlife, sports, and more, all rated and ranked by a team of unbiased inspectors so even the most compulsive planners can be sure they're spending their time and money wisely. Each guide addresses the needs of everyone from families to business travelers, with handy charts that demonstrate how each place stacks up against the competition. Plus, all the details are pulled out so they're extremely easy to scan.

Family vacations are a necessity in today's hectic world, a time for togetherness without all the day-to-day distractions. The Unofficial Guide to California with Kids covers the top family destinations in the Golden State, from Disneyland to San Francisco and Yosemite to the redwoods. Full of activities and creative ways to make learning fun, this guide evaluates all the attractions and activities based on your child's age group and specific interests.

The Unofficial Guide to California with Kids also includes:

  • A complete sourcebook for first-time visitors or long-time residents, whether you're planning a day trip, a long weekend, or an entire vacation
  • Insider advice on what to look for in lodging, plus detailed information on family-friendly restaurants throughout California
  • Complete coverage of California's natural attractions and the best outdoor adventures for families
  • Suggestions on where to bike, camp, hike, kayak, snorkel, water ski, and whale-watch, plus the best beaches for children
  • Insider advice on how to have big-time fun without spending big-time money.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470621073
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 11/30/2010
  • Series: Unofficial Guides Series , #265
  • Edition number: 7
  • Pages: 448
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

LOS ANGELES NATIVE Colleen Dunn Bates is the founder and publisher of Prospect Park Media, a book-publishing company in Pasa dena, California. She is also the author of many books, including Hometown Pasadena: The Insider’s Guide and Storybook Travels: From Eloise’s New York to Harry Potter’s London, Visits to 30 of the Best-Loved Landmarks in Children’s Literature, which she cowrote with Susan LaTempa. She lives in Pasadena with her husband, Darryl Bates, and their two daughters.

CULVER CITY RESIDENT Susan LaTempa wrote Story book Travels with Colleen, has written for many national magazines, and is now an editor for the Los Angeles Times. Susan and her husband, Dan Milder, have two daughters.

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Table of Contents

List of Maps viii
Acknowledgments x
Introduction 1
Our Families and Travels 1
The Dynamics of Family Travel 2
How the Unofficial Guide Works 11
Getting Ready to Go 16
Family-Friendly Lodging 23
Family-Friendly Restaurants 29
Special Challenges to a Golden State Vacation 31
1 San Diego County 34
Car-Free Sight-Seeing 36
The Best Beaches and Parks 38
Family Outdoor Adventures 40
Calendar of Festivals and Events 41
San Diego 44
La Jolla 63
Del Mar and Carlsbad 68
Side Trip: Anza-Borrega Desert State Park 75
2 Orange County 77
The Best Beaches and Parks 80
Family Outdoor Adventures 83
Surf Camp 85
Finding a Home in Orange County 86
Calendar of Festivals and Events 87
South County: San Clemente, Dana Point, and San Juan Capistrano 90
Laguna Beach and Newport Beach 98
Mall Mania 102
Huntington Beach 111
North County: Anaheim, Buena Park, and Santa Ana 115
3 Los Angeles and Vicinity: South Bay, Pasadena, Mountain Towns, Deserts, and Catalina 136
The Best Beaches and Parks 139
Family Outdoor Adventures 144
Kid Culture: Theater, Literature, and the Arts 146
Calendar of Festivals and Events 147
The South Bay: Manhattan Beach to Long Beach 150
Catalina Island 155
Los Angeles: Westside 161
Central Los Angeles 175
Where to Find the Real Hollywood 195
Side Trips 197
Pasadena 201
The Mountains: Big Bear, Lake Arrowhead, and Ski Mountains 205
Palm Springs 215
4 The Central Coast 224
The Best Beaches and Parks 228
Family Outdoor Adventures 231
Noshing through the Central Coast 233
Calendar of Festivals and Events 235
Ventura 239
Santa Barbara 245
Side Trip: Ojai 255
Solvang 257
San Luis Obispo 263
Side Trip: Morro Bay 268
Side Trip: Pismo Beach 271
Side Trip: San Simeon and Cambria 272
Side Trip: Big Sur 274
Monterey 276
Santa Cruz 286
5 The Sierra Nevada 295
The Best Parks 299
Family Outdoor Adventures 299
Calendar of Festivals and Events 299
Little Moments in Big Places 301
Death Valley 303
Sequoia and Kings Canyon 308
Mammoth Lakes 314
Go Rent a Condo 317
Side Trips 323
Yosemite 326
Lake Tahoe 334
6 San Francisco Bay Area 347
The Best Beaches and Parks 350
Family Outdoor Adventures 353
Calendar of Festivals and Events 355
San Francisco 358
Getting There Is All the Fun 359
Spending It 363
Side Trips 384
Berkeley 387
Marin County 392
7 Gold Country 398
The Best Parks 402
Family Outdoor Adventures 403
The Schoolhouses of Gold Country 404
Calendar of Festivals and Events 405
Sacramento 408
Northern Gold Country: Grass Valley and Nevada City 417
Central Gold Country: Jackson, Volcano, and Murphys 422
Southern Gold Country: Columbia and Sonora 429
8 Northern California 432
The Best Beaches and Parks 436
Family Outdoor Adventures 438
Calendar of Festivals and Events 440
Sonoma County: Sonoma, Santa Rosa, Windsor, Forestville, and Glen Ellen 442
Mendocino County: Mendocino, Fort Bragg, Willits, and Leggett 450
Humboldt and Del Norte Counties: Eureka, Trinidad, and Klamath 459
Trinity and Shasta Counties 466
Index 472
List of Maps
California Touring Areas 12
San Diego County 35
San Diego 46
La Jolla 64
Del Mar 70
Carlsbad 71
Orange County 78
South County: San Clemente, Dana Point, and San Juan Capistrano 91
Laguna Beach 99
Newport Beach 100
Huntington Beach 112
North County: Anaheim, Buena Park, and Santa Ana 116
Disneyland 124
Disney's California Adventure 128
Los Angeles and Vicinity 137
The South Bay: Manhattan Beach to Long Beach 151
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