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Summer Vacations Every California Family Should Take

3 Summer Vacations Every California Family Should Take

July 3rd, 2017

Families need vacations. Moms need them. Dads need them. The kids need them, even if they kick and scream all the way to the destination. Vacations are an excellent time to reconnect with one another as a family but they have become increasingly difficult to execute.

Of course, there is the inherent cost. Vacations should create lifelong memories, not lifelong debt. No kid wants to hear they don’t get to go to college because mommy and daddy are still paying for that trip to Florida.

Time is also a factor. Schedules are often tough to coordinate. Even toddlers seem to have a full slate of daily activities.

Living under the same roof can be tense. Family vacations are helpful in bringing everyone together again. They don’t have to be every summer, in fact, the more spread out the more special they will feel. There are three types of vacations every family should try to take.

THE EDUCATIONAL TRIP
Washington, D.C.

This trip is ideal for toddlers through junior high school kids. However, do not under any circumstances describe this trip as an “educational” vacation less they will erupt in a furor like you haven’t seen since the last time they erupted in a furor. The last thing a child wants to hear is they are going to learn while school is out. A trip to our nation’s capital provides the perfect cover.

Washington is absolutely stuffed with fascinating government buildings, has the country’s best museums and nearly all of them are purposely designed for the enjoyment of families. And thanks, in part, to an endowment through the Smithsonian Institute, they are all free.

Although the museums and government buildings get most of the attention, Washington, D.C. has some of the most diverse and unique neighborhoods of any city in the country. It’s Georgetown with its restored row houses on the banks of the Potomac River and the U Street Corridor that’s quickly becoming the arts, entertainment and cultural center of the city – there is truly nowhere like Washington, D.C.

Your kids will soak up our nation’s history and culture simply by roaming the capital streets.

Families need vacations. Moms need them. Dads need them. The kids need them, even if they kick and scream all the way to the destination. Vacations are an excellent time to reconnect with one another as a family but they have become increasingly difficult to execute.

Of course, there is the inherent cost. Vacations should create lifelong memories, not lifelong debt. No kid wants to hear they don’t get to go to college because mommy and daddy are still paying for that trip to Florida.

Time is also a factor. Schedules are often tough to coordinate. Even toddlers seem to have a full slate of daily activities.

Living under the same roof can be tense. Family vacations are helpful in bringing everyone together again. They don’t have to be every summer, in fact, the more spread out the more special they will feel. There are three types of vacations every family should try to take.

A MUST DO
Ben’s Chili Bowl is a local favorite that’s been serving its chili to celebrities, and politicians for 60 years. There will be a line but it will move fast. Do yourself a favor and check out this spot. Their chili dogs alone are worth a trip across the country.

THE ROAD TRIP
Santa Monica, CA

As kids enter high school, the idea of the whole family packing into a car to take a vacation sounds like a recipe for a disaster or the plot to a classic comedy movie. But road trips are a perfect time to reconnect. They typically only last a few days, and considering the attention span of teenagers, that’s ideal. Driving also trumps the cost of pricey airplane tickets.

The best road trip destination in California is, without a doubt, Santa Monica. It’s beautiful, walkable and has a ton of things to do within its 8 square mile radius.

First off, there’s the beach. Even though it’s California, and any town within 90 miles of the coastline brags about “their” beach, Santa Monica’s beach is awesome. It is 3.5 miles long and, being situated in between Malibu and Palos Verdes, boasts expansive views of the SoCal coast. It also has a bike path that stretches past the city limits and has bikes available for rental.

It has the west coast’s only amusement park located on a pier, full of amazing rides, classic midway games, and addicting food that will have you double-fisting corn dogs and funnel cakes as you try to figure out how to save room for cotton candy and Dippin’ Dots. Plus, it’s free to enter.

For the child whose goal is to buy something they can brag about to their friends, there is shopping on Main Street and the Third Street Promenade. No matter if it’s something vintage or something high-end, Santa Monica has them covered.

A MUST DO
Plan on a half day at Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier. It looks small but is packed with fun games and rides for every member of the family. It will certainly be the highlight of the trip.

INTERNATIONAL TRIP
Merida, MX

There’s going to come an age when you can no longer force your kids to join you on vacations without causing a scene in front of TSA. The only hope to get them excited to join you is to incentivize them. A trip abroad will do the trick. But keeping with the theme of children’s joy versus fiscal responsibility, Merida, Mexico is the place.

While Merida is modern with its universities, corporate headquarters and overflow of international expats, it’s also routinely named the safest city in Mexico. But make no mistake; it’s a Mexican City of nearly a million people. The locals speak some English but you’re going to quickly find out if your kid really deserved that “A” they received in high school Spanish class.

First, the good news. It’s cheap. This isn’t just about the current exchange rate of the peso. Merida is a city steeped in simplicity and affordability. Your dollar will go further there than any other vacation destination you will visit.

Now, the better news. It’s a quaint town where you and your family will get the opportunity to experience what it’s like being a foreigner in a country where you don’t speak the language, surrounded by the nicest people in North America.

And the best news is there are tons of activities. Merida is filled with arts, music, and culture. The biggest draw is the food. It’s not Mexican food. It’s food of the Yucatan. It’s totally different but equally delicious.

A MUST DO
You must visit a cenote. They are natural swimming holes formed by the collapse of limestone bedrock that are filled with mineral, vitamin-packed, crystal clear water. It will be the most serene dip in a “pool” you will ever take.

 

 

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380 Santa Monica Pier
Santa Monica, CA 90401-3128

Call 310-260-8744

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