The Fabulous Spring and Summer List: Parent Getaways in Mendocino, Mountain View, Calistoga; plus, great products
Hello, Parents! Are you ready to roll with the kids this season? School is almost out, and so many adventures await. Our first one is the Fort Bragg Railbike excursion in northern California. If you have never been with the family to Mendocino County, so many treats are in store for you. Check out our review of the railbikes, and book yours today!
If you happen to be heading northward, a visit to Ukiah wil surprise you. It is slowly coming around as a tourist destination with a revamped downtown beautification project underway, and a true draw are the hot springs found at the Vichy Springs Resort and Inn. I recently visited the hot springs there with my daughter, and you can read our review here.
There is so much to do, our list in our calendar will knock your socks off. Everyone can now feel free to gather, and we hope that you will find some great activities so you can snuggle in and make some great memories. Go to Filoli Estate in Woodside to enjoy its blooms and programs that run through the summer.
On another day, visit the new Junior Museum and Zoo in Palo Alto which has just opened to the public after eight years of planning. Read more about it here. Stay the weekend in Palo Alto and explore all of our eight places we recommend to stay and play.
School is almost behind you now, but whether it is or not, you (and the kids) deserve a medal. This holiday take the clan to Calistoga where you can see The Doc - Doc Wilkinson's Backyard Resort & Hot Springs, that is. We traveled to see the remodeled resort, and we give it a BIG YES for it's family-friendly vibe with three, count -em, three swimming pools, Check out this amazing pool on the left photo. See the article and more photos here.
And we haven't forgotten you moms and dads. Certainly you deserve a weekend away. We recommend contacting your favorite babysitter, grandparent, or friend who owes you a favor, and getting away for a couple of nights to recharge and reconnect as a couple.
Been a while since you travelled to Mendocino? Up north are fantastic independent inns. We review The Inn at Newport Ranch which features more than 2,000 acres and commanding views of the Pacific. Read our summary here, and don't delay your booking. Places these days fill up fast.
We also review Brewery Gulch Inn, also in Mendocino, which features food and service in abundance, plus one of the largest DVD collections we have ever seen! Get a glimpse of the property in our article.
If you want to go local, we highly recommend a trip to Santa Cruz and a stay at the Dream Inn. Check out our review of the luxury hotel and see if it fits for your family. It is located very close to Natural Bridges, pictured here on a sunny day.
Looking for hotel deals in California? Check out our Deals page and see if you can snag a bargain!
Since it is the beginning of the holidays, do some hiking. We review the Mori Point hiking trail, ideal for everyone in the family with wheelchair access, stairs, and excellent Pacific ocean views.
An urban city lover, are you? Zip through our 22 Unique Things to Do in San Francisco story to explore this City by the Bay even further. And book a room at the new Lodge at the Presidio, a great place to bring the kids for a couple of nights at least. We recently stayed at the Lodge, and you can see our exclusive and detailed review here.
For sure, during these times of stressful international travel and the lack thereof, our rallying cry is "Stay-cation, stay-cation, stay-cation!" Brand new in our own backyard is The Ameswell Hotel in Mountain View, super close to the NASA Ames space and research center. We offer up a review of this new property and encourage you to visit, play some beanbag games, and buy a drink from its Airstream cafe. It is family-friendly to the hilt, and a fantastic weekend or weekday escape as you will read about here!
When you consider how hard it has been for the travel industry, you will appreciate this story. Last year in Paso Robles, the new Paso Market Walk food hall and hotel-like studios opened in Paso Robles, and while it was slated to open in March, it had to be delayed and delayed. It finally opened last August. Now the word is getting out, and we are thrilled to share it with you. Read our view of the Paso Market Walk and The Lofts And find out what you can do in town in our article, "Five Reasons to Go to Paso."
It's high time for some levity and joy. Have kids who love fairytales and Hobbit-like fantasies? Head to Carmel-by-the-Sea. In our article on Carmel Cottages, you can see these charming structures from the early 20th century that are still inhabited.
When you see the Carmel cottages, then stay overnight at the Hofsas House, great for families. See our review of Hofsas House Hotel. You will want to book it right away. It's got a Bavarian vibe, and for the kids there's a pool and breakfast daily. A true getaway at only $145-$300 a night.
Travel is usually inclusive of food, and we bring you snacks and beverages in our New Products column. We review books, foods, activities, and more. See what you can buy this season for memorable gits.
Stay safe, stay healthy, and be good to others.
Kathy Chin Leong