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“The post below was originally published by Sydney on Sydney Aaliyah Michelle on Jun 14th, 2016

My family recently had a travel planning session over Sunday dinner. We threw around ideas for the family vacation we take every five years. Our trips are unique because they have to appease everyone from age six to seventy years old. I did my research and suggested the California coast. These are some of the cool destinations I found that would make great family vacation spots.

Santa Cruz, California

Image provided by Ron V. via Trover.com

The boardwalk is an underrated attraction in a beach town. It’s so much fun for people who love the beach but hate the sand. Take a stroll on the Santa Cruz boardwalk and you’ll find that it offers attractions such as local dining and amusement park rides. If you stay on the boardwalk, you have quick access to the beautiful Pacific Ocean beach. I can already taste the salt water taffy.

 

Carlsbad, California

An upscale ocean town, Carlsbad’s beach side resorts offer family-friendly times for everyone. It’s a vacation where you can all stay in one spot and it has tons to offer, including beautiful beaches with water sports like paddle boarding, jet skiing, and surfing. The golf courses are some of the most pristine and challenge in the world. Some of the resorts also offer children’s programs where adults go one way and the kids go another — great for a mixed aged group like mine. If you have to leave the resort, spend a day at Legoland. The Star Wars models alone are worth the trip.

Fresno, California

Image provided by Stephanie via Trover.com

Fresno, California is a little known gem, and I think you’ll find it a great destination for its festivals alone. If you go in August, check out the Greekfest, the premier Greek food festival. For three days, the family can sample Greek food from famous and local chefs, hear music from Greek musicians and learn more about Greek culture and heritage. The kids will love spending time in the Olympic Village and learning about the origin of the games.

Costa Mesa, California

Image provided by Jon Worrel via Trover.com

While not on the coast, Costa Mesa is close enough to be a great city to centrally locate yourself for a great time in Orange County. The town prides itself on having beautiful parks and golf courses. One of its main attractions every year is the Orange County Fair, which draws millions of people each year. It has everything you want in a County Fair: greasy, fattening food, rides, attractions and cool shows.

San Luis Obispo, California

Further north of the cities I’ve mentioned, in a valley on highway 101, is the little town of San Luis Obispo. I put it on the list because my nieces and nephews, forever glued to their phones and devices, need to set them down and get in touch with nature. I don’t think they’ve ever walked further than a quarter of a mile outdoors. In San Luis Obispo, enjoying the outdoors is the city’s favorite pastime. Beautiful walking and hiking trails cross through this town. The scenery is beautiful and it still close enough to the coast for you to enjoy the beach as well.

Where would you go for a perfect family vacation? 

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