Winter or Summer, The Dream is Alive
with its mild weather, natural beauty and proximity to YVR, many local families will visit California this year, but how many will look beyond the famous mouse? We recently visited the sunshine state and found some less explored alternatives for family fun!
Named for its miles of sandy beach, there is a real sense of “walkablity” in Long Beach that allows your family an opportunity to explore world-class attractions at your own pace. We strolled through the waterfront marina and stopped for lunch at the charming Shoreline Village, an old fashioned seaport boardwalk, with shopping, games and a plethora of restaurants. The whole family can enjoy lunch inside Parkers Lighthouse with its extensive menu and gorgeous views it was a hit with our group. Be sure to check out the Queen Mary, just across the harbour. This luxury liner turned warship turned hotel is full of historic fun. We also visited the world renowned Aquarium of the Pacific which boasts 11,000 animal exhibits! We were especially impressed with the up-close encounters and educational opportunities. Long Beach also hosts many cultural events that may coincide with your visit. Check www. visitlongbeach.com for more info.
With its breathtaking location covering 102 acres of the Palos Verdes Peninsula, there is plenty of room to for the whole family to play here. The setting is truly one- of-a-kind with 270-degree panoramic ocean view that kept us mesmerized. Golf, fine dining, outdoor adventure and spa services abound, but most impressive to us was…wait for it…the kids’ club. Innovative programs provided by the award winning staff at have the kids engaged with activities including birds of prey and buried pirate treasure! If you are looking for a relaxing, resort-style family friendly vacation you would do very well considering Terranea. www.terranea.com
Greater Palm Springs
Not just golf, shopping & sun, although these are all amazing! Greater Palm Springs, which includes nine beautiful resort cities, is appealing to a whole new generation of young families looking for a desert vacation. Our visit was jammed packed with day trips starting with a Desert Adventure Eco tour. This was a truly memorable experience as we piled into the red jeep and ventured deep into the San Andreas Fault guided by an expert naturalist. Our tour ended with a meal at their private mining camp venue and evening stargazing – highly recommended! We also spent a day at The Living Desert, a nature preserve spanning 1,080 acres in the Sonoran Desert. The Living Desert is also home to collection of animal exhibits and gardens to explore. Another highlight was the Palm Springs Ariel Tramway. Board a rotating tram car that moves you 4 kilometres vertically in just 10 minutes! Once you reach the top of the Tramway take some time to explore the 14000 acre Mt. Jacinto State Park with a hike and picnic. We only just scratched the surface of Palm Springs goodness and look forward to returning soon! www. visitgreaterpalmsprings.com
Temecula is a wine lover’s paradise with many picturesque wineries to visit, but if wine is not your thing, not to worry, Temecula still has you covered. Old town Temecula is a throwback to the Wild West with wooden sidewalks and rows of specialty shops and attractions. One of our favorites was Pennypickles`s Workshop, an awardwinning Children’s Museum that welcomes you into the home of Professor Phineas T. Pennypickle. Filled with whimsy and science this is a must see! We also enjoyed a bird’s eye view of the valley from the serenity of a hot air balloon. Floating peacefully, our group had fun spotting wildlife, vineyards and citrus groves below.