A guest post by Elizabeth Sughrue
Northern California: San Francisco, Tahoe/Donner Lake and beyond
We take our daughters to Northern California as much as we can. It’s so diverse. You can start your day with a hike through the rolling hills, explore some fine art and a funky Tacqueria in San Francisco and end the day sleeping under the stars near Lake Tahoe.
Our favorite things to explore in Northern California are:
Get outside and take a hike! The best way to explore Northern California is on your feet. With your kids it will be more of a leisurely stroll so try to embrace the Northern California way of life & take it easy. We are partial to the East Bay and walks in the Presidio are always a big hit. And always bring along a swimsuit wherever you go because you never know when you’ll find yourselves taking a dip or climbing a waterfall.
Golden Gate Park: Japanese Tea Gardens and the De Young Museum
My girls loved exploring the Japanese Tea Gardens with their older cousin. (http://www.golden-gate-park.com/japanese-tea-garden.html). My favorite treat as a little girl was the traditional tea service in the Tea House. Next, we hit the De Young Museum for a quick peek and lunch at the outdoor café. The sculpture garden is a great place to let them get their energy out after being inside the museum.
You can’t forget some fun for the Moms and Dads on your visit! Our favorite place to visit is Healdsburg. It has a charming town square, the finest restaurants and bakeries and you can’t beat Alexander Valley wines. Kids are 100% welcome at most wineries and the vineyards are perfect grounds for exploring.
Golden Gate Bridge
Take a drive over the bridge and stop for a photo op or just view from one of the high spots in the city like we did.
Legion of Honor
Our 6 year old asks to go back to the Legion of Honor each summer. The collection, exhibitions and views from the outside are all breathtaking. It’s a super kid-friendly museum with wonderful staff and a great place to take the whole family from age 2 to 92. We’ll be checking out the new British painting exhibit full of Turners on our next trip.
Lake Tahoe/Donner Lake
Tahoe is a must-do if you have an extra day or two. As a Northern California Native, I’ve always enjoyed Donner Lake as it is a little less crowded/touristy than Lake Tahoe proper and I think it’s prettier. We rented a cabin for two families at Serene Lakes through VRBO and it was the perfect way to close out our summer before heading back to school. My daughters loved their mini kayak lesson and hanging out at the beach.
JapanTown or ChinaTown in San Francisco: Let your kiddos shop for funky shaped erasers, inexpensive fans and kimonos. Where else can you find such unique things? Stock up for upcoming goody bag treasures!
And after you have worn your kids out by exploring the most wonderful place on Earth there is only one place left to take them! In n Out!
Visit our Travel tab above to keep up with our “Hit the Road” series this summer! We have a great group of moms traveling the US and internationally, who will be sharing their family adventures!
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