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  1. Default Family road trip up California & back down

    We are a family of six planning a road trip for the end of March
    The kids are 5, 7, 11 and 14

    We live in North Los Angeles, CA and would like to head up to Sacramento on the North side and travel back down on the coast side.

    Travel time - 9 days

    We have family in Sac so will stay with them night one and I would like to see the capitol

    Places we would like to see are Sacramento, San Francisco (we have been before & loved it) we would really like to see places of importance / historical, but also want to make sure the kids are kept entertained. The thing we are lost at is what to visit in between that is fun and different.....we would like to stay a night in each different city

    We love having fun as a family and would really like to hit some "fun & different" spots

    Thank you for any ideas!!

  2. #2

    Default The Plains, the Plains!

    With apologies to Fantasy Island fans.

    Hello momoF4,

    Having had but a single opportunity to visit California, and in light of my status as a "reformed" geologist (a geologist who practices a different profession these days), I had to visit some geo-sights during my late 2007 visit.

    Some were fairly technical and would be difficult to see as interesting to elementary and middle-school kids. However, the Carrizo Plain National Monument offers a striking and hands-on look at California geology, in particular the San Andreas Fault. There are a number of places where the fault is visible from a distance and one amazing hands-on locality called Wallace Creek. There the fault's movement has offset a dry wash for nearly 400', forming two L-shaped bends. Other fault features are visible from the roughly 1-hour walking tour, set up with a number of placards describing what's visible and where. CPMN features a dry lake (Soda Lake) and some abandoned farmsteads, too. The Soda Lake Road is a roughly 25 mile unpaved north-south traverse of the middle of the NM. Caveat: Soda Lake Road may be impassable when wet, so some checking ahead with the authorities is on order there.

    The CPNM can be accessed from either CA 99 or US 101. Approaching or departing from or to the north brings the Bitterwater Road and the James Dean Memorial Junction into play. The former is a sacred spot for James Dean fans at Cholame, CA, and the latter is a 35 mile rolling paved road along the west side of the San Andreas Fault down to California Valley, where the CPNM lies immediately south.

    I thoroughly enjoyed the drive over the Transverse Range between Ventura and the CPMN. Elevations rise to +5,000' and there are a number of places the Pacific and the Channel Islands are visible on a clear day.

    Have fun planning and taking your Road Trip.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Monterey

    Another great place for hands on learning that will intrigue your 'young adults' is Monterey. Besides the obvious such as the Aquarium, there is a major Monarch Butterfly stopover site in Pacific Grove and I found the walking historical tours fascinating.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia


    Here is something you and the children might enjoy, and not far from Sacramento.

    Lifey who loved it

  5. Default

    thank you all for the great info! I found a neat place called Safari West in Santa Rosa - anyone been there? What is the best cities to stop at along the way?

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