Posts Tagged ‘outdoors’

San Diego: Sensational Family Fun

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013
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Seeking the ideal family vacation destination? Think San Diego, California. Nestled along 70 miles of stunning California coastline, family-friendly San Diego County offers a wide variety of activities and arguably the best year-round weather in the U.S. of A.HARBOR CRUISE To get the lay of the land (or rather, the water) we began our journey with a harbor cruise. The cruise is divided into North and South and the narrated tour is chock- full of history. The bottom deck of the boat is enclosed in case you’re traveling with small children or infants (strollers are welcome) and the upstairs has ample outdoor seating and a tiny enclosed section in case the wind is too much. One- and two-hour narrated tours are available and take guests on North Bay, South Bay or full San Diego Bay tours. The entire family can take this trip; it’s an easy way to enjoy some time on the water. With a plethora of both historic and active U.S. Navy ships in the bay, budding sailors and pirates are sure to be dazzled. If you’d like to learn a little bit more about some of the ships you see around the bay, check out the Maritime Museum of San Diego, which consists of several historic sailing vessels including the Star of India, built in 1863 and the world’s oldest merchant sailing vessel still in operation today.

FUN FOR ALL We didn’t leave ourselves enough time to do all that we wanted in San Diego. Average vacation times in this city are between three and four days, but I think a family could be here for a full week and still not have time to do it all. We would have liked to continue riding on the trolley, stopped at a few museums in Balboa Park, hung out at the beach a little more and have had time to take in Legoland and the Wild Animal Safari animal park. San Diego is such a great family vacation spot, I’m happy to have myriad reasons to return.

Whidbey & Camano Islands

Monday, July 15th, 2013
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For the ultimate reasonably-priced family getaway, without having to travel too far, head to the delightful Whidbey and Camano Islands, located just 25 miles north of Seattle in Washington State. Billed as ‘the shortest distance to far away’ these wonderful islands are just 15 minutes by ferry from the mainland yet offer a wide variety of activities, many child-friendly and water-themed.DECEPTION PASS BRIDGE & STATE PARK One of the most thrilling days was our visit to the most popular park in Washington state, Deception State Park. We hiked a couple of easy trailheads and played by the beach. Had we had more time, I would have like to rent a boat and sail under the magnificent Deception Pass Bridge, a National Historic Monument since 1982. The bridge itself is breath-taking but we also gazed in wonder at the rugged cliffs, rich forest and abundant wildlife. The park boasts 30 miles of hiking trails, 19 miles of saltwater shoreline, three freshwater lakes and 320 campsites, making it the perfect spot for a family picnic. You can also go scuba diving and freshwater fishing. Located near Whidbey’s Naval air station, you may hear and see Navy jets flying over at any moment, which is great if you have small boys who love to see jet planes whoosh overhead. Park hours: Summer, 6.30am to dusk. Winter, 8am to dusk.

A FAMILY VACATION TO REMEMBER! We loved our few days on Whidbey and Camano, and plan to return one day to do all the things we couldn’t fit in, such as visit Cama Beach State Park, where you can step back in time to a 1930′s-era Puget Sound fishing resort, or go antiquing on Pioneer Way in Oak Harbor. If you want to feel far away from daily life without much hassel, a trip to Whidbey and Camano Islands can satisfy your wanderlust and tantalize your soul.