Equally fun and slightly less commercial entertainment abounds in San Diego. Spend a half-day in SeaWorld taking in killer whale shows and riding the coasters. Stroll the meandering paths at the San Diego Zoo in Balboa Park, where you’ll meet lions, elephants, pandas, meerkats, and hundreds of exotic animals. To watch animals live and play in more natural environments, head to North County’s Wild Animal Park.
Kids and adults alike love the wide, flat beaches of Southern California. Park your towel at Ocean Beach, Coronado, Zuma Beach, or Malibu Lagoon State Beach. Many hotels keep a store of loaner beach chairs and sand and surf toys that are perfect for a day spent lounging out on the sand.
Got older kids? Sign ’em up for surfing lessons! San Diego, coastal Orange County, and even Santa Barbara have surf schools that offer everything from two-hour lessons up to multiday kids’ surf camps.
Excerpted from the Second Edition of Moon California.