We can’t all take time off of work or spend the money on a lavish vacation with the family. Fortunately we are blessed to live in the beautiful Bay Area, which offers may fun and exciting day trips for kids and grown-ups alike. Our family has enjoyed the following trips on many occasions. So grab your sun block, pack a few extra diapers, and have some fun this summer!
Half Moon Bay
Half Moon Bay offers a small town atmosphere, exceptional surfing, tasty goods in roadside stands, and some of the best nurseries in the Bay Area. The scenic drive to Half Moon Bay will take your breath away. Treat yourself to a delightful drive down Highway 1 through Pacifica or take the canyon route on Highway 92. Once you arrive in town a great stopping point is the marina. Here you can watch kayakers and paddle boarders, check out some fishing boats, and even purchase a freshly-caught fish for dinner that night. Half Moon Bay Brewing Company is a family-friendly spot for lunch or dinner with a cozy outside seating area. Mom and Dad can relax with a drink, while the kids run around and enjoy the fries.
Temescal Regional Recreation Area, Oakland
Whether you want to teach your children how to fish for catfish or trout, or you just want to build a sandcastle at the beach, Temescal has it all making it the perfect spot for a day trip. Temescal offers a wheelchair and stroller friendly trail to hike around the lake. Or feel free to go off the paved trail. You are allowed bicycles on the East Shore Trail or the paved bike trail too. After your hike or bike ride enjoy a tasty family picnic before hitting the beach. This park makes for an entire day of excitement in the sun. Parents are sure to enjoy a quiet drive home with their worn out kids!
Rock City, Mt. Diablo
Your kids will love discovering the caves and natural rock formations at Rock City. While they wind their way through the different caves they may even spot a fossil or two as most of Mt. Diablo was originally under water millions of years ago. After some exploring you can take advantage of the 50 picnic spots around the mountain. Watch the squirrels or go on a nature walk and see how many wild flowers you can find. Before heading home make sure to stop at the Observation Deck or Outlook. There are short hiking trails that offer exceptional views of the Bay Area. Look to the west, beyond the Golden Gate Bridge and catch a glimpse of the Farallon Islands. The hikes at the top of the mountain are tame enough for your adventurous toddler too.
Tilden Park, Berkeley
Your whole family will find something they enjoy at Tilden. Tilden Park offers a miniature steam train ride that is enjoyable for everyone. It is so cheap that you don’t even hesitate when the kids yell for more. The park also features a beautiful vintage carousel, which hosts the perfect spot for a nice lunch among the oak trees. And a summer bonus: you can take a dip in Lake Anza! If rides aren’t your thing your family can appreciate the surreal botanical garden or visit the Little Farm where kids can hand feed cows, sheep, goats, rabbits, chickens, and pigs. You can even add some education to your day trip. The Environmental Education Center is adjacent to the farm and provides nature programs for kids.
The Ferry to San Francisco
Satisfy your kiddos love of transportation and tasty treats. Start in Jack London Square, grab a coffee and board the ferry to the Ferry Building in San Francisco. What child does not enjoy floating on the water in a giant boat! Year round Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm & Saturdays from 8:00 am – 2:00 pm the Ferry Building is full of fresh fruits and vegetables that can tempt any picky eater. Disembark here and experience a traditional farmer’s market with added bonuses. The kids can watch the boats, ride a famous streetcar, play at Justin Herman Plaza across the street or just enjoy the bountiful samples. A few blocks along the Embarcadero just before Pier 39 there is a waterfront play structure to entice any little climber and provides Mom and Dad a chance to sit and enjoy the view.
Your kids are sure to think you are the coolest mom for taking them to these fun summer spots around the Bay Area!