Follow Me on Pinterest

Welcome

I'm Terri and I love to travel with my kids. We have a goal of visiting all 50 states. Learn more...
travel50stateswithkids.com
<a href="http://travel50stateswithkids.com" target="_blank"><img src="http://travel50stateswithkids.com/button.jpg" alt="travel50stateswithkids.com" width="125" height="125" /></a>

California – MY Museum

MY Museum Medical play area

MY Museum is the Monterey County Youth Museum. This small museum is perfect for kids ages 7 and under. Although my kids were quite a bit older, we decided to check it out for my readers who have younger children.

There’s a special play area just for the wee little ones.

Several themed play areas offer many opportunities for pretend play. Do you have an aspiring golfer?

Or maybe a paramedic or doctor?

Or maybe a future firefighter?

Kids can learn about the farm-to-table movement by harvesting some vegetables, cooking them up, then serving them […]

California – Lava Beds National Monument

Smaller lava tube at Lava Beds NM

We recently returned from a road trip during which we saw almost a dozen national parks, and you know what? My kids kept talking about one of the parks that we visited almost a year ago, one that I hadn’t yet written about. And, technically, it isn’t a national park–it’s a national monument–but that doesn’t really matter. I’m going to dub Lava Beds National Monument “The Best National Park You’ve Never Heard Of”.

Lava Beds National Monument is located in the far northern part of California, near the Oregon border. It sits on top of the massive Medicine Lake […]

California – Monterey Bay Aquarium

Jellyfish Collage - Monterey Bay Aquarium

The Monterey Bay Aquarium is an immensely popular attraction in California and is frequently named one of the best aquariums in the country. My husband and I had been there two or three other times, but before we had kids, so we very much looked forward to going back there with the kids. Our first impression when we got there was, “Wow, this is CROWDED!” So my first tip is to consider the timing of your visit. If you have preschool aged or younger children, I would highly recommend planning your visit during the school year.

The first exhibit we […]

California – A family-friendly inn in Carmel-by-the-Sea

Hofsas House Hotel in Carmel-by-the-Sea

If a high-rise hotel on the beach is your ideal vacation, then bypass Carmel-by-the-Sea. But if a relaxing getaway in a quiet and quaint little village that feels like it belongs in Europe is more your style, then Carmel-by-the-Sea is a terrific choice. We learned some interesting tidbits about Carmel-by-the-Sea during our visit. Ladies, leave your high heels at home–a city ordinance prohibits them. Also prohibited is walking around town with ice cream cones. Yes, these are real ordinances on the books. You won’t see any neon signs, mailboxes, or street numbers either. All residents go to the Post Office […]

California – Bonfire on Carmel Beach

Preparing for a bonfire on Carmel Beach

During our West Coast trip last summer, we spent one night in the Monterey/Carmel area of California. We stayed at the Hofsas House Hotel in Carmel-by-the-Sea (more about that next time). Sometimes my job has some really nice perks and this was one of those times. The Hofsas House gave us some complimentary extras: a Beach Bonfire Bundle along with some wine and cheese. What I really love about the Bonfire Beach Bundle is that on our own we would not have come up with the idea to spend the evening sitting around a bonfire on the beach. It was […]

California – San Francisco’s Chinatown

San Francisco's Chinatown

My most recent post was about our 2-day hop-on-hop-off sightseeing tour of San Francisco. The first stop where we hopped off the double-decker bus was Chinatown. We enjoyed that stop so much that I decided to devote an entire post to it. The bus dropped us off at the Chinatown Gate.

Normally, I would not rank shopping high on my list of favorite vacation activities. We typically don’t buy a lot of souvenirs; our standard souvenir is a Christmas tree ornament that we put on a special travel tree at Christmas. But shopping in Chinatown is different enough to […]

California – San Francisco Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour

City Sightseeing San Francisco Double Decker Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour-002

We used to live an hour’s drive from San Francisco, but my older two kids were too young to remember it and my youngest hadn’t been born yet, so I was looking forward to taking them to see the city again. One of my sisters lives nearby in Oakland and we stayed at her house. She was the one who recommended that we tour the city via a hop-on-hop-off bus. I Googled it and found that several companies offered these tours. It took a while to sort through them and figure out which company offered the most comprehensive tour. I […]

California – Muir Woods National Monument

Looking up at a redwood at Muir Woods

Muir Woods National Monument is home to a section of ancient coastal redwoods north of San Francisco and was named after conservationist John Muir.

Located just 16 miles north of San Francisco, it is a convenient spot to see coastal redwoods on a trip to San Francisco.

California’s coastal redwoods are the world’s tallest living things. The tallest one in Muir Woods is over 252 feet. The world’s tallest is in Redwood National Park, in the far north of California, and measures 379.1 feet. Redwoods live up to 2000 years and have a diameter up to 22 feet. […]

California – Gondola Cruises in Oakland

Angelino - owner of Gondola Servizio

We had been looking forward to our trip to California for a long time. It had been over 12 years since we’d moved back to Ohio from California. Our older two kids were too young to remember it and our youngest was born after we moved. We stayed at my sister’s house in Oakland for a few days while we explored the San Francisco Bay Area. For the day of our arrival, my sister planned a relaxing outing to Oakland’s Lake Merritt. First we had dinner at the Lake Chalet at the Lake Merritt Boathouse.

The restaurant has a […]