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Where to go: California's best family destinations

To qualify as one of California's best destinations on this site, a resort had to pass two challenging tests; it had to qualify as both romantic and family-friendly. Those of us traveling with kids know that these two traits are often difficult to come by together! So check out our findings here. Read the reviews, feast your eyes on the photos, and then link onto their sites for complete information. These resorts have amenities for teens, tweens, tots, and even babies to have safe fun. Yet, they will also allow you to have a wonderful time with your special someone; perhaps they offer tremendous ocean views, peaceful walkways, or maybe live music and dancing for the parents, while the kiddos play games in the kids' program. In our quest as parents for kid-friendly vacations, we mustn't forget about ourselves, because we know that, at the end of the day, if mom and dad aren't happy, nobody is!

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

CENTRAL COAST

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA

Los Angeles/Orange County

Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel
Omni Los Angeles Hotel
The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel
Balboa Bay Resort
Hyatt Regency Newport Beach
The Langham Huntington

Santa Barbara and environs

Santa Barbara Inn
Four Seasons Santa Barbara Biltmore
The Fess Parker
Ojai Valley Inn and Spa
Royal Scandinavian Inn - Solvang
The Upham Hotel

Monterey Peninsula

Carmel Valley Ranch
Deetjen's Big Sur Inn
Hyatt Regency Monterey Resort
Monterey Plaza Hotel And Spa
The Quail Lodge Resort and Golf Club

San Diego area

San Diego Bay Club & Marina
Four Seasons Resort Aviara
Glorietta Bay Inn
Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines
Hotel Del Coronado
Bahia Resort Hotel
L'Auberge Del Mar Resort
LaCosta Resort and Spa
Loews Coronado Bay Resort
Rancho Valencia
Paradise Point

San Luis Obispo County

The Apple Farm Inn and Restaurant
Cavalier Resort
The Madonna Inn
Seaventure Resort
The Cliffs Resort
Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort

The Bay Area

Cabana Towne Plaza - Palo Alto
Claremont Resort and Spa
Half Moon Bay Lodge
The Ritz-Carlton San Francisco

Palm Springs and environs

La Quinta Resort And Club
Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage
The Westin Mission Hills Resort

The Mountains

Lake Arrowhead Resort and Spa

Napa Valley

Meadowood - Napa Valley

FEATURED RESORT: Meadowood Napa Valley

The Meadowood, in lovely Napa Valley, is characterized by gracious wine country hospitality and a brimming menu of resort amenities: two croquet lawns, seven tennis courts, a 9-hole walking golf course, a 25-yard lap pool, a family swimming pool and a complete health spa providing fitness services such as personal training and luxury treatments. The Meadowood is also a private club and a wine center with two restaurants, The Restaurant, for formal fare, and The Grill, for a more casual atmosphere. Read the full review. More>>