San Fran is GreatAuthor: Robert G.
Date of Trip: July 2009
Familication- OK so I butcher the word, but traveling with older teens and young adults on a family vacation can be hard. Young adults want their freedom and independence and sometimes traveling together can be hard on parents and adult children. The trick is to find something that everyone will like and can do independently. We discovered something for everyone in in San Fran and stayed in the USA and circulated our money back at home which in a bad economy should make you feel good because you are helping others right here.
What is there that everyone will like in San Fran- for older kids that want to look at colleges its visiting Stanford and Berkeley. Cool summer weather makes it easy to walk around and take in the sights. It might surprise you to see how nice the campuses are and that they are loaded with restaurants for a family budget where the kids can met and speak with college students. Even better-are some of the clothes stores and eclectic places you can get "stuff" to wear that if you are from the east coast- like my family will look California Cool and not all your friends will have the same things. OK OK that leaves a lot to do, like visiting Alcatraz- Sightseeing on Fishermans wharf- which is very touristy but ya know its still fun. Not to mention the opportunity for nature trail hikes visiting Muir Woods. A relatively short drive to visit the Monterey Aquarium. Surprisingly everyone enjoyed those outdoor type outings. With an adult child visiting Napa was exquisite. Nothing like taking a wine tour where a young adult can try sips of wine and appreciate the effort that it takes to produce some of the finest wine in the world. It also offers a parent the sneaky opportunity to tell your college age young adult- that you never drink and drive - if you do drink you let someone else drive an take a tour. Comments about moderation and responsibility also are slipped into the conversation.
I know I also forgot Haight Ashbury-cool stores where older kids can get more stuff for college and you can check out a lot of rock and roll history.
Where to stay- The Wharf area was great with children. The Argonaut hotel is really, really cool. Great service and nautical themed rooms. You can walk down Columbus to fantastic restaurants and comedy Clubs. By the way adult children love Comedy clubs. Restaurants- no one fights over food when you have great world class restaurants everywhere. A great for our family was "Mona Lisa". Fantastic Italian food great service. What's not to like. But all you have to do is look around little Italy and China Town- so many great places with a wide variety of prices that will stretch a family vacation budget. Upscale Chinese- try Shanghai 1930. Chocaholic- don't miss the little French chocolate maker xoxo- listed as one of the best choclatiers in the US.
In town you can take the very touristy cable cars- fun and Oh yes you have to have your photo on one for your family album. In the wharf area you also have to at least take a look at Ghirardelli's for ice cream- god but for my money the cupcake store in the same plaza is amazing.
In short California and particularly San Francisco- because it has so many different things to do offers a great opportunity for a family vacation. Older kids will have a lot of things to do that will more than hold their attention. Parents- you will love it too if you have not already visited. If you and your family are close and you want to try to vacation with older adult children then San Fran will surprise you with all it has to offer for everyone. Rather than leave your heart there you may instead make great family memories.
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