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At the Golden Gate Bridge

50 Things To Do With Kids in NorCal

Home of some of the country's greatest outdoor recreation alongside world-class cities and attractions, Northern California is filled with hundreds of kid-friendly destinations.

Plan your itinerary and explore beaches, mountains, amusement parks, national parks, and iconic cities with these 50 attractions scattered across NorCal.


1. Tour the Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve, well-known for its fascinating guided underground tours near Martinez.

2. Hike and enjoy a picnic in the The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park, located near Aptos.

3. See migratory birds in action and learn a little bit about the wetlands ecosystem at the Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary near Arcata.

Northern California Kids Activities

Take On Gold Rush History

4. Marvel at the giant sequoias at Calaveras Big Trees State Park, located near Angels Camp.

5. Visit the Habitot Children's Museum located near Oakland and explore its hands-on exhibits and children's classes.

6. Stop by Point Sur State Historic Park, found near Carmel along the beautifully scenic Highway 1.

7. Experience gold rush history at Bodie State Historic Park, located north of Mammoth Lakes.

8. Delight at the world's largest Pez dispenser at the Burlingame Museum of Pez Memorabilia near Millbrae.

9. Watch the Calistogas Old Faithful Geyser erupt every half-hour and delight the kids.

10. Dive into Lake Almanor for a refreshing summer swim just off Chester.

11. Pan for gold at Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park near Placerville.

12. See the world's tallest trees, the coastal redwoods, at Redwood National Park, near Crescent City.

Northern California Kids Activities

Jump into NorCal's Hidden Lakes

13. Ride the Skunk Train on sight-seeing trips near Fort Bragg.

14. Ride the Niles Canyon Railway in Fremont and let the kids marvel at historic collections of locomotives and train cars.

15. Visit the Fresno Chaffee Zoo in Fresno. Catch glimpses of elephants, flamingos, giraffes, and more.

16. Stop by Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park, open in Gilroy from early spring to late fall.

17. Catch a movie or live entertainment at the historic Hanford Fox Theatre in downtown Hanford.

18. Visit the astronomical observatory of Fremont Peak State Park near Hollister and gaze at the stars.

19. Visit one of the deepest gold mines in the world at Kennedy Gold Mine Tours near Jackson.

20. Hike, swim, and go boating at Turlock Lake State Recreation Area near Modesto.

Northern California Kids Activities

Visit the Beach

21. Visit Lake County and its signature Clear Lake, California's largest natural lake within the state, located just off Clearlake.

22. See live reptiles in action at Lodi's Great Valley Serpentarium, including tarantulas, scorpions, and a Burmese python.

23. Catch boiling mud pots and hot springs at Lassen Volcanic National Park near Chester.

24. Visit the million gallon ocean tank of the Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey.

25. See the Oakland Raiders football team and the Oakland Athletics baseball team in action at Oakland's O.co Coliseum.

26. Catch a Golden State Warriors basketball game at Oakland's Oracle Arena.

27. Stop by the Alameda County Fair and the Pleasanton Fairgrounds Horse Racetrack at Pleasanton's Alameda County Fairgrounds.

28. Take pictures of giant sequoias while exploring the Trail of the 100 Giants at Sequoia National Forest near Delano.

Northern California Kids Activities

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom

29. Educate the kids on the importance of preserving the environment at the Sacramento River Discovery Center in Red Bluff.

30. See a basketball game featuring the Sacramento Kings at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento.

31. Take a tour of world-famous Alcatraz Island National Historic Landmark off the shores of San Francisco.

32. Catch a San Francisco Giants baseball game at AT&T Park.

33. Take a cruise of the bay from Fisherman's Wharf or visit the Aquarium of the Bay at Pier 39 and sample Ghirardelli Chocolate.

34. Witness scenic views of the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco from the hills of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

35. See the famous Painted Ladies just across from kid-friendly Alamo Square Park.

36. Take a picnic at Alum Rocks Park near San Jose.

Northern California Kids Activities

Catch Baseball Games and a Family Picnic

37. See a San Jose Sharks hockey game at SAP Center at San Jose.

38. Step back in time visiting the historic 1800's buidlings at San Juan Bautista State Historic Park near Hollister.

39. Interact with educational science exhbisits and native aniamls at the CuriOdyssey near Redwood City.

40. See a San Jose Earthquakes soccer game at Buck Shaw Stadium.

41. Catch a game featuring the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara.

42. Visit world-famous Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk in Santa Cruz.

43. Dive into Eagle Lake, located just north of Susanville.

44. Experience beautiful sights at Sequoia National Park and Kings Canyon National Park near Exeter.

Alberta Kids Activities

At Yosemite National Park

45. Explore tide pools and see whales and sea lions in action from the shores of Patrick's Point State Park near Eureka.

46. Explore Lava Beds National Monument, which features 700 lava tube caves and Native American rock art, located near Alturas.

47. Catch the thrills at family-friendly Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo.

48. Take a drive along the Avenue of the Giants at the Humboldt Redwoods State Park near Garberville.

49. Dive into Whiskeytown Lake or experience of outdoor recreation at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area near Redding.

50. Take a picture of world-famous Yosemite Valley at Yosemite National Park near Mariposa and Oakhurst.

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Best Western Hotels Along the Way:

1

Best Western Cedar Inn & Suites

444 S Main Street, Angels Camp CA 95222
Phone: +1 209-736-4000  |  Fax: (831) 515-3395  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »

2

Best Western Seacliff Inn

7500 Old Dominion Ct, Aptos CA 95003-3807
Phone: +1 831-688-7300  |  Fax: (831) 685-3603  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »

3

Best Western Arcata Inn

4827 Valley West Boulevard, Arcata CA 95521-4693
Phone: +1 707-826-0313  |  Fax: (707) 826-0365  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »

4

Best Western Plus Stevenson Manor

1830 Lincoln Avenue, Calistoga CA 94515-1115
Phone: +1 707-942-1112  |  Fax: (707) 942-0381  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »

5

Best Western Carmel's Town House Lodge

5th & San Carlos Street, Carmel-By-The-Sea CA 93921
Phone: +1 831-624-1261  |  Fax: (831) 625-6783  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »

6

Best Western Rose Quartz Inn

306 Main Street, Chester CA 96020
Phone: +1 530-258-2002  |  Fax: (530) 258-3523  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »

7

Best Western El Grande Inn

15135 Lakeshore Drive, Clearlake CA 95422-8106
Phone: +1 707-994-2000  |  Fax: (707) 994-2042  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »

8

Best Western Plus Northwoods Inn

655 US Highway 101 S, Crescent City CA 95531-4416
Phone: +1 707-464-9771  |  Fax: (707) 464-9461  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »

9

Best Western Liberty Inn

14394 County Line Road, Delano CA 93215-9425
Phone: +1 661-725-0976  |  Fax: (661) 725-6743  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »

10

Best Western Plus Humboldt Bay Inn

232 W 5th Street, Eureka CA 95501-0221
Phone: +1 707-443-2234  |  Fax: (707) 443-3489  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »

11

Best Western Plus Bayshore Inn

3500 Broadway, Eureka CA 95503-3810
Phone: +1 707-268-8005  |  Fax: (707) 268-8002  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »

12

Best Western Exeter Inn & Suites

805 S Kaweah Avenue, Exeter CA 93221-9361
Phone: +1 559-592-8118  |  Fax: (559) 592-5226  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »

13

Best Western Vista Manor Lodge

1100 N Main Street, Fort Bragg CA 95437-8132
Phone: +1 707-964-4776  |  Fax: (707) 964-4779  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »

14

Best Western Plus Garden Court Inn

5400 Mowry Avenue, Fremont CA 94538-1049
Phone: +1 510-792-4300  |  Fax: (510) 792-2643  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »

15

Best Western Village Inn

3110 N Blackstone Avenue, Fresno CA 93703-1018
Phone: +1 559-226-2110  |  Fax: (559) 226-0539  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »

16

Best Western Plus Fresno Inn

480 E Shaw Avenue, Fresno CA 93710-7602
Phone: +1 559-229-5811  |  Fax: (559) 229-5911  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »

17

Best Western Plus Fresno Airport Hotel

1551 N Peach Avenue, Fresno CA 93727-8507
Phone: +1 559-251-5200  |  Fax: (559) 454-0552  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »

18

Best Western Plus Humboldt House Inn

701 Redwood Drive, Garberville CA 95542-3104
Phone: +1 707-923-2771  |  Fax: (707) 923-4259  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »

19

Best Western Plus Forest Park Inn

375 Leavesley Road, Gilroy CA 95020-3606
Phone: +1 408-848-5144  |  Fax: +1 408-848-5144  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »

20

Best Western Hanford Inn

755 Cadillac Ln, Hanford CA 93230-4965
Phone: +1 559-583-7300  |  Fax: (559) 582-8455  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »

21

Best Western Amador Inn

200 S State Highway 49, Jackson CA 95642-2548
Phone: +1 209-223-0211  |  Fax: (209) 223-4836  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »

22

Best Western I-5 Inn & Suites

6411 W Banner Road, Lodi CA 95242-9125
Phone: +1 209-367-3000  |  Fax: (209) 365-1765  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »

23

Best Western Plus High Sierra Hotel

3228 Main Street, Mammoth Lakes CA 93546
Phone: +1 760-924-1234  |  Fax: (760) 934-3626  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »

24

Best Western Plus Yosemite Way Station Motel

4999 Highway 140, Mariposa CA 95338
Phone: +1 209-966-7545  |  Fax: +1 209-966-7545  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »

25

Best Western John Muir Inn

445 Muir Station Road, Martinez CA 94553-4671
Phone: +1 925-229-1010  |  Fax: (925) 228-4810  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »

26

Best Western Plus El Rancho Inn

1100 El Camino Real, Millbrae CA 94030-2015
Phone: +1 650-588-8500  |  Fax: (650) 871-7150  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »

27

Best Western Town House Lodge

909 16th Street, Modesto CA 95354-1117
Phone: +1 209-524-7261  |  Fax: (209) 579-9546  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »

28

Best Western Palm Court Inn

2001 W Orangeburg Avenue, Modesto CA 95350-3741
Phone: +1 209-521-9000  |  Fax: (209) 521-6034  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »

29

Best Western Park Crest Inn

1100 Munras Avenue, Monterey CA 93940-4514
Phone: +1 831-372-4576  |  Fax: (831) 372-2317  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »

30

Best Western De Anza Inn

2141 N Fremont Street, Monterey CA 93940-5242
Phone: +1 831-646-8300  |  Fax: (831) 646-8130  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »

31

Best Western Plus Victorian Inn

487 Foam Street, Monterey CA 93940-1409
Phone: +1 831-373-8000  |  Fax: (831) 373-4815  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »

32

Best Western Plus Monterey Inn

825 Abrego Street, Monterey CA 93940-3103
Phone: +1 831-373-5345  |  Fax: (831) 373-3246  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »

33

Best Western Plus Yosemite Gateway Inn

40530 Highway 41, Oakhurst CA 93644-9621
Phone: +1 559-683-2378  |  Fax: (559) 683-3813  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »

34

Best Western Plus Airport Inn & Suites

170 Hegenberger Loop, Oakland CA 94621-1326
Phone: +1 510-633-0500  |  Fax: (510) 633-1040  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »

35

Best Western Plus Bayside Hotel

1717 Embarcadero, Oakland CA 94606-5223
Phone: +1 510-356-2450  |  Fax: (510) 356-2451  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »

36

Best Western Plus Placerville Inn

6850 Green Leaf Drive, Placerville CA 95667-6228
Phone: +1 530-622-9100  |  Fax: (530) 622-9376  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »

37

Best Western Plus Pleasanton Inn

5375 Owens Ct, Pleasanton CA 94588-3336
Phone: +1 925-463-1300  |  Fax: (925) 734-8843  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »

38

Best Western Antelope Inn & Suites

203 Antelope Boulevard, Red Bluff CA 96080-2901
Phone: +1 530-527-8882  |  Fax: (530) 527-5078  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »

39

Best Western Plus Hilltop Inn

2300 Hilltop Drive, Redding CA 96002-0508
Phone: +1 530-221-6100  |  Fax: (530) 221-2867  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »

40

Best Western Inn

316 El Camino Real, Redwood City CA 94062-1724
Phone: +1 650-366-3808  |  Fax: (650) 364-9380  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »

41

Best Western Plus Executive Suites

25 5th Avenue, Redwood City CA 94063-3601
Phone: +1 650-366-5794  |  Fax: +1 650-366-5794  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »

42

Best Western Plus Sutter House

1100 H Street, Sacramento CA 95814-2812
Phone: +1 916-441-1314  |  Fax: (916) 441-5961  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »

43

Best Western Sandman Motel

236 Jibboom Street, Sacramento CA 95811-0108
Phone: +1 916-443-6515  |  Fax: (916) 443-8346  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »

44

Best Western John Jay Inn

15 Massie Ct, Sacramento CA 95823-4301
Phone: +1 916-689-4425  |  Fax: (916) 689-8045  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »

45

Best Western Plus Americania

121 7th Street, San Francisco CA 94103-2835
Phone: +1 415-626-0200  |  Fax: (415) 863-2529  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »

46

Best Western Lanai Garden Inn & Suites

1575 Tully Road, San Jose CA 95122-2459
Phone: +1 408-929-8100  |  Fax: (408) 929-8140  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »

47

Best Western Plus Airport Plaza

2118 The Alameda, San Jose CA 95126-1140
Phone: +1 408-243-2400  |  Fax: (408) 243-5478  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »

48

Best Western Inn Santa Clara

4341 El Camino Real, Santa Clara CA 95051-2510
Phone: +1 408-244-3366  |  Fax: (408) 246-1387  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »

49

Best Western University Inn Santa Clara

1655 El Camino Real, Santa Clara CA 95050-4158
Phone: +1 408-244-8313  |  Fax: (408) 554-9167  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »

50

Best Western Inn

126 Plymouth Street, Santa Cruz CA 95060-2932
Phone: +1 831-425-4717  |  Fax: (831) 425-0643  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »

51

Best Western Plus All Suites Inn

500 Ocean Street, Santa Cruz CA 95060-6602
Phone: +1 831-458-9898  |  Fax: (831) 308-6689  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »

52

Best Western Trailside Inn

2785 Main Street, Susanville CA 96130-4741
Phone: +1 530-257-4123  |  Fax: (530) 257-2665  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »

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