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5 Fun West Coast Travel Ideas for Families


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San Francisco Area

The San Francisco area is packed with entertainment everyone in the family can get excited about. The sparkling waters of the San Francisco Bay and the iconic sight of the Golden Gate Bridge are just the beginning.

Fisherman's Wharf and Pier 39 are popular tourist destinations, and a visit there can include lots of shopping, or visits to the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park and the Aquarium of the Bay. Just a little further along is the Exploratorium and the Wave Organ -- a water-powered sound sculpture.

A stroll through Chinatown can be like stepping into another world. Sights include everything from temples to tea shops, and you can even check out fortune cookies getting made. For a historical treat, visit City Lights, the popular beat generation bookshop or Haight-Ashbury, the famous hippie hangout. If you're looking to experience a darker side of history, Alcatraz Island can be an alluring tour.

The Golden Gate Park is also packed with sights, restaurants, bakeries and cafes abound in San Francisco, which can be a pleasant city to tour on foot. The famous system of streetcars can provide a lift if the bountiful hills prove too challenging.