Where’s a great spot to get away with another family? We asked our readers who named five favorite spots from Palm Springs to Catalina to San Diego. So if a summer escape is on your list and ‘the more, the merrier’ is how you roll, check out these locations that vary from waterfront fun to primitive camping. And be sure to check out the Grand Del Mar, recently featured on CBS Los Angeles as a Most Grand Co-Family Getaway.
La Quinta Resort & Club, the original 1926 hideaway near Palm Springs, is a great getaway for several families because of the amazing number of pools—and the pool-proximity to the rooms. The hacienda-style is warm and charming too. You’ll find 41 pools and 53 hot spas for guests at the resort. CBSLA reader Ray Tomlinson says, “It’s great for families to pool-hop all day or hang close by their own room pool. And after dinner, parents can tuck the kids in bed, and then relax just outside the room poolside and catch up.” The resort is very large, offering 796 casitas, suites and villas. And there are always many ongoing activities to suit everyone—from swimming, biking, hiking, putt and play and more. There is a Kids Club for those ages four to 12. And Spa La Quinta is a relaxing treat; Junior Spa Services are also available for those ages eight to 17 years old. For off-property play, there is also everything from horseback riding and jeep tours to hot air ballooning and area museums to shops and tourist attractions. Pets can come to the resort too, so bring the family furry best friends. Call 1-800-598-3828 for resort special packages through Labor Day, such as the Sunrise Package with breakfast at TWENTY6 and overnight accommodations. Rates start at: $149 per night.
It’s an ideal vacation for everyone to all go as a group and rent a few beach cottages for the week. Reader Brittany Soto says that annual Avalon trips that have spanned four generations in her family. What to do when you’re there? Brittany shares, “We love reading on the beach, going to our favorite pizza place, Antonio’s, and Big Olaf waffle cones are a must. It’s very easy to have a multi-family vacation, because there is no airfare or car rentals. Everyone can do their own thing, but since Avalon is so small you feel together.” She gets two beach cottages for one week and looks forward to it all year. She adds, “I share a house with my mom and aunt, split three ways. My cousin and her family have the other house. And our friends and family often pop in for a night or day trip.” And by the way, friends popping by can get Catalina Flyer boat fare out of Newport Beach with 50% off from Groupon. The cottages in Avalon have fully equipped kitchens, televisions, DVD players and telephones, as well as a complete supply of bed and bath linens. Most also have a foldout sofa sleeper and a washer/dryer. Expected cottage cost Brittany plans for: $1,982 for the summer weekly rate for three bedrooms including cleaning, processing and tax.
Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort, located on Newport Beach’s Back Bay, is a legendary Southern California premier RV/camping beach resort for over 50 years. Several CBSLA readers said that it’s ideal for shared family vacations, as those road-tripping in their RVs can pull up to adjacent sites along the beach. Then they can put their vehicles in park and immediately start the water fun. If you don’t have an RV, by the way, no worries; you can rent one of the 24 private cottages or set up camp at one of the Dunes’ tent sites. (Note: The Dunes also rents tents and cots, picnic tables and the fire ring—and the staff can set it all up prior to your arrival.) Once families settle in, the kids can go wild on the pirate-themed beach playground then venture out to the floating aquatic fun park known as Moe B’s Water sports, which has giant “icebergs,” a water version of a giant teeter-totter, a giant climbing apparatus and a brand new, enormous floating obstacle course with a 15-foot slide and high-dive. While kids play under the watch of lifeguards, parents can relax in a private cabana, lounge at the pool and spa. Families can explore the Back Bay too with sailing lessons, a kayak tour, windsurfer rentals, kayaks, inline skates, scooters, pedal boats, boogie boards, bicycles, golf carts, electric boats and fishing boats. And those with their own boats can launch at the on-site marina. Also, during the summer, there’s “Bands on the Sand” and “Movies on the Beach.” You’ll definitely want to dine at the award-winning Back Bay Bistro that has one of the best weekend brunches. Best of all, the Dunes is quite co-family affordable with RV spots starting at $73, private cottages available for as little as $145/night and camping sites from $80. For reservations, contact (800) 765-7661 or visit the website.
Other CBSLA friends named Hotel del Coronado as a great getaway for two or more families. The resort is very family-friendly and has lots to do for children and teens, including their Kidtopia Camp & Crafts and Vibz Teen Lounge, as well as year-round activities. Since it was first built more than 120 years ago, the Hotel del Coronado has been a refined Southern California vacation destination. And did you know Coronado was just named America’s #2 best beach? Right now the resort is offering several Hotel del Coronado Family Packages, such as the Retreat to America’s #1 Beach package rate starting at $349 a night. It includes: accommodations, private s’mores on the beach, two-hour surrey bike rental, beach umbrella set-up. They also have a Best of San Diego Package and more. Call 800-HOTELDEL for more details.
Finally, if you like primitive camping (your family, another family and God’s good earth), Marion Mountain Idyllwild Camping is a great way to go for the self-contained camper families who want some seclusion. CBSLA reader and camping guru Bob Stuart and his son Parker say, “There are a lot of perfect boulders where you can lay at night and just gaze at the stars.” Bob says that the campsite is connected to a trail that reaches San Jacinto peak via Little Round Valley campsite. He recommends campers use Marion Mountain campsite to acclimate with the altitude before hiking to San Jacinto peak. Marion Mountain Campground is located approximately 50 miles from San Bernardino, California, and 7 miles North of Idyllwild. Some camping specs: all campsites have picnic tables and fire rings. Twenty-four sites are available; elevation is 6,400; and the fee: $10; [near Mount San Jacinto State Park]. To get there from Idyllwild, head seven miles north on Highway 243, take a right turn onto Forest Service Rd. #4S02 and continue two miles to the campground. It’s open April-October.