Archive for July, 2013

postheadericon San Francisco with Kids: Visiting Alcatraz and 5 Tips to Make the Most of Your Day


Alcatraz is not only one of San Francisco’s most well-known and prominent landmarks, but it’s also America’s most famous maximum-security prison!  If you’re taking a family vacation to the Bay Area, a visit here is probably on your list of things to do.  Interestingly, Alcatraz was the site of the first lighthouse in the Western United States, but in 1934 it became a federal penetentary and the home of some pretty well known convicts such as Al Capone and George “Machine Gun” Kelly.  It also played a key role in the American Indian rights movement, but now it’s part of the Bay Area’s Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

Alcatraz is full of history and the audio tour “Doing Time: The Alcatraz Cellhouse Tour” features actual correctional officers and prisoners who lived and worked on the Island.  It was our favorite attraction while visiting San Francisco with Kids and I highly recommend you include it in your vacation the next time you visit!


Read the rest of this entry »

postheadericon San Francisco with Kids: Visiting the opening scene location of ‘Full House’

One of San Francisco’s Top Icons:  Alamo Square Park and the Painted Ladies

If you’re visiting San Francisco with Kids you must stop at Alamo Square Park to see the famous “postcard row” aka the Painted Ladies.  My girls are obsessed really love watching  the hit TV show Full House and for them this was something they really wanted to see on our trip.  Most of the show was filmed in a studio, however, the opening scene of them playing in the grass with the beautiful Victorian houses in the background is really what you think of when you think of the show!


The park is a bit away from most of the stuff you’ll be doing in the city and it’s in a residential area, but the row of beautiful Victorian houses will take you right down memory lane.

Read the rest of this entry »

postheadericon Cruising with Kids: Roatan, Honduras


One of the stops on our Carnival Cruise was to the beautiful isle of Roatan, Honduras where lush forests meet the sparkling clear waters of the Caribbean Sea!  It’s known around the world for its scuba diving and relaxed lifestyle!

Read the rest of this entry »

postheadericon San Francisco’s Chinatown


One of the things we really enjoyed about San Francisco was taking the cable cars to all of the different neighborhoods in the city and visiting Chinatown was one of the highlights of our stops!

There are actually two different Chinatowns, one for the locals and one for the tourists.  With no itinerary or previous knowledge of what to expect, we walked up and down the streets of both sections, weaving around the locals, and wandering into the unique shops!  The streets are filled with colorful restaurants, shops, and markets and it’s an awesome experience for kids and adults alike to experience the different cultures in the area!

Read the rest of this entry »

postheadericon {Half Moon Bay State Beach} California

{Wordless Wednesday}
Half Moon Bay State Beach
Half Moon Bay, California

NOTICE REGARDING CAMPING RESERVATION CLOSURE:  To facilitate an improvement project within the campground at Half
Moon Bay State Beach (Francis Beach), reservations WILL NOT BE AVAILABLE
October 2013 THROUGH EARLY 2014.  When project dates are finalized,
unaffected dates will be opened for reservations.  The campground will
now be open and available for reservations Winter, Spring, and Summer

postheadericon Daytona Beach with Kids: Overnight Stay @ The Shores Resort and Spa



Who:  My husband, myself, and our two girls!

What and Where:  The Shores Resort and Spa in Daytona Beach, Florida

Why:  We were cruising out of Miami, Florida and it was the perfect location for us to stop overnight on our long drive from North Carolina to Miami.  It was a little more than a half way point, about 7 hours from Charlotte, NC, but we knew the area well and wanted to insure a great start to our vacation!

Read the rest of this entry »

postheadericon Aquarium of the Bay, San Francisco


Aquarium of the Bay
San Francisco, California

Who: My husband, 2 girls, and myself got to visit the aquarium while in San Francisco last month!

What and Where: Conveniently located at Pier 39, this small aquarium offers tanks with all sorts of marine life, a couple of walk through tunnels, a touch tank, and a new otter exhibit!




The High Points:

This is a great place to visit for small children!  You can get up close and personal with up to 20,000 sea creatures and it’s in the heart of Pier 39!  The touch tank, which includes a shark, sting ray, star fish, urchin, and a few other creatures was a big hit with my girls.  One of the walk through tunnels had the most star fish we’ve ever seen together.  They were stuck to the glass so you could see the underside…it was a neat sight!




The Low Points:

The aquarium is small and you can probably finish the whole thing in less than an hour.  The price tag for such a short visit is a little steep, in my opinion, and the way it’s set up I can see how you might feel cramped on a busy day!




The Bottom Line and the Kids Take:

The Aquarium of the Bay’s mission is to protect, restore and inspire the conservation of San Francisco Bay and it’s watershed, from the Sierra to the sea.  We’ve visited many aquariums and, although this one has been the smallest, the kids enjoyed the short visit!

Prices and Hours:

At $21.95 for adults, $12.95 for kids, or $64 for a family of 4.

Summer Hours – Open every day 9am-8pm.

General Hours of Operation — Fall/Spring

September 4 – October 31; March 1-May 28
Monday – Thursday: 10am to 7pm
Friday – Sunday: 10am – 8pm

General Hours of Operation — Winter

Beginning November 1
Monday – Thursday: 10am – 6pm
Friday – Sunday: 10am – 7pm


How to Make the Most of Your Visit

  • Take advantage of the Interpretive Naturalists!  They are happy to educate you on the diverse animals and habitats that live in and near the San Francisco Bay!
  • The aquarium has more than 20,000 animals!  Play a game with your child to make spotting the animals fun!  Can you find the octopus?  How about the flounder?
  • Try and go first thing in the morning or late in the evening when it’s less crowded.  There is not much room and if there are a lot of people you might feel like you have to keep moving forward.
  • The aquarium is small so you will probably finish in less than an hour.  It might be a good place to go right before or after another planned activity!
  • Make sure to walk around Pier 39 and see the sea lions!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Like what you see: Subscribe!!

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

 Subscribe in a reader

Add to Google Reader or Homepage

Facebook Follow Me
Vacation Journal Printable