Chase the Summer in Summer California
As summer winds down, many of us Road Warriors begin to shift travel gears in preparation of the cold and snow that will soon dominate our plans. But if you’re prolonging the inevitable cold season, you may want to look at some of the many October vacation deals still available in the warmer climates of the country. Enter: Southern California — the golden coast that seems to chase the endless summer. As the locals and those who regularly visit the lower half of the state know, Southern California doesn’t always get the memo that summer has set and fall and winter should be the new reality. These three Southern California beach cities make it possible to enjoy a little bit more of summer, even if it is the middle of October.
If you’re looking to grab a hotel in San Diego, October is your lucky month. Not only is San Diego’s weather frequently ranked as the best in the world, even in October, when the city is especially affordable for families. Throughout the month, the city hosts its Kids Free San Diego promotion. Kids don’t have to pay admission at many popular San Diego attractions including Legoland, the San Diego Zoo and SeaWorld. In addition, many museums, tours, harbor cruises and activities are free for kids throughout the month of October. Aside from the Kids Free San Diego promotion, the city shines with many events throughout October like Oktoberfests, air shows and art festivals.
Located on the coast in between Los Angeles and San Diego, the Spanish style village of San Clemente also makes for an attractive Southern California getaway during the fall months, particularly in October. The community hosts a number of events you might want to plan your trip around. First up, on October 4th, the city celebrates San Clemente Seafest. Now in its 28th year, the event features a Chowder cook-off, arts and craft show and even a surf contest. If you can’t make it to San Clemente in early October, the city also has a number of events later in the month such as the San Clemente Oktoberfest on October 17th and the Taste of San Clemente on October 30th.
Just 50 miles south of Los Angeles, most travelers find Laguna Beach pleasant year-round. In terms of October vacations, Laguna Beach makes for a relaxing getaway as the summer crowds have cleared out, making it possible to enjoy the coastal town with a little peace and quiet. In the fall, Laguna Beach offers many attractions to enjoy during your October travel days. Start the day off with a hike through Heisler Park in awe of its spectacular views of the Laguna Beach coastline. Enjoy giant blue whale watching or to take an art walk and enjoy the more than 80 unique works of public art that grace the town’s streets.
If you’re the type who tends to cling to summer, think about taking one last warm weather getaway as fall rolls into your town, Southern California is the perfect area to sink your toes into the sands of summer without having to battle the crowds of summer in the process.
9 Family-Friendly Museums
As the carefree days of summer start to dwindle, clothes shopping and school supply lists often dominate busy parents’ days. But don’t let the stress of the impending back-to-school schedule make you waste these last few weeks away. There’s still time to soak up the last bits of summer and take the whole family on an educational and fun trip before that dreaded first early morning is here. Get kids ready to learn by heading out to one of the several museums across the country that can stimulate the minds of young and old alike. And if you’re already in budget mode heading into the fall, consider joining the Extended Stay America rewards program to earn perks toward your next vacation.
American Museum of Natural History—New York, New York
Located at Central Park West at 79th Street in New York, the American Museum of Natural History is easily one of the best family friendly museums on the East Coast. One of the largest museums in the world, you are sure to be entertained throughout the 1,600,000 square feet of space. The museum is home to 45 exhibition halls where you can see fossils, animal dioramas and ocean life exhibits.
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis—Indianapolis, Indiana
When it comes to family friendly museums, the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis has received national attention for being so family oriented. As one of the largest children’s museums in the world, you can see 120,000 artifacts across the museum’s American, Natural Science and World Cultures Collections.
Henry Ford Museum—Detroit, Michigan
Located in Detroit, Michigan, the Henry Ford Museum presents yet another not-to-be-missed family museum in the U.S., especially for car and history lovers. The museum boasts some of Henry Ford’s own personal collections. Other wheeled notables in the museum include the Kennedy Presidential Limousine and the Rosa Parks Bus.
USS Constitution Museum—Boston, Massachusetts
Detailing the famous ship and the early days of the U.S. Navy, the USS Constitution Museum in Boston definitely makes the list as one of the best museums for the family, the whole family that is. The interactive galleries are designed to keep adults and children entertained and take all parties on a 200-year voyage.
Musical Instrument Museum—Phoenix, Arizona
If you find yourself in Phoenix in the next few weeks, and you simply can’t take the heat for one more second, you can retreat to the cool indoors and hit up the Musical Instrument Museum. The museum is a favorite for families who love music, especially as it offers the chance to play a number of instruments from around the globe. Exhibits include instruments from around the world and even instruments and styles played and worn by celebrity favorites from the past and present. Taylor Swift even has a gown there!
Please Touch Museum—Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Set up in Philadelphia, the name says it all at the Please Touch Museum. There, you don’t have to worry about whisking your kids quickly through down the middle of each room, muttering under your breath “don’t touch!” over and over. Everything in the museum is fair game and incredibly interactive. Kids will delight in taking a ride on the restored 1908 carousel.
Exploratorium—San Francisco, California
One of San Francisco’s top attractions is easily the Exploratorium. With more than 600 hands-on exhibits, the museum details art, science and human perception. The Exploratorium truly delights imaginations, especially with additions like the world’s largest toothpick sculpture.
Center for Puppetry Arts—Atlanta, Georgia
Atlanta is a hot spot for family fun activity, and you don’t have to search too hard to find a great family-friendly hotel room either! If you have a few performers in your family, a visit to the Center for Puppetry Arts is in order. Set up in Atlanta, the museum remains solely dedicated to the art of puppetry. A fixture in town since 1978, visitors can learn all about the wonder and art of puppetry, including seeing exhibits on some of their favorite famous puppets.
Museum of Science and Industry—Chicago, Illinois
Out of all of the museums in Chicago, the Museum of Science and Industry just might be the one to keep all parties in your family entertained. Across 14 acres, you can explore thousands of interactive exhibits. Some highlights include a German U Boat, a replica coalmine and a miniature castle. The museum sets out to, and accomplishes the task of bringing science to life. With the abundance of hotels in this charming city, finding one to call home for a few nights won’t be a problem, either.
From Phoenix to Philadelphia, the country is crawling with family friendly museums. Before your kids have to hit the books again for a new school year, consider making a last hurrah weekend out of these cities and visit one of these museums.