Disneyland in California is a little different than Disney World in Florida. It is smaller, but that does not mean that there is not plenty to do. Disneyland is basically similar to the Magic Kingdom at Disney World, with kiddie rides, shopping, shows, thrill rides, character autographs, and of course a castle. However, the castle in California is not Cinderella's. It's actually Sleeping Beauty's castle. Disneyland has a little something for everyone in the family, and if you want something a bit different, there is Disney's California Adventure Park. This park has smaller rides for the little ones and some major thrill rides for older kids and adults. You can choose from rafting down a river, hang gliding over the state of California, riding a classic style rollercoaster, or any number of other exiting activities.
Lake Tahoe is situated on the border of California and Nevada. The lake itself has a beach where your family can catch some rays or do a little swimming. There is a boat tour that will take you across the lake to see a small stone structure built on a tiny island in one of the coves, or the kids might enjoy a long walk or bike ride around a portion of the lake. Trails are provided for that purpose. The many resorts in the area offer skiing in the winter, which comes a bit earlier due to the high altitude of the Sierra Nevada mountains surrounding the lake. During the summer, a nice way to see different views of the area is to schedule a horseback ride for the family that will take you up the mountain side to find a little solitude and demonstrate just how easy it is to get away from the crowds.
If traveling to Hollywood for part of your vacation, there are a few places that your kids will probably want to see. The Hollywood Walk of Fame, with stars embedded in the sidewalk, lists the names of famous actors as well as characters, and the Mann Chinese Theater is where your kids can put their hands and feet up against actors of the past and present. There are tours that will take you and the family around the city to point out where the who's who in Hollywood live or lived, and where some were discovered. If you want to say you did something a little different in Hollywood, there is the Hollywood Reservoir. The Reservoir is an area featuring a man-made lake, trails for hiking or jogging and local wildlife. Be watchful of the kids though and stay together. There have been sightings of mountain lions in the past.
With so much coastline and surf, it is almost a shame to go to California and not visit the ocean. Whether the kids are into surfing, swimming or just lying on the beach, California has some beautiful areas to explore. Some coastline like Big Sur and the Pebble Beach area are a bit too cold for extended time in the water and not a good place for water activities, but these beach lines are beautiful in their own right. If nearby, you should take the time to visit these more rocky coastlines. Down south, you will find beaches with high waves and plenty of room for lying out or playing a game of volleyball. The southern California beaches are much warmer and offer many opportunities for water activities, such as surfing, swimming, parasailing or scuba diving.