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We are parents, too. We think traveling well and traveling with children shouldn’t be mutually exclusive. We have limited vacation time, and we’re not spending our few days of freedom in lousy hotels eating bad food. We know the world is full of wonderful resorts, cool urban escapes and far-flung lodges that can make our time with our kids count. We want it all, and we don’t think it should be so hard to find. So we’re going to share it with you.


California Coastal Drive: Splurge-Worthy Stays

Travel Journal

Travel Journal

Dispatches from around the world

California Coastal Drive: Splurge-Worthy Stays

Henley Vazquez

We've mapped out the Los Angeles to San Francisco drive with some less expensive picks, but where should you stay for a blowout road trip? These are a few of our favorite boltholes when cruising the coastline.

In Monterey Peninsula: 

Stay at the Carmel Valley Ranch for its plush rooms, sprawling grounds and super cool kid-focused activities, including the Bee Experience, where families suit up to tend hives. The resort sits on 500 acres, so use it as a base to explore spots like Pebble Beach and the Monterey Aquarium, but leave enough time to chill "on campus" as well.

In Big Sur:

With little ones in tow, the top spots are off-limits. But if you're traveling with older teens, Ventana Inn and Post Ranch Inn are the bucket-list destination hotels to check off your list. Warning: they are uber romantic (Ventana even has a clothing-optional pool), so proceed with caution or stick to the more family-focused Glen Oaks Big Sur.

In Santa Barbara:

The Four Seasons Biltmore is a resort dream come to life, and it's a repeat destination for many families from both the East and West Coasts. If countryside is more your vibe, try the San Ysidro Ranch, which has the pretty four-poster beds to impress the parents but the Beanie Baby turndown service, bottle warmers and infant monitors that baby needs.

In Los Angeles and San Francisco:

If having your start and end points at a city hotel doesn't appeal, you're in luck. Both LA and San Fran have resorts a short hop from the urban sites. Check out Terranea down south and Cavallo Point in SF.