Super-Active Family Vacations

by Nicole Dorsey Straff

If you’re California dreamin’ family-style this winter, catch a wave to the new Terranea Resort in Palos Verdes, or safari among sea lions in Monterey County. Embracing the laidback lifestyle made popular by the Beach Boys, several hotels and areas are going out of their way to include the kiddies, and some offer youngsters the coolest camp-style experiences while their folks may hit the sauna or the golf course:

• Terranea, which opened in August, is a 102 acre oceanfront resort featuring family-friendly games of bocce ball, group kayaking, zooming down the waterslide or stargazing near outdoor fire pits. At their Camp for Kids, tikes can join Planet Terranea to explore the peninsula’s unique ecology through hands-on experiences, or sign up for the Pirates of the Peninsula that allows adventurous mates to design their own pirate cove. Costs start at $10; www.

• Monterey County’s natural assets are ready to wear adventures for families of all shapes and sizes. The Ventana Wildlife Society Condor Camp allows visitors to help reintroduce these giant birds back into the wild in a special eco volunteer program ($1,000 per family of four). Nearby, at Pinnacles National Monument, ranger-led hiking tours may show visitors bird ID band ing at the Discovery Center or take the family on specific trailheads where you can spy Monarch Butterflies or endan gered bats and other critters; www.;

• Located on a private, 15-acre penin sula surrounded by the Pacific and views of downtown San Diego, Loew’s Coronado Bay Resort & Spa has three outdoor pools, whirlpools, sailboats, paddleboats, Wave Runners, bike, and jet ski rentals. The award winning Commodore Kids Club offers half day and full day entertainment such as nature walks, sandcastle construc tion, face painting, arts and crafts, and video screenings; www.LoewsHotels. com/CoronadoBay.

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