The California coast offers an alluring escape -- beautiful views, ocean breezes, fresh seafood, and adventurous water sports. And while braving a maverick wave on a surfboard isn't everyone's idea of fun, thanks to the revival of a much more relaxing Hawaiian pastime, now everyone can surf the sea.
A national parkland and wildlife sanctuary, the Marin Headlands is home to a variety of important species, from the delicate Mission blue butterfly to the wily and adaptable coyote. Encountering these animals in their natural habitat is a highlight of any visit to the Headlands.
If anyone has the inside scoop on what to do with kids near the Point Montara Lighthouse Hostel, it's Janice Pratt -- she and her family live there! Janice and her husband, hostel manager Christopher Bauman, run the place (with a little extra "help" here and there from their two daughters, ages 6 and 9).