Located in the magnificent redwoods between the Sequoia National Forest and Kings Canyon National Park, Montecito-Sequoia Lodge (650/967-9502, 800/227-9900) provides all the ingredients for a peaceful, yet active vacation. The entire family will have opportunities to share experiences as well as “do their own thing.” Open year round, facilities include a private lake for boating, waterskiing and fishing, tennis courts, horse stable, hiking and biking trails, rockclimbing, rifelry, crafts shop, heated swimming pool and hot tub, cross-country skiing and ice skating. Buffet meals are included in the vacation price.
The accommodations provide a great opportunity for a real camp-style experience with no telephones or televisions to interrupt family-together time. Eight one-room, windowed cabins contain a king and two bunks. Although these Mountain Cabins do not have running water or plumbing, there is electricity, and some cabins are equipped with wood-burning stoves. Ceiling fans help to blow the cool mountain air around and electric blankets keep you toasty when necessary. Nearby bathhouses provide toilets and shower facilities. Additionally, four Forest Cabins offer a living area, king-sized bed, full bath and upstairs loft with half bath for kids, and happily accommodate a family of four. Finally, there are 37 lodge rooms and suites with private baths that accommodate families with a variety of queen, king and bunk beds.
Supervised activities for children are divided into seven age groups ranging from 2-18 years. Activities for the youngest children include dock walks, creative play, pony rides, swimming, story and nap time. Although there is no organized program for children 6-23 months, there is a special Infant Play Yard full of toys and infant paraphernalia where parents and teenage babysitters can bring babies to play and make friends.They are also free to join in activities with the youngest group if accompanied by a caregiver.Qualified babysitters (off-duty counselors and CITs) are readily available for hire. There are age-appropriate supervised group activities and sports instruction for kids up to age 18.
Judy Vincent, the Office Manager, asserts, “It’s a place where every family member gets to choose what he or she wants to do. Everyone has fun either individually and/or as a family.” Vincent also notes that throughout its almost 70-year history, the Montecito has heard from many families that traditional camp activities have helped build a stronger family bond and create friendships with other guests.
Not much has changed in the activities or programming at this rustic camp. However, despite being aware of many new trends in family travel, Vincent notes that most families who choose this getaway actually desire the simple and traditional fun of yesteryear, with campfire songs, variety shows and friendly counselors being the focus. Montecito believes that the most important thing for vacationing families is that they get the best value with less stress. To meet this need, Vincent states they have simplified the details of all-inclusive packages, making the vacation planning and booking easier. They will happily answer all of your questions.
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