California Archives | My Family Travels
Dead Exposure: Patient Zero skulls.
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Surviving Halloween Horror Nights

Having survived a night of gleeful terror at Universal Orlando Resort’s annual Halloween Horror Nights, I can report that #HHN is a blast. It's a frightful fest of doom (Sept 6-Nov 2, 2019 in Orlando and Sept 13-Nov 2, 2019 in Hollywood) that's worth repeating annually. Both Universal Orlando and Universal Studios Hollywood reach out annually to a fresh crop of master storytellers,...

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Jurassic Ride at Universal Studios Hollywood
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Be A Star At Universal Studios Hollywood

Billing itself as the Entertainment Capital of L.A., Universal Studios Hollywood in Burbank is a movie and TV-based theme park located adjacent to the real working film studios of Universal Pictures. A day here is a fun, memorable family experience, even for celebrities, which provides a taste of the Hollywood...

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Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel
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Disneyland Hotels And Resorts

Three fun family hotels are located within the Disneyland Resort theme park complex in Anaheim, California. Although they may charge more than some local chains, guests receive privileges such as one-hour early admission to both Disneyland and the Disney California Adventure Park (early entry to Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge is not available at this time); special breakfast opportunities...

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Sea Swings at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk.
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Santa Cruz, California – From Surfing To Redwoods

From playing on the "SC" Boardwalk in summer to apple picking in the fall, some of the best family vacations south of San Francisco happen when you do Santa Cruz with kids. When most people think of excursions from San Francisco, their compass points north toward the wine valleys of Napa, the rocky coast north from Bolinas, the stark hills and pine forests of Sonoma. But turn around, and the first...

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The Millennium Falcon is a highlight of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at Disneyland.
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Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, An Epic Adventure

Give in to the gravitational pull of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Anaheim's Disneyland, opening today, because there’s just no resisting it. Whether or not you’re a Star Wars fan, whether you side with the Resistance or the First Order, this 14-acre "land" – the largest in Disney’s history – is so immersive that it’s just, well, irresistible. Bright sun or rising moon,...

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Busch Gardens Virginia coaster
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The 10 Best Themeparks For Family Vacations

At almost any time of year, family planners can count on a theme park to shift the annual vacation into high gear. Whether you’re planning a long vacation or just a day trip, a themepark is the perfect destination for family bonding no matter the age of your children. In “America's Most Popular Family...

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Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, a Disney attraction.
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This Summer Will Save The Universe For Star Wars Fans

Start the countdown to May 31 if you’re headed to California, or August 29 if Florida is a stopover on the way to a galaxy far, far away. In a surprise announcement at The Walt Disney Company shareholders meeting March 7, 2019, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products revealed the Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge opening dates. Rey, Finn, BB-8 & Friends Land at Disney Both...

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Lake Tahoe from Northstar's Comstock Express lift.
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Northstar California Shows You How to Raise a Snowboarder

Anyone who has a passion for snowboarding and wants to excel should line up at the Burton Academy at Northstar California. At Northstar, snowboarding is more than a sport. “It’s a lifestyle we teach here,” says Luke (Shep) Sheppard, the director of the resort’s unique school. Northstar...

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Guests at the Cityscape Lounge on the 46th floor of the Hilton San Francisco Union Square
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San Francisco, California Hotels

With so many lodging options and a plethora of unattended rentals, choosing the right hotel -- with a good staff and a convenient neighborhood -- can make your visit to San Francisco, California less stressful. This great walking city full of hills will tire everyone out, so prioritize your attractions, choose...

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Top 10 Geek Sights In Silicon Valley

If you're tired of technology taking over your life, take back control in Silicon Valley, where you can see the 10 top tech sights of interest to any geek and nerd. Google is headquartered in Mountain View, Facebook in Menlo Park, Yahoo! and Twitter are in Sunnyvale – all suburbs within a half-hour of San Jose. But Silicon Valley –- silicon...

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