Cranky Parents' Guide to Family Vacations
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San Diego, Beach Break
Parents' take: San Diego animal encounters could be a kick, especially if we opt for the SeaWorld program that lets us swim with the dolphins, or the Backstage Pass at the San Diego Zoo, which lets us scratch a rhino's belly with a broom. But just as satisfying, after tiring everybody out with a day at the beach (Mission Beach has a roller coaster, but La Jolla has sea lions) or a hike along the trails at Torrey Pines State Reserve (High Point Overlook for grand views of the coast), will be asking the hotel to arrange a babysitter and then treating ourselves to a meal with a view at George's California Modern.
Kids' take: Whatever, as long as it includes the roller coaster.
Paradise Point Resort and Spa, on a private island in Mission Bay, has plenty to keep the kids busy, including its own beach; from $197 per night.