California is a dream destination for many families. Postcard-worthy coastal scenery, world-renowned amusement parks, some of the top National Parks in the country and a long list of other family-friendly adventures await. However, in a state that has been plagued by freeway traffic, overpopulation, wildfires and a number of factors that put a major strain on the environment, it’s especially important to tread lightly and leave as small of a negative impact on the environment as possible. Whether you’re in search of family-friendly Los Angeles vacation home rentals or an outdoors-driven Northern California retreat, these are five accommodation options that are both family- and environmentally-friendly. Let one of them be the homebase for your unforgettable California family vacation.
The Stanford Inn by the Sea Eco-Resort -- Mendocino
Set on 10 acres of land overlooking the photogenic Mendocino Bay, the Stanford Inn by the Sea Eco-Resort is an amenity-filled resort that doesn’t sacrifice the environment for greater profit. The idea at this resort is for families to venture out into the nearby wilderness for the day, and return home to even more fun in the indoor or outdoor swimming pool, hot tub and more. The Stanford Inn by the Sea is located just 3 miles from the famous Big River Trail and 2 miles from Mendocino Headlands State Park, offering countless opportunities for outdoor adventure during your stay. The hotel owners and staff are as passionate about the environment and healthy living as those who visit, which means guests enjoy amenities like a complimentary organic made-to-order breakfast, an on-site vegan restaurant with stunning views of the bay, eco-friendly spa treatments and more. This is a resort that is loved by kids and their parents.
The Californian -- Malibu
The Californian is a luxurious and eco-conscious Malibu villa that’s ideal for several families to enjoy at once with five bedrooms and 4.5 baths. The villa sits just minutes from all of the family-friendly fun and excitement of Malibu Beach and the pier, but it may be difficult to pull your kids away from all of the fun at home. The roomy swimming pool includes a waterslide for the kids to enjoy while parents lounge in the hot tub just steps away. A fire pit, barbecue, complimentary bicycles, two paddleboards and a long list of other amenities create the surroundings for a memorable family escape that includes a lot of family time without all of the distraction.
Venice Beach Eco Cottages -- Los Angeles
When you plan a family getaway in California, surfing may be one of the activities on your to-do list. When you stay at the Venice Beach Eco Cottages, the surf, and all of the non-stop excitement of Venice Beach, is just minutes from your door. There are plenty of standard hotels with available rooms in Venice Beach, but this is a green alternative that also gives you and your family some privacy away from the action.
All of the rooms in this eco-friendly hotel have been constructed with all-natural materials and decorated with refurbished antique furniture. Rooms were truly built from the ground up with repurposed and organic materials. Your family can keep your entire vacation even more eco-friendly by enjoying walkable (car-free) access to the beach, shopping areas and famous restaurants just a few blocks, or even steps, away. Enjoy fun-filled days of surf lessons, fishing at the Venice Fishing Pier and exploring the famous beachside promenade, then retreat to the cozy environment of your personal eco-cottage.
Big Sur Lodge -- Monterey
Big Sur is one of the most iconic stretches of coastline in the world, and it’s loaded with far more than just picture-perfect scenery. Located in the heart of the Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, you’ll find the Big Sur Lodge, an accommodation option that puts the environment first. In fact, the hotel is so focused on preserving the peace of the Big Sur wilderness that they’ve even removed alarm clocks and TVs from the rooms.
An infinite number of family-friendly outdoor adventures await outside your door, and visitors are encouraged to leave their smartphones behind. Instead of screens, families can enjoy hiking, historical tours, whale watching, bird watching and day trip excursions to other nearby adventure sites. The park is also home to two picture-perfect beaches that are perfect for beachcombing and picnicking. If you’re looking for an environmentally-friendly California vacation that’s geared toward spending time outdoors with the ones you love most, the Big Sur Lodge offers the perfect backdrop.
Hotel Drisco -- San Francisco
Enjoying an eco-friendly family getaway doesn’t mean you need to avoid cities entirely. In fact, a environmentally-minded California cities like San Francisco offer a variety of eco-conscious hotel options for families that want to explore the city and all of the activities it has to offer.
The Hotel Drisco dates back to 1903, and offers a peaceful place to rest in the heart of the centrally-located Pacific Heights neighborhood. The kids can even snap photos of the Golden Gate Bridge from the hotel room window. You may not notice the eco-conscious amenities off the bat, but this hotel only uses ecological cleaning products, serves organic and local eats, uses energy-saving lights and recycles more than 80-percent of its waste. Even more, they offer complimentary bicycles, so you and the kids can explore the city without creating more waste.
The Hotel Drisco offers access to the Golden Gate Bridge, the Marina District and is located just a few blocks from the playgrounds, ball fields, trails, monuments and other activities of Presidio Park. We think there’s no better homebase for environmentally-minded families who want to explore all the City By the Bay has to offer.
For many travelers, vacation is a time to forget the worries of daily life and enjoy a careless escape. However, being kind to our environment is a care that shouldn’t be forgotten at home or on vacation. Choose an eco-friendly resort, villa or other accommodation for your family and enjoy your vacations with more peace of mind.