San Quentin may not be the first place you think of when you think “family vacation,” but you’d find that this beautiful city in California has so much to offer families traveling with children. The stops on this day may be a little out of the ordinary as well, but these fascinating and special excursions make for a day kids will never forget.
Please note that this is not an itinerary submitted by an actual family. This day was planned by one of our travel experts as a recommendation for a family of children with ages 4 through late teens, based on knowledge of the city. Factors such as time, cost and distance have been considered to make this a great day to get a sense of the city and keep the children and teens interested and engaged.
Address: 9777 Golf Links Rd, Oakland, CA 94605
Hours: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Admission: Adults – $16, Children – $12
With 100 acres housing more than 660 native and exotic animals, there is something for everyone at the Oakland Zoo. The African Veldt features three different elevations, recreating the natural habitat found in southern Africa, and displays animals that are normally found in this dry, arid region. The grassy African Savannah exhibit is home to lions, giraffes, zebras and elephants. Enter the Rainforest exhibit to see tigers, chimpanzees, macaws and other animals typically found in this warm tropical climate. Climb aboard The Outback Express Train to visit kangaroos, wallabies and emus in the Wild Australia exhibit. Young visitors will enjoy exploring and playing at the Children’s Zoo, where they can dig for alligator eggs, discover animal footprints, play in the otter den and pet friendly farm animals. The whole family will enjoy soaring high above the zoo, getting a birds-eye-view of the animals and exhibits on the Sky Ride.
Address: Melville Square and Esplanade Drive, Richmond, CA 94804
Hours: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
This national historical park preserves the legacy of the United States home front during World War II, in particular, the role of women and African Americans in war industries. Discover how American civilians lived lived, worked and got along through faces and stories. The Visitor Education Center houses several temporary and permanent exhibits about the history of Richmond’s wartime industries and workers. Visitors can watch a film illustrating the home-front battle. Enjoy free ranger tours of the park and the visitor center or a self-guided auto tour. The Rosie the Riveter Memorial honors the women who made up much of the workforce at the shipyards. The memorial is located at Marina Bay Park and is the length of a Liberty ship. A timeline of WWII runs along the walkway and interpretive panels are placed within the structures, presenting information on women’s history, labor history and the home front.
Address: San Quentin, CA 94964
Hours: Open Tuesday and Thursday
Opening in 1852, San Quentin State Prison is the oldest prison in California. California’s only death row for male inmates, the largest in the United States, is located at this prison. With several notorious inmates, this well known prison has been featured in films, television and many books. The T.H. Pendergast California Parole Museum located in the prison collects artifacts that document the history of parole in California. The museum was founded by Jeff Cramer, who now runs the front desk and brings the artifacts to life with countless stories. Visitors can see antique firearms, knives and clubs used by the guards over the last 162 years. Read newspaper clippings about some of the most notable inmates, including Charles Manson. This unique museum is one attraction you won’t want to miss when visiting San Quentin.