The OC? Nah, San Diego is the Best of Southern California.

Some might disagree with me, but for family travel in the southern part of the Golden State, I vote for San Diego. 

There’s beach and surfer action, the world-class Balboa Park and Zoo, nautical fun at the waterfront Embarcadero, maybe a dip down into Mexico, the sweeping ocean view as you drive over the bridge to Coronado, primo weather all the time….how can you lose?  Grownups and older kids will enjoy the revitalized downtown Gaslamp Quarter and upscale, gorgeous places like La Jolla and Del Mar just up the coast.

For ideas on things to do with kids, check out this guide to the city from Smarter Travel, plus an itinerary for a San Diego getaway on James Trotta’s blog “Travel Plan Ideas.”  The Webby-winning folks over at GoCityKids have some tips as well

One thing to remember; I just assumed that since so much of surfer culture got its start in SOCAL (Southern California) oceans, the water must be nice and warm.  Um, nope. It’s a pretty bracing temperature, even at the height of Endless Summer.