Reviews & Photos
August 23 2010
2 families found this helpful
Grant Grove Visitor Center - Kings Canyon
83918 Grant Grove Dr,
Kings Canyon National Pk,
"Good place to get your bearings"
We stayed in Grant Grove and found this visitor center to be a useful place to get information about Kings Canyon NP, stamp our National Park passports, and check out the small museum. My kids especially enjoyed the examples of different animal poop.
August 15 2010
1 family found this helpful
Madame Tussauds Wax Museum
6933 Hollywood Boulevard,
"A fun way to see stars on Hollywood Blvd"
We went to Madame Tussauds with our niece and nephew as part of their tour of Hollywood and actually had alot of fun. The wax people are incredible and it was fun to pose with them and take pictures. The museum is very hands on (just don't touch their hair or faces) and covers new Hollywood, Old Hollywood, singers, and even a few sport stars. It is a bit pricey but if you love celebrity then I think its worth it.
August 11 2010
1 family found this helpful
1254 Old Mammoth Road,
Mammoth Lakes, California
"A little slice of luxury and family friendly bliss in Mammoth Lakes"
From the moment we pulled into the driveway of the condo we were staying in at Snowcreek, I knew I would love this place. Wildflowers bloomed around the property and the exterior seemed to reflect the architecture of the region. Most people know Mammoth as a winter destination, but we were here to see its summer beauty. Dramatic granite mountains loom above the valley where the resort is located creating a picture perfect backdrop. I turned the key and opened the door. Ahhhh… we were home!
The lodge we stayed in had two bedrooms and three baths, but there are larger condos available. This one was plenty big enough for our family of four. The first bedroom was quite large and had its own full bathroom so I assumed it was the master. Wrong! The master was even bigger and it had a massive bathroom complete with walk-in closet, a sunken tub, and a separate shower. All the tile was gorgeous and reflected the touches of luxury found throughout the condo.
The kitchen was very large and had everything a chef could need while cooking away from home. The granite countertops and stainless steel appliances made me long for a kitchen that I had in a former life. We bought a take and bake pizza to have for dinner the first night and were pleased to find everything from plates to a cutting board and even a pizza cutter right at our fingertips. There was even a fancy electronic corkscrew that I had way too much fun using to open our bottle of wine. The dining area included a table that sat six with additional seating at the kitchen island available.
The living area had a gorgeous stone fireplace and everything we needed to start our own cozy fire. The kids loved helping me place the wood in the fireplace and watching the flames dance as the embers crackled and popped. Adjacent to the fireplace was a flat screen tv, with surround sound speakers and dvd player. The sectional couch turned into a sofa bed which would be great for larger families.
In addition to a full kitchen, there was also a full laundry room complete with our own personal washer and dryer. I can only imagine how wonderful it would be to have during ski season. I know we always come in sopping wet and muddy after some time in the snow and being able to clean up the ski pants and dry those mittens would be a godsend.
The patio off the living room had a barbeque and a small patio table and chairs. There is a small artificial pond that meanders between the condos that is lined with boulders and wild flowers and creates a nice foreground but the mountain views still stole the show.
The Athletic Club- The Snowcreek Resort has an amazing athletic club which is accessible to all guests staying on the property. The 30,000 square foot facility has a wide variety of equipment including tennis courts, racquetball courts, a basketball gym, a volleyball court, exercise machines, free weights, personal trainers, steam rooms and spas, and group exercise programs. There is also a full spa and bistro at the athletic club which will further tempt you to move in and never leave.
Location- The resort is located in the town of Mammoth Lakes, just minute or so down the road from a cute park for the kids to play at, a grocery store to stock the cupboards with, and restaurants to dine at. Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort is just a ten to fifteen minute drive out of town but there is also a trolley that can pick you up from the resort as it heads through town and up towards the ski lifts.
During the summer, the onsite golf course is perfect for families who love the sport or parents who need a break from family time. Horseback riding, mountain biking, fishing, and hiking are all very close by and very popular. As a matter of fact, when we visited the resort we were able to participate in the annual Children’s Fishing Festival which was quite popular and a lot of fun. If you can time your visit to coincide with this event (this year it was the third weekend in July), I highly recommend it.
Staying at Snow Creek is less like staying in a hotel or resort and more like staying in a friend’s luxury mountain home. From the gorgeous wood, tile, and plush carpet floors (instead of those dingy hotel floors) to the Sierra Nevada inspired art on the walls, it just makes me feel at home.
Disclosure: My family received a complimentary stay at the Snowcreek Resort as part of a press tour of the facility. Snowcreek Resort never requested that I express any particular opinion of their resort and all opinions stated above are entirely my own. Trust me, this place is fabulous!
August 11 2010
0 families found this helpful
Fallen Leaf Lake
Fallen Leaf Road,
South Lake Tahoe,
"A beautiful lake only one mile from Lake Tahoe"
Fallen Leaf Lake is a great alternative to Lake Tahoe. There is a fun but short trail from the parking area to the shore which is perfect for families with young kids. The lake itself is small but very picturesque and quiet. No motorized watercraft are allowed so you can spend more time listening to the sounds of nature and less time trying to tune out the drone of watercraft engines. There is a campground on the lake that is both family friendly and pet friendly. My kids could have spent hours on the lake, skipping stones and building forts out of fallen limbs.
August 11 2010
0 families found this helpful
Wild Rivers Waterpark - CLOSED
8770 Irvine Center Drive,
"Water fun for kids (and adults) of all ages"
I recently took my three year old toddlers along with my 11 and 13 year old niece and nephew and was very impressed with the wide variety of water activities for all age ranges.
My little ones loved splashing in the Pygmy Pond which had a pool that was less than a foot deep. After some coaxing, I was even able to convince them to go down the pink elephant slide.. After some time getting used to the water and the little slide, my son became brave enough to attempt some of the slides in Typhoon Lagoon, which is a miniature version of the sldes that the big kids ride in another area of the park. Typhoon Lagoon is specially designed for children 54 inches and under and I saw kids as tiny as 2 having a blast going down the slides into a very shallow (only a couple inches) pool at the bottom.
For kids who would rather play on a splash pad there is Buccaneer Bay,, a pirate themed splash area. It was on the cooler side the day we went, so we didn't spend much time in this area, but I can imagine my kids would spend hours there on a hot day.
Since the weather near the California coast can be cooler than some inland locations, Wild Rivers provides warming pools in two different areas of the park. We loved the warming pools! They gave us a chance to take a break and relax without having to freeze. Most summers, the warming pools would be an afterthought but this summer has been especially cool so they were a fantastic find.
In addition to the areas I have already described, there was also a 2 foot deep pool (perfect for teaching little ones how to swim!) and and a walk in pool with two slides that my daughter especially loved. There was also a Water Walk water play area that was great for the younger group. Each of these areas were spread out amongst the park so parents can send older kids on the bigger slides and still be close by.
The bigger slides were a huge hit with my niece and nephew. I went along for the ride on a couple slides and had a great time as well. The Abyss was quite popular (aka long line) but a ton of fun. Its a tube slide that is pitch black except for some flashing lights in different locations. Riders take rafts down the Abyss and can either ride in a single or double raft.
Another fun ride was the Patriot which allowed up to four people ride together down a 650 foot slide. The Bazooka Bowl next door gives riders an experience similar to being flushed down a toilet! I now know what it must be like to be a goldfish meeting its demise.
My husband and the kids loved racing down the Sergenti Surf Hill which alows rafters to race head first down the hill against one another. They also loved playing basketball and attempting the ropes in Lake Victoria.
Two waterpark features that my family always loves are the lazy river and the wave pool. Lucky for us, Wild Rivers has both and they were big hits once again. We put the little ones in rafts with us and floated down the lazy river for what seemed like an hour. The older children braved the waves of the wave pool while I stayed at the shore with the little ones and we splashed in the shallows. The park provides lif jackets which certainly gave me some reassurance when my kids were playing around so much water.
One thing that we didn't do but probably should have was purchase wrist bands (I believe they were $7) to ride the waves in the boogie board pool. These waves looked just like ocean waves and the kids that were in the pool seemed to be having a great time.
There are several different food stands located within the park and the prices are similar to those of other theme parks so if you don't want to pay an arm and a leg for food, pack a picnic and leave it in the cooler in the car. There is a picnic area just outside of the park gates where you and the kids can take a break and eat some lunch before getting wet once again.
Bottom Line- if you are in Orange County and looking for a fun way to cool off for the day, check out Wild Rivers. It is only 20-30 minutes from Disneyland and a great alternative to the theme park when the weather is warm and you don't feel like standing in line in the 90 degree heat.
Disclosure: My family and I received complimentary entry to Wild Rivers Waterpark so I could review the property. Wild Rivers did not request that I express any particular opinion and, as always, all opinions expressed above are my honest thoughts.