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Santa Cruz, CA

Big on personality and short on pretension, Santa Cruz is most easily accessible from Norman Y. Mineta Memorial San Jose International Airport (about 30 miles) or San Francisco International Airport (about 60 miles). The quintessential California beach town features a charming wharf and boardwalk area and is home to a wide variety of marine mammals — sure to delight the kiddos.

Source: Flickr user frankjuarez