If you’ve got kids in school, your family spring break vacation has special meaning for you. The kids get a week off and it’s probably the only real vacation they (and you) get during those six long months between the winter holidays and summer. Everyone needs a break. You’ve marked off the family’s spring vacation dates on your calendar months in advance, and everyone is jonesing to hit the road.How can you make the most of this precious spring break? You want something fun, enriching and affordable. What you need for your family spring break vacation is a Santa Barbara vacation rental home.Family Spring Break Vacation Tip #1 – Escape The Rowdy Crowd: The phrase “spring break vacation” conjures up TV news footage of drunken bashes and out of control college students trashing hotels. When you’re planning a family vacation, party central is the last place you want to be. The simple way to avoid these rowdy spring break revelers is to go where they aren’t. Santa Barbara is a great place to take your family and a vacation rental home is the ideal place to base your trip.Family Spring Break Vacation Tip #2 – Control Your Environment For Half The Cost: For a family, the simple tactical advantages of a vacation rental home are enormous. You get double the square footage for your family vacation dollar. You get a two- to three-bedroom beautifully appointed home, instead of a generic hotel room with paper thin walls that will allow you and your children to hear everything the party animals are doing in the next room. (Aside from the noise level, there are some discussions you don’t want to have with your young kids: “Mommy, what’s a Jell-o shot?”).By using a vacation rental home for your family vacation, you control the environment. You share no walls, you have your own porch, your own backyard, your own place to breathe without having to keep an eye on questionable hotel guests.You have your own media center, your own big screen TV, a place where you and your family can have all the loud fun and wholesome games you want without having to worry about someone banging on the wall. You get your choice of vacation rental home each with its own view, unique style (Greek, Spanish Mission, Modern, Italian, French, etc.). Beyond doubling your family’s spring break vacation space for the same money, a vacation rental home has a unique character so your kids will recall the details of your family vacation for years to come.Family Spring Break Vacation Tip #3 – Santa Barbara Is Family Friendly Destination: A Santa Barbara vacation rental home is more than just gorgeous house to have spring break fun in. What makes this a great family spring break vacation is Santa Barbara itself. This town has tons of family-friendly activities and events that come into bloom during spring break. Downtown has glorious shopping, family-friendly restaurants, historical sites and galleries to explore. There are lots of places that are specifically designed for families. There are so many family friendly activities that many families come back year after year for their family vacation.Family Spring Break Vacation Tip #5 – Santa Barbara Makes It Easy To Find Unique Family-Friendly Events: Year round Santa Barbara is bursting with festivals, events, shows and activities. On any given weekend during your family spring break vacation you will be able to choose from a wide variety of family friendly events. To get a listing of all events go to SantaBarbara.com’s calendar page. If you’re looking for the latest in family friendly goings-on check out Santa Barbara Family’s Calendar of Events: http://www.sbfamilylife.com/coe.htm or Santa Barbara Parent http://www.sbparent.com/.Family Spring Break Vacation Tip #4 – Explore The Outdoors Santa Barbara has 300 days of sunshine a year, making it the perfect place to plan an outdoor family spring break vacation. Here are some of the most popular outdoor family spring break vacation activities:

Bring your dog. Unlike many hotels, you can bring your dog to enjoy your vacation rental homes along with you on your family spring break vacation.
Walk along our many beaches.
Explore the grounds of the Santa Barbara Mission.
If you want a lovely stroll, go to the Santa Barbara Botanical Gardens or the Alice Keck Park Memorial Gardens. If you love orchids, the Santa Barbara Orchid Estate is a must-see attraction that draws orchid lovers from around the world.
Find inner peace at Ganna Walska Lotusland
The whole family can rent individual bikes to check out the many available bike trails or you can rent a fun, covered, four-person Surrey bike.
If you love horses visit the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club or spend spring break horseback riding through the wilderness.
Play Frisbee in the backyard of your vacation rental home or in one of our many parks such as Alameda Park, Chase Palm Park (which has a Merry-Go-Round).
Go camping.
Day trips through the greater Southern California area (Oxnard, Ventura, Los Angeles, Hollywood, etc).
Play tennis year round.
Hike along the Santa Ynez Mountains or along the beach. No matter which vacation rental home you choose for your family vacation, you’re not far from a hiking trail.
If you’ve got skaters in your family, Skater’s Point is a rocking skateboard park.
Family Spring Break Vacation Tip #5 – That Big Blue Wet Ocean Thingy Can Be Fun: Your Santa Barbara vacation rental home is never far away from something the natives like to call the Pacific Ocean. While the rest of the country may still be shivering in the cold, your family spring break vacation is the perfect time to enjoy seaside fun such as:

Santa Barbara has many of California’s best beaches: Arroyo Burro Beach, Goleta Beach, East Beach, Leadbetter Beach. Butterfly Beach (a little hard to find) is where the locals go to have a great beach experience.
Cruise the beautiful waterfront on the Santa Barbara Water Taxi.
Boat lovers can go to the Yacht Club, charter a boat or do some sport fishing.
If you’d love to see what spring looks like under the sea, you can get supervised scuba diving and snorkeling lessons.
Grab your wet suit and go surfing.
Fishing is popular at the many lakes and ocean fishing is also available to give your family an unforgettable adventure.
For those of you with older children looking for spring break adventure, we’ve got great kayaking where your kid can get up close with dolphins, sea lions and more.
There is no better place on the coast for whale watching than the Santa Barbara Channel.
Family Spring Break Vacation Tip #6 – Don’t Tell The Kids They’re Learning: The deep dark secret of a family spring break vacation is that you can turn off your brain, but you don’t have to. There are plenty of cultural and educational opportunities you can enjoy on your family spring break vacation:

Take the trolley tour, which will teach you the history of Santa Barbara in 90 fun-filled minutes.
The Ty Warner Sea Center is a great place for hands-on science.
Visit the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History.
Santa Barbara’s Zoological Gardens is one of the best small zoos in the country.
For the museum minded, explore the Contemporary Arts Forum, El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park, Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum, The Museum of Art, South Coast Railroad Museum, the UCSB Art Museum.
For evening fun you have your choice of theaters playing comedies, musicals and dramas.
In addition to the city’s thriving music scene you can listen to the symphony, chamber orchestra, choral society and more.
Family Spring Break Vacation Tip #7 – You Don’t Have To Stay With The Kids The Whole Time: Finally, if you want to take a spring break from your own children, the concierge of your vacation rental home can arrange to have your kids entertained by experienced (and vetted) professional babysitters. While your kids are having fun with one of the baby sitters, you can explore the other side of Santa Barbara, one of the most romantic destinations on the planet.Your family spring break vacation will be the highlights of your year, a cherished memory that will last a lifetime. Families fall in love with their vacation rental home and keep coming back year after year, sometimes stretching into the third generation. That’s the best kind of family vacation, the one that keeps giving long after you leave.

Posted by Dwayne K. Kelley

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