Destinations

Lake Temescal (2) alt

Seven Suitcases Asks: Oakland, CA

Suki Gear is a freelance editor and writer, formerly the commissioning editor for Lonely Planet’s western USA titles. She lives in Alameda, an under-the-radar kid paradise on the bay just southwest of Oakland. Until recently, she lived in the sunny port city of Oakland – a quick 12 mile (18km) drive from San Francisco – and sniffed out all the best spots with her eight-year-old son, Coleman, and four-year-old daughter, Tessa.

Lake Temescal (2) alt

What do you love most about Oakland as a place to spend time with your children?

People don’t generally associate Oakland with nature, but a large part of Oakland is in the hills and green. When I lived in San Francisco, I would come to the East Bay on weekends frequently to escape the fog and frenetic city life. Some neighborhoods like Rockridge and Montclair have walkable commercial strips with loads of eating options, shops, and playgrounds. Another thing I love about Oakland is its diversity. Like any city, it has its problems, but by and large the residents get along swimmingly and are exceptionally open-minded.

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Beach near Great Ocean Road, VIC, Australia

Great Ocean Road, Australia

Rugged coastline, pristine beaches and lush, wild forest – it’s not just surfers that heed the call to discover Australia’s Great Ocean Road, which runs for 151 miles (243km) along the coast south of Melbourne. Anne-Marie Middlemast takes a family-friendly road trip through this stunning region.

Beach near Great Ocean Road, VIC, Australia
The Idea

As a teenager growing up in Melbourne, it was almost considered a rite of passage to get a few friends together, and take a drive down the iconic Great Ocean Road. I’ll confess, I spent more than a few weekends following various boyfriends down this coastal wonderland; panel van loaded up with surfboards, sleeping bags, the latest Top 40 cassettes and of course, beer.

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trex

Seven Suitcases Asks: London

James Leech is a journalist living in Peckham, in burgeoning southeast London, where he moved just before the birth of his second child, from buzzier, noisier Camden Town. He loves the family-feel of the new area, which still has enough bars and cafés to keep grown-up going out locally fun.

Says James, “I moved to London around 2000, expecting to stay for a couple of years and, as they say, never left. I’m the father of two children under three – one who voices regularly his strong and frank opinions about the world, and another who wisely so far has kept her own counsel, though this might all change when she learns how to talk.”

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