We're off for just over 3 weeks in California, dh, me and almost 17 yr old ds.
I'm hoping that, at least in Santa Barbara, it'll be safe enough for ds to get the bus into the centre and to the beach by himself and hang out, hopefully maybe get chatting to some other teenagers and make some friends (tho' he probably won't get the bottle up to start chatting to random strangers, if they chat first he'll be well away). Same for the first week which is in a one-horse town called Monte Rio in the Sonoma Valley.
Just wondering, though, whether San Francisco would be ok for him to wander around alone, and also whether anyone can recommend places either for him to go alone or for all of us to try.
Obviously he'll be with dh and I for most of the time, we'll go for daytrips etc but it's inevitable that he won't want to be stuck with us for the whole time.
I've always felt safe in San Fran, DH often goes there and I've taken DC from quite little. We usually stay centrally, and have got the bus out to the zoo, and obviousy the trams too. I've always felt safe. We rented bikes to cycle over the bridge - Bike the Bridge I think, then you get the ferry back from Sausalito, past the prison.