15 Best Family Vacations in California
It’s no secret that vacationers and tourists from all over the United States flock to California yearly.
In addition to being one of the ’60s ‘hippie meccas,’ the sunny state is home to Hollywood and the IT boom in Silicon Valley.
Many visitors are drawn to the state because of its rich and eventful past.
However, a vacation in California will also allow you to take in some of North America’s most stunning natural scenery.
The state’s diverse landscapes include coastal and inland attractions, such as the desert and snowy mountains.
Nothing can be found in California that isn’t available somewhere else.
If you and your family are planning a trip to California, here are some suggestions for visiting superb places.
Anaheim, California, is the best family vacation destination in the state.
Even if you’re staying at one of the many family-friendly resorts in California outside the Anaheim area, you should still stop in this city if you’re visiting the Golden State with your loved ones.
The Disneyland Resort is the main draw to this fantastic California vacation spot.
Disney California Adventure Park and Guardians of the Galaxy make this the perfect vacation spot for families.
Even if you don’t stay at the Disneyland Resort, you can easily spend a week in Anaheim, experiencing all its attractions and activities.
In addition, the slightly older family members can enjoy visiting attractions like Anaheim’s Angel Stadium.
Yorba Regional Park is an excellent option if you’re looking for a place to take the kids to get away from it all.
- San DiegoBottom of Form
You’ve probably heard of the amazing San Diego Zoo, even if you’ve never been to the United States before, thanks to media coverage or cultural references.
This vibrant Southern California metropolis is an excellent destination for families looking for fun things to do.
San Diego is a great place to get sun and vitamin D because the weather is pleasant nearly all year round.
Because of the pleasant climate, visitors will want to spend most of their time outdoors enjoying the city’s many attractions, such as the world-famous zoo and the thrilling sea kayak tours.
There are many indoor activities to choose from if you tire of the perpetual sunshine, such as the USS Midway Museum, which is excellent for families.
Carlsbad, California, is a fantastic place to visit for a family vacation.
I say this confidently because there is no way your children will not have a fantastic time at Legoland® California.
If you’re taking the family to California, be sure to include this destination on your itinerary.
Because of its broad appeal, Legoland® California welcomes visitors of all ages (even adults who love Legos) to enjoy its 60 rides and shows.
The proximity of this Legoland® to Sea Life Aquarium is a central selling point.
You can have a fantastic morning at Legoland® and then spend the afternoon at the aquarium.
The incredible Flower Fields, a 50-acre field of flowers at its colorful peak around March, is also worth seeing if you’re in the area during the spring or summer.
Take your family on vacation to Monterey if you’re thinking about visiting California.
Among the many exciting outdoor pursuits available at this stunning beach location is a fantastic opportunity to go whale watching.
In addition to the pleasant ocean air, Monterey also offers some interesting historical sites to visit.
Monterey is a place where I can relax with my loved ones.
Get a picnic together and spend the day at the beach.
I think the Monterey Bay Aquarium, one of the best in the country, would be a great place to take the kids.
Driving to Monterey, which is possible, is a fantastic option because of the breathtaking scenery along Big Sur.
However, given the vastness of the United States, I can see why you might not want to drive to Monterey.
Don’t worry; the area’s natural charm will still be there for you to appreciate.
- Big Bear
As a top destination for families vacationing in California, Big Bear is a must-see.
It’s a year-round southern California destination hidden in the incredible San Bernardino Mountains.
Jet skiing and hiking are just two of the many outdoor pursuits available in Big Bear.
For the most part of the year, you won’t need an umbrella or raincoat to enjoy being outside.
The Big Bear Discovery Center is an excellent option for those who prefer to stay inside, and children will exceptionally well receive it.
The Big Bear Alpine Zoo perfectly compromises outdoor and indoor pursuits.
You could still have a wonderful vacation here, even if you have to bring your baby along.
- La Jolla
La Jolla is a fantastic option if you’re looking for a fun place to take the kids for the weekend in California.
If I were you, I’d take the kids to the Children’s Pool first, where they can swim with the friendly (but wild) seals and have a great time.
Another stunning sight along the California coast is La Jolla Cove.
La Jolla is a fantastic place to go snorkeling, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, etc., because the water is warm and calm, and there are so many different water sports to choose from.
What’s great is that you can do these things with your kids (provided they are of the appropriate age).
You can’t miss the incredible Birch Aquarium, either.
Head down to the fantastic beaches and spend a quiet day with the family if you are looking for a low-key activity that does not require much planning.
- South Lake Tahoe
South Lake Tahoe is hard to beat for a fun-filled vacation with the kids in the sun.
Despite its reputation as a winter ski mecca, I’ve found that summers in South Lake Tahoe are just as enjoyable.
The incredible Fallen Leaf Trail is just one of many hiking routes perfect for warmer days.
Even though you’ll be in the middle of the woods, Pope Beach will make you feel like you’ve stepped onto a tropical beach.
You can also take a breathtaking helicopter ride around the lake and capture the incredible scenery from above.
I recommend renting a boat and taking the kids out on the water to experience some exciting new activities.
- Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz is a must-see destination in the Golden State if your children enjoy Disney-inspired stories and adventures.
That’s right, I said it! Out in Santa Cruz, you can pose with real mermaids and feel like you’ve stepped right out of the pages of The Little Mermaid.
Adults acting childlike in front of their own children may raise eyebrows, but reverting to one’s inner child can be loads of fun.
In addition to the Santa Cruz Boardwalk, where kids can take surf lessons, I recommend the Roaring Camp Steam Train as an excellent option for Santa Cruz’s younger visitors.
There are kid-friendly water activities to enjoy here without worry.
- Buena Park
If you’re looking for a stunning location in Orange County that’s perfect for a memorable family vacation, look no further than Buena Park.
Along with its stunning natural beauty, this area also boasts exciting attractions like the Pirates Dinner Adventure.
Anyone who enjoys pretending to be a Renaissance citizen will likely have a great time at Medieval Times.
If you still need convincing, I’ll throw in Knott’s Berry Farm and Knott’s Soak City to show you how great this place is for kids.
If planning a trip to California with my family, I would consider Buena Park seriously.
- Yosemite National Park
The natural beauty of Yosemite National Park makes it a great family vacation spot.
The scenery is breathtaking, and you can get great shots of the whole family without exerting too much effort.
This is a great opportunity for families with active teenagers and young adults, but the hikes are quite strenuous.
However, if you are set on seeing the park, there are a few less thrilling but still doable hikes suitable for the whole family.
The towering sequoias of Mariposa Grove will take your breath away, and the panoramas from Glacier Point are impossible to forget.
- Newport Beach
Everything in Newport Beach is excellent for the whole family.
All the kids in the family will have a blast at the boardwalk’s amusement park.
If you’d instead take things easy, the beach is always an option, where you can watch a breathtaking sunset while dipping your toes in the water.
You can also go dolphin and whale watching by booking a trip on one of the many cruises available.
There are many excellent places to eat along the boardwalk.
When spending a family vacation in Newport Beach, there is no room for boredom or disappointment.
The resort caters to all guests, so you can relax.
Newport Beach is one of my go-to suggestions for a fun-filled vacation in California’s sunshine.
- Joshua Tree
Joshua Tree is a fantastic vacation spot for a family that enjoys camping and picnics.
In Joshua Tree, a hike through Hidden Valley is a must.
However, if you’re traveling with young children or the elderly, a few other alternatives provide more accessible hikes.
You may see some stunning animals in their natural environment during these hikes.
And some incredible rock formations in the desert have been there for millions of years.
You can also reserve a Hummer or a van to drive you around, so you don’t have to walk as much.
Escondido is a fantastic place for a family vacation in Southern California because it has all the advantages of the state without the stress of a major city.
An excellent example of a place you and your kids would have fun is the San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum.
Kit Carson Park is home to the fantastic sculpture garden known as Queen Califia’s Magical Circle.
A must-see while in San Diego is the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, conveniently located nearby.
More than 3,500 animals in their natural habitats can be seen at the park.
Everybody, from kids to adults, will enjoy this.
The state capital of California, Sacramento, is a lovely city that welcomes families with young children.
Family-friendly activities abound, making this an excellent destination for those exploring the world with kids of all ages.
The Sacramento Zoo in William Land Park is an excellent family outing.
The park is home to other fantastic attractions, such as Fairy Tale Town and a thrilling duck pond, perfect for a day out with the kids.
Also, the California State Railroad Museum is a fantastic place to spend the day with young children and adolescents.
This place seems like it could be a wonderful, laid-back, and personal getaway for you and your loved ones.
- The Redwoods
Just over two hundred northerly miles from San Francisco, the Redwoods are one of the state’s most popular tourist attractions.
The majestic sequoias, some of the world’s tallest, are the first thing that will catch your eye when you visit the Redwoods.
Amazingly, visitors can take strolls among the giant sequoias and even have picnics in the allotted areas.
Even the young ones are unlikely to forget this.
What’s not to like about this park, especially since they have a scavenger hunt for the kids?
Some of the world’s most beautiful beaches are close by, and you can find plenty to do without breaking the bank.
Your time spent hiking, horseback riding, biking, etc., through these ancient forests will be unforgettable.