As a parent, you know that children can be a handful when you take them in public or stick them in the car for too long. However, taking a trip to a new place is such a rewarding experience.
Here’s your reminder to take those trips while your kids are still small because they are going to grow up faster than your ever thought possible. Before you know it, they’ll be grownups balancing lives and families of their own.
If you are planning on traveling to the West Coast with your family this summer, it’s important to prioritize things to see in California that the entire family will enjoy.
Continue reading to learn about all of the different places to go during your family-friendly California trip.
Become One With Nature
When you visit California with small children, you are probably going to want to spend as much time in the outdoors as possible. Hiking, swimming, and exploring will wear out the kids so that they can rest up for the next adventure.
Stand at the trunk of the tallest trees you’ll ever see at Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park in Northern California. The tall Sequoia sempervirens will have you remember just how small you are in contrast to the world around you. These trees can grow so tall because they live for a long time and grow quickly.
Crystal Cove State Park and Emerald Bay at Lake Tahoe are ideal California locations for splashing in the tide pools and lakes on hot summer days.
You can even go hiking along the trail systems at each of these locations. You can go camping if you want to spend more time in nature at Crystal Cove. Lake Tahoe is known for alpine sports during the winter months.
If you are looking at different California road trips for motorhome owners, you might consider this one. It explores the deserts of California with stops through Joshua Tree National Park. Some other national parks you might visit are Yosemite National Park and Lassen Volcanic National Park.
Enjoy Land Animals and Sea Creatures
Kids, in general, are pretty interested in how things work, so odds are they like discovering new things about the world around them. A fascinating topic that you can cover in California is wildlife, including aquatic and terrestrial animals.
Stop by the San Diego Zoo or the Monterey Bay Aquarium to give your kids an adventure they won’t soon forget. The San Diego Zoo is known for its conservation of endangered species. The Monterey Bay Aquarium gives you a face-to-face experience with aquatic life including sharks, sea otters, and humpback whales living in the bay. Dana Point, located in Orange County, California, is also known for being one of the best locations for whale watching along the Southern California coast. Before planning your whale watching Dana Point excursion, check with the tour operators for the latest information on schedules, prices, and specific sightings
The Star Eco Station, an environmental science center in Culver City, can give your family a glimpse into wildlife rescue. You could even learn how it works to protect endangered and illegally-trafficked animals.
Turtle Bay Exploration Park is a nature complex in Redding that also delves into wildlife rescue. Here your children can learn about native turtles like the Western Pond Turtle and the Desert Tortoise.
Get a Lesson in Historic Events
No family-friendly California trip is complete without an educational history lesson. Whether you want to learn about haunted facilities or the history of popular California sites, you can plan an entire trip around just a few places. The options are pretty much endless.
You might consider a trip to Alcatraz Island to learn about prison life and politics during the time it was an active prison system. Or you could board the U.S.S. Midway Museum to learn about life on an aircraft carrier or maritime history.
Here are a few places to visit to get a potential spooky glimpse back in time. A literal ghost town abandoned by miners, Calico Ghost Town gives its visitors a peek into the Wild, Wild West. With more than 150 rooms created by Sarah Winchester in the 1800s, the Winchester Mystery House is thought to be haunted even today.
Go Sight Seeing
A California road trip isn’t complete without setting out to see some famous California sights. You should be sure to add a few hotspots to your itinerary, such as stopping by the Golden Gate Bridge if you’re in San Fransisco. Full House fans might even consider visiting Alamo Square Park and Fisherman’s Wharf also portrayed in the hit 90s sitcom.
Take a walk along Hollywood’s Walk of Fame to see the Stars. Venture out to Griffith Observatory to get a close-up view of the Hollywood Sign or hike up the trails of Mount Lee in Griffith Park to snap a few pictures.
Spend a Day at an Amusement Park
One of the best things about summer for children is the time spent at amusement parks. Riding rides and roller coasters, eating delicious foods, and spending time with their family are some of the memories that will stick with you forever. These amusement parks should be on every list of family-friendly things to do in California.
Disneyland and Universal Studios are two of the iconic amusement parks that California tourists love to spend time at. However, there are several other amusement parks and waterparks to enjoy on the West Coast, including Raging Waters, Six Flags Magic Mountain, and Legoland California.
Check Things to See in California off Your Bucket List
With this guide, you’ll be able to imagine your trip with all of the fun things to do and exciting things to see in California. There is a little bit of everything and something for everyone in Cali. Your family will thank you for the adventure of a lifetime.
If you found this post to be helpful, be sure to check out our other lifestyle content for some more great info!