15 Finest Locations to Go to in California with Children (2023)

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In search of the very best household journeys in California? As a mother and longtime Californian who has explored a lot of the Golden State, I’ve acquired you lined! Discover this stunning state’s shores, theme parks, nationwide parks, and cities with this record of 15 superb locations to go to in California with youngsters in 2023.

The Pacific Coast in California
The Pacific Coast in California (Photograph credit score: haveseen, Depositphotos.com)

This story is delivered to you in partnership with Go to California.

1. San Diego

San Diego is the right place for a California trip with youngsters. Having lived in San Diego in Southern California for 15 years, I admit I am keen on this California metropolis.

San Diego pleases all ages with the famend San Diego Zoo, miles of lovely seashores, all types of marine life at SeaWorld San Diego, the at all times entertaining Balboa Park, and tons of different points of interest.

Learn concerning the 35 finest issues to do in San Diego with youngsters and my picks for the most effective eating places in San Diego for households.

Flamingos at the San Diego Zoo
Flamingos on the San Diego Zoo (Photograph credit score: pngstudio, Depositphotos.com)

2. Disneyland Resort

After all, no record of the most effective household journeys in California could be full with out Disneyland Resort. With memorable character meals, thrilling rides, and points of interest aplenty, you are by no means too outdated or too younger for a Disney trip.

Positioned in Orange County, this trip vacation spot consists of Disneyland and its sister theme park, Disney California Journey. Downtown Disney buying and eating district plus three themed Disneyland motels add to the expertise.

Visiting with little youngsters? Try my picks for the most effective Disneyland rides and points of interest for infants and toddlers.

Headed to the Happiest Place on Earth with older youngsters? Take a peek at the most effective thrill rides at Disneyland.

Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland
Sleeping Magnificence Fortress at Disneyland (Photograph credit score: Paul Hiffmeyer, Disneyland)

3. Huntington Seaside

In case your best California household trip focuses on ocean waves, sandy seashores, and hanging ten — then ebook a visit to Huntington Seaside. It is also called Surf Metropolis USA so be certain to enroll in household surf classes throughout your go to. A visit to the Surfer Corridor of Fame and a nighttime seaside bonfire are musts on this walkable small city, too.

Learn extra about Huntington Seaside with youngsters.

Huntington Beach is the ultimate surfer town to visit in California
Huntington Seaside, the final word surfer city (Photograph credit score: wolterke, Depositphotos.com)

4. San Francisco

What’s to not love about this Northern California metropolis by the ocean? From the large Golden Gate Park to the well-known Pier 39, Fisherman’s Wharf, and Alcatraz Island, there’s a lot to discover in San Francisco. Children will particularly get a kick out of driving on one of many metropolis’s well-known cable automobiles and driving down the crookedest road on this planet.

San Francisco Bay is residence to the second-largest Chinatown within the nation. Go see the ornate Dragon’s Gate and wander by means of the realm’s many vigorous outlets. Then you need to eat some scrumptious Chinese language delicacies. Fortune cookies have been invented in San Francisco so you’ll want to go to the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Manufacturing unit the place you’ll be able to watch the manufacturing course of and purchase freshly made cookies. 

Received a Star Wars fan or comics lover within the household? Then you definately’ll need to learn our geek’s information to San Francisco earlier than you go!

The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco
The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco (Photograph credit score: martinm303, Depositphotos.com)

5. Monterey

Alongside California’s Central Coast lies the picturesque metropolis of Monterey. The well-known Monterey Bay Aquarium will wow youngsters with reveals crammed with tuxedoed penguins, playful sea otters, and fish of all types. Seafood lovers rejoice in Monterey for its abundance of fresh-caught picks.

Energetic households will particularly admire Monterey. Mountaineering alternatives give households an opportunity to attach with nature and one another. If your loved ones golfs (and even when it would not), then a scenic drive to the Pebble Beach Golf Links is a should.

Monterey is simply 4 miles from Carmel, a darling vacation spot worthy of a day journey or just a few further days in California with youngsters.

Monterey Bay Aquarium
Monterey Bay Aquarium (Photograph credit score: Belyay, Depositphotos.com)

6. Lake Tahoe

Snow in California? Oh sure, certainly! Snowboarding is probably not the very first thing that springs to thoughts whenever you image a California trip, however possibly it needs to be.

Northstar California at Lake Tahoe presents a wintry wonderland for the entire household. This resort boasts over 3,000 skiable acres. There are trails for skiers and snowboarders of all ability ranges. Snowshoeing, ice skating, s’mores and extra hold youngsters content material throughout a California winter journey to Lake Tahoe.

The play would not finish when the snow melts, both. In summer season, head to Lake Tahoe for jet snowboarding, paddle boarding, mountain climbing, kayaking, and past.

California's Lake Tahoe in winter
Winter in Lake Tahoe (Photograph credit score: mblach, Depositphotos.com)

7. Carlsbad and Legoland California

Positioned simply over 30 miles north of downtown San Diego and fewer than an hour’s drive south of Orange County’s Irvine, you could possibly simply spend your total California household trip in Carlsbad.

Apart from its seven miles of seashores, Legoland California is the star of the present in Carlsbad. This amusement park presents mellow curler coasters, interactive rides, colourful play areas, and different enjoyable for teenagers. Additionally onsite is Legoland Water Park with plenty of slides and water rides for summer season guests. Open year-round, Legoland’s SeaLife Aquarium is crammed with an interesting assortment of marine life.

The well-known Carlsbad Flower Fields, seaside play, a music museum, and extra add to the enjoyable. Study all there’s to do in Carlsbad with youngsters.

Legoland California in Carlsbad, California with kids
Legoland California in Carlsbad (Photograph credit score: Legoland California)

8. Los Angeles

The second largest metropolis in the USA is crammed with family-friendly actions. Los Angeles is residence to over 90 museums and almost 31,000 eating places.

Los Angeles additionally presents 24 miles of sandy seashores alongside the California Coast. One of the vital well-known is Venice Seaside. It is recognized for its distinctive SoCal vibe, an expansive skate park, and an outside health club with musclebound locals lifting weights underneath the California solar.

The Getty Center is among the many hottest points of interest within the Los Angeles space. The museum is crammed with treasured artworks by such artists as Van Gogh, Monet, and Cezanne. The encompassing gardens are gorgeous as nicely.

Positioned on Mount Hollywood in Griffith Park, Griffith Observatory wows guests with its planetarium, high-powered telescopes for public use, and area reveals.

Step method again in time at La Brea Tar Pits and pure historical past museum. Children would possibly surprise in the event that they’ve entered Jurassic Park as they stare at life-sized statues of wooly mammoths, large sloths, and different extinct animals in swimming pools of gooey asphalt effervescent up from the earth.

A private favourite, the Huntington Botanical Gardens unfold throughout 120 acres. Escape the hectic tempo of town in favor of a myriad of flowers, vegetation, and fountains set in 16 themed gardens.

Cowl a number of floor with a Los Angeles Go City All-Inclusive Pass for 40+ Attractions together with the Los Angeles Zoo, Knott’s Berry Farm, and way more.

Venice Beach in Los Angeles, California
Venice Seaside in Los Angeles (Photograph credit score: oneinchpunch, Depositphotos.com)

9. Burbank and Hollywood

If your loved ones is gaga about all issues glitz and glamour, then head to the Media Capital of the World. A suburb of Los Angeles, Burbank is residence to a whole bunch of main movie and tv studios. After all, it would be best to view the long-lasting Hollywood Signal and stroll alongside the well-known Hollywood Stroll of Fame.

Walt Disney Studios, Common Studios Hollywood, and Warner Bros. Studio are all positioned in Burbank. For an immersive take a look at units and memorabilia from favourite reveals and films, book a Warner Bros. Studio Tour prematurely.

For motion pictures and TV reveals served with a facet of curler coasters and dwell reveals, Common Studios Hollywood is an absolute should. That is very true for Harry Potter followers who adore this theme park’s Wizarding World.

Be taught extra about this spectacular suburb with this record of enjoyable issues to do in Burbank.

Hollywood sign
The enduring Hollywood Signal, as considered from Burbank (Photograph credit score: logoboom, Depositphotos.com)

10. Yosemite Nationwide Park

Resplendent with mountain climbing trails, waterfalls, and towering timber, Yosemite is a spot of pure surprise for over 3.3 million visitors every year. This nationwide park spans almost 750,000 acres. It’s residence to quite a lot of wildlife together with foxes, deer, cougars, and black bears. Adventurous households may even be happy to know that Yosemite is called one of many best places in North America for rock climbing.

Yosemite opened in 1890 and stays one of many nation’s best examples of land conservation. Carved by glaciers over tens of hundreds of years, Yosemite Valley options granite giants El Capitan and Half Dome.

Households searching for to discover California’s pure magnificence will love visiting Yosemite Nationwide Park. Plan your journey with these Yosemite Nationwide Park suggestions.

Yosemite National Park Valley landscape from Tunnel View
Yosemite Nationwide Park Valley panorama (Photograph credit score: haveseen, Depositphotos.com)

11. Palm Springs

Palm Springs lures vacationers to its desert locale with its huge golf programs and glowing lodge swimming swimming pools. Make sure you sip a crave-worthy date shake, made with fruits from the realm’s plentiful palm timber.

Households are enamored with The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens. This spectacular zoo and botanic backyard supply progressive play areas for teenagers and a enjoyable mannequin prepare exhibit.

Large spinning wind generators within the Palm Springs space produce an electrifying 1.5 million megawatt-hours. Additionally they present gorgeous photograph ops.

Soar from the desert valley to the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains through the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. The ground of the automobile rotates all through the journey, so passengers get a 360-degree view of Coachella Valley with out having to maneuver across the automobile.

Intrigued? Uncover extra issues to do in Palm Springs with youngsters.

Iconic palm trees in Palm Springs, CA
Iconic palm timber in Palm Springs (Photograph credit score: welcomia, Depositphotos.com)

12. Ventura County

For a singular array of actions for households, contemplate a Ventura County trip. Suppose gondola rides by means of canals, whale watching, spying on wild foxes on an uninhabited Channel Island, and piloting a battery-operated boat. Uncover extra distinctive issues to do in Ventura County with youngsters.

The Channel Islands in Ventura Country, California
The Channel Islands in Ventura Nation (Photograph credit score: Colleen Lanin)

13. Santa Monica

Santa Monica is the epitome of Southern California with its surfable waves, beachy downtown, and seaside amusements. This suburb of Los Angeles is finest recognized for the Santa Monica Pier with its iconic Ferris wheel spinning beside the Pacific Ocean.

Pacific Park on Santa Monica Pier contains a dozen rides together with the 130-foot-tall Pacific Wheel and a full-sized curler coaster. You may additionally discover a plethora of arcade video games with prizes and each sort of deal with your candy tooth may crave.

Santa Monica Seaside is without doubt one of the finest seashores in California. Click on by means of to find the remainder!

Santa Monica Beach & Pier in California
Santa Monica Seaside & Pier (Photograph credit score: oneinchpunch, Depositphotos.com)

14. Sequoia Nationwide Park

Positioned in Central California within the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Sequoia Nationwide Park is residence to attractive groves of the world’s largest timber. Adults and youngsters of all ages can not help however really feel awe-struck by the large sequoias within the Large Forest.

This nationwide park can be residence to the world’s largest tree, Normal Sherman. You’ll be able to even drive by means of one other well-known large sequoia known as the Tunnel Log. This stunning place offers an assortment of nice issues to do in nature like mountain climbing, mountain biking, tenting, and horseback driving.

Sister park, Kings Canyon Nationwide Park, is lower than 30 miles away and makes an ideal addition to a nature-focused vacation. Be taught extra about Sequoia, Kings Canyon, and different nationwide parks in California like Loss of life Valley and Channel Islands in our round-up of the most effective nationwide parks within the U.S.

Sequoia trees in Sequoia National Park
Sequoia timber in Sequoia Nationwide Park (Photograph credit score: luckyphotographer, Depositphotos.com)

15. Joshua Tree Nationwide Park

Positioned about an hour from Palm Springs, Joshua Tree Nationwide Park is a should for households who need to discover pure wonders in California. That is the most effective place to identify the unique-looking Joshua timber with their outstretched arms and spiky leaves. These uncommon timber develop solely within the Mojave Desert within the Southwestern U.S.

Book a guided tour of Joshua Tree National Park with our trusted companion, GetYourGuide.

Joshua Tree National Park
Joshua Tree Nationwide Park (Photograph credit score: lunamarina, Depositphotos.com)

Discover Extra Household Trip Locations

For much more concepts in your California bucket list, try this California road trip itinerary, this record of national parks in California, and our intensive catalog of California holidays and suggestions.

Uncover the most effective issues to do in Scottsdale in my present residence state of Arizona.

Preserve it bizarre with this record of issues to do in Portland, Oregon with youngsters.

Take the children to the Valley Isle with these beneficial Maui actions for households.

San Diego sunset
Sundown in San Diego (Photograph credit score: Colleen Lanin)

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Best Family Trips in California

Which of those California household trip locations would your loved ones get pleasure from most? Tell us within the feedback under!

Disclosure: I acquired compensation associated to this story from Go to California when it was first posted. This weblog submit about the most effective household journeys in California is often up to date to offer essentially the most useful info for readers. All opinions are mine, as common.