Summer is around the corner, which also means family road trip season is coming… Maybe Palm Springs is calling your name, or a trip down the coast to see sights in Santa Barbara or Big Sur is more your speed. Wherever you and your family decide to travel in California we have you covered on what to do and what to see when you arrive in some of these stunning locations!
Living within driving distance of one of the most remarkable natural wonders in the world makes the Grand Canyon a must do, family road trip. Located just 8 hours away, The Grand Canyon is one of the deepest gorges on Earth and is sure to be appealing to every age group.
On your trip, hop on the old railway tracks and take a ride where you can enjoy spotting wildlife while listening to singing cowboys passing through the carriages! For some of the best views of the Canyon make sure to stop by the Skywalk which allows you to feel like you’re hovering 4,000 feet above the Grand Canyon on a horseshoe-shaped walkway with a glass floor that projects 70 feet from the canyon rim. Other attractions include the Grand Canyon Historic Village Sites, The North and South Rim and the Grand Canyon Village where you will be able to take in all of the views the canyon.
For more information on The Grand Canyon, visit Grand Canyon.
Palm Springs or Palm Desert
The desert city known for its hot springs, stylish hotels, golf courses and spas also offers a wide range of family activities including hiking, biking and horseback riding. Whether you’re craving a relaxing family getaway or a fun, active and adventurous trip, this is the perfect location for those who want to keep traveling time minimal.
When you get to Palm Springs/Palm Desert, get out and enjoy nature. Take your pick from the many hiking trails Palm Springs has to offer, which are perfect for picnics and wildlife spotting. Other fun activities to check out include the Living Desert, viewing the city through the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, and jumping on the all-terrain vehicle tour.
One of Palm Springs’ key attractions for families are the water activities with attractions for all ages including water slides, water playgrounds and raft rides. Two main attractions to check out while you’re there are Wet ‘n’ Wild and Palm Desert Aquatic Center.
At the end of your event filled day don’t forget that the majority of the hotels have onsite spas and pools to help cool down in the hot desert climate.
For more information on Palm Springs and Palm Desert, visit Visit Palm Springs.
Whether you enjoy hiking, fine dining, water sports or lounging on the beach, Santa Barbara has something for you. Santa Barbara’s beautiful beaches, majestic mountains and colorful culture make this town a premier resort destination.
Santa Barbara is about a 3-hour drive from North County and is home to the world famous Stearns Wharf, a great destination for the entire family offering three blocks of great views of the beach, harbor and mountains. The old-fashioned wharf is full of touristy stands, souvenirs and ice cream shops and great seafood restaurants.
If its beaches you’re looking for, Santa Barbara boasts Ledbetter, which was recently named one of the Travel Channel’s “Top Ten American Beaches.” This family favorite beach is one of the most popular in the area and is lined with a grassy picnic area and has barbecue pits as well as being perfect for swimming and water activities.
If you are in the mood to shop, view various museums and just enjoy the city of Santa Barbara, take a stroll down State Street in Downtown Santa Barbara. Visit the many high end stores, cute boutiques and fascinating art galleries. Then have lunch at one of the many delicious restaurants on the main strip. A proper visit to Santa Barbara is not complete without visiting Downtown Santa Barbara and State Street.
For more information on Santa Barbara, visit Santa Barbara CA.
Take a beautiful ride up to Monterey Bay. Enjoy Monterey’s spectacutr coastline and calm, beachy vibe. Visit the historic Fisherman’s Wharf and enjoy fantastic restaurants, unique shopping, fishing, sailing, boat crusses, amazing views and more. This is a great destination for the family. Also check out Cannery Row, one of California’s most popular areas with luxurous waterfront hotels, shopping, eateries and more.
If you want to get up close and personal with some of Monterey’s gorgeous sea life, visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The Monterey Bay Aquarium allows visitors to explore life in colorful coral reefs and along rough rocky shores while also being able to get up close with blackfooted penguins, moray eels and other live animals To make sure you spot a large variety of mammals and exotic birds, make sure to take your family on the Sailing Cruise where marine mammals such as humpback whales, sea otters, dolphins and sea lions are seen frequently include.
For more information on Monterey Bay, visit Explore Monterey.
This rugged stretch of California’s central coast is known for winding roads, seaside cliffs, misty coastline and all around breathtaking views. The sparsely populated region has numerous state parks for hiking, camping and beach combing making it ideal for families looking to a quick escape from our busy lives.
While in Big Sur, make sure to visit Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park which is home to the McWay Falls overlook trail and take in some of the best views Big Sur has to offer, including a waterfall that plunges 80 feet into the Pacific Ocean.
The biggest bridge in all of Big Sur, the famous Bixby Bridge, is a sight to behold. This bridge is the perfect photo opportunity for a family road trip! You can even walk out to an observation deck on the bridge itself and take in some of the breathtaking views. You can also go Horseback Riding along the beach at Andrew Molera State Park, which is a great way for your family to spend some quality time together and really be up close and personal with Big Sur.
For more information on Big Sur, visit Big Sur CA.