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Top California Destinations for Families to Enjoy

By Two Monkeys Travel - Contributor March 18th, 2024 Posted in Destination, Travel Blog, Travel Guides No comments

California, often called the Golden State, offers an array of picturesque landscapes, thrilling amusement parks, and cultural experiences, making it a great destination for family trips. With its vast diversity, from the coast’s sandy beaches to the majestic mountains and bustling cities, there’s something for everyone in the family to enjoy.

Top California Destinations for Families to Enjoy
To help you plan your itinerary, here is a list of the top travel destinations you should consider visiting on your family trip to California:

1. Disneyland Resort, Anaheim

No family trip to California would be complete without visiting the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim.

Known as “The Happiest Place on Earth,” Disneyland and its sister park, California Adventure, offer a magical experience with rides, shows, and attractions for all ages. From the fairy-tale charm of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle to the thrilling adventures in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Disneyland Resort is a must-visit travel destination for families looking to immerse themselves in a world of imagination and fun.

2. San Diego Zoo and Safari Park

For animal lovers and adventure seekers, the San Diego Zoo and its companion, the Safari Park, are great destinations that offer a look at animals worldwide in a family-friendly environment. The San Diego Zoo in California is famed for its conservation and education efforts, making it a fun outing and an informative experience for kids and adults alike.

3. Yosemite National Park

Top California Destinations for Families to Enjoy

Photo by Madhu Shesharam on Unsplash

Yosemite National Park is an awe-inspiring natural wonder that allows families to explore the great outdoors. With its iconic cliffs, waterfalls, and giant sequoias, Yosemite provides a stunning backdrop for hiking, camping, and rock climbing in California. Whether gazing at the majestic Yosemite Falls or marveling at the giant sequoias in Mariposa Grove, Yosemite is a destination that inspires and rejuvenates.

4. Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

For a classic beachside amusement experience, the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is a timeless California destination. With free admission to the boardwalk, families can enjoy different rides, games, and attractions, all while soaking up the scenic beauty of the Pacific Ocean. Whether riding the historic Giant Dipper roller coaster or playing mini-golf, the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk offers fun for the entire family.

5. Lake Tahoe

Top California Destinations for Families to Enjoy
Photo by Ben Carless on Unsplash


Lake Tahoe, a lake between the border of California and Nevada, is a stunning destination year-round. In the summer, families can enjoy boating, fishing, and swimming in the lake’s crystal-clear waters. Winter makes the area a snowy wonderland, perfect for skiing, snowboarding, and cozy cabin stays. The natural beauty and various activities make Lake Tahoe a versatile family destination.

Top California Destinations for Families to Enjoy

Top California Destinations for Families to Enjoy
How to Prepare for Your Family Trip to California

When preparing for family trips, especially to vibrant destinations like those in California, it’s crucial to plan ahead to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience for everyone involved.

Here are five essential tips for parents to consider:

1. Research and Book in Advance

Make sure to research and book key attractions in California and accommodations well in advance to avoid disappointment and make the most out of your family trip. This is especially important for popular destinations like Disneyland Resort or Universal Studios Hollywood, where tickets and fast passes can sell out quickly. Booking ahead can also help you secure better rates and special family deals

2. Involve Your Children in the Planning Process

Engaging your children in trip planning can make the experience more enjoyable for them. Allow them to pick a few activities or destinations they are excited about. This involvement helps build their anticipation and makes the trip more meaningful, as they get to experience something they chose themselves.

3. Pack Smart and Prepare for All Weather Conditions

California’s weather can vary greatly depending on where and when you’re visiting. That’s why make sure to pack layers for everyone so you can adjust to changing temperatures throughout the day. Also, don’t forget essentials like sunscreen, hats, and comfortable walking shoes.

 4. Schedule Downtime

While it’s tempting to pack your itinerary with back-to-back activities, it’s important to schedule some downtime. Young children, in particular, can get easily overwhelmed by too much stimulation and can benefit from rest periods. That’s why you should allot time for relaxed activities like enjoying your hotel’s amenities or having a leisurely picnic in a park.

5. Get Family Travel Insurance

Investing in family travel insurance is a must. This type of insurance can cover unexpected events such as trip cancellations, medical emergencies, lost luggage, and more. It provides peace of mind knowing that your family and your trip investment are protected against unforeseen circumstances. Make sure to read the policy details carefully to understand what is and isn’t covered.

Make Unforgettable Memories in California with Your Family

Embarking on a family trip to California opens up a world of adventure, discovery, and bonding opportunities that can leave a lasting imprint on your family’s memory. From the enchanting allure of Disneyland to the natural wonders of Yosemite, California offers a diverse landscape of experiences for you and your family to explore and enjoy.




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Written by Two Monkeys Travel - Contributor

Two Monkeys Travel Group – Community Travel Blog is a travel blog and website. We quickly grew into a valuable source of inspiring travel stories, advice, itineraries and travel guides, with the aim of demonstrating how to live a sustainable life of travel, whilst living your own definition of success. If you'd like to contribute and write a guest post, contact us at [email protected]