As my plane descended into California, I couldn't help but feel a sense of excitement and anticipation for the adventure that lay ahead. As I stepped off the plane and into the warm, sunny weather, I immediately felt at home. The beautiful palm trees and the sight of the ocean in the distance welcomed me to the Golden State.
My first stop was San Francisco, and I couldn't help but be mesmerized by the stunning Golden Gate Bridge. The city was bustling with life, and I enjoyed exploring the charming neighborhoods and trying the local cuisine. The city's vibrant culture and diverse population were evident everywhere I went.
VIDEO: This California Vacation Travel Guide how's what travel looked like pre pandemic.
Not only is California the natural wonder of National Parks like Yosemite and rugged coastlines like Big Sur, it is also a bigger economy than most countries in the world with glorious cities like like LA and San Francisco. From the wine valleys to Disneyland, there are more than enough attractions to keep busy. We take you through a journey of some of our favorites.
As a wine enthusiast, I couldn't resist the opportunity to visit Napa Valley, a world-renowned wine region just a short drive from San Francisco. As I drove through the rolling hills covered in vineyards, I couldn't believe the breathtaking beauty of the scenery.
I spent my days touring wineries, tasting some of the finest wines in the and enjoying the local cuisine. One of the highlights of my trip was a private tour and tasting at a boutique winery, where the owner shared his passion and expertise for winemaking. It was a truly unforgettable experience.
Next on my itinerary was Los Angeles, the entertainment capital of the world. As I strolled along Hollywood Boulevard, I couldn't help but feel starstruck by the famous landmarks and celebrity sightings.
I spent my days exploring the city's famous museums, shopping on Rodeo Drive, and dining at some of the finest restaurants in the world. One of my favorite experiences was attending a live taping of a popular TV show. It was fascinating to see how everything came together behind the scenes.
A California road trip was at the top of our agenda when visiting the United States from our Australian home. Like most areas of the world, Australia is the subject to the whole idea of California dreaming, and the images put out by Hollywood and pop culture. Personally I was not as much drawn to the pop culture as I was to the diversity of the landscape, and the opportunity to visit an amazing geographical region of the world. From the sparkling blue Pacific of (which many Australians are quite familiar with from the other side), and across the Sierra Nevada Ranges and into dessert country the changes happen dynamically and dramatically. Exactly what you want for a road trip to keep the kids entertained. Sure you may have to drive a little more slowly with younger kids as you hug the coastline near Big Sur or cross the range but the rewards are there.
California Road Trip for Families
Your family will plot it's own course through the Golden State, and we will prove resources below to help you make a plan comprising of your own interests. Our great California road trip takes families from San Diego Zoo past Lego-Land, Los Angeles out to Palm Springs, does Disney, then through the amazing achievement that is Hearst Castle, travels through to San Francisco, Big Sur, Yosemite and ends near Napa.
an Diego is a coastal paradise that offers endless opportunities for sun, surf, and outdoor adventure. In this article, Olivia shares her top picks for vacation ideas in San Diego, from hitting the beach to exploring the city's vibrant cultural scene.
Hey there, fellow travelers! If you're looking for a destination that combines sun, surf, and endless outdoor activities, San Diego is the place for you. As a travel writer and lover of all things beachy, let me tell you, San Diego is a coastal paradise that should be on every beach lover's bucket list. With its stunning beaches, vibrant culture, and endless outdoor adventures
Here are some San Diego vacation ideas from Olivia:
Home to the world famous San Diego Zoo which is a long established world leader in the open landscape it provides for it's animals. This is a non-brainer for families with children. San Diego also has many great beaches which are supervised. Learn More about San Diego Family Vacations and the best San Diego Beaches. On your way north make sure you check out Lego-land on the way.
VIDEO: San Diego Vacation Travel Guide
California's most treasured family destinations is Hearst Castle located at San Simeon. A good ideas to include this in your road trip as you begin the trip up the Big Sur.
As someone who loves spending time in the great outdoors and exploring new destinations, let me tell you, Lake Tahoe is a must-visit spot on any traveler's bucket list.
From skiing down world-class slopes to hiking through stunning alpine scenery, Lake Tahoe offers something for everyone. As a freelance writer and outdoor enthusiast who has spent time in Lake Tahoe, I'm excited to share my top picks for vacation ideas in this beautiful mountain paradise.
Whether you're looking for an adrenaline-packed ski trip, a peaceful hike through nature, or a relaxing lakeside getaway, Lake Tahoe has it all. So pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable vacation in the mountains.
In this article, I'll be sharing my favorite Lake Tahoe vacation ideas, from hitting the slopes at top-rated ski resorts to exploring hidden gems off the beaten path to simply relaxing by the lake and taking in the stunning scenery.
Here are some Lake Tahoe vacation ideas from Olivia:
Located on the Sierra Nevada at over 6000 feet, Lake Tahoe and its pristine waters that span out across the horizon offer a host of amazing winter and summer activities.
The video playlist below provides a few ideas to get you started looking for great Tahoe ideas for your family below. But why not check out the line up of activities for families by Lake Tahoe.
No trip to California would be complete without a visit to Yosemite National Park. As I hiked through the stunning wilderness, I couldn't help but be awestruck by the natural beauty around me. The towering trees, cascading waterfalls, and stunning vistas were truly breathtaking.
One of the original vast wilderness areas of deep valley falls and meadows, Yosemite is etched into the psyche of the American people as a frontier wilderness utopia in the High Sierra.
One of the top strategies required to navigate a family vacation to Yosemite vacation is a beat the summer traffic approach. We guide you through this as well as some of the better places to visit, when to go, where to camp, and things to do as a family are are all listed on our Yosemite Family Vacation Ideas.
Palm Springs is a desert oasis that offers a unique blend of luxury, relaxation, and outdoor adventure. In this article, Olivia shares her top picks for vacation ideas in Palm Springs, from soaking up the sun by the pool to exploring the natural wonders of the surrounding desert.
Palm Springs Family Vacation Ideas
Palm Springs also boasts a lot of family activities you may not expect to find in a desert. While we hold this as an optional part of your California family road trip we do recommend you do at least consider the option.
For Amusement there is:
As far as Museums go check out:
For heritage visit: Palm Springs Aerial Tramway Take the Palm Canyon Drive
Also see; San Jacinto Mountain, Hike the Agua Caliente Indian Canyons or catch The Fabulous Palm Spring Follies performances.
Napa Valley is a wine lover's paradise, with its picturesque vineyards, world-renowned wines, and top-rated restaurants. In this article, Olivia shares her top picks for vacation ideas in Napa Valley, from wine tasting at some of the best vineyards in the world to indulging in farm-to-table dining experiences.
Hey there, wine enthusiasts! If you're looking for the ultimate wine country getaway, look no further than Napa Valley. As a travel writer and lover of all things wine and food, let me tell you, Napa Valley is a destination that should be on every foodie's bucket list. With its stunning vineyards, world-class wines, and top-rated restaurants, Napa Valley is a paradise for anyone who appreciates the finer things in life.
Here are some Napa Valley vacation ideas from Olivia:
You may have not considered taking the kids of a wine tour of the Napa Valley but that is not all there is to do there. A few things families may find of interest in the area are:
Big Sur is a haven to enjoy the coastline with your family through horseback riding, coast tours or hiking. Where the natural forests meet the shoreline the area has a laid back atmosphere and has long been the haunt of artists and poets attracted by the tranquility. From San Simeon to Carmel there and including Ventana Wilderness area and the Los Padres National Forest this is a quality option for families.
Big Sur family vacation ideas on this page include but are not limited to ways for the family to find a true connection to each other, nature and their creative core. Big Sur has been the home of family adventures for more than a century but for much of that time only a few elite artists and extreme adventurists had access. The home of the human potential movement and popular with the haunt of artists and poets tranquility great place to get in touch with your soul. We will guide you through some of the activities that will fill your days during one of the most peaceful, serine, and inspiring family vacations you may ever have.
Big Sur refers to the “big south” area south of the Monterrey Peninsula in Central California and was named by the original Spanish inhabitants. The area doesn't really have a formal border and our definition as the area from San Simeon to Carmel and including Ventana Wilderness area is only one of many variations. Either way, Big Sur is a haven to enjoy the coastline with your family through horseback riding, coast tours or hiking and can extend as far to the north, south or east as your family desires.
VIDEO: Big Sur ROAD TRIP | The Mongolian Family
Not since the road fringing the Santa Lucia Mountains and the Blue Pacific was opened in 1937 has the are been populated by more vacationers. Even today the area is barely populated with only a few of the original landowners allowed to maintain their original homes among the mountains. Some of the peaks are among the tallest on the coastline like Cone Peak which rises up over 1500 meters This remoteness has meant the area has remained largely unspoiled and retains much of it's original natural attractions which are great for hiking, fishing or simply exploring the beaches.
The state parks are a great way to enjoy Big Sur. Parks in Big Sur offer lots of activities including swimming in the cool rivers, hiking, viewing wildlife or partaking in a ranger program. Some of the parks which are on the Journey include: Information on the parks is available using our search.
VIDEO: California State Parks: Russ Christoff visits Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park
Five minutes drive to the south of Big Sur Village is one of the most visited attractions in Big Sur where their is an easy trail down to a viewing platform to see the falls dropping 80 feet onto the beach or or sand below.
Watch the video to see images and listen to the commentary of the falls trail.
Only about 5 minutes drive north of Big Sur Village you can catch a glimpse of this wonderful 1930s bridge. We taken a different angle in the video below.
Next attraction is also the biggest park in Big Sur is the less crowded Andrew Molera State Park which also has some good camp sites. Molera Big Sur Trail Rides. Trail rides are available daily except when it gets to wintry from about December to Spring. While the rides don't get the most sizzling reviews by families the service does provide an alternate way to experience the trails and beaches.
Big Sur Weather
Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park in mid winter will get average maximum of 60.0 °F (15.6 °C) and an average minimum of 43.2 °F (6.2 °C). Meanwhile in summer temperatures ranging from 77.3 °F (25.2 °C) down to 50.2 °F (10.1 °C) prevail. Occasionally mud slides can cause road closures in the wetter winter months.
In San Francisco Kids will love taking the cable cars up and down the bay streets. Jump a a ferry or go whale watching from the harbor. The Golden Gate bridge also has paths for bicycles and pedestrian traffic.
What a sight to see and experience Muir Woods Redwood Forest with your family! Open daily from 8 am we really do recommend you arrive there on time, especially in summer, or you won't get a park.
VIDEO: Hiking Muir Woods: Things to Do in San Francisco with Kids: Family Fun Adventure
The Muir Woods was one of the first places I wanted to include in our road trip plan. The great part is the woods are only about 40 minutes from the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco.
This National Monument was the first and is only 19 km north of San Francisco over and into the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. This area of Redwood trees was somehow saved by the man (William Kent) who enjoyed playing in these forests as a child himself when all around the other magnificent trees were getting torn down. While many of these giants are around 1000 years old some go back much further through history. When one of these monsters fall other Redwoods rise up to take its place, sprouting a straight track of new saplings rising up in a line. The coastal Sequoia redwoods of Muir Woods. You will find especially large trees in the Bohemian and Cathedral groves at over 250 feet.
The weather here is never really that warm, then go prepared for cold weather. This is especially true in the shoulder seasons and winter. But at least that means it is a little easier to find a park.
Kids may enjoy hearing the biography of John Wood. For interest, children can learn the location of time in which he walked these areas in comparison to a trees life. Perhaps you could even locate this time somewhere along the trunk of a tree.
HIGH SIERRA JOHN MUIR TRAIL
This documentary takes you on a tour along the John Muir Trail. In this tour teenagers follow John Muir’s footsteps.
If you're planning a trip to California and feeling overwhelmed by all the options, fear not. From the beaches of San Diego to the mountains of Lake Tahoe, California offers something for everyone. As a travel writer and California enthusiast, let me help guide you through some of the most common questions about California vacation ideas.
In this Q&A segment, I'll be answering some of the most common questions about California vacation ideas, from must-see destinations to budget-friendly options and unique experiences. So sit back, relax, and get ready to plan your dream California vacation!
Q&A from Olivia answering some common questions about California vacation ideas:
Q: What are some must-see destinations in California? A: California is a large and diverse state with plenty of must-see destinations. Some of my top picks include San Diego, Napa Valley, Lake Tahoe, Yosemite National Park, and Palm Springs.
Q: What are some of the best outdoor activities to do in California? A: California offers endless opportunities for outdoor adventure, from hiking and biking to skiing and surfing. Some of my personal favorites include hiking in Yosemite, skiing in Lake Tahoe, and surfing in San Diego.
Q: What are some family-friendly vacation ideas in California? A: California is a great destination for families, with plenty of family-friendly attractions and activities. Some of my top picks include visiting Disneyland or Universal Studios in Los Angeles, exploring the San Diego Zoo or Safari Park, and spending time at Lake Tahoe or Yosemite National Park.
Q: What are some luxury vacation ideas in California? A: California is known for its luxury resorts and spas, and there are plenty of options for those seeking a high-end vacation experience. Some of my top picks include the resorts in Napa Valley, the all-inclusive spa resorts in Palm Springs, and the beachfront hotels in Santa Monica.
Q: What are some budget-friendly vacation ideas in California? A: While California can be an expensive destination, there are plenty of budget-friendly options as well. Some of my top picks include camping in Yosemite National Park, visiting the many free museums and parks in San Francisco, and exploring the beaches and hiking trails in San Diego.
Q: What are some unique vacation ideas in California? A: California offers plenty of unique vacation ideas for those seeking something different. Some of my top picks include visiting the art galleries and studios in Joshua Tree, exploring the hot springs and natural wonders in Death Valley, and attending the Burning Man festival in the Black Rock Desert.
Q: What are some romantic vacation ideas in California? A: California is a great destination for couples, with plenty of romantic activities and attractions. Some of my top picks include visiting the vineyards in Napa Valley, taking a hot air balloon ride over the desert in Palm Springs, and watching the sunset over the ocean in Santa Barbra.
25 must-visit vacation spots in California:
💼 We cherish our independence! ✈️ Our travel recommendations are carefully researched, bias-free, and powered by human expertise by April and Ricky of LRB (we have personally researched and travelled to many of these destinations and researched others thoroughly through first-hand accounts). 🌍✨
We try to keep everything up to date, but please always do your own research and contact us if you know any issues for us to help others as best we can as a small but professionally focused team! 🧐📚⚠️
Name: Olivia Age: 35 Occupation: Business Executive Personality: Sophisticated, discerning, and enjoys luxury experiences From: New York City
Olivia is a successful business executive who works hard and values her time off. She has a taste for the finer things in life and enjoys traveling to luxurious destinations where she can relax, recharge and indulge in unique experiences. She is always on the lookout for new and exciting destinations to add to her travel itinerary and California seems to be the perfect fit for her next vacation. Olivier is a persona that exists to review California Vacation Ideas!
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