California: Family
Ryan J. Lane/Getty Images

California: Family

FUEL YOUR DREAMS

What's Hot Now
Farm Stays
Road Trips

Get a real sense of what makes farm life tick, and lend a hand collecting eggs and tending vegetables, or just sit back and enjoy the picturesque landscape...

Buena Park Playtime
Discover Orange County

Just northwest of Disneyland Park in Anaheim, the town of Buena Park offers more places to play. Knott’s Berry Farm features Camp Snoopy with kids’ favourites like Pig Pen...

Lake Arrowhead
Discover the Inland Empire

The drive from San Bernardino to Lake Arrowhead is a quick one—just 23 miles/37 km. But as you twist and climb from the busy valley and into the San Bernardino Mountains,...

Warner Bros. Studio Tour
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood

Warner Bros. Studio Tour

This classic Hollywood tour lets you see TV and movie history in the making

Hollywood magic still resonates at this huge studio lot in Burbank, where you can witness pieces of cinematic and television history—and also have...

SPECIAL FEATURE
Discover nature’s epic summer show in the Sierra Nevada

Nothing says summer like wildflowers sweeping across an alpine meadow. This year, thanks to a bumped-up snowpack after years of drought, scientists say the annual show should be epic. Botanist...

Sierra’s Big Bloom
Victor Volta/Alamy
SPECIAL FEATURE
Search for Nemo and Dory's ocean friends on the edge of the Pacific

California’s western border is edged by oceans, bays, and other tidal waterways filled with life. While you're not likely to run into Nemo (unless you're lost like Dory), you will find popsicle-...

California’s Amazing Coastal Preserves
David Gomez/Getty Images
SPECIAL FEATURE
Here’s how California says “Happy 100” in 2016 at national parks, monuments, and historic sites

The National Park Service celebrates its centennial this year, and plans are already underway to honor the big 1-0-0. In California, where there are more national parks, monuments, and historic...

2016’s National Park Service Centennial
Rachid Dahnoun/Aurora
SPECIAL FEATURE
Bring your board or just watch pros catch big air at these skate parks

What started as a fad in the late 1950s and early '60s morphed into a global phenomenon–and a multibillion-dollar business that’s now recognized across the planet. But the soul of skateboarding...

Pink Helmet Posse
SPECIAL FEATURE
Unleash the kid within at California’s ultimate playgrounds

From Disneyland classics to beachfront carousels, the Golden State’s best-in-class theme parks deliver something for everyone. Take a tram ride to tour movie back lots at Universal Studios...

Amazing Theme Parks
Lucas Himovitz
Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.
Walt Disney
SPECIAL FEATURE
Old-fashioned fun in the Golden State

Historic oceanfront playgrounds, classic city-park charmers, boisterous adventures—smaller theme parks and attractions offer an array of ways to play.  These smaller parks offer old-...

Smaller Theme Parks & Attractions
Tai Power Seeff
SPECIAL FEATURE
Rooms that will make your little ones think you're the coolest parents in the world

Let’s be honest: any hotel with a pool can make a kid happy. But add the family-friendly bells and whistles that these premier lodgings do—like special kids’ programs, in-room treats, and rooms...

Kid-Favorite Lodgings
Gwynne Spann
Spotlight: San Diego Zoo
Courtesy of San Diego Zoo

Spotlight: San Diego Zoo

See rare and endangered species

Visiting this expansive zoo in San Diego’s Balboa Park is more than a chance to see animals from all over the world: it’s a chance to see one of...

SPECIAL FEATURE
On your next California vacation, take home a new skill as a souvenir

Kids always want something to bring home from vacation. But instead of picking up yet another stuffed animal or sweatshirt, get the kids a cool new experience—perhaps even a new hobby—...

Surf, Skate, Climb: Cool Kid-Friendly Sports
© Monterey Bay Aquarium
SPECIAL FEATURE
Make memories at some of California's family-favorite beaches

Sand, water, and kids—it’s a natural combination for easy family fun. This sandy dozen offers appealing, family-friendly features, such as calm water for new swimmers, tide pools for intrepid...

12 Great Beaches for Kids
Alex Farnum
All boysenberries – a cross between a loganberry, red raspberry and blackberry – can trace their roots back to Knott’s Berry Farm.
SPECIAL FEATURE
Kids get an inside look at wildlife, space, and more

From cool ways for your kids to learn about wildlife, to an insider’s look at a space station, to a chance to walk through a rain forest or learn about the night sky, there’s a bumper...

Family-Favorite Science Centers & Museums
Peter Alfred Hess/Flickr
July

Since the 1850s, locals and visitors have flocked to the California State Fair for a gamut of fun activities. Over a century and a half later, there’s still a bit of that downhome vintage...

California State Fair
Lucas Himovitz
Pacific Coast Highway - South
Myles McGuinness

Trip 4-5 days 10 stops

Pacific Coast Highway - South

Beach Towns, Iconic Theme Parks
Santa Barbara

Start your coastal cruise in this elegant city hugging the coastal mountains, where classic Spanish architecture gives the region a sun-washed European look straight out of the Riviera. The Santa Barbara, nicknamed “the American Riviera,” may have a burnished antique look of much of the...

San Diego

End your trip with at this sunny, waterfront city. Downtown, shop at Horton Plaza, or catch a baseball game at Petco Park. See the giant pandas at the San Diego Zoo. Next, explore one of the city’s diverse neighborhoods, Little Italy, North Park, South Park, East Village—pedestrian-friendly...

SPECIAL FEATURE
Take on whitewater rapids, pan for gold and explore California history

Pluck a bit of gold from a riverbed scoured by the original ’49ers. Descend deep into the earth to check out unusual rock formations. Get your heart racing with a ride down whitewater rapids. For...

9 Family-Friendly Gold Rush Adventures
Mount Hermon
Myles McGuinness

Mount Hermon

Thrills and more in the Coast Redwoods

When it comes to thrills, turns out rides at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk aren’t the only option in the region. Nearby Mount Hermon lets you “...

SPECIAL FEATURE
Hands-on fun for all at farms, ranches, and fields statewide

Milk cows, wake up to roosters crowing, feast on farm-to-table foods served in the shade of a blooming orchard—California has a bounty of ways to have hands-on fun at a farm or...

Amazing Agritourism Experiences
Tai Power Seeff
SPECIAL FEATURE
Get insider tips on visiting our top natural wonders

Ask a local the best things about California, and somewhere at the top of the list would be the sheer beauty of the place. See for yourself with this dream list of incredible national parks, with...

9 Great National Parks
SPECIAL FEATURE
Kid-friendly fun zones, special kids' menus & amazing wine for the grownups

Sure wine country is romantic, but now it’s a surprisingly great destination for families too, with a growing number of vineyards trading in elegant tasting rooms for kid-friendly fun zones that...

9 Family-Friendly Wineries & Craft Breweries
John/ Flickr
California State Railroad Museum

California State Railroad Museum

Climb aboard restored railroad cars at this family favorite

Consistently ranked as one of the best railroad museums in the country, this expansive attraction presents 21 meticulously restored “iron horse”...

SPECIAL FEATURE
Explore these urban oases

While you might think of a city park as an appealing splash of green amidst the asphalt jungle, California’s urban parks stand out as cultural hubs, with outstanding and innovative...

12 Great Urban Parks
California State Capitol
April

One of California’s premier universities, University of California, Davis, invites everyone to its annual open house—a chance to learn, play, touch, taste, and enjoy the leafy campus just north of...

U.C. Davis Picnic Day
Courtesy of U.C. Davis College of Engineering
SPECIAL FEATURE
From Gold Rush history to the 8th wonder of the world, visit these favorites

If there was ever a box of chocolates—and all of them delicious—it’s the rich collection of natural treasures, fascinating...

Must-See State Parks
Amy Meredith/Flickr
SPECIAL FEATURE
Gold Rush history, epic high-country landscapes, hidden wine country, and charming country towns

Granite monoliths, waterfalls, alpine meadows—it’s no secret that Yosemite delivery some seriously big wow moments. But what is a secret is the bounty of awesome things you can see and do on your...

Discoveries on the way to Yosemite
Kodiak Greenwood
SPECIAL FEATURE
Unforgettable views of amazing animals

From rainforest canopies to luminous kelp beds teeming with sea life, California’s zoos and aquariums give you unforgettable glimpses of amazing animals in naturalistic habitats. Watch giant...

12 Must-See Zoos and Aquariums
Tim Evanson/Flickr
Crystal Cove State Park
Harriot Manley/ Sunset Publishing

Crystal Cove State Park

Stroll a perfect beach with an intriguing past

In 1912, an early Laguna Beach artist described finding a rugged coastline “with cove after cove and headland after headland, golden cliffs and...

The Living Desert
Courtesy of The Living Desert

The Living Desert

See cool desert critters from around the world

Talk about survival skills. The animals and plants on show at this extraordinary attraction shed light on the amazing adaptions that make it...

The Tech
Courtesy of Team San Jose/ Tech Museum

The Tech

A workout for your head, hands, and imagination

So much of the magic of the modern era happens invisibly and at nano scale, but The Tech Museum of Innovation—or simply “The Tech”—does a great...