California is blessed with gorgeous weather all year round in most places. That means, you can visit any place at any time and have fun! Of course, this golden state has its share of snow in the winter at beautiful locations like Lake Tahoe, but even winter is fun to celebrate in these places.
Here are the best 7 places in California that kids would love to visit with their parents. These places range from having fun in the cities to being awed with nature in the national parks. Enjoy!
1. Yosemite National Park
Camping at this national park is a highly popular thing to do for families. Children would enjoy natural phenomenons like the gorgeous Yosemite waterfalls, glorious sunrises at the El Capitan, the beauty of Yosemite Valley beckoning from those majestic Sierra Nevada mountains and the wildflowers that bloom seasonally. It is no wonder that Yosemite National Park is a fascinating destination to camp.
But keep in mind that though there are many campgrounds open, they operate seasonally. Some are open year-round, but they work on a first-come, first-served basis. Do check the official Yosemite National Park website before you plan your visit.
2. San Diego
This city is popular with family travelers because of its numerous attractions starting with its amazing aquarium and zoo. La Jolla beach is especially famous for its quiet charm. San Diego is also home to the famous roller coaster, Big Dipper. Camping, fishing, surfing, seal tours, museums, whatever your interests are, you can do it in this beautiful city. From mid-December you can do whale-watching too!
And by any chance if you can plan your San Diego trip for October, you will be in for a double treat. You can enjoy many of the kid-friendly attractions for free for your kids with paying adults. How awesome is that! Also, check out Go San Diego card if you are visiting multiple attractions.
3. Los Angeles
The city of angels, Los Angeles, is synonymous with Disneyland. It is every child’s dream and an adult’s bucket list item to fulfill with their kids 🙂 Check out the starry Hollywood Walk of Fame, the famous Hollywood sign itself and Madame Tussauds and Universal Studios to fulfill your star-struck hearts. This city is not short on the art scene either. Check out its numerous museums, including the famous USS Iowa Museum which has great kid-friendly tours too.
Griffith Observatory is also a great destination for kids to enjoy in this city and learn about stars in the literal sense! And the huge Griffith Park has some great hiking trails, Los Angeles zoo and many more attractions in it. Check out the official Los Angeles Park website to know the varying opening hours.
4. San Francisco
The Golden Gate Bridge is a famous icon of California and one of the important landmarks for the country for good reason. Many movies have been shot here, stories set with this iconic bridge as an important character. But this bridge is not the only attraction of the golden city of San Francisco.
There are many cool things in this city like the vintage cable car rides, the most crooked and yet beautiful Lombard Street, gorgeous beaches including the Baker Beach and Ocean Beach. The trail leading to the obscure Sutra Baths on the Land’s End trail is awesome. Check out the super cool maze on this trail with your kids too.
There is a great tour on the Alcatraz Island to learn about the history of Alcatraz prison. Don’t forget to check out the Sea Lions at Pier 39 and the super awesome Golden Gate Park.
Monterey is a beautiful coastal town along the Pacific Coast Highway. It is also famous with whale-watchers in the winter season. Lovers Point Beach and Park are especially awesome here. Do not forget to do the long drive along Pebble beach here. The views all round are great with rolling hills, majestic ocean and dense forests along the way not to mention the gorgeous beaches themselves.
Of course, this cool city is famous for its awesome aquarium called the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Dennis the Menace Park on Pearl Street is especially popular with young children. Check the opening hours and days before you plan your trip on the city’s official website.
6. Lake Tahoe
As California’s snow bowl, Lake Tahoe holds a special place with families loving outdoor fun because this beautiful town is lovely in all seasons. In winters, Lake Tahoe turns into a snowy heaven enabling skiing, snowmobiling, making snowmen and other winter fun activities. Do not forget to check our Squaw valley or Emerald Bay State Park here.
In summer along with the gorgeous wildflowers, check out the lovely trails for some family hiking. Kayaking in Emerald Bay is also fun in summer. The Pacific Rim trail is a great route. The Heavenly Gondola offers great views in all seasons. It is free for kids under 5.
7. Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz is a cute seaside town with beautiful spots like the Natural Bridges State Beach. This beach is also home to a great preserve of Monarch Butterflies. This sleepy town also has a great boardwalk called the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk that serves as a cool amusement park popular with children.
Other than its great beaches, Santa Cruz is also famous for its Mystery Spot, a cool gravity-defying phenomenon the kids would love to know more about. It often books up fast, so make your reservations before you go!