Take the iconic family road trip through ‘The Golden State’. California is renowned for being one of the greatest destinations in the world for family travel – you will never be without entertainment and engagement for every member of the family. With theme-parks-galore for toddlers and young children, exciting and iconic cities waiting to be endlessly explored, awe-inspiring nature and adventure sports havens – California is a top pick for the whole family.
Spend an afternoon at Santa Monica Pier, be sure to hit Universal Studios and experience it’s ‘behind the scenes’ attractions, visit a family-friendly concert at the Hollywood Bowl, catch a Dodgers baseball game, visit Griffith Park Observatory – gateway to the cosmos!
California’s theme park haven – visit Balboa Park, hosting over 17 museums, sprawling gardens and the San Diego Zoo, Legoland, Knott’s Berry Farm and, of course, Disneyland.
Visit the city’s crookedest Lombard Street, take a cable car down to Fisherman’s Wharf, watch and listen to the hundreds of sea lions at Pier 39, take a tour of the infamous Alcatraz prison, bike across the Golden Gate Bridge and finish the perfect afternoon in Ghirardelli Square at the iconic Ghirardelli Chocolate Shop and then head to an old-school diner for dinner. You will never run out of kid-friendly, fun things to do in San Francisco!
Hike to a waterfall, zipline through the forest, go water rafting in the Merced River Canyon, take an open-air tram tour through Sierra Nevada National Park or even a moonlight tour. Lake Tahoe, North America’s largest alpine lake, is the quintessential winter adventure destination and super family friendly. Winter sports, water-sports, scenic sightseeing and family recreational activities are among what’s on offer.
The Californian coast is renowned for its mild, sunny weather all year round. This makes its two shoulder seasons, April to May and September to October, a sweet spot for travel – think low crowds, dropped prices and sunny, cloudless skies. Low season is November to March, and this time is still quite comfortable for travel throughout California.
The highest season for the coast is June to August. Important to note is that accommodation prices during these months can hike from 50% – 100% throughout most of California’s major destinations. This is reversed for California’s desert areas, such as Sierra Nevada, which experience a low season on account of soaring temperatures. Winter is peak season for these regions, November to February.
Car rentals are a convenient and affordable option for travel through California – as well as a scenic way to view California’s diverse environment. Booked in advance, most agencies offer car rentals of about $10 a day. Note that children under six or weighing less than 28kg must be seated in the backseat or in a safety seat.
Train travel is another ideal way to view California’s scenery while getting around. Stress-free and efficient, railway service, Amtrak, follows an extensive route along the scenic coast of California as well as has connections inland to hotspot destinations such as Yosemite National Park. The company often offers specials for specific seasons, as well as 15% discounts for students – details can be found at www.amtrak.com/home
Bus: With great accessibility to both metro and remote areas, buses are a dependable option. Amtrak Thruway buses connect to over 90 destinations throughout California. Most services also connect to Amtrak railway stations making it convenient to travel using both services. There are several bus services that run between the major cities – daily shuttles run between Los Angeles and San Francisco starting from $1! Details can be found at www.cashuttlebus.com
Waterslides, LEGO parks and outrageous bargains – these shopping centres are our absolute family favourites in the USA.
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