10 Family-Friendly Activities to Enjoy in California

There is no doubt that California is one of the best family vacation destinations. The natural beauty combines with a host of fun activities to deliver something for everyone in the Golden State. Here are 10 of the best family-friendly activities to consider while visiting California.

Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica offers more than just a beautiful stretch of sand. The famous Santa Monica Pier is a National Historic Landmark, offering various rides and carnival games. Kids will love taking a ride on the giant Ferris wheel rising about the ocean, shopping for souvenirs, and watching the street performers.

Golden Gate Bridge

No trip to California is complete without taking in the wonder of the Golden Gate Bridge, located in San Francisco. This iconic suspension bridge spans over two miles, connecting the Pacific Ocean with San Francisco Bay. Families can take a walk or bike across the length of the bridge if they are feeling adventurous. Or simply head to one of the viewing spots for some amazing vistas and picture opportunities.

Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park is a true gem of America’s park system. You have to simply see the beauty up close to believe it. Here you will find towering mountains, clear lakes, giant sequoia groves, and more. Yosemite National Park is distinguished as having some of the most jaw-dropping views of any area of the world.

White Water River Rafting Adventure

If you are looking for an adrenaline rush, take the family out for a whitewater river rafting adventure. For the ultimate family adventure, consider a South Fork American River rafting trip, suitable for people of all ages and abilities. There are several adventures that you can choose from, allowing you to customize the perfect length and difficulty level for your group.

Disneyland Resort

California is known for its theme parks. As the granddaddy of them all, kids of all ages will delight in a trip to the Disneyland Resort. In addition to the classic Disneyland Park, be sure to check out the adjacent California Adventure theme park. Both parks combine to offer hundreds of rides, shows, character meet and greets, and more.

San Diego Zoo

Animal lovers will appreciate all there is to see and do at the San Diego Zoo. This legendary zoo is home to more than 650 species and 12,000 animals. Take a guided bus tour, frolic in the play areas, attend an animal presentation, and more at this sprawling zoo.


While in San Diego, be sure to check out Legoland if you are traveling with young children. This amusement park is geared to the younger set, boasting a wide array of attractions designed to please the smallest travelers in your party. In addition to the pint-sized rides, the park also features awe-inspiring lego brick creations, including mini replicas of some of the world’s most famous buildings.

Monterey Bay Aquarium

If visiting California’s Central Coast, you would be wise to put a trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium on your itinerary. Positioned right on the Pacific Ocean, this world-famous aquarium gets you up close and personal with all of the creatures of the sea. Here you will find sea otters, sharks, penguins, colorful fish, and more. Leave time at the end of the time to explore the bustling Cannery Row area of Monterey.

Redwood Forest

It is hard to narrow down the most scenic parts of the Golden State. The Redwood Forest definitely deserves a spot at the top of the list. Humboldt County is the perfect place to call home base as you discover the grandeur of the world’s tallest trees. Take a drive through the Avenue of the Giants or hike through the trails of the Humboldt Redwoods State Park.

Discover the Desert

While the main lure of this corner of the U.S. is the beaches, California’s desert landscape also deserves a look. Palm Springs is the ideal jumping-off point, putting you in close proximity to Joshua Tree National Park, Indian Canyons, and the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway.

Bottom Line

These 10 ideas are just the tip of the iceberg of the fun that awaits you and your family in California.

Read more | Things to do in FERNDALE-CALIFORNIA