As you can imagine, with California’s sunny skies and beautiful ocean there are boundless opportunities for family fun! My family has come to truly appreciate California over the last 5 years as we have made trips to visit my brother-in-law (the boys’ Uncle Bob) in Los Angeles. Below, I share the top 10 fun things from our perspective (other than visiting my brother-in-law which was for sure #1)!
- San Diego Zoo Safari Park ~ If you love Cheetah’s, try the Cheetah Safari and sit up close and personal with one these beautiful creatures. Watch the Cheetah Run from reserved seating as the sleek cat races on a straight 330-foot-long track and can reach a maximum speed of about 70 miles per hour. Take the Safari tour around the park and enjoy seeing multiple animals in what must be close to their natural habitat. I recommend arriving at the park opening time (9 a.m.) so you have ample time to visit the entire park (until 5pm), fit in a personal experience and time to relax a bit. The Park is affiliated with the San Diego Zoo which is @ 1 hour away.
- Newport Beach – Newport Beach is a vibrant beach town. Head to the beach for the day, watch surfers, bike ride on the boardwalk. We loved the boutique Newport Beach Hotel on Oceanfront Drive! Quaint, clean and friendly staff. Sit at their front windows with a view of the beach and enjoy a light breakfast or glass of wine at the end of the day. Whale watching tours a short bike ride away! Many restaurants in walking distance.
- The Grove in LA – Walk through the Farmer’s Market which is full of eateries, toy shops, home goods. Brendan loves the vendor with toy cars ;). Dupre’s is a fav restaurant for breakfast. Always fun to walk around the Grove and shop/eat/people watch/catch a movie. Cheesecake Factory, Anthropologie, Fresh and much more!
- Train Ride – Take a train ride along the coast and see the beautiful beach towns by train. Staying in LA and dont want to rent a car to the beach! Book an Amtrak ride and quickly get to the beach!
- San Diego Zoo ~ What is not to love about this famous Zoo in San Diego!
- Santa Monica – Take a Surfboard lesson on Santa Monica beach. Walk the downtown area and shop/eat at restaurants! Rent bicycles and ride on boardwalk by beach!
- TMZ Tour – Drive by celebrity hot spots, see the Hollywood sign and maybe catch a celebrity or two walking or dining outside. My 11 year old was by far the youngest on the tour and it was probably not the most age appropriate thing we did on the trip but he enjoyed the tour. He was looking for his famous you-tuber that lives in LA.
- Whale watching – We took a whale watching trip from the Newport Beach area. It was very inexpensive and well worth the hour ish trip. Google whale watching from the
beach/city you are staying and find coupons/discount. Also, when we went in March is was whale migration season so it was highly likely we would see whales. We found some and they were so cool! The trip before ours, they whales were a little more playful and dolphins were swimming with them. You never know!
- Universal Studios Hollywood/Disneyland – Need I say more? It’s hard to take at least one trip out to LA and not visit Universal Studios Hollywood and Disneyland.
- Hollywood Walk of Fame – Take a walk on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and see the famous stars names. Hard Rock Cafe and Chinese Theatre are famous spots to check out.
- La Brea Tar Pits & Museum – Fascinating! “At the only active Ice Age excavation site in the world, La Brea Tar Pits & Museum, you can see ancient fossils that have been discovered below the museum itself, right in the heart of Los Angeles.”
So many things to do in sunny California with the kiddos! Loved the no humidity and lack of bugs that I am used to in Georgia!
All opinions are my own.