Turn those California Dreams into weekend warrior reality! California is not only the most populous state in the country, it’s the most geographically diverse. Hop in the car and you can drive to any of these spots (some may take more than a weekend, if you’re driving) and explore castles, wine country, majestic mountains, ski vacations, apple picking, desert delights and more. These are our top ten picks for family road trips you’ve simple got to take while the kids are little.

The Redwood Forest

From the Redwood Forest…this land was made for you and me! Kids must see our most famous tree sometime before you head off to college. Muir Woods National Monument is one of the last old-growth redwood forests on the planet and one of the only native salmon runs in California. Plus, there’s more than a few opportunities for your tiny treehugger to duck into a massive tree hollow and ham it up for your Instagram feed. Sequoia Sempervirens are the tallest—and one of the oldest—living things on earth. Fun fact: the tallest tree in Muir Woods is over 250 feet and most trees are between 600 to 800 years old. The oldest tree is thought to be about 1,200 years young, which is merely middle-age for redwoods. This outing may inspire your family to take your next trip to the Gulf Stream waters and really explore our whole country.

Find our more about visiting the redwoods with your kids in our family guide.

photo: Tony Webster via Creative Commons


What’s your favorite California adventure?  Let us know in the comment section!

—Beth Shea, Erin Feher & Meghan Rose