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.

Big Bear

Renown for being a righteous skiing & snowboarding destination in the winter, Big Bear is also beautiful (and a lot less crowded) during the fall, spring and summer. Nature fans and lovers of the great outdoors will be spoiled for choice in this scenic locale. Ride the Alpine Slide, or hop on the Miss Liberty for a boat tour of Big Bear Lake, get up close and personal with animals at the Big Bear Alpine Zoo or go ziplining or mountain biking. This small town has a ton to offer in way of adventurous fun.

More details on a fabulous family itinerary may be found here.

Online: bigbear.com

photo: Beth Shea


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

—Beth Shea, Erin Feher & Meghan Rose