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.


Word is getting out about all the good things this up and coming sleepy town nestled in the San Jacinto Mountains has to offer, so plan a trip before the crowds get 'wild.' A go-to destination for hikers and rock climbers, visit the Idyllwild Nature Center to find the excursion that's best for your family. Idyllwild also offers great glamping and bed and breakfast options and respite from the hustle and bustle of city life. Be sure to dine amongst the trees at Gastrognome or head to Cafe Aroma for a sophisticated and comforting meal made with local ingredients and play a game of checkers on the checkerboard tables while fueling up at Higher Grounds Coffee. The town also boasts charming shops including Sky Island Organics local marketplace and Candy Cupboard.

Online: idyllwild.com

photo: Cobber99 via Flickr


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

—Beth Shea, Erin Feher & Meghan Rose