After a long (really long) 2020, we are all ready to dust off our suitcases, grab our sunglasses, and make Summer 2021 the best one yet! With the world starting to open back up and a dizzying array of options, making the choice about where to head on vacation can feel challenging.
We’ll make it easy for you: Southern California is the perfect destination for any family. With opportunities to relax, get adventurous and connect in totally new ways, SoCal has something for everyone. Read on for ten reasons to plan a family trip to SoCal this summer!
1. Nature Is the Main Attraction at Joshua Tree National Park
Joshua Tree National Park consists of around 800,000 acres and is situated just an hour outside of Palm Springs. With lots of room to roam, your whole family will love hiking, biking, rock climbing or nature watching in this true desert paradise. Plan a hike at the Cholla Cactus Garden, a short loop trail where you'll see cacti and wildflowers galore!
2. The Old West Feels All-to-Real at Death Valley National Park
Whether your kiddos are interested in real history or just the idea of the wild west, they’ll love exploring the five real-life ghost towns scattered throughout Death Valley National Park. These ghost towns, originally established in the mid to late 1800s, are home to old-timey buildings, like banks and jailhouses, and signs and structures that give visitors an idea of what life in the old west was really like.
3. Accessing an Off-Coast Oasis Is Simple At Catalina Island
Catalina Island, just a quick fairy ride from mainland SoCal, is a destination that’s well loved by both California natives and travelers alike. While on the island, families can enjoy a charming, walkable small-town vibe in it’s main port town, Avalon, or can head out into the wild and less populated areas on the island's interior.
4. It’s Easy to Find a Place to Stay near Every Major Attraction Thanks to Marriott
With locations in all of Southern California’s big cities, and within a stone's throw of every major attraction, Marriott makes choosing your family's vacation lodging simple. Special perks like spa specials, kids programs, pool and water park experiences and live entertainment, and elevated experiences like suite, cottages and in-room kitchenette options ensure that your whole family will enjoy your time at the hotel as much as your time exploring!
You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the details each local Marriott takes care of, like making sure they’re a part of the Good Neighbor Program at Disneyland that allows visitors to enjoy a midday break before heading back to the park for evening fireworks, and feel confident and comfortable thanks to their commitment to clean policy.
Your Southern California Playground is Calling. Experience it with Marriott Bonvoy.
5. Disney California Adventure Park Is as Exciting As It Gets
Disney California Adventure Park is the place to be if you want to see superheroes come alive, taste the flavors of the world and immerse yourself in your favorite Disney and Pixar stories. With rides and attractions that will appeal to everyone from tots to teens and beyond, your family will make big memories at the all-new Avengers Campus, Inside Out Emotional Whirlwind and the Incredicoaster.
6. You Can Get Your Theme-Park Fix Again at Knott’s Berry Farm Theme Park
If you can’t get enough of the thrills and excitement that theme parks offer, Knott’s Berry Farm will give you another chance to scream, laugh and smile with delight! With world-class rides, attractions and shows your whole family will enjoy, Knott’s Berry Farm has something for everyone!
7. You Can Explore Orange County via Boat
You already know that a day at the beach is a must during a trip to Orange County, but the area also has a ton of options to get your family out on the water, including the Balboa Island Ferry and Duffy boat rentals—where you can navigate your own adventure! If you're looking for a new beach-day (or really any day) outfit, plan a stop at Fashion Island where you'll find top stores and over 30 dining options.
8. Santa Barbara Is Sure to Impress You
Beautiful Spanish-colonial architecture, palm trees galore and the Santa Ynez Mountains set Santa Barbara apart as a memorable place to explore as a family! Spend some time wandering The Funk Zone, a vibrant neighborhood with local businesses, delicious restaurants and plenty of options for wine tasting.
9. Los Angeles Has Something for Everyone
An adventure to the iconic Hollywood sign, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, a behind-the-scenes studio tour—Los Angeles has enough sparkle and shine to delight anyone! If your kids are dino-obsessed, take a trip to La Brea Tar Pits, where they can see the preserved bones of extinct animals. For beach lovers, a day exploring Venice Beach is sure to be memorable.
10. San Diego Offers Animal Lovers a Lot to Enjoy
San Diego is the ideal town for wildlife-obsessed kids and their parents alike. You already know about the amazing San Diego Zoo, but thanks to opportunities for whale watching and a fantastical safari park, you’ll leave San Diego with all sorts of new knowledge and lots of happy snaps of your kiddos getting to know the animals we share our world with!