Family-Friendly Holiday Road Trips from San Diego

If you have vacation time this holiday season, there are several family-friendly places you can go that are just a short drive from San Diego. A road trip is an especially good idea if you are entertaining guests who have already experienced the good things San Diego has to offer—a short getaway may be just what everyone needs for a fun family bonding experience! Here are some suggestions on where to go for a family-friendly road trip over the holidays:

Palm Springs

Averaging a two hour drive from San Diego, the desert climate and clear skies in Palm Springs makes it favorite getaway for many people from San Diego and Los Angeles. When heading towards Palm Springs on the 10, stop for a photo op at the Cabazon Dinosaurs, at The World’s Biggest Dinosaurs museum. You can’t miss them! Once you get to Palm Springs, take the family on a ride across the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, a scenic 10-minute ride up the mountains. Bundle up, because it’s over 8,000 feet high at the top! Once you get to the top, you can snowshoe, sled, and play in the snow before heading back down and grabbing dinner at one of the downtown restaurants.

Take a California-Coast Amusement Park Tour

If your family loves amusement parks, you can hit several just by heading up the California coast. First, stop in Carlsbad and visit LEGOLAND to see all the clever and unique exhibits painstakingly created out of Legos. From there, head north to Disneyland and California Adventure, a must-do for any guests visiting from out of state! If you are still eager for more rides, continue the fun after a 15-minute drive to Knots Berry Farm. Continue up the coast and stop at Universal Studios for movie-themed rides and attractions, and don’t miss the Wizarding World of Harry Potter! If your family are fans of roller coasters, drive another 40 miles north to Six Flags Magic Mountain and experience their thrilling rides. All of this is within 160 miles of downtown San Diego!

Los Angeles

Take visiting family to see the iconic Hollywood sign and the Hollywood Walk of Fame during a short road trip to Los Angeles. There are plenty of other kid-friendly things to see and do while you are there: peer through the impressive telescope at the Griffith Park Observatory, experience history at the La Brea Tar Pits, or combine learning with fun at Kidspace Children’s Museum.

Big Bear

Rent a room at one of the ski lodges in Big Bear and treat the family to a real winter vacation, the kind you don’t get in central San Diego! Ski, snowboard, snow tube, build snowmen and get into a snowball fight or two. In the winter, the temperature doesn’t get higher than the low 40 degrees, but the days are usually sunny and clear. After a long day playing outside, pour some hot chocolate and gather the family for a board game or movie night.

Load the family in the car, and hit the road to one of these wonderful destinations, all an easy drive from San Diego. Any one of them would make for a memorable family vacation, and maybe even start a new holiday tradition!

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