Family Road Trip Ideas for President’s Day Weekend

President’s Day falls on Monday, February 20th this year! Make the most of your time off from work and school and get out of town for the long weekend. A road trip is perfect for President’s Day—you won’t have to spend a fortune on flights, and the time you’ll spend in the car is a great family bonding opportunity. Whether you love the beach, the mountains, or anything in between, San Diego is within driving distance to many amazing California destinations.


Santa Barbara | 4 Hour Drive

Santa Barbara, nicknamed “The American Riviera,” has a relaxed, coastal vibe and plenty to do. Kids will love spending a day at the beach, while those over 21 will want to explore the area’s many wineries. No matter what you do, stunning views of the coastline and palm trees will make for a relaxing, stress-reducing weekend.


Mammoth Lakes | 6.5 Hour Drive

Mammoth just had its snowiest month in recorded history! Escape to the mountains and enjoy some family time in the wilderness. Everywhere you look, you’ll see the beautiful snow-covered mountains of the Eastern Sierra. Plus, you’ll stay active with countless outdoor activities like skiing, snowboarding, tubing, and snowmobiling!


Monterey | 7.5 Hour Drive

Monterey is another gorgeous coastal town on California’s Central Coast. Stroll down bustling Cannery Row and explore the world-famous Monterey Bay Aquarium together. Be sure to do the 17-Mile Drive, a scenic stretch of road that showcases both forest and coastline.


Gold Country | 7.5 – 9.5 Hour Drive

California’s Gold Country, where 25 million ounces of gold were mined during the Gold Rush, encompasses a fairly large area around Sacramento. Gold Country is an historic, educational, and generally fascinating road trip destination. Stop at Columbia State Historic Park, where you can see exactly what a mining town looked like – docents wear period costumes and there are no cars allowed, just horses. And don’t forget Jamestown, where you can pan for actual gold!


Road Trip Trips

Sometimes even a few hours can feel like forever in the car! Try these suggestions to keep your family entertained and happy during the drive.

  • Map out your route before you go. If you’ll need to stop overnight, consider making reservations in advance so you won’t have to do a last-minute hotel search in the dark.
  • Make sure everyone brings a few items to keep them entertained. Books, magazines, music, video games, portable DVD players, and toys are all a good idea.
  • Pack some healthy snacks to eliminate the need to stop for fast food along the way.
  • Talk to each other! A car ride provides family togetherness time. Talk about what everyone is most excited to see or do, and play some road trip games like I Spy, the License Plate Game, or Road Trip Bingo.
  • Make stops. Every couple of hours, pull over so everyone can stretch their legs and get some fresh air. If you see a sign for something cool along the way, make an unscheduled stop! It’s all part of the adventure.


Even while you’re away having a blast with your family, it’s easy to stay on top of your health. Stay in touch on the go with Scripps Affiliated Medical Group’s Mobile Health App. Track health info, manage medications, find a doctor, and more with just a few taps and swipes.


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