Family-friendly trip ideas in California

Los Angeles Area

One of the many reasons we love a trip to the California coast: sunny days can be found year-round. Kids – and kids at heart – will find that whether it’s a springtime trip to the Bay or a fall getaway in SoCal, California’s got a million ways to make your family trip an epic one. If you’ve got little ones in tow, take the locals’ advice on where to go!

Mohawk Bend – Echo Park, LA

“Mohawk Bend is our go-to dinner spot. They have booth seating, outdoor options, an amazing kids menu, loud enough music to drown out kid antics, craft beers (they have 72 taps), and – wait for it – a vintage photo booth! And there’s cheap valet parking – because street parking with little ones can be tough. We’ve actually pulled off a pleasant dinner at Mohawk Bend with just us and six kids!” – as recommended by LA local April Bain

Mohawk Bend at Echo Park
Mohawk Bend at Echo Park

Culver City Park – Culver City

“Forgot the typical swings and seesaws – the playground at the Culver City Park is a new breed. This intense, Scandinavian-designed jungle gym feels more like an obstacle course with spinning discs, swinging ropes, and giant climbing dodecahedrons. Don’t be surprised to see parents attempting to scale the geometric shapes. While most of the playground appeals to slightly older children, younger ones enjoy splashing in the water and the sand tables.” – as recommended by LA local Kristen Fohrer-Dearman

Culver City Park
Culver City Park

El Matador Beach – Malibu

“A beach day with the family is always a treat. Not only do you get to relax all day long, you’ll get to cruise down the Pacific Coast Highway for an extra boost of adventure. Pack a cooler; get a tan; bring a wine spritzer for Mom.” – as recommended by LA local Chelsea Latimer

El Matador Beach
El Matador Beach

Bi-Rite Market– San Francisco

“If you’re heading to picnic at Alamo Square Park or planning dinner at home, head to Bi-Rite for a unique selection of wine and cheese, some delicious prepared food, and an interesting variety of hard-to-find brews, among everything else you might need. The best thing about Bi-Rite, though, is the ice cream window, serving a rotating variety of delicious flavors. The Divisadero location is a great stop on a weekend afternoon without the long lines you find at its Dolores Street counterpart.” – as recommended by SF local Caitlin MacDonald

Bi-Rite Market
Bi-Rite Market

Stinson Beach – Bay Area

“Stinson is every San Francisco beachgoer’s go-to. That’s why the Mill Valley/Stinson Beach exit is backed up every relatively warm weekend. (I suggest going through town instead.) Only 20 miles from the city, Stinson’s an adorable beach town, featuring gems like the Parkside food stand, Odyssey ice cream, and Sand Dollar’s mud pies.” – as recommended by SF local Lindsay Life

Stinson Beach
Stinson Beach

Seaport Village – San Diego

“Seaport Village is such a charming little spot with plenty of cute gift shops, views of the bay, and restaurants. One of my favorite things to do is grab a sandwich or burger from a nearby cafe and have a picnic by the water. It seems like there’s always some kind of fun little festival going on over there.” – as recommended by San Diego local Kayla Phelps

Seaport Village
Seaport Village

Waypoint Public – San Diego

“At this family-friendly gastropub located in the heart of North Park, Waypoint Public’s namesake burger, The Waypoint Burger, isn’t afraid to take it to the next level. Starting with a heavy hunk of beef, The Waypoint Burger features a fried egg, melted mozzarella, smoky pulled pork, a zesty tomato salsa, and a slew of spicy pickled vegetables. Messy? You bet. Totally delicious? Definitely.” – as recommended by San Diego local Lauren Wi

Waypoint Public
Waypoint Public