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What are the Best USA Road Trips for Families with Kids?

A man and a boy in a car on a road trip

Road trips are one of the most loved and enjoyed vacations for people all over the globe. There’s nothing quite like packing up the cruiser with your favorite friends, family members, and festive snacks as you hit the road for a memorable time visiting various locations.

Over 160,000 miles of highway stretch across our country, giving folks the opportunity to trek out on their long-distance road trip. With so many places to stop by during a USA road trip, one state is home to a slew of amazing pit stops that will have you and your carload of road trippers elated. This golden state is our very own home turf, California.

Highway sign that reads Road Trip California

If you’re planning to pop by this gorgeous state with a truckload of tykes, California road trips with kids can be quite the fun feat. Discovering new and exciting places to stop by will be an adventure during your family road trip from Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, or anywhere in between, and we have a handful of recommended locations to say hello to.

With California being one of the largest and fun-filled states in the USA, it’s no wonder why thousands of families make their way on a California road trip with kids each year. While the sites to see range from the Golden Gate Bridge in San Fran, to the famous surf spots in San Diego, many often wonder where they can score the most fun during their family road trips from Los Angeles.

Located in Southern California, Los Angeles is known for its sunny days and stoke filled activities. As your family road trips from Los Angeles take you into warm weather and beach-side escapes, several noteworthy places are a must on your California road trip with kids list.

The Hollywood Sign in Los Angeles

If you’re heading out from the heart of LA, make your way to the beautiful beach city of Malibu located west of Los Angeles. Well known for its breathtaking celebrity homes and coastline, this city is nothing less than picturesque. Let your toes touchdown in the sand of Zuma beach as you watch the sunset during your stay. Whether you visit for a morning, afternoon, or maybe even a day or two, this tourist destination is a terrific option for one of your family road trips from Los Angeles.

A bit further down the coast is the stunning city of Santa Monica. This gorgeous city is speckled with loads of attractions that include the historic Looff Hippodrome Carousel, Santa Monica Pier Aquarium, and Pacific Park amusement park. Don’t get us started on the amazing views that overlook the pacific ocean and leave you and family in awe. This coastal city is a stellar stop off place during your pacific coast highway road trip with kids.

Palm trees in front of sunset behind the ocean and Santa Monica pier

As you make your way south to sunnier weather and miles of sandy coastline, don’t forget to cruise through Long Beach, California, during one of your family road trips from Los Angeles. This artsy and oceanfront getaway city is a sure win with passengers aboard your California road trip with kids. With wonderful weather, beachfront bistros, and 11 miles of sandy shoreline, this Southern California destination may have you wanting to make this your first and last stop during your road trip.

Don’t stop there though. As you make your way down roads that hug the gorgeous and pristine pacific ocean during your California road trip with kids, you’ll want to pop into our favorite location by far. Dana Point, California, is located in Southern Orange County, well known for its romantic harbor, ocean activities, incredible restaurants, and world-famous dolphin and whale watching.

Panoramic View of Dana Point Harbor (© Alexander Reitter | Dreamstime)

Often, road trippers will cruise through the Southern California area with one of our most commonly asked questions on their minds, when is the best time for whale watching? Whale watching Southern California is unlike any other whale watching in the world, especially in the Dana Point Harbor area as whales and dolphins can be seen all year round.

With whale and dolphin sightings galore, there’s no question as to why this city was recently named, awarded, and trademarked as the Dolphin and Whale Watching Capital of the World. Whales in California are abundant and varied. Even as people search for where to see blue whales, their search lands them in this gorgeous beach city, which is home to the largest concentration of blue whales on the planet.

Gray Whale Breaching Near Sailboat off Dana Point

No need to continue that search with where to score a swimming with dolphins excursion either, as the eco-friendly tours aboard Captain Dave’s Dolphin and Whale Watching Safari get you so up close and personal with the marine wildlife in our waters, that you’ll feel one with the pod itself aboard our high-tech, high-speed, one of a kind catamaran, Manute’a, with the world’s only underwater viewing pods. The fun doesn’t disembark there though. Several other vessel options include super-fun and super-fast zodiacs, a luxury motor yacht, and comfortable catamarans; All equipped with the fun and educational supplies you’ll need for your once in a lifetime safari.

The five-star dolphin safari family knows how important your fun-filled activities are while sporting up one of your family road trips from Los Angeles, so we take pride in providing you with an exceptional experience from start to finish. From the moment you call with questions to the moment you step off of your unforgettable trip with one of Mrs. Captain Dave’s Famous Triple Fudge Brownies in hand, you may be making some of the best memories of your life. With a 95% success rating of seeing wildlife and trips that go out daily, all year round, this destination hotspot is a golden option during one of your family road trips from Los Angeles.

Blue whale next to 50-foot catamaran Manute'a

With marine critters to spot, sunshine to enjoy, and grub to gobble up, the festivities in this beautiful beach town will have you and your busload of buddies beaming with joy. It’s no wonder why road trippers place this paradise on their family road trips from Los Angeles itinerary.

If still looking for fun to do during your family road trip from Los Angeles, continue on south to San Diego where the weather is fine and the surf is fun. Everything from an afternoon at the zoo, a day at the beach, or an evening watching the sunset will make you glad you dropped by this charming California city.

Skyline of San Diego after dark

The list goes on for more places to pop by during one of your family road trips from Los Angeles, but we hope you found what you were looking for with our simple list of recommendations. With so much fun to be had in this golden state of splendor and surf, we can see why you’re packing up the pals and heading out on an amazing journey behind the wheel.

Stay safe while you do so, and we look forward to seeing you soon!

Your Friends at Captain Dave’s Dolphin and Whale Watching Safari

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If you’re looking for whale watching near Dana Point, we guarantee you’ve never experienced anything like this. Our exclusive underwater glass viewing pods put you face to face with some of the largest creatures on earth! Book your seat today!