California dreaming means something different to everyone. If you had a chance to explore the Golden State, what things to do in California would be on your list?

Would you hit the beach? California offers a variety of beach styles with some fantastic for shelling and sunsets while others, like La Jolla Shores Beach, are perfect for learning how to surf or SUP in addition to catching perfect rays.

How about a road trip? To help families craft the perfect vacation, Visit California has developed an incredibly helpful resource dedicated to helping people plan the perfect California road trip with sample itineraries covering various parts of the state. They’re designed so that you can visit bucket-list landmarks like Yosemite, then follow a wine road or visit a craft brewery (yes, they both can be family-friendly).

How to plan a California road trip

Would you ski under blue skies in Lake Tahoe or Mammoth during the winter? The popular spots are also chock full of amazing outdoor activities in the three other seasons.

Going skiing in California at Lake Tahoe.

Would you sleep under the stars? It’s possible to go camping at Redwood National Park with its tucked-in-the-woods campsites in the shadow of gigantic trees that are great for the outdoorsy kid who is ready to go beyond car camping.

Visit Redwood State Park in California

What about a theme park or two? Disneyland California Resort is a bucket list experience for many kids (and especially fun to visit during Christmas and Halloween). But Anaheim is also close to Knott’s Berry Farm, Universal Studios Hollywood, and even a short train ride or a road trip to San Diego’s LEGOLAND California, SeaWorld San Diego and San Diego Zoo.

We’re a big state with desert, mountains, beaches and lush valleys and more than anyone could do in one vacation or even a lifetime. We have big theme parks and off-the-beaten-track experiences. Our food is fantastic and so are our wineries and craft breweries. I am very lucky to live here.

Katie Dillon headshot

Katie Dillon is the managing editor of La Jolla Mom. She helps readers plan San Diego vacations through her hotel expertise (that stems from living in a Four Seasons hotel) and local connections. Readers have access to exclusive discounts on theme park tickets (like Disneyland and San Diego Zoo) and perks at luxury hotels worldwide through her. She also shares insider tips for visiting major cities worldwide like Hong Kong, London, Paris, and Shanghai that her family has either lived in or visits regularly (or both).

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