National California Day happens to fall on February 22nd, so what better way to celebrate than to plan an incredible vacation in California? This stunning state is filled with sunshine, gentle warm breezes, and a plethora of sights and attractions. Your next family vacation can include amazing family adventures. And as a travel advisor, I can help you determine which adventures are best for your family. So, join me on this journey of adventures to celebrate our 31st state.
There are a few waterfalls scattered throughout the state of California. However, not all of them are as spectacular as Burney Falls. This waterfall is in the northern portion of the state. What makes this waterfall incredible is that water comes out of the middle as well as from the top. A dozen holes in the middle get their water from an underground river. If you can tear your family away from the top of the falls, you can hike along the Falls Trail. This looped trail is just over a mile long. It takes you to the bottom of the falls for even more spectacular views. The only downside to visiting this California waterfall is you are not allowed to enter the water to go swimming.
There are so many natural wonders in California. However, the Ubehebe Crater in Death Valley is one of the most popular. As long as you don’t mind visiting the hottest place on Earth, this is one family adventure you won’t want to miss out on! If your family is not a fan of the heat, you can simply pull into the parking lot and look down into the crater without getting out. But if you don’t mind the heat, there are three different hiking trails to conquer. The easiest hike will lead to Little Hebe, while the other two hikes lead you around or into the Ubehebe Crater.
If you do decide to take a hike, please take water with you!
There are quite a few unique attractions in California, but none of them are as eccentric as Nitt Witt Ridge. This structure is considered a California Registered Historical Landmark and is in Cambria. Arthur Harold Beal purchased the land back in 1928. He then spent fifty years creating what he called his castle. The terraces were carved using a pick and shovel. Some sections of the castle were created using materials taken from nearby Hearst Castle.
And then you have all the junk he collected to create the rest of the building. Beal thought nothing of using car parts, beer cans, old stoves, washer drums, and other tossed items to create what he considered his masterpiece.
If you think your family will love visiting this one-of-a-kind attraction, let me know! I can add it to your itinerary.
Joshua Tree National Park is filled with fun family activities. However, sometimes it is best to go off the beaten path a little while on family vacations. Hiking to the Lost Horse Mine is something not everyone does while taking a vacation in California. The mine used to be a stamp mill, and it has been preserved over the years. When it was in operation, it was used to find approximately five million dollars worth of gold.
The hike is four miles round trip, so you will want to have everyone wear sturdy shoes. There is no shade on this trail, so water bottles, hats, and sunscreen are a must. The mine has been surrounded by a fence since people started to be destructive. But you can still see all the carefully preserved details.
Not every family will want to head underground in California to explore caves. But if this sounds like a family adventure your kids will love, I say, “Add it to the itinerary!”. There are more than seven hundred caves within Lava Beds National Monument. Only twenty of them can be accessed by the public, though.
Inside the Visitor’s Center, you can check out the maps of each cave to see what you are getting into. I highly recommend beginning with Sunshine Cave and then working your way to the Indian Well Cave, Golden Dome Cave, or Sentinel Cave. Just make sure you have a headlamp or flashlight with you, so you can see once you are deep into the caves.
And if you don’t want to enter the caves, there are still plenty of family activities to do in this area. Your family can hike along any of the trails or check out Canby Cross, Captain Jacks Stronghold, and the lava fields.
The USS Midway was an aircraft carrier ship that was active from 1945 until she moored for the final time in her current location in 2004. Your family will love exploring the interior of this ship. You can see where the crew ate their meals, slept, and even spent their time in the sick bay.
Once you have seen the entire interior, while getting lost a time or two, it will be time to venture up to the flight deck. This is where multiple helicopters and planes are kept, as well as where the captain and admiral’s quarters are located. You will all love seeing the insides of the planes and helicopters. But it will be the flight simulators that will really bring a smile to your kids’ faces.
The Queen Mary is a luxury passenger ship that was constructed early in the 20th century. This ship crossed the Atlantic just over one thousand times before mooring for the final time in Long Beach. There are different guided tours available on this ship. The most popular ones, though, are the Haunted Tours.
The ghosts don’t make an appearance during the day, but they are quite active at night. So, a nighttime tour is best if you want to see the ghost children around the pool, the engineer who died in the engine room, and the infamous Lady in White.
Near Fort Bragg, you will find a unique beach called Glass Beach. Decades ago, this beach was where many people dumped their trash. On any given day, people would toss appliances and even cars over the cliffs. Instead of turning into an eyesore though, the ocean turned that trash into treasures.
The waves broke down the trash that remained and turned it into small pieces of smooth glass. People who visit this beach in California love that they can return home with an authentic souvenir. I recommend planning to spend a little extra time at this beach because your family will be able to spend hours trying to find the perfect piece of glass to take home with them.
If your kids think you are crazy, you must take them on a tour of the Winchester Mansion. The owner of this home thought she would die if she ever stopped building her home. When you arrive at the mansion, you will stand there in awe of the size. And then, you will notice the fountains and gardens surrounding the mansion.
Inside, you will be greeted by mazes, as well as corridors, windows, and doors that lead absolutely nowhere. Use caution on the second floor because there is a door that opens directly to the outdoors, and no stairs in sight.
Get your kids counting when you are taking the tour because you will notice that the number thirteen pops up often. The owner loved the number thirteen. While the entire building is intriguing, the favorite space in the home is the Séance Room. So, keep an eye out for spirits during your visit.
It is a seven-mile round-trip hike to the Hollywood Sign. However, this family adventure is a rite of passage during any vacation in California. The trail is clearly marked, so you won’t need to worry about getting lost. Unfortunately, you can’t get as close to the sign as you would like. But the views of the sign and the surrounding area are still worth the trek in the California heat.
These are some of the amazing family adventures you can have during a vacation in California. There are so many other family activities for you to choose from, though. I can help you find the best ones for your next family vacation.
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