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Easy Road Trip Ideas for You and the Kids

Do you need some easy road trip ideas? Look no further!

Road trips are one of the best ways to travel with your family and they offer tons of advantages: you spend less than you would on airfare, you can combine hotels and camping and you get to really take in the country.

So where can you and the kids go on a road trip? Here are a few ideas.

California coastline

California’s coastline offers some of the most beautiful scenery in the United States. It also offers variety. If you’re starting in southern California, here are spots you simply can’t miss:

  • La Jolla and San Diego: Check out Sunset Cliffs in San Diego and Hospital’s Reef in La Jolla. The rugged cliffs and the sunsets are breathtaking.
  • Venice Beach: Venice Beach isn’t scenic but it’s got such character, a stop on the boardwalk to see the skateboarders is a must. Eat from a food truck, buy some souvenirs and check out what the vendors are selling.
  • Malibu: Next, pull out your camping gear and camp at Malibu Creek State Park. Order the Hot Combo sampler at Paradise Cove and lay out on the beach. If you have a couple of days in Malibu, stun your friends with photos at El Matador. This is probably the most beautiful beach in Malibu.
  • Santa Barbara: If you can afford a day of luxury, Santa Barbara is the place to do it. Book yourself into a hotel on the beach and just enjoy a lazy day on the sand. If you’re open to site seeing, visit Santa Barbara’s mission.
  • San Luis Obispo: Move further up the coast to what National Geographic calls one of the happiest places on earth. Ride an ATV up and down the sand dunes at Oceano Beach, then watch a magnificent sunset at Shell Beach.
  • Monterey, Santa Cruz and Carmel: Up another hour are three towns almost back to back: Monterey, Santa Cruz and Carmel. There’s a great aquarium in Monterey, redwood forests in Santa Cruz and the cutest town in Carmel.
  • San Francisco: End your road trip in San Francisco where you can cross the Golden Gate Bridge, explore their museums and ride on a cable line.

redwood national park



Oregon is a stunning mix of forest, sand dunes and ocean. Here are some highlights to consider:

  • Portland: Spend the morning at the World Forestry Center Discovery museum, have a picnic in Washington park and then head to North Clackamas Aquatic Park. The kids will love it.
  • Cannon Beach: Cannon Beach is both ruggedly beautiful and artsy. Haystack Rock is a must see.
  • Newport Beach: After you explore the cute town, hang out with the male sea lions by the water. You can’t miss them. They’re really loud.
  • Yachats: Yachats is a small, cozy town that has a lot to offer on its coast. You can see Thor’s Well, Devil’s Churn and beautiful views from Cape Perpetua.

Sedona and the Grand Canyon

Arizona’s red rocks are everywhere, so a road trip in any direction will be worth it. Here are two stunningly beautiful places:

  • Sedona: Sedona doesn’t offer the historic architecture of St. Petersburg but the town is breathtaking in its own way. The red rock formations are glorious to look at and to walk through. Take your family for morning and evening hikes. Leave lunchtime for a casual restaurant and the pool.
  • The Grand Canyon: From Sedona, head two hours north to the Grand Canyon. If you can, spend a few days here exploring the trails. If time is limited, at the very least, take in the views at Yavapai Point.


The list for road trip ideas can go on and on, but you get the idea. This summer, take the kids on a discovery trip to beautiful national parks, sandy beaches and historical cities. They’ll come home sunburned and brimming with memories.