Fab Family Vacations Within 6 Hours of LA

USA, California, Laguna Beach, Family with three children (6-7, 10-11, 14-15) running on beach

Erik Isakson/Getty Images

Families that live in the greater Los Angeles area have a spectacular choice of kid-friendly getaways within a day's drive, from beach towns to mountain escapes and desert oases. These popular suggestions can all be reached in six hours or less, based on estimated drive times.

01 of 10

Disneyland Resort: Anaheim, CA

disneyland california
Genevieve/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Drive time: 37 mins.
Disneyland Resort holds a special place in the hearts of Disney fans as the place where it all began. Plan your getaway at the original Disneyland theme park and Disney California Adventure Park. 

02 of 10

Laguna Beach, CA

Laguna Beach coastline,Pacific Ocean,Rte 1,Orange County,CA
Ron_Thomas/Getty Images

Drive time: 53 mins.
Known for its mild year-round climate and artist community, the seaside resort town of Laguna Beach beckons families to enjoy its scenic beaches and kid-friendly attractions.

03 of 10

El Capitan Canyon: Santa Barbara, CA

Glamping at El Capitan Canyon, Santa Barbara
El Capitan Canyon

Drive time: 1 hr, 30 mins.

For families who like camping but don't love roughing it, glamping at El Capitan Canyon is the best of both worlds, delivering the sounds of nature, the smell of campfires and plenty of free-form fun—but in a hassle-free setting with comfy beds, running water, and easy access to meals.

04 of 10

UCSB Family Vacation Center: Santa Barbara, CA

UCSB family vacation center
Guy Kawasaki/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 4.0

Drive time: 1 hr, 30 mins.
One of America's Best All-Inclusive Resorts for Families, This beachside summer camp takes place on the University of California Santa Barbara campus and earns raves from families for its enthusiastic counselors and the wide array of activities for kids and adults. Rates cover lodging, meals, and a roster of activities that ​include hiking, mountain biking, tennis, and simply kicking back by the pool. 

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05 of 10

San Diego, CA

legoland california
Jason Lander/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Drive time: 1 hr, 55 min.
Bring the kids to the ​world-famous zoo and Legoland California, of course, and take time to explore some of San Diego's 33 beaches, but be sure to mix as many free activities into your itinerary. 

06 of 10

Joshua Tree National Park

sunrise through a joshua tree
James O'Neil/Getty Images

Drive time: 2 hrs, 36 mins.
Named for the trees native to the park, 1,200-square-mile Joshua Tree National Park is slightly larger than the state of Rhode Island. Much of the park is wilderness and includes parts of two deserts, the higher Mojave Desert and lower Colorado Desert.

07 of 10

Pismo Beach, CA

Pismo beach pier
Anita Ritenour/Flickr/Creative Commons

Drive time: 2 hrs, 59 mins.
With cliffs perched over white sand beaches and jaw-dropping ocean views, the scenic town of Pismo Beach is a gem on California's Central Coast. It is an ideal base from which to explore the 'Five Cities' community along Highway 1 as it winds through the beautiful landscape south of Big Sur.

08 of 10

Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks

sequoia national park
Paola Moschitto-Assenmacher/EyeEm/Getty Images

Drive time: 4 hrs, 59 mins.
The second-oldest national park after Yellowstone, Sequoia National Park is famous for its giant sequoia trees, including the General Sherman tree, one of the largest trees on Earth. The park is contiguous to the north with Kings Canyon National Park. Together Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks contain 202,430 acres of old-growth forests.

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09 of 10

Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park
tiffanynguyen/Getty Images

Drive time: 5 hr, 45 mins.
Protected since 1864, Yosemite is California's first national park. It is best known for its waterfalls, but within its nearly 1,200 square miles, you can find deep valleys, grand meadows, ancient giant sequoias, a vast wilderness area, and much more.

10 of 10

Santa Cruz, CA

The funfair at the end of Santa Cruz Beach in Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz County in California, United States of America
David Clapp/Getty Images

Drive time: 5 hr, 52 mins.
With its family-friendly beaches, miles of open space and fun events for kids, Santa Cruz makes for a fantastic family getaway. 

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