LA Travel Guide for you and your Littles from an LA Native
If you’re planning a trip out west for you and your family this summer, we want to make sure you’re checking out all of the best family-friendly spots and making the most out of your Los Angeles vacation!
Easy, Kid-Friendly Hikes:
Malibu Point Dume hike - a short, simple hike on the Point Dume trailhead with gorgeous ocean views the entire time.
Franklin Canyon hike in Beverly Hills - an easy loop through Franklin Canyon Reservoir, a hidden gem in Beverly Hills.
Will Rogers hike in Pacific Palisades - this 2.2 mile loop up to inspiration point is generally considered an easy hike and provides a beautiful view of Los Angeles at the top.
If you decide to hike Will Rogers State Park, I suggest doing it on a Saturday or Sunday this summer, as there are often free(!) polo matches on the polo fields. It is tons of fun to bring a picnic to enjoy while watching a polo game post-hike! Between the matches, the players will (usually) allow the kids to come meet the horses! Definitely check the schedule before you plan on this to make sure there is a game happening that weekend. Erewhon Market is down the street and you can easily pick up hot bar food or grocery bites to take with you to the fields - Erewhon has become an obvious stop for LA visitors these days!
The best beaches you’ll find in the Los Angeles area, hands down. If you don’t want to adventure all the way up to Malibu, you can find good beaches in Santa Monica - Will Rogers State Beach is probably your best bet - but it does get crowded. Or you can always go down to Manhattan Beach. But if you’re up for a little trip to Malibu, I highly recommend checking out their beaches and stopping at the Malibu Country Mart for some shopping and dining - I love SunLife Organics for an açaí bowl and Café Habana (down the road) for some Mexican food.
California Science Center - home to the now-retired Space Shuttle Endeavor, along with many other super engaging exhibits!
Natural History Museum - huge LA attraction for kids (especially kids that love dinos!)
La Brea Tar Pits - active paleontological site in the middle of LA! Walk around and look at real fossils and replicas of the animals for free!
The Grove and The Original Farmer’s Market is an awesome outdoor mall for families. Free trolley rides, music-synchronized fountains, and lots of food options that will make everyone happy at the farmer’s market - there is even a Sticker Planet tucked away for your sticker-crazy kid!
Long Beach and Catalina Island:
If you have the time the travel a little farther south, I highly recommend visiting the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. They have a huge outdoor area and some awesome interactive exhibits that will keep your littles entertained for hours!
If you’re able to book a day trip to Catalina, you can book tickets for the Catalina Express ahead of time and hop on the Catalina Express in either San Pedro or Long Beach (quick 1 hour boat ride) and go straight to Avalon (the “big city” on Catalina Island). Reserve a cabana at the Descanso Beach Club ahead of time, rent kayaks or paddle boards, or go Mini Golfing at Golf Gardens! Avalon is so small you can definitely get around just fine on foot, but it is a lot of fun to rent a golf cart.
If you’re in the mood to travel even farther south, definitely go to Laguna Beach for the day. In my (biased) opinion, they have the most beautiful beaches in all of California! Head to Crystal Cove Stop for a casual bite at Active Culture (yummy frozen yogurt) before heading down to Victoria Beach. Helpful hint: the Laguna Beach trolleys are free! Park off the beaten path and use the trolley to get up and down PCH - parking in Laguna is horrible in the summertime.
No matter what you choose to do, the activities listed here are guaranteed to be kid-friendly and parent-friendly. You can't go wrong!