Family holidays to California

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Only in California

  • Spot your favourite celebs on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
  • Watch the San Francisco Giants on their home turf
  • Explore the incredible Yosemite National Park  

Best For

✓ Best for Spring and Summer school holidays
✓ Culture & Education, Adventure & Activity
✓ 8 years +

California, where the land is big and the dreams are bigger. Live the California dream during an action-packed holiday –from time in the awe inspiring natural playground of Yosemite national park to the glitz and glamour of Hollywood.

If you fancy learning to sail, do it in style. Spend an afternoon aboard an America's Cup racing yacht, where the crew will literally show you the ropes and ask you to help chart a course around the San Francisco Bay. Back on land take a hike through the famous Redwood forest or visit some of the city's unique historical neighbourhoods. After a day exploring the city's history enjoy an evening watching America's favourite pastime –baseball. The San Francisco Giants were the 2014 World Series Champions. Be sure to grab a baseball glove and try to catch a fly ball whilst you're there.

Drive east to Yosemite National Park and spend a day with an expert naturalist guide who will take you to some of Yosemite's most spectacular locations. While you're there, keep an eye out for the elusive Sierra Nevada red fox which has recently been seen for the first time in 100 years!

Sports enthusiasts may want to continue their journey south to the green grass of the legendary Pebble Beach Golf Club. There you can be paired with a professional golf coach who will give you a private lesson sure to help you when you take on America's toughest golf course –18 holes and par 72! Wildlife enthusiasts will enjoy spending an afternoon on an eco-raft in Monterey Bay. The smaller open design of this boat allows you to be closer to the water where you can search for some of Monterey's guests –orcas, blue whales, dolphins, seals and even humpback whales! 

California's Pacific coastline is renowned for its beauty...and the drive down to Santa Barbara will allow you to stop and admire all of the sights at your own pace. On arrival, stretch your legs on an exhilarating two hour bike ride across Santa Barbara's bluffs with a private guide. Next head down to the ever-enthralling Los Angeles. The City of Angels is filled with thrills and spills for you to enjoy. Take a tour of Universal Studios Hollywood with VIP access to soundstages and props warehouses. Spend the rest of the day as a VIP at the Universal Theme Park, fast tracking to the front of all the queues for all attractions and rides. Water babes should look no further than Marina del Ray where you will learn to paddleboard on a stand up board before relaxing on the famous boardwalk.

A trip to California wouldn't be complete without a visit to beautiful San Diego where a private surfing coach will show you the ropes. How to spend the remainder of your trip? How about sailing around Catalina island on a yacht? California is the land of dreams, and these are just a few of them.

Did you know...

  • The state motto of California is 'Eureka!' which is an ancient Greek word meaning 'I have found it!'
  • In San Francisco it is illegal to walk an elephant down Market Street unless leashed
  • The "Chinese" fortune cookie was actually invented by a Japanese resident of San Francisco
  • The average lifespan of a redwood tree is 500-700 years
  • Yosemite is an Ahwahneechees word meaning 'among them are killers'
  • Dogs like surfing too! Huntington Beach in California hosts the annual Surf City Surf Dog contest –check out the clips on YouTube –they're hilarious!

The Boring Bit

  • Airline routes –London Heathrow direct to San Francisco and back from LA or San Diego
  • Flying time –11+ hours (GMT -8 hours)
  • Visas –ESTA required
  • Health considerations –None


Let us create a trip specifically for your family. Below is a selection of suggested itineraries.
Alternatively you can call our experts on 01242 855 753 or enquire online

Family itineraries in California

Family California: Sun and surf in Orange County

Nights: 8 | from £2,350

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For a family adventure, it’s tough to top Southern California, where the sun always seems to shine and the fun never stops. Pelican Hills, in the heart of so cool SoCal, is the ideal base to soak it all up.

California: The Best Family Itinerary...Ever

Nights: 15 | from £8,990

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An action-packed tour of California that will you see your family sailing, surfing, paddle boarding, cycling, playing golf, exploring Yosemite and National Park and touring Universal Studios as a VIP.

Our preferred family accommodation in California

Carmel Valley Ranch

Carmel, California

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The Resort at Pelican Hill

Newport Beach, California

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Sample Itineraries which could be adapted for families

California – Science and Nature

Nights: 15 | from £4,690

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California conjures images of golden beaches and glamor-ous cities – but it offers so much more. In two wild weeks, enjoy exclusive access to acclaimed attractions, hike and paddle with naturalist guides, delve into some of the state’s most impressive wild spaces and meet some of its magnifi-cent wildlife.

California Culture

Nights: 10 | from £3,480

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Only in California do you get this unique brand of ‘chill, laid back’ attitude, but you will find every city has it’s niche – SF is very into the foodie scene  – and you’ll visit Alcatraz, formally the Nation’s most notorious high-security prison! In Carmel and Santa Barbara, you’ll experience their unique quiet subcultures, which have the ‘small town beach feel you saw in the old movies of the 40s and 50s. And then, LA obviously has the Hollywood thing: from the Hollywood sign to the starlets that run the town, you’ll really feel like you’re in a movie as you drive down the famous Sunset Blvd. And then San Diego caps it off with the ideal, friendly representation of sunny SoCal living. From here you can visit the world famous San Diego Zoo at your own leisure or just lay-out on the beach and relax.

Alternative family friendly accommodation in California

The Ritz Carlton

Lake Tahoe, California

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Hotel del Coronado

San Diego, California

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The Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage

Palm Springs, California

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