Fun and Affordable California Summer Vacation Ideas for Families !

California is a land of sun and surf. It is truly one of the best family vacation destinations. While you and your family may not fit all the amazing activities into one summer vacation trip, you will find that California excels at making sure that you get the most out of every minute of your stay.

Not sure which spots in California are ideal for affordable family summer vacation? Here are some recommendations:


Situated in northern California’s stunning Humboldt Bay, Eureka offers several opportunities to families for thrilling water sports and summer outdoor activities. They also serve as doorways to the Redwood Empire, that includes the Avenue of the Giants, Humboldt Redwoods State Park, and Redwood National Park. You can rent stand-up paddleboards, kayaks, canoes, and sailboats from The Humboldt Bay Aquatic Center for water fun. It also offers guided wildlife activities, sea kayaking, and hiking. Don’t forget to visit the family-friendly Natural History Museum to learn about paleontology and local ecology.

Mount Shasta

The city of Mount Shasta is located about 10 miles from its marvelous namesake mountain in north-central California. There are lots of family-friendly summer activities here, such as mountain biking and hiking the many trails through the foothills and forests. You can easily rent the hiking gear and bicycles that you need form The Fifth Season sporting goods store. Nearby Lake Siskiyou offers excellent fishing for crayfish, bass, rainbow trout, and brown trout. You can also rent power boats for water sports, exploring, and fishing from the Fun Factory Rentals at Lake Siskiyou Marina.

South Lake Tahoe

The city of South Lake Tahoe is located at the southern end of Lake Tahoe in northeastern California. You can explore the coastline in luxury abroad the Windsong Sailing Yacht or rent a boat for water fun at Lakeside Marina. Both kids and adults have the opportunity to learn fun summer water sport with The Lake Tahoe Water Ski School. Furthermore, you can enjoy the many trials through the mesmerizing hills and emerald-green forests on a bicycle. Nearby Heavenly Mountain’s Epic Discovery offers several fun activities during the summer. These include a climbing wall, rope courses, zip lines, and the exciting Ridge Rider Mountain Coaster.

Santa Rosa

The city of Sant Rosa is situated in the north of San Francisco in the midst of the northern California wine country. There are several affordable family-friendly activities here. Summer is an ideal time to tour the area wineries. You can also tour the wineries in a luxury van or limousine with Comfort Wine Tours if you prefer to unwind and let others drive. If you want to watch cheetahs, giraffes, cape buffaloes, rhinoceroses, and many other species of exotic wildlife, then the Safari West drive-through is highly recommended. For family fun, visit the Children’s Museum of Sonoma County with kids to experience the interactive displays as well as the Charles M. Shultz Museum to see the Peanuts exhibits.

Fort Bragg

Situated in Mendocino County, Fort Bragg is a gorgeous stretch of the northern California coastline. Glass Beach is among the unique attractions of the city. It is a beautiful beach in MacKerricher State Park that features pebbles composed of amazing pieces of glass. There are the stunning Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens on the south side of town that provide 47 acres of flamboyant flowers, pine forests, streams, and fern canyons. Families can also explore the beautiful sea caves and coves with Liquid Fusion Kayaking along the rocky coast. Don’t forget to take the popular Skunk Train into the interior in order to view redwood forests, streams, and rivers.


The city of Encinitas is located on the stunning southern California coast north of San Diego. Family-friendly Moonlight State Beach is amongst its gorgeous white sand beaches and it features extensive shallows for water play and swimming as well as a wide flat beach area that is perfect for frisbee, volleyball, and other sports. The stunning San Diego Garden in the city has 37 acres of awesome desert gardens, tropical forest, and bamboo groves. Be sure to check out the Pacific Coast Grill for some delicious fresh seafood.

The Golden State is a destination that you can explore year-round, but there is something special about the summer in California. The summer season here conjures up popular culture and iconic moments in time. While there are many family-friendly vacation destinations in California that work year-round, the above-mentioned spots are really in their prime during the summer season.

Leave a Reply