Taking a summer road trip with the family can get a little pricey. There are many things that need to be paid for like gas, food, and places to stay if the trip is an overnight trip. Then, if you want to add activities on top of it all, you will need to save and spend quite a bit. But there are more affordable summer family road trips in southern California that make it easier to travel. It’s time to pack things up, get the family ready, and head out on a fun family trip this summer.
Take some more affordable summer family road trips in southern California this year and explore our state while saving money.
Central Cali Coast Road Trip
Affordable summer family road trips in southern California may not only be in southern California, but they may take you away. But the goal is to not go too far so that you don’t need to spend as much. For this road trip, we will be headed to central California, more specifically, to Piedras Blancas. Here, you’ll find 6 miles of beach near Point Piedras Blancas. The beach isn’t a big draw for those who live in southern California because we have plenty of beaches near our homes. But there is more to this trip than just the beach. Hearst Castle is nearby which has 127 acres of gardens, 165 rooms, terraces, pools, and o much more. After a visit to the castle, you could head to Pismo Beach for some great food and a stunning Monarch Butterfly Grove.
Palm Springs is part of southern California, and that is where this trip starts. Starting in Palm Springs, there are plenty of things to do for families and most are affordable. Then, from Palm Springs, head east to Joshua Tree. Joshua Tree is a national park that has some very scenic views and plenty of activities. Hiking is a big draw to Joshua Tree and many of the trails are for experienced hikers. But there is a trail that is perfect for families through Hidden Valley. You’ll want to enter Hidden Valley Trail from the West entrance and work your way through for the best day ever.
The gold rush is a big part of California history and you can experience it right here in southern California. Julian is a small town northeast from San Diego. This small town is famous for a few things including its apple pie, its gold rush history, and a Main Street straight out of history. For activities, once you arrive, you could pan for gold with the Julian Mining Company, or take a walk down Main Street and find some of the best apple pies in the country. If a pie isn’t your thing, apples are used in different ways as well as locally made apple cider or head to the apple farms to pick some apples. Check their local calendar ahead of time because they also have many different festivals like a Grape Stomping Festival, Apple Days, Gold Rush Days and more. You may even find yourself in the middle of an impromptu gunfight skit in the middle of downtown.
Danish Road Trip
Another one of the affordable summer family road trips in southern California will take you to Denmark, sort of. About 125 miles north of Los Angeles is where you will find the ‘Danish capital of America’ Solvang. Solvang is a small town in the Santa Ynez Valley, wine country. This town gives off a Danish fairytale vibe with Danish architecture, windmills and more. Here, you’ll also find a museum dedicated to Hans Christian Andersen, a famous writer. Outside of Solvang, there is Quicksilver Ranch which has mini horses for kids to pet, there are ostriches at the Ostrichland USA and emus too. You could even book a cowboy vacation at Alisal Ranch which includes things like horse riding, campfires, and just relaxing out on the range, where the deer and the antelope will not be found but fun will be.