Are you planning a family road trip to California and wondering where to start? With so many attractions and cities to visit, it can be overwhelming to plan the perfect itinerary. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! In this article, we’ll provide you with the ultimate family road trip itinerary for California, complete with all the must-see destinations and hidden gems that will make your trip unforgettable.


California is a state full of diverse landscapes, from sandy beaches to towering mountains and everything in between. Planning a family road trip can be an exciting adventure, but it can also be stressful if you don’t know where to go. This itinerary will guide you through some of the best destinations in California, ensuring that your family has a fun and memorable trip.

San Francisco

San Francisco is one of the most popular cities in California and a great place to start your road trip. Here are some of the must-visit attractions in the city.

Golden Gate Bridge

The Golden Gate Bridge is an iconic landmark that spans the Golden Gate Strait, connecting San Francisco Bay to the Pacific Ocean. You can walk or bike across the bridge, or simply take in the stunning views from a distance.

Alcatraz Island

Alcatraz Island was once a prison that housed some of the most notorious criminals in American history. Today, it’s a popular tourist attraction that offers tours of the prison and the island.

Fisherman’s Wharf

Fisherman’s Wharf is a lively area of the city that’s home to shops, restaurants, and street performers. You can also see sea lions lounging on the docks and take a boat tour of the bay.


Monterey is a charming town located on the central coast of California. Here are some of the top attractions to visit.

Monterey Bay Aquarium

The Monterey Bay Aquarium is an impressive facility that houses over 35,000 creatures, including sea otters, sharks, and jellyfish. It’s a great place to learn about marine life and conservation efforts.

17-Mile Drive

The 17-Mile Drive is a scenic route that takes you along the coast of Monterey, through Pebble Beach and Pacific Grove. You’ll see stunning views of the ocean, rocky cliffs, and wildlife.

Cannery Row

Cannery Row is a historic area of Monterey that used to be home to sardine canneries. Today, it’s a popular tourist destination with shops, restaurants, and hotels.

Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara is a beautiful city located on the central coast of California. Here are some of the top attractions to visit.

Santa Barbara Zoo

The Santa Barbara Zoo is a small but impressive zoo that’s home to over 500 animals, including elephants, lions, and giraffes. It’s a great place to take the kids and learn about wildlife.

State Street

State Street is the main street in downtown Santa Barbara and is home to shops, restaurants, and theaters. It’s a great place to stroll and soak up the local culture.

Santa Barbara Mission

The Santa Barbara Mission is a historic landmark that was founded in 1786. It’s a beautiful building with stunning gardens and a museum that displays artifacts from the mission’s history.

Los Angeles

Los Angeles is the largest city in California and home to many famous attractions. Here are some of the must-visit destinations.

Universal Studios

Universal Studios is an exciting theme park that’s home to many popular movie-themed rides and attractions. You can also take a tour of the studio and see behind the scenes of movie production.

Hollywood Walk of Fame

The Hollywood Walk of Fame is a famous landmark that features stars on the sidewalk honoring celebrities in the entertainment industry. It’s a great place to take pictures and spot your favorite stars.

Santa Monica Pier

The Santa Monica Pier is a historic pier that’s home to an amusement park, aquarium, and restaurants. You can also enjoy a beautiful view of the ocean and watch street performers.


California is a state full of adventure and excitement, and a family road trip is the perfect way to explore it all. With this ultimate itinerary, you can be sure that you won’t miss any of the must-see destinations. So pack your bags, hit the road, and get ready for an unforgettable trip!


  1. What is the best time of year to take a family road trip to California?
    The best time to visit California is during the spring or fall when the weather is mild and the crowds are smaller.
  2. How long should I plan for a California road trip?
    A California road trip can take anywhere from one week to a month, depending on how many destinations you want to visit.
  3. Is it safe to drive in California?
    California has many busy highways and roads, but if you follow the rules of the road and drive defensively, it can be a safe and enjoyable experience.
  4. What are some other family-friendly destinations in California?
    Other family-friendly destinations in California include Disneyland, Legoland, and the San Diego Zoo.
  5. Can I rent an RV for a California road trip?
    Yes, there are many companies that offer RV rentals for road trips in California. This can be a fun and convenient way to travel with the family.