Just three hours north of Los Angeles, the Trona Pinnacles National Natural Landmark is a unique, other-worldy landscape of towering tufa pinnacles against the starkly beautiful backdrop of the Mojave Desert.
Victoria Beach is one of several secluded public beaches in Laguna Beach, guarded on both ends by rocky points, cliffs, and intertidal zones. A perfect stretch of sand, great tide pools, and a mysterious cliff-side tower make for a great beach day.
The SS Dominator shipwreck hike is a fun half-day adventure exploring beautiful Palos Verdes Cove, an hour or less drive from just about anywhere in Los Angeles.
We love getting out of Los Angeles to go to the beach. Crystal Cove State Park is a great 3 mile stretch of coastline and inland chaparral canyons. There are coastal cliffs, tidepools, and a beachfront cove just north of Laguna Beach.
The San Diego-La Jolla Underwater Park spans 6,000 acres of ocean bottom and tidelands to the north of La Jolla. The Underwater Park conta..
A day trip from Los Angeles to Leo Carrillo State Beach Park is a great escape from the crowded, flat sand city beaches. Surf, swim, explore sea caves and tidepools, and make going to the beach an adventure, not a test of your patience.
A day trip to Mt Baldy is more than the typical day trip “hike” into the mountains that surround Los Angeles. There’s a visitor center, a ski lift, hikes to 8,500-10,000 ft elevations, 360 degree views, and a lodge on the mountain to sit for lunch. It’s a real adventure.
The Ocean Institute is an ocean education organization located in Dana Point that’s only open to the public on the weekends. The Ocean Institute has aquaria, displays, activities, and a gift shop, and is located next a kid-friendly beach and a kayak/SUP rental facility.
Cabrillo Marine Aquarium in San Pedro is a small, low-key aquarium and marine education center with a lot to offer that kids love. The aquarium features Southern California marine life tanks and displays, an aquaculture research facility, hands-on science lab, and library.
Whenever I give my kids the option of going to the Abalone Cove tidepools, they chose it over any other day trip. Short drive, easy hike, beach, picnic, and marine biology. The perfect day.