The Definitive Family Guide To California (That Doesn’t Include Disney)

California coastine with tall cliffs and pacific ocean

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Now I know one of the biggest draws of visiting this US state is to spend some quality time with the Mouse himself. However, I figured by this point you guys pretty much know everything you need to about the Magic Kingdom. That is why instead, this post below is focused on other things to do and places to stay in sunny California. Read on to find out what they are.

Back to Nature

First of all, remember that California is a place blessed with some fantastic weather, making it perfect to spend some time outdoors. Happily, there is no shortage of locations where you and the kids can enjoy getting back to nature and especially the hustle and bustle of modern-day life. 

Of course, the most popular of all the natural attractions in Cali is the world-famous Yosemite National Park. A place with over 1800 square miles of flora, fauna, and trails to explore. In fact, Yosemite has it all, with high sequoia trees, mountainous terrain, and even graded trails suitable for all types of hiking levels. Something that means it particularly ideal for families with children. 

Everything about the Wizarding World of Harry Potter Hogwarts Castle

Wizarding World  of Harry Potter

Now I promised that there would be no Disney in the post, but I didn’t say anything about Universal Studios. In fact, in recent years, Universal has started to give Disneyland a real run for its money. Particularly because it is now home to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, complete with a replica of Hogwarts, and a real-life Hogsmead that you can explore. 

Younger kids will love The Flight of the Hippogriff ride, while older ones and adults and bound to enjoy Harry Potter And The Forbidden Journey. Of course, kids of all ages will love the total immersion that this part of the park provides, making it a top stop for any family visiting California. 

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Beach Vibes  

Not only does Cali have theme parks, and vast swaths of nature, but it’s also pretty famous for its beaches, which include the famous Malibu, Santa Monica, and Laguna. However, if you are looking for somewhere as equally beautiful but less crowded, why not head to one of the gorgeous costly locations in Sonoma County, such as Sea Ranch? 

In fact, many families choose to spend a few nights in this location, as it is so picturesque and restful after the bustle of LA. You can even get an idea of the type of Sea Ranch vacation rentals on offer in the area online to see what would best suit your family. With some offering 3 nights for the price of 2, making this part of your break very affordable indeed. 

Creepy Alcatraz 

While it’s set in a coastal location, Alcatraz couldn’t be any more different than locations on the Sonoma Coast. In fact, its imposing and creepy, and this feeling certainly does not subside when you travel across the island and enter the disused jail. 

However, despite its mysterious nature and legends, many families make the trip to San Francisco when in Cali, and tour the facility. It fact, some of them maintain its the highlight of their whole California break! Although, only you can decide whether this is an outing for the entire family, or just the older kids and adults. 

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