Family Summer Vacation Ideas

The ideal destination for a family summer vacation should provide plenty of opportunities for family bonding and great memories that will last forever. But if your family is like most, everyone has individual preferences and complaint-proof vacations are nearly impossible. 
So how do you ensure everyone has a great time, preferences notwithstanding? By choosing an unexpected vacation spot with broad appeal and individual quirks that can wring a smile out of even the sulkiest teenager.  Here are 5 great family summer vacation ideas around Southern California that fit the bill:

1. Dude Ranch

You don’t have to travel to Colorado or Texas for an authentic dude ranch experience—there are several in Southern California that offers breathtaking scenery and a distinct Old West feel. At Rankin Ranch near Bakersfield, you can enjoy horseback riding through mountains and meadows, fishing for rainbow trout in the ranch pond, and a variety of cowboy-themed activities. For a touch of luxury, check out the Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort in picturesque Santa Barbara. It’s a real working ranch that includes golf, fine dining, and a refreshing spa.

2. Disney Cruise

Almost all cruise lines feature activities and accommodations designed for kids, but no one does vacation magic like Disney. The media giant’s cruise line offers several destinations from San Diego, such as Baja, the Mexican Riviera, the Panama Canal, and Vancouver, and amenities include Broadway-caliber live shows, themed deck parties, and age-specific youth clubs. Of course, Disney cares about parents too, offering adult-exclusive nightclubs and lounges for when the kids are finally asleep.

3. Family summer camp

If your kids have a blast at sleepaway camp, there’s no reason you can’t get in on the fun. Family-oriented summer camps like Montecito Sequoia Lodge offer nostalgic camp experiences like canoeing, guided hikes, crafts, competitions, and singing around the campfire every night with s’mores. It’s a 7-hour drive from San Diego. The cabin accommodations are a step up from typical tent camping (hooray for bathrooms!), and the organized camp “counselors” will ensure every day is jam-packed with fun, taking the burden of entertaining off your shoulders.

4. Catalina Island Resort

If “roughing it” isn’t your thing, skip the ranches and camps and go for the comfort of a Catalina Island resort this summer. After spending your days adventuring with zip line tours, dolphin tours, or a glass bottom boat voyage, you can relax and soak in the ocean view or visit the spa while the kids enjoy hotel-sponsored activities. There are even activities for art lovers and history buffs, including museums and tours of the famous Catalina Casino that, contrary to its name, was built as a theater and dance hall instead of a place to gamble.

5. Weekend in Temecula


Whether you live in Southern California or are just visiting the area, why not take a relaxing break from beaches and amusement parks by heading up to Temecula for the weekend? Temecula is famous for the dozens of wineries that have cropped up in the last few decades, which makes it a perfect destination for vacationing families with college-age children or older. While there are several wine tasting tours available, there’s no better way to experience the beautiful landscape and taste the best wine the Temecula region has to offer than a jeep tour with Temecula Valley Jeep & Wine Tours. You can cruise through the backcountry in a tough open-air Jeep and visit a selection of choice wineries.  Extend the weekend fun by scheduling a morning or sunset hot air balloon tour to view the scenery from above.

Experience all Temecula has to offer

Whether you come for a weekend respite or a fun-filled day trip this summer, Temecula has gorgeous scenery, a touch of Old West history, and plenty of activities to inspire memories for years to come. Feel free to give us a call at  (951) 240-6646 or fill out our contact form. Book your Temecula Valley Jeep & Wine Tours today.