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These Day Trips Are Driving Distance From LA & Perfect for Families



MONROE, La. – Angelenos may be the luckiest families in America, with year-round Mediterranean weather and hundreds of socially-distanced playscapes within a couple hours’ drive. With so many options, choosing your own adventure for the day is the hardest part. Whether it’s hunting for ghosts and riding the railroad at a spooky silver-mining town, petting baby goats and plucking raspberries at a family farm, or munching on ebelskivers and riding horses in a quaint Danish village, getting away is as easy as hopping in the car.

Point Dume is an ideal beach for a casual afternoon tossing a Frisbee with the fam, and this promontory juts out into the Pacific Ocean as if inviting whales to come say hello. From December to May, they do, as gray whales on the epic journey from the Arctic to Mexico and back stop by. When you hear shouting from fellow beachgoers, hike up on the bluff with the kids and look for the gray bodies covered with barnacle spots and their telltale flukes with S-shaped edges. When those tiny bellies start craving lunch, head to nearby Lily’s Malibu for casual Mexican-American or D’Amore’s for pizza.
Drive time: 45 minutes

This outdoorsy town two hours east of LA is known for its hiking trails, including many kid-friendly ones like the popular, dog-friendly Ernie Maxwell Scenic Trail and the short-and-sweet Lake Fulmor trail, which offers incomparable water views. If your toddlers are too heavy to sling into a backpack, though, head for Idyllwild’s main drag, where you can relax and listen to music on Adirondack chairs outside Higher Grounds Coffee Shop, take the kids to a pottery class at Earth ’N’ Fire, or browse outdoor art at Artspresso Gallery. When you’re ready to eat, opt for a gourmet treat: Korean stone bibimbap bowls up in a rustic mountain tavern called Mile High Cafe.
Drive time: 2 hours