Credit: Omni Rancho Las Palmas

5 Last-Minute Family Vacations to Take From Southern California This Summer

Gather the Fam and Head to These Beautiful Destinations

With the kiddos at home, it may seem like this summer is never going to end. If everyone (including you) is getting a little stir crazy at home, it’s not too late to plan a last-minute summer vacay for the entire family. These five destinations are a short drive or plane ride from Southern California, which means not too much planning is needed. A few days away will be the best way to get out of the house, soak up the sun and make it a summer to remember.  Family Vacations California


Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa

Credit: Omni Rancho Las Palmas

For a desert staycation, look no further than Omni Rancho Las Palmas in Rancho Mirage. No more than three hours from most SoCal cities, Omni Rancho Las Palmas is located outside of Palm Springs, a sweet respite from the main hubbub of our city life. Surrounded by mountains and lush fairways, you’re guaranteed an amazing view. The resort has over 450 rooms and luxury suites with large French doors that give way to private patios; the interior is modern with a Spanish Colonial-inspired design. There are plenty of eateries on-site, varying from quick bites by the pool to sophisticated dining at bluEmber—the hotel’s signature restaurant serving modern American dishes. Take advantage of the Stay & Splash offer: up to 20% off weekdays through the end of summer. The resort is incredibly family-friendly, and your kids are bound to make new friends at Splashtopia, which includes a lazy river and a fourth pool (coming soon). No worries parents—they have an adults-only pool if you need some time to yourself! 

Location: Rancho Mirage 


Family Vacations California

AutoCamp Yosemite

Credit: AutoCamp: Aaron Letiz/AutoCamp

Let’s be honest—no one really likes roughing it in tents and sleeping on the hard ground. At AutoCamp, you can experience glamping at its finest while still being surrounded by natural beauty. You might think cramming a family of four into an Airstream sounds like a challenge, but these campers sleep two adults and two children comfortably. If you’re coming with a larger group, the Basecamp Suites come with an Airstream plus a dreamy canvas tent, which suits up to six guests. AutoCamp is about a six-hour drive from SoCal, but there are plenty of rest stops along the way where you can admire the California coast, and the drive will make for some great bonding time! The camp is situated right by the park entrance, so you can get a jump start on your day exploring the trails at Yosemite. The Mirror Lake Trail is a great one for kids. It’s an easy, 90-minute loop with great payoff: gorgeous views of the lake and the Half Dome.

Location: Yosemite



Conrad Punta de Mita

Credit: Joe Thomas

If you’re looking to get out of Dodge and swap those hours in the car for a plane ride, Punta de Mita, Mexico is only a three-hour trip  from LA via air. Conrad Punta de Mita is part of a gated community and nestled in between the jungle and the ocean. Situated in the center of the Riviera Nayarit, a 200-mile long stretch of pure coastline, the resort is a true tropical paradise. While it may seem like this is a romantic couples’ retreat—which it is—it’s also extremely family friendly. This summer, they’re offering 30% off all rooms and complimentary kids’ meals. You can take the family ziplining, horseback riding or sailing by day and parents can wind down in style by visiting Agave Studio after hours to make their own mezcal.

Location: Punta de Mita

Family Vacations California

Lakehouse Hotel + Resort

Credit: The Lakehouse Team

Just 15 minutes east of Carlsbad and 40 minutes north of San Diego is Lakehouse Hotel + Resort in San Marcos, a tranquil lakeside oasis. The kids will get a complimentary s’mores kit upon check-in and will have a ball roasting marshmallows in the fire pits right outside your room. The Adventure Suite is perfect for the little ones—it’s complete with a king bed, children’s bunk bed and tent. Everyone’s going to be flocking to the beach, so you and the family will find a tranquil respite from the crowds here by the lake. They also offer free bikes, boats and golf for resort guests. Your kids will never want to leave!

Location: Lake San Marcos



Catalina Island

This picturesque island is only an hour-long ferry ride away, so grab your clan and hop aboard the Catalina Express. Catalina Island is filled with recreational activities on both land and water. If your kids want to catch a glimpse of bison, take a ride around the island on a Jeep tour. If you’re looking to get wet, you and the little ones can take a semi-submersible tour in 5-foot deep water. You’re bound to see tropical fish, aquatic plants and sea lions. And make sure to grab a scoop at Sailor’s Delight for the ferry ride back home!

Location: Avalon




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