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Bucks County, Pa

San Diego, Los Angeles

Itinerary ideas for San Diego to LA w/our active, wildlife-loving tweens?

We are planning an 8-day road trip in August with our tweens. Things we would like to see/do: 

  • see seals/sea lions in their natural habitat
  • see stunning natural scenery
  • kayak/bicycle/hike/swim in areas beautiful but safe (for 10 yr olds)
  • see a few culturally/historically significant landmarks of interest to this age group

Any itinerary suggestions? Thanks!

5 Answers

top answer by
Kristal from San Francisco


I'm not as familiar with San Diego, but the following are great ideas for LA:

Runyon Canyon Park offers a great hike with amazing views of LA

If you like swimming and biking near the ocean, Malibu has some great beaches!

If you want something a little more interesting (borderline touristy) you can bike at Venice Beach Boardwalk and stop to see all the street performers and street vendors. 

Griffith Observatory gives great views of LA, there are also hiking trails around there. 

You can kayak at Marina Del ReyRancho Palos VerdesRedondo Beach and Sunset Beach (California)

For seals, I know Children's Pool Beach in La Jolla is a huge draw for that. Redondo beach is also good (a bonus is you can kayak past the seals).

Happy travels!

- Kristal

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Runyon Canyon Park (attraction)
  2. Malibu (city)
  3. Venice Beach Boardwalk (attraction)
  4. Griffith Observatory (attraction)
  5. Marina Del Rey (attraction)
  6. Rancho Palos Verdes (city)
  7. Redondo Beach (city)
  8. Sunset Beach (California) (city)
  9. Children's Pool Beach (attraction)
  10. La Jolla (attraction)
3 thanks

answered by
Kelly from Los Angeles


I'm not too familiar with San Diego, but I know of two places where your kids can see wildlife.

San Diego Zoo Safari Park: This is an almost 2,000-acre zoo surrounded by rolling hills outside of the city, and because of the space, it feels like you're out in the wild. There are different safaris that will take you and your family into natural habitats, but the "caravan safari" options may be the best. Also, don't miss the "Cheetah Run," which is exactly as it sounds.

La Jolla Cove: La Jolla is a city near San Diego, and this beautiful beach is home to sea lions and seals who routinely hang out on the rocks. 

Here are some places in L.A. where I would go with my family as a kid (and still go to now):  

Abalone Cove Shoreline Park in Palos Verdes: This place has quiet trails and tide pools to explore, and is popular with families. Here, your kids can pick up sea urchins and starfish, and hopefully find some cool shells for souvenirs. 

Manhattan Beach Pier: There is a small aquarium at the end of this pier, and kids are invited to touch small sea animals and learn from guides. This would also be a great place to rent bikes and ride the beachfront, pedestrian-only street known as the Strand.

Redondo Beach Pier: Other than the old-school arcade that would be a great place for your kids to run around, kayaking here is safe because of the protected bay. I would contact the Redondo Beach Kayaking Club to see when they're heading out, and they'll teach your kids about the local wildlife. 

Leo Carrillo State Park: This beach in Malibu has caves and tide pools you can walk through during low tide. It's also a fun place to camp as a kid, if you're up for that!

Have fun!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. San Diego Zoo Safari Park (attraction)
  2. La Jolla Cove (attraction)
  3. Abalone Cove Shoreline Park (attraction)
  4. Manhattan Beach Pier (attraction)
  5. Redondo Beach Pier (restaurant)
  6. Leo Carrillo State Park (attraction)
2 thanks

answered by
Phil from Arcadia

In San Diego, La Jolla Cove is a no brainer for kayaking and sea lions.  Balboa Park with the San Diego Air & Space Museum was always a favorite growing up.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. La Jolla Cove (attraction)
  2. Balboa Park (attraction)
  3. San Diego Air & Space Museum (attraction)
1 thanks

answered by
Breanna from Los Angeles

Fun things to make sure are on your itinerary include (LA):

Chris from Paddle Surf Malibu is amazing. He's extremely patient and has everything you guys will need for an hour or two of stand-up paddle surfing :)

Definitely hike Beachwood Canyon trail up to the Hollywood Sign. You'll get amazing views, a fun workout and you end up on top of the Hollywood sign - who doesn't love that? 

Wacko is a fun little shop that has offbeat items you won't find anywhere else. Johnny Cupcakes has the best t-shirts with cupcakes and crossbones on them, I haven't met a teen who hasn't loved them. 

Trapeze School New York - TSNY Los Angeles might be something fun to look into too!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Hollywood Sign (attraction)
  2. Wacko (attraction)
  3. Johnny Cupcakes (attraction)
  4. Trapeze School New York - TSNY Los Angeles (attraction)
1 thanks

answered by
Ralph from San Pedro, California

La Jolla Cove! You will see tons of seals, and its absolutely beautiful, plus have a picnic or go to one of the nice restaurants up the street.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. La Jolla Cove (attraction)
1 thanks

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