5 Fun Family Day Trips from the Bay Area

Although the school year is beginning to creep up, summer is still in full effect! From the sizzling days, to the warm summer nights, this time of year is great to spend with your loved ones.

When it comes to summer, one activity that always comes to mind are road trips or in this posts’ case, day-trips! Hitting the open road with your family and friends is sure to create fun, long lasting memories whether you’re an adult, a child or an inbetweener. Day trips are a great way to get people together to explore without the hassle of having to plan a lengthy multi day road trip. This post will focus on 5 fun trips that could be enjoyed in just one day. So, if you’re looking for ways to get the most out of your last free weekends or weekdays before the kids head off to school just follow the list below!

  1. Muir Woods – National Monument California

Has nature been calling you? Do you feel like reconnecting with the earth? Or would you just like to enjoy a pretty view while being active? Then a trip to the Muir Woods is just the place for you! Speaking from experience, this Redwood forest offers gorgeous views, plenty of trails, and is a great place to spend the day. Muir Woods is opened year round but does require entrance fees ($10 for adults 16 years of age or older, free for those under 15), and parking/ shuttle reservations which can be made online or over the phone. The park also provides a Junior Ranger program for kids ages 5-12. Make sure to dress appropriately for hiking, grab a map on the way in, take your camera for great pictures and most importantly pack plenty of water!

  1. Sonoma County

Although Sonoma County is usually known for its appeal to adults. This county has much more to offer than just a glass of wine. You and your family can enjoy a variety of activities that suit your different moods. Do you feel like enjoying a day by the water exploring tide pools or swimming? You can go to Sonoma’s Bodega Bay or the Russian River! Craving more adventure? Make a trip to Safari West, where you can experience wildlife up close and personal in this 400-acre preserve that is home to almost 900 animals! Or if you feel like relaxing and enjoying a great meal head to one of the great eateries or a kid-friendly winery to explore your palette. (

  1. Half Moon Bay

Need a reason to sport your new swimsuit and sunglasses? Make the drive to Half Moon Bay! This coastal area offers gorgeous views and miles of sandy beaches. Whether you’re relaxing under the sun or are busy building sand castles, everyone who visits is sure to have a smile on their face. This beautiful area has something great to offer for all. You can birdwatch, bike, hike, walk through galleries, horseback ride, and so much more! It’s a great time to take advantage of the summer heat and make some memories at Half Moon Bay.

  1. Monterey Bay Aquarium

Want to explore the ocean blue without getting sea sick? The Monterey Bay Aquarium is just the place for you! This widely known aquarium is great for people of all ages. There are plenty of exhibits, activities, and you can even view a daily show or feeding! Everyone is sure to finish the day off knowing more about the ocean and its animals than they had before entering the aquarium! Admission prices are a bit on the heavier side (around $50 for adults ages 18-64, $30 for children ages 3-12 and special student/senior pricing), but it helps to know that you’re helping the aquarium spread its mission of ocean conservation. If you finish with the aquarium early, you can take a walk around Monterey’s Fisherman’s Wharf, or Cannery Row that houses many shopping and dining options.

  1. Sacramento

Tired of reading about all these coastal getaways? Sacramento is the place for you! The capital of California is full of history that makes it a great spot to take the family for a day. You can explore the California State Capitol Museum ( or Capitol Park which houses gardens, a Civil War Memorial Grove, the California Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and more. Many guided tours are offered in Old Sacramento to help you better understand the area and its importance in California’s history. This option is a great way to unwind, explore and learn.

Congratulations you made it to the end of the list! Now what are you waiting for, go gather your family, grab some snacks, and be sure to have a killer playlist, then hit the road. With a daytrip you’ll be gone and back before you know it!

Have you or someone you know ever visited one of the spots on the list? Are there any places not mentioned that you would recommend? Do you have any tips and tricks that make longer car rides more bearable for everyone? Be sure to let me know in the comments! Feel free to share this list with your loved ones!

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