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Spring break will be here before you know it, so it’s never a bad idea to get a jump on where you’re headed even before the winter decides to take a hike. There are many places along the West Coast that are ideal for families, whether hiking, theme parks, or beaches are your family’s thing.
We’ve listed a few you will know, along with others that many people are not even aware of. These are 10 West Coast Spring Break destinations that you should consider with your family for a vacation.
West Coast Spring Break Destinations Families Will Love
It is no secret that I am a fan of the West Coast and spring break. In fact, I have been itching to repeat our Seattle to San Diego Road Trip we took in Spring 2018. So while I have a lot of favorite locations to visit on the west coast for spring break, here are 10 of my favorites.
You can use this map to check out which of the destinations below might be a good fit location-wise for your spring break vacation.
1. Disneyland Anaheim, California
You had to know this would be on my list. Disneyland in Anaheim, California is one of the most popular places for families to visit during spring break, including my family. The park has so many rides that you enjoyed as a child and now it’s your turn to share the same rides and adventure with your kids.
You might recognize a few rides from your childhood that are still around. Splash Mountain, Haunted Mansion, Space Mountain are all classics your kids will love, as well as new ones like Radiator Springs Racers, Incredicoaster, and Goofy’s Sky School. And don’t worry, there are plenty of Disneyland rides for toddlers as well. Disneyland is not just about the rides. There are even great places to eat, along with the wonderful entertainment you’ll enjoy.
Do not let the idea of crowds keep you from planning your west coast spring break at Disneyland. Between utilizing Magic Morning and Extra Magic Hour, to MaxPass and Fastpass, you will be able to do tons, even with some spring break crowds.
If you haven’t already, be sure to join the Disneyland with Kids Group on Facebook. There myself, and three other Disneyland experts are happy to answer all of your Disneyland questions.
In 2021, Disneyland Resort’s Theme Parks remain closed, however, Disneyland has announced it will have a food and wine event in Disney California Adventure Park. This is a ticketed event, and will most likely sell out quickly. Follow my Facebook page or join the Disneyland with Kids group on Facebook to be updated when dates are announced and tickets are available.
2. 1000 Steps Beach
How about a trip to the beach but not just any other beach? We’re talking 1000 Steps Beach in Laguna Beach, California. There are many tide pools, sea caves and gorgeous stretches of beach coastline. When the tide rolls further out to sea, a cave is revealed that your whole family can explore and walkthrough, all the way to the other side.
This is a great way for your family to get their suntans going earlier than everyone else and you and your spouse can get the peace and relaxation that you deserve. 1000 Steps Beach is voted as one of the best beaches in all of Southern California, so if you’ve never been, it’s time to make the trip.
You could easily add 1000 Steps Beach onto your Disneyland vacation. Or try another one of the many beaches near Disneyland.
3. Big Sur, California
Tucked between the rugged Santa Lucia Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, Big Sur is a beautiful stretch of coastline that your family will appreciate. You’ll travel the winding scenic highway of State Route 1 and see some truly remarkable landmarks. There are also a number of state parks nearby where your family can hike and beachcombing.
4. Catalina Island, California
To the southwest of Los Angeles, you’ll come across Catalina Island. Be aware that there is a hefty fee for your family to reach this gem.
The first thing you’ll notice is the ships and boats all sprawled out in the emerald-blue bay waters.
Many tourists love to visit the island for not only the beauty but also for the many activities that it has to offer. Some activities include scuba diving, parasailing, hiking, and fishing. There are also many museums, casinos, and restaurants to enjoy.
5. Seattle, Washington
When you think about visiting Seattle, Washington, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? We’d place our bet on the Space Needle. There are also many museums, parks and markets and great places to eat. If you’ve never heard of the Chihuly Garden and Glass, make sure you click on the link to learn more.
If your family loves hiking and visiting state parks, you’ll want to check out the Olympic Peninsula Waterfall Trail that’s located in Olympic National Park. There are so many waterfalls to explore that the locals call the park the Valley of 10,000 waterfalls.
If Pike Place is on your to-do list, be sure to check out our guide to Pike Place Market with Kids.
Portland, Oregon is a beautiful place to visit during spring break. You’ll want to visit Washington Park which features the Portland Japanese Garden and the Oregon Zoo that your kids will love. For an educational, yet fun, day, head to the OMSI Museum with your kids.
Your family will want to pay a visit to the 611 feet Multnomah Falls, which are only a half-hour away outside of Portland, or one of the other AMAZING Waterfall Hikes in the Columbia River Garge.
7. Redwoods, Northern California Coast
My family has fallen in love with the Redwoods for a spring break destination. We have gone multiple times during spring break and always had a great time.
My favorite area is the Humboldt County Redwoods, which includes the Avenue of the Giants. If you head a little farther north you can visit Trees of Mystery about thirty minutes south of Crescent City California.
Hiking is one of the biggest activities to do in the Redwoods, but you don’t have to be an experienced hiker to enjoy the area. There are plenty of easier hikes. A few are even paths with boardwalks that can be accessible for those in wheelchairs.
Be sure to look into the Redwood hikes you want to visit before your trip. Since the Redwoods are spread out along the Northern California Coast, you want to make sure you know which trails are where you will be.
8. Mammoth Mountain, June Lake
Mammoth Mountain, California is a popular skiing destination for families during the winter. Just because you’re not visiting during winter, doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty to do during spring break.
You can still enjoy skiing in the spring, along with biking, fishing, and hiking. The gorgeous mountain scenery and tranquil June Lake might be enough to put you into a trance if you’re not careful.
9. San Juan Islands, Washington
The San Juan Islands are made up of over 172 islands and have a few destinations we’ll briefly mention. There are waterfalls for you to visit and all kinds of wildlife at Moran State Park. The park also has camping and other recreational activities for your family to enjoy.
Whale-watching is a popular activity on the rocky cliffs of Lime Kiln Point State Park. Then there’s Shaw Island, a neat island that draws in many tourists, that has hiking trails, and also great places to camp underneath the stars.
10. Cannon Beach, Oregon
Last, but certainly not least on our list is the coastal city of Cannon Beach, Oregon. Every direction you turn is filled with amazing views.
While you may not want to swim in the waters along the beach in the spring (water temperatures are freezing), the scenic views of the beach and the waters crashing into Haystack Rock are visual you’ll want to freeze-frame. Ecola State Park is nearby with great camping, hiking trails, and beach activities for your family.
If you are looking for other great spring break destinations on the Oregon Coast, our family has also enjoyed camping and exploring in Newport, Oregon and activities for families in Florence, Oregon.
So, which of these spring break destinations on the west coast has caught your attention? If you’ve visited an amazing destination for spring break on the west coast with your family, tell us where and what you enjoyed most about it.