Western US

Joshua Tree: 12 Things Not To Miss with Kids in this Desert National Park

Visiting Joshua Tree National Park is an otherworldly experience: groves of twisted trees and giant boulders create enchanting settings so unique, you might think you have stepped into a fairy tale—or landed on an alien planet. Approximately a two-hour drive from Los Angeles, and a stone's throw from Palm Springs, this park is great for a family camping adventure or just a day hike, because it captures everyone’s imagination. Stroller-friendly trails make it a great option for little trekkers, as do several walks easy enough for young kids (or tired grown-ups) to maneuver. But teens and tweens who never tire will never run out of rocks and boulders to climb over.

Visit the Old West like the Brady Bunch at this Hollywood Style Western Town

Deep in the Mojave Desert, not far from Palm Springs and Joshua Tree, and just two hours from LA, tumbleweeds roll down dusty, unpaved streets. A saddle shop, an old bank, a bath house, and a saloon line the appropriately-named Mane Street, where transportation is horses-only. There are occasional cowboy brawls (mostly on Saturday afternoons) and a sense that some old character actor might be haunting the jail. If Pioneertown feels like an old movie, that's no surprise—it should.

San Diego: More than 50 Fun Things To Do with Kids

Whether you live in the area or are just visiting, San Diego is a great place to spend some time. What better weekend is there than the San Diego Zoo, SeaWorldLegoland, and the Safari Park? Wherever you live, the SoCal town with the nation's most perfect weather can be a great weekend getaway for families. I grew up going to the Zoo and Sea World, but there are many other ways to enjoy our southern-most county.

10 Best Beaches near Disneyland, for a Break from Mouse Madness

Disneyland may be the happiest place on earth, but eventually even the most enthusiastic Disney fans need a break from crowded shows, long lines, and sugary treats. When your little princess or prince melts down for the third day in a row because the line to meet Cinderella is longer than your trip home, it may be time to take a breather on the beach.

15 Best Campgrounds for Tent Camping with Kids Near LA

Marshmallows. Check. Bug spray. Check. Air mattress. Check. Camping season is upon us. Hurrah! And thankfully in this multi-terrain region of ours, you don't need to go far to enjoy a night or two under the stars. A weekend without electronics, breathing fresh air, and enjoying meals over the campfire: all this can be yours without driving more than an hour or two—in some cases even less! Read on to find an easy destination for you and your happy campers. (And if the one you want is full this weekend, check out a few last minute camping spots.)

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