Western US

5 Off-the-Beaten-Path Weekend Trips From LA

In my olden days (mid-'90s post-college), planning a road trip went something like this: "Friday night and nothing to do.  Hmm... Let's go to Vegas!" And within thirty minutes my friends and I would be on our way. Now I travel with a posse of children, so Vegas is not the first place that comes to mind when I'm considering a family-friendly weekend. Still, I love a good road trip, and LA is, as always, a fantastic base from which to branch out. Much more care is involved in my planning process these days, and it's a plus if the chaos of larger cities, theme parks, water parks, and too-trendy anything can be avoided. Are you like me - interested in taking the road less traveled, and perhaps a little more family-oriented? See if any of these strike your fancy.

How To Camp with Kids: Family Camping Tips

As you may have noticed, we've been trying to get more of our Mommy Poppins families out camping, so we've been sharing some great Los Angeles area campgrounds and even offering up several places that accommodate last minute camping. Basically, if you want to sleep in a tent under the stars this weekend, we're there for you. But it's possible that some of you feel overwhelmed at the prospect; maybe you've never camped before, or maybe you just haven't yet figured out how to fit kids into that thing you used to do with the backpack and the camp stove. Either way, we can have you packed and ready for the campsite in no time!

Things To Do in Death Valley National Park with Kids

Tell people you're planning a trip to Death Valley with kids, and you're likely to get a response that implies either admiration or an assumption that you're crazy. Or both. That's OK; Death Valley may not be the most obvious choice for a family vacation, but that is definitely part of the appeal. It's a valley full of "I've never seen that before!" with a hint of Old West ghost town.

Palm Springs Weekend Getaway: A Quick Trip to Slow Down

While it's a quick drive to Palm Springs from LA (or an easy flight from anywhere with its international airport), once we arrive we immediately slow down. We wander. We check out a museum or botanical garden; we eat ice cream. And always, we lounge by a pool. A weekend in Palm Springs helps us re-connect with each other without the hassle of air travel, without needing to plan long and hard. It's an easy way to re-charge our batteries, worn down from city life.

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