National Parks / Natural World in California with kids

The world has some incredible natural wonders, and luckily for you, The Golden State has some incredible places to visit with kids right on your doorstep….and you won’t want to forget your camera!

The national and state parks in California offer an incredible variety of experiences for children.  Some parks protect a unique and diverse wilderness, teeming with wildlife which is always a thrill for kids!

Some parks protect incredible fascinating and significant historical sites, where the family can go back in time through American history…who says the learning as to stop on a family day out!

The state of California itself has smaller parks perfect for a quick trip into nature.  You don’t even need to leave the city to have that park experience - and kids LOVE them!

Shut those televisions off and put those computer games away….the great outdoors is calling and it’s calling YOU!

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  • Trees Of Mystery

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    Klamath

    We are an 8/10ths of a mile groomed interpretive trail through the awe-inspiring Redwoods of Northern California. Part of the trail (The Trail of Tall Tales)is devoted to the myth and mythology of ...

  • The Living Desert

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    Indian Wells

    An enlightening tour, botanical gardens, wilderness park, nature preserve with more features and angle than one would expect.

  • Santa Monica State Beach

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    Santa Monica

    Beach fun blessed with 3.5 miles of broad sandy coastline and more than 340 days of sunshine per year, with swimming, volleyball, surfing and more!

  • Whale Watching Excursions

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    San Diego

    Flagship Cruise & Events offer two types of whale watching experiences in San Diego that will give you an experience of a lifetime!

  • Mojave National Preserve

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    Barstow

    Singing sand dunes, volcanic cinder cones, Joshua tree forests, and carpets of wildflowers are all found at this 1.6 million acre park. A visit to its canyons, mountains and mesas will reveal ...

  • Oyster Bay

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    San Leandro

    An astonishing diversity of wildlife can be seen at this shoreline park under development just south of Oakland International Airport. Marsh hawks, black-shouldered kites, red-tailed hawks, and ...

  • Redwood Regional Park

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    Oakland

    Kids can experience the magic of this hidden redwood forest whose 1,830 acres are ready to be explored - an amazing natural wonder in California for the family to enjoy.

  • Garland Ranch Regional Park

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    Carmel

    This park is home to a variety of landscapes that occur at elevations from 200 to 2000 feet. From the willow covered banks of the Carmel River through the cottonwood-sycamore stands of the old ...

  • North Coast Nature Center

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    Crescent City

    The mission of the North Coast Nature Center is to make a connection between people and animals in order to inspire environmental stewardship. The North Coast Nature Center is a hands ...

  • Six Rivers National Forest

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    Willow Creek

    Six Rivers National Forest is over a million acres of beautiful National Forest with activities, wildlife, rivers, and even white water rafting!

  • Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens

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    Fort Bragg

    Offers everything from colorful displays to thunderous waves. The garden also includes a large model railroad, a fairy village and a "quail trail" just for children.

  • Petrified Forest

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    Calistoga

    Step back in Time, over 3 million years, and follow the trail of majestic petrified redwood giants arrayed before you in a fascinating grove in beautiful California wine country

  • Old Faithful Geyser of California

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    Calistoga

    Come visit the show of California's Old Faithful Geyser, a spectacular, nature-directed performance. The stage, walled by thick bamboo and plumed pampas grass, appears as an innocent pool of shallow ...

  • Sequoia and King's Canyon National Park

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    Sequoia National Park

    Enjoy the most spectacular nature filled with incredible trees that have been around for centuries in this California National Park!

  • Monarch Butterfly Grove

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    Pismo Beach

    Each year thousands of vibrant orange and black Monarch Butterflies flock to Pismo Beach, seeking shelter from the freezing northern winters. From late October to February, the butterflies cluster in ...

  • Shipley Nature Center

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    Huntington Beach

    Shipley Nature Center is an 18-acre natural area located in Huntington Beach, California. Situated within Huntington Central Park, the nature center is not only a sanctuary for the local wildlife, ...

  • Eaton Canyon

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    Pasadena

    This 184-acre natural park is located at the base of Mt. Wilson. There are five miles of nature trails and also an equestrian trail. The canyon is very lush and has beautiful displays of local flora ...

  • The Mary Vagle Nature Center

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    Fontana

    Enjoy a walk along the nature trail, explore wildlife, or discover exhibits of local plants, animals, geology and history.

  • Trail Of 100 Giants

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    Springville

    Long Meadow Grove (341 acres) offers a spectacular hike at the Trail of 100 Giants, a mile-long fully accessible interpretive trail.

  • Gardens of the World

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    Thousand Oaks

    Fascinating but definitely for the less boisterous child, this set of themed landscaped gardens representing six areas of the world is an easy half day of wonderment for most children, whether just ...

  • Zamora Park

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    El Monte

    Five acre park area with adventure playground and a great wading pool to cool off in. There are scattered picnic tables and plenty of room for traditional outdoor games like frisbee, ball and tag. ...

  • Muir Woods National monument

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    Mill Valley

    Contains 6 miles of trails in 30 to 90 minute loops as well as longer hikes on trails that extend into surrounding parks. Free Discovery Pack available for kids, plus public programming at the ...

  • Cameron Park Lake

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    Cameron Park

    Get back to nature with a swim in this beautiful and lifeguarded lagoon in this California park lake, with tennis courts, playground, walking/jogging trails and more!

  • The Arboretum

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    Arcadia

    A unique 127 acre botanical garden and historical site in Los Angeles, with impressive plant collections from all over the world, including many rare and endangered species!

  • Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center

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    Hayward

    Experience the unique environment in this San Francisco Bay salt marsh, with an interpretive center, family programs and nature!

  • San Joaquin Fish Hatchery

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    Friant

    kids can view over a million fish in all stages of development, plus watch them jump and feed them as you go round.

  • Henry Cowell Redwood State Park

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    Felton

    Giant trees up to 285 feet tall and 16 feet wide, plus nature centre, hiking, biking, fishing and more.

  • Big Basin Redwoods State Park

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    Boulder Creek

    Stretches from sea level to over 2000ft above and terrain ranges from almost tropical canyons and raging waterfalls to sparse and almost arid slopes. There's certainly scope for some terrific ...

  • Irvine Regional Park

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    Orange

    There's so much to do for all ages. Has an old-town feel. Nicely shaded. Stroller/wheel chair friendly. The park is huge and everything is nicely spread out. Friendly staff. This is a great ...

  • Apple Hill

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    Camino

    Attractions on offer include pumpkin patches, hay and corn mazes, petting zoos, candy making, play areas, nature trails, pony rides, arts and craft activity stands, scavenger hunts and even a ...

  • San Diego Botanic Gardens

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    Encinitas

    Enormous series of globally themed gardens, plus 2 specific children's gardens which include interactive displays, several varying play options and a miniature railway.

  • Micke Grove Regional Park

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    Lodi

    A fun park with a carnival, museum, formal gardens, softball fields, water play features, horseshoe pits, several children’s playgrounds and an 18 hole disc golf course! Phew!

  • Capitola Beach

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    Capitola

    One of the most popular beaches on the West Coast, this Californian beach is perfect for water sports, beach fun and family adventure!

  • Seabright State Beach

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    Santa Cruz

    A long and simple sandy beach which stretches from the Boardwalk to the Santa Cruz Harbor. Good for sandcastling, shallow paddling and traditional beach days.

  • Yosemite National Park

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    Yosemite Village

    One of the most iconic national parks in the country, Yosemite National Park has hiking, biking, wildlife and camping. Spectacular family fun!