Southern California: Family-friendly Attractions

southern california family friendly traveling infant blog

We were invited to spend this last Thanksgiving with some family members in Southern California.

Traveling over thanksgiving... with all that holiday traffic...AND a two-month-old baby? No thanks.
But visiting a new part of Cali, seeing family AND the ocean again? We'll make it work.

So we decided to take yet another spontaneous trip to Southern California! This time we planned to stay for one night (and ended up staying for two).

The same tips for road tripping with an infant apply; to make for a peaceful (5 hour) drive, we made sure to feed and change Baby immediately before hitting the road. It was a beautiful drive, and he slept for 3 hours straight! When he woke up we stopped to stretch, feed and change him again. Baby fussed for a little after, but nothing some pacifier love couldn't help (here's our favorite). And then slept the rest of the way! We were pretty pumped.

(Somewhat) Refreshed the next morning we drove west for a day of exploring; first stop, Newport Beach. The weather was beautiful as per usual in Southern California, the beach gorgeous and not too crowded. We strolled the pier while our little guy snuggled and slept in my Moby Wrap (affiliate link) and snapped some sweet shots:

Newport Beach, CA

Family portrait

Ah, California beaches...

The old 'original' claim
Halfway gone
After a nursing break we took a five-minute ferry ride to Balboa Island, a small and very charming little town off the peninsula - home to the apparently famous (and undoubtfuly delicious) Balboa bars.

Next on the itinerary was Laguna Beach.  That has to have been my favorite part of the trip. What a beautiful beach town, and so family-friendly! We arrived just in time to watch one of the most spectacular sunsets ever; these pictures do not do it justice:

Cruising down Pacific Highway

Family portrait - part 2

Stud alert

After the sun set, food was in order. We walked over from the beach to Romeo Cucina, an authentic little Italian restaurant that was very accommodating to our large party and our baby.

This was a great trip, and here's what I learned:

1. Call it an early night. 

Non-negotiable. Not just baby, but momma was also exhausted by the end of our long (albeit fun) days, and it was a quick downhill slope from 7pm on.

2. Listen to and respect your baby's schedule.

Baby was hungry? We found a good place to nurse. Baby was sleepy or overstimulated? Momma held him while he calmed down and napped. You get the idea. Happy baby, happy travels.

3. Lots of layers and extras.  

We were out from morning until night, and the temperature changed a bit. Also, many of our receiving blankets and burp cloths fell on dirty floors, and it was nice to have extras. 

Have you visited Southern California?

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About the Writer

I'm Louise, a Tampa Bay based Brazilian-American travel blogger. Join us as we learn and share the ins-and-outs of traveling with a toddler and our sweet rescue pup Oreo, while promoting local nonprofits and wellness along the way.