Luscious national parks, deserts, gorgeous beaches, and lots of cities – all these and more will enchant the heart of anyone taking a stroll through California. The Golden State welcomes tourists of all ages and offers attractions, good food, and fun activities to keep everyone entertained.
So yes, if you plan on taking a family trip through the Golden State, there will be plenty of things to enjoy for adults and for children. But we all know just how picky kids can be when it comes to food. So, to give you a hand, here are the top five best locations in California where kids can have fun and enjoy a delicious meal they’ll love.
1. Downtown Disney, in Anaheim
Disneyland is often the first attraction for kids in California, which means you may be headed directly to Anaheim before anything else. This location has two great adventure parks that will keep kids happy and busy for a few days, but it will also make them hungry and crave all sorts of sweets and snacks.
Luckily, the resort and the area surrounding it are packed with restaurants that serve healthy and varied meals designed for kids and adults, so it will be easier to keep their appetites in check. However, if you don’t make reservations before you start your journey, it will be extremely difficult to find a table at a reasonable hour.
That’s because the area is full of visitors (especially during the summer months), and people know to book ahead. Now, if you’re not familiar with the area, you can have a look over all the restaurants in Downtown Disney and see which one fits your family more.
2. The Raging Waters Water Park
There’s no better way to cool yourself down in summer than spending the whole day in a water park. The kids will love the rides and splashing about in the water, and the parents will get a bit of rest by the pool while working on their tan.
Plus, the Raging Waters park is available in several locations across California, like Sacramento’s largest family water park, LA, or San Jose. Plus, all the water parks have a dining area where you can find decent meals that the kids will enjoy. They’ll be so hungry after playing all day long in the water that they’ll forget to be fussy when it comes to food.
3. Visit California’s Cities & Enjoy the Food
The Golden State is not just about sunny beaches and huge national parks. It also has vibrant cities with tons of cultural and culinary attractions. Plus, it’s easy to find restaurants, eateries, and other food establishments that fit any kid’s preferences (regardless of age).
For instance, if you’re traveling with teenagers, you may want to try LA’s luxury restaurants.
They may not appreciate the food as much as you do, but they’ll be grateful for the pictures they’ll be able to post on social media.
On the list of California cities you may want to try, we’ll add San Jose, Pasadena, San Francisco, or Riverside. San Jose offers plenty of activities for curious tourists, but it also has lots of good food that kids of all ages enjoy.
Of course, the list is longer than that, but it all depends on your time. Overall, if you’re looking for a smaller city with sunny landscapes and good food, Riverside is a great option. In fact, the city is so attractive that many people want to buy property here. So make sure to check it out!
4. National Parks – Great Dining Experience in Nature
You can’t go through Californian and not visit at least one of its famous national parks! The northern side of the state is peppered with forests of all kinds and sizes, but big names like the Yosemite National Park, Redwood National Park, or the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks often attract the most tourists.
All these parks have dedicated dining areas, lodges, and even hotels where you can rest your weary bones and enjoy a delicious meal. Overall, these areas invite tourists to hike and walk through the vast wilderness, but if you’re traveling with small children, it’s best to stick to driving.
5. The Desert – Enjoy a Meal Under the Stars
If you want to make sure the kids have unforgettable memories from your times of travel and discovery together, drop by one of the two most iconic desert areas in the states.
The first one is the Joshua Tree National Park, where you can admire breathtaking sunsets, haunting natural landscapes, and bewitching stargazing experiences. Plus, this area is unique because it’s situated at the meeting point between two deserts: the Mojave Desert and the Colorado Desert. And yes, there are Joshua trees here.
Another desert area you may want to show your kids is the Death Valley National Park. This is the hottest and driest place in North America, but the landscape is so unique that people from all over the country come to see it.
That’s because there is a powerful contrast between the snow-capped mountaintops in the background and the dryness of the Death Valley. Plus, the landscape is rather extreme due to the elements’ tumultuous action.
If you want more of an adventure, there are hiking trails and viewing points that are guaranteed to provide lots of opportunities for photos. However, you won’t find much food in the desert, so you better stock up. Luckily, both deserts are surrounded by restaurants, accommodation opportunities, and old-school saloons that make you think you’ve traveled in time.
In a nutshell, California is unique, and wherever you go, there will always be easy access to food that adults and kids enjoy. Still, if you plan an outdoor adventure, it’s best to have a few reserves on you. Otherwise, you’ll have to deal with hungry, cranky children, which is not that easy to do.
Most food establishments in the Golden State will have classic American cuisine options, but you can also find authentic ethnic eateries where you can sample local foods. So you can challenge your kids to a culinary adventure as well!