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Family Trips within Driving Distance Sacramento

Updated: May 2

One of my favorite things about Sacramento is our close proximity to so many wonderful places. We are less than a few hours away from an array of different landscapes, and that's pretty rad if you ask Mel

Since spring break is fast approaching, many of us are wondering where to get away with our kiddos, even if it's just for a day or two.

All of the locations on this list are less than a four hour drive from Sacramento. And each location offers something unique.

Ready to dive in?

Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe tops our list of favorite driveable vacation spots. There is so much to do here and it's close proximity makes it one of the best.

Inrerested in hiking, skiing/snowboarding, water sports, shopping, casinos, literally you name it & Lake Tahoe has it. Rooms tend to be rather affordable and in less than two hours drive you can feel like you're in a whole new world.


Monterey is one of the farthest locations this list. It also happens to be one of the most family friendly locations. Here you can visit the world renowned Monterey Bay aquarium, eat at family friendly restaurants, and visit fun, tourist attractions.

If you have kids under ten don't miss the Denace the Menace Park. It's a family favorite and always fun to get the energy out of little ones.

San Francisco

SF is a great city trip for kids. You can make it a day trip or an overnight. Classic favorites to visit are Fisherman's Warf, The Exploritorium, and Golden Gate Bridge. I love visiting in the Spring because the crowds aren't too bad and the weather is perfect.

Great Wolf Lodge Modesto

This trip is entirely for the kiddos. Great Wolf Lodge is a hotel resort that features a swim park, bowling, rock climbing, Ann's an arcade.

Think like all-inclusive resort, but for kids.

Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz is my favorite on the list. This is often where my own family would vacation as a child. The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is a Northern California icon. With rides for little and big kids alike. Hang out on the beach and enjoy a corn dog from the boardwalk. Hunt for sand dollars with the kids. And if you have an adventurous bunch there is surf board rentals all over the area.

Nyack Snow Park

This one is day trip only recommended (although I'm sure there are places you could stay over night). If you've got rambunctious littles that just need to get out of the house, head on up to Nyack. There is paid parking and a little snowed off area near a well stocked gas station for you and the kids to do some sledding. Bonus, kids will for sure fall asleep in the car on the way home. Yay! Quiet Ride!

It never ceases to amaze me just how lucky we are to live in Sacramento. With so many beautiful places less than a few hours away, we are pretty spoiled.

Did your family's go to vacation spot make the list?

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