The compact city of San Francisco is a great place for families to explore.
The scale and beauty of Yosemite National Park definitely makes venturing away from the coast for a few days worthwhile.
A down-to-earth seaside town two hours south of San Francisco, Monterey makes an excellent stop-off point for families.
The mid-section of the Pacific Coast Highway winds down the west coast from Monterey to Los Angeles.
Los Angeles and its sun-kissed coastline is a playground for families of any age.
Drive three hours south of LA and you get to San Diego, where the pace of life is much slower.
Situated in the northeast, this geothermal area bubbles with mud pits, steaming geysers and hot springs.
This vast lake, straddling the California and Nevada border, is a versatile destination for families.
Bobcats, beavers, red squirrels and river otters have also been recorded here, while out on the coast, harbour seals and sea lions bask on rocky outcrops.