The KA Edit Family Travel Guide: California Road Trip


A California road trip should be on everyone’s bucket list. This is the first post of many, which includes LA, San Francisco, Joshua Tree, and more! I wanted to share our full itinerary with you from our 19-day trip in August 2023. How we planned it, how we found it and our favourite California things from the trip which might help you in your planning.


Looking back at our camera roll, I feel so grateful to have been able to enjoy this trip with our little family. An incredible experience. It still feels like a dream. It was a spectacular way to see the California coast and has left us wanting to plan another American adventure. Something I will never forget is the changing scenery. My photos don’t do them justice.


California has a real mix of climates, some of the best National Parks in the country, incredible cities to explore, and beaches to enjoy. There is so much to do and see in California. On this trip, we split our stays between Airbnb’s and Hotels. We splashed out on two out of three Airbnb’s as well as both Hotels. We took the same approach with food. This was a holiday we had originally planned to do during the Pandemic, and could absolutely be done on a smaller budget. There are plenty of accommodation options across California, from campsites and BnB’s to Airbnb’s and luxury hotels – it all depends on your budget and what you’re aiming for. And so here is…



The KA Edit Family Travel Guide: California Road Trip



Our California road trip itinerary has you starting and finishing in LA. As it’s a loop, you could also start and finish at any other point, another popular one is San Francisco or Las Vegas. We hired a car in advance, collecting it from LAX Airport as well as dropping it off as we flew home. Here is our California road trip itinerary at a glance…



5 nights – LA, Santa Monica & Venice Beach, Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure

1 day & night – Joshua Tree National Park, Twenty-Nine Palms

4 days, 3 nights – Las Vegas, Grand Canyon

2 nights – Yosemite including Mariposa Grove and Bass Lake

3 nights – San Francisco including driving the Big Sur

3 nights – LA, Universal, Hollywood Walk




When to Take a California Road Trip


For me, it would always be the Summer months. However, California is a fairly good year-round destination, but there are a few things to be aware of when planning your trip. In the Winter months, places like Yosemite can become inaccessible due to snow. Due to record snowfall in 2022/23 the main road into Yosemite and Glacier Point only opened 2 weeks before we visited in August.

Some would say, the summertime should be avoided if you plan to visit Joshua Tree or places like Death Valley and Las Vegas. Temperatures can exceed 100F, and it’s not recommended to spend much time outside. We found this to be a great time to visit as it meant there were less crowds. I saw at the weekend (in November) that Joshua Tree was on restricted numbers due to the crowds and the temperatures in Yosemite had dropped to -10.



I’m so excited to share all the things we loved about this amazing road trip. Let’s get started!



The KA Edit Family Travel Guide: California Road Trip
Cable car, San Francisco



The KA Edit Family Travel Guide: California Road Trip
Route 66, driving to Las Vegas



The KA Edit Family Travel Guide: California Road Trip
View of the San Francisco skyline from Alcatraz



The KA Edit Family Travel Guide: California Road Trip
Crissy Field/Beach, Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco



The KA Edit Family Travel Guide: California Road Trip
Tunnel View, Yosemite National Park



The KA Edit Family Travel Guide: California Road Trip
Lake Hollywood park to view the Hollywood Sign



Cap rock, Joshua Tree National Park



The KA Edit Family Travel Guide: California Road Trip


I’ll delve deeper into each location in individual posts. Do keep a look out as the weeks and months go by – I’ll update this post with links. If you have a question about planning a California road trip or specific locations from our route do send me a message on Instagram or pop a comment on this post and I’ll come back to you. You can read about our day trip to Joshua Tree National Park here.


Please double-check what’s open before your trip and keep an eye on local news whilst travelling. Parts of the Pacific Coast Highway are often closed due to damage caused by landslides. We also experienced a storm whilst in California which meant Death Valley was closed.


The KA Edit
The KA Edit

I’m Kerri-Ann or KA as my friends call me, always found with a cup of coffee in one hand and my camera in the other. I have a huge passion for photography, fitness, fashion and family travel. I started this blog in 2014. It began as my creative outlet after becoming a mummy to our little boy George Archie. I started out blogging about parenting and over the years it has evolved into a blog that covers lifestyle, fashion, family and travel. Today TheKAEdit is ultimately a life and style blog. Thank you for reading x x

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