Kid-Friendly Road Trip Planner
Here are six boredom-busting family road trip ideas the cover everything from what to see, local eats, and where to crash!
On the Theme-Park Trail
Southern Cali's got scenery, Shrek, and taco shops
The Route: The pilgrimage begins near the Hollywood sign, in Universal City, home of Universal Studios Hollywood (universalstudioshollywood.com). Sure, there's the historic movie backlot, but kids will flip for the new Transformers ride. Big kids (i.e., those who are this tall to ride) can join Optimus Prime in a crash-filled 3-D battle. Trot pipsqueaks over to Shrek 4-D, a fun effects-filled attraction that features talking donkeys, squirming seats, and blasts of water. Another jaunt on the I-5 leads south to Disneyland (disneyland.disney.go.com). Check out the Mad T Party, a nighttime event based on the wacky world of Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland. The final stop is SeaWorld, in San Diego (seaworldsandiego.com), which lies within view of Mission Bay, a massive inlet dotted with sailboats. At the park, splashy animal shows starring dolphins and whales delight the toddlers (and you, for that matter), while the new coaster “Manta”—with its 54-foot drop—will keep the big'uns in screams.
Sleep: In Universal City, the Sheraton Universal Hotel (sheratonuniversal.com) is within striking distance of L.A.'s big sights—including the La Brea Tar Pits, where saber-toothed cats, mastodons, and wolves were engulfed by the black, bubbling goo.
Local Eats: Surely Lucha Libre Gourmet Taco Shop in Mission Hills (tacosmackdown.com) consulted a kindergartner when inventing the Surfin' California burrito, packed with steak, shrimp, and french fries.