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13 Blogs That Will Make You Want to Visit California

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Joshua Tree National Park with Kids - Cholla Cactus Garden

The great state of California is on nearly every traveler’s bucket list and with good reason. Its massive size, however, makes it the ultimate travel challenge. There is so much to do and see that seeing it all nearly takes a lifetime. But this is what makes it a perfect place to call home for those of us with serious wanderlust.

Even though I’ve lived in the state for over a decade and have tried to visit as many nooks and crannies as I can, there is still a lot of California I haven’t seen. That means I’m often researching for our family’s next trip somewhere new, and I often call on the best of my fellow California travel bloggers when I need travel advice for a new destination in the state.

What are your travel resolutions for the new year?

I thought I’d share my favorite California travel blogs to help you in your California travel planning as well. Many of the following writers are family-travel focused, but several of them are not, offering a wide range of perspectives and different geographical focuses all over the Golden State. Plus, nearly all of them take amazing pictures so I’ve featured some of their Instagram photos from around the state (be sure to follow them there too!).

California Travel Blogs - Golden Gate Bridge

Best California Travel Blogs

1. California Through My Lens

Every time I plan a road trip in California with my family, my first research stop is California Through My Lens. Josh travels all over the state with his wife, and his road trips to lesser-known destinations in the state are epic. Plus, he’s a professional photographer so the photos on his site are breathtaking and inspiring.

Starting the hike to Glen Aulin in Yosemite National Park with Lembert Dome in the background

A photo posted by California Through My Lens (@californiathroughmylens) on

2. This Is My Happiness

Jenna Francisco of This is My Happiness is a Sacramento-based travel and lifestyle writer who seems to have explored every inch of Northern California, often with her kids in tow. She has a particular specialization in slow family travel, so you’ll find lots of unplugged outdoor adventures that are what make Northern California great. She’s also a wine lover, so I go to her site for Napa and Sonoma county information regularly.

3. The World is a Book

Mary Solio of The World is a Book is a Guam native who calls the San Diego area home. Her world travels with her kids are impressive and awe-inspiring, but equally so is her curiosity for her home city and state. She has a particular interest and expertise in national parks, and her coverage of California’s national parks and monuments is extensive. Check out all her California posts here.

4. Ever in Transit

Cassie Kifer of Ever in Transit is a San Jose based travel and culinary blogger who travels with her husband. She covers California food (including lots of beer!) as well as outdoor adventures, with a particular focus on the northern part of the state. She also has many helpful tips for couples and solo female travel in the Golden State.

5. La Jolla Mom

La Jolla Mom is a luxury travel and lifestyle site published by Katie Dillon. In case you don’t know your California geography, La Jolla is a quietly luxurious and breathtakingly beautiful beachside community north of San Diego. Katie knows every inch of La Jolla and greater San Diego extensively. Her site is one of my first stops when I’m looking to travel to Southern California and travel well.

6. Travel Photo Discovery

Blogger and photographer Noel Morata calls both the San Francisco Bay Area and Hawaii home (yes, I’m green with envy). He covers urban outings in the city of San Francisco extensively, with lots of food, wine, art, and museum adventures along the way. And, of course, great photos are a integral part of the experience.

Goodbye San Francisco, it’s always fun to drop by for a short visit.

A photo posted by Travel Photo Discovery (@nmorata) on

7. Hej Doll

Northern California based lifestyle and travel blogger Jessica Doll travels the Golden State in style. She has two kids but always manages to dress for every occasion, whether she’s kayaking on Lake Tahoe or dining out in Napa. Her city guides and minimalist packing lists are a special highlight of her site, along with her professional photography of glorious California landscapes.

8. No Back Home

Southern California based Karilyn of No Back Home travels with a little one in tow. She covers the LA local scene well and is a wealth of information for museums and events in Southern California. Her local adventures are bookended by epic international trips with her family as well as jaunts all over the West Coast.

9. Travel Caffeine

You probably already know the author of Travel Caffeine, Tom Bricker, who is one of the best Disney bloggers in the business (he writes Disney Tourist Blog). Although he seems to spend 24/7 in a Disney park, the reality is that he does a lot of other travel as well. He now lives in the Greater Los Angeles area and travels extensively all over the state, from the island of Alcatraz to Death Valley to Yosemite. His photography is jaw-droppingly beautiful and will leave you inspired to come to the Golden State. Plus, all of his writing is infused with a touch of infectious self-deprecating snark that makes researching for travel especially enjoyable.

10. Some Day I’ll Learn

Chelsea and Nate are family, lifestyle, and travel writers based in rural Southern California. Their site is chock full of tips for everyday life with kids, but they also extensively cover California adventures and outings if you poke around for a minute or two. With three kids (and a fourth on the way), they are experts at seeing the state while taking on the impressive challenge of being outnumbered by little ones.

11. Family Travel Guy

Randy, the guy behind the Family Travel Guy, is another California expert. He travels the state with the help of lots of frequent flyer miles and points, so his perspective as a West Coast travel hacking dad is refreshing and unique. Look for helpful hotel reviews of quite a few larger properties in the state as well as lots of Disneyland and theme park adventures.

Nice ambiance and great place for dinner #disneycaliforniaadventure #carthaycircle #disney #Disneyland #disneyland60 #kidfriendly #instagood #picoftheday

A photo posted by Randy ???? The Family Travel Guy (@thefamilytravelguy) on

12. Flashes of Delight

Barb’s site is the newest blog to the list (it just launched this June), but it already has amazing California coverage. Her family’s outings in the San Francisco Bay Area to places like Sausalito and Half Moon Bay are inspiring for families with babies and toddlers and an excellent reminder of how travel can happen close to home. She’s a San Diego native, so she has the southernmost part of the state covered as well.

13. Trips With Tykes

Ok, had to do it…. I saved lucky #13 for myself! My goal the past few years has really been to expand this site’s California coverage to help other families with little ones explore the Golden State sooner rather than later. So whether you want to visit Disneyland or hit the ski slopes of Lake Tahoe, I hope you’ll return and dig around my site for more tips and inspiration.

Are there other California travel blogs you enjoy? Share your ideas in the comments!


Top California Travel Blogs: Planning a trip to the Golden State? These top California-based writer sites cover both Northern and Southern California travel destinations - national parks, theme parks, road trips, city guides, beaches, and more.

Need more California travel advice? Check out my California Travel board on Pinterest.
California Travel

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Ross Kane

Saturday 25th of March 2023

This post was very helpful and insightful, as I read through the blogs posted here and gained wisdom about life.

California local

Friday 18th of September 2020

I love your blog. You've made traveling with young kids a lot easier for me! Have fun exploring CA! I personally love this state. I traveled here several years ago, and never left. This resource is still good for local Californians. I haven't been to half of these places... yet!

The Quotely

Saturday 25th of January 2020

What a great list! Thanks for the inspiration.

Tiffany Santarelli

Saturday 25th of January 2020

Hello Leslie, My name is Tiffany and I came across your blog while researching Southern California. I live in Johannesburg, South Africa. My husband and I will be travelling to the San Diego area in April of this year and meeting up with family members (who live in Covina, CA and Naples, FL) for a family reunion. We haven't seen each other for over 10 years. We would like to rent a house in Southern California, but I don't know much about the area and was hoping you could give some guidance. We are looking for a house to rent near the Ocean - 3 couples (most of us over 60) that is walkable with great restaurants and relaxed vibe. Do you have any suggestions about areas we should look at to stay? Should we use Airbnb? We would like to stay in a coastal town somewhere between Long Beach and La Jolla. I'd welcome your recommendations! Thank you very much!

Kevin Gastron

Saturday 21st of December 2019

Beautiful Blog. One day I will visit the University of California to enjoy the holiday.