Family Adventure Road Trip in Utah & California


California, The American Southwest

Duration: 14 nights

Combining the madness of Las Vegas with the desert landscapes of the Southwest, and topping it all off with some sun, sea and sand in Laguna Beach, this road trip is the complete active family vacation. Perfect for families with teenage children and above, you’ll hike, bike and horse ride through iconic scenery in Zion and Arches national parks, explore the mountains via zipwire at Sundance, and hit the waves at Laguna Beach.
Perfect forActive families with teenagers and older children.
In the knowPacking a GoPro to capture your activities.

Best for

  • Adventure
  • Road Trip
  • Beach
  • Family-friendly

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Itinerary details

Las Vegas

2 nightsLAS VEGAS

Your family adventure vacation begins in Las Vegas, the playground of the USA and one of the country’s entertainment capitals. While it may not be the first place that springs to mind for a family holiday destination, Vegas has much more to offer besides casinos and bars, and is a great destination for kids, particularly older ones.

Your hotel, the Waldorf Astoria, does not have a casino, and also happens to be considered one of the finest hotels in the world – one of few to hold three Forbes Five Star awards. Kids will love the Adventuredome theme park, which has something for everyone from rollercoasters to fairground games, and there’s a permanent Bodies exhibition at the Luxor, a slightly grisly but fascinating collection of preserved human bodies.

The Grand Canyon is around an hour’s flight away - a helicopter ride over it is an unforgettable experience.
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After two nights in the entertainment mecca of Vegas, it’s time to hit the road as you head towards Zion National Park and the town of Springdale, Utah. Zion is famous for its mountains, canyons and buttes and the unusual diversity of the plant and animal life that lives there.

Your hotel, the charming Desert Pearl Inn, is less than a mile from the entrance to the park. Biking, hiking and canyoneering are great ways to get to know the park’s otherworldly landscapes, while fly fishing for wild trout and bass is available in the nearby lakes and streams. Horseback riding and guided jeep or ATV tours are also available.

For a cultural fix, head round the corner from the hotel to the David J. West Gallery for stunning nature photography of the park, or catch a musical performance at the stunning O.C Tanner Amphitheater, with a backdrop of Zion’s soaring red cliffs.
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3 nightsMOAB

The next stop on your journey is Moab, around five hours’ drive to the north-east, where yet more beautiful desert landscapes lie waiting to be explored. As you make the journey along Interstate 15 and Interstate 70, you’ll pass through the beauty of Fishlake National Forest and past the towering Manti-La Sal Mountains.

Your home for the next three nights is Sunflower Hill Inn, a beautiful boutique inn nestled in a quiet leafy area in the heart of Moab. The hotel is conveniently located for exploring the desert landscapes near Moab, in particular the famous rock formations of Arches National Park.

Moab’s bizarre rock formations and sweeping vistas have made it something of a mecca for mountain biking, with the world famous Slick Rock Bike Trail just one of a number of routes you can explore. White water rafting on the Colorado River is another great activity for active families, as is hot air ballooning over the desert.
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2 nightsSUNDANCE

Swapping the desert for the mountains, your next stop is Sundance, a year-round alpine resort owned by Hollywood star Robert Redford. While Sundance is a popular winter ski resort, it’s also a beautiful location in the summer and a great place for sharing family adventures.

A scenic lift ride to the top of Ray’s Summit offers stunning views over the resort, and a hike back down is a great way to get to know the mountain. There are also more than 25 miles of mountain biking trails, guided horse rides in small groups, and river rafting down the Provo River. The river is also a world-class spot for fly fishing brown trout.

If you’re feeling adventurous, check out the Sundance ZipTour – a route of ziplines which reaches heights of 2,000ft and speeds of 65mph. Children must be 10 years or over to ride on the zipline, and those aged 10-15 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
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After a couple of days adventuring in Sundance, it’s time for a change of scene and the final leg of your journey, as you head to nearby Salt Lake City for your flight to LAX (approximately 2 hours), from where you’ll make the short drive to your final destination – Laguna Beach.

In many ways, this surfer’s paradise is quintessentially Californian, combining the glamour and perma-tanned bodies of Hollywood with a rich artistic and cultural heritage. Main Beach is the place to go for volleyball and surfing, while the rockier Picnic Beach is more picturesque, and Crescent Bay prettier still.

Besides sand, sea and surf, Laguna Beach has a rich cultural heritage and has long been a haven for artists - check out the work of the Californian plen air Impressionists, among others, at the Laguna Art Museum – the only one in the state dedicated solely to artists from California.

Your home in Laguna Beach is the luxurious Surf and Sand Resort, which has a fantastic beachfront location, excellent restaurants, and everything else you could possibly wish for to make the most of your time in Laguna Beach. At the end of your trip, you will drive back to Los Angeles airport for your flight home.
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