By Anne Taylor Hartzell, on October 16, 2015

Family activities from Vegas to San Diego

If you could hit the road with your family, where would you go and what would you do? We recently had the opportunity to do an action-packed, seven-day family road trip from Las Vegas to San Diego with Expedia Local Expert®.

The assignment was to plan a road trip with family-friendly experiences and points of interest starting in Las Vegas and ending in San Diego. When we started planning our itinerary, I was blown away by how many activities were available to book on Expedia, from national park experiences to theme parks and Las Vegas shows. We were tasked with selecting things to do in each city, making for a very full seven days of family fun.  

If you are looking to plan your own family road trip and things to do from Las Vegas to San Diego, here is a recap of our adventures with Expedia Local Expert.

Day 1, Part A: Grand Canyon West Rim Tour with Pink Jeep Tours

Las Vegas is a great launching point to explore the Grand Canyon. We wanted to limit our time on the Vegas Strip with our young kids, so we opted to get out of town and spend the day on the Grand Canyon West Rim Tour with Pink Jeep Tours.

Viewfinder Tip: Especially on long road trips, be sure to leave unscheduled days for the family to recharge.

This was our first visit to the Grand Canyon, and it was the highlight of our trip. Our guide was fantastic and made the day journey both informative and entertaining. We even had time to stop at the Hoover Dam, snap a few photos together as a family, and enjoy a cowboy meal of fried chicken, baked beans, and mashed potatoes at an old ghost town. The west rim of the Grand Canyon, located on the Hualapai Reservation, is simply breathtaking and unobstructed by fences or barriers.

Day 1, Part B: Blue Man Group, Las Vegas

After a long day on the road visiting the Grand Canyon, we took a quick break at the pool of the Platinum Hotel before going out to see Blue Man Group at the Monte Carlo Las Vegas Resort and Casino. As the Blue Man Group pounded on their drums, the music played, and the streamers flew above our heads, my daughters’ faces lit up with joy—a moment I’ll never forget. We all enjoyed this fun show.

Day 2–4: Disneyland® Resort

We spent day two crossing the desert to Orange County to spend a couple of days at our happy place, the Disneyland Resort. We rode our favorite rides, met Disney princesses, and enjoyed the fireworks and parades of the 60th anniversary Disneyland Diamond Celebration.

Day 5: LEGOLAND® California Resort

Next it was on to our first trip to LEGOLAND California for an action-packed day exploring miniature lands made of LEGOS®, fun rides, and a cool water park. Both girls loved the roller-coaster rides and exploring all of the magical lands built with LEGOS. It was a hot day, so we spent a good portion of the day at the water park splashing the day away. If you have young kids, or a passion for LEGOS, you will love LEGOLAND California.


Letting our hair down after seven days on the road together!

Day 6: San Diego beach day

By day six, we were exhausted from our packed itinerary, so we opted to take a lazy Saturday beach day in San Diego, but not without stopping to smell the roses with a family photo shoot by Talia Cruz of Flytographer to capture the summer of 2015. I think this photo sums up how we felt at the end of our long family road trip from Las Vegas to San Diego. 

That night, we enjoyed a low-key dinner and an outdoor movie in the pool at our hotel, The Dana on Mission Bay. You can find more photos from our Flytographer photo shoot on Hip Travel Mama.

Day 7: San Diego Zoo and home

We couldn’t leave San Diego without a trip to the San Diego Zoo. The zoo feels like a theme park in itself. We enjoyed the day, taking a guided tour aboard a double-decker bus, hand-feeding giraffes, and riding cable cars high over this expansive park. The kids loved watching the polar bears splashing in their pools, walking the park’s trails, and getting up close and personal with the zoo’s majestic giraffes.

Even after seven days on the road, six stops, and some long lines, we made lasting summer memories and enjoyed some laughs, too.

What things would you do on a family road trip?

Jumping photograph by Talia Cruz for