Family getaway ideas for late December 2020


I am looking for ideas for a 4-5 day family getaway in late December that would work for our two daughters (21 y/o and 18 y/o) and our son (14 y/o). Due to COVID-19, it seems most getaways are to national parks or other wilderness locations.   I was thinking of Bryce or Zion, but I am concerned the drive from the Bay Area might be too long for my family, and once we get there it might be too cold.  I thought a possible good idea would be a trip to Death Valley.  Would greatly appreciate some ideas that have worked well for other families.  Thank you!!!

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I suspect you'll hit some snow and adverse weather conditions on your journey to Bryce and Zion, but nevertheless I say Go for it!! We took a 2100 mile road trip through NV, UT, WY, MT and (back via) ID this summer, with 2 teens, and it actually was a ton of fun. Let me just add that the teens are terrible at long journeys - twitchy and high energy. They cannot typically sit still for long. We just prepared a LOT in advance, with podcasts, music, books on tape, loads of snacks. We asked them to help us plan the trip, down to takeout places we should try, etc. After about 9 days we met up with friends of theirs, and that was extra fun. But it was still a lovely adventure before then, and the drive through NV - via Great Basin Nat'l Park - was really cool and beautiful. I know 2 other families with teens who did similar adventures this summer, and all had a wonderful time.

I have 3 kids the same ages.  At the end of December the weather could be great, or it could be really lousy.  I'd do something closer to cut down on driving in possible rain or snow, and, because... teenagers.  I'd do something closer, like an Air B & B (with a hot tub!) in Sea Ranch, or down by Monterey.  Then if the weather's bad, you can be inside an awesome vacation house, watching movies, playing games, cooking together...; if it's good, you can be outdoors and explore.  

You might consider renting an RV. We have had many successful adventures this way. It gives the teens more room to stretch out during long drives and they can play games at the table if they want.
Winter rentals are usually cheaper, which is a bonus.

Death Valley is an incredible place and well worth visiting.  Not sure I would in the December because of the weather.  The Redwoods, Mt. Shasta, gold country, Jackson Grass Valley,, Sonora and Yosemite are all worth considering.  I would wait to see what happens with covid before making any definitive plans.

Have you thought about Sea Ranch? it's only 3 hours away from the Bay Area and there are many beautiful houses to rent and bluff trails to walk on.  Our family of four is heading there for a few nights in late December. 

You could fly to Las Vegas  and rent a campervan...or 2.

The flight is short and most airlines are taking super good care of their flights.

If camping is too much, stay in an airbnb or hotel with private  entance to you room...

Airbnb in Palm Springs? day trip to Joshua Tree? heated pool, cute town

Have fun