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Mother-Daughter Road Trip Ideas for Every Personality

Mother-Daughter Road Trip Ideas for Every Personality

While Mother's Day is the perfect opportunity for a mother-daughter trip, there’s never really a bad time to hit the road with your mom.


7 min read

May 06, 2021

Imagine: You and your mama are driving down an open road and singing along to your road trip playlist on your dream summer road trip in California. Sound like something you’d enjoy? You’ve come to the right place. Whether you two bond over spa treatments or strenuous hikes, these mother-daughter road trip ideas will be right up your alley.

While the upcoming Mother's Day is the perfect opportunity for a mother-daughter trip, there’s never really a bad time to hit the road with your mom. After all, she does pack the best snacks.

A Mother-Daughter Trip for Adventurers

All adventurous mother-daughter duos know that the Russian River packs the most action-filled getaways. Get in your car and head over right now.

Russian River

If you’re a mother-daughter duo who loves to embark on adventures, you’ll love exploring the Russian River. Smell the firs and redwoods as you follow the pace of the Sonoma lifestyle, and make the most of this NorCal destination like never before.

Check in at AutoCamp’s Russian River and cross Airstream glamping off your bucket list. The amenity-laden accommodation is the perfect balance of luxury and adventure for a mother-daughter vacation. From there, go on fishing and kayaking trips along the river, bike to nearby downtown Guerneville, and stroll alongside boutiques and restaurants.

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For a hearty organic lunch, head to Backyard in Forestville. The outdoor sitting area of this popular restaurant truly makes you feel like you’re dining in someone’s scenic backyard. Try their pizza and signature onion rings—you won’t be disappointed. Don’t worry, we didn’t forget about dessert. Guerneville Bank Club has the best pies in town, and unbelievable California-made ice cream you should definitely sample.

A Mother-Daughter Vacation for Beach Lovers

Good times and tan lines await in Malibu. Sunbathe all day, ride the waves all afternoon, and marvel at the SoCal sunset in the evenings.


You can easily plan an entire weekend in Malibu by just hitting the beach. This beautiful city hugs the Pacific Coast and is the perfect destination for a mother-daughter getaway full of sun and sand. Zuma, Carbon, Surfrider—the beaches of Malibu await.

For primetime waterfront views, stay at the Malibu Beach Inn. For outdoor adventures, hike the trail to Escondido Falls and the varied terrain at Saddlerock Ranch. And for fresh tasty eats, head over to Malibu Country Mart. The seaside city is many locals’ go-to shopping and dining destination. Grab a cup of matcha from SunLife Organics, and spend your afternoon exploring the market. 

What’s the perfect end to the best mother-daughter trip in Malibu? Watching the SoCal sunset at El Matador Beach, of course. The waves crashing against gorgeous rock formations provide the perfect backdrop to wrap up a weekend full of mother-daughter bonding.

A Mother-Daughter Getaway for Hiking Enthusiasts

From easy treks to challenging waterfall hikes, you'll never run out of trails at the majestic Yosemite National Park.

Yosemite National Park

Very few places in the world could rival Yosemite National Park’s hiking potential. Waterfalls, mountains, lakes, and more—this gorgeous destination is a mecca of geological wonders. 

Also ideal for a mother-daughter trip on a budget, Yosemite won’t require you to break the bank to have a good time. This affordable getaway spot in California features many campsites that can act as your base. Top-rated campgrounds include North Pines, Upper Pines, and Lower Pines. From then on, hike and explore to your hearts’ desire. 

There are several breathtaking California waterfalls to hike to in Yosemite. Horsetail Falls, Yosemite Falls, and Vernal Falls are must-dos. To catch a break from hiking, you can also enjoy fishing, rafting, horseback riding, and biking.

With all the strenuous activities planned for your mother-daughter weekend trip, you’ll definitely be getting hungry a lot. For tasty burgers and steaks, drive to Jackalopes Bar and Grill in nearby Tenaya Lodge. Are fresh salads and hand-tossed pizzas more up your alley? You'll love Curry Village Dining in Yosemite Valley. But, we all know that nothing beats mom’s special camping recipes

The Best Mother-Daughter Trip for Shopaholics

It's never the wrong time for a little retail therapy. Shop 'til you drop with your mama and keep up with all the latest fashion trends.

Los Angeles

Melrose Avenue, Rodeo Drive, The Grove—a mother-daughter duo who loves to shop will definitely cherish all that L.A. has to offer. This mother-daughter road trip idea is equal parts glamorous and adventurous.

The City of Angels has built up quite the reputation as a prime destination for shopping and fashion enthusiasts. Whether you’re looking for luxury shopping along iconic L.A. streets or quirky boutiques found on a seaside avenue (see Venice Beach), Los Angeles has your back. 

To be in the middle of it all on your mother-daughter weekend getaway, book a room at the Millenium Biltmore Los Angeles. The luxurious hotel has on-site dining, an indoor pool, and is decorated in rich, warm colors. If you’d like to add an extra touch of iconic L.A. glam, make the Beverly Hills Hotel your accommodation of choice. The easily recognizable pink exterior, gorgeous terrace restaurant, and 12 acres of tropical gardens will definitely make you feel like a star on your mother-daughter trip.

A Mother-Daughter Weekend Trip for Foodies

Everybody knows that San Francisco is a foodie's paradise. From food trucks to Michelin-starred restaurants, you'll find everything you need.

San Francisco

Reigning supreme with the highest number of Michelin-starred restaurants in the nation, San Francisco is undoubtedly the foodie capital of California. While fine dining is exceptional in the City by the Bay, tasty affordable eats are also abundant.

The Axiom Hotel’s location at the nexus of SoMa and Union Square makes it the ideal accommodation for a mother-daughter getaway (your pooch can also come along). Slurp Michelin-starred ramen at Tsuta, sample American cuisine at Saison, and head to Fisherman's Wharf for fresh seafood. You’ll also find a few of California’s oldest restaurants at this NorCal hotspot.

While the food is very distracting, don’t forget to check out San Francisco’s famous landmarks and hidden gems. Baker Beach, the Golden Gate Bridge, and Union Square shouldn’t be missed no matter how many times you’ve experienced this mother-daughter vacation.

A Mother-Daughter Trip Idea for Outdoorsy Folks

Outdoorsy people know that action-packed adventures are all over Joshua Tree National Park, which is why you need to go with your mom ASAP.

Joshua Tree National Park

Hiking and camping in the Golden State’s deserts are bucket list activities for many. Are you and your mom among the adventurous folks dreaming of a getaway to Joshua Tree? Make it happen with a mother-daughter weekend trip.

Take in the incredible rock formations and check out the cool historic sites as you explore Joshua Tree with your mama. The Hidden Valley Picnic Area is home to a large collection of desert plants you can explore on short hikes. You won’t be disappointed with the more challenging trails in Joshua Tree either. Barker Dam, Ryan Mountain, and Mastodon Peak are all excellent trails to add to your mother-daughter trip itinerary.

If you’re roughing it all the way, opt for one of the on-site campgrounds where the stargazing opportunities are endless. The Hidden Valley and Jumbo Rocks Campgrounds are favorites among travelers. But if you want to spend the night in a comfy cabin hotel room to recharge during your mother-daughter vacation, check in at the Castle House Estate or Pioneertown Motel. Both are very unique SoCal staycation spots that’ll only add to your travel experience.

A Mother-Daughter Weekend Getaway for Wellness Enthusiasts

Scrubs, face masks, massages, and hot springs—Wine Country is the ultimate getaway destination for wellness enthusiasts.

Wine Country

Wine Country is rich in its many offerings—yes, even if you count out the alcohol. In fact, if a mother-daughter trip idea full of relaxation and rejuvenation is what you’ve been looking for, Wine Country is the perfect destination.

With an abundance of luxury resorts and spas, this NorCal getaway spot is a first-class contender in the world of wellness retreats. Stay at the sprawling Auberge Du Soleil—a resort that claims to be “inspired by the south of France, infused with the California soul.” The rooms, views, and on-site dining are spectacular. And the resort spa? Exceptional. Take advantage of the massages and treatments available and sign up for an awesome bonding experience.

If you’d rather stay at a small boutique hotel and head out to different spas, don’t miss out on Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary. You’ll feel like you’ve been transported to the far east as you step into the green gardens of the day spa. Massages, facials, yoga, and a field of hammocks—you don’t want to miss adding Osmosis to your mother-daughter trip itinerary. 

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