Taking a wheelchair accessible road trip through Southern California can be a lot of fun. No matter how old your wheelchair-using family member or friend is, there are plenty of great destinations everyone you’re traveling with can enjoy.
Let’s take a closer look at how to prepare for your road trip and five wheelchair accessible destinations to check out along the way.
Preparing for Your Road Trip
You probably know by now that traveling by van is the easiest option when one of your passengers requires a wheelchair. Instead of putting extra miles on your own vehicle, consider renting one instead. In addition to saving the wear and tear on your van, it can add to the feeling that your trip is special. Be sure to check out this website for great deals on wheelchair van rentals.
Be sure to do a little research before you set out. From rest stops to restaurants and attractions, you’ll want to make sure you only visit accessible-friendly locations.
Don’t forget to bring your passenger’s handicapped parking sign with you everywhere you go. You’ll need it!
5 SoCal Wheelchair Accessible Attractions to Check Out
With so many different attractions in Southern California to visit, there’s plenty to see and do. Here are five amazing and wheelchair accessible destination ideas to consider.
1. Check Out a Theme Park
There’s no doubt that SoCal is famous for its theme parks. You’ll definitely want to check at least one of them out during your road trip.
Located in Anaheim, Disneyland is undeniably one of the most exciting destinations in the world — and it just so happens to be a wheelchair-friendly theme park. The park offers several ticket systems that allow people with disabilities to skip long lines. These include Fast-Pass, Fast-Pass+, and DAS. Disneyland offers a number of wheelchair accessible attractions.
Universal Studios Hollywood is another theme park to consider visiting. The majority of the park’s rides and attractions are wheelchair accessible. The park also offers the Attraction Assistance Pass (AAP) for disabled people, as well as alternate queues.
2. Go to Hollywood Boulevard
If you’re taking a road trip to SoCal, you’ll definitely want to check out Hollywood Boulevard. This iconic street is home to numerous attractions, including the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Hollywood Bowl, Madame Tussauds World’s Greatest Wax Museum, and Ripley’s Believe It or Not! All of these attractions are ADA approved.
While Hollywood Boulevard features sidewalks that are wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs, it’s worth noting that it can get crowded (and harder to access) during the evening hours. Aim to visit earlier in the day, if possible.
3. Visit the Beach
A trip to the SoCal area would be incomplete without a visit to the beach. La Jolla Shores Beach is one of the most wheelchair-friendly beaches in San Diego. It offers plenty of wheelchair accessible parking spots, as well as a flat, cloth mat-covered entrance to the beach. With its beautiful views, this one-mile stretch of beach offers scenic views and a great place to relax. You may even see a mermaid swimming in the water.
Santa Monica State Beach is another one of the most wheelchair accessible. Spanning across 3.5 miles, this beach offers paved pathways and ramps to make it easier for wheelies to navigate. You can also rent a wheelchair that can easily roll through the sand.
4. Head to the San Diego Zoo
The San Diego Zoo is one of the most famous zoos in the entire world. It’s also wheelchair-friendly, for the most part. The zoo does have some steep inclines, so it’s important to refer to the zoo’s map to learn more about its ADA-approved pathways and elevators. That being said, the zoo offers wheelchair accessible parking, experiences, tour buses, and habitat areas.
5. Visit a Museum
There are a number of great wheelchair accessible museums in the SoCal region. Consider visiting one or more of the following Los Angeles-based museums during your road trip:
- Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA): Recognized as the largest art museum in the western United States, the museum is home to over 145,000 objects. LACMA is fully wheelchair accessible.
- The Getty Center: Known to be fully wheelchair accessible, this museum offers paintings, sculptures, and other artwork. This is a hilltop museum surrounded by a garden. There’s an accessible tram that takes you to the top of the hill.
- Natural History Museum: From dinosaurs to nature gardens, this museum has so much to offer. All exhibits are fully wheelchair accessible.
- California Science Center: With numerous galleries, discovery rooms, and exhibits, this museum is a must-see for science lovers. The museum is fully accessible, with all levels offering elevators.
- The Broad: This is a contemporary art museum in LA, which offers rotating exhibitions. It is wheelchair-friendly.
These are just some of the most wheelchair-friendly attractions to check out during your road trip in Southern California. No matter what your interests are, there’s something for everyone!