BeatHeatHot summer days extend well into September in Southern California – not very conducive for the first weeks of school. It is, however, a great time for last minute getaways to cool places before school routines get too hectic.

Even if fall is already making a comeback in your hometown, day trips and weekend getaways are a fantastic way to enjoy quality family time before buckling down to serious class projects and tests. If you’re looking to escape the heat or simply long to hold onto that summer feeling for a few more weeks, check out these chill travel ideas from TravelingMom.

My family and I recently spent five glorious days boating, hiking and biking in June Lake, a nearly five-hour smooth road trip from the Los Angeles area. We put work and thoughts of upcoming classes on hold and focused on family togetherness in the beautiful sierras with mild temperatures ideal for outdoor activities.

Without a huge backyard for their kids to run around, Working TravelingMom Teresa Shaw and her husband often bring the family to local parks or botanical gardens.

Water sports, dolphin tours and boating are among the many activities families can enjoy in Key West, a cool destination for Smarty Pants TravelingMom.

Surfing is usually associated with an ocean but Desert TravelingMom Karen Heffren discovered that this fun water sport is also available year-round in Arizona. More cool ways to escape Tucson’s heat are found in museums.

As moms, we’re used to planning our family vacations. But Gringa TravelingMom Marina Villatoro found that working with a tourism board member prior to your trip can help you plan an amazing family-friendly itinerary filled with with surprises.

China TravelingMom Jenny Lin was pleased to find that the Lake Erie islands are an ideal getaway for families and couples.

Finally, if a great travel opportunity comes up, taking your kids out of school for a few days could be an option. Here’s advice from TravelingMom with Teens for pulling kids out of class for an educational travel experience.