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California, “The Sunshine State” is big. Critically! It’s the most populated state in the US and has over 480 cities to discover. And that’s simply the cities: California’s pure magnificence and selection is simply as monumental.

Selecting lodging might be overwhelming when contemplating the place to remain in California, significantly in the most well-liked cities. To make your life simpler, I’ve curated a number of lodging choices that you could take a look at at a variety of value factors.

Moss Beach Half Moon Bay

Additionally, it needs to be famous that each one the cities fluctuate in affordability. The typical lodge costs in San Francisco are about $100 extra an evening than in Sacramento.

Nevertheless you determine to spend your time in stunning California, any of those cities can be stuffed with exercise for everybody. We now have a helpful checklist beneath to present you a fast concept of which metropolis most closely fits which sorts of vacationers.

Whether or not you want taking a stroll down Santa Monica Pier or taking a California highway journey and hitting up a number of of those cities, you’ll certainly discover your sunshine. Any selection is the fitting selection on a California getaway!


Common Resort Value
Common Airbnb Value

San Francisco

San Diego

Santa Barbara

Palm Springs

Los Angeles

Lake Tahoe

Napa Valley



High Picks by Sort of Traveler

Greatest for…

Solo Vacationers: San Francisco

Foodies: Los Angeles

Households: San Diego

Nature Lovers: Lake Tahoe

Journey Seekers: Palm Springs

Artwork and Tradition Vultures: Santa Barbara

Seaside Bums: San Diego

Wine Fans: Napa Valley

The place to Keep in California

1. San Francisco

The ferris wheel in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

When pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge come to thoughts, you’ve received San Fran on the mind. House to Alcatraz, the Aquarium of the Bay, an iconic Chinatown, and (always remember) The Tanner Household.

San Francisco’s well-known landmarks and world-famous sourdough bread are positive to win you over. Although honest warning, if you happen to name this metropolis ‘Frisco or San Fran in entrance of locals, you might be in all probability not going to win them over.

Inside the metropolis itself, there are 36 distinct neighborhoods. Essentially the most well-known are the Mission District and Chinatown, although there may be a lot to do and see elsewhere, particularly round Pier 39, the place you’ll be able to store till you drop or eat till you burst.

Or, if you need one thing as completely wacky as San Fran, pay a go to to the Good Vibrations Vintage Vibrator Museum. Let’s be trustworthy; it is sensible {that a} intercourse object museum lives in “The Metropolis.”

After you’ve bid farewell to your trip funds, there are many free or low-cost actions to maintain you occupied round San Fran. Spend a while in nature at Golden Gate Park, go to the Musée Mécanique’s classic penny arcade museum, or discover the historic Hyde Avenue Pier.

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2. San Diego

The entrance area at the San Diego Zoo
James Kirkikis / Shutterstock

An idyllic little metropolis on the bay, basking in the great thing about the Pacific Ocean, San Diego is a spectacular place to remain in California. If in case you have kiddos alongside otherwise you love nature-focused actions, this metropolis is a champion of each, significantly since it’s dwelling to the world-famous San Diego Zoo and Safari Park. For those who love animals, it’s a must to take a look at the hoards of sea lions who dwell on the seashores in La Jolla– however preserve a protected distance for his or her sake and yours.

A keep in downtown San Diego places you entrance and heart to among the space’s most beloved customer spots, like Balboa Park and Seaport Village. Given the excessive walkability of the downtown space and the ample locations to remain, it’s a good suggestion to contemplate discovering a lodge there. Even if you happen to keep elsewhere within the metropolis, you’ll haven’t any downside getting round, primarily if you happen to’re used to metropolitan areas.

If you would like old-style luxurious, you will need to take a look at the Resort del Coronado. This historic lodge is a seaside lodging in Coronado, simply throughout San Diego Bay.

The lodge was dubbed the largest on the earth, internet hosting a number of notable figures, together with politicians, royals, and celebrities. It has additionally appeared in lots of movies and literature all through the years, akin to Some Like It Sizzling.

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See Associated: How you can Get Round California (With and With no Automotive)

3. Santa Barbara

Downtown Santa Barbara
travelview / Shutterstock.com

Lovingly often called the California Riviera, Santa Barbara is among the smallest of the locations to remain on our checklist. This petite metropolis has among the loveliest seashores within the state in addition to a smattering of Mediterranean structure–therefore its nickname of the Riviera. You’ll discover reminders of town’s Spanish colonial lineage throughout downtown with its white stucco and purple tile roofs.

The Outdated Mission Santa Barbara 1786, a part of that historical past, is among the metropolis’s most iconic websites to go to. This mission nonetheless homes a gaggle of Franciscan monks in addition to the museum. In the meantime, visiting wine lovers will adore the native wine choices in Santa Barbara or buy groceries alongside the road promenade alongside State Avenue. You’ll discover some high eating places right here too.

Ensure you take the time to embrace town’s pure magnificence as nicely in locations just like the Santa Barbara Orchid Backyard or the ocean lion-filled harbor. Higher but, head as much as the Courthouse Clocktower for unbelievable panoramic views of town. A go to to the courthouse is a should, with or with out climbing the tower, since it’s inbuilt a Spanish fort or fortress type to match town’s aesthetic.

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4. Palm Springs

Palm Springs mountain view and trees during winter
Tomasz Zajda / Adobe Inventory

Palm Springs is the place to be while you’re searching for locations to remain in California for leisure. It’s top-of-the-line resort cities within the state largely as a result of, as its title implies, it’s blessed with a plethora of sizzling springs to take pleasure in. To not point out the good culinary scene!

This metropolis can be stacked to the nines with unbelievable Mid-Century Trendy structure, giving this little metropolis an iconic visage. This metropolis has additionally lengthy been a protected haven for LGBTQIA+ vacationers, making it one of many foremost queer journey locations.

Set within the Coachella Valley, you’re poised for innumerable out of doors adventures. You’re surrounded on all sides by United States nature at a few of its finest and brightest.

You’re virtually steps away from Joshua Tree Nationwide Park–okay, lower than an hour away, however the level stays. Palm Springs might have pure springs at its beck and name, however if you happen to’re prepared to take away your self from bliss for a day or two, you’ll expertise a lot extra of what the world has to supply.

Within the metropolis correct, you’ll be able to nonetheless take pleasure in nature-based actions too. There’s the Moorten Botanical Backyard, The Residing Desert Zoo and Gardens, and the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, to call just a few. To not point out the Palm Springs Artwork Museum or the Palm Springs Air Museum, each of which may present a day or morning of enlightenment.

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See Associated: Visiting Tahquitz Canyon Path in Palm Springs

5. Los Angeles

Aerial View Los Anges City, California
Newport Coast Media / Adobe Inventory

Far and away the state’s most populated metropolis, the beating coronary heart of Southern California, the leisure capital of the world, Los Angeles, is clearly one of many state’s hottest locations. There isn’t a scarcity of distinctive locations to remain in L.A., which is just becoming for Tinseltown.

If you’re extra fascinated with the type and the Hollywood-studded historical past of California than the pure parts, that is the place you wish to be. With regards to iconography, exterior of issues just like the Hollywood Signal within the Hollywood neighborhood, lots of the spots you’ll wish to see are in downtown Los Angeles.

Spots just like the Walt Disney Live performance Corridor, The Broad, and The Grammy Museum are all situated there. That is additionally the place you’ll discover some distinctive locations to remain, just like the outdated Resort Figueroa with its rooftop pool.

For those who’re searching for an reasonably priced place to remain that provides you with worth for cash, take a look at the Full Moon Inn. This motel provides you with a style of cheap luxurious with its open tub, absolutely furnished personal bogs, and well-equipped rooms.

Or get able to get the star remedy on the luxurious London West Hollywood Resort. For extra lodge choices with extra complete value ranges, don’t neglect to take a look at the West Hollywood (WeHo), Beverly Hills, and Santa Monica neighborhoods.

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See Associated: Do You Want a Automotive in Los Angeles? Issues to Know

6. Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe Aerial View
Jeremy Janus / Adobe Inventory

When folks say they’re going to Lake Tahoe, they’re greater than possible staying someplace like South Lake Tahoe or one of many different cities across the lake. The large freshwater lake within the Sierra Nevada Mountains is a well-liked trip spot for each seashore bums and ski bunnies alike.

In reality, the Palisades Tahoe ski resort was dwelling to the Winter Olympics in 1960. That solely solidified Tahoe’s notoriety for winter sports activities.

Over in South Lake Tahoe is the place you’ll discover one thing you might not anticipate–a Scandinavian-style mansion. Generally known as Vikingsholm, this 38-room mansion is taken into account top-of-the-line examples of Scandinavian structure in North America. It was constructed by philanthropist Lora Josephine Knight in 1929. Now, you’ll be able to tour the within from June to September in the summertime.

The lake itself is big, with all sides providing one thing totally different for vacationers. Nevertheless, the Emerald Bay space or Emerald Bay State Park is the prettiest a part of the lake’s scenic space. It’s additionally the place you’ll discover the aforementioned Vikingsholm.

Emerald Bay can be dwelling to the one island within the lake’s pure space: Fannette Island. The island is accessible by boat, canoe, or kayak, as swimming isn’t allowed. On the island, you’ll additionally discover a bit of stone constructing often called the Tea Home, which Knight additionally constructed.

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7. Napa Valley

California Wine Nation, Napa Valley, or simply Napa, has turn out to be often called one of many foremost wine-making places on the earth. The wine business is so widespread in Napa that there are over 400 wineries.

A number of the absolute must-see wineries embody Alpha Omega, Lengthy Meadow Ranch, V. Sattui Vineyard, and Chateau Montelena, to call just a few. Napa is poised for the craft of vino due to its local weather similarity to the Mediterranean.

There’s extra to do in Napa than simply wine tasting, whether or not you aren’t a drinker or get bored with limitless vino. Pay a go to to Bothe-Napa Valley State Park, di Rosa Heart for Modern Artwork, or the Napa Valley Museum.

Within the valley, there are 5 cities to discover, too: Calistoga, St. Helena, Yountville, town of Napa, and American Canyon. You’ll discover that Napa is usually costlier than our different locations to remain in California however has some fabulous boutique lodging.

Even if you happen to discover budget-friendly, distinctive accommodations, you’ll pay extra for this trip’s different parts. Be ready for these incurred prices. All these wine-tasting excursions add up, with among the personal ones costing within the tons of. Your common wine tasting will run you roughly $40-$50 per particular person.

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8. Sacramento

California State Capitol building in Sacramento
Leonid Andronov / Adobe Inventory

One other of the particular smaller cities in California is the state capital of Sacramento. This “Farm-to-fork-focused” metropolis can be the capital of that exact model of U.S. meals tradition, making it a primary California vacation spot for foodies.

You’ll discover Sacramento alongside the American and Sacramento Rivers. With its proximity to water, it’s clear why this metropolis’s historical past is deeply rooted within the days of the California Gold Rush.

Pan your self some golden historical past by exploring the Outdated Sacramento space, which dates again to the Gold Rush. This historic landmark will transport you again to the times of prospectors and gold nuggets with out forcing you to go away the times of working water. This eight-block part of downtown Sacramento contains among the oldest buildings within the metropolis.

Moving into nature is simple to do from Sacramento, too. Mountaineering within the 275+ acre Discovery Park, seeing the wildlife on the Sacramento Zoo, or whitewater rafting alongside the American River are only a few of the choices at your toes.

With the gentle climate in Sacramento, it is best to have loads of good climate for your whole out of doors adventures. Plus, you could possibly even keep on an genuine paddlewheel boat on the Delta King Resort, arguably one of many coolest accommodations in California.

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9. Monterey

A foot path leads down to the Pacific ocean in Monterey California
mark smith nsb / Shutterstock

A part of California’s central coast, Monterey, doesn’t get as a lot consideration as among the different cities on this checklist. This a part of the California coast has lengthy been a major a part of the state’s historical past.

Monterey is the place you’ll discover the state’s first theater, public library, and even the primary newspaper, amongst different landmarks. Plus, it’s dwelling to the fictional “Jewel of Morro Bay,” a la Discovering Dory, often called the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

One other first for Monterey might be discovered on the iconic Resort del Monte. Not solely was this top-of-the-line accommodations in California, but it surely was additionally the primary correct resort complicated in the US.

It opened in 1880 and closed as a resort lodge in 1942. Earlier than closing, Resort del Monte was thought-about top-of-the-line luxurious lodging within the nation.

It’s nonetheless an working lodge with trendy rooms for members of the navy and their company. If you wish to really feel like visiting bygone luxurious, pay this lodge a go to.

Whereas that is hardly the hub of accommodations in California, Monterey has a number of lodging choices. Lots of which line town’s rugged Pacific shoreline.

You’ll additionally get the most effective of what this area of California has to supply. It’s particularly excellent for outdoorsy sorts who can finest benefit from the pristine seashores, parks to stroll, and miles upon miles of beautiful ocean views.

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10. Massive Sur

Bixby Creek Bridge on the Big Sur coast of California
robertbohrer1 / Adobe Inventory

Simply south of Monterey is the totally beautiful Massive Sur. Massive Sur is definitely some of the visually hanging elements of California’s central coast space. With unparalleled views of the Pacific Ocean and the close by Santa Lucia Mountains, you’ll be able to’t go improper right here.

Seaside bums and anybody searching for their very own California journey ought to add this area of Cali to the highest of their journey itineraries. There are miles of breathtaking, rugged California coast to be explored, with the odd pristine seashore thrown in!

For much less oceanic-inclined vacationers, Massive Sur can be rife with stunning Californian redwoods. Whilst you can see them in numerous areas round Massive Sur, the most effective ones might be present in Pfeiffer Massive Sur State Park.

Magnificent redwoods are common sights for guests as a result of they’re one of many oldest residing species of tree. There’s one redwood in Mitteldorf Protect that’s over 1280 years outdated.

This area is a couple of 90-mile-long stretch of coast. What makes this top-of-the-line locations to decide on in California is that Massive Sur is among the longest items of undeveloped shoreline within the mainland of the US however continues to be rife with distinctive lodging. For those who’re searching for a country atmosphere, e book a boutique lodge in quaint and charming Carmel-by-the-Sea.

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