9 Best vacation spots in California

Story by: Dahlia Simpson     Date: 19 July 2022   

6 minutes reading time United States

California is one of the most exciting places to go on vacation in the United States. This big West Coast state has so many places to see and things to do that you could take a vacation here almost every year and never get bored or run out of ideas.

There are plenty of places to go on vacation in California’s cities and towns that will keep you busy for a week or even longer. These are great places for everything from quick romantic getaways to week-long outdoor family adventures.

Here are some of the best places to visit in California.

1. Mammoth Lakes (Magical and underrated place)

Mammoth Lakes

The Eastern Sierras are a magical and underrated place to go on vacation in California. They are full of exciting things to do. The epic ski resort is one of the main reasons people come here, but Mammoth is full of exciting things to do all year long.

Mammoth Mountain is one of the best places to ski and snowboard in the country. You can also hike around the impressive Devil’s Postpile National Monument, fish in the area’s many lakes, and never find a bad view from the hiking trails.

You can go boating, camping, golfing, or paddleboarding in the summer, and Mammoth Brewing Company is a good place to stop afterward.

There are beautiful hotels you can stay in Mammoth Lakes

2. Laguna Beach (Sunny coastal town)

Laguna Beach, California

If you want a beach vacation in a sunny coastal town, Laguna Beach is the place to go. It takes about 45 minutes to get there from the northern part of San Diego, so you could visit both places in a week.

Laguna Beach isn’t as built up as many other parts of Orange County, which gives it a laid-back, artsy feel. In fact, there are some fun art festivals and galleries in town to check out during the summer.

There are beautiful hotels you can stay in Laguna Beach

3. Carlsbad (For the whole family)

Carlsbad, California

Carlsbad is a town in California’s San Diego area. It has a lot of things to do that the whole family can enjoy.

Plan a trip to this area to see the LEGOLAND California Resort, the SEA LIFE Aquarium, and even historic biplanes in flight.

Popular activities include air tours, walking tours, paddleboard lessons, go-kart racing, and the Flower Fields, which are 50 acres of colorful flowers on a hillside along the coast.

There are beautiful hotels you can stay in Carlsbad

4. San Diego (Great weather all year long)

San Diego, California

San Diego is known for having great weather all year long, so there’s never a bad time to plan a trip to San Diego. In the winter, many people from cold places come to warm places to have fun.

There are many microbreweries here that will make you feel like a local, and there are also many beaches nearby.

In San Diego, the USS Midway Museum, the San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park, and SeaWorld San Diego are some of the best places to go with your family.

There are beautiful hotels you can stay in San Diego

5. Lake Tahoe (Perfect all time of the year)

Lake Tahoe in the summer

There’s nothing quite like a trip to Lake Tahoe, no matter what time of year you go. This is a great place to go skiing for a week, but it’s also a great place for a beach vacation in the summer with views of the Sierra Nevada mountains.

Around the lake, there are a lot of cute towns to visit, but most of the things to do and places to stay are in the town of South Lake Tahoe.

There are beautiful hotels you can stay in Lake Tahoe

6. Santa Cruz (Fun and easygoing beach town)

Santa Cruz, California

Santa Cruz is a fun and easygoing beach town that’s great for a vacation with a partner or the whole family. The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is always a fun place to stop, and so is the Mystery Spot.

Don’t miss the tide pools at Natural Bridges, and spend your weekend at the beach and eating good food.

Visit West Cliff Drive, Roaring Camp Railroads, Wilder Ranch State Park, and the Seymour Marine Discovery Center while on vacation in Santa Cruz.

There are beautiful hotels you can stay in Santa Cruz

7. Big Sur (Perfect for outdoor lovers)

Big Sur, California

Big Sur is a great place to go on vacation for people who love the outdoors because it has a rough coastline, great views of the mountains, and mysterious redwood forests. Even though Big Sur has been getting more and more popular over the past few years,

You can still come here to find your own peaceful place and connect with the nature of the California coast.

There are beautiful hotels you can stay in Big Sur

8. Bodega Bay (Relaxed seaside town)

Bodega Bay, California

If you want to slow down the pace of life and relax in a quiet seaside town, Bodega Bay is a great place to go on vacation. It’s a great place to go sailing, and there are businesses near the marina that will take you out on the water.

You can take a nice walk on Doran Beach, and you can also see the places where Alfred Hitchcock filmed the scary movie The Birds, like the Potter Schoolhouse and St. Teresa of Avila Church.

There are beautiful hotels you can stay in Bodega Bay

9. Yosemite National Park (By far one of the best)

Yosemite National Park, California

In California, there are a lot of National Parks you can visit on vacation, but Yosemite is by far one of the best. The mountains are huge, and the lakes perfectly show how big they are. Some of the best hikes and rock climbs in the world can be found here.

Come here to be amazed by how big nature can get and to be close to all the things you need to be comfortable.

There are a few hotels, campgrounds, and shuttle buses to keep the crowds from getting too big.

The best way to avoid crowds, though, is to go in the winter, when the mountains are covered in snow and there are far fewer people on the roads and trails.

There are beautiful hotels you can stay in Yosemite West

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