best vacation spots in California

The 25 best vacation spots in California

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(Last updated on: 07/08/2022)

Are you looking for the best vacation spots in California?

California is one of the best states in the USA to have a vacation in – there’s plenty of sun, amazing beaches and great people – as well as lots of things to see and do! Here are the 25 best vacation spots in California:

Tourism in California

If you are looking for the best vacation spots in California you might want to know what is tourism in California like? Well, California is one of the most popular states for inbound tourists! In fact, in 2019, California reach almost $145 billion in travel-related spending – so you can see how popular it is! Overall, tourism in California supports over 1.2 million jobs in the state alone. It is popular for many different types of tourists, such as those travelling for nature tourism to see the spectacular forests, or those travelling for business tourism in LA.

The weather is another big reason for tourism in California – as it’s nicknamed The Golden State for good reason! On average, there are at least 205 days of sun here – with usual temperatures of 86.7°F ! July and August are the hottest months, but this isn’t usually a problem as tourists can cool off in the sea and there are plenty of pools everywhere in California. The coldest month is December where it is 58.7°F on average – and there is also sometimes snow in the winter months, mainly in Northern California and on the mountainous peaks of Sierra Nevada.

What to pack when going on vacation in California

When heading to the best vacation spots in California, it can be a bit tricky remembering what to pack, so don’t forget these essential items:

  • Eyelevel Aviator Sunglasses Unisex – California is very sunny, so you’re going to need a reliable pair of sunglasses, luckily fr you, these do just that! They keep out 100% of UVA rays, whilst looking cool and are very sturdy so will be hard to break.
  • MAMEIDO 1l Reusable Waterbottle – Never have to worry about keeping your water cool again! This is the most eco-friendly way to have your water, what’s more, is that there are lots of trendy designs to choose from and there are even timings to drink on the bottle, to make sure you’re hydrated throughout the day!
  • XKUN Swimsuit Womens – This breathable and lightweight swimsuit has a quick-dry technology lining, meaning you won’t need to worry about it getting anything else wet. It’ll perfectly contour your curves and streamline your fabulous shape – and you’ll never know when you might need a swimsuit in California!
  • ECGK Mens Swimtrunks – Perfect for surfing in the sea or taking dips in the stunning lakes of California, these swim trunks are essential! They also have fast dry technology, so you can slip in and out of them with ease, and have deep pockets which are perfect for putting things like your keys in them to make sure they’re safe.
  • California Bucketlist Adventure Guide & Journal – Vacationing in California is a big adventure, it can be easy to know where to start from and what essential things to see, fortunately, this guide has done all the work for you and even has the best tips and tricks such as more quiet vacation spots in California to escape to from the crowds!

The best vacation spots in California

There are so many amazing vacation spots in California, that you’re spoilt for choice! Here are the best ones which I would recommend:

1. San Fransisco

best vacation spots in California

On of the best vacation spots in California is San Francisco. San Fransisco is one of the most famous cities in California, as it is known as being the financial, cultural and commercial centre of California so is often very busy. In fact, it’s the 4th most populated city in California, so if you love bustling cities with plenty of things to do, then San Fransisco is a great place for you.

What to do: There are so many things to do in San Francisco, you could do a Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour and get to see all the sights such as Pier 39, at your own pace. If you’re more of a thrill-seeker, then a San Fransico Go Car Tour could be more your style as the car also doubles as your tour guide – it’s a great way to see San Fransico from a unique perspective. And of course, no visit to San Fransico is complete without visiting Alcatraz Island by Boat and touring the world-famous penitentiary to learn all about the history there. Here are 50 more fun things to do in San Francisco if you need some more great ideas!

Where to stay: Hotel Caza Fisherman’s Wharf – Perfectly situated close to all the major attractions, such as Ghirardelli Square and Alcatraz, this hotel has everything you need! It features an onsite restaurant, an outdoor swimming pool to cool off in, a fitness centre and a bar with a beer garden to sit in. Every room is spacious and comes with free WiFi, private bathroom and an HD TV with all the best channels to keep you entertained. This is one of the best places to stay in one of the best vacation spots in California.

2. San Deigo

Another one of the best vacation spots in California is Sa Diego. San Deigo is located right at the bottom of California, next to the Mexico border. San Diego is also nicknamed the “Birthplace of California”as it was the first site visited and settled by the Europeans on the West Coast of the United States. It is also known for its maritime and military as they both have a huge presence here.

What to do: San Diego has lots to do – especially when it comes down to cruises and animals, – why not take a relaxing Harbour Cruise whilst you relax and watch the sunset? Perhaps you’d prefer something a little more adventurous, so then the Whale Watching Cruise is perfect for all animal lovers! If water isn’t your thing but you still love animals, then why not spend time on land with this San Diego Zoo Day Pass.

Where to stay: WorldMark San Diego – Located conveniently in downtown San Diego, it is within perfect walking distance of all the best attractions, such as Balboa Park, the USS Midway Museum and the Maritime Museum of San Diego. There are comfortable family rooms on offer here, all coming with a terrace. Everything is also air-conditioned – so you don’t need to worry about the California heat! This is one of the best places to stay in one of the best vacation spots in California.

3. Malibu

Malibu is another one of the great vacation spots in California! It’s best known for its laid-back culture, surfing and wine – so if you’re in need of a chilled beach vacation, then Malibu is the perfect place for you! It is stunningly surrounded by mountains and a crystal clear blue sea – it’s loved by everyone, even celebrities…

What to do: Malibu is amazing for surfing, so why not have a go at some Surfing Lessons which are suitable for all levels! After a fun day surfing some waves, enjoy a Malibu Callibasas Wine and Food Tour which is a fabulous activity to do whilst the sun is setting over the vineyards. If you prefer to be active, then the Small Group Wine Hike is for you, as you can enjoy a guided hike around some of Malibu’s best vineyards!

Where to stay: Malibu Beach Inn – Just a 20 minutes walk from the beach, this Inn will help make your stay in Malibu fantastic. It even has a soothing luxury spa and all rooms come with private balconies overlooking the mysterious Pacific Ocean. Every room on offer here is all-oceanfront rooms and a hand-picked selection of wines for you to enjoy. This is one of the best places to stay in one of the best vacation spots in California.

4. Yosemite

best vacation spots in California

Yosemite is one of the most famous national parks in the entire world and also one of the best vacation spots in California! It has a plethora of animals living here, such as over 300 bears, groundhogs, sheep and fish – in fact, over 400 species call Yosemite home! It is also home to North America’s tallest waterfall, Yosemite Falls, which is over 2,245 feet tall! It’s perfect for all nature lovers wanting a scenic vacation.

What to do: Explore Yosemite on a Full-Day Yosemite Glacier and Point Tour with your own guide telling you all the best facts and showing you all the best unmissable attractions. Perhaps, you’d like something a bit more thrilling, and if so then the Off-Road UTV Tour is perfect to get your heart rate pumping. If you’d prefer to experience Yosemite at a more relaxed pace, then the Family Fun Private Half Day Fishing is a great way for the whole family to get involved and spend some quality time together.

Where to stay: Echo Adventure’s Basecamp – Located in Groveland and with Yosemite North Gateway reachable within 7 km, Echo Adventure’s Yosemite Basecamp provides an express check-in and check-out, allergy-free rooms, a garden, free WiFi throughout the property and barbecue facilities. Featuring family rooms, this property also provides guests with a sun terrace. All rooms have a patio. All guest rooms in the hotel are fitted with a kettle and an iPod docking station. Complete with a private bathroom equipped with a shower and bathrobes, guest rooms at Echo Adventure’s Yosemite have a flat-screen TV and air conditioning, and selected rooms are equipped with a balcony. At the accommodation, each room is fitted with bed linen and towels.

5. Sacramento:

Sacramento is California’s capital – meaning there is much to do and see here and making it another of the best vacation spots in California! Annually, there are 71.2 days when the high temperature is over 90°F, which is hotter than the majority of places in California – making it one of the sunniest spots in the entire country. It’s great for travellers who prefer city escapes, however, it has plenty of nature still!

What to do: Sacramento has amazing views, and seeing it from the sky in a Sacramento Private Airplane City Tour is the best way to make the most of them. If seeing Sacramento from the sky isn’t your thing, then maybe seeing it on the Sacramento Historic River Cruise would suit your tastes more, as you get to float down Sacramento’s famous river and take it all in. After seeing the major sights, then the Downtown Sacramento Historical Food Tour is a great way to fill you up, whilst sampling all of the delicious food Sacramento has to offer.

Where to stay: Hyatt Centric – This great hotel has its own restaurant, fitness centre, shared lounge and also a fantastic bar serving amazing drinks. Each room has pretty city views, an en-suite, TV and there are a la carte and American breakfast options to devour every morning. There is also a 24-hour front desk, room service and luggage storage – to make your trip to Sacramento as stress-free as possible.

6. Ventura

Ventura is a very popular vacation spot for tourists – mainly for its golden beaches and historic attractions. This is one of the most appealing vacation spots in California because it lies halfway between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, so is very accessible if you’re doing a road trip. There are amazing surf conditions on Ventura’s beaches and there are also lots of green spaces surrounding!

What to do: Try something different and have an Efoil Guided Experience in Ventura letting you glide above the waves and possibly even spot dolphins! If you prefer something a bit more traditional, then try a 4 Hour Surfing Lesson on Ventura’s beach, with friendly instructors helping you every step of the way. If you’re travelling with kids, then the Ventura Scavenger Hunt Walking Tour and Game is a great way to find out all about Ventura and its hidden locations.

Where to stay: The Pierpont Inn – Just a 1 minute’s walk from the beach, every room here comes with free Wi-Fi and free guest parking and a stunning pool view. Furthermore, there is also an en-suite bathroom with luxury amenities for guests to enjoy. Every guest is free to cool down in the outdoor swimming pool or sunbathe on the side. This is one of the best places to stay in one of the best vacation spots in California.

7. Death Valley National Park

best vacation spots in California

Death Valley is a desert located in Eastern California. During the summer months, it is one of the hottest places on Earth – even hot as the deserts in the Middle East and the Sahara! It is one of the driest places in the USA and in 1929, there was no rain recorded here at all. However, over 1000 species of plants still thrive here! Death Valley is a must-see if you want to experience a truly unique climate.

What to do: Spend the day in Death Valley taking part in the Death Valley Explorer Tour where your guide will drive you around all of the must-see things in Death Valley. There is also VIP Wine Tasting with Death Valley Sightseeing and Stargazing Photography Tour if you prefer to get amazing photographs of yourself that you will cherish for a lifetime. If you’re an early bird, then the Death Valley Sunrise & Stargazing Day Tour is perfect for you as you will get an experience like no other as you watch the blazing sun rise over the desert.

Where to stay: The Ranch at Death Valley – This ranch-style accommodation is perfect for those wanting something different. There is an outdoor swimming pool and a large tennis court to have a go at. Every room here features air conditioning, a TV, free amenities and is a great place to stay away from home. This is one of the best places to stay in one of the best vacation spots in California.

8. Half Moon Bay

Half Moon Bay boasts one of the nicest crescent beaches in the entire world – it’s no wonder where it got its name from. It’s located around 25 miles from San Fransisco, so would be a nice place to visit if you’d like to get away to a more quiet area for a few days.

What to do: Take part in a Half Moon Bay Hustle Scavenger Hunt all around the bay, to help you discover the area better and it’s a great activity to do in the sun! If you’re in the mood for something with a little more action, then the Half Moon Bay Surf Trip will leave you smiling all day – you might even spot some whales.

Where to stay: Aristocrat Hotel – This stylish accommodation comes with a restaurant, free private parking, a fitness centre and a bar with great evening entertainment on every night! Every morning, buffet-style continental and American breakfast options are available for guests to feast on before having a jam-packed day at the beach. This is one of the best places to stay in one of the best vacation spots in California.

9. Venice Beach

One of the most well-known beaches in the whole of California, Venice Beach is alive and thriving always- making it one of the best vacation spots in California. It is the perfect California vacation spot for tourists who particularly love nightlife such as clubbing, bars, and beach parties! There are lots of quirky shops and plenty of activities to do at Venice Beach – you’ll never be bored!

What to do: Cruise along Venice Beach on this Small Group Electric Bicycle Tour of Santa Monica and Venice Beach which will let your bike do all the work for you – which can be nice in the California sun! If you’d rather take things at a slower pace, then the Venice Beach Sunset Tour with Beachside Mocktail is another great way to relax to the fullest and see Venice Beach glow in the sun. The Private Rickshaw Tour of Santa Monica and Venice Beach is also an amazing option if you want to sit back and relax whilst seeing Venice Beach close up

Where to stay: Inn at Venice Beach – Only a 5-minute walk from Venice beach, this Inn has plenty of spacious rooms on offer for guests to enjoy. There is also a coffee machine and refrigerator in each room, to make your stay extra comfortable and homely. Free Wi-Fi is also available for every guest and is super fast and reliable.

10. Lake Tahoe

best vacation spots in California

Lake Tahoe is the perfect vacation spot for nature lovers and therefore one of the best vacation spots in California! The lake is situated right in the middle of California and Nevada – so you get to experience both of these great states. It’s a freshwater lake and is the second deepest lake in the entirety of North America. There are many outdoor activities to enjoy at Lake Tahoe and is great if you want to connect with nature.

What to do: When at Lake Tahoe, you’ll want to spend time on the beautiful lake itself, therefore this Clear Kayak Tour of Lake Tahoe is an ideal way to experience the real beauty Lake Tahoe has to offer. There is also a Lake Tahoe 2-Hour Sailing Cruise, which is great for tourists who prefer just cruising along and having someone else do the work for them- no judgement here, you’re on vacation after all! The Lake Tahoe Helicopter Tour offers great views of the lake, that not many people get the chance to experience – making it so much more memorable for you!

Where to stay: Heavenly Valley Townhouse – Situated in South Lake Tahoe, this perfect accommodation offers free WiFi and free private parking. All rooms come complete with a kitchen, satellite TV, ironing facilities, and couch area to relax on. There is also even a hot tub and sauna for all guests to enjoy!

11. Santa Monica

Santa Monica is one of the most popular beachfront cities in California. Over 7 million tourists visit Santa Monica each year – that’s how popular it is! There is an average of 310 days of sun each year, so you can be sure to have an almost guaranteed great day full of sunshine at Santa Monica.

What to do: There’s plenty to do in Santa Monica, you could do a Luxury Electric Boat Cruise with Wine, Charcuterie Board & Sea Lions Spotting if you want to see all the cute Sea Lions in the water. You could also do a Santa Monica Walking Photo Class, which is perfect for those who like photography. If you’re into true crime, then The OJ Simpson Tour may interest you, as you get to see where one of the most infamous crimes of the 1990s took place.

Where to stay: Sea Blue Hotel – Just a minute’s walk from the beach, this hotel offers free WiFi, a Spanish courtyard and Rock ‘n Roll and classic California-themed rooms that come with surfboard headboards – it’s very unique to other hotels. It even comes with a mini-fridge, free amenities, and a coffee machine.

12. Big Sur

Big Sur isn’t a single town or national park, but it’s a famous part of California- and one of the best vacation spots in California. It’s an unincorporated area along the coast and is around 70 miles from north to south. It’s got plenty of beaches for you to enjoy, and often doesn’t have many tourists.

What to do: When visiting Big Sur, most of the beaches are away from the big cities and towns so you practice your surfing or simply lounge on the beaches in peace. Some of the best beaches in Big Sur are: Pfeiffer Beach, Bixby Creek Beach, McWay Falls and Point Lobos.

Where to stay: Fernwood Resort – This rustic accommodation in Big Sur is great for those wanting to experience nature. It is very scenic all around as there are mountain views surrounding it. There is also a bar and grill for guests to enjoy whilst feeling all of what nature has to offer. This is one of the best places to stay in one of the best vacation spots in California.

13. Napa Valley

Napa Valley is best known for its wine tourism as there are so many stunning vineyards in what feels like almost every field! In fact, records of winemaking in Napa Valley date all the way back to the 19th century, but I’m sure you’ll learn all about that if you take one of Napa Valley’s famous wine tours.

What to do: Be a bit untraditional and do a tour in an old Napa Valley Wine Trolley and taste plenty of lovely wines whilst visiting all the best destinations in Napa Valley. If you would prefer something a bit more traditional then the Napa Riverside Food & Wine Tour may be more your style as you can enjoy a fine dining experience at some of the best spots in Napa Valley. If you don’t like wine, then don’t worry as you can also take part in the exciting Napa Valley Hot-Air-Balloon Ride where you will see Napa Valley from a different perspective.

Where to stay: RiverPointe Napa Valley Resort – Located right next to the famous Napa Valley river, this beautiful resort has an outdoor heated pool and all rooms come with a fully equipped kitchen and a flat-screen TV. There is also access to an on-site gym and library and BBQ facilities. This is one of the best places to stay in one of the best vacation spots in California.

14. Anaheim Disney Land

best vacation spots in California

If you have kids, this is one of the best vacation spots in California. Anaheim Disney Land is the most Instagrammed location in the world, not only that, but it is also the oldest Disney Land too! It’s a great day out for all Disney lovers and families – it will be something that you will remember for a lifetime.

What to do: Disney Land has so much to do, such as getting photos with Mickey Mouse or Goofy, riding all the exhilarating rides or just eating in one of the delicious Disney-themed restaurants – you will have one of the best days ever.

Where to stay: Best Western Plus Park Place Inn – This is a great place to stay if you don’t want to stay at the Disney Hotels as it is much cheaper and quieter! All rooms come with free WiFi, a coffee machine and free parking – and what’s even better is that it’s only a short drive away from Disney Land, meaning you can get there any time you wish! This is one of the best places to stay in one of the best vacation spots in California.

15. Santa Barbra

Santa Barbra is well known for the lavish lifestyles that people experience here. In fact, it’s the most expensive place to live in the entire world, so if you’re into luxury tourist locations, then Santa Barbra is one of the best vacation spots in California.

What to do: Soar above Santa Barbara Paragliding as you feel exhilarated and free, whilst also getting the best views of the city – it’s one of the most unmissable things to do in Santa Barbra and is perfect for those who want something a little different. If you enjoy the water but not heights, then the Santa Barbara Kayak Tour is another great option to understand Santa Barbra in a less conventional way – or if you prefer land in general, then don’t miss the Small-Group 90-Minute Tour by Trolley which will show you the best sights in a more relaxing way.

Where to stay: Castillo Inn at the Beach – This hotel features spacious family rooms with a private bathroom in each, that is equipped with a shower and a hairdryer. Some rooms also have a balcony with a stunning view of Santa Barbra and there is free WiFi and free private parking for all guests. This is one of the best places to stay in one of the best vacation spots in California.

16. Long Beach

Long Beach is best known for having one of the most varied populations in the country! It is the seventh most populated city in Calfornia, with plenty to do and great people to meet! It’s nicknamed ‘The city by the sea’ – as it is quite literally a city by the sea. It’s great for those looking for a fun beach vacation with plenty to do- making it one of the best vacation spots in California.

What to do: The Catalina Island Ferry Ride is a great day out and is perfect for those who want to experience stunning views of the pacific ocean. If you would like something a bit more laid back, then the Rainbow Lagoon Swan Boat Rental is great for those wanting to do a low-cost but fun activity and is something the whole family can enjoy. You can also Skip the Ticketing Line at Aquarium of the Pacific – one of the world’s best aquariums, with plenty of species to see and discover.

Where to stay: Hotel Royal – Located near all the popular attractions in Long Beach, this hotel is the perfect place to stay. There is free WiFi and aircon in every room, as well as a private bathroom with free amenities. There is also a coffee-making machine to give you the energy you need to start your fun-filled day well! This is one of the best places to stay in one of the best vacation spots in California.

17. San Jose

San Jose is the third-largest city in California, home to roughly a million people and is nicked named ‘The Capital of Silicon Valley’. It’s great for tourists who are interested in technology as it is also home to famous colleges such as Stanford University and U.C Berkley, who have very reputable alumni in the tech industries. This is another of the best vacation spots in California.

What to do: San Jose has the perfect weather for Outdoor Rock Climbing if you love to be outside doing adventurous things. Don’t forget to hire a Vacation Photographer to take all the best photos of you in San Jose and you’ll also get to see some of the best spots there too! You can also take a Private Hearst Castle Day Trip to see the beautiful Hearst Castle in all its splendour.

Where to stay: Taormina Hotel and Casino – This super cosy accommodation has its own restaurant, free private parking, a bar and a casino to keep you entertained. The service doesn’t stop there as there is also a 24-hour front desk, airport transfers, room service and free WiFi to help make your well-deserved vacation go smoother. This is one of the best places to stay in one of the best vacation spots in California.

18. Hollywood

best vacation spots in California

Hollywood is the place to visit if you want to see celebrities! It’s of course best known for its entertainment and theatre culture and there are plenty of famous things to go and see here such as the iconic Hollywood sign. It’s perfect for tourists who are into American films and celebrities. No trip to California is complete without a visit to Hollywood, making this one of the best vacation spots in California.

What to do: Hike up to Griffith Observatory through the Hollywood Hills and see one of the most well-known signs on the entire planet up close! If you have a car, then the Hollywood, Los Angeles: Celebrity Homes Self-Guided Drive is perfect for tourists who want to see where all their favourite celebrities live in the luxurious houses. Finally, don’t miss out on a Small Group tour of Warner Brothers studios and Hollywood where you will be able to get up close and personal to famous TV and film sets.

Where to stay: The Adler – This comfy hotel has everything you need. Each room is air conditioned and comes supplied with a refrigerator, microwave and coffee maker. Guests can dine on-site for all meals at Clark Street Diner, which offers traditional American cuisine to fill you up! This is one of the best places to stay in one of the best vacation spots in California.

19. Fresno

Fresno is one of the hottest places in the whole of California and is a major city in California. It is also best known for being the rasion capital of the world as over half of the supply worldwide is grown here, so if you enjoy rasions, you’ll enjoy Fresno!

What to do: The Fresno City Scavenger Hunt Excursion is a great way to explore the city and get a better understanding of it all in a fun, entertaining way! If you’re a museum lover then the Kearney Mansion Museum & Gallery Tour is a good way to spend a few hours learning all about Kearney Mansion. Another great thing to do in Fresno is taking a Daytrip to Kings Canyon National Park and see all the beauty it has to offer.

Where to stay: La Quinta Inn – Perfectly situated in the heart of Fresno, this hotel offers spacious modern rooms, and even free breakfast, such as cereal, bread and muffins. There is also a big outdoor pool and gym for guests to enjoy to their heart’s content. This is one of the best places to stay in one of the best vacation spots in California.

20. Fremont

Fremont is a fairly new city as it was created in the 1950s as five smaller cities merged together to create one. It is best known for being home to the Tesla as this is where they are manufactured. It’s great for tourists who want a city vacation but with fewer people around.

What to do: Fremont is best for tourists who like being around nature as there is a plethora of national parks and mountains nearby. Some of the best in Fremont are: Mission Peak, Garin Regional Park and Coyote Hills Regional Park.

Where to stay: Fremont Marriott – This wonderful hotel offers modern rooms with free WiFi and aircon. There is also an onsite restaurant that features Northern California-style cuisine and serves a breakfast buffet, lunch, and dinner to guests. There is also an indoor pool with a hot tub and a gym. This is one of the best places to stay in one of the best vacation spots in California.

21. San Mateo

San Mateo is about 20 miles south of San Fransisco which makes it one of the best vacation spots in California if you’re wanting to be near San Fransisco but somewhere a bit cheaper. The hottest month in San Mateo is August as it is an average temperature of 74.5°, meaning it is also one of the coolest places in California, so if you find the heat a bit tricky to deal with – San Mateo is perfect!

What to do: Visit Pulgas Water Temple and take some beautiful photos of the stunning architecture and learn about the history of the place. If you’re into animals, then CuriOdyssey is home to more than 100 rescued animals for you to learn about and see how cute they are – it’s a great place for families.

Where to stay: The Catrina by Kasa – Boasting family rooms, this hotel is a great choice for people who want something cosy. Rooms here come with everything you need such as a flat-screen TV, a powerful shower, a hairdryer and free amenities – there is even a BBQ for guests to use. This is one of the best places to stay in one of the best vacation spots in California.

22. Coachella

best vacation spots in California

Coachella is best known for hosting one of the most well-known music festivals in the US every year, which attracts thousands of music lovers, celebrities and influencers from around the world- if this is your thing then this is definitely one of the best vacation spots in California.

What to do: When in Coachella, there’s one major thing you must do and that’s going to the Coachella Music Festival! Be quick though, as tickets often sell out very fast and can be quite expensive.

Where to stay: Private Desert Escape – This accommodation is perfect for festival-goers! The spacious house comes with a patio to chill on, free WiFi, 4 bedrooms, a fully equipped kitchen and a bathroom with a relaxing bathtub – which is all fully stocked and has everything you need. This is one of the best places to stay in one of the best vacation spots in California.

23. Boulder Creek

Boulder Creek is a great vacation spot as it’s known as the gateway town into Big Basin Redwoods State Park – meaning the accommodation is cheaper and it’s much easier to go to the shops here. If you are looking for a bargain then this is definitely one of the best vacation spots in California.

What to do: There are plenty of great walking trails in Boulder Creek if you’re looking for a shorter activity to do before or after you visit Big Basin Redwoods State Park. Some of the best walking trails in Boulder Creek are: Fall Creek Trail, West Ridge Trail and Skyline to Sea Trail. If you’re into the wilderness, then the Introduction to Wilderness Survival Clinic is another great way to spend a few hours, learning all the best survival tips.

Where to stay: Masoods Lodge – This accommodation is great for tourists who want to feel more connected to nature due to it being surrounded by woodland. It has its own patio for guests to have a BBQ on or just relax, as well as air conditioning and very comfortable beds to dream the night away. This is one of the best places to stay in one of the best vacation spots in California.

24. Palm Springs

Palm Springs is another example of one of the best vacation spots in California. Palm Springs is known as a is a desert resort city, it is also the largest city in Riverside County, California! There is plenty to do here, and it’s best for tourists who want a more luxurious, laid-back vacation – it’s in fact very popular with the grey market.

What to do: Palm Springs is the perfect place to take a San Andreas Fault Hummer Tour to see the famous fault line. You can also participate in the Joshua Tree National Park Offroad Tour, where you’ll get exclusive access to a 4×4 only road – just be prepared for the bumps! After an adventurous day, sit back and relax on the Joshua Tree Stargazing Experience and learn all about the mysterious stars in the nightsky, you may also hear about some strange UFO encounters too…

Where to stay: Korakia Pensione – One of the nicest hotels in the whole of Palm Spring, Koraia Pensione is situated right in the heart of the desert. Every morning, guests are served a complimentary Morrocan inspired breakfast in the courtyard. There is also a library for guests to relax in and can use the complimentary bicycles to explore Palm Springs with. This is one of the best places to stay in one of the best vacation spots in California.

25. Sequoia National Forests

best vacation spots in California

Located in Southern California, Sequoia National Forests has some of the largest trees in the world. It is a bucket list destination for many nature lovers, so is a must-see if you love the natural world. It has over 1370km of trails to explore, so you’ll never be bored! If you are into nature then this is for sure one of the best vacation spots in California.

What to do: There are plenty of trails for you to enjoy at Sequoia National Forrests, but it depends on where you’ll start of course! There is also lots of options to ride a horse through the forests, go boating on the lakes, bike and go fishing. Mostly, if you visit Sequoia National Forests you will be your own guide but if you’d prefer a tour, then this Full-Day Private Tour and Hike in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park may be the perfect one for you!

Where to stay: Barewood Inn – Situated on the North Shore of Lake Isabella, this Inn offers beautiful views of the lake from almost every room. There is a BBQ facility for guests to make use of, as well as a microwave, a refrigerator and a coffee maker in each room. It’s a great place to stay with easy access to the forest! This is one of the best places to stay in one of the best vacation spots in California.

The 25 best vacation spots in California – overview

I hope this post on the best vacation spots in California has helped narrow down the big variety of choice on where to vacation in California! Where are you planning to vacation in California? What do you want to visit in California the most? If you enjoyed this post on the best vacation spots in California, I highly suggest checking these out too:

By the way- do you have any recommendation on the best vacation spots in California? If you have some suggestions on the best vacation spots in California let me know in the comments!

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