When I think of California, my mind instantly wanders to two cities: Los Angeles and San Francisco. But this American state has many more amazing destinations just waiting to be explored by local residents and travellers alike. Here are five off-the-beaten-path places you should definitely check out when next visiting sunny California.
Situated 75 miles from San Francisco on Monterey Bay, Santa Cruz has a lot to offer visitors. It is a city known for its many kilometres of beaches, as well as its surrounding redwoods. A lot of people choose Santa Cruz as its home due to its close proximity to Silicon Valley, and its University of California campus. For a hotel located directed on the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, check out Casablanca on the Beach. It is a hotel full of character that is close to all of the beachside attractions.
Oyster Point Marina in South San Francisco. Photo by Shumaila Gregory via Trover.com.
South San Francisco
Located close to San Francisco’s International Airport, South San Francisco is a great alternative to staying in the big smoke. It offers accommodation for all kinds of travellers, from those on a budget to people looking for a little bit of luxury. A great option is CitiGarden Hotel, which has an exercise yard for your furry friends. Meanwhile, Hotel Focus SFO is not only just three miles from the airport, but you can easily get to San Francisco thanks to the nearby BART Station.
Read More: Where to Stay in South San Francisco
The name Sonoma is synonymous with one thing: wine. The most popular time to visit the region is during harvest season, which is August and September each year. In Sonoma, hotels get cheaper the further away they are from the vineyards. But for a luxurious getaway, choose The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa. It is close to Sonoma Golf Club, and is home to Willow Stream Spa, which is actually located above a waterfall. The inn is also a great base for a wine tasting weekend.
Lake Tahoe. Photo by Alex Sam via Trover.com.
South Lake Tahoe
This Californian destination is ideal for outdoor enthusiasts. South Lake Tahoe is located on Lake Tahoe, and is surrounded by the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. It is important to choose the right hotel in South Lake Tahoe, as many have excellent inclusions. Inn by the Lake is an ideal summer vacation option, due to its proximity to both Lake Tahoe and El Dorado Beach. Big Pines Mountain House also offers a complimentary ski shuttle to nearby Heavenly Ski Resort.
Read More: Where to Stay in South Lake Tahoe
Carlsbad is known as “the village by the sea” for its location and size. There is plenty in the town to keep young and old entertained, including weekly music concerts, markets, and Legoland California. Carlsbad by the Sea Resort is a great hotel, with an outdoor pool, spa and fitness centre. Guests will love the complimentary shuttles, which deposit visitors at the shops, train station, beach, and theme park.
Next time you think about a California vacation or staycation, go off-the-beaten-path and choose one of these five amazing destinations.