Do you make New Year’s resolutions? What about the much more exciting option of making travel resolutions? They’re definitely a lot more fun to plan, especially when they involve traveling to California. And if you make it a point to set a goal, you’re much more likely to actually achieve it, right?
But since our beautiful state is so vast and full of wonderful places to visit, we thought we’d help you narrow down your list by featuring some of our favorites. Of course, most of these involve driving quite a bit. Especially if you plan to explore more than one destination on your vacation. Check Super Cheap’s Los Angeles car rental packages to see our great fleet of vehicles available for low rates. And remember, we don’t discriminate based on age—so if you’re looking for an underage car rental Los Angeles deal, you’ve found the right company.
The most fun part of your trip, aside from actually experiencing it, will be choosing your destination (or destinations). And out of the dozens and dozens of dreamy destinations in California, these 10 will practically guarantee you a good time.
It may be located just a short drive from the LAX airport and downtown Los Angeles, but Santa Monica feels like a different world. Whether or not you’re traveling with children, a trip to the Santa Monica Pier is a must—the views are beautiful, and they’ve got plenty of fun activities for kids at heart. For a special splurge you’ll never forget, stay at the acclaimed Shutters on the Beach Hotel. Other great accommodation options are The Georgian, a historical landmark rumored to be haunted, and the Fairmont Miramar. The Third Street Promenade has wonderful shops and great restaurants, so plan to spend a full day exploring that area.
Santa Barbara is known as the American Riviera, and you may very well forget you’re in California when you walk through town. Golden hills melt into sparkling seas illuminated by almost constantly sunny skies. Santa Barbara is paradise for foodies. They even offer a self-guided Taco Trail. The Hotel Milo is a wonderful and a reasonably priced hotel. While the Belmond El Encanto is a beautiful option for those able to splurge.
This little city in the desert is a true gem, and that’s why it’s able to uphold such an excellent reputation. Palm Springs is an oasis for the outdoor adventurer, so if you’re into hiking, you’ll love it here. The mid-century modern architecture, Native American heritage, and Hollywood legacy make it the artsy city it is today. You’ll find a wide array of first class resorts and budget-friendly accommodations here.
South Lake Tahoe
Lake Tahoe is one of the largest lakes in the world, which sits in between California and Nevada. The lake activities like swimming and kayaking are amazing, but don’t think you have to visit during summer—this is a great home base for skiing, snowboarding and snowmobiling. South Lake Tahoe is geared towards tourism, so you can expect some delicious dining options and cozy places to stay.
Napa is best known for its world class wineries and vineyards, but it’s also a beautiful place to go and relax. Their award-winning spa resorts like The Meritage are perfect for a couple’s escape or a girlfriends’ getaway. Of course, if you’re a wine drinker, a wine tour is a must. You can go all out and book a limo tour or bike through the winding vineyard roads. Don’t forget to check out the neighboring Sonoma County while you’re there.
Monterey isn’t as popular of a place for out of state tourists, but that’s a good thing—if you visit at the right time, you’ll be greeted with reasonable hotel prices and smaller crowds than some of the more well-known beaches. This coastal town has a rich Mexican heritage and rugged landscapes, not to mention art galleries, museums and the world famous Laguna Seca Raceway.
Located in Central California in the San Joaquin Valley, Fresno is the largest city near Yosemite National Park. The city itself has a zoo, wine walks, Broadway shows and plenty of tasty restaurants, not to mention fun seasonal festivals. It also offers a great home base for travelers who want to see Yosemite and Sequoia National Park.
Laguna Beach is gorgeous and glamorous. It’s conveniently located right in between Los Angeles and San Francisco. The Inn at Laguna Beach, the Surf & Sand Resort and The Ranch at Laguna Beach are all amazing places to stay, and Splashes Restaurant is definitely one of the top seafood spots with a view in the entire state. Laguna Beach is the place to go to relax and pamper yourself, but you can also get plenty of outdoor exercise.
California’s charming Dutch village is a beautiful place to spend a day or a weekend. Between the excellent shopping, wonderful dining options and the wine tasting, you’ll feel miles away from the “real world.” The Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort is set on a 10,000 private acre ranch in the heart of Solvang, offering the experience of a true getaway.
Crystal Cove State Park
If you’re more into camping and beach hikes, then you should start exploring big cities. Head to Orange County’s Crystal Cove State Park. The park features 3.2 miles of beach, an offshore underwater area and 2,400 acres of backcountry wilderness. Also, a federally listed Historic District, which is an enclave of 46 rustic coastal cottages originally built as a seaside colony in the 1930s. The cottages have been beautifully restored and are available to rent. Plan ahead because they are often booked about eight months in advance.
We hope your 2017 is full of exciting travels!