Planning a trip to go to California? Well, you are in luck we are making a guide for all the most relaxing vacation spots in California.

From quiet beaches to quaint mountain towns, there are so many attractions in California that appeal to different types of travelers.  California offers a variety of landscapes and other amazing places for everyone. 

If you are interested in planning weekend getaways in California to enjoy your vacation, we have brought you 10 Hidden Relaxing Vacation Spots in California.

10 Hidden Relaxing Vacation Spots in California

1. Big Sur

Big Sur is a breathtakingly beautiful spot, definitely feels like an escape from the rest of the world. The wild landscape of mountains diving into the sea, with a ribbon of road clinging to the cliffs, is an awe-inspiring view.

Reaching the cliff-hugging town isn’t the easiest of trips; whether you’re coming from the North or South side of California, you will encounter infamous twists and turns of the highway. 

This mountainous 90-mile stretch of the Northern California coastline feels completely independent of civilization.

There are plenty of undeveloped landscapes and no cell service. Despite it being a remote location, it has luxurious resorts, fancy spa resorts, and gourmet restaurants, in addition to rustic-chic inns and campsites. 

Big Sur is best known for romantic getaways, outdoor recreation, driving tours, and hiking. It has some extraordinary beaches, too. Defenelity a spot u should add to your list.

2. Carmel-by-the Sea

Chances are when you think Carmel-by-the-Sea, you picture dramatic, sweeping California coastlines, enviable beach houses, and foggy morning drives on Highway

Carmel-by-the-Sea is best known for its white sand beaches, fairytale cottages, village charm, battered bluffs, and dramatic views. 

This stretch of the shoreline is considered one of the best and most beautiful of the Northern California Beaches. Within a 10-minute walk from the town of Carmel is a serene sandy beach, fringed by cypress trees featuring distinctive wind-sculpted branches.

Also, this place is very pet friendly, dogs can be off-leash (on the beach) and most local businesses have dog biscuits at the door, not to mention pets are also welcome at the majority of local hotels.

Whether you enjoy hiking through nature, spending an afternoon wine tasting, drinking beer, and playing pinball, or taking in spectacular views (and sunsets), a road trip to Carmel checks all of these boxes.

3. Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara is often called “American Riviera,” because of its Mediterranean seaside scenery and resort-like ambiance. It boasts a historic old Spanish mission town and stunning beaches that receive plenty of sunshine.

It also boasts great views from sunrise to sunset and is home to countless celebrity estates. The romantics will be left in awe by the glorious sunsets and the magnificent crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean.

Being true to its local heritage, the attractive downtown is lined with traditional Spanish-style buildings that house boutiques, art galleries, restaurants, and cafes.

It is one of the best places for romantics to visit and a well known place, especially for shopping and dining.

Other favorite things to do include enjoying the gorgeous natural environment which is ideal for biking, sailing, hiking and trekking, and don’t forget to unwind at one of the town’s sophisticated spas.

4. Catalina Island

Located not too far off the coast of Southern California, at most an hour by boat, lies an island paradise known as Santa Catalina Island, also referred to as the “Mediterranean getaway in California.”

A small town built into the hills around a palm tree–lined seafront that overlooks a sleepy harbor. The island’s largest town Avalon offers a great variety of accommodations from handsome historic hotels to modern resorts.

Santa Catalina Island has all the qualities required for a romantic retreat: secluded beaches, picturesque seaside villages, and dreamy island scenery.

Sunbathers will appreciate Avalon’s sheltered beaches. Descanso Beach is the place to go, for snorkeling, swimming, and kayaking.

Descanso Beach has excellent facilities, including a private beach club, where guests may rent lounge chairs and cabanas or enjoy a healthy meal at the Descanso Beach Club’s waterfront restaurant.

On the western end of the island lies Two Harbors which gives the feeling of an island paradise.

There lies a quiet beautiful village sandwiched between the two ports and overlooking peaceful coves, it offers a restaurant, general store, pristine beaches, fishing spots, and small boutique hotels. Not to mention there are hiking and camping opportunities just outside the village of Two Harbors and in Santa Catalina’s backcountry.

Most of the trails traverse the island’s hilly terrain and offer incredible views of the ocean and coastline.

Catalina is popular for romantic getaways, active weekends, and family fun. It’s a good place to visit, get away from all the daily grind, rest and relax, or enjoy a romantic interlude.

Definitely one of the most relaxing places in California.

5. Lake Tahoe

Located about 6000 feet above sea level in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Lake Tahoe astonishes visitors with its amazing scenery.

The deep blue dazzling and sparkling waters with the breath of fresh air leave people bewildered. 

Lake Tahoe is a year round travel destination. The natural environment invites outdoor activities and gives a sense of relaxation by looking at the magnificent scenery.

Covered by snow capped mountains. In winter the visitors are attracted by the snow sports and are interested in ski resorts, while in summer there is an abundance of outdoor activities such as swimming, boating, hiking, camping, biking, and nature walks.

Whether visiting for a weekend or honeymoon, couples will enjoy Lake Tahoe’s fine-dining restaurants, cozy ski lodges, rustic-chic inns, and modern resort hotels. Visitors can choose from a wide variety of accommodations in different price categories.

6. Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park is a desert and wilderness area in southern California, located just east of Palm Springs and about 60 miles east of San Bernardino, on the border between the Mojave and Colorado deserts.

It is known for its big spiky Joshua Trees that grow out in unique unpredictable angles. Huge boulder piles also form a dramatic backdrop making the area look like an alien landscape.

There is diverse and abundant wildlife that can be found in the park, from mule deer, desert bighorn sheep, coyotes, foxes, bobcats, bats, jackrabbits, a wide variety of rodents, lizards, numerous snakes (with several rattlesnake species), and Mojave Desert tortoise, to name a couple of them. 

7. San Diego

San Diego is one of the 18 cities in Southern California’s San Diego County, it is the 8th largest city in the United States.

It shares a border with Mexico. San Diego is known for its mild, dry climate with an overall temperature of 20 degrees C year-round and low rainfall. The coastal parts are usually cooler than the inner city. 

Tourism is a major industry in San Diego, attracting visitors from all over to its 70 miles of beaches, family theme parks, and attractions, museums, golf courses, craft breweries, and restaurants. San Diego is a foodie’s paradise if you know where to look.

It’s got everything from Kombucha and Kava bars to dog friendly breweries. San Diego is one of California’s sunniest coastal cities, and it offers lots of water-oriented activities.

It’s also home to animal-based attractions and a fun theme park based on LEGO toys. 

8. Napa Valley

Nappa village is known for being one of the best wine serving places outside of France.

Nappa Village is booming with beauty, the rolling hills, old architecture, and, of course, the gorgeous vineyards that stretch as far as the eye can see. And while wine is the main draw, there’s plenty to the region worth exploring.

There are more than 400 wineries in the region. It was once home to Patwin Native Americans, with its vineyard cultivation beginning around the 18th century.

Not only that but you can also ride a hot air balloon to view the amazing tourist sites from above and take memorable photos or take a trip to downtown Napa to enjoy a mix of modern luxury and old-fashioned whimsy.

There is something to enjoy whether you are on a romantic getaway, a family trip or just out to explore with friends. 

9. Yosemite National Park

It is no exaggeration to say that some of the most formative outdoor experiences you can experience can be found at Yosemite National Park in California. It has long been revered for its stunning, unique landscape, and that can definitely not be questioned.

Stretching nearly 12.8 km from east to west and with walls that surpass even the height of the Empire State Building, Yosem­ite Valley is one of the wonders of the natural world. 

Yosemite Valley is home to most of the park’s largest attractions which include El Capitan, Upper Yosemite Waterfall, the sequoias, Glacier Point and Bridalveil Falls.

You can find around 37 types of trees in total, not to include the 1,400 species of flowers and 350-plus types of animals.

You can find a variety of amazing things that make it all too easy to lose sight of the minutiae of nature that adorn the landscape.

10. Monterey Bay

Are you an ocean lover? Well you are in luck, beacause Monterey is California’s hot spot for ocean lovers.

It houses the world famous Monterey Aquarium, where you can experience first hand the marine life of the ocean, from cute sea otters, giant ocean sunfish, and hypnotic jellies, penguins, sharks, kelp forest and much more. 

If you have a strong stomach and think you can handle the sea, you can even venture offshore into the water so chock-full of whales, sharks, seals, squid, sea otters, and seabirds it is known as The Blue Serengeti. 

Monterey was once considered California’s capital, so it has a very rich history. Add to all this its rich literary tradition and fantastic restaurants, and Monterey is a thriving tourist destination.

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