Top 10 Weekend Getaways in California

Last Updated on June 29, 2023 by Nikki Jain

Where to go for sunsets on the golden coast

West Coast, best coast! The great state of California is known for a little bit of everything: mountains, valleys, beaches, amusement parks, nature reserves… you name it, and California has it! So when the need for a dream vacation comes calling, let Cali answer!

California has a diverse array of attractions and activities to choose from for all travelers. Those who like to rough it and sleep beneath the stars, and those who like to luxury travel and sleep under satin sheets will be absolutely raving about the wonders of California!

To get you on your way, check out this list of the top 10 weekend getaways in California.

Best Weekend Getaways in California

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1: Big Sur

Big Sur
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Big Sur is one of the few places in California that is both well known, and relatively undisturbed. This is because it resides in the center of a large nature reserve, with no big cities or towns for miles on either side.

Here, it makes sense to spend the night at an adjacent town (or camp in the wilderness!) and drive to visit Big Sur during the day. This is a place known to host surfing competitions, so if you really want to see all the West Coast can do look online for some tour dates. Hang loose at one of California’s premiere beach locations!

Address: Big Sur, CA

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2: Napa Valley

Napa Valley

Often referred to as the ‘wine capital of the U.S.’, Napa Valley is a wine lover’s dream vacation! The rolling hills and charming farms will enchant its guests into saying ‘oh, just one more glass’, and making this the best vacation ever!

What’s especially nice about Napa Valley is that it isn’t just for one type of traveler. If you want to rough it, camp, and get good wine for a cheap price --- think Napa Valley!

And if you want to splurge a little, stay in a resort and let only the finest of wines grace your lips --- think Napa Valley! There’s really no wrong way to enjoy your time here.

Address: Napa County, CA

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Also Read: Top 10 Weekend Trips for the Wine Lover

3: Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks

Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks

The ultimate 2 for 1 adventure! These are actually two separate (but no less beautiful) national parks, but considering they are so close in proximity it makes sense to get the most out of your trip and visit both! Some of the trees here stretch past 300 feet!

Not to mention the fact that they are hundreds of years old, and the paths that wind between them well trekked. These are some of the most stunning nature preserves in the whole country, and they’re neighbors.

Address: 47050 Generals Hwy, Three Rivers, CA 93271

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4: San Francisco

San Francisco

The city on the bay come alive! San Francisco is a charming big city with all the lures and personality of a small town.

It has sports arenas, nightlife bars, and the world famous bay piers with hours upon hours of fun for the whole family! While you’re here, don’t forget to check out the golden gate bridge, with an opportunity for some pretty great photos on either side.

Address: San Francisco, CA

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5: Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park

The picture of serenity and relaxation… all it needs now is you! Yosemite is nationally acclaimed as being one of the best parks for visitors. There are hours upon hours of trails to explore, and so much to see this site alone could take up well more than just one weekend.

While there are options for overnight stays in the surrounding areas, consider camping! Be sure to look online for any reservations necessary, and start packing those hiking boots.

Address: Yosemite National Park, CA

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Also Read: Top 10 Things to Do in Yosemite National Park

6: Los Angeles

Los Angeles

The city of angels! Surely a city that needs no introduction is one city you won’t want to miss. This is the perfect place for people who like a little bit of big city controlled chaos, and can’t resist a lively crowd.

Los Angeles is known for being home to the stars, a few iconic beaches, and some heavy traffic. Come with your camera locked and loaded because this is one city you won’t soon forget.

Address: Los Angeles, CA

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7: Death Valley

Death Valley

While ‘the lowest and driest place in North America’ may not sound like prime vacation realty: there’s a reason it often graces travel bucket lists. This is one of the most unique places in the world, right in the heart of California!

Here you will find wide, expansive deserts, and even a few glistening White Mountains! There are dunes, and diverting paths, and all the outdoor adventure any traveler could need, right at your fingertips in Death Valley.

Address: Death Valley National Park, CA 92328

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Also Read: Top 10 Things to Do in Death Valley National Park

8: Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz

Adventure on the beach! Santa Cruz is a bustling beach town that is most notably known for its amusement park. Here you can ride rollercoasters, play carnival games, and eat all the festival food you can find on the Santa Cruz boardwalk!

Not to mention the stunning beach that lies just beyond! Sit back and relax, or check the waves to see if you can’t hang loose for an afternoon.

Address: Santa Cruz, CA

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9: Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe

Technically a weekend getaway in both California and Nevada, but well worth the drive to the Stateline! Lake Tahoe is the perfect place to go if you’ve had your fill of ocean beaches. Here there are towering mountains, ski and summer resorts, and a truly stunning lake in the center of it all.

Here you can hike, boat, snowboard, zip line, party, and swim all in one place! It’s a little bit on the pricier side (depending on where you go), but if you’re looking for a place with numerous activities Lake Tahoe is the place for you.

Address: Lake Tahoe, CA 96150

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Also Read: Top 10 Things To Do In and Around Lake Tahoe

10: San Diego

San Diego

The golden city on the golden coast! San Diego is one of the most recommended places not just in California, but in the United States. It is known for having good food, good people, and plenty of good fun.

Here in San Diego you can enjoy the shoreline with a chilled beach town vibe, and the big city bustle just a few streets over. It is also known for having some truly amazing parks, bars, and nightlife so whatever you’re looking for: San Diego is sure to have it!

Address: San Diego, CA

Also Read: 26 Best Things To Do in San Diego

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