Best summer vacation spots in california

California is a summer vacation destination that never disappoints. It has several great beach cities, plus amazing theme parks. Also, many travelers find it the perfect holiday destination to celebrate Labor Day. Plus, the state has more than its fair share of charming small towns where you can find some of the best dining spots in the United States. Let’s take a look at some of the best summer vacation spots in California:

  If you’re planning a trip to California this summer, you must visit one of these three destinations. With the wide variety of vacation spots that California has to offer, it can be difficult to pinpoint a location. Although, if you are looking for the perfect summer vacation spot, even time takes on an entirely new meaning. The value of enjoyment and experience–over simple possessions–is self-evident for these three distinct destinations.

California is the third-largest state in the United States, and it is the most populous. With its mild climate, California attracts residents from all nooks and crannies of the world. Visitors are also well catered to here. There are over a hundred lagoons that line the 300-mile coastline, set against beautiful cliffs and rugged sand dunes. It is dotted with microbreweries and wineries that produce some of the best wines in the country, like Napa Valley. In particular, Palm Springs area offers some stunning natural attractions like Joshua Tree Natural Conservation Area that offers some stunning rock formations known as “tree rocks”. The tour includes a drive through Fern Canyon, which separates two massive colonies of ferns that have gradually grown together over time. Wheeler Peak is another interesting attraction of the area. It’s an extinct volcano that rises above 10,000 feet (over three thousand meters).

The best summer vacation spots in California

With the warm weather and gorgeous landscapes, California is known for being a great summer destination. Whether you’re looking to relax on the beach or explore some of the state’s natural wonders, there are plenty of places to go and things to do. Here are some of our favorite summer vacation spots in California:

  1. Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is one of the most popular destinations in San Francisco, and it’s easy to see why. With over 100 amusement park rides and attractions, this amusement park has something for everyone—from roller coasters to water slides! You can even take a ride on a classic wooden coaster that dates back over 100 years!

  1. Disneyland Resort

If you’re looking for an amusement park with more than just rides, Disneyland Resort is your place! This resort includes two theme parks (Disneyland and Disney California Adventure), as well as three hotels and three full-service restaurants—all themed around Disney characters and stories from around the world. There are also several annual events held at this resort throughout each year including Mickey’s Halloween Party (which takes place on select nights between September – October) where guests can

  1. San Francisco: This city has a lot going on, so it’s a great place to spend your time. You can take a cable car ride through the city, or you can take a tour of Alcatraz Island. If you’re looking for something more relaxing, you can visit one of the many parks in the area or check out some of the museums. There are also plenty of restaurants that offer outdoor seating where you can enjoy an amazing view of San Francisco Bay while eating delicious food!
  2. Santa Barbara: This beautiful coastal town has plenty of great beaches and wineries where you can enjoy some delicious wine while taking in some great views! There are also several different types of restaurants that offer outdoor seating so that you can enjoy both the food and the scenery while eating lunch or dinner. The Santa Barbara Zoo is also worth checking out if you have kids with you since it has lots of animals from all over the world who live together peacefully!
  3. Los Angeles: This city offers something for everyone—whether it’s shopping at one of many malls or visiting Hollywood/Universal Studios Theme

Best Places For A California Summer Vacation

1. Big Sur

Big Sur - California Summer Vacation
Big Sur – California Summer Vacation

If you are looking for the perfect summer destination in California, you really cannot go wrong with the absolutely breathtaking Big Sur on the Central Coast. With landscapes that are the stuff of dreams, any trip to Big Sur is sure to be memorable.

Located roughly thirty miles south of Monterey Bay, you can also reach this incredible natural area via a road trip to Big Sur from Los Angeles or other California cities.

Once you are there, there are lots of things to keep anyone occupied in this beautiful setting. Take the time to go on one or two of many hikes in Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, take in the iconic Bixby Bridge, enjoy the views of the McWay Falls as the water cascades onto the beach or simply pull over at a few of the many vista points to gaze in awe at the dramatic cliffs and seaside.

There are few places in the United States that are as famed as Big Sur and once you visit, it’s not hard to see why. So if you’re looking for an unforgettable destination in California, then you absolutely cannot go wrong with visiting the inimitable Big Sur!

By Maggie of The World Was Here First

2. Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara - California Summer Vacation
Santa Barbara – California Summer Vacation

Santa Barbara makes an ideal weekend getaway in Southern California. Just north of Los Angeles and south of San Luis Obispo, it’s the gateway to California’s central coast. With the Santa Ynez mountains as a backdrop and colorful red tile roofs everywhere, Santa Barbara feels upscale and sophisticated—after all, plenty of celebrities have homes in Montecito here—yet easy-going and accessible.

Plus, the whole town is walk-able, making it a breeze to enjoy an evening out at any one of the many award-winning restaurants here. Santa Barbara’s foodie scene has always been on point.

Spend time at any of the beautiful beaches here or go wine tasting in The Funk Zone near lower state street. One of the best things about Santa Barbara is the beautiful bikes-only path that stretches from downtown all the way along the beach up to the university (UC Santa Barbara) north in Isla Vista. Cycling here is a dream come true.

Visiting Santa Barbara in summer is ideal. In fact, it’s famous for its June Solstice Festival, a beautiful annual tradition with a world-class parade filled with colorful costumed revelers. With more time, head into the hills 30 minutes to access world-class wine tasting opportunities in the Santa Ynez Valley. Whichever activities you choose, your Santa Barbara visit is sure to surprise and delight.

By Chris of Explore Now Or Never

3. San Diego

Hotel del Coronado, San Diego - California Summer Vacation
Hotel del Coronado, San Diego – California Summer Vacation

San Diego is known for its 70 miles of beautiful coastline. With summer temperatures in the low 80s during the day and temperatures in the 60s at night, it is a fantastic summer destination with plenty to explore. Arrive early to see the popular La Jolla Cove seals and sea lions. Alternatively, take a kayak tour, or a seal tour, to enjoy the seals and panoramic views of San Diego from the water.

Explore the USS Midway Museum, the most popular Naval Warship Museum in the United States. Allow 3-4 hours to explore it. The museum gets extremely busy, so arrive early. Wander the Gaslamp Quarter, while enjoying the history, Victorian architecture, and restaurants featuring world-renowned chefs. The Gaslamp Quarter is a lively downtown neighborhood that is easily walkable.

Don’t miss Balboa Park, a 1,2000-acre historic urban cultural park that features green space, gardens, several museums and theaters, and one of the best Zoo’s in the world, the San Diego Zoo.

Coronado is one of America’s finest beaches. With a long sandy beach, it is a great place to enjoy some time relaxing in the sunshine. Plus, driving across the 200 foot tall Coronado Bridge provides one of the best views in San Diego.

By Debbie Fettback of World Adventurists

4. Carmel-by-the-Sea

Carmel - California Summer Vacation
Carmel – California Summer Vacation

If you are looking for a relaxing, gorgeous location for your California summer vacation, Carmel-by-the-Sea is for you. Carmel is a small, coastal city located just 1.5 hours south of San Francisco. It’s home to many bohemian artists, writers and poets and known for its whimsical feel and fairy-tale-like cottages. 

You can sunbathe and listen to the waves on Carmel Beach or window shop and stroll art galleries on Carmel’s famous Ocean Avenue. And when you are ready for a snack, pick up a delicious treat from Carmel Bakery which is over 100 years old. 

Take a short drive to Point Lobos State Park for some easy hikes to see Carmel’s breathtaking, rocky coastline. While you’re there, be sure to see China Cove’s crystal-clear, turquoise waters!

Summer travel to Carmel is perfect for travelers who love a good summer festival. Swing by the annual Carmel Art Festival, Carmel Surfabout or the world-class Carmel Bach Festival (just to name a few!).

By Jenessa Van Woerkom of Destination Daydreamer

5. Mammoth Lake

Mammoth Lake - California Summer Vacation
Mammoth Lake – California Summer Vacation

Although Mammoth Lakes is famous for skiing and other winter activities, it’s actually an awesome place to visit in the summer, too! From hiking to mountain biking to camping (and even gondola rides), you won’t run out of fun things to do in Mammoth Lakes, even if you spend your whole summer in this lovely mountain town.

While Mammoth Lakes is full of incredible hikes, one of the most iconic is Devil’s Postpile/Rainbow Falls. An easy trail will take you to both the unique basalt columns and the gorgeous 101 foot waterfall, named for the rainbows it often creates on sunny days.

Also make sure to pay a visit to Mono Lake, just outside of Mammoth. This saltwater lake is one of the oldest lakes in North America (it’s over a million years old!) and features cool-looking tufa rock formations. Don’t forget to stop at nearby Mono Cone in Lee Vining for a yummy summer treat.

And even though you won’t find any powder to ski at Mammoth Mountain in the summer, you can still ride the gondola and take in the panoramic views of the whole area to scope out your next adventure!

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