Travellers visiting California normally stick to its most well-known destinations — Los Angeles, San Francisco,and San Diego. But, if you venture off the beaten track, you can find some hidden gems. These lesser-known destinations are good alternatives. If you are searching for a place to stay, here are some good hotel recommendations.
Carlsbad: The Village by the Sea
This sea-side resort city is located 87 miles south of Los Angeles and 35 miles north of downtown San Diego. Set on a seven mile stretch of Pacific coastline, Carlsbad is the perfect destination for outdoor fun. Other recommended attractions include the Flower Fields, where you can admire blooming flowers in spring, the Museum of Making Music, and the GIA Museum, with its amazing gem collection. If you are travelling with children, make sure to visit Legoland, where you can also enjoy a fun stay at their hotel.
Fresno: The Heart of the Central Valley
Located in the heart of California in San Joaquin Valley, Fresno is the largest inland city in the state. Its name means “ash tree” in Spanish. With the snow-capped peaks of the Sierra Nevadas as a backdrop and the surrounding agricultural fields, Fresno boasts a variety of natural wonders and provides easy access to three National Parks. Some of its must-see attractions include the Forestiere Underground Gardens, the Shinzen Japanese Garden, and the Island Waterpark. If you are looking for a cheap but stylish hotel, have a look at La Quinta Inn & Suites Fresno Riverpark.
Marina del Rey: Relaxing on the Coast
This affluent sea-side community boasts the world’s largest artificial small craft harbor featuring 19 marinas with capacity for over five thousand boats. Marina del Rey is just minutes away from LAX airport and Los Angeles, making it a good base to explore the city. If you are looking for a deluxe place to stay, try the Marina del Rey Hotel. This sleek waterfront hotel offers wonderful views of the harbor and features stylish and modern rooms. Other amenities include a heated outdoor pool and hot tub, a sundeck, and an upscale restaurant and bar.
Oakland: The Sunny Side of the Bay
Located in the San Francisco Bay area, Oakland is a diverse and multicultural alternative to foggy San Francisco. With its growing restaurant, nightlife and art scenes, Oakland’s appeal is attracting more visitors, both local and from abroad. Some of the main attractions you’ll find here include the Oakland Museum of California, the Redwood Regional Park, and the Children’s Fairyland. If you are looking for an inexpensive but modern hotel, you should try the Inn at Temescal, a cute motel in a great location.
Sacramento: An Authentic California Experience
When visiting California, most visitors skip the state’s capital, however Sacramento has a lot to offer to those who decide to venture off the beaten path. With a great restaurant scene, several natural wonders, and a rich historic heritage, this great American city offers an authentic California experience and it is full of surprises. Some of its main attractions include the Crocker Art Museum, the Capitol Park, and the Railroad Museum. If you are looking for a good value hotel, check out the Best Western Plus Sutter House.
This post is part of the Hipmunk’s Hotels series.