California is often cited in the news as one of the most expensive states in America. When it comes to vacation, don’t let that turn you off. In fact, there are plenty of very budget friendly cities to visit in California that will give you a huge bang for your buck.
Knowing where to look.
So, in this post, we’re going to share some of our favorite budget-friendly Californian cities that are so fun, they will be the next stop on your vacation list.
When you think of California wine country, Napa and Sonoma Valley probably pop into your head. But, there are other more budget-friendly options, including laid-back Paso Robles.
Home to over 200 wineries, you can be sure spending some time here means you will never run out of tasting options. If you’re looking for other activities, there are plenty to choose from. The famous Hearst Castle is nearby, and this region is home to the California Mid State Fair every summer.
For families looking to experience the wonders of the great outdoors, you can’t beat Big Sur. Book early, and you can secure a cheap camping spot. Or, stay in nearby Monterey, only a 45-minute drive down the historic Cabrillo Highway.
There’s plenty to do and see in Monterey too. Start with visiting Cannery Row, the epicenter of things to do and see in town. And, if you’ve got time, no visit to Monterey is complete without a visit to the aquarium, consistently rated one of the best in the country.
Back in the 1950s, in the golden age of movies, Palm Springs was the place to see and be seen. Fortunately, after years of being underappreciated, Palm Springs is back.
This desert town is a perfect getaway for those who want something different. And it’s a dream come true for people who love the midcentury modern design and eclectic styles. If you get tired of hanging by the pool, you can drive less than an hour to Joshua Tree National Park for a whole day of hiking.
Not far from world famous Malibu, you’ll find Oxnard. Here’s the good news for people on a budget, it’s the same coastline just at much more affordable prices.
Oxnard is also a launch point for The Channel Islands, an island chain right off the coast that many calls “America’s Galapagos.” Hop on a ferry to the islands and spend a day exploring all of the wildlife. You can also explore Heritage Square, home to Oxnard’s first pioneer families or take part in California’s Strawberry Festival.
Southern Calfornia is one of the hottest vacation destinations in the country. Between San Diego and Los Angles, there are millions of tourists flocking every year. But, what about a spot that offers the best of both worlds at a fraction of the price?
Welcome to Dana Point. It’s about halfway between San Diego and Los Angeles. So, it offers the incredible weather and beach scene that you’re looking for. Plus, since it’s a marina town, there are plenty of small local eateries and options for surfing and paddleboard rentals too.
Regardless of which of these budget-friendly California cities you choose, we know you’re going to have an incredible time!