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Affordable Weekend Getaways in California

Affordable Weekend Getaways in California

Whether you decide to get back in touch with nature or head to a buzzing city, these are the state's best affordable weekend trips.


5 min read

February 12, 2021

Escape to Catalina Island to enjoy world-class snorkeling, kayaking, and coastal camping.
Spend a weekend exploring the stunning shores and natural wonders of La Jolla.
Head to the northern end of the state to experience the majesty of Mount Shasta and its surrounding beauty.
Make your way to the state capital to learn more about California's fascinating history and take in the sights.


The state capital of Sacramento is a perfect destination for an affordable weekend getaway in California. Whatever type of traveler you are, a trip to Sacramento will likely exceed your expectations—there’s no shortage of must-see sights and things to do

Visit on the second Saturday of the month to enjoy the free Art Walk and discover local artists’ works. After getting your art and culture fix, head to Folsom Lake or Capitol Park for some outdoor relaxation. Other free attractions to check out in Sacramento on your inexpensive weekend getaway are Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Verge Center for the Arts, and the California State Capitol Museum.

Inexpensive romantic getaways for couples

Whisk your partner away on an affordable weekend getaway to the dreamy region of Big Sur.

Big Sur

Spanning 90 miles, this rugged and mountainous landscape along the Central Coast is the perfect inexpensive romantic getaway destination for couples who love outdoor adventure—Big Sur is filled with state parks, natural preserves, beaches, and forests. A long weekend in Big Sur offers an array of outdoor activities like no other. Hike the top-rated trails, watch for unique wildlife, and spend the night at some of the best camping destinations in California for an affordable couples’ getaway you’ll never forget. 

See sparks fly while soaring over the Napa Valley in a hot-air balloon with that special someone.

Napa Valley

Home to lush forests, sprawling vineyards, and many beautiful natural landmarks, the Napa Valley is an affordable romantic getaway in California that’ll make sparks fly. Just a short drive away from San Francisco will expose you to incredible hotels, sweeping views, delicious eateries, and an array of outdoor activities to choose from. 

Bike around the vineyards and through the serene streets, trek enchanting hiking trails, tour the local art galleries, and explore the local food scene for an inexpensive romantic getaway that’ll feel like a million bucks. Looking to take your affordable weekend trip up a notch? Golden Haven in Calistoga specializes in couple’s spa treatments and offers a wide range of relaxing activities that’ll have you feeling rejuvenated and refreshed.

Affordable weekend trips for families

Reconnect with nature—and your loved ones—by going on a family trip to Joshua Tree National Park.

Joshua Tree

Active families looking to spend time in the great outdoors will love exploring Joshua Tree National Park. Offering hiking, camping, rock climbing, and more, this inexpensive weekend getaway in California makes for an adventure of a lifetime. It’s not uncommon to hear words like “magical” and “spiritual” being used to describe this location, and that is usually because of the Dr. Seuss-like trees scattered throughout the park and the otherworldly sunsets. 

Your kids can lose track of time running around the park that looks like it’s straight out of their favorite storybook, but there are plenty of fun activities for adults as well. The Outdoor Desert Art Museum and the Smith’s Ranch Drive-in (temporarily closed) are popular pastimes that families of all ages and sizes will love to visit.

Enjoy some family bonding while unwinding in the charming coastal town of Dana Point.

Dana Point

We don’t know what it is about the Golden State’s beaches that make them so enchanting, but once you’ve been to one, you’ll always dream of going back. Nestled halfway between Los Angeles and San Diego is the coastal town of Dana Point—this is an alluring spot with miles of beaches that are perfect for an inexpensive weekend getaway in Southern California. 

Head to Baby Beach, a great family-friendly destination, to spend a day basking in the sun and splashing around in the calm waters. Boating, fishing, surfing, whale watching, and touring galleries and museums are also popular activities you can try on your affordable beach getaway. We can’t stress enough how underrated this SoCal destination is, so you won’t want to miss it.

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