October 28, 2020
As California mitigates health risks during the COVID-19 pandemic, some travel restrictions may remain in certain communities. Call the local and regional tourism offices to learn more about the restrictions in your intended destination. Thank you for reading, and stay safe.
Looking for a break from everyday life but don’t feel like venturing too far? The Golden State has everything you need for a California staycation. Whether you’re looking for a beach escape or an intimate getaway, the West Coast has plenty of destinations that make you feel far from home even though you’re not.
The best staycations in California
While there are countless lodging options to choose from, some stand above the rest given their location, amenities, and guest services. From forested havens to dreamy desert retreats, these 13 high-standard hotels will excite your senses and have you falling in love with California all over again.
Stunning Northern California Hotels
1. The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay
Location: 1 Miramontes Point Road, Half Moon Bay
The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay is the luxurious coastal retreat you’ve been dreaming of. The blufftop resort overlooking the Pacific Ocean offers an extravagant five-star experience perfect for guests seeking an opulent California staycation. Featuring two championship golf courses, a spa with locally inspired treatments and skincare, and two restaurants with stunning ocean views, the resort provides over 35,000 square feet of heavenly indoor and outdoor space. Indeed, The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay has an abundance of opportunities to disconnect from your regular life—enjoy long walks on the beach, play a few rounds of golf, lounge in Adirondack chairs by blazing firepits, and soak in the majestic sunset.
2. Ventana Big Sur
Location: 48123 CA-1, Big Sur
Offering rustic-chic tent cabins and picturesque campsites at its luxury campground, Ventana Big Sur is the perfect glamping experience. The Big Sur hotel’s safari-style accommodations and enviable amenities provide guests with physical and mental rejuvenation amidst a dreamy and relaxing setting. With plenty of privacy and seclusion, the 20-acre redwood canyon is furnished with wood-burning firepits, picnic tables, and padded Adirondack chairs. Take in the majestic splendor of Big Sur as the dramatic Pacific coastline amplifies your best staycation in California yet.
3. Hotel Shattuck Plaza
Location: 2086 Allston Way, Berkeley
Built over 100 years ago, the historic Hotel Shattuck Plaza is an upscale sanctuary in downtown Berkeley that provides top-notch service for guests. The Mission-style boutique hotel welcomes you to enjoy a California staycation (you can bring your four-legged friend along, too). Comfortable beds await your much-deserved slumber; during the day, explore the Mediterranean-inspired dining options for a taste bud–tingling experience. As sweeping views of the Bay Bridge and Alcatraz Island take your breath away, it’s only a matter of time until you book another stay at this luxe, eco-friendly hotel.
4. Rosewood Sand Hill
Location: 2825 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park
Michelin-star dining, stunning mountain views, pampering spa treatments, and unlimited outdoor possibilities—how can we resist a California staycation at the Rosewood Sand Hill? Nestled on 16 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens and courtyards, this luxury resort is the perfect urban retreat you’ve been dying to go on. This upscale Silicon Valley hideaway delivers impeccable service and allows guests to enjoy high-end experiences. With a heated outdoor pool, hot tub, and a spa featuring 13 treatment rooms, the hotel embodies the rich and relaxed ambience of the Bay Area, making it the ideal spot for a Northern California staycation.
5. Claremont Club and Spa, A Fairmont Hotel
Location: 41 Tunnel Road, Berkeley
Home to recently renovated guest rooms and acclaimed restaurants, Claremont Club and Spa is a Bay Area landmark located in the Berkeley Hills and is the perfect setting for your next NorCal vacation. Offering a quintessential California staycation experience, the stately resort provides extravagant services, first-rate amenities, and various activities amid 22 acres of stunning grounds. With access to all luxuries available at the award-winning hotel, guests have the opportunity to partake in pilates, fitness classes, tennis, and swimming; take a hike at the nearby Claremont Canyon Regional Preserve, too, and unwind with a spa treatment in the afternoon.
6. Hotel Los Gatos, A Greystone Hotel
Location: 210 East Main Street, Los Gatos
When it comes to San Jose area hotels, it's hard to beat Hotel Los Gatos, a high-end retreat located at the base of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Only a short drive away from the fast-paced Silicon Valley, the Mediterranean-style hotel provides guests with everything they need for a memorable staycation. A sparkling pool, outdoor jacuzzi, tranquil patio areas, and fine dining on-site are at your disposal. The pet-friendly hotel typically hosts live music on weekends and offers complimentary access to a fitness club located across the street. Don’t forget to stop by the rejuvenating spa for a relaxing massage, either.
Top Staycations in Southern California
7. Hotel Republic
Location: 421 West B Street, San Diego
Hotel Republic San Diego, Autograph Collection is the ultimate spot for a Southern California staycation. With lofty ceilings and chandeliers crafted from reclaimed driftwood, the guest rooms are furnished in modern neutral tones highlighted by blue tie-dyed pillows, mirroring the city's coastal vibes. This first-class hotel even has multiple on-site restaurants and an open-air terrace—plus a rooftop pool—making it easy to while away the days here.
The top dog-friendly San Diego hotel is also within walking distance of many downtown San Diego attractions, including the Gaslamp Quarter, Little Italy, the San Diego Bay, Petco Park, and the San Diego Convention Center. With breathtaking ocean views complemented by the city lights, Hotel Republic offers a warm SoCal welcome to all guests.
8. Solamar San Diego
Location: 435 Sixth Avenue, San Diego
Located in the heart of the Gaslamp District, Solamar San Diego is all about creating an easy-going atmosphere so guests can relax and unwind. The hip hotel provides visitors with modern comforts, a rooftop pool, mouthwatering dining options, and one-of-a-kind services.
An ideal spot for a staycation in Southern California, the San Diego hotel supplies guests with everything they desire. Ride a custom-designed bike to explore the city, hit the 24-hour fitness center to maintain your energy levels, or lounge at the terrace featuring firepits and private cabanas. Immerse yourself in the chic, contemporary vibe of this California hotel, and you just might extend your staycation.
9. Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa
Location: 1600 Disneyland Drive, Anaheim
Providing premium accommodations and world-class dining experiences, Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa is the definition of grandeur. Themed rooms, a delicious three-course breakfast, and pools with waterslides—could we ask for more? With majestic woodwork and architectural design found throughout the area, the Grand Californian Hotel’s craftsmanship and attention to detail are magnificent. Only steps away from the Downtown Disney District and the famous Disney theme parks, the hotel also offers distinctive shopping experiences and plenty of entertainment for the ultimate staycation in Southern California. So, escape reality and make your California staycation feel like a faraway vacation at this fantastic hotel.
10. Mission Inn Hotel and Spa
Location: 3649 Mission Inn Avenue, Riverside
The Mission Inn Hotel and Spa provides upscale accommodations and amenities for a romantic California staycation experience. Featuring Spanish Mission-style architecture, the hotel consists of awe-inspiring archways and flying buttresses, secluded garden oases, lofty domes, and soaring towers. (The enchanting hotel is known as the “Crown Jewel of the Inland Empire” for a reason.) Being a National Historic Landmark and member of the Historic Hotels of America, Riverside's Mission Inn never disappoints to deliver high-quality hospitality with contemporary luxury and comfort.
11. Renaissance Palm Springs Hotel
Location: 888 East Tahquitz Canyon Way, Palm Springs
Plan a mini escape from reality and book a room at the Renaissance Palm Springs Hotel. If you’ve been dreading the fall months, fear not. This desert hotel will make you forget that summer has ended. Boasting sweeping views of the majestic San Jacinto Mountains, the hotel embodies the desert-chich lifestyle with its outdoor pool, private cabanas, outdoor firepits, and relaxing spa—need we say any more? Designed to pamper guests to the max, the Renaissance Palm Springs Hotel provides the ultimate relaxation experience, making it one of the best Palm Springs resorts for your Palm Springs vacation.
12. The Surfrider Hotel
Location: 23033 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu
Inspired by the California surf culture and the Malibu landscape, The Surfrider provides a tranquil escape from daily life. Situated along the Pacific Coast Highway and directly across from the famous Malibu Surfrider Beach, this coastal getaway offers the best of the best. The Malibu hotel’s 20 rooms feature organic skincare products, outdoor hammocks, cozy robes, white linens, and teak accents along with a shared library and rooftop deck. The once outdated, 1950s-era motel has been entirely redesigned into an enviously cool boutique hotel that reflects the beach town surrounding it.
13. Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles
Location: 929 South Broadway, Los Angeles
It’s hard to turn down a weekend getaway at Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles, one of SoCal’s top-rated hotels. The vibrant L.A. destination provides guests with a much-needed resting place, featuring over 180 rooms, a rooftop pool, and a restaurant. Another fun fact: The Ace Hotel is located within the historic United Artists Building, which held an iconic D.T.L.A. 1920s movie palace; this historic theater has since been reimaged into an event space. With great vibes, modern amenities, and close proximity to downtown L.A. attractions, this California hotel has something for everyone.
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