California is a fantastic state to explore, but the majority of vistors often stick to the traditional tourist haunts such as the Napa Valley and Los Angeles. However, there is a lot more that the state has to offer. The smaller cities and towns have some fantastic attractions, and when it comes to accommodation, some of the best boutique hotels are located in these lovely destinations. If you are looking for inspiration for your next California trip or are planning a road trip through the state, here are a few places to consider.
San Luis Obispo
San Luis Obispo is a small but beautiful city that is located among nine small volcanic peaks roughly halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles. It’s great for hiking and mountain biking, as well as being a great gateway to wine tasting in the Edna Valley. Hipmunk’s California hotel listings have some nice boutique hotels in Obispo, with the Madonna Inn set just outside the town with beautiful country architecture. Or, stay at the San Luis Creek Lodge, which has luxury features and nearby kayaking and scuba diving.
Just north of San Francisco and in the heart of California’s wine country, Sonoma is the calmer and more reserved neighbor of the Napa Valley. It’s wonderful for wine tasting, and it is home to a legendary Independence Day parade. The boutique hotels in Sonoma include the Ledson Hotel, with its own winery and lovely traditionally decorated rooms, while the Carneros Inn is another option with a pool and a spa.
Image via FLIKR
A short drive north of Los Angeles and home to some fantastic surfing conditions around the town’s beach, Ventura has plenty going for it. In this city, the Mission San Buenaventura, a church founded in the eighteenth century, has the original well in the ground. It’s certainly worth a visit. As for hotels, there are some wonderful options when you look at the myriad boutique hotels in Ventura. The Clock Tower Inn Hotel and the Mission Bell Motel are both worth checking out.
Within easy reach of LAX Airport, Hawthorne is an ideal base if you are arriving from a long haul flight and just want somewhere nearby to stay or want to be fresh for a morning flight. The Hipmunk Hotels website has some lovely hotels in Hawthorne within easy reach of the airport, with the Ayres Hotel being a beautifully decorated place, while the Custom Hotel Los Angeles Airport is another that is an ideal place to stay with some lovely modern touches.
The city of Carlsbad is a short distance from LA and has strong German links that attract visitors from Germany every year. It also has some fun attractions, including Legoland California and the Sea Life Aquarium. Some of the best boutique hotels in Carlsbad to be found include the Beach Terrace Inn with its lovely ocean views, and the Southern California Beach Club with a roomy rooftop terrace.