Sure Los Angeles is a superstar. From the glittery lights of the Hollywood Hills to the sun-soaked beaches, America’s second-biggest city has a lot to offer.

But it’s not the only A-list city in California.

Visit the quaint towns in Mendocino County. Sample world-class wines in Napa Valley. Go on a luxurious girlfriend getaway in Palm Springs.

Whether you need a digital detox or a pampering session, you can do it without crossing state lines.

Santa Barbara

I love the chic laid back beach town vibe of Santa Barbara. With more than 300 days of sunshine per year you can have it all here.

Joshua Tree

You’re going to love the eclectic desert vibe of the far-flung little towns that dot the space between the Colorado Desert and the Mojave. Explore the galleries then scale the mountains for sweeping vistas of Joshua Tree National Park. Advertisements

I like Joshua Tree because the homes have a diverse, one-of-a-kind design. There are places where you can stay at that are as much a destination as the area itself.


When it comes to enjoying the beauty of natural parks, it’s all about Yosemite National Park. Turn off your phone. Close that laptop. Bring hiking boots and explore the backcountry of Yosemite.

Helpful Tip:

While you can get around to the most important spot in the park in one day, I would recommend making a weekend of it. Whether that means camping out or staying at a five-star resort, you are definitely going to appreciate having that extra time.

Read More:

  • The Ultimate Hiking Gear Guide for Women
  • For a weekend trip to Yosemite, backpackers should bring the following:
  • A weekend guide to backcountry hiking in Yosemite.

San Diego

San Diego has many beautiful beaches, world-famous craft breweries, castles, museums, the best Mexican food in California, and beautiful weather 365 days per year.

San Diego is a big city with so many distinct neighborhoods that should be explored. To really experience the best of the city, at least 5 days should be spent exploring it.

Read through the necessary information on my San Diego guide to get oriented.

Mendocino Headlands


In Mendocino County, you will find a magical place called Mendocino.

A visit to Mendocino County will show you another side of California: one filled with quiet little seaside towns, friendly locals and first-rate seafood.

Find some tips from a local and go canoeing and hiking. You will fall in love with this stunning area.

Napa Valley and Sonoma County

If you are a wine lover, I probably don’t need to tell you twice! What many people don’t realize about Napa Valley or Sonoma County is that it’s actually an incredible destination even if you are not all that into wine.

The region is home to some of California’s best restaurants (which is saying a lot). It has amazing art galleries and great live music.

Even if you don’t end up tasting wine, there are still many things to do in Napa Valley.

Helpful Tip:

People often confuse Napa Valley and Sonoma County. Keep in mind that they are very close to each other. Generally speaking, you’ll find more family-owned wineries in Sonoma while the more upscale Napa Valley has more international labels. Both have their charms so explore them all! As you can see, it is far less time consuming to visit the wider region.

Palm Springs

Golf is the capital of golf. Golf is a sport that people play in order to obtain money. Golf is a game played by rich and famous people.

I fell in love with the area during my girlfriend’s vacation to the Palm Springs area and I highly recommend it for a laidback break.

Carmel by the Sea

In the Monterey Peninsula you will find a collection of fairytale cottages, a historic Spanish mission, impressive art galleries, and unique little boutiques. Less than 30 miles north of Big Sur this dreamy spot is forever winning new awards.

This impressive city has several reasons to be considered one of the most romantic cities in the world. It is also considered one of the best places to bring your dog.

Big Sur

I had a great stay at the Ventana Big Sur and the area immediately became one of my favorite rustic retreats.

It is a great place for hiking and so grab a good pair of boots and your camera and be prepared for great views. From beautiful beaches to stunning mountain views, nature here is pretty diverse.

Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe is a nature lover’s paradise that is found nestled between California and Nevada. It is a four-season favorite that has golf, swimming, hiking, and skiing.

I like one thing especially about Lake Tahoe is that you can experience the great outdoors and then head into town for a night on the town!

The area is filled with incredible bars, restaurants, and cafes.