The post below was originally published on This Life in Trips by Shaun Robertson
When you’re planning a vacation in the Golden State, attractions like Disneyland, Hollywood, and the Golden Gate Bridge instantly come to mind. If you don’t want to deal with the large crowds or the high prices that those destinations tend to have, don’t hesitate to look further. When it comes to accommodations and value, California has a lot to offer outside its main centers. With that in mind, check out these off-the-beaten-path destinations and places to stay in California.
L.A. Connection – Inglewood
With its proximity to Los Angeles and the many attractions it has to offer, Inglewood is an affordable option for those looking to save in the LA area. Sandwiched between LAX airport and LA itself, hotels in Inglewood are perfect for those looking to be close to it all without being in the center.
Silicon Valley for Less – Sunnyvale
In between the homes of tech giants Intel and Google is the Silicon Valley city of Sunnyvale. Although the city is home to its share of big-name companies, hotels in Sunnyvale generally have lower rates than neighboring cities like Santa Clara and Mountain View. The Vagabond Inn Sunnyvale and Extended Stay America San Jose – Sunnyvale offer some of the lowest prices in the valley, yet they’re still close to attractions like Levi’s Stadium, home of the San Francisco 49ers. With commuter train service from Sunnyvale to downtown San Francisco, there’s plenty to see and do beyond Sunnyvale.
California Arts and Outdoors – Riverside
Although LA and all its excitement is just a short drive away, you’ll find plenty to see and do within Riverside’s borders. The Riverside Metropolitan Museum, the Riverside Art Museum, and the Mission Inn Museum are all within blocks of each other, and you can explore them on foot. If you’re looking to stretch your legs a little more, take a stroll through the California Citrus State Historic Park, birthplace of the navel orange. You’ll also find a good variety of hotels in Riverside, ranging from cozy inns to high-end resorts.
Gateway to the Great Outdoors – Fresno
Fresno is the perfect starting point for those looking to explore the best National Parks that California has to offer. Visit the ski areas of the Sierra Mountains in the winter months, or head to Yosemite in the summer to say hello to El Capitan, the park’s massive granite rock face. There are plenty of hotels in Fresno to choose from, but if you’re resting up between hikes, consider the DoubleTree by Hilton Fresno Convention Center for its pool and spa tubs. Your legs will thank you.
Celebrity Spotting – North Hollywood
Last up on this list of off-the-beaten-path cities in California is North Hollywood. As the name suggests, North Hollywood is located a short drive north of Hollywood. Hotels in North Hollywood are cheaper than those slightly to the south. Great value options include the Mikado Hotel and the Hollywood Inn Express North Hollywood. Visit nearby Studio City and take a tour behind the scenes of the Warner Bros. Studio, or continue on to Hollywood for a stroll down the Walk of Fame.