Vacation In California On A Budget

Nowadays, many families choose California as their vacation destination. There are a lot of things to do in California and it is considered by many the most visited state in the country. On a budget, you can get a great deal and still have an amazing time in California…

Whether you are a resident or not in California, if you are planning to visit this great state, you have a lot to discover. From its long beaches, to the beautiful weather and to the arid deserts, there is much fun and enjoyment to be had in this lovely part of the world. The only thing that could challenge your vacation here is an empty purse.

When it comes to traveling, you may either decide to head out or take a staycation. In this article, you will learn about a great place to visit in California – the Pacific Grove. The Pacific Grove is just a short drive from Monterey and can be visited for many different occasions.

One of the best vacations a person can take is to visit the state of California. Every year, thousands of tourists travel across the country, or even halfway around the world, to experience all that this great state has to offer. There are always very high price tags associated with vacations and travel like this, but there are ways to cut those costs down considerably if you know how and where.

Vacation In California On A Budget

California is one of the most popular destinations in the United States. Just visit any major US city, and chances are a tourist is wearing something with an image of the Golden Gate Bridge, Hollywood sign, or Santa Monica pier.

Moving to a new state can be both daunting and exciting. I discovered this in 2014 when I committed to moving from Ohio to California. It was a scary experience yet I was looking forward to the adventure that awaited. Making a cross-country move for me was my personal version of living on a budget (which is something I consider myself as an expert about).

Whether you are traveling to California or you already live in the Golden State and are looking for the cheapest places to visit in California, you’ll have a surprising number of options. This is a huge state with a wide variety of places that don’t break the bank.

People who are looking for a cheap California vacation or the cheapest places to travel in California can visit some amazing cities, towns and entertainment areas that suit any type of budget.

cheapest places to visit in California

Below, you will find the ultimate list of the best and cheap weekend getaways in California including everything you need to know to make your cheap California travel a success with a couple of budget travel tips.

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10 Cheapest places to travel in California

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Big Bear is just 2 hours drive away from Los Angeles and is one of the cheapest vacation spots in California. Whether it is summer or winter, Big Bear and Big Bear Lake both are amazing places to escape into nature.

This is a popular ski destination in the USA and can get crowded in winter. Getting a cheap deal on accommodation in Big Bear can be difficult during the winter season.

But if you travel in summer, Big Bear Lake and nearby Lake Arrowhead are popular lake destinations in California and have plenty of things to offer its visitors like hiking, camping, fishing, swimming, mountain biking, and many more.

Best Deal on Hiking Gears

Although Big Bear has no offseason but traveling in the shoulder season can save your budget. During spring and fall time, one can find some great deals on accommodations.

Cheap or Free Things to do in Big Bear

  • Visit Big Bear Alpine Zoo, located right next to Big Bear Mountain Resort. You can see some native animals in this area such as black bears, arctic foxes, bald eagles.
  • Big Bear Lake itself has a lot of water activities. Rent a kayak or take a boat ride in the lake. If you are looking for something more interesting try your hand at fishing.
  • You can hike the San Bernadino Mountains, one of the best hikes in southern California, or can explore the place by riding on a mountain bike. Castle Rock trail is another popular scenic hike(short) that offers a stunning panoramic view from the top.
  • During winter, Big Bear is popular as a ski spot that offers ski run for all levels.
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Cheap vacations in California | Big Bear Lake
Big Bear Lake

Suggested Budget for Big Bear

Hotel(2 people): $55-100
Food: $15-20
Transport: $20
Activities: $10-15
Daily Budget: $70/person

Cheap Hotels in Big Bear Lake

  • Robinhood Resort: It is an affordable hotel in Big Bear Lake that features an onsite tavern and pub for a variety of food and entertainment options. 
  • Big Bear Frontier: Nestled in the San Bernardino Mountains, surrounded by tall pines this breathtaking resort expresses a chic, yet rustic charm that offers serenity and tranquility. Cabins are very cute and close to the lake.

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#2 VENTURA – Cheapest Places to Visit in California

Just north of Los Angeles, Ventura is an inexpensive beach town outside the hustle and bustle of city life. It is a laid-back beach town with lots of free activities, natural beauty, and reasonable accommodations.

Ventura is not all about the beach. Beyond this, it has a delightful Ventura Pier and promenade, gardens, and natural beauties.

Cheap or Free Things to do in Ventura

  • Take a short stroll on the Ventura Pier in the evening and watch the shimmering sunset. The promenade is perfect for morning or evening runs. You can rent a bike and explore the Ventura Pier.
  • Ventura Botanical Gardens is a popular botanical garden in California and it is free to visit. Follow the walking trail that leads uphill and offers mesmerizing ocean vistas.
  • Take a boat ride to Channel Island National Park. It opens daily and admission is free here. Learn about this island, see exhibits. You can spend a nice family time here.
  • Visit The San Buenaventura Mission which was built in 1749. This Spanish mission has experienced pirate attacks, fires, earthquake but still is in working order. The admission fee for adults is $4 and for kids just $1.
  • If you love biking, don’t miss the chance to explore Paved Bike Path. The path goes to the neighboring city of Ojai which is also known as ‘Shangri La’ for its stunning landscapes.

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