Vacation In California Wine Country

Are you thinking of taking time off and enjoy the best California Wine Country has to offer? This article is for you.

You may think that you need to travel far, to some exotic locale, in order to experience a wonderful vacation. But California Wine Country is just a few hours north of Los Angeles and San Francisco — so close you’ll feel like you’re there before your plane has even taken off.

I know, I know… “wine country” isn’t usually the first thing that comes to mind when you think “vacation.” Much of wine country is grapes and farmland — far from a beach-front property, luxury hotel or tropical island. But if you are willing to think outside the box, give it a try in wine country.

In the past few years, California wineries have seen significant growth. Everyone from the consumer to wine critics is appreciating California wines and their flavors. There are over 5,000 wineries with over 100,000 varietals to choose from. The fine wines of California are unique to the area that they call home. It’s truly a stunning place to visit and offers something for everyone.

Vacation In California Wine Country

There is no other U.S. region as associated with wine and vineyards as the San Francisco Bay Area. In fact, the wine industry has been thrives here for centuries, including prohibition which forced growers to get creative in how they hid their grapes during those years (hint: they didn’t get rid of them).

If you’re visiting Northern California, then you should consider a trip to wine country. Napa and Sonoma are popular destinations located only one hour drive from San Francisco.

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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#1 BIG BEAR LAKE

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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