The best vacation spots in California can be budget-friendly, mid-range priced, or over the top in terms of luxury. But no matter how much you can afford to spend, you want to get your money’s worth. After all, it doesn’t make sense to pay a lot and not experience the very best of the best, with memories to last a lifetime. Get ready to learn about luxury travel in California.
Luxury Resorts in California
The Golden State is renowned for its beaches, forests, wine country, mountains and scenic coastlines and the best resorts in the state make the most of these natural wonders. Visit California lists some of their favorite spots, starting with the five-star Terranea Resort in the Palos Verdes Peninsula; it’s about 40 miles south of Los Angeles. This 109-acre retreat offers luxurious villas, casitas and bungalows, an oceanfront golf course, an award-winning spa, and eight gourmet restaurants.
Located about half an hour south of Palm Springs, La Quinta Resort & Club caters to golfers, and some of its five courses were named among GOLF’s Top 100 Best Courses in North America. This sophisticated resort also offers a state-of-the-art fitness center, hiking trails, yoga classes, and a world-class spa. Their rooms feature hot tubs, fireplaces, secluded patios, and private pools.
More Luxury Hotels in California
US News Travel also shares a list of their top California resort hotels, and these can be sorted by the number of stars. Their first five-star is the incredible Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa, which is north of San Diego. It has a Mediterranean aesthetic with hacienda-themed architecture, private balconies, and deep-soaking tubs. Their spa is to die for, and you can make appointments for different massage therapies and relaxing, herb-infused body wraps.
The writers at US News Travel also like Meadowood Napa Valley, an excellent choice for wine aficionados looking for some pampering. It’s in serene St. Helena, with an appealing rustic elegance; it’s close to Schramsberg Vineyards and Castello di Amorosa Winery, and the service is exceptional. Meadowood also has an extensive fitness center and an incredible on-site spa.
Splurge-Worthy and Decadent
Travel and Leisure also share their opinion on the best luxury vacation spots in California. Their number one pick is the exclusive Nobu Ryokan Malibu: if you can afford to pay $2,000-a-night, it’s worth the splurge. It’s right off the Pacific Coast Highway overlooking Carbon Beach and has just five bungalows and 11 rooms. The Japanese ambiance is minimalist and serene, and the resort partners with Cure spa. You can even get in-room spa treatments!
Rancho Valencia came in second on this list, and number three was Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur. The rooms offer stunning mountain and ocean views, plus prices in the $2,000-per-night range (breakfast is included). Guests enjoy rejuvenating spa treatments, whale watching, hikes, “Spiritual Exploration” treatments, and gourmet delicacies served in the award-winning Sierra Mar restaurant.
Other highly reviewed top luxury resorts in California include The Surfrider in Malibu, The Ranch at Laguna Beach and Brewery Gulch Inn in Mendocino. The Culture Trip recommends Catalina Island; you take a high-speed ferry from Newport Beach, Long Beach, and other ports to get here. Their favorite luxury retreats and rooms on the island are Hotel Metropole, the Aurora Hotel’s Celebrity Suite, Hotel Vista Del Mar, and Mt Ada. You might also want to look in The Penthouse room at the Zane Grey Pueblo Hotel or the Catalina Island Inn.