Move over, San Francisco, LA and San Diego, the Golden State is more than just big cities. California has many small towns with all the culture and excitement of the city. But these destinations also have a tranquil vibe. Read on to plan your next trip at one of these charming California towns perfect for a relaxing getaway.
Small California Towns Perfect for a Relaxing Getaway
Relax in a Wide Open Wonderland
In Napa Valley, Calistoga is where you go to relax. The area is full of natural hot springs and mud baths where you can rejuvenate yourself naturally. Calistoga has many wonderful B&Bs such as the Craftsman Inn, where you can receive a warm welcome along with your hot breakfast. The town hosts the annual Wellness Weekwhen many centers such as Roman Spa Hot Springs Resort and Cakebread Cellars have special wellness packages.
A Boho Artist Colony on the California Coast
Carmel-by-the-Sea is a romantic little town with storybook cottages, high end boutiques, and art galleries. You can get a taste of history while visiting the Carmel Mission, or you can catch a live performance at the Sunset Center. Carmel also has a spectacular local art scene with over 100 galleries in town and it is considered one of the best art cities in the United States. Many events happen year-round in Carmel including the Carmel Art Walk and the Carmel Bach Festival, just to name a few.
Visit the Home Of An Extinct Volcanic Peak
Morro Bay is not only the home to a volcanic peak, but it is also a quaint fishing village. Morro Rock is the town’s most distinctive landmark and is part of a chain of nine volcanic peaks. You can stay at a lovely B&B in town like the Bayfront Inn at the Waterfront and spend your days relaxing in this picturesque town.
The coastal community offers many year-round outdoor activities including golfing, bird watching, biking, kayaking, surfing, and much more. An added bonus, the fabulous Hearst Castle is just 30 miles from Morro Bay, which makes it a perfect day trip to add to your holiday.
Enjoy the White Sand Beaches at Avalon
Head out to Santa Catalina Island to visit the coastal town of Avalon. The pristine white sand beaches are the perfect playground for swimming and snorkeling. The views you will see from the Trans-Catalina Trail are definitely worth the 38.5 miles of the trail. This historic seaside town is only one square mile and is easily negotiated on foot or via golf cart. If you wish to get an epic view of Catalina, a helicopter ride can provide a memorable experience.
Experience Postcard Perfect Solvang
Solvang is a postcard-like small town in the Santa Ynez Valley full of Danish influences. As you walk around Solvang, you can imagine that you are in Denmark. The town is full of Danish architecture, lovely boutiques, and the town’s iconic windmill that will take you to Europe. Solvang is also adjacent to Santa Barbara’s vineyards, and there are over 120 wineries and vineyards in the area that are perfect for a day trip.
See the Stunning San Francisco Skyline from Sausalito
A short drive over the Golden Gate Bridge will find you in one of the best small towns in California, picturesque Sausalito. On Bridgeway, the town’s main street, you can see stunning views of the Bay and San Francisco while you browse the many shops and dine at fine establishments like Scoma’s of Sausalito.
Get back to nature at Muir Woods National Monument, where you can navigate the trails that wind through the magnificent redwood trees. Guests may want to see the eccentric homes located at Gates Co-op Houseboat Community in Richardson Bay, where they can see houseboats that range from floating luxury palaces, a pirate ship, and a home built on a tugboat from World War II.
Be A Free Spirit and Refresh Your Senses
Ojai is a small town nestled among the beautiful Topatopa Mountains and located about 90 minutes from Los Angeles. The town has always been a haven for free spirits and artistic types. In downtown, visitors will love the ambiance in Ojai Village, which is home to stunning Spanish Colonial Revival architecture and an assortment of art galleries and quirky shops. For those on a wellness kick, The Day Spa of Ojai, and Enhanced Day Spa & Boutique both offer incredible spa packages on a full menu of luxury treatments.
Ojai is also a delightful place to get active outdoors. Lake Casitas has a variety of water activities, guests an also enjoy their time in Ojai hiking, horseback riding, and playing golf, tennis and much more.
Plan your visit to one of these charming California towns and have a relaxing getaway!
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com