Small California towns to visit for a relaxing weekend
 
 
 
 
 
 

Dreamy small towns in California for your next relaxing getaway

Get swept off your feet by the European charm of Santa Ynez Valley
/ 07:51 PM January 05, 2024

Dreamy small towns in California for your next relaxing getaway

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Ready to ditch the city mayhem for some small-town charm? Pack your bags and head to these small towns in California that promise nothing but cozy vibes and scenic views sans the hustle of city life.

Some California cities may be hailed as the most fun in the US while other cities are some of the best places to live, but the state has its best-kept gems waiting to be discovered — all you have to do is get out of the city for a while.

Small towns in California to visit for the ultimate weekend getaway

Get ready for Insta-worthy scenes and picturesque spots in these quaint towns.

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Carmel By The Sea

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Set foot in this one-square-mile spot with rich architectural history, art galleries and streets reminiscent of Hollywood Glam. Include the 18th-century Carmel Mission on your itinerary — a gorgeous display of Spanish architecture.

The rocky coastline in this small beach town in Monterey appeared in some of “Big Little Lies” beach scenes.

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Places to visit: Carmel Valley, Galerie Plein Aire, Winfield Gallery

Arcata

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Home to one “Jurassic Park” movie, you can enjoy under the sun canoeing, boating or kayaking at this town’s Mad River Beach Country Park. Or channel your inner adventurer and explore the stunning forests of redwood.

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Places to visit: Arcata Farmer’s Market, Humboldt State University Natural History Museum, Arcata Theater Lounge

You may also like: Kickstart your 2024 with these visual arts events in San Francisco

Eureka

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Seeking a culture-packed adventure? Eureka, the heart of Redwood Coast boasts of its Victorian architecture taking you to European streets — all packed with artsy vibes. For nature lovers, the 6-mile Eureka Waterfront Trail will let you into a green scenery.

Meanwhile, immerse in the world’s tallest redwoods as you walk in the “redwood curtain” — a designated California Cultural District City.

Places to visit: Sequoia Park, Redwood Skywalk

Coronado

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Skip the winter blues as this small town in California gives you an excuse for more fun in the sun. A town where winter is at 70 degrees and ‘seasonal’ means cookie decorating, oceanfront ice skating and beachside yoga, this is the place to be for that weekend retreat.

With its Victorian charm and stunning beaches, there are tons of activities in line for the whole family.

Places to visit: Point Loma, Balboa Park, San Diego Zoo

Guerneville

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Redwood meets modern chic in this small town in California. Guerneville, aka the Gay Riviera will take you from eco-chic hotels to Bavarian beer hall. It’s a quaint town that will let you chill around the Russian River.

Places to visit: Big Bottom Market (home to Oprah’s favorite cookies), Autocamp, Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve

Goleta

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Experience a lemon-scented charm in Goleta also known as “The Good Land.” The town’s boutique hotels, three shopping centers and farmers markets will complete your weekend getaway.

Places to visit: Calle Real Shopping Center, Ellwood Mesa, Monarch Butterfly Grove

Sonoma

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Nestled between the Macadamias Mountains and the Pacific, this town offers wine and a dash of history. A wine-lovers dream with more than 400 wineries in the surrounding area, this laid-back place promises over 20 tasting rooms. Also, it’s more affordable than Napa Valley.

Places to visit: Sonoma Plaza, Buena Vista Winery, Iron Horse Vineyards

Mendocino

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Each beachwave will bring you that serenity you need on your soulful retreat. This small town in California offers misty morning strolls, scenic coastal redwoods and dinners overlooking the ocean.

Places to visit: Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens, Mendocino Headlands State Park

Solvang

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You can now live your Danish dreams under the Californian sun, thanks to this haven in Santa Ynez Valley. Charming tourists with half-timbered homes and Denmark-like statues since 1947, this town reflects its dedication to its Scandinavian roots.

Places to visit: Copenhagen Drive, Elverhøj Museum of History & Art

Weekend warriors, you deserve some time to rest and chill. Let this guide help you explore California’s small-town wonders.

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