Believe it or not, few places are as inherently relaxing as California. The sweeping, sand-covered coastlines, snowy mountaintops, redwood-filled forests and dry deserts provide endless opportunities for exploration and escapism.
Next time you’re determining the best vacation destination to help you unwind, book a flight to California to experience travel gold.
Relax on the Beach
Californian beaches are the main tourist attraction. But that doesn’t mean they can’t be relaxing.
If you’re traveling in the off-season, it’s easy to find secluded spots at even the most popular seaside destinations. They have nice weather too. The endless summer climate allows for sunshine nearly all year long, even if the air is chilled.
Areas like San Diego and Orange County are filled with small, hidden coves just waiting to be discovered. Recline on the beach and soak up the sun to relax. Visit the sandy beaches in Los Angeles to relieve some stress with activities like beach volleyball, surfing and stand-up paddleboarding. Or, head further north to central California to spot sea lions and otters lounging below giant cliffs.
Go Wine Tasting
No trip to California is complete without wine tastings, especially if you’re visiting spots like Napa Valley, Sonoma, Temecula and even Paso Robles. With a variety of different climates throughout the state, and a history of winemaking, you’re sure to find something to love.
Wine tasting is incredibly relaxing. Simply take a seat, savor the flavors of the various wines and let your troubles melt away.
Find the Perfect Rental
Where you stay during your trip has a huge impact on your overall level of rest. Look for a hideaway where you can be alone and have some time to yourself.
Of course, if you want to head out and explore, there’s nothing stopping you. But make sure that the place you choose as your home base offers a certain level of privacy. Whether it’s a mountain lodge, an oceanfront villa or a sanctuary nestled in the hills above Los Angeles, there are plenty of California vacation rentals to choose from.
Visit a Spa
Spa trips are one of the best ways to find relaxation no matter where you are. California is no exception!
From massages, facials and body scrubs to treatments with oils and hot stones, a spa is bound to fill your soul with tranquility. Resorts and stand-alone spas all over Southern California offer spa treatments alongside access to Jacuzzis, saunas and fruit-infused waters.
Many modern spas also offer wellness components, like yoga and Pilates classes, strength training, aerobics or other fitness experiences.
Travel Alone—But Make New Friends
One thing that will surely amp up your level of relaxation is traveling alone. While you’re sure to have a good time with loved ones, moments can arise where you don’t get along or want to visit the same places. If you travel solo, you can be selfish—see what you want to see, do what you want to do.
However, if you’re the type to get lonely, don’t hesitate to make new friends along the way. They will enhance your experience, but you won’t have to stick with them throughout the length of your trip.
Get Lost in the Big City
Big cities like Los Angeles are usually the opposite of relaxing, but it all depends on how you view the experience. Next time you’re trying to de-stress in California, don’t skip over this bustling place.
Getting lost in a big city can give you plenty of unique emotions. It’ll help you realize how very small you are, and in turn, how small your problems are as well. Those traveling solo will especially enjoy traipsing through this crazy place, looking at funky street art and visiting a slew of impressive museums. Sometimes the insanity offers a level of unexpected peace and clarity.
Escape to the Middle of Nowhere
Possibly the best way to unwind in California is to visit the places that offer stunning scenery and aren’t (always, at least) filled with people.
Natural spots like Yosemite, Lake Tahoe and the southern Mojave Desert have hiking trails that allow you to get out and experience the wild. You’ll spot animals, plants and flowers that grow in the area, but you’ll also encounter a variety of lakes, sand dunes and waterfalls that will take your breath away.
Another relaxing locale that isn’t heavily traveled is the area north of the Bay Area. Visit Humboldt County for cool coastlines and endless redwood trees in places like Patrick’s Point and Eureka.
No matter where you venture, if it’s in the middle of nowhere, you’re bound to find an escape that serves as medicine for the heart and the mind.