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California may be famous for its golden stretches of beach, but it is actually incredibly diverse. This state is full of spectacular resorts, from breathtaking beachfront locations to wine country, mountain, and lakeside retreats. No matter what type of getaway you’re looking for, the properties on this list are guaranteed to make for a fabulous stay that will provide you with a mix of relaxation and fun activities.
Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort & Club - Dana Point
A Tuscan-inspired resort about midway between Los Angeles and San Diego, Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort & Club boasts spectacular ocean views and a wealth of facilities with some of the most extravagant amenities in the world. Enjoy swimming or relaxing around the gorgeous pools, take advantage of the kids’ club, and look forward to dining at multiple outstanding restaurants, including the impressive Stonehill Tavern, renowned for its exceptional selection of wines that complement the mouthwatering cuisine. A world-class spa, yoga classes, guided wildlife tours, and whale-watching cruises are also available. Rooms and suites are extra spacious and come with plants and fresh flowers and beds with luxurious goose-down comforters and Pratesi Italian linens.
Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa - Rancho Santa Fe
Just a short drive north of San Diego in Rancho Santa Fe, Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa enjoys a lush setting among gardens and olive groves, providing an ideal spot for a spa and wellness getaway in California. The sprawling grounds include just 26 casitas and a large hacienda, ensuring plenty of privacy, so much so that even President Clinton and Bill Gates have stayed here. All have whitewashed wood beams, French doors that lead to private patios, fireplaces, flat-screen cable TVs, minibars with free items, and espresso makers with milk frothers. A complimentary newspaper, milk, and orange juice are delivered each morning, and there’s an outstanding fine-dining restaurant. Guests also have access to two heated pools and hot tubs, a luxe spa with an extensive menu of body and facial treatments, a sauna, steam rooms, and fitness classes.
The Lodge Torrey Pines - La Jolla
The luxurious Lodge Torrey Pines is just a few miles from the fabulous San Diego beaches and overlooks one of the country’s best golf courses, Torrey Pines. There’s a state park on one side and views of the ocean on the other, while the spa provides services inspired by nature that use botanical and sea-based extracts to restore body and mind. Enjoy lounging around the pool, soaking in the hot tub, and sipping craft beer at The Grill & Bar, followed by an evening dining on the delicious farm-to-table fare at A.R. Valentien. Rooms and suites come with picturesque views and huge bathrooms with soaking tubs.
Hotel del Coronado - Coronado Island, San Diego
One of the most iconic beachfront hotels in California, Hotel del Coronado is ideal for couples and families alike, with a wide range of things to do right on-site, including time on one of the most beautiful stretches of sand in the country. Enjoy everything from beach strolls and bonfires to surfing, swimming, and paddle boarding before relaxing at the award-winning spa. You’ll be steps from the popular Silver Strand Bike Path and outstanding golf. You’ll also enjoy access to three heated pools. While most of the rooms sit within the historic Victorian building, all include modern amenities like free Wi-Fi and 42″ flat-screen cable TVs.
Cavallo Point - Sausalito
This historic property sits near the base of the Golden Gate Bridge in a state park just across the bay from San Francisco. From here, you’ll have sweeping views of the city skyline and the bay while enjoying a tranquil setting and easy access to the ferry terminal with a free shuttle. Built in the late 19th century as an army base, it managed to retain many historic details while adding luxurious amenities. The Contemporary Rooms built into the hillside come with gas fireplaces, floor-to-ceiling windows, and some of the most stunning hotel room views in the world. There’s an acclaimed spa on-site with fire pits and a pool, a sophisticated restaurant, an on-site cooking school, and activities like hiking and morning yoga are available too.
JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa - Desert Hot Springs
An oasis in the middle of the desert spread across 450 acres with lush greenery, sparkling lakes, pools, and golf courses set against a backdrop of soaring mountains, the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa offers a blissful Palm Springs family getaway that comes complete with gondola rides along the property’s waterways. It includes a lavish full-service spa, four outdoor pools with poolside service, a half-dozen restaurants, and a nightclub with weekend DJs and dancing. Families can take advantage of babysitting services, a kids’ activity center, and a teen lounge. Most of the spacious rooms come with private furnished balconies and garden or pool views.
Montage Healdsburg - Healdsburg
The 258-acre boutique Montage Healdsburg is nestled in the rolling hills of California’s most spectacular wine regions. It made its debut in January of 2021, ensuring the land (covered in some 22,000 live oak trees) was left as undisturbed as possible by raising the rooms. All include private terraces with views of the vineyards, mountains, or forests, while some also have fire pits or kitchenettes. There’s a massive spa, a zero-edge pool, and a fantastic restaurant with dishes focused on the area’s fresh local ingredients.
Hotel Cerro - San Luis Obispo
If you have the beautiful Central Coast in mind, the Hotel Cerro is the perfect choice. San Luis Obispo offers lots to do with everything from vineyards and wineries for touring and tasting to historic landmarks, golf courses, fantastic shopping, dining, and entertainment, with idyllic beaches nearby too. Hotel Cerro will put you in the heart of it all, complete with one of the best rooftop hotel pools to cool off in between all the other fun. It also hosts the highly acclaimed Brasserie SLO restaurant, a spa, and a gym, while rooms are all very spacious and come in various styles with amenities like flat-screen TVs and minifridges. Some have soaking tubs, fireplaces, or garden patios.
The Inn at Spanish Bay - Pebble Beach
The Inn at Spanish Bay is part of the renowned Pebble Beach Resorts, popular among avid golf enthusiasts and luxury travelers. It’s one of the top resorts in the country for taking advantage of world-class golf courses while enjoying a seaside retreat in spacious rooms. Every room comes with fireplaces, Italian marble baths, and balconies, many of which are ocean-facing. You’ll have access to a lap pool surrounded by greenery and fire pits where you can cozy up to the warmth while enjoying the sounds of the inn’s famous bagpiper. Plus, there are multiple outstanding dining options in the Pebble Beach complex.
Post Ranch Inn - Big Sur
One of the most romantic cliffside resorts in the world, Post Ranch Inn sits along the Big Sur Coast at the cliffs’ edge and comes with infinity pools overlooking the ocean. Look forward to some of the best fine dining in front of that Pacific Ocean view, indulgent treatments at the spa, and a variety of classes, including yoga, meditation, and stargazing. For the ultimate stay, book the Pacific Suite with an ocean view from every vantage point, including the tiled bath for two.
Indian Springs Calistoga - Calistoga
Tucked into spectacular Northern California Wine Country, Indian Springs Calistoga is an iconic resort with accommodations in historic cottages, bungalows, and Mission Revival-style buildings. It’s one of the best hot springs resorts in California according to Google ratings and the perfect place to go for pampering, with the opportunity to sip local wine alongside the main mineral pool, fed by on-site geysers. As the springs are open until midnight, it’s a great place to soak while gazing at the stars. Enjoy stress-melting spa treatments, with everything from famous mud baths that utilize the thermal mineral waters and pure volcanic ash to facials, scrubs, and massages. Loaner bicycles are available when you want to explore, and there’s a restaurant and bar on-site too.
Auberge du Soleil - Rutherford
An especially popular resort among romance-seeking couples, Auberge du Soleil, in the Napa Valley, is a favorite for weddings and honeymoons. Accommodation is in Mediterranean-style villas with wood-burning fireplaces and private verandas with views of the olive grove-dotted landscape. You’ll be in an ideal spot for wine tasting and touring with around 400 wineries in the surrounding area. Afterward, you can look forward to the spa’s rejuvenating water rituals, relaxing in the soothing springs, and enjoying a memorable meal at the fine dining restaurant on-site. It’s often ranked among the best in California, with a menu featuring Mediterranean-inspired dishes that include local ingredients paired with carefully-procured wines.
The Stanford Inn by the Sea - Mendocino
Set on 10 acres of beautiful grounds overlooking Mendocino Bay and considered to be one of the best inns in Mendocino, The Stanford Inn by the Sea is a combination of B&B, eco-resort, and historic farm. It hosts the Mendocino Center for Living Well, where guests can enjoy meditation, yoga, tai chi, gardening, and cooking classes. There are also canoes, SUPs, kayaks, and bikes available for rent through Catch a Canoe and Bicycles Too. Guests enjoy a delicious complimentary breakfast every morning and the on-site Raven Restaurant offers a menu of organic cuisine with plant-based options. The rooms, one- and two-bedroom suites come with fireplaces, decks with ocean views, satellite TV, microwaves, and mini-fridges.
The Landing Resort & Spa - South Lake Tahoe
Set along the Lake Tahoe lakefront and one of the best resorts in Lake Tahoe, The Landing Resort & Spa offers some of the best accommodations you can find in Lake Tahoe, complete with breathtaking views of the lake. Rooms come with many high-end perks, like granite stone fireplaces, private balconies or patios, and marble bathrooms with heated floors and toilet seats. Some even include aromatherapy, light therapy, and steam showers. Take beauty and wellness up a notch with a visit to the award-winning spa with treatments that include everything from olive oil wraps and cinnamon, vanilla, and brown sugar exfoliation scrubs to hot stone massage and reflexology. Jimmy’s Restaurant on-site is one of the area’s top places to dine, with a menu of California and Greek cuisine.
The Ritz-Carlton - Half Moon Bay
Only a 30-minute drive from San Francisco, the Ritz-Carlton at Half Moon Bay is an oceanfront resort that sits on a bluff overlooking the Pacific, offering some of the best views from a hotel in all of California. You can enjoy wine tasting, hiking, biking, and some of the world’s best surfing from this ideal location. There are plenty of things to do on-site, too, including golfing at one of two championship golf courses, one of which boasts ocean views from every hole. The 16,000-square-foot spa with saunas, steam rooms, a whirlpool, and a menu of fabulous treatments is a great place to go for relaxation afterward. Both of its on-site restaurants offer ocean views while you dine on locally sourced seafood.