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Summer of Sun
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Summer Sun and Fun in California

California dreamers are ready for a summer of adventure — but rising prices can feel intimidating for those trying to make the most out of their trip plans. Here are some of the best deals and package experiences for sun-seekers to have on the radar while planning a Golden State escape.

Hot Hotels and Relaxing Resorts

Summer Sun & Fun on the Trinity River at Strawhouse Resorts

Those looking for an excellent place to hang out in the summer sun with plenty of fun activities for all ages and interests should check out Strawhouse Resorts in Big Flat. Here, visitors can enjoy access to incredible hikes in the Trinity Alps Wilderness Area, thrills like a white-water rafting trip, or just spend time by the gorgeous Trinity River in what feels like a little private oasis. Guests can get a 10% discount with a minimum 2-night stay, excluding holidays valid through December 31, 2022, using the coupon code - ENJOYBIGFLAT. 

Summer of Sun at El Encanto, a Belmond Hotel, Santa Barbara 

Experience the summer sunshine in a destination that can be explored essentially car-less, in Santa Barbara. Just a 2.5-hour scenic ride from Los Angeles on Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner on a gorgeous rail route is one of the most iconic spots to stay in town would be at the historic El Encanto, a Belmond Hotel. This property is perched on the tranquil Santa Barbara Hills and offers complimentary shuttle services to and from popular city destinations, including the Amtrak station. Guests also have the added benefits of complimentary electric bicycles and access to miles of nearby hiking trails. 

Summer Savings in Santa Monica

For lower rates in the iconic sunny SoCal city of Santa Monica, visit midweek and stay further inland. Or, take advantage of various hotel packages, including Fairmont Miramar Hotel and Suites’ “California Dreamin’” (which offers a fourth night free, plus up to $500 hotel credit), Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel’s “More Loews – Stay Longer, Earn More,” (book two nights, get a $200 credit)  or Viceroy Santa Monica’s “Surf and Stay” package (visitors get a choice of two surfboards or boogie boards, two wetsuits, beach butler and cooler). 

The Great Outdoors

Spend time in the Sunniest City in California – Redding

With 300 days of sunshine a year, Redding is touted as the sunniest city in California. Visitors can explore Turtle Bay Exploration Park, a 300-acre cultural center located along the Sacramento River and home to the landmark Sundial Bridge, the world’s largest working sundial. Those who like hiking can explore the McCloud River Trail, a smooth, well-maintained trail that passes three beautiful waterfalls and is perfect for a summer swim. Redding is also the “unofficial capital of kayaking”— and at Whiskeytown Lake, visitors can embark on a ranger-led kayak or a paddle board tour for just $1. There’s also Manzanita Lake at Lassen National Park, where adventurers can go swimming, boating and hiking for a vehicle entrance fee of just $30. 

Vacation Value with Visit Visalia

Double down and visit two National Parks for the price of one with a home base as Visalia. Check out Sequoia & Kings Canyon, two separate but adjacent National Parks that require only one vehicle entry fee — and it’s suitable for up to seven days of outdoor adventure. Visalia’s plentiful hotels with various price points make taking day trips into the nearby parks simple and affordable. There are also plenty of family-friendly activities in town, like the Imagine U Children’s Museum, Visalia Adventure Park and Mooney Grove Park and Museum. 

Summer Fun in SLO CAL

San Luis Obispo County (SLO CAL) is an outdoor lover’s paradise on foot, bike, kayak or even zipline. Explore SLO CAL’s coastline with kayak tours to adventure the famous sea caves of Pismo Beach — or paddle among the sea lions and sea otters in Morro Bay. Drink rosé at Malene Winery in Edna Valley, a winery with a 1969 Airstream as its tasting room. Embark on the Bob Jones Trail by renting an e-bike and traversing the well-paved path of Avila Beach's Bob Jones trail that winds to downtown Avila Beach, finishing along the pier. Or visit Santa Margarita Adventures and Vista Lago Adventure Park in Arroyo Grande Valley to fly high over the vineyards and the water at these two stops. 

Arts & Culture

Catch a Concert at The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park

Enjoy the sights, sounds and flavors of San Diego at The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park — a true seaside wonder. As the San Diego Symphony's new state-of-the-art waterfront venue, this spot offers music lovers an unmatched concert experience with sweeping views of downtown and the San Diego Bay. The venue’s summer season starts on June 24, and select tickets start at just $30. The lineup features the Symphony, world-renowned artists and a range of free community programming.

Experience Laguna Beach Arts and Culture

For just $29, visitors and locals alike in Laguna Beach can gain access to 500 artists, live music, entertainment and more. Purchase a Passport to the Arts and gain admission to the Festival of Arts, Laguna Art-A-Fair and Sawdust Art Festival. The Passport also includes one-time, free parking at the Act V parking lot on Laguna Canyon Road with free shuttle services and additional savings at other arts events and attractions. 

Theme Parks and Tours

Save big through bundling at San Diego's most prominent attractions

To experience a combination of the best attractions San Diego has to offer, visitors can invest in CityPASS tickets — a bundle of discounted admission tickets to the top attractions. Choose whether to visit SeaWorld® San Diego, LEGOLAND® California or both. Plus, get admission to three attractions: San Diego Zoo® or Safari Park, USS Midway Museum, City Cruises or Old Town Trolley Tours. 

Summer of Fun in Gilroy 

This summer in Gilroy, Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park is throwing a summer splash party. Discover big twisty slides, a giant tipping bucket and dozens of water jets for super splashy fun at the Water Oasis expansion. Or take the little ones to the original Water Oasis, a toddler-friendly lagoon, gentle flower showers and the Water Journeys water play area. Be sure to reserve a colorful cabana, so the whole family has a comfy place to just “chill out” and even have food and drinks delivered right to a lounge chair.