Hipmunk Hotels: Take a California Road Trip From Sacramento to Santa Ana

When it comes to the classic road trip, nothing beats a laid-back trip all along the sunny California coast. Throw on your flip-flops, jump in your car for a California road trip and start cruising along the Pacific Coast from Sacramento in the north down to Santa Ana in the south.

California Road Trip


Starting in Northern California, if you’re a history buff or just love the old days of the Wild West and the Gold Rush, you’ll love Sacramento’s historic Old Town. Step back into the 1850s and California’s Gold Rush era with 28-acres of historic buildings and cobblestone roads. Interesting museums include the Sacramento History Museum and California State Railroad Museum. Plan to visit during the annual Gold Rush Days, a fun festival with actors dressed in costume, horse-drawn carriages, markets, music and entertainment. The festival takes place over Labor Day weekend, so for best rates, book accommodation early.

California Road Trip Route: Sacramento Gold Rush Days
Sacramento. Image: Sacramento Gold Rush Days


The Sonoma Valley is a renowned wine region and is where winemaking started in California. Over 500 wineries wait to be explored, along with 400 wineries in nearby Napa Valley. So this is a wine connoisseur’s paradise. In this relaxed environment, luxury hotels share the scenic surroundings with charming bed & breakfasts. Expect hotels in Sonoma to be on the pricier side, especially those close to vineyards. Several hotels, like the Ledson Hotel near historic Sonoma Plaza, offers special deals or wine tasting packages.

California Road Trip Route: Sonoma Valley Vineyards
Amongst the Sonoma Valley Vineyards. Image: Trover by James Wilkinson


Oakland is often overshadowed by neighbouring San Francisco across the bay. But sometimes it’s worth venturing into the less popular spots. Plus you’ll find hotels in Oakland on the cheaper side. A popular landmark is the Fox Oakland Theatre with its Middle Eastern influenced architecture. It first opened in 1928 as a movie theatre, and today is a concert hall. Lake Merritt is the city’s focal point and seen as the Jewel of Oakland. This recreational area offers a relaxing oasis near downtown Oakland with boating activities, gondola cruises, and the Children’s Fairybook – a storybook theme park.

California Road Trip Route: Hipmunk Hotels: Oakland Bay Bridge
Oakland Bay Bridge. Image: Trover by Tiffany Lynn

Marina del Rey

Beautiful and upmarket Marina del Rey along California’s southern coast boasts the largest man-made small yacht harbor in the world. This affluent seaside community offers plenty of luxury, including top-class oceanfront hotels and trendy boutique hotels. Staying in Marina del Rey places you close to Santa Monica and vibey Venice Beach. Plus the attractions of Los Angeles are only 20 miles away. With such idyllic surroundings and so close to all the popular surrounding areas, you may find yourself lingering a little longer in Marina del Rey.

California Road Trip Route: Hipmunk Hotels: Marina del Rey Harbor in California
Marina del Rey Harbor

Santa Ana

Santa Ana is part of Orange County, often just called “The OC”. Sun, surf, and sophistication sums up life in The OC with upmarket hotel accommodation to match the glamorous lifestyle of the area. Interesting local attractions in Santa Ana include the Lyon Air Museum showcasing WW2 aircrafts in immaculate condition; and the Bowers Museum, an interesting collection of cultural art. Exhibitions tend to change so check their website beforehand to see the current exhibitions on display. You’ll also be ideally situated to nearby attractions like Disneyland Resort in Anaheim and Huntington Beach.

California Road Trip Route: Santa Ana Discovery Cube in California
Santa Ana Discovery Cube. Image: The Orange County Register

About Deevra Norling

Website: http://deevranorling.com

With a love for exploring new places and trying new foods, Deevra finds the world a fascinating place. She is South African by birth but prefers to see herself as a citizen of the world. Deevra is a freelance writer who has contributed to Career Addict and Huffington Post and currently writes for Hipmunk. For more on her writing services email her at [email protected], or connect on Twitter @DeevraNorling.

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2 Responses

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