Spring is a delightful time to travel around California—not only for the wildflowers, but also for that sweet spot between high seasons, which translates into a ripe time for deals. It’s a nice reminder to check out the tourism board website of your vacation destination beforehand to see what discounts on hotels, wineries, or activities are available.
Here are 17 ways to enhance a spring trip to the Golden State—some of these offers end pretty soon, but some can make your customized spring break last through the end of the year.
Spring Whale-Watching Deal, Sonoma County
The Inn at the Tides sits right off Bodega Head in Bodega Bay—a great spot for seeing whales during their spring migration toward Alaska. Book a weeknight stay for a lower rate plus freebies including a bottle of wine and a waterfront breakfast at the Tides Wharf (which made a cameo in the Hitchcock classic The Birds). Call (707) 875-2751 for the deal; good through April 28.
Golden Gate Break at Kimpton Alton, San Francisco
Extend your spring break in San Francisco, where the Kimpton Alton hotel provides a convenient home base: It’s located along Fisherman’s Wharf and is a short distance from Pier 39, Ghirardelli Square, and Aquarium of the Bay. This package adds more classic San Francisco vacation components, too: four cable-car tickets, welcome treats from Ghirardelli, free parking, and a handy map of the recently opened Presidio Tunnel Tops park. Year-round, the hotel’s family-friendly amenities include complimentary use of Micro Kickboard scooters and 4moms baby gear. Deal is good through April 30.
Up to 25 percent off hotels, Catalina Island
Spring break lasts until late May on Catalina Island, a one-hour ferry ride from Dana Point, Newport Beach, or Long Beach. Choose from a variety of deals including the Spring Into Savings deals from Hotel Vista Del Mar and Snug Harbor Inn: You get 20 percent off for one night and 25 percent off for two nights or more. Good for stays through May 25.
$100 credit or 2-days-for-the-price-of-1 tickets at LEGOLAND California, Carlsbad
Bundling your theme park tickets and an on-site hotel often saves you money, but the Carlsbad theme park is upping the ante. Check in between Sunday and Thursday at either the LEGOLAND Hotel or the LEGOLAND Castle Hotel and you can choose from two different deals: one that includes a $100 resort credit, or one that turns your one-day park tickets into two-day park tickets. Staying at the on-site hotels offer built-in perks too, such as free breakfast and early park entrance. The $100 deal is good for stays through May 4, while the two-day-ticket deal is good through June 15, with some holiday blackout dates.
Secret Season at Rancho Bernardo Inn, San Diego County
Enjoy the quiet time before summer at Rancho Bernardo Inn, a 287-room resort on 265 acres in North County San Diego. The Secret Season deal offers 30 percent off rates through May 22. Or, come May 20 for the resort’s 60th anniversary. Its Dining Through the Decades package includes your lodging plus admission to a grand dinner party that features food, drink, and music from the resort’s six decades. For more San Diego deals, check out the San Diego Tourism Authority specials page.
Wildflower Weeks at the Holbrooke Hotel, Grass Valley
Plan a trip around seeing this year’s blooming flowers in Nevada County. Stay at this 1862 hotel brimming with historyand get an automatic 15 percent off weeknight stays, 10 percent off on weekends, and a map of the best places to see color. If you can stay longer in Grass Valley, take advantage of the hotel’s Early Bird special where the savings increase the longer you stay—up to 25 percent off four nights. The Wildflower Deal is good through May 15, and the Early Bird through May 25. Insider tip: Another reason to visit Grass Valley is its great music scene.
Spring at Hotel Winters, Yolo County
Stay at this hotel in downtown Winters for easy access to the breweries and farm-to-table cuisine of Yolo County. The Date Night Special includes both a $50 on-site dining credit and a $50 spa credit (good on most weekends in April and May, and every weekend from June to August). Or, choose the hotels’ Mother’s Day Special, which offers the same perks almost every day in May (excluding Memorial Day weekend). For more local deals—like a farmers’ market deal at the Marriott Residence Inn in Davis, check out the Yolo County specials page.
Spring Midweek Package, Ojai Valley Inn
Enjoy a mellow midweek stay at this plush Ojai resort, where this deal includes a daily $50 resort credit plus a free room upgrade (good through June 20). Want to spend most of your time at the Spa Ojai? Choose from the Spa for One or Spa for Two deals, which bundle in a 60-minute spa treatment and spa lunch, per person, for each day of your stay (ongoing).
20 percent off Calistoga Motor Lodge and Spa, Napa Valley
Create a blissful spa getaway with this deal that includes 20 percent off your stay at the Napa Valley hotel plus 20 percent off a wellness experience at the hotel’s MoonAcre Spa, which has its own mineral pools. Choose from a yoga class, a guided bike-and-hike excursion, or the spa’s “Here's The Rub” massage. Good through May 31.
Free gear rentals and $50 gift cards, Redding
The Siskiyou County town of Redding makes an excellent launching pad for Shasta Cascade adventures, and the Choose Redding site makes it easy to plan your trip. Book a two-night stay at participating hotels, then choose from a long list of freebies, including e-bike rentals, tickets to the Turtle Bay Exploration Park, or a $50 gift card at historic Jack’s Bar & Grill. Good through June 30.
$50 gift card for your “Workaction,” Pacifica
If you’re still in WFH mode, treat yourself to a scenic “workation” in the town of Pacifica, located on the San Francisco Peninsula. After all, Pacifica offers six miles of beaches, craft breweries, and access to the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Book a stay of at least two nights at one of the seven participating hotels (including the Pacifica Beach Hotel, where most rooms have ocean views) and you’ll get a $50 Shop Pacifica Gift Card, which can be used at 40 businesses around town. Good through June 30, or while supplies last.
$143 Spring Ticket Trio, Palisades Tahoe
With more than 700 inches of snow at Palisades Tahoe this season, this is the year to make the most of spring skiing deals. Pick up a pack of three lift tickets for $143 each, which can be used together or separately on any day between now and the end of this season. As of press time, the season should last until about July 4.
Long Weekend Deal, Palm Springs
As high season in the desert winds down, the hotel deals in Greater Palm Springs are on the upswing. Book a three-night weekend getaway at the classic Parker Palm Springs, for instance, and you can get 10 percent off the best available rate plus a $100 resort credit. You’ll also be treated to sparkling wine at check-in and a nice late checkout on Monday. Good for stays through August 23. Check Greater Palm Springs’ deals page for discounts on activities such as museums, happy hours, and day spas.
Birthday Wishes Special at the Mission Inn Hotel & Spa, Riverside
With its eye-popping architecture and colorful gardens, Riverside’s grande dame hotel makes for a festive birthday getaway, and this package sweetens the deal. Enjoy a $50 dining credit and two cupcakes from the on-site Casey’s Cupcakes, plus a bottle of sparkling wine for stays between Wednesday and Sunday nights. Runs through Nov. 23.
Third Night Free Deals, Santa Barbara
You have plenty of options with this offer from Visit Santa Barbara: Choose from 22 hotels and resorts—ranging from a family-friendly Best Western Plus to the luxurious The Ritz-Carlton Bacara—where you can score a free third night. Blackout dates vary by property; some deals are good through May 31 or June 30, while others are good through the end of 2023.
Cycle the Hammond Coastal Trail, Humboldt County
The 5.5-mile Hammond Coastal Trail stretches from Arcata to Clam Beach in Humboldt County, and offers rugged coastal views as well as sights such as a 1942 steel truss bridge. Stay at the local Holiday Inn Express, just a quarter-mile from the trail, and the hotel will set you up for an easy cycling getaway: The $139 starting rate includes loaners of three-speed cruiser bikes, helmets, and water bottles for each person. Offer is good exclusively through the Humboldt County Visitors Bureau. Ongoing.
35 percent off tickets to Knott’s Berry Farm and more, Buena Park
Buying Knott’s Berry Farm tickets online always saves you money, and the Visit Buena Park website offers deals for attractions near the theme park too. Booking through the tourist board’s site gets you 35 percent off theme park tickets, 25 percent off a Pirate’s Dinner Adventure, and 20 percent off at Medieval Times. You can book your hotel too, like the free-breakfast deal at the Doubletree by Hilton Buena Park. Ongoing.