Best Spring Break Trips in California

When picturing a trip to California, visions of hopping off the plane at LAX with a dream and a cardigan are usually pretty common ( thanks, Miley ), but in reality, the state is much larger than Los Angeles.

The Golden State is worth its weight in destinations, with convenient, unique options for everyone from beach lovers to history buffs to outdoor aficionados. Though Cali might not come immediately to mind as a go-to spring break vacation destination, it's one of the most Instagram-worthy states in the union.

And with the help of Aceable, make those Instagram photos and memories count even more. Aceable’s #SpringAcers giveaway comes in clutch no matter where you’re heading, from the concrete jungle of New York City to the beachy vibes of California.

Here are some of the best destinations in Cali, beyond just its signature beaches.

Palm Springs, California

From Los Angeles: 1 hour, 49 minutes
From San Diego: 2 hours, 7 minutes

Palm Springs is a little slice of California paradise, an oasis located deep in the heart of the Palm Desert. Though it’s not on the coast, it boasts fun, affordable resorts, impressive golf courses, and killer shopping. In fact, USA Today called Palm Springs the “new capital of cool” when it comes to spring break destinations.

Santa Cruz, California

From San Jose: 41 minutes
From Fresno: 2 hours, 40 minutes

If you prefer to stick to the sandy beaches, Santa Cruz is the perfect destination. Not only is it the site of the seal-filled Natural Bridges State beach, it has Monterey Bay, a breathtaking whale watching spot. No, you can’t take one home with you. Sorry.

San Diego, California

From Los Angeles: 1 hour, 56 minutes
From Santa Maria: 4 hours, 20 minutes

San Diego combines the urban hustle and bustle of the big city with the relaxed, carefree environment of California’s sleepy beachside towns, making it an ideal fit for a group who just can’t decide if they’d rather lay in the sun or do some shopping and tourist-friendly sightseeing.

Lake Tahoe, California

From Sacramento: 2 hours, 5 minutes
From Redding: 3 hours, 51 minutes

Lake Tahoe is every lover of the great outdoors’ dream. Daredevils can enjoy skiing at its many resorts, but a little R&Ris more than possible thanks to the surrounding cities’ spas. After all, everyone’s idea of a break is different.

San Francisco, California

From Sacramento: 1 hour, 29 minutes
From Modesto: 1 hour, 53 minutes

If you’ve been binge-watching “Full House” and/or “Fuller House” nonstop, San Francisco itself is even more magical in person. History buffs will be obsessed with the many historic landmarks that fill the city, including Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge.

Santa Monica, California

From San Luis Obispo: 2 hours, 57 minutes
From Temecula: 1 hour, 34 minutes

The iconic and idyllic Santa Monica Pier is pretty much the picture of spring break. No matter the budget, Santa Monica has a variety of different treats, shopping centers, and activities for groups of friends or for those flying solo.

Krista Doyle
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