Whether you aim to check out the coast, dig deep at an inland retreat, or are intent on the desert, California has it all. The question is, which type of terrain do you explore next? To help make that decision, following are five unforgettable boutique hotels all over the Golden State worth booking for your next road trip when seeking the most unique places to stay with bragging rights while you check out the fresh enchantments surrounding you.
12 E Montecito St.
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Staying steps from the pier on the edge of Santa Barbara’s art district (referred to as the Funk Zone) is already a great reason to pick this nifty place as your home away from home. Then add in all the extra special amenities The Wayfarer has to offer and you have yourself a winning retreat beyond compare. Edgy, retro and compact are just three words describing this trend-forward property that operates like a hip hostel, offering everything from a big communal kitchen to fun pool events when the weather cooperates.
1330 E Palm Canyon Drive
Palm Springs, CA 92264
Not far from Palm Springs’ chic downtown, this enchanting yet unassuming desert outpost offers a quirky cabin-like feeling (some call the housing rustic luxe) and immaculate grounds that have been manicured to perfection. Dining on the premises is a must (be sure to try the homemade soup) and bathrooms are decked out with open-air stone showers and giant trough bathtubs. Bonus: You’re sure to make strangers you meet on the premises into friends, especially those who gather around the house fire pit during the evenings.
Big Sur, CA 93920
Heated bathroom floors are just an example of the special nature of this oasis in splendid Big Sur, situated only a little more than a mile from iconic Pfeiffer State Beach. Mid century modern is the design byword at this keen retreat, with rooms decked out in period furniture, huge showers, vornado fans and even yoga mats. There’s a communal firepit where occupants gather to toast s’mores and gab and a trail in the back of the property for hiking completes this very pretty picture.
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Ojai Rancho Inn
615 Ojai Valley Trail
Ojai, CA 93023
Regulars often call this property “hipster heaven” but any type of discerning traveler will thrive in this particular environment created on the Ojai Valley Trail. Expect Jacuzzi tubs no matter which room you book. Each is done up in Western decor (log bed frames, knotty pine walls) with local wines and dart games at the ready. Note: If you stay at pet friendly Ojai Rancho Inn (and you should!), be sure to take advantage of the free bikes on offer so you can discover in a more intimate manner the ins and outs of the namesake town where this boutique property operates.
219 Healdsburg Ave.
Healdsburg, CA 95448
Environmentally friendly, this spiffy LEED certificate hotel located in the heart of the Northern Sonoma Wine Country offers three dozen guest accommodations, complete with their own personal porches or balconies. Water bars on each floor enable the use of refillable glass bottles to help save the planet and showers are so ample that two can get clean at the same time, making these necessities water efficient. Rooms are stylish but not at all fussy, work desks are coupled with ergonomic chairs and organic Lush Coyuchi cotton linens are so comfortable that this bedding alone makes you want to stay in bed all night and all day, too.
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