Best of California: Beach, City & Wine Country Hotels for under $199

May 27, 2016
From winelands to postcard-worthy beaches and mountain peaks to star-studded cities, California acts as a smorgasbord for travelers of all tastes. Pick the destination that's right for you with our summer deal guide featuring cities and recommended hotels from the northern tip of the Golden State down to its southern coast.

Wine Country

Summertime commands top-dollar in the major Wine Country markets, but Santa Rosa offers an affordable alternative. Although primarily regarded as an urban hub in Sonoma County, its central location makes it equidistant to three of the most popular wine-tasting towns: Sonoma, Healdsburg and the western Russian River Valley.

Top Hotel Pick:

Far less expensive than its Napa neighbors, the Fountaingrove Inn Hotel and Conference Center leaves room in the budget for high-end wine souvenirs thanks to its low summertime weekday rates. Hundreds of wineries can be reached within an hour’s drive, and California’s famed redwood giants live 30 minutes away. $179-$199 per night Sundays-Thursdays through September, plus $72 in exclusive member-only perks.  For more deals in Wine Country, use our new hotel search to find hotel deals available on the dates you want to travel.


Disney World’s West Coast counterpart and self-proclaimed “Happiest Place on Earth” has undoubtedly become Southern California’s go-to destination for families. Despite often being overshadowed by its flagship sister-park in Orlando, The Disneyland® Resort opened in 1955 as the first Disney property, and Walt himself oversaw the creation of it.

Top Hotel Pick:

Prime real estate doesn’t get any better than at The Anabella Hotel, which sits directly across from The Disneyland® Resort. Families can even witness the fireworks show from the hotel. $115-$175 for upgraded stays through September, plus breakfast for two and parking for one vehicle. 

For more deals in Anaheim, use our new hotel search to find hotel deals available on the dates you want to travel.

San Diego

Along California’s southernmost coast lives a city with idyllic beaches, an enviable climate, the country’s largest urban park and an abundance of wildlife exhibits with national recognition. For those reasons, San Diego transformed from a quiet Navy town into a buzzing metropolis that’s one of the most family-friendly in California.

Top Hotel Pick:

Located in San Diego's Little Italy district, the Porto Vista Hotel, once a simple motel, transformed itself into a stylish hotel with impressive views and even more impressive service. The hotel caters to guests with complimentary shuttle service to the airport and cruise terminal 13 hours per day.  Rates from $101 per night through September, plus daily breakfast for two and one free appetizer at the on-site restaurant.

For more deals in San Diego, use our new hotel search to find hotel deals available on the dates you want to travel.

South Lake Tahoe

To do justice to Lake Tahoe’s natural beauty, I’ll leave it to the words of Mark Twain who declared it as “the fairest picture the whole earth affords.” Home to the largest alpine lake in North America and bordered by the Sierra Nevada mountain range, Lake Tahoe serves as a playground for the outdoorsy; however, the lakeside casinos offer a welcomed retreat for those that prefer indoor entertainment.

Top Hotel Pick:

Guests of the 968 Park Hotel won't travel far to experience the abundance of outdoor activities offered in Lake Tahoe. The hotel plants visitors at the foot of Heavenly Mountain where canopy tours, alpine coasters and gondola rides are just a few of the many summertime activities offered. $79 per night midweek through June 8; $109 per night midweek June 12 - Aug. 31; plus two cocktails and a $25 spa credit

For more deals in South Lake Tahoe, use our new hotel search to find hotel deals available on the dates you want to travel.


Monterey appeals to the masses for its pristine beaches, redwood hillsides and scenic bluff paths. The miles of sand and swell lure in surfers, and for those seeking a slower pace, Carmel-by-the-Sea and Carmel Valley Village live 10 minutes south and look as if they were peeled from the pages of a fairy tale.

Top Hotel Pick:

Despite having stretches of beach, there are few oceanfront hotels in Monterey. The Monterey Tides, a Joie de Vivre Hotel, is one of the lucky ones to land real estate on its sandy shores. While peacefully secluded from the downtown crowds, popular Fisherman's Wharf is easily reached via a 15-minute, scenic bike ride. -- $139-$199 select dates through August 4, plus a waived resort fee (reg. $28)

For more deals in Monterey, use our new hotel search to find hotel deals available on the dates you want to travel.

Mammoth Lakes

After receiving a multi-million dollar facelift to downtown businesses and lodgings, the Village of Mammoth has been revitalized into a premiere ski destination in northern California. While high season spans the winter months, the summertime remains lively with an array of music and beer festivals.

Top Hotel Pick:

For those seeking the feel of a summer vacation home, Juniper Springs Resort offers condominium-style lodging with all of the trimmings. Its seclusion on the slopes of Mammoth Mountain makes for a peaceful retreat for nature loves, and its ski-in/ski-out feature translates into door-to-door service so guests waste no time reaching the great outdoors. $159-$199 per night for a one-bedroom condo through September

For more deals in Mammoth Lakes, use our new hotel search to find hotel deals available on the dates you want to travel.

Palm Springs

With approximately 350 days of sunshine each year, Palm Springs makes for the ultimate golf destination, as well as a leading music festival host. Coachella and Stagecoach Country Music Festival post up in this desert community each year with star-studded attendance.

Top Hotel Pick:

You'll quickly forget that you are vacationing in the middle of the desert when staying at the Renaissance Indian Wells Resort & Spa. With five restaurants, two 18-hole golf courses, a spa and three pools including a sandy beach pool for kids, families will find no reason to leave. $109 per night midweek and $129 per night weekend through Sept. 10, plus $25 resort credit and a reduced resort fee 

For more deals in Palm Springs, use our new hotel search to find hotel deals available on the dates you want to travel.

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