Coolest Places to Stay When Visiting These 5 California Cities

The American state of California is a big place in more ways than one. Not only is it the third largest state in terms of size and first place for state with the largest population, California would have the sixth largest economy in the world if it were classified as its own country. For those thinking about visiting the Golden State, the magnitude of its offerings can prove intimidating to say the least.

While a list of things to do in California would overwhelm a writer and readers alike, we did manage to compile a solid list of coolest places to stay when visiting five of the most popular cities in the state. That is to say, if booking a hotel room, you want to try and snag a nice looking one in a relevant part of town for a reasonable price, right?

Los Angeles

One of the most iconic cities of the world, Los Angeles is the definition of urban sprawl and consequently requires careful thinking when deciding on where to stay. For those planning on a classic LA travel experience with a touch of panache, look no further than the hotels in West Hollywood along Santa Monica Boulevard and the Sunset Strip. Whether you prefer something posh like a room at the Sunset Tower Hotel, a moderate pick like Chamberlain West Hollywood, or a basic room at Holloway Motel, guests are treated to authentic, one-of-a-kind accommodations in the cultural heart and soul of the city.

San Diego

Considered by many to be a slightly less sprawling, slightly more affordable alternative to LA, San Diego is nonetheless a massive Pacific coast metropolis with a wide range of places to book a room. Though about 13 miles north of the city proper, La Jolla is where we suggest visitors book a room. Its laid-back beachside vibe can be applied to a number of the hotels there, from the Grande Colonial to the aptly named Hotel La Jolla.

Palm Springs

The city of Palm Springs is what they call a resort town, so virtually any area is worthy of booking a room. For those seeking something with a rustic feel without lacking luxury, give the Sparrows Lodge. Folks preferring something fancier may want to check out the Alcazar or Los Arboles across town. Most choices are within close proximity to the main attractions, such as various modern architectural marvels and shopping districts.


The capital of California usually gets passed over on the short list of must-see cities of the Golden State worth visiting. While it might not have the best nightlife or culturally significant sectors, the city rightly holds the responsibility of being the caretaker of state history with museums and other tributes to the Californian identity. It’s a safe bet to book a room in downtown, where The Sterling and The Citizen stand out as choice hotels, due to most of the city’s top landmarks, museums, and restaurants being located there.

San Francisco

Lastly, we come to the city by the bay, San Francisco, which along with Los Angeles is the state’s most culturally and commercially important metropolis. Whether it’s taking a tour of Alcatraz, walking around the Transamerica Pyramid, exploring Chinatown, or visiting the Museum of Modern Art, visitors probably want to book a room in or around the Financial District. This area offers a range of interesting and iconic lodgings, from the Hotel Boheme to the Hotel Clift, to the original Fairmont Hotel.

California could very well be its own country, on account of its size and significance. Visitors ought to treat it as such, considering each city worthy of a week or more of exploration and experience. Just make sure to book a nice room with a good view if staying long, as it becomes home away from home.

Nate Ritter lives in Austin, Texas (U.S.), popularized the #hashtag and creates web applications for a living. He also does miles and point hacking to enable cheap travel for his family. More here →

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