What’s the Cheapest time to visit California?

Colin A. Borden
Colin A. Borden
What’s the Cheapest time to visit California

April-May and mid-September to October are the cheapest times to visit California as it marks the transition from California’s typical dry season to its wet season.

During this period, temperatures are moderate and there will be plenty of clear days for sightseeing. The airline tickets and hotel rates during this period can also be considerably cheaper than in other seasons leading to a more cost-effective holiday experience in the Golden State even during peak season.

With its breathtaking natural scenery, wonderful wildlife, fresh produce, and delicious wines, California is one of the most beautiful and diverse states in the USA. Whether you’re looking for a serene beach getaway, an adventurous mountain retreat, or simply wish to explore vibrant cities, California has something for everyone regardless of budget.

How to vacation in California on a budget?

California is an amazing place to visit, but it can also be expensive. Fortunately, there are ways to save money while visiting the Golden State. Here are three tips for budget-minded travelers who want to experience all that California has to offer without breaking the bank. 

Book lodging outside of tourist hotspots: California is full of great cities and towns, so why not consider staying off the beaten path? Hotels in areas like Palm Springs or San Diego can be quite pricey, but there are plenty of lodging options in smaller towns nearby that won’t break the bank. For example, if you’re planning on heading to Los Angeles, consider staying in nearby Long Beach instead you’ll get similar access to attractions without having to pay as much for your hotel room.

Take advantage of free activities: Did you know that many museums and parks throughout California offer free admission days? If you plan your trip around these special days, you can still enjoy all the sights while saving money at the same time. Additionally, most cities have free public events such as concerts or festivals throughout the year these events often provide an excellent opportunity for exploring local culture without spending a dime.

Look into discount programs and travel packages: Many tourist attractions and hotels offer discounts for students or seniors; some even have special packages for families or large groups. If you’re traveling with others, it’s definitely worth checking out what deals could be available just by being part of a certain demographic or group size. Many online booking sites also offer discounts on flights or hotels when purchased together this could be a great way to save money if you’re planning a long trip.

Affordable Accommodations in California

California is one of the most desirable places to visit in the world, with its breathtaking views, diverse cultures, and vibrant nightlife. But not everyone can afford to stay in a luxury hotel while they explore the Golden State. Fortunately, there are plenty of affordable options available that offer great value for money. Here are 10 cheap places to stay in California.

Airbnb – Airbnb is a popular platform for finding unique and budget-friendly accommodations around the world, including California. You can find entire apartments and houses to rent at great prices. Plus, you get to experience different neighborhoods up close and personal.

Hostelworld – Hostelworld’s website has over 500 hostels listed all over California, from San Francisco to Los Angeles and beyond. Prices start as low as $20 per night for a dormitory bed in some of the more popular cities like San Diego or Santa Monica.

VRBO – VRBO stands for Vacation Rentals By Owner and it’s a great way to find vacation homes for rent throughout California at discounted prices. You can search by city or region and you can even filter your search by amenities such as pet-friendly accommodations or pools/hot tubs.

Couchsurfing – If you’re really on a tight budget, Couchsurfing might be the perfect option for you. This social networking site allows travelers to connect with locals who are willing to let them stay at their homes for free (or very cheap). It’s an amazing way to make new friends while exploring new places.

Camping Sites – If you don’t mind roughing it out in nature, camping sites located throughout California could be a great option for finding cheap accommodation options during your travels across the state. They often offer discounts if you book multiple nights so be sure to look into that if you plan on staying longer than one night.

Hotels Combined – Hotels Combined is an online booking platform where you can compare hotel rates from dozens of travel sites like Expedia, Booking.com, Hotels.com, etc. so that you get the best deal possible when booking your stay in California. Best part? It’s completely free of charge.

Motel 6 – Motel 6 is one of America’s most iconic budget-friendly motel chains with properties located all over California from Los Angeles to San Francisco and even smaller towns like Fresno or Bakersfield. Prices start from just $39/night depending on location so it’s definitely worth checking out if you need an affordable place to stay during your trip across this beautiful state.

Agoda – Agoda is an online booking site that specializes in providing discounted rates on hotels worldwide including many locations in California such as San Diego or Palm Springs. They also have mobile apps which allow you to book your stay directly from your smartphone or tablet making it super easy and convenient when looking for last-minute deals on accommodation options during your travels across The Golden State.

HotelTonight – HotelTonight offers same-day hotel bookings at discounted rates all across California which makes it perfect if you need a place to crash during those spontaneous road trips down Highway 1 towards Big Sur or Carmel-By-The-Sea (just make sure not to miss out on their special deals).

Tentrr – Tentrr is an outdoor camping company that offers private campgrounds located throughout The Golden State ranging from beachfront sites near Santa Barbara all the way up north towards Yosemite National Park complete with fire pits & hammocks perfect for star gazing after dark (prices start from just $50/night).

What are some cheap places to eat in California?

From fine dining to casual grub, you can find whatever type of food your heart desires. And the best part? A lot of these places offer tasty food at wallet-friendly prices. So if you’re looking for some delicious meals that won’t break the bank, check out this list of 10 cheap eats in California. 

Baozi Chinese Street Food – Los Angeles, CA: This unassuming spot in Downtown LA serves up some delicious (and affordable) Chinese dishes for lunch and dinner. Try their signature baozi, a dumpling stuffed with pork and vegetables and served with a spicy Sichuan dipping sauce.

Elotes Locos – Santa Ana, CA: If you have a craving for Mexican street corn but don’t want to pay an arm and a leg for it, head over to Elotes Locos in Santa Ana. Here they’ll do up your corn just the way you like it with mayo, cotija cheese, lime juice, chili powder, and more.

Krazy Rollz – San Diego, CA: This family-owned sushi joint is one of San Diego’s best-kept secrets when it comes to cheap eats. Their specialty rolls are made with fresh ingredients and come in all sorts of flavors—from classic California rolls to more adventurous creations like the spicy shrimp tempura roll.

Pho Hoang – Sacramento, CA: For those who love Vietnamese cuisine but don’t want to break the bank, Pho Hoang is worth checking out. Their menu features traditional pho dishes along with other yummy items like banh mi sandwiches and spring rolls! Prices are very reasonable here so be sure to come hungry.

In-N-Out Burger – Multiple Locations Across California: You can’t talk about cheap eats without mentioning In-N-Out Burger. The iconic fast-food chain has been serving up delicious burgers since 1948 and has become an integral part of California culture ever since. Be sure to try one of their famous double-doubles (or even a triple-triple).

Tacos El Gordo – Chula Vista & Tijuana (Mexico): If you’re looking for authentic Mexican tacos without spending a fortune, head over to Tacos El Gordo in Chula Vista or Tijuana (right across the border). Their tacos are large and flavorful—perfect for satisfying those late night cravings.

Casa Vega – Sherman Oaks, CA: This Mexican restaurant has been around since 1956 and is still going strong today thanks to its loyal fan base and great prices. Try their burritos or enchiladas—they’re incredibly flavorful without being too heavy on the pocketbook.

Osaka Sushi & Seafood Buffet – Irvine & Cerritos (CA): When it comes to all-you-can-eat buffets Osaka is definitely one of the best options in California—especially considering how affordable it is! Choose from an extensive selection of sushi rolls as well as cooked seafood dishes like tempura shrimp and crab legs.

Pizzanista – Los Angeles CA: For those who love pizza but don’t want to splurge on delivery every time they crave it this is definitely worth checking out. Pizzanista serves up personal-sized pizzas that are loaded with fresh ingredients at prices that won’t leave your wallet feeling empty afterward.

Jitlada Thai Restaurant – Los Angeles CA: Last but certainly not least we have Jitlada which offers some of the tastiest Thai food around. Come sample their signature curries as well as other classic dishes like pad thai at very reasonable prices.


Visiting California is a great way to explore its amazing natural beauty, diverse culture, and vibrant cities. The cheapest time to visit California is from April-May and mid-September to October as flights and hotel rates are lower during this period. So don’t miss out on your chance for an unforgettable experience in the Golden State and plan your trip accordingly. Happy travels!

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Colin Borden wanderlust takes him to stunningly beautiful places, where he delights in discovering new cultures and cuisines. With a passion for storytelling and a vivid imagination, Colin captures his experiences through heartfelt words that bring his adventures to life.
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