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9 Destinations to Plan your next Workcation in California

Whether you are a digital nomad or WFH employee looking to change up the scenery, a workcation is a great way to unwind and work remotely. California has something for everyone looking to plan their next workcation. Find peace and quiet in the desert of Joshua Tree or enjoy the amenities of city life in San Francisco. See which 9 California destinations made it to our list of best Workcation getaways...

The Best Workcation Destinations in California

What is a Workcation?

Workcation derives from the words "Work + Vacation", which you may be asking yourself why would I want to combine the two? Workcations have become a rising travel trend to emerge since the pandemic, giving individuals a change of scenery, as they adjust to their newly adopted work from home life. With companies allowing employees to work remotely from anywhere, the fantasy of grabbing your laptop and working by the pool, is now a reality for some.

Where can I go for a Workcation?

It may be exciting thinking of all the possibilities you could spend your workcation, but keep in mind there are a few key factors in choosing your destination. First you'll want to coordinate with your company to see if they have any policies regarding working outside of your home office. You can start thinking about what your goal is for your workcation. Is it to completely unplug and designate a few hours of the day for emails and phone correspondence? Or are maybe you like having a routine but may be cutting out early at 3pm to go explore your new city? Make sure to check out our Workcation Essentials at the end of this article!

Ask yourself before planning:

Is there a time difference?

How long will it take me to get to my destination?

Will I have company joining me?

Will I need full internet and phone service?

Do I plan on grocery shopping or eating out?

Do I plan on communicating as normal with clients + coworkers?

Now that you are ready to plan your Workcation, grab your laptop and head to one of these awesome California destinations:

La Jolla

woman enjoying workcation by the beach in La Jolla california

The San Diego seaside town of La Jolla is where you can easily combine work and play. When it’s time to work, set yourself up at a café on Avenida de la Playa. Come break time, you can store your laptop in a locker at one of the surf schools, like Everyday California, and take a surf lesson or rent a surfboard. Nearby adventures include kayaking through the La Jolla sea caves and keeping a lookout for sea lions, snorkeling in La Jolla Cove (where you might spot a leopard shark), and browsing the many boutiques in the town center.

La Jolla is also conveniently located as it’s within a 15-minute drive from other beach towns like Pacific Beach, Mission Bay, Del Mar, and Torrey Pines—a prime place to hike among rare pine trees. Further afield, you can hang out in historic Old Town, visit the San Diego Zoo, or even venture on a day trip to Mexico.

One of the most popular spots in California for travelers, La Jolla also has a range of hotels that cater to business and leisure travelers alike. Fast wifi, quiet rooms, and business centers are par for the course at most major hotels and rental properties in La Jolla.

If you’re looking for authentic California culture, great surf, and other outdoor adventures amidst your working holiday, La Jolla is a top contender.

Best Lodging Options for La Jolla: The Holiday Inn is always a solid choice for free breakfast, good wifi and affordable rates. If you are looking to experience the luxury of La Jolla I highly recommend Estancia Hotel or the La Valencia!

Submitted by Chantae at The Salt Sirens

Joshua Tree

Joshua Tree is a great workcation spot for creative types who are looking to get away from a cold winter climate.

The town of Joshua Tree is roughly three hours from Los Angeles or Las Vegas, far away from urban distractions. It sits squarely in the middle of the Mojave Desert and is reliably warm from October to April. It’s also blistering hot in the summer, which is why Joshua Tree is a better winter destination than summer destination.

The town is great for creative types because it has a very artsy vibe. There are outdoor sculpture gardens, galleries movie sets, a quirky crochet museum and Burning Man art, which you can learn more about this this Joshua Tree guide.

The town is also literally minutes from Joshua Tree National Park. The park is full of old mining history, cool hikes and some amazing stargazing. The park gates are always open, so when you have finished your work for the day you can head into the park for some recreation and a lovely sunset at Key’s View.

You can’t get reliable internet in the park, so don’t plan on camping. But there are a lot of Airbnb’s available, including some cool glamping trailers and wood cabins which are suitable for a nomadic work life.

Best Lodging Options for Joshua Tree: This small town doesn't boast luxury hotels but you can rely on The Holiday Inn for a clean and comfortable stay. If you want to embrace the funkiness of Joshua Tree you may consider this container home or private home with a jacuzzi and hammock to rest after a day of work and soak in the stars.

Submitted by Carol at California Crossings


climbing the buttermilks boulders in bishop california

For a California workcation where you can take breaks to escape outside, head to Bishop! This cute little town in the Eastern Sierras is a perfect place to spend some solo time being productive before exploring all the outdoor adventures this area has to offer.

Bishop is a great basecamp for rock climbers, with world class bouldering in the Buttermilks and excellent route climbing in the Owens River Gorge. You can get your work done then work your forearms on some climbs! The area also offers plenty of trails for mountain bikers and hikers to play on.

If you want to challenge yourself on an epic hike, Bishop is close to Mount Whitney, the tallest peak in the lower 48 states. Hiking Mt. Whitney requires both a permit and a lot of physical stamina, but if you can complete the hike, you’ll get satisfaction and amazing summit views from 14,505 feet.

To keep you fueled up for work and play, spend some time at Schat’s Bakery to stock up on delicious sandwiches, yummy cheese, fresh baked bread, and other snacks. And check out Mount Williamson Motel, located between Bishop and the town of Lone Pine, which caters to hikers and is a great place to stay on your workcation.

Best Lodging Options in Bishop: Looking to make some friends you might consider this affordable but cute home in town with some shared accommodations.

Book an Activity: Hiking, Rock Climbing, Off Roading

Submitted by Allison at She Dreams of Alpine

Mammoth Lakes

Mammoth Lakes

Mammoth Lakes is the ideal workcation destination in California because of its prime location nestled in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Unlike most small towns throughout the state, Mammoth has the luxuries of bigger towns, while maintaining its small-town charm. In town, you have reliable cell reception, and all of the hotels, lodges and Airbnb stays have reliable internet as well. There are also several Starbucks and other coffee shops and areas where you can hang out and get work done. In the winter months, Mammoth Resort has the best skiing and snowboarding conditions in California. Do a couple of laps first thing in the morning, and then spend the rest of the day working away. Then finish off your day, by soaking in one of the natural hot springs in the area. While in the summer months, you have a variety of hiking trails and lakes to choose from. You can spend the mornings working and then spend your afternoon hiking, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, boating, fishing, or enjoying anything else this town has to offer. In the summer months, the road to Tiago Pass in Yosemite is open, so just an hour North of Mammoth Lakes, you can take a day trip into Yosemite. Because of Mammoth’s close proximity to the mountains with reliable internet and cell reception, you can have a great balance of work and play in any season.

Best Lodging Options in Mammoth Lakes: Within the heart of town the Westin Monache Resort has everything you would need for a perfect workcation. Condos at the village and The Village Lodge are great options with access to free wi-fi, pool and gym.

Submitted by Jenny at Limitless Hiker

Santa Barbara

Located in sunny Southern California, Santa Barbara is the perfect workcation destination. There’s plenty of hotels and vacation rentals with fast Wi-Fi so you can connect to work easily, plus the area is full of things for you to do on your down time.

While Santa Barbara isn’t very large, it’s a vibrant town with plenty of art, restaurants and outdoor activities for you to enjoy. The main reason why anyone would want to work out of Santa Barbara? The gorgeous beaches in and around the city. Some of the best beaches include El Capitan, Refugio and Gaviota. These beaches are perfect for lazy beach days, or more active watersports like kayaking.

In the town itself, State Street is home to restaurants, bars and shops – many with outdoor seating to take in the fresh California air. Santa Barbara also has a pier where you can walk down and spot wildlife. It’s not uncommon for whales to be seen in the distance!

If you’re wanting to explore further, Santa Barbara makes a great home base for California day trips. Los Angeles and Malibu are less than two hours away, and the Channel Islands are an easy boat ride across the channel. The Santa Barbara area is also home to great wineries. Check out nearby Los Olivos for fun options.

Add your laptop and swimsuits to your California packing list when visiting Santa Barbara – you’ll be glad you came.

Best Lodging Options in Santa Barbara: The town is beaming with cute and trendy boutique hotels - you're bound to love Hotel Indigo , Blue Sands Inn, and La Playa Inn. If your budget allows a more luxurious stay you should definitely consider The Hideaway or The Hilton Beach Front Resort.

Submitted by Ale at Sea Salt and Fog

Carmel by the Sea

Carmel by the sea cute European looking building

Carmel-by-the-Sea is one of the cutest towns in the USA. Located right on the Central Californian coast Carmel boasts pristine beaches, an abundance of hiking trails in nature, and unique architecture. In fact, Carmel-by-the-Sea is mainly popular for its fairy-tale houses surrounded by colorful flowers and manicured gardens. The pretty town is filled with art shops, world-class restaurants, and wine tasting for incredible culinary experiences.

There are many beautiful homes to rent in Carmel by the sea and it makes it a great workcation destination for high-budget travelers. In fact, like the majority of the coastal towns in California, Carmel is among the most upscale destination in the US. Something to keep in mind.

Among all the amazing things to do in Carmel By the sea, in your free time, you can enjoy world-famous golf, art festivals, hiking and surfing, art classes, and many day trip options to the surrounding area.

Browse through the over 100 art galleries and have breakfast at Carmel Belle, a local favorite, located in one of the trendiest plazas in town, or have a pizza or fresh fish at the popular Corkscrew Cafe.

Make sure you take a road trip along the iconic 17-Mile-drive, a private road with spectacular scenic views, including the beautiful pebble beach where you can stop for lunch. visit the nearby Monterey and its iconic Cannery row, and Carmel Mission, the popular historic landmark.

So much to love about Carmel-By-The-Sea, and a workation would be the best way to experience it living like a local.

Best Lodging Options in Carmel-By-The-Sea: Enjoy an intimate and cozy stay at the Coachman's Inn or incorporate a round of golf into your work day at the Quail Lodge & Golf Club.

Submitted by Isabella at Boundless Roads

Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz, California is famous for its temperate climate, beautiful scenery, and especially its water sports and ocean activities. This makes Santa Cruz an ideal spot to work remotely and recharge when you're done for the day.

Sometimes called "surf city", Santa Cruz has popular surf spots around its coastline for beginners to advanced surfers. Ocean kayaking and stand up paddle boarding are also common activities here. If beaches are your thing, Santa Cruz has dozens.

Santa Cruz is a great place to get into the great outdoors through hiking and natural wildlife viewing. From whales to migrating butterflies, you can see some of nature's finest. And in rare case of rain, take your explorations into the Marine Discovery Center. Santa Cruz restaurants are plentiful, and there's a strong presence of organic and local products. Day trips are another benefit, as San Francisco is just 90 minutes away. With plenty to do after work and pleasant weather to brighten the mood, Santa Cruz makes an ideal workcation destination.

Best Lodging Options in Santa Cruz: Check in to a cozy beach cottage or book a hotel with pool cabanas to enjoy the relaxed surf town of Santa Cruz.

Submitted by Michelle at Intentional Travelers

San Francisco

With its year round mild weather, scenic vistas at every turn, and plethora of things to do, San Francisco makes for the perfect workcation destination.

A workcation in San Francisco allows for all the excitement of city life, while still offering the outdoorsy California lifestyle. Join the locals, and make a daily routine of scenic jogs along the water on the Embarcadero, or spend weekends casually hiking the Lands End Trail along the Pacific. Perhaps take the occasional outdoor lunch break, and enjoy a picnic with a view at Mission Dolores Park or Buena Vista Park, the park across the famous Full House houses. Make a weekend or post-workday visit to Baker or Ocean Beaches, which, while chillier than the beaches to San Francisco’s south, are no less picturesque.

San Francisco is also a perfect destination for those who enjoy culinary diversity. Traditional foodies will appreciate the city’s selection of foods from all over the world, like Chinese from the largest Chinatown outside of Asia. On the other hand, more trend-enthusiastic foodies will love the multitude of third-wave coffee shops, the most famous of which is Blue Bottle, as well as the bakeries worth standing in lines for, like Tartine and Mr. Holmes.

Those who enjoy art, history, or science can stop by San Francisco’s many museums after work or on the weekend, as well as play tourist every now and then by slowly checking off the key attractions of a typical San Francisco itinerary, like the Golden Gate Bridge, Lombard Street, and Fisherman’s Wharf.

Best Lodging Options in San Francisco: If you want to be in Downtown San Francisco, The Fairmont Hotel and Galleria Park Hotel are both classy options. Although the city has an abundance of hotel options and I recommend using for their free cancellation and rewards benefits!

Submitted by Em at That Travelista

South Lake Tahoe

South Lake Tahoe is the ultimate workcation for those looking to get some fresh air and connect with nature. With outdoor recreation at your disposal there are plenty of activities to enjoy all year long. Whether you are looking for an adrenaline boost after you clock out or looking to find inner peace on your lunch break, there is something for everyone who comes to Lake Tahoe.

Summer and Fall are the best times to visit South Lake Tahoe, especially if your car does not have 4WD, I would not recommend coming in the winter during snow season. In the Summer be sure to rent paddle boards or kayak and see why the lake is known for having the most pristine blue water in California, almost reminiscent of Hawaii! If you are seeking more solitude, come in the Fall when crowds have died down and see the beautiful Aspen trees!

South Lake Tahoe is a great location because it lies between the California and Nevada border, which means you can also enjoy the Casinos on the NV side! On the other hand, curling up inside your cabin and soaking in the mountain life, is just as acceptable too! During your stay you must partake in the outdoors scenery, then cool off at one their awesome breweries or beachside cafes.

Best Lodging Options in South Lake Tahoe: Our favorite affordable and adventure themed hotel is Basecamp, which hosts live music and outdoor fire pits and a bar for those looking for an "adult camp" like stay! If you want to treat yourself to a life of luxury check out The Landing Resort and Edgewood Tahoe.

Submitted by Britt at Britts Bella Vita

Now that you've decided on where to take your staycation - don't forget these items to make it extra productive and enjoyable!

3 hozzászólás

A workcation sounds amazing right about now! It's great that there's such a wide range of locations to stay in California.


Ismeretlen tag
2021. máj. 26.

I would love to visit California for a workcation. We love a spot with great infrastructure to settle in and do our blogging work. These days I might pick a place like Mammoth Lakes with lots of hiking trails to get us outside. A beach spot like La Jolla or Carmel might offer too much temptation to escape into the waves. I might just choose them all and keep moving my “office”.


2021. máj. 26.

As much as I love going off grid on my vacation, I also like the idea of workcation because I love living in different countries and experiencing what it's like to live like a local. I think workcations would give me that sense of living abroad even though I'm only there for a shorter term :)


Welcome to the Brittsbellavita Blog, a California based travel and adventure community geared towards inspiring others to find their "Bella Vita." I am a Licensed Drone Pilot and Content Creator with a passion for exploring the outdoors, finding hidden gems, and getting off the beaten path. I live in Northern California, and love showcasing the Golden State, West Coast, and beyond!

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