Most Central California hotels offer free cancellation. Consider booking refundable hotels rather than non-refundable ones. Just look for the ‘free cancellation’ message during your hotel search. Prices can vary, but right now we believe that flexibility matters.
For more information about the impact of COVID-19 on your Central California trip, please visit our Coronavirus Information page (opens in new window).
4/5Very Good!(936 area reviews)
Known for its fascinating museums and great live music, there's plenty to explore in Downtown San Jose. You can visit top attractions like SAP Center at San Jose and San Jose Museum of Art, and jump on the metro at San Fernando Station or Convention Center Station to see more of the city.
4.5/5Wonderful!(396 area reviews)
While visiting Downtown, you might make a stop by sights like Pismo Beach Pier and Pismo State Beach.
4/5Very Good!(916 area reviews)
Travelers choose South San Jose for its ample dining options. Hop aboard the metro at Blossom Hill Station (VTA) or Snell Station and check out top sights like Santa Clara County Fairgrounds.
4.5/5Wonderful!(251 area reviews)
The beaches and seaside views are top of the list for many visitors to Downtown Monterey. A stop by Monterey Bay or Fisherman's Wharf might round out your trip.
4/5Very Good!(2,586 area reviews)
Westside Santa Cruz is known for its stunning beaches, and with sights like Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and Monterey Bay, you won't get bored spending a day wandering around this part of Santa Cruz.
Reviewed on Feb 23, 2021
Reviewed on Feb 20, 2021
Reviewed on Feb 20, 2021
Much of the nation’s produce comes from the fertile valleys in this area bordered by the Sierras and the Pacific Crest Trail. Drive an hour or two east of San Francisco to Central California, where the farmlands and excellent weather of the Central Valley create an agricultural wonderland. Visit farm stands with produce freshly picked from the fields and wineries with old-vine red zinfandels. Travel to higher elevations and cooler weather in the mountains of this central part of the state.
In the fertile valleys stretching from Bakersfield to Lodi, view millions of acres of more than 200 varieties of produce, from tomatoes, asparagus and strawberries to fruit and nut trees and wine grapes. As much as 45 percent of the food reaching U.S. tables is grown here. Stop at roadside stands near Stockton, Modesto, Turlock, Merced, Fresno , all in the San Joaquin Valley to experience the exceptional taste of these fresh fruits and vegetables.
John Steinbeck grew up in Salinas and later wrote about the plight of farmers after World War I in The Grapes of Wrath, Of Mice and Men and other works. Visit the Steinbeck House and the National Steinbeck Center to see artifacts describing Steinbeck’s life and the history of workers in Central California. Explore the talus caves and high peaks of Pinnacles National Park in nearby San Benito.
In Fresno, experience a subsurface microclimate at Forestiere Underground Gardens, built nearly 100 years ago by a Sicilian immigrant to provide a cooler growing space than the lands aboveground. In the relatively flat valley regions, bicycling is popular for all skill levels. Stop to see the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame in Davis.
Drive from valleys to the mountains of the Sierra Nevada Range. Photograph granite peaks in Yosemite National Park in black-and-white Ansel Adams style. View the tall Yosemite Falls and other impressive waterfalls from Yosemite Valley . Hike up Half Dome or relax in the Tuolumne Meadows. Bike and fish during summer in Mammoth Lakes. Ski and snowshoe on the majestic mountains in winter.
Whatever the season, enjoy Central California’s natural bounty.
There’s nothing quite like a Central California road trip. And Expedia makes it easy for you to turn all those road trip ideas into reality. You can find cheap deals on hotels in Central California or bundle your hotels with car rentals to save even more. With our Central California packages, you’ll find hitting the highway for that road trip adventure is more affordable than ever.
Planning a road trip can feel daunting, especially when you’ll be making multiple bookings for your itinerary. But you can find car rentals in Central California and low rates on hotels all in one place— Expedia. How you plan your road trip depends on what’s important to you. People love to take road trips to experience the great outdoors, bond with friends or family and see more of the world. When planning, bundle your car rental and hotel into one discounted package to maximize savings on both. Or, leave room for spontaneity, booking what you need when you need it with our last-minute deals.
When taking a road trip adventure, it’s best to plan how you want to spend your time on your road trip itinerary. We don’t want you to miss out on any of the best things to do in Central California. You can book all the road trip activities on your Central California wishlist, and even plan activities along your route as well.
For an epic road trip, you'll need the perfect car. Renting a car for a road trip is the best option that doesn’t put miles or strain on your vehicle, and especially when it's also so affordable. Because when you book on Expedia, it doesn't need to be expensive. You can pick up a cheap car rental and head out to one of these incredible vacation rentals in Central California. And when you bundle car rentals with hotel stays, you'll save even more on each part of your journey.