santa monica pier

If you haven’t spent any time in California, what is there to talk about? Book a flight now! (And do it through the JIFU travel portal, so you can save some cash!)

I’m in love with the place. So few states in the US cover such different terrain, have such friendly people and offer such incredible sights to see and things to do. I have the fortune of being able to spend tons of time throughout various parts of California, so I wanted to give you a quick and easy guide to some of my favorite (and cheapest!) stays across different parts of the state.

First, we’ll cover the LA and San Diego areas/Southern California, then we’ll move up north to the Bay Area, Redlands and other can’t miss sites that should definitely be on your list!

 

Pico Rivera: Epic Hotel

It’s no secret that staying a bit off the beaten path will help you save. If you’re looking for the Los Angeles experience without the LA prices, I recommend renting a car after your flight and staying somewhere Orange County proper. San Clemente, Orange, and Anaheim (though be careful of those Disney prices!) are all great alternatives, and they’re relatively safe.

My LA pick is the Epic Hotel in Pico Rivera. JIFU pretty much always has a good deal going for this place:

epic hotel oc

It’s compact, it’s cute, it has everything you need, you’re not going to be paying an arm and a leg and there are unexpected amenities like cute little computer desks. The proximity to places like UCLA and even Disneyland are worth the stay. The Epic is my pick for the OC area.

 

Long Beach: The Queen Mary

This is one of our hidden gems on the portal. When people think of staying in LA, they likely don’t consider a giant ship. The Queen Mary is such a cool place to stay – and the price is VERY affordable for a beach stay in the area. You can get the boat experience, then jump right off the boat and take a five-minute walk to Long Beach’s recreation area.

visit the queen mary

We’ve heard it’s an especially good trip if you have kids, and you can’t beat the price.

Venice Beach: The Cadillac Hotel

This is hands-down one of my favorite places to stay in LA. It’s RIGHT on the beach, which is rare for a hotel of its quality, value, and price. It’s safe, there’s always a nice breeze blowing through, and you’re right smack in the middle of some of the best eating in Venice (including the charming Candle Cafe right next door, which is perfect for brunch!

cadillac hotel venice

I LOVE Venice and would move there if the rents weren’t so high. Being one of the most reasonably priced properties in the entire area, you can stay for a week without putting out too much coin and get the real Venice/LA experience. Cafe Gratitude, Moon Juice, and other Venice mainstays are right down the road – and at night, a rooftop view of the sunset over Venice and Santa Monica offers breathtaking views. Plus, you’re a few minutes’ walk from the Santa Monica pier, which you can’t miss.

 

San Diego: Humphrey’s Half Moon Inn

I LOVED this hotel. This beauty is located on Shelter Island, a lesser-known part of San Diego that’s much quieter, where you’ll experience less of the hubbub of Ocean Beach and similar communities. It’s got a neat little lounge inside, all the amenities, and it’s close to all the noteworthy sites in San Diego. It’s a must-stay!

humphreys deals

 

San Diego: Seaworld Area

If you’re planning on visiting SeaWorld, this Comfort Inn can’t be beaten. I personally have a preference for out-of-the-box local hotels, but this hotel is truly perfect. It has all you need for a great time at SeaWorld with the fam – and you really can’t beat the 27% price savings through the JIFU travel portal!

visit comfort inn seaworldThere’s SO much to see and do in Southern California, and this is only the tip of the iceberg! Make sure to check the JIFU travel portal for more incredible deals.