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Due to coronavirus (COVID-19) travel advisories, some destinations may be unavailable for certain dates. Find out more.
Due to coronavirus (COVID-19) travel advisories, some destinations may be unavailable for certain dates. Find out more.

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Central California Holiday

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.

Q: Should I book a car while on holiday in Central California?

A: Many travellers like to use public transportation or ride-sharing when they're on holiday in San Jose and Fresno. It's a fantastic way of avoiding pesky parking fees and having to navigate through dense city traffic. But if you're planning to head out of town and soak up the region of Santa Clara County or elsewhere, you may want to think about booking a ride. Get your scenic road trip adventure off to the best start by taking a look at our handy guide to Cheap Car Hire in Central California.

Q: Which airports can I fly in to for a holiday to Central California?

A: Although there are many airports in Central California, most international flights touchdown at:

  • San Jose, CA (SJC-Norman Y. Mineta San Jose Intl.): 335 international flights per month.
  • Fresno, CA (FAT-Fresno Yosemite Intl.): 76 international flights per month.

Q: What are the most popular types of hotels for a holiday to Central California?

A: You're spoiled for choice when it comes to accommodation in Central California. The most popular places are condos. But if that doesn't suit, you can also choose from hotels, motels, private holiday homes and much, much more.

Q: What does a Central California holiday booking with Expedia include?

A: That depends on what kind of escape in Central California you want. Pick a flight and hotel, or car, hotel and flight, or hotel and car — or any one of these individually. If you like, you can also throw in some activities and attractions.

Q: What is the best way to save money on my holiday to Central California?

A: Save precious dollars (and time) by bundling your bookings with us. From Flights to Experiences, Expedia will help you create your exciting Central California escape. The more you take care of now, the more you save. You'll also have less to stress about when you hit the ground in your destination.

Q: What are the best things to do in Central California?

A: Jetsetters from all four corners of the world visit Children's Discovery Museum. Find out why during your time in San Jose.

In Fresno, Fresno Art Museum is one attraction that's a real drawcard for locals and travellers alike. Allow time to see it for yourself.

You can't stay in Bakersfield and not check out Kern County Museum. You'd be skipping a key ingredient in a great holiday recipe.


Central California Flight Deals

These prices were available within the past 7 days. Prices quoted are per person, return, for the period specified. Prices and availability are subject to change. Additional terms apply.

Top Central California Hotel & Accommodation Deals

See all 6,885 properties in Central California
Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite NZ$521
Reviewed on 7 Jul. 2020
See details
 
Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite

Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite

1122 Highway 41, Fish Camp, CA
     
    4.3 of 5
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Tenaya Lodge is a great place to spend a vacation with the family. It is about 2 miles south of the South Gate of Yosemite and around its location are a number of hiking trails which are interesting themselves. Amenities abound including guided trips to Yosemite and archery (fees apply). They do ...

    Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa NZ$422
    Reviewed on 8 Jul. 2020
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    Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa

    Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa

    400 Cannery Row, Monterey, CA
       
      4.7 of 5
      4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

      A quick getaway from the long weekend. Checked in on Sunday 7/5 out on Monday 7/6. The entire staff was really nice specially Matthew Bartlett (hopefully I got his last name right). Thank you so much for allowing us to check in early on Sunday. We really appreciate it. We were able to accomplish ...

      Monterey Tides NZ$315
      Reviewed on 7 Jul. 2020
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      Monterey Tides

      Monterey Tides

      2600 Sand Dunes Dr, Monterey, CA
         
        3.7 of 5
        3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        We love this hotel it’s also dog friendly and the staff is always very friendly

        Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel & Spa NZ$393
        Reviewed on 4 Jul. 2020
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        Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel & Spa

        Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel & Spa

        1 Old Golf Course Rd, Monterey, CA
           
          4.1 of 5
          4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          No service due to Covid which is understandable. Just nice to come in to clean room every day.

          Inn at the Pier NZ$413
          Reviewed on 30 Jun. 2020
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          Inn at the Pier

          Inn at the Pier

          601 Cypress Street, Pismo Beach, CA
             
            4.5 of 5
            4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Its central to all the food and shops and beach is real close bye..theres no house keeping or person around to explain the bar and pool rules upstairs it was unclear but i guess there was a reservation time slot but again couldn't get a clear answer

            Spyglass Inn NZ$344
            Reviewed on 3 Jul. 2020
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            Spyglass Inn

            Spyglass Inn

            2705 Spyglass Dr, Pismo Beach, CA
               
              4.3 of 5
              3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              We loved the view from the room and fireplace. We didn’t have bath robes or a coffee maker like it said on the website . Wish there was more fire pits .

              Hilton Garden Inn Monterey NZ$276
              Reviewed on 6 Jul. 2020
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              Hilton Garden Inn Monterey

              Hilton Garden Inn Monterey

              1000 Aguajito Rd, Monterey, CA
                 
                4.0 of 5
                3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Best staff I encountered on the way up the coast.

                Cottage Inn By The Sea NZ$363
                Reviewed on 18 Jun. 2020
                See details
                 
                Cottage Inn By The Sea

                Cottage Inn By The Sea

                2351 Price St, Pismo Beach, CA
                   
                  4.3 of 5
                  3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  It's cozy has a great ocean view & beach access. The fire pits outside are a great addition. It could use some updates but other than that its a great place to take a getaway

                  Top Activities in Central California

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