Between preparing for the holiday season onslaught and the snow that arrived on our doorstep in New York, California beckons like a glass of wine after a long day. Take your mind off it all by having a look through these great vacation deals we've found for Los Angeles, San Francisco, and, of course, the Napa Valley.
Los Angeles is the natural starting point for your trip to California, and thanks to these 1-way flights from Southwest Airlines (from $62, a low by $6; expires November 15) or roundtrip flights from American Airlines (from $114, a low by $10; expires November 15), getting there won't break the bank. Once you arrive at LAX, head over to The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills (from $199, a low by $25; expires November 14) and let your inner superstar loose. With 25% off spa treatments and a $25 mini-bar credit, this hotel will make you feel as pampered as Paris Hilton's pet Chihuahua, Tinkerbell.
If you're more Audrey Hepburn than Paris Hilton, you may prefer a stay at the boutique hotel, Petit Ermitage in West Hollywood (from $189, a low by $24; expires November 15). Languish beside the pool at this Moroccan-themed hotel without the worry of pesky paparazzi bothering you. Plus, it's only a few blocks from Santa Monica Boulevard with all its shopping and nightlife.
Once you've finished exploring your inner diva in L.A., take a trip up north to San Francisco. Watching the world amble by in one of the city's sidewalk cafes, you can understand why Twiggy once described San Fran as "London and Paris stacked on top of each other." (That's two cities for the price of one!) If you just have to be at the epicenter of San Francisco, check into the Handlery Union Square Hotel (from $119, a low by $10; expires November 9) or the Hotel Mark Twain (from $89, a low by $10; expires November 9), as both are situated in Union Square. Don't let the opening scene from Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds — when Tippi Hendren looks up to see hundreds of birds circling the statue in the middle of the square — put you off; Union Square is the heart of the city's theater and shopping district, punctuated with quaint bookshops and eccentric cafes. And don't forget the Golden Gate Bridge! Take a Twilight Holiday Cruise around the Bay to view this iconic bridge with the city skyline behind it ($29, a low by $29; Thursday to Saturday). Plus all passengers receive a complimentary soda, beer, or glass of wine.
Did someone say wine?! Drive an hour north from San Francisco to reach the Napa Valley, also known as Wine Country. (No passport required.) We found a variety of hotel deals here, but our top recommendation is a 3-night stay at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel & Spa Napa Valley American Canyon (from $227.95, a low by $16; expires November 15). This resort emanates an atmosphere of calm and natural simplicity, with lagoons, plunge pools, and waterfalls. There are hundreds of local vineyards to explore around the resort, but you'll be forgiven if you get a little tipsy at your first stop and don't make it any further.
Don't end your trip in the Napa Valley, though. Continue further north still to the beautiful area of Lake Tahoe. Nestled in the mountains on the border between California and Nevada, Lake Tahoe offers up pristine snow-capped peaks and crystal blue water. In the winter it's a world-class skiing destination and a 3-night stay at the Aston Lakeland Village (from $190, a low by $9; expires November 30) is the perfect way to take advantage of the cold winter instead of cursing it. If you're not a fan of pistes, Lake Tahoe also offers ice-skating, gambling, and snowmobiling. Or, like us, you could just wile the day away with a cup of hot cocoa and a good book, occasionally looking up to marvel at the spectacular winter-wonderland view.
And of course we haven't forgotten Disneyland. If you're planning a trip to the amusement park whilst you're in California, then get yourself a room at the Crown Plaza Anaheim Resort (from $89, a low by $54; expires November 9). This business hotel is conveniently located just two blocks south of Disneyland. And if none of these options have piqued your interest, check out the Orbitz Winter Hotel Sale for California options that are marked up to 50% off (expires November 30).
Hopefully we've given you enough daydream adventures to take your mind off all the turkeys and heating bills for a while. But, if you've got a different vacation location in mind, take a look at our weekly roundup of the top travel deals for additional discounted flights, hotels, and vacation packages.
At the time of publication, these travel deals offered the lowest prices we could find. Deals may include blackout dates, additional taxes, and fees. Some of our prices may be based on mandatory double occupancy.