The Most Expensive Summer Destination in California

Huntington Beach California

Huntington Beach, located in Orange County, is the most expensive summer destination in California, according to a recent survey conducted by

The survey compared all notable destinations in The Golden State based on cost of lodging during July and August 2020. Only such hotels rated at least 3 stars and located near a beach or city center were considered.

The survey found that Huntington Beach hotels are charging an average nightly rate of $261 for their most affordable room over July and August. This makes Huntington Beach the most expensive destination in California for the two months. The second-priciest destination is Pismo Beach, slightly north, where the least expensive rooms start at $224 per night.

COVID-19 travel restrictions and traveler precautions have certainly impacted summer hotel rates in California, the survey also discovered. Beach towns along the state’s coast are offering hotel rates approximately 15% lower than last year’s rates for the same rooms during the same weeks. Urban destinations are hit harder: rooms in San Jose and Los Angeles are about 35% more affordable than they were last summer, with average rates starting at $127 and $120, respectively.

The most dramatic year-over-year room rate decreases can be found in San Diego and San Francisco, where room rates have dropped 40 and 50%, respectively. Travelers can currently find rooms starting at $98 per night in San Diego, and at $85 per night in San Francisco, at some of those analyzed, 3-star or above, centrally-located properties.

The following table shows the 20 most expensive summer destinations in California. The prices shown reflect the average rate for each destination’s cheapest available double room (minimum 3-star hotel) for the period spanning July 1 through August 31, 2020.

  1. Huntington Beach $261
  2. Pismo Beach $224
  3. Coronado $214
  4. Laguna Beach $187
  5. Santa Monica $186
  6. Cambria $186
  7. Pacific Grove $185
  8. Avalon $184
  9. Redondo Beach $182
  10. Carmel-by-the-Sea $178
  11. Santa Barbara $176
  12. Monterey $175
  13. Napa $174
  14. Santa Cruz $165
  15. Calistoga $162
  16. Palo Alto $159
  17. Beverly Hills $157
  18. La Jolla $146
  19. Newport Beach $135
  20. San Jose $127

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