Underrated California spring break spots


Sydnee Cho

Springing into break: A tumbling waterfall just by the coast of Big Sur, close to Cambria, perfect for a spring break road trip!

Sydnee Cho, Staff Artist

Spring break conjures up visions of week-long escapes to tropical locations like Cabo, Miami, Cancun, or the Bahamas. However, one week sometimes isn’t enough time for a full adventure around the world. For those uninclined to leave the borders of California this spring break or investing in a plane ticket, check out these underrated spring break locations perfect for a road trip in the Golden State! 


Morro Bay

For a volcanic hike to a majestic, out-of-this world scene, look no further than Morro Bay. A beautiful, rocky beach town with its own once-active volcano, Morro Bay is a great trek for a chance to see sea otters, sea lions and more on a leisurely, casual walk. Located on the central coast, Morro Bay is about a four-hour drive from Orange County, with plenty of picturesque coastline that’s worth taking the scenic route for. 


San Luis Obispo

The namesake of San Luis Obispo county, this lively town was named California’s happiest city. Home to both the central coast coastline and part of the Nine Sisters mountain range, San Luis Obispo is close to the seaside, and is the perfect spot for the down-to-earth and outdoors lovers. Visit the San Luis Obispo Mission and its beautiful gardens, or stroll downtown SLO, a historic district with a vintage-style movie theater and a true college-town feel. Only a 20-minute drive from Morro Bay, these two are a package deal for the ultimate spring break road trip!


Hearst Castle and Cambria

Designed by one of the first major female architects, Julia Morgan, this hidden gem of a castle set on the West Coast is an unexpected architectural find in the relatively young state of California. Heavy Mediterranean style and Spanish colonial influence blend in this castle nestled in the unspoiled mountains of California’s central coast can immerse you in the 20th century with guided tours. In nearby Cambria, visit historic buildings in the quaint seaside downtown or take a scenic drive along the coast!



Known for being a favorite amongst celebrities like Anne Hathaway and Reese Witherspoon while looking for a quiet retreat from the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles, Ojai is the perfect artsy, spiritual getaway. Galleries, farm-to-table cuisine, natural hot springs and more await in this city in Santa Barbara county. With charming small-business shops lining sunny streets in the downtown and farmers markets, you’ll find this village-like city perfectly quaint. 


Bless your eyes (and your Instagram feed) with these scenic and underrated spots located within California. Gatekeep if you want, but don’t be surprised if your friends want to check out these places for themselves!