With its sunny beaches, laidback atmosphere, and rich Hawaiian culture, the Aloha State is an alluring vacation destination for many. While Hawaii offers a paradise that’s hard to replicate, several destinations in California come close to giving you that authentic Hawaiian vibe without the lengthy flight across the Pacific. From Oahu-inspired beach towns to idyllic tropical destinations, here are some great places in California to experience Hawaiian island vibes close to home.

Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz, located on the central coast of California, offers a beautiful Hawaiian-style getaway without the need for a long flight. This vibrant beach town is known for its relaxed atmosphere, stunning coastline, and abundance of outdoor activities.

Relaxed Beach Town Atmosphere

One of the main reasons why Santa Cruz is a popular destination for those seeking a Hawaiian-style getaway is its laid-back beach town atmosphere. The town’s relaxed vibe, friendly locals, and breathtaking views create the perfect setting for a rejuvenating vacation. Whether you want to soak up the sun on the sandy beaches, take a leisurely stroll along the iconic Santa Cruz Wharf, or simply unwind and enjoy the ocean breeze, Santa Cruz has it all.


Just like in Hawaii, Santa Cruz is a paradise for surfers. The town is home to some of the best surf spots in California, attracting wave enthusiasts from all over the world. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner looking to catch your first wave, Santa Cruz offers a variety of breaks suitable for all skill levels. So grab your surfboard and get ready to ride the waves in true Hawaiian style!

Hawaiian Restaurants and Cuisine

When it comes to satisfying your taste buds with Hawaiian flavors, Santa Cruz doesn’t disappoint. The town is dotted with a variety of Hawaiian restaurants and eateries that serve up authentic dishes inspired by the islands. From mouthwatering poke bowls to succulent Kalua pork, you’ll find a wide range of options to satisfy your cravings. One popular spot is Pono Hawaiian Grill, where you can indulge in traditional Hawaiian fare while enjoying the laid-back atmosphere.

For more information about Santa Cruz and its Hawaiian-style getaways, you can visit santacruz.org. So why wait? Plan your trip to Santa Cruz and experience the beauty of a Hawaiian-style getaway right here in California!

Huntington Beach

Known as “Surf City USA,” Huntington Beach is a must-visit destination for beach lovers and surf enthusiasts. With its picturesque coastline, consistent waves, and vibrant beach culture, this coastal town offers a true taste of the Hawaiian-style getaway in California.

Beach Culture and Vibes

When you step foot in Huntington Beach, you’ll immediately be greeted by a laid-back and friendly atmosphere. Surfers dot the horizon, catching waves and showcasing their skills, while beachgoers soak up the sun and enjoy the sandy shores. The beach culture in Huntington Beach is infectious, and you can’t help but feel the positive energy and enthusiasm that permeates the air.

Whether you’re an experienced surfer or a beginner looking to catch your first wave, Huntington Beach offers a variety of surf schools and rental shops that cater to all skill levels. You’ll find surfers of all ages and backgrounds, creating a diverse and inclusive community that embraces the love for the ocean.

Visit Banzai Bowls for Acai Bowls and Poke

No Hawaiian-style getaway is complete without indulging in delicious and healthy food. In Huntington Beach, a visit to Banzai Bowls is a must. Known for their mouthwatering acai bowls and fresh poke, this local eatery brings the flavors of Hawaii to the California coastline.

Start your day with a refreshing acai bowl, topped with an array of fresh fruits, granola, and honey. The combination of sweet and tart flavors will leave you feeling energized and ready to take on the day. If you’re in the mood for something savory, try their poke bowls, featuring fresh seafood and a variety of flavorful toppings.

With outdoor seating and a relaxed ambiance, Banzai Bowls is the perfect spot to refuel after a day of sun, sand, and surf. Whether you’re a health-conscious foodie or simply looking for a tasty treat, a visit to Banzai Bowls is sure to satisfy your cravings.

For more information on Huntington Beach and its Hawaiian-style getaways, you can visit the official Surf City USA website. Discover the beauty of this coastal paradise and immerse yourself in the laid-back beach culture that makes Huntington Beach a perfect spot for a Hawaiian-style getaway in California.

Laguna Beach

Laguna Beach, located in Orange County, California, is a picturesque coastal city that offers visitors a taste of Hawaiian-style getaways right in the heart of California. With its stunning coastline, vibrant art scene, and exciting annual festivals, Laguna Beach is a must-visit destination for beach lovers and art enthusiasts.

Stunning Coastline

Laguna Beach boasts some of the most breathtaking coastlines in California. The crystal-clear waters, pristine sandy beaches, and rugged cliffs create a perfect backdrop for relaxation and outdoor activities. Whether you want to soak up the sun, go for a swim, or simply take a leisurely stroll along the shore, Laguna Beach offers a variety of beautiful beaches to suit every preference. Some popular beaches in the area include Main Beach, Crescent Bay Beach, and Thousand Steps Beach.

Art Galleries and Boutiques

One of the highlights of Laguna Beach is its thriving art scene. The city is home to numerous art galleries and boutiques, showcasing a diverse range of artwork from local and international artists. From contemporary paintings to sculptures, ceramics, and jewelry, there is something for every art enthusiast to admire and purchase. Exploring the art galleries and boutiques in Laguna Beach is not only a great way to appreciate art but also an opportunity to support local artists and find unique souvenirs to take home.

Annual Festival of the Arts

The Annual Festival of the Arts in Laguna Beach is a world-renowned event that celebrates the creativity and talent of artists from all over the country. The festival includes a juried art show, live performances, workshops, and art demonstrations. Visitors can immerse themselves in the vibrant atmosphere, admire stunning artworks, and even participate in hands-on activities. The festival also features the famous Pageant of the Masters, where performers recreate famous artworks using real people as living tableaux. This unique and mesmerizing experience is not to be missed!

For more information about Laguna Beach and its attractions, you can visit the official website of the Laguna Beach Visitors Bureau.

San Diego

San Diego, located on the southern coast of California, offers a variety of Hawaiian-style getaways. From stunning botanical gardens to relaxing beach communities, this city has it all. Let’s explore some of the top attractions and experiences that will make you feel like you’re in the tropical paradise of Hawaii.

Balboa Park’s Botanical Building

One of the must-see spots in San Diego is the Balboa Park’s Botanical Building. This iconic structure houses an impressive collection of exotic plants and flowers, reminiscent of Hawaii’s lush landscapes. As you step inside, you’ll be greeted by a breathtaking display of tropical flora, including palm trees, orchids, and vibrant hibiscus flowers. Take a leisurely stroll through the garden and let the fragrances and colors transport you to the Hawaiian islands. Don’t forget to snap some Instagram-worthy photos of this botanical wonderland.

Relaxing Beach Communities

San Diego is known for its beautiful beaches, and some of them give off a Hawaiian vibe. One such community is Pacific Beach, where you can soak up the sun, ride the waves, and enjoy the laid-back beach culture. Grab a surfboard and catch some waves, or simply relax on the sandy shores and watch the sunset. Another beach community worth visiting is Mission Beach, known for its lively boardwalk, exciting water sports, and delicious seafood restaurants. Spend the day playing beach volleyball or rent a bike and explore the scenic coastline. Whether you’re looking for relaxation or adventure, San Diego’s beach communities have something for everyone.

Hawaiian Cuisine and Luau Shows

No Hawaiian-style getaway is complete without indulging in delicious cuisine and experiencing traditional Polynesian entertainment. San Diego offers a range of restaurants that serve authentic Hawaiian dishes, such as poke bowls, kalua pork, and spam musubi. Treat your taste buds to the flavors of the islands and satisfy your cravings for tropical delicacies.

To truly immerse yourself in the Hawaiian experience, catch a luau show in San Diego. These lively performances showcase traditional dances, music, and storytelling from the Polynesian culture. Get ready to be amazed by the vibrant costumes, rhythmic drumming, and impressive fire dancing. It’s an evening of entertainment that will transport you straight to the shores of Hawaii.

So, if you’re craving a Hawaiian-style getaway but can’t make it to the islands, San Diego is the perfect destination. With its stunning botanical gardens, relaxing beach communities, and mouthwatering Hawaiian cuisine, you’ll feel like you’re in paradise. Plan your trip today and experience the best of both worlds – the beauty of California and the spirit of Hawaii.

Note: For more information on the attractions and experiences mentioned above, you can visit the official website of Balboa Park’s Botanical Building at www.balboapark.org.

Palm Springs

Welcome to Palm Springs, a stunning destination in California that offers a taste of Hawaiian-style getaways. From its lush tropical landscapes to its mid-century modern architecture, Palm Springs has something for everyone seeking a relaxing and rejuvenating vacation.

Lush Tropical Landscapes

One of the highlights of Palm Springs is its lush tropical landscapes, which transport you to the Hawaiian islands without leaving California. The city is known for its abundance of palm trees, exotic plants, and colorful flowers. Strolling through the streets, you’ll be greeted by the sight and scent of vibrant bougainvillea and hibiscus. The picturesque gardens and parks provide the perfect backdrop for a leisurely walk or a picnic under the shade of swaying palm trees.

Mid-Century Modern Architecture

Palm Springs is famous for its mid-century modern architecture, which adds to its Hawaiian-style charm. The city is home to a plethora of iconic buildings designed by renowned architects such as Richard Neutra and Albert Frey. Take a tour of the Palm Springs Modernism District, where you’ll find sleek and stylish homes, hotels, and public buildings. The clean lines, open floor plans, and expansive glass walls create a seamless blend between indoor and outdoor spaces, allowing you to enjoy the beautiful surroundings from the comfort of your accommodation.

Spa Resorts and Pools

No Hawaiian-style getaway is complete without indulging in some relaxation and pampering. Palm Springs offers a wide range of luxurious spa resorts and pools where you can unwind and rejuvenate. Treat yourself to a massage or a facial at one of the many award-winning spas in the area. Take a dip in a sparkling pool surrounded by lush greenery and enjoy the warm California sun. Whether you’re looking for a tranquil oasis or a lively poolside atmosphere, Palm Springs has the perfect spot for you to unwind and soak up the Hawaiian-inspired ambiance.

For more information about Palm Springs and its Hawaiian-style getaways, you can visit visitpalmsprings.com.


While Hawaii will always hold a special place in the heart of beach lovers, these amazing destinations in California offer a slice of island life, culture, and natural beauty without leaving the West Coast. With the sun, sand, surfing, and laidback atmosphere of Hawaii translated into quintessential California beach towns, you’re sure to find your own personal tropical paradise closer than you think.

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