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8 places for budget travelers to try in the off-season

By: Josh Lew on Jan. 3, 2013, 11:37 a.m.
Central California coast highway

Photo: col/Shutterstock

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California's central coast

Arguably the most beautiful part of California, this 300-plus-mile stretch of coastline, which is almost equidistant from Los Angles and San Francisco, is known for its unparalleled scenery. The Central Coast is a popular spot for California's urban dwellers, who come seeking a quiet weekend getaway. The coast is also a popular destination for wine lovers, scenery seekers and beach goers from around the U.S. (and even international tourists). Between November and March, it is cooler and does rain more than during the summer, but the amazing coastal terrain, miles of untouched beaches, and other natural features are all still accessible during this non-peak season. Off-season hotel prices are much lower, with some seaside villas for rent for as little as 50 percent of their summertime rates, and hotels in hubs like Big Sur, Carmel and Monterey also offer attractive prices for those who want to explore California on the cheap.