Over the last few years, design-forward hotels have been popping up all over California. The Golden State is home to pristine coastlines and mountainous backdrops, but aesthetic spaces with a professional touch can make all of the difference when traveling.

Whether you’re planning a trip to the beach in SoCal or a wine-tasting weekend in Santa Ynez, there are several chic hotels that are great for a fall road trip. That said, California has plenty of cities that stay pretty warm year-round, allowing you to plan your design-forward destination at your leisure.

Without further ado, here are 12 chic California roadside inns that provide the perfect accommodations for a road trip in the fall!

*This post contains affiliate links which means I may make a small commission if you choose to click and book (at no additional cost to you. This allows me to continue creating content like this!

12 Chic California Roadside Inns For this Fall

Where I Like to Book

While some people prefer to book directly through a hotel website, I prefer third-party sites like Booking.com and Hotels.com. In addition to offering more competitive rates, these sites also have better cancellation policies (which is a must in a post-Covid era).

Though there are a few other booking sites, these two are my top picks, and always manage to pull through with great deals.

12 Chic California Roadside Inns

1. Hotel Ynez

Santa Ynez is one of my favorite places to escape to year-round. However, in the fall, this breathtaking valley in Santa Barbara wine country really comes to life. Hotel Ynez is a charming and laid-back accommodation that has a boutique feel with great amenities. Their lounge space is decorated beautifully and I love the curated boutique that is full of wonderful local finds like wine and chocolates.

Find the best rates on Booking.com or Hotels.com
2644 Mission Dr, Solvang, CA 93463

2. White Water Cambria

White Water Cambria is perched right near the stunning bluffs of central California. The vibe here is modern with a bohemian touch, and the views of the Pacific are unbeatable.

Cambria is a more mellow town in general, so this hotel is perfect for those seeking some solace along the coast. There isn’t a full restaurant on-site, but you can enjoy small bites and craft beers and wine in the chic lobby lounge.

Find the best rates on Booking.com or Hotels.com
6736 Moonstone Beach Dr, Cambria, CA 93428

3. The Surfrider Malibu

Malibu has one of the most iconic coastlines in all of SoCal. In addition to the chic yet beachy decor, The Surfrider Malibu also places guests in the heart of this affluent beach town.

Everything from Nobu to the Malibu Pier is within walking distance. There is also an awesome rooftop that is exclusive to guests where you can order food and drinks while taking in the breathtaking views. I highly recommend watching at least one sunset with a glass of vino in hand!

Find the best rates on Booking.com or Hotels.com

4. Hotel Joaquin

Hotel Joaquin is located right on the coast of Laguna Beach, situated right above Shaw’s Cove. This boutique hotel is tucked away, giving guests an optimal amount of privacy and seclusion.

Each room is individually designed and features custom art and furniture, adding to the intimacy of this petite resort. The on-site restaurant Saline is open for breakfast, lite bights at lunch, and dinner, and the Mediterranean fare matched the coastal vibe of the hotel.

Find the best rates on Booking.com or Hotels.com
985 N Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA 92651

12 Chic California Roadside Inns

5. Coachmen Hotel

The Coachmen Hotel is a South Lake Tahoe gem that has a modern and sleek style. The decor is pretty simple and somewhat minimalistic with a cool, renovated motel vibe.

This is a great getaway for those who enjoy the outdoors all year long. Though it doesn’t have as many of the amenities as some of the other hotels on this list, it has cozy guest rooms, a gym, and some nice meeting spaces.

Find the best rates on Booking.com
4100 Pine Blvd, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150

12 Chic California Roadside Inns

6. Calistoga Motor Lodge  

Visiting Napa Valley in the fall and during the harvest is so magical. Calistoga Motor Lodge is located right at the foothills and is surrounded by some of the best wineries in Napa.

It is also home to the MoonAcre Spa which pays tribute to the historic Calistoga bathhouses of the 1880s. The rooms here are very retro and there are a few different options to check out, including the camper rooms and the new, second-floor vista rooms.

Find the best rates on Booking.com or Hotels.com
1880 Lincoln Ave, Calistoga, CA 94515

12 Chic California Roadside Inns

7. The Pearl Hotel San Diego

The Pearl Hotel in Point Loma is a mid-century modern hotel that is within walking distance of the beach. There are only 23 guest rooms, giving this hotel a very exclusive and intimate feel. Each room is also centered around the oyster-shape pool which is also connected to the on-site bar and restaurant, Charles + Dinorah.

Find the best rates on Booking.com or Hotels.com
410 Rosecrans St, San Diego, CA 92106

8. The Hotel Carmel

The Hotel Carmel, not to be confused with Hotel Carmel in Santa Monica, is a boutique accommodation in the heart of Carmel-by-the-Sea. One of the best parts of booking a stay at this coastal gem is the fact that you can walk to all of the nearby wineries, shops, and restaurants in Carmel.

The style and vibe are best described as classic California, and it’s a super romantic and timeless place for a fall road trip.

Find the best rates on Booking.com
4th &, San Carlos St, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93921

9. The Capri Ojai

Ojai is a magical town located within the mountains right outside of Santa Barbara. The Capri Hotel is a true oasis that has a mid-century modern vibe and stunning mountain views. It was just renovated in 2020, and while it is a smaller and more quaint spot, there is definitely a sense of luxury.

Find the best rates on Booking.com or Hotels.com
1180 E Ojai Ave, Ojai, CA 93023

12 Chic California Roadside Inns

10. Alamo Motel

The Alamo Motel is located in the heart of the western wine town of Los Alamos. Los Alamos is one of my favorite spots to hit on a Central California road trip, and it’s great for antiquing and wine tasting. The Alamo motel is within walking distance to everything in town, and it has a rustic yet modern appeal that is very photo-worthy.

Find the best rates on Hotels.com
425 Bell St, Los Alamos, CA 93440

12 Chic California Roadside Inns

11. Surfhouse Adventures

Between the beach-inspired decor and heavy surf culture in Encinitas, Surfhouse Adventures in Leucadia is a coastal dream. There are only eight rooms on-site and each is decorated with the surrounding nature in mind. It looks like a very modern motel from the outside, but the rooms themselves are pretty updated and clean.

Find the best rates on Booking.com
960 N Coast Hwy 101, Encinitas, CA 92024

12 Chic California Roadside Inns

12. Sparrows Lodge Palm Springs

Sparrows Lodge is an adults-only hotel that embodies the iconic and retro mid-century modern style that is so prominent in Palm Springs. The lobby features a cozy stone fireplace while the rooms remain pretty modern and contemporary.

Whether you’re looking to hang poolside or stay in and order room service, this is luxe yet relaxed Palm Springs accommodation.

Find the best rates on Booking.com or Hotels.com
1330 E Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92264

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