With miles of pristine coastline and endless Instagram-worthy views, California is the perfect place for shareable memories. However, the Golden State is also an ideal destination for those looking to unplug and disconnect from the digital world.
From remote areas with no cell service, to spas requiring you to leave your phone at the door, here are a few ideas to help you “disconnect” in California:
* Shasta Cascade: It is no doubt that when you are exploring the Shasta Cascade region of California, you are guaranteed beautiful mountain scenery. One of the best places to experience beautiful scenery and endless adventures is Lassen Volcanic National Park. This national park is home to every type of volcano in the world, steam vents, mud pots and hot springs, similar to Yellowstone but with just a fraction of visitors. What makes this park a tech-free getaway is the lack of cell phone service; visitors must rely on maps and guidebooks to get around. The diverse landscape is perfect for activities like mountain biking, fishing, paddle boarding, horseback riding, hiking and so much more.
* North Coast: Although the Californian North Coast is known for its breathtaking cliffs and beaches, visitors are encouraged to travel inland to Lake County for a time to relax and unwind. Clearlake is the largest fresh water lake in California and one of the oldest lakes in all of North America and possibly the world. If you decide to not spend the day on the water, explore acres of vineyards and orchards that produce award winning wines, pears and walnuts or take a stroll through small towns with a ton of character.
* San Francisco Bay Area: Visitors looking to disconnect in wine country, Sonoma County offers many activities to help you unplug. With a “no smartphones allowed” rule, Ratna Ling Retreat Center focuses on an experience all about renewing the soul. Visitors can also head out to Safari West, where the whole family can safely view hundreds of animals living in a natural habitat. Most cell phones lose service at Safari West so it is the perfect place to get off the grid.
* Gold Country: Disconnect from technology and connect with Gold Country in Tuolumne County, where you are guaranteed to enjoy time with friends and family. Be a passenger on an old western stagecoach at Columbia State Historic Park, ride horseback through the Emigrant Wilderness at Kennedy Meadows Resort and Packstation, or enjoy a guided whitewater rafting trip along the Tuolumne River.
* High Sierra: With miles of diverse terrain and a wide range of activities available, the High Sierras is an amazing region for visitors looking to get off the grid. Tucked about 35 miles southwest of South Lake Tahoe, Kirkwood offers several year-round activities that will keep you occupied and away from your phone. Just a few miles north of Kirkwood, in the city of South Lake Tahoe, is Heavenly Mountain Resort. Although there are ski trails for the winter explorer, Heavenly Mountain Resort’s Epic Discovery provides a unique on-mountain summer experience immersing in thrilling activities that will make you want to leave your phone in the car.
* Central Valley: Most people might associate California’s Central Valley with miles of highway, farms and flat land but visitors exploring this underrated region are encouraged to stop into Vacaville’s Morningsun Herb Farm to unplug from technology and connect with nature. Stroll through demonstration gardens full of herbs and perennials for inspiration, learn about native plants from the experts on staff, and visit with the donkeys, chickens, dogs and cats that call the farm home. Guests are encouraged to participate in workshop with classes ranging from soap making to container planting, candle-making to wreath-making and learning to create your own garden stepping stones.
* Central Coast: Santa Barbara, known as the American Riviera, is an ideal location for travellers wanting to unplug and disconnect from technology. Stop into Sky Ranch Fitness Retreat for scenic hikes, therapeutic spa treatments, wine tasting and a chef’s dinner. Just south of Santa Barbara, in the little seaside city of Summerland, is a place to get away from the digital world. The Sacred Space Private Retreat offers several services, like yoga, massage therapy and much more, that will help you take your mind off of your technological obligations.
* San Diego County: The easiest way to unplug from technology is to get out on the water where it is rendered useless. And what better place to enjoy the water than San Diego, where aquatic activities rule. With 70-miles of coast, it is no surprise that surfing is a way of life in San Diego. Visitors can take up surfing lessons, paddle board or kayak at a number of locations like Mission Bay, Coronado Island, Carlsbad Lagoon, Oceanside Harbor and the La Jolla Shores. Be prepared to leave your phone in the car or risk losing it to the depths of the Pacific Ocean.