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Your Sustainable Travel Guide To Southern California

Travel tips and ideas for an unforgettable (and sustainable) SoCal vacation

The Vacationeer
Idyllic boat marina, bright blue water, clear blue skies, Southern California.

Southern California encompasses a stunning stretch along the Golden Coast from Ventura through Greater Los Angeles and south to Greater San Diego. For the 87% of travelers who want to travel more sustainably, the region is an ideal destination for a sustainable vacation. Known as the home of Hollywood studios and the birthplace of surf and skate culture, Southern California is also a sustainability leader. Here’s your guide to sustainable SoCal vacations. 

Sustainable Travel Ideas In Southern California

1. Reduce Your Carbon Emissions

Stunning rail road track along Pacific coastline, purple painted skies, Southern California.    

Sustainable vacation idea worth trying: Hop aboard an Amtrak to tour the state, ending your trip in Carlsbad, California. 

How it helps: Americans drive trillions of miles annually. According to The New York Times, reducing the amount we drive to decrease carbon emissions by just 10% would be the same as taking about 28-coal-powered power plants offline for a year. While cutting back on day-to-day driving can be challenging, changing the way you travel also makes a difference and can be fun. 

What to do: Start your trip at Club Donatello, a stylish San Francisco timeshare, and embark from the Golden City for a state tour by train. The Pacific coast is home to some of the most picturesque train routes in the United States. Stop to explore idyllic coastal cities such as Avila Beach, Los Angeles, Capistrano Beach and Oceanside. 

End your trip with a stay at MarBrisa, a Hilton Grand Vacations Club, in Carlsbad — a charming seaside village just over 7 miles from the Oceanside Amtrak station. A private entrance to neighboring LEGOLAND California Resort makes it easy for Owners and Guests to continue reducing their time behind the wheel while still enjoying their vacation. 

2. Stay With A Brand Focused On Environmental Responsibility

Gorgeous aerial image, bright blue pool and palm trees, MarBrisa, a Hilton Grand Vacations Club, Carlsbad, California.    

Sustainable vacation idea worth trying: Consider vacation ownership with Hilton Grand Vacations and support a brand committed to being a good steward of the environment. 

How it helps: Hilton Grand Vacations proactively looks for ways to reduce environmental impacts and focuses on greenhouse gas emissions, reducing energy and water consumption and minimizing waste sent to landfills. HGV CEO Mark Wang says, "Always do what's right." 

Where to stay: With several Hilton Grand Vacations properties along the Golden Coast, there’s something for every traveler. Enjoy ideally located properties that encourage walkability to all each respective area offers. 

3. Be Mindful About How You Explore

Sea lions sunbathing on rocks along Pacific Ocean, Southern California.    

Sustainable vacation idea worth trying: Book an ecotour to discover the beauty of Southern California. 

How it helps: Ecotourism combines conservation, local communities and sustainable travel. By booking an eco-tour to experience an area, you’re also helping to support the region in various ways

What to do: Check out Ocean Connectors Eco Tours for a one-of-a-kind experience led by a certified guide. Experience the stunning flora and fauna of SoCal on various tours, such as birding and biking, sea lion harbor, whale watching or wildlife kayaking. 

4. Savor The Local Flavor

Picturesque aerial image, Los Angeles, sunset painted skies, California.   

Sustainable vacation idea worth trying: Commit to being a locavore, or eating local foods, during your stay in Southern California. 

How it helps: Not only is eating local food better for the environment, but it also helps the local economy by supporting small businesses, farmers and other producers within the community.

What to do: Grab your reusable shopping bags and visit one of the many local farmer’s markets. If you’re staying at MarBrisa, stop by the Carlsbad State Street Farmer’s Market and pick up fresh produce, meats and cheese, artisan snacks and even fresh flowers for your Suite. Enjoy a family-style meal from your bounty in your private, fully equipped kitchen or a cookout by the barbeque grills. Rather venture out for dinner? Head up to Los Angeles for a locavore culinary experience

Read “6 Surprisingly Simple Ways To Travel More Sustainably” for more sustainable travel tips. 

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The Vacationeer

The Vacationeer is a collective of Hilton Grand Vacations storytellers whose goal is to inspire travelers to go further. We're always on the lookout for new destinations to explore, useful travel tips, and unique ideas to help you plan the most memorable vacations possible.

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