May 01, 2024 — Charlotte Pennington

Those unfamiliar with California’s diverse terrain and climate are often met with surprises when planning a Cali getaway. The weather differs across the mountains, beaches, and deserts no matter the season, and the wrong outfits can leave you shivering even during the heights of summer.

In fact, if you’re planning to visit the Golden State in summer, it’s important to know that you can’t simply pack your usual summer travel outfits and hope all goes well. In places like Santa Barbara that lie next to the ocean, you can expect even the months of June to be chilly whereas just a short drive over the San Marcos Pass will leave you sweating profusely.

This is a good example of why you need to be careful while packing summer vacation clothes for your California trip. Now, let’s take a look at the summer outfits that you should pack!

Packing for the Beach

A woman at the beach wearing white linen pants and a blue linen shirt

Summer is the best time to visit the famous beaches of Cali as the temperature remains warm, ranging from 70°F to 80°F (21°C to 27°C), with plenty of sunshine and occasional coastal breezes. It’s the best time to enjoy activities such as swimming, surfing, paddleboarding, and beach volleyball.

When packing for the beach, your summer travel outfits should include the usual: women’s button-down linen shirts, linen beach pants, beach linen shorts, dresses, and skirts. You can sport them while you take a leisurely walk along the beach, play volleyball, or as a cover-up after your relaxing swim. Other essentials to carry are sunscreen, comfortable flip-flops, your swimsuit, a floppy hat, sunglasses, and a beach towel.

Packing for the Mountains

A woman in the mountains sporting white cargo pants and a black crop T-shirt

The mountains of California are for adventurers, so if you’re planning a camping trip, a trekking trip, or any other activity such as fishing or wildlife viewing, then you’re in for a treat. Make sure you have the right summer travel outfits to make your exploration easier and memorable.

Instead of bulky clothes, carry layers that you can put on and take off throughout the day to stay comfortable as daytime temperatures range around 70°F to 80°F (21°C to 27°C) and nighttime drops to 50°F to 60°F (10°C to 15°C). Some summer vacation clothes to pack are basic tees, lightweight linen clothing, comfy cargo pants, durable everyday jeans, and waterproof outerwear.

Packing for the Desert

A woman in the desert wearing light blue denim shorts and a white tee

Summer travel outfits for California’s deserts are the most challenging to choose as the region can experience extreme temperatures during the summer, with daytime highs often exceeding 100°F (38°C) and nighttime lows dropping to around 70°F (21°C). Your California vacation outfits would thus have to mix breathable layers and protective outerwear.

Pack a few full-sleeve linen shirts and everyday pants to protect yourself from the sun and desert winds. Also, carry lightweight outerwear such as a UV parka jacket that you can layer over your summer travel outfits to stay protected and warm after the sun goes down. Other essentials to pack are comfortable shoes, sunscreen, sunglasses, and a wide-brimmed hat.

Chic Cali-Inspired Summer Vacation Clothes

A woman wearing a light gray tiered maxi

The state of California has many adventures awaiting you and you need the right clothing to make the most of them, whether you’re visiting the beach, mountains, or deserts. At Cali1850, we create high-quality lifestyle clothing designed for those with an adventurous spirit. You can shop your summer travel outfits from us for stylish, timeless clothes that will stand the test of time and your many adventures. Explore our women’s comfy clothes now and enjoy free same-day shipping and free 30-day returns on all orders!

Author Bio

With a strong belief in using fashion as a means for self-expression, Charlotte Pennington helps individuals embrace their unique personal style and showcase it through their clothing choices. From her early days flipping through fashion magazines to her adventures scouring thrift shops for hidden gems, fashion has always been her muse. Shaped by California’s iconic and relaxed fashion influences and armed with a pen and a keen eye for trends, Charlotte now shares her love for fashion through her writing.