California is mostly associated with magnificent beaches, where peace and romance reign, with palm trees surrounding the beaches, with uniquely beautiful sunsets and captivating mountain scenery. All these gifts provide an environment for the perfect romantic getaway or honeymoon. The variety of landscapes offers something for everyone: coastal cities combined with bays, or the destination of Big Sur, where sheer cliffs descend into the Pacific Ocean, offering awesome panoramic views. And for lovers who want to be alone, the easily accessible island of Santa Catalina provides the desired idyllic atmosphere. There is something for travelers who like the rural charm – they can enjoy the historic cities of Sonoma and Mendocino counties. For mountaineers, wildlife is offered with the cozy rural huts on Lake Tahoe. California has everything for everyone, so every couple will love their honeymoon or weekend. We have selected the best romantic getaways that can become a lovely nest of lovers:
- 1 Santa Barbara, the American Riviera
- 2 Lake Tahoe in the High Sierra
- 3 Santa Catalina Island
- 4 Half Moon Bay
- 5 Carmel-by-the Sea: A Quaint and Upscale Seaside Resort
- 6 The Dramatic Coastline of Big Sur
- 7 Rugged and Unspoiled Mendocino County
- 8 The Rolling Hills of Sonoma County
- 9 Victorian Village of Ferndale
- 10 Solvang
- 11 Paso Robles: A Rustic-Chic Country Town
- 12 Avila Beach Resort Town and Hot Springs
- 13 The Russian River
Santa Barbara, the American Riviera
Santa Barbara is the perfect setting for a romantic movie and is one of the iconic lovers’ escape destinations in California. It is no coincidence that it is called the “American Riviera” because of its Mediterranean nature and the atmosphere resembling a resort. But it also has its own look – this typical destination in California has a historic Spanish mission and uniquely beautiful sunny sandy beaches. Romantics await sunsets and the sound of the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean. The center of this destination is lined with typical Spanish-style buildings with art galleries, boutiques, neat restaurants, and cafes. Other favorite things to do include relaxing in the city’s spas and outdoor activities. The beautiful nature here is ideal for cycling, sailing, and hiking.
Lake Tahoe in the High Sierra
Lake Tahoe is located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains at an altitude of over 6,000 feet. It is the lofty mountain scenery, fresh air, and deep blue waters that captivate visitors and attract couples for a romantic weekend getaway in California. This majestic natural environment simply draws you to that kind of relaxation, but also to outdoor adventures. Lake Tahoe is equally beautiful in winter for skiing and in summer for walking, cycling, camping, rowing, and other activities. Whether you are visiting for a weekend or a honeymoon, all couples here will enjoy great restaurants, nice ski huts, country-style inns, and modern resort hotels. If you ask what is the typical experience in Tahoe, this is the Postmarc Hotel and Spa Suites, which gives you a real idea of an alpine hut, which also has modern amenities, with film screenings, comedy shows, and themed dinners.
Santa Catalina Island
Santa Catalina Island is about an hour by ferry from Long Beach, San Pedro. This is exactly the place that is perfect for a romantic weekend getaway in California. It has everything you need for this purpose: secluded beaches, coastal villages, beautiful island landscapes, and the largest city on the island is Avalon and offers the largest selection of accommodation – the choice is yours: from beautiful historic hotels to modern resorts. Avalon’s beaches are protected, but you can snorkel, swim and kayak. Descanso Beach is the right place, as it has facilities, even a private beach club. At the western end of the island, in Two Harbors you will feel like paradise. This small village offers a restaurant, grocery store, irresistibly attractive pristine beaches, fishing spots, and small luxury hotels. You also have many opportunities for tourism and camping in Santa Catalina – two ports and at the back of the island, as most of the trails pass over hilly terrain and give you stunning views of the ocean and coast.
Half Moon Bay
Half Moon Bay is a dream for couples coastal community, surrounded by hills, farms and dense forests, pristine beaches, and beautiful hiking trails, Half Moon Bay is a popular weekend romantic getaway California destination for nature lovers.
The scenic Half Moon Bay State Beach attracts you for walks, during which romantics will admire the powerful waves and breathe the fresh ocean air. You can also have a picnic. But among other places for heavenly relaxation here, the most romantic place is Mill Rose Inn – a chic hotel with luxurious guest rooms with beds with floral prints, surrounding antiques, and decor inspired by the vintage. Outside, a rustic English garden with fresh flowers awaits you all year round, making it a popular venue for weddings.
Carmel-by-the Sea: A Quaint and Upscale Seaside Resort
This is a luxury seaside resort where you will find a charming atmosphere. Carmel-by-the-Sea offers everything you can imagine for a romantic getaway: nice hotels, luxury restaurants, and even cultural events, whatever time of year you choose. A quiet sandy beach surrounded by cypress trees is a 10-minute walk from Carmel. This section of the coastline is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in all of Northern California. And minutes from 17-Mile Drive, you’ll see the world-famous Pebble Beach Golf Course, famous for its 18th hole, which overlooks the iconic ocean bluff. Carmel is also a convenient starting point for exploring the Big Sur coastline, and along the way is Point Lobos – a coastal nature reserve with perfect hiking trails.
The Dramatic Coastline of Big Sur
With its formidable beauty, Big Sur is a real escape from the rest of the world, where you can rejuvenate your soul. With wild scenery, beautiful ocean views, and accessibility through the cliffs of Highway 1, this mountainous stretch of 90 miles off the coast of Northern California looks detached from today’s noisy world. There is no mobile service here, but lovers would hardly miss it. But despite its remote location, Big Sur offers luxury hotels, chic restaurants, and spas, plus elegant inns and country-style campsites. For each couple, the main attraction is offered, namely the impressive, pristine nature. You will find yourself among dense redwood forests, and the coastline of Big Sur stands 1,200 feet above the deep blue waters of the Pacific Ocean. This romantic getaway in California will enchant you with its sheer cliffs plunging into crashing waves, and above the sea ridges, lonely beaches are hidden between the coastal cliffs. There are several state parks in Big Sur with large hiking trails leading you through a variety of landscapes.
Rugged and Unspoiled Mendocino County
Mendocino County offers romantics rocky shores and an abundance of redwood trees. Here the wildlife is magnificent, and the calm atmosphere and the fabulous view of the ocean make the place just perfect for a romantic getaway. The pristine environment, the fresh air, and the hidden beaches draw you to complete relaxation. Here you can also enjoy camping, hiking and outdoor sports, swimming, or fishing in Lake Mendocino, protected by a 700-acre nature reserve. Although remote, the village of Mendocino is full of nice hotels and luxury inns. It is entered in the National Register of Historic Places due to its well-preserved architecture dating back to the 19th century. There is also a working fishing port nearby with great restaurants where you can eat seafood and find accommodation in more affordable accommodation.
The Rolling Hills of Sonoma County
Sonoma County, an hour’s drive north of San Francisco, offers an attractive landscape of rolling, vine-covered hills. Couples come here mostly to enjoy relaxation, silence, and outdoor activities. This getaway in California has opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, and local gourmet cuisine based on organic farm products. The city of Sonoma offers you both history and the best restaurants, attractive boutiques located on a square with a park, all shaded by trees. Vacation for two, for maximum pleasure – these are the rolling hills of Sonoma County.
Victorian Village of Ferndale
The village of Ferndale represents the idyll of old-fashioned America. There are over 200 beautifully restored Victorian buildings on the main street and side streets, strange hotels, and inns of Ferndale, ideal for a romantic getaway. Guests enjoy pampering while spending the night in vintage-style rooms. The most luxurious hotel here is The Gingerbread Mansion Inn, a Victorian building with a decorated façade and lavish décor. In addition to the unique comfort, the hotel offers a rich breakfast, afternoon tea, basket “Romantic picnic for two” to take outdoors. The other option, not the only one for classy accommodation here, is the Ivanhoe Hotel – one of the oldest hotels in the West and the only original hotel from the Victorian era. And yet, Humboldt County is a place of outstanding natural beauty, tucked away in several state parks. You can walk through the wild redwood forests and along the ocean coast route, explore the Humboldt Botanical Garden and do activities such as hiking, cycling, and horse riding.
Solvang wonderfully surprises couples with a vision of the European charm of the Old World in the Santa Ines Valley in central California. Grader was founded in the early 20th century by immigrants from Denmark, making it look like a Danish village with typical thatched-roof buildings and a windmill. And here you will find local boutiques with authentic Danish-themed souvenirs, and traditional Danish bakeries offering specialties. It is ideal for a romantic visit at the weekend, a real paradise for relaxation and relaxation. The property offers opportunities for horse riding, fishing, cycling, and other activities.
Paso Robles: A Rustic-Chic Country Town
Paso Robles is a vineyard-covered area located about 30 miles from San Luis Obispo on the Central Coast. The city has a historic center with a rustic atmosphere, tree-lined streets, and many restaurants where you can try great outdoor dishes. If you are looking for a wellness visit, Paso Robles is the right place to indulge in the tranquility of the rural landscape and pamper yourself with spa facilities. They have pools with thermal mineral water, saunas, massages, and aromatherapy, and the nights are a charm in a stylish hotel full of romance.
Avila Beach Resort Town and Hot Springs
Avila Beach is the pearl of the Central California coast and is located 10 miles south of San Luis Obispo. This is a sunny resort with a wide sandy coastline surrounded by palm trees, ideal for romantic walks day and night. Several coastal restaurants attract outdoor terraces, allowing you to contemplate the sea view. And the most romantic place to stay in Avila is Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort and Spa, a 3-star hotel built on a wooded property with a hot spring. Here is your place for longing for peace, wellness, and relaxation. Guest rooms at this hotel have outdoor balconies with private jacuzzis filled with mineral water.
The Russian River
The Russian River in summer is the perfect destination for outdoor activities such as hiking in the woods; swimming, sunbathing on the riverside beaches; canoeing, kayaking, and fishing, or sailing on the river. for lovers, greenery and water are a captivating combination of relaxation and romantic experiences. All year round, this area floods you with the serenity of a gently flowing river and towering redwood forests, a peaceful rural atmosphere, and small historic towns. Around the Russian River is the town of Guerneville, where there is a wide variety of accommodation and modern restaurants. And the small village of Duncan Mills, where time seems to have stopped, but with immaculately maintained Victorian buildings. And to be amazed by the beautiful nature and captivating sunsets, visit Jenner-by-the-Sea. The Russian River area also offers the fashionable city of Healdsburg if you are looking for a place to stay in a high class.