From Wine Country to Beachside Bliss: Romantic Escapes in California

Carmel Beach Sunset
Carmel by the Beach, California

Sunny California is a haven for romance. These days, more and more loved up couples are heading to America’s coolest state for honeymoons or even just a wonderful holiday escape.

From beautiful beaches to a myriad of activities and pursuits, it’s easy to while away the day in Cali. It’s a big state, so you’ll never run out of things to see and do.  From the rolling vineyards of Napa Valley to the sun-kissed shores of Santa Barbara, this diverse state offers an abundance of options for couples seeking a dreamy retreat.

Indulge in the region’s world-renowned wines as you explore the charming wineries and tasting rooms that dot the stunning Wine Country. Immerse yourselves in the tranquil beauty of the coastal towns, where long walks on the beach and breathtaking sunsets set the stage for romance. Whether you’re seeking a cozy bed and breakfast nestled among the vineyards or a luxurious beachfront resort, California has it all. Here are some of the best romantic experiences and destinations to put on your California honeymoon or holiday itinerary.

Head to wine country

Napa Valley and Sonoma: Exploring the vineyards and indulging in wine tasting

Nestled in the heart of Northern California, Napa Valley is a world-renowned wine region that promises an unforgettable experience for couples. Take a leisurely drive along the scenic Silverado Trail, where you’ll be greeted by rolling vineyards as far as the eye can see. Stop by some of the region’s most iconic wineries, such as Domaine Carneros and Opus One, where you can sample exquisite wines and learn about the winemaking process.

Then there are extremely indulgent spa getaways, where you can relax and unwind with a couples’ massage. Or you may even want to spend some time simply taking a few strolls around the beautiful landscape. There are some fantastic trails for lovers of hiking, and there are some great golf courses, too, if you’re eager to work on your swing. 

The Napa Valley is also a popular spot for dawn hot air balloon rides, which really showcase the undulating landscape of the region at its very best. Try this adventurous activity and see for yourself. 

Sonoma, located just next to Napa Valley, is another gem in California’s wine country. With its laid-back atmosphere and picturesque landscapes, it offers a more intimate and relaxed experience. Explore the charming town square of Sonoma, visit family-owned wineries, and enjoy a picnic in the vineyards. Don’t forget to try some of the region’s specialties, such as the world-famous Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Romantic accommodations in wine country

After a day of wine tasting and exploring, retreat to one of the many romantic accommodations in the wine country. From intimate bed and breakfasts to luxurious resorts, there is something for every couple’s taste and budget. Imagine waking up to the breathtaking views of the vineyards, enjoying a private wine tasting in your own suite, or relaxing in a spa overlooking the rolling hills. Some popular options include the Auberge du Soleil in Napa Valley and the Farmhouse Inn in Sonoma.

Iconic California beach destinations for couples

California is home to a whole host of stunning beaches and the coastline offers a multitude of idyllic destinations. You’ll find many perfect settings for a romantic getaway, from iconic beach towns to hidden gems.

If you fancy yourselves beach babes, try a visit to the shores of Coronado town. The surf here is gentle, so it’s a serene place to enjoy the day and the sand is beautiful and soft. Try the Coronado Central Beach, which is surrounded by elegant homes. A little further from the central township you’ll find Silver Strand State Beach, offering beautiful views of the ocean. Really though, you can’t go past the Ferry Landing Marketplace, which has a sandy shore and lawn area that provides some of the best views of San Diego around. 

Santa Monica Beach and its associated pier is another great spot for couples. Not only is there a beach to stroll and lounge upon, there’s the pier that provides endless amusement and entertainment. It’s home to a number of eateries, shops and markets and rides. Have a whirl on the historic carousel, listen to live music, play some games at the arcade and ride the Ferris wheel for some gorgeous views. 

Coronado California

Santa Barbara, known as the “American Riviera,” is popular for couples seeking a romantic beachside escape. With its palm-lined streets, Spanish architecture, and pristine beaches, it exudes a charming and romantic ambience. Take a stroll along the historic Stearns Wharf, explore the beautiful Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, or simply relax on the beach and soak in the sun. Don’t miss the opportunity to catch a breathtaking sunset at Butterfly Beach, known for its panoramic views.

Further down the coast, you’ll find the picturesque town of Carmel-by-the-Sea. This quaint, charming destination offers pristine beaches, world-class art galleries, and cozy cafes. Explore the famous 17-Mile Drive, visit the historic Carmel Mission, or take a romantic walk along the white sandy beach. Carmel-by-the-Sea is also home to the iconic Pebble Beach Golf Links, where you can enjoy a round of golf with stunning ocean views.

Coastal activities for a romantic getaway

In addition to relaxing on the beach, couples can enjoy plenty of activities along the California coast. Go kayaking in the crystal-clear waters of Monterey Bay, embark on a whale-watching tour in Santa Cruz, or take a romantic sunset cruise in Newport Beach. For a truly unique experience, consider renting a beachfront cottage in Malibu and wake up to the sound of crashing waves. The possibilities are endless.

Romantic accommodations with ocean views

When it comes to romantic accommodations along the California coast, countless options will leave you breathless. From boutique hotels perched on cliffs to beachfront resorts with private villas, you’ll find the perfect place to create lasting memories. Imagine waking up to the sound of the waves, enjoying a candlelit dinner on your private balcony, or relaxing in a hot tub overlooking the ocean. Some notable options include the Ritz-Carlton in Half Moon Bay and the Montage Laguna Beach.

The Big Sur

Big Sur

For a romantic road trip, jump in the car and tackle the Big Sur. This is a region of Cali’s Central Coast, and the road through the district follows dramatic coastal cliffs providing stunning views of the Pacific Ocean. 

Stop off at the small coastal settlements, pull over and stroll along deserted beaches and soak up all the sunshine you could ask for. The Big Sur bursts with colour, with lush green forest-covered mountains, dazzling golden sand and the glistening azure ocean sure to romance you to your very core. 

So make your way to California and its experience its loved-up vibe for yourselves. You’ll make a ton of memories to last a lifetime with your loved one.

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