California’s 13 Most Romantic Vacation Spots, From Malibu to Big Sur

Despite being the third-largest state in terms of land size, California is unmatched when it comes to romance. The Golden State is known for its stunning coastline, SoCal surf vibes, ancient redwood forests, mountains, undulating farmlands, and desert landscapes. It stretches from the Mexican border in the south to Oregon in the north. Large cities like sunny Los Angeles and foggy San Francisco are well-liked, while smaller towns like Malibu, Ojai, and Sausalito that are located outside of the metropolitan sprawl are also hard to resist.

There are magnificent national and state parks, top-notch wine areas, and several possibilities for leisurely beach strolls. It’s easy to amaze your sweetheart with a unique date-night supper in California since the state is home to some of the greatest and most intriguing restaurants in the country. A journey along the Pacific Coast Highway is undoubtedly the stuff of road trip fantasies.

California is ideal for a romantic holiday since it offers so much variation for different types of couples. Simply choose which attractive location to visit first.


Carmel-by-the-Sea is a lovely location that looks like a movie set and charms everyone who visits. Couples may enjoy lots of activities while unwinding by the water in this picture-perfect Central Coast hamlet on the Monterey Peninsula. The modest downtown area has charming shops, restaurants, and art galleries that give it a village-like ambience. Naturally, you should also set aside some time for romantic pursuits like wine tasting and enjoying a picnic lunch on Carmel Beach.


There are many wonderful coastal towns in California, but bohemian Ojai is one of the most captivating inland secrets that lovers shouldn’t skip. Downtown is bustling with shops, breweries, and farm-to-fork eateries like The Nest. Wine tasting is also possible, as are strolls along the 9.5-mile Ojai Valley Trail if that’s more your style. Just a friendly reminder that leaving your Ojai Valley Inn room’s fireplace cosiness and panoramic views is required for any of these attractive activities—a concept that may not be so simple for many couples.

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Healdsburg is a bustling wine region destination for drinking, dining, and relaxing.Among the greatest places to swirl in the city centre are Marine Layer Wines and Lioco. The Dry Creek Valley, a short drive outside of town, is home to a large number of top-notch wineries. A fantastic restaurant is never more than a few streets away, whether you like farm-to-table cooking with a side of Provence courtyard charm (like Barndiva) or something trendy and veg-forward (like Little Saint). Most romantic locations to stay at the top of the list?The Montage Healdsburg and Harmon Guest House.

Large Sur

Big Sur is a must-stop along every Pacific Coast Highway road trip and a place worth a separate journey for its spectacular landscape. Towering old redwoods give way to coastal cliffs, and the sky is often shrouded in mist. All types of hikers may find routes to suit their abilities, and there are also some enticing places to stay the night, including adults-only luxury boutique resorts like Ventana Big Sur and Post Ranch Inn (both of which have award-winning restaurants), as well as cosy cabins, glamping locations, and wild campsites.


Malibu is a drive-through beach town with a road-tripping sensibility and significant chill factor, not merely a haven for celebrities looking to escape the flashing lights and sly looks of Hollywood. Here, motorcyclists and historic and expensive vehicles may both be seen driving along the Pacific Coast Highway. The Surfrider Malibu and the opulent Nobu Ryokan Malibu are two examples of chic motel-turned-boutique hotels. Finding a quiet section of beach to spread out a blanket, open a bottle of wine, and split a burrito from a long-time local favourite like Lily’s is also a breeze.

Park National Joshua Tree

At its heart, Joshua Tree National Park is a wonderland of unearthly landscape and outdoor activity that draws nature lovers and literal lovers alike. It has become a popular location for photographers and multimedia makers. Even while nothing could possible compare to the breathtaking natural surroundings, the many classic Airstreams that have been customised and the exquisitely made cottages come quite near. Some accommodations even feature outdoor claw-foot baths, allowing lovers to have a soak while admiring the heavenly wonderment overhead.


Florida Desert

Palm Springs is a sizzling retreat for many reasons than simply the sweltering heat. A-list couples have escaped to this desert paradise for some R&R and plenty of romance ever since Hollywood’s Golden Age. While chic boutique hotels like The Colony Palms and Parker Palm Springs lure design-conscious couples wishing to live that secluded casita life for a few days, a vibrant, lively downtown is framed by swaying palms and breathtaking mountains.

Bay of Bodega

Sonoma County is often associated with sprawling wineries and vineyards. Bodega Bay showcases the region’s stunningly distinct and completely coastal aspect. If you want a change of scenery for the day, it’s a fast, beautiful drive from the top wine towns in Northern California. However, spending the night at The Lodge in Bodega Bay is the more romantic choice. The next morning, begin the day with an oceanfront trek and end it with oysters at a renowned local seafood restaurant.


Sausalito, which is located just across the bay from San Francisco, has a very different vibe than its bustling neighbour. It’s a relaxing seaside place where spending a day strolling around the marina and taking in the motion of the houseboats qualifies as a productive afternoon. Get ready to fall in love with the Golden Gate National Recreation Area whether you like hiking, motorcycling, or just admiring nature’s grandeur. When it comes to lodgings, Cavallo Point’s historic ambience and unimpeded views of the Golden Gate Bridge make it tough to resist falling head over heels.

In Los Alamos

Los Alamos is a picturesque, undiscovered wine location that is close to Santa Barbara and nestled in the Santa Ynez Valley. Los Alamos nevertheless has a genuine feeling of realism despite its mouthwatering wine (the terroir-driven pours at Bedford Winery, Casa Dumetz Wines, and Lumen Wines are especially delightful) and culinary scene. Skyview Los Alamos is a hilltop retreat off Highway 101 that pays tribute to its beginnings as a 1950s wayside hotel. Fans of retro vibes will flip for it.

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National Park of Death Valley

The main focus of a romantic vacation to Death Valley National Park, a stunning location with an undoubtedly ominous name, is taking in the breathtaking surroundings with the person you love the most. The lowest point in North America, the salt flats of the Badwater Basin, are a must-see for every couple. Two additional places you must see are Artists Palette and Zabriskie Point. Couples may rent a yurt or one of the other glamping cottages, toast marshmallows, and cuddle beneath the stars in addition to seeing amazing natural wonders.


The tiny village of Kenwood is the ideal option for a calmer, more laid-back Sonoma County retreat that gets top honours for wine and romance. It is near to Sonoma Botanical Garden, Sugarloaf Ridge State Park, and a few outstanding wineries (not to mention an exceptional culinary experience that awaits at Hamel Family Wines only minutes away). The Kenwood Inn & Spa, on the other hand, exudes Italianate splendour and a very mature ambience that will whisk you away to Tuscany without ever leaving the Golden State.

Bay Half Moon

It’s likely that you have heard of Half Moon Bay if you live near San Francisco and like surfing. If you stay at The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay, it’s a great setting for a romantic holiday in addition to riding mavericks. This opulent resort is perched above a cliff and has three delectable restaurants, a world-class golf course, and elegant accommodations with fire pits and panoramic ocean views. For supper, be sure to get a reservation at The Conservatory, and finish the evening with some champagne and s’mores on your own patio.

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