The Most Romantic Getaways in California

Whether you’re a local in need of a staycation or an East Coast resident craving warmer weather, the Golden State is home to several swoon-worthy destinations.

Post Ranch Inn. ©kodiak greenwood

Craving a romantic escape in California? Whether you’re a local in need of a staycation or an East Coaster craving warmer weather, the Golden State is home to several swoon-worthy destinations. Though charming beach towns along the coast tend to get all of the attention, California’s diverse landscape also includes cozy forests, remote valleys and the rolling hills of wine country. From Santa Barbara to Big Sur, these are the most romantic getaways in California for Valentine’s Day and beyond. 

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Rosewood Miramar Beach

Santa Barbara

Also called the American Riviera, Santa Barbara is a coastal gem known for its premier wineries, loyal locals and picturesque scenery. Wine lovers will want to spend an afternoon wine tasting in the Funk Zone, which is home to around 20 different tasting rooms. Enjoy sipping at locally loved spots like J. Wilkes or Deep Sea on Stearns Wharf before sitting down for dinner at Bouchon or Loquita. Other activities to consider during your romantic escape include hitting the beach, hiking to Inspiration Point or paying a visit to the rolling vineyards in nearby Santa Ynez Valley.  

El Encanto. El Encanto A Belmond Hotel

Where to Stay: 

Tucked away on a private hilltop in Santa Barbara, El Encanto, a Belmond Hotel boasts breathtaking Pacific Ocean views along with Spanish revival-inspired suites, rooms and bungalows. Treat your special someone to a couples massage at the spa followed by a private sound bath meditation. Those looking to stay right along the water should consider the Rosewood Miramar Beach, which is located just south in Montecito

Catalina Island Catalina Zane Grey Pueblo Hotel

Catalina Island:

Located off the coast of Southern California, Catalina Island offers a Mediterranean-like escape year-round. The turquoise waters along the shore in contrast with the towering cliffs make you feel as though you’re on the Amalfi Coast rather than being a mere hour-long boat ride away from Long Beach. If the weather is nice, spend the day lounging at Descanso Beach Club, sipping on a glass of rosé. After watching the sun set over the ocean, head to Avalon Grille for a cozy dinner of grilled octopus, ahi tuna tartare and steak frites.

Catalina Island, Zane Grey Pueblo Hotel Zane Grey Pueblo Hotel

Where to Stay:

Originally built in 1926, Zane Grey Pueblo Hotel is a landmark property that features panoramic ocean views, design-forward rooms and the perfect amount of privacy. Since it sits on top of a tall hill, this is the perfect place for couples seeking solace away from the hustle and bustle of the streets below. However, if you’d prefer to stay in the heart of Avalon, book a room at Hotel Atwater and kick back in one of their bright and beachy rooms. 

The Surfrider Malibu. The Surfrider Malibu

Malibu

Malibu is an iconic beach town located on the outskirts of L.A. County, and romance is a key part of its charm. From hotels to restaurants, an ocean view is guaranteed at most places in Malibu, allowing you to immerse yourself in the affluent and laid-back lifestyle that locals love. Geoffrey’s Malibu is a classic beachside restaurant that serves high-quality seafood, steak and craft cocktails. Be sure to make your dinner reservation at sunset so you can watch the sky dance while you dine, and don’t be surprised if you end up eating next to your favorite celebrity. 

The Surf Rider Malibu. The Surf Rider Malibu

Where to Stay:

Between the bright and airy rooms and exclusive rooftop, The Surfrider Hotel makes for a great home base for couples in Malibu. Enjoy a drink on the rooftop at sunset or take a short stroll across the street to the historic Malibu Pier. Malibu Beach Inn, a Leading Hotel of the World, places guests right on the sand and is also home to the beloved Carbon Beach Club Restaurant. 

Montage Healdsburg Healdsburg Montage Healdsburg

Healdsburg

Ready for a romantic rendezvous in wine country? Forget Napa and head to Healdsburg. This charming and quaint slice of Northern California has everything you need for the most idyllic and intimate weekend away. Though Healdsburg is most popular for wine tasting, the restaurant scene is out of this world, making it a must-see destination for foodies. Celebrate your love with an unforgettable dinner at the recently opened Sushi by Scratch inside The Matheson, or enjoy a Michelin-starred dinner at Barndiva

Montage Healdsburg Healdsburg Montage Healdsburg

Where to Stay:

The Montage Healdsburg’s deluxe rooms and suites offer guests optimal privacy. Each space features a balcony or deck, allowing you to enjoy the fresh air before embarking on a morning hike or heading to the spa. If you’d prefer to stay in a more walkable area, Hotel Les Mars offers a boutique experience, with just 16 rooms in a French-inspired chateau. 

Post Ranch Inn Big Sur Post Ranch Inn

Big Sur

Not interested in your typical beachside vacation? Head to Big Sur and enjoy the best of both worlds with sweeping Pacific Ocean views and dense forest in one place. Big Sur is the ultimate place for outdoorsy couples who like to experience the best of nature before returning to a cozy and luxe hotel room. When it comes to finding a fancy restaurant for a special occasion, look no further than The Sur House

Alila Ventana Big Sur. Alila Ventana Big Sur

Where to Stay:

No matter which suite or guest room you choose, Post Ranch Inn has the perfect accommodation for every kind of traveler. While most rooms offer unparalleled scenes of the ocean, the Tree House is one of the most enchanting options and makes you feel as though you’re in a real-life fairytale. Of course, the Alila Ventana Big Sur always leaves a lasting impression, and if you book here, meals at The Sur House are included in your nightly rate. 

Ojai Ojai Valley Inn

Ojai

Enjoy a rejuvenating and romantic getaway when you visit the charming, village-like valley town that is Ojai. Surrounded by the Topatopa Mountains, Ojai is a fitting choice for spiritual seekers and nature lovers hoping to unwind away from the city. Set the mood by taking in the epic views from Meditation Mount before enjoying a glass of vino at The Naturalist Organic Winery. For dinner, book a reservation at Michelin-recognized The Dutchess

Where to Stay:

The Ojai Valley Inn sits on more than 200 acres of pristine land, featuring a 31,000-square-foot Spa Village, seven different dining outlets, multiple swimming pools, tennis courts and more. Those who want a blend of endless activities and relaxing downtime will feel right at home at this renowned resort. Having undergone a complete renovation in 2020, the Capri Hotel offers a more intimate, mid-century modern experience in the heart of Ojai.

Laguna Beach Laguna Beach Montage Laguna Beach

Laguna Beach

Looking to enjoy a seaside weekend away? It doesn’t get better than Laguna Beach. The crystal-clear waters and smooth, sandy shores make for some of the best beaches in the entire state, and there are plenty of high-end restaurants, bars and hotels to choose from. Nick’s Laguna Beach is a classic American eatery with an elegant atmosphere, but if you prefer an ocean view, Splashes is sure to impress. 

Montage Laguna Beach Laguna Beach Montage Laguna Beach

Where to Stay:

The Montage Laguna Beach is best known for its mosaic-tiled oceanfront swimming pool. This luxury hotel sits on the bluffs of Laguna Beach, boasting a renowned spa where partners can indulge in the Romantic Couples Journey treatment, which includes a full-body exfoliation, botanical bath and full body massage. Surf & Sand Resort offers prime beach access so that you can wake up with the sun and enjoy an intimate breakfast, with room service in the mornings.

The Most Romantic Getaways in California