top of page

It’s that time of year again – with Valentine’s Day approaching, romance is in the air! Celebrate the season of love snuggling with your partner along the coast, relaxing in a cozy cabin by a crackling fire or exploring the peaceful redwood groves in Wine Country. Feel the romance year-round with one of California’s Top 10 Romantic Getaways listed below.

Charm Your Love in San Luis Obispo County

Right in the middle of Central Coast Wine Country, nestled between the Coast Range and the Pacific Ocean, are the quaint towns of San Luis Obispo and Paso Robles. With its variety of local shops and restaurants in the city’s downtown, San Luis Obispo is ideal for couples planning a romantic picnic or bike ride. Nearby Paso Robles – with its picturesque town square and rolling vineyards – is another great option for a Valentine’s getaway. After an enjoyable afternoon in either city, treat yourselves to an intimate dinner at one of the county’s renowned restaurants. After a delicious meal, end the day watching a mesmerizing sunset in San Luis Obispo or cuddling with that special someone for a classic Valentine’s Day movie at Park Cinemas’ Valentine’s Movie Night event in downtown Paso Robles.

Discover Romance in Oceanside 

Home of the inaugural Oceanside Valentine’s Week celebration, San Diego’s North Shore is a great destination for celebrating your forever love. Leading up to Valentine’s Day, this coastal community offers couples an array of exciting activities to help create a lasting memory. Whether interested in a carriage ride for two or a sunset whale watching cruise, Oceanside sets the scene for romance as a quiet escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Enjoy a leisurely evening stroll with your love along the historic wooden pier or through the Cape Cod-style harbor village before ending the day at your hotel or beachfront vacation rental.

Embark on a Refreshing Seaside Escape in Pacifica

Just south of San Francisco, the charming town of Pacifica is a dream destination for romantics, especially during the cooler winter season. Featuring everything from great dining and live entertainment to beachfront hiking and picnic locations, Pacifica is an ideal getaway for anyone interested in spending their romantic adventure at a fresh outdoor destination. Watch the dramatic, crashing waves at Rockaway Beach before embarking on a hike along the flanks of Montara Mountain, towering 2,000 feet above Pacifica. Couples can jaunt through the Blue Gum Eucalyptus forest with striking glimpses of the coast. Perhaps one of the most romantic dining options in Pacifica, the Moonraker Restaurant overlooks the crashing waves at Rockaway Beach. End the day snuggled up at Pacifica’s relaxing accommodations.

Enjoy a Luxurious Getaway in Laguna Beach

An abundance of romantic and memorable experiences await in Laguna Beach. Take your time in the morning with a leisurely breakfast at one of Laguna Beach’s cozy coffee shops, quaint bistros or bakeries. You can’t get more romantic than strolling by the sea or through Heisler Park, the site of many marriage proposals and weddings. If you want more seclusion and a nice workout, take a hike in one of the many canyons of Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, or rent bicycles and tour the charming neighborhoods. For a more relaxing getaway, make reservations at one of the city’s full-service day spas for side-by-side massages or aromatic bubble baths. A chocolate wrap and champagne toast make the perfect ending to a rejuvenating afternoon. For dinner, find a tucked-away table at one of the many boutique eateries around town. Laguna Beach has several live music venues, theatrical spaces, dance centers and art galleries that stay open late, so there is plenty to do when the sun goes down. For overnight accommodations, luxuriate in an in-room Jacuzzi at one of the many upscale properties, nestle into a cozy B&B, or sip some bubbly and gaze at the stars on the balcony of a quaint seaside cottage.

Escape to a Romantic Winter Wonderland in Big Bear

Escape to Big Bear for some quality time together in a pristine setting that naturally defines romance. In the winter, take time to play on the slopes together, stroll into the hushed forest, or snuggle up next to the outdoor fire pits in the village or a crackling fire in the comforts of a cabin, B&B or hotel. The scenery in Big Bear’s spectacular alpine valley creates an ideal atmosphere for romance. While particularly magical in the snow, Big Bear is an ideal getaway destination for couples year-round. Start the day at one of Big Bear’s two premier ski resorts – Snow Summit and Bear Mountain. Take a break and treat yourself to a delicious meal at one of Big Bear’s restaurants, or choose a private lunch for two delivered to your hotel or lodge. Later, enjoy browsing through the quaint boutiques in town or visit the lake for a spectacular sunset. Finish your day of romance at your private accommodations. Whether it is lakefront, in the village or countryside, every lodge in Big Bear creates a romantic atmosphere.

Find Your Fairytale in Yosemite’s Chateau du Sureau

Nothing is more romantic than spending two luxurious nights in a European-style, five-star luxury hotel. Whisk your love away to Chateau du Sureau, located in Oakhurst just 16 miles from the south entrance of Yosemite National Park. Explore the vast landscapes of Yosemite, from the granite monoliths to roaring waterfalls. In the evening, relax in luxury as you dine at the renowned Erna’s Elderberry House, sipping wine next to a crackling fire. Indulge in a 60-minute massage in the Couples Salon at Spa du Sureau, followed by an herbal bath in the privacy of your own room. For a truly unforgettable getaway, book a stay in the on-site Villa Sureau, a secluded 2,000-square-foot estate villa featuring luxurious décor and a private outdoor Roman Spa.

Get Whisked Away to Sonoma Wine Country 

Sonoma County’s beautiful vineyards, peaceful redwood groves and spectacular coastline provide an ideal setting for your romantic getaway. Experience the luxurious and diverse Wine Country lifestyle just 45 minutes north of San Francisco. Sip exceptional wines; sample hand-crafted beers, ciders, and spirits; and dine on outstanding farm-to-table cuisine. Indulge in pampering spa treatments or explore remote, wind-swept trails. Snuggle in front of a warm fire in a rustic cabin or a luxurious hotel room with astounding views, or enjoy live music in a local pub or concert hall. Stroll one of the many outdoor sculpture gardens, or discover unique gifts and souvenirs in friendly local stores. If you’re planning to propose this Valentine’s Day, remember that the Sonoma County Tourism website offers terrific “Sneakaway Deals” for extra savings on lodging of all kinds.

Indulge in a Romantic Treat in Costa Mesa

Costa Mesa, home to Orange County’s premier fashion and food destination, offers a romantic getaway for any couple. There’s the world-famous South Coast Plaza, where you can find the most exquisite gifts for your significant other in such esteemed jewelers and fashion retailers like Chanel, Cartier, Tiffany and Harry Winston, among scores of other brand-name boutiques. After finding a special gift, try dining at one of Costa Mesa’s fine restaurants such as the intimate Marche Moderne – a French bistro that’s ranked one of the best in Southern California – or Mastro’s Steakhouse – a high-end eatery serving acclaimed steaks and seafood set in a dim but upscale atmosphere. Then there’s the architecturally stunning AnQi, an Asian fusion restaurant inspired by the herbs and spices of Vietnam, a great place for a romantic dinner that melds fashion and art with food.

Make Memories on The American Riviera® in Santa Barbara

Mediterranean architecture, sparkling coastline and 300+ days of sunshine a year are a winning combination for romance in Santa Barbara. Factor in countless sensory indulgences – including world-class wine and farm-to-table cuisine – and you have the recipe for a perfect Valentine’s Day getaway. Unfurl your seafaring spirit with a romantic sunset cruise departing from the Santa Barbara Harbor or get lost in love along one of Santa Barbara’s wine trails – a glass of Central Coast wine is nearly always a prelude to a kiss! And what’s more romantic than a stretch of sand, the sparkling ocean and some lazy lounging with your loved one? Santa Barbara’s spectacular coastline has an abundance of ideal places to share a romantic moment. Charming hotels, cozy cottages, hillside haciendas and Wild West-style ranches provide a diversity of settings for a romantic retreat.

Walk The Presidio’s Path to Love in San Francisco

For two centuries people have traveled along Lovers’ Lane in San Francisco, the Presidio’s oldest foot trail featuring a scenic path past majestic eucalyptus groves, wildlife and Andy Goldsworthy’s sculpture Wood Line. This Valentine’s Day, discover the many romantic vistas, sunsets and trails perfect for a walk with your loved one. Enjoy a romantic stay at The Inn at the Presidio, complete with fireplace suites and side-by-side couples’ massages in spacious private suites at SenSpa. After a rejuvenating day, indulge in the delectable menus from two-time James Beard award-winner Chef Traci Des Jardins at the Presidio’s Commissary and Arguello restaurants.

By California Travel & Tourism Commission

The California Travel & Tourism Commission is a non-profit organization with a mission to develop and maintain marketing programs – in partnership with the state’s travel industry – that keep California top-of-mind as a premier travel destination. Learn more here:

Photo Credit: kan_khampanya/

Explore 10 Romantic Getaway Destinations in California

bottom of page