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14 Most Romantic Getaways in California

With sandy beaches and wild stretches of coastline where azure waves crash against dramatic cliffs, dazzling lakes, wine country, and cities with a wealth of attractions, California offers many enticing destinations for a romantic escape. No matter what kind of couples’ getaway you’re seeking, relaxed, adventurous, or a little bit of both, you’ll find some fabulous hotels that make for an ideal base throughout the Golden State. Some are even worthy of being the destinations themselves. From a remote Victorian village in Northern California to sun-soaked cities in SoCal, book any one of these properties sure to ignite or reignite the flame in your relationship.

Post Ranch Inn - Big Sur Post Ranch Inn
Credit: Post Ranch Inn by postranchinn.com

Post Ranch Inn - Big Sur

Frequently ranked among the most romantic properties in the country, Post Ranch Inn is located on the Central California coast, nestled on a high ridge overlooking the ocean in Big Sur. An adults-only hotel, it also hosts one of the best view restaurants in the state, the exclusive Sierra Mar, an award-winning spa, and clifftop pools. The spacious, eco-friendly rooms boast ocean or mountain views, many from floor-to-ceiling windows. The Pacific Suite is one of the best, with views of the ocean from every vantage point. Standard amenities include soaking tubs big enough for two, wood-burning fireplaces, radiant floor heating, and private decks with hot tubs or outdoor showers.

Key Amenities:

  • Stunning views from floor-to-ceiling windows

  • A top-rated restaurant on-site with ocean-view dining

  • Clifftop pools

Palace Hotel - San Francisco The Palace Hotel
Credit: The Palace Hotel by The Palace Hotel

Palace Hotel - San Francisco

There is a long list of romantic things to do in San Francisco, from sunset cruises and ocean-view dining to strolls across the Golden Gate Bridge. Elevate your stay by booking the world-class Palace Hotel, which offers the glamour of a bygone era complete with high tea under the gorgeous stained-glass dome in the Garden Court and live jazz at the Pied Piper Bar. It also boasts one of the most stunning indoor pools in the city while the luxurious suites feature opulent traditional furnishings, original architectural details, floor-to-ceiling views, and all the modern comforts.

Key Amenities:

  • Stunning indoor pool

  • Suites with floor-to-ceiling views

  • Bar hosting live jazz

Auberge du Soleil - Rutherford Auberge du Soleil, An Auberge Resort
Credit: Auberge du Soleil, An Auberge Resort by aubergeresorts.com

Auberge du Soleil - Rutherford

A Southern France-inspired hotel in the heart of Califonia wine country, Auberge du Soleil is an adults-only property tucked among rolling hills and vineyards. One of the best 5-star hotels in Napa Valley, it’s the perfect base for romantic excursions like sunrise hot-air balloon rides, wine-tasting tours, bicycling, and picnic lunches. Afterward, you can enjoy the panoramic pool, indulge in decadent treatments at the spa, and dine on French/Mediterranean dishes with a California twist featuring the area’s best local ingredients paired with carefully procured wines. Accommodation is in Mediterranean-style villas with wood-burning fireplaces and private verandas that overlook olive groves.

Key Amenities:

  • Luxurious villas with private verandas

  • French/Mediterranean-inspired restaurant

  • Panoramic outdoor pool

Ojai Valley Inn - Ojai Ojai Valley Inn
Credit: Ojai Valley Inn by Ojai Valley Inn

Ojai Valley Inn - Ojai

Ojai offers an oasis of tranquility just 80 miles northwest of Los Angeles and the Ojai Valley Inn makes the perfect base. You and your other half will be treated to gorgeous views of the Topatopa Mountains from nearly every vintage point. Inspired by Spanish haciendas, the rooms and suites are jam-packed with luxurious amenities, including many that have private balconies, fireplaces, and whirlpool baths. Guests can also enjoy complimentary yoga sessions, meditation, and fitness walks, along with outstanding dining venues.

Key Amenities:

  • Spectacular mountain views

  • Complimentary fitness walks, yoga, and meditation

  • Luxe rooms with private balconies, whirlpool baths, and fireplaces

Hotel del Coronado - San Diego Hotel del Coronado
Credit: Hotel del Coronado by hoteldel.com

Hotel del Coronado - San Diego

One of the country’s best beachfront hotels, Hotel del Coronado offers historic character, luxurious amenities, and a spectacular stretch of sand that sparkles like gold dust under the frequent California sunshine. There is a wide range of things to do, including romantic walks on the beach, swimming, paddleboarding, surfing, and bonfires. Plus, championship golf and the Silver Strand Bike Path is just steps away. The award-winning spa is the perfect place to go after a day of activities, and there are three heated pools too.

Key Amenities:

  • Beautiful sandy beach with water sports available

  • Multiple heated pools and an award-winning spa

  • A fine dining restaurant and wine bar

The Landing Resort & Spa - South Lake Tahoe The Landing Lake Tahoe Resort & Spa
Credit: The Landing Lake Tahoe Resort & Spa by The Landing Lake Tahoe Resort & Spa

The Landing Resort & Spa - South Lake Tahoe

With over 70 miles of magnificent shoreline in both California and Nevada, Lake Tahoe is an ideal destination for romance-seeking couples who want to enjoy lots of outdoor activities, from lake cruises, kayaking, and paddleboarding to hiking and skiing. The Landing Resort & Spa is consistently rated one of the best in the area, located on the California side in South Lake Tahoe. It has an award-winning spa for pampering and an outstanding restaurant that serves California and Greek fare, while the luxurious accommodations include private patios or balconies with gorgeous lake views, granite stone fireplaces, and marble bathrooms with heated floors and toilet seats. Some come with steam showers, aromatherapy, and light therapy too.

Key Amenities:

  • All rooms include private balconies or patios with lake views

  • On-site restaurant serving California and Greek fare

  • A top wellness resort in California with a posh spa

Ritz-Carlton at Half Moon Bay - Half Moon Bay The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay
Credit: The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay by ritzcarlton.com

Ritz-Carlton at Half Moon Bay - Half Moon Bay

The Ritz-Carlton at Half Moon Bay is just 30 minutes south of San Francisco along the coast, nestled on a bluff overlooking the Pacific. Guests enjoy a welcome glass of wine and endless panoramic ocean views. A short list of the facilities includes a massive spa with saunas, steam rooms, and an extensive menu of treatments, as well as a swimming pool, a golf course, multiple restaurants, and a wine bar. All rooms come with marble bathrooms that include rainfall showers and soaking tubs, and some have ocean views.

Key Amenities:

Brewery Gulch Inn - Mendocino Brewery Gulch Inn
Credit: Brewery Gulch Inn by Brewery Gulch Inn

Brewery Gulch Inn - Mendocino

Located along the Northern California coast about three hours north of San Francisco, the Brewery Gulch Inn provides a romantic base for exploring the town’s Victorian buildings and saltbox cottages, many of which house galleries, antique shops, fine dining restaurants, cafes, and unique boutiques. At this popular luxury resort in the U.S., you’ll have easy access to hikes through the redwoods and strolls on the beach while being able to come back and cozy up to a roaring fire in the common area. When it’s time to turn in, your elegant room features a feather bed, gas fireplace, and a spectacular ocean view. Made-to-order breakfasts and evening wine and hors d’oeuvres are included too.

Key Amenities:

  • Stunning Mendocino setting with ocean views

  • Complimentary made-to-order breakfasts

  • Free afternoon wine and hors d’oeuvres

Balboa Bay Resort - Newport Beach Balboa Bay Resort
Credit: Balboa Bay Resort by Balboa Bay Resort

Balboa Bay Resort - Newport Beach

One of the most highly rated hotels in Newport Beach, Balboa Bay Resort boasts a beautiful waterside setting while offering a full-scale resort experience. Oozing glamor throughout, it includes a lavish spa, a magnificent pool area, a modern fitness center, and top-notch dining that can be enjoyed on the terrace at A+O Restaurant and Bar with enchanting bay views. A trendy gastropub with a patio and two fire pits is available too, while rooms boast private balconies with pool or bay views.

Key Amenities:

  • A waterside location

  • Luxe spa on-site

  • Multiple dining options, including A+O Restaurant and Bar with a bay-view terrace

The Ahwahnee - Yosemite National Park The Ahwahnee
Credit: The Ahwahnee by The Ahwahnee

The Ahwahnee - Yosemite National Park

The Ahwahnee is located in Yosemite National Park, nestled among its famous granite cliffs and cascading waterfalls. You’ll be close to many of the park’s top sites in Yosemite Valley, in fact, you might even have a view of Half Dome right from your room. Hiking trails are just steps away. On-site amenities include a dining room where delicious meals are served, a bar, stone fireplaces, a solarium, an afternoon tea service, and a year-round heated outdoor pool.

Key Amenities:

  • Rooms with views of Half Dome

  • Heated outdoor pool

  • On-site restaurant and bar

Malibu Beach Inn - Malibu Malibu Beach Inn
Credit: Malibu Beach Inn by malibubeachinn.com

Malibu Beach Inn - Malibu

Malibu is known as a home to the rich and famous, something you’ll immediately notice when gazing up at the mansions in the mountains and along the oceanfront. While it isn’t just for celebrities and other VIPs, with 21 miles of beautiful sands that attract locals and visitors alike, you’ll probably feel like one if you book a room at the Malibu Beach Inn. Perfect for a romantic retreat, all of its luxurious rooms have full glass doors that open to private balconies that overlook the Pacific. You can even let the sounds of the waves lull you to sleep. The property also has an oceanfront spa, a highly acclaimed restaurant, and a private stretch of beach.

Key Amenities:

  • Rooms with private balconies and ocean views

  • A private stretch of beach

  • An oceanfront spa

Sea & Sand Inn - Santa Cruz
Credit: by Sea & Sand Inn

Sea & Sand Inn - Santa Cruz

Perched on a cliff overlooking the Pacific just a short walk from the famous Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, the Sea & Sand Inn is one of the most romantic hotels in the city. An intimate boutique property, all of its spacious rooms offer ocean views, and some come with fireplaces and Jacuzzi tubs. Book a suite for a private deck with a hot tub where you can soak while watching the waves. Guests also enjoy a free continental breakfast every morning and wine and cheese in the afternoon.

Key Amenities:

  • Rooms with ocean views, romantic suites with private outdoor hot tubs

  • Complimentary continental breakfast + afternoon wine and cheese

  • 10 minutes walk to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

Sacred Sands - Joshua Tree Sacred Sands
Credit: Sacred Sands by sacredsands.com

Sacred Sands - Joshua Tree

Sacred Sands is a one-of-a-kind property near the west entrance to Joshua Tree National Park. It’s also a popular wedding venue, so you know it’s going to be romantic. An upscale B&B, it’s surrounded by enchanting desert views and hosts just two chic rooms with luxurious beds and ultra-posh bathrooms that include river rock floors. They each have private terraces with an additional shower, soaking tubs, and a meditation platform. After dark, the stargazing is unbeatable.

Key Amenities:

  • Rooms with private terraces and soaking tubs

  • Desert views near the west entrance of Joshua Tree National Park

  • Fully stocked fridge upon arrival

Cavallo Point Lodge - Sausalito Cavallo Point Lodge
Credit: Cavallo Point Lodge by Cavallo Point Lodge

Cavallo Point Lodge - Sausalito

Cavallo Point Lodge is located in Sausalito State Park, just across the Golden Gate Bridge, offering views of the famous bridge and the bay. An army base in the 19th century, it still includes many period details in the main building and the Historic Rooms, which once served as the officers’ residences. The Contemporary Rooms are tucked into the hillside and come with floor-to-ceiling windows showcasing breathtaking views and cozy gas fireplaces. Guests can also enjoy a spa with a swimming pool and fire pits, an on-site restaurant with a menu of delicious regional dishes, and access to classes at the property’s cooking school.

Key Amenities:

  • San Francisco Bay and Golden Gate Bridge views

  • On-site restaurant and cooking school

  • Spa and swimming pool

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