America’s West Coast treasure, California is home to some of the most diverse and breathtaking landscapes in the contiguous US. From mountains and forests to lakes and beaches, there are romantic and beautiful locations to be found throughout the golden state.
Here’s a look at some of the best romantic getaways in California:
About 15 miles north of San Diego you’ll find the posh oceanfront community of La Jolla. Gourmet restaurants, art museums, boutique shops, and stunning ocean vistas make this a sophisticated and quiet getaway location you aren’t soon to forget. For real indulgence, book a room at one of the area’s opulent hotels (The four-diamond Grande Colonial comes to mind) and treat yourselves to an in-room dinner overlooking crystal clear waters and white, sandy beaches. (Related: Romantic Tours of San Diego)
Head northeast from Los Angeles for about 100 miles and you’ll reach the heart of the San Bernardino Mountains and the beautiful city of Big Bear. Mostly known as a winter ski resort, Big Bear is breathtaking year round. Depending on the season, you can ski or snowboard, canoe across the lake, or horseback ride through the mountain. There are a few bed and breakfasts scattered around Big Bear, but for a truly romantic weekend, why not rent a cabin? Surprisingly affordable, these rental homes can be found by the lake, tucked into the mountain and even near the quaint little village just off the water. (Related: Short Road Trips From Los Angeles)
A 45-minute boat ride from the City of Angels, you’ll find the charming and picturesque island of Catalina. Only 22 miles long and 8 miles across at its widest point, Catalina Island crams a lot of fun into such a small place. Cottages and B&Bs can be found throughout the island, and activities include glass bottom boat rides, snorkeling, fishing, oceanfront dining, art galleries, wildlife tours, and an annual jazz festival.
Yosemite National Park
For nature lovers, it’s hard to beat the majestic beauty and natural wonders of Yosemite National Park. There are hiking, biking and skiing paths for everyone from newbies to seasoned experts. You can also see amazing cliffs and waterfalls, like Yosemite Falls and the easily recognized Half Dome. Camping not your thing? There are luxury resorts, cabins, and hotels available in and around the park.
Just south of Monterey, you’ll find Big Sur, one of the most beautiful cities in the country. Here, sandy beaches, towering redwood forests and stunning cliffs meet in one location. Big Sur is also home to several world-class spas, restaurants, art galleries, and resorts, as well as some smaller, more intimate bed and breakfasts and hotels.