Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco get a lot of (well-deserved!) attention, but sometimes you and your significant other just want to get out of the city for a romantic getaway. We’ve rounded up five of our favorite off-the-beaten-path spots that are perfect for couples to explore together!
About two hours driving from San Francisco and just over five from Los Angeles, this charming seaside town is like a fairy tale come to life. Spend a day browsing through the unique boutiques and exploring all the dining options the town has to offer, or drive along the coast to Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, where sea otter families can be found frolicking in the surf. Other nearby attractions include the historic Carmel Mission and world renowned Pebble Beach golf course, meaning there is something for every couple to enjoy while visiting.
(photo courtesy of the Ojai Valley Inn)
Just a short hour and a half from downtown LA, Ojai is like stepping into another world. A nature lover’s paradise, Ojai offers many hiking, biking, and horseback trails so you and your sweetheart can reconnect with the outdoors. But Ojai isn’t just for adventurers! Step back in time and learn about the Native American history of Ojai at the Ojai Valley Museum, attend an olive oil tasting at the famous Ojai Olive Oil Co., or indulge in the ultimate relaxation at the Ojai Valley Inn spa.
Two and a half hours from Los Angeles is a small city bursting with European charm. Modeled after a Danish town, Solvang will make you swear you’re vacationing in Copenhagen instead of California. Though it may be small, Solvang has plenty to do, from sampling all the pastries at the five authentic bakeries to browsing the many art galleries and boutique shops downtown. Don’t forget to stop in one of the many tasting rooms to try some of the unique wines from Santa Barbara country!
4) Catalina Island
This stunning island getaway is just a short ferry ride away from Long Beach, just outside of Los Angeles. For the ultimate romantic luxury, book a cabana on a private beach at the Descanso Beach Club, where you can soak up the sun with food and beverages delivered right to you. Reconnect as you stroll through the Wrigley Memorial & Botanic Garden, filled with flora native to the Channel Islands, or dive into another world one one of the many scuba and snorkel tours available on the island!
Napa Valley may get all the attention, but Sonoma offers stunning views, fantastic wineries, and fewer tourists than it’s more famous cousin. Just an hour from San Francisco, Sonoma has over 400 wineries to choose from, all specializing in different varietals. Wine isn’t all the region has to offer, though, Sonoma also has some of California’s finest farm-to-table dining experiences, a bustling farmer’s market, and a world famous cheese trail to explore. Finish your weekend off with a day of relaxation at the Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary, which offers the only cedar bath on the continent!