Best Romantic Escapes in California
Even for those attempting to date in Los Angeles county, California is a place for lovers. It is an endless escape for those searching for their idyll. Here in California we love with our souls and those around us.
Inspired by the glowing sunshine and perpetual beauty the state has to offer, we at Calimited have compiled your ultimate list of the best romantic escapes we have in California.
Author Kay Smythe has been published in both national and international press for her works in travel journalism. She holds a degree in social and physical geographies, and is a huge advocate for the treat yourself concept. As both a tourist and a local to California, Smythe has developed the following list of luxury locations for you and your significant other (even if you're currently dating yourself!).
The intimate spacing of the Airbnbs (ranging in price from under $100 per night, to well over $2000) or plethora of luxury hotels, Laguna Beach is just a short drive from Los Angeles and San Diego. During off-season, this pretty little town made famous by MTV is a hotspot for local Californian escapees. When my parents came into town last winter, I sent them to the coastal town for some “them” time. It's just OC enough to be posh, but just far enough away from Newport Beach to not be nouveau riche. Best things: seafood, shopping, luxury body treatments at the spas, the crashing ocean.
You have to be a special sort of crazy to not enjoy a romantic weekend away in the glorious vineyards of Napa Valley. Obviously this is not a recommendation for friends of Bill, but it's still gorgeous. Waking up every morning, you could quite easily mistake the landscape for the valleys of central France. As the sun starts to dip over the valley walls, casting long golden shadows across the fields of vines, you'd be forgiven for thinking yourself living in a dream. Best things: it's very quiet, wine, the food is excellent, wine, year-round beauty, wine.
San Luis Obispo
I defy you to find a better part of California on a lazy Thursday afternoon. Higuera Street near the Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa comes alive with everything from fresh foods to live music and more. You'll be spoiled for choice by the multitude of interesting and delicious foods that SLO has to offer. Don't worry if you're only coming for a Friday through Sunday stint, during the other six days of the week San Luis Obispo is just as perfect. Like something out of Weeds (season one), SLO is the quintessential Central Californian town. Spitting distance to the beach and whale watching trips; a stone's throw from the botanical gardens; a short drive to the tackiest and tastiest Taco Temple. Best things: good for all the family, nature, wine tasting, great theatres, bubblegum alley.
Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park
Affectionately known as the Land of Giants, Sequoia and Kings Canyon are by far the most dauntingly enormous, yet enigmatically stunning landscapes California has to offer. Escape into nature at this beautiful, enchanting habitat in the heart of California. Allow you and your significant other to be blown away by the sheer scale of the living creatures around you. Whether it's the tallest redwoods, the broadest sequoia, or one of the many mammals that the national parks has to offer, you will both be blown away by the sheer beauty of this state. If hiking isn't your thing, then stroll through the undergrowth, and embrace the scents and sounds away from the city. The accommodation in the parks isn't too bad either! Best things: the trees, the food, the smell first thing in the morning, chipmunks running through the rafters.
Las Vegas (okay, so not quite California, but driving distance all the same)
Sometimes it takes pulling up to an empty truck stop, somewhere on the road between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, to remind you what the trailblazers of America had to endure. As the wind whips across this desolate landscape, you're truly reduce to all that you are: a handful of cells that have combined to create you. In less than a hundred years you'll die and be forgotten, unlike the rows of strata that have pushed their way up over millennia. However, this mildly depressing thought can be erradicated through a quick getaway to Las Vegas! If you're a philistine then Vegas will be nothing but buffets and coke. If you've a head on your shoulders, then Vegas can be so much more. Rent a suite, not a room. Give yourself a spa treatment. Play some cards and win some money. Catch a show. Eat steak at Mastro's. Do Las Vegas properly and it can be the greatest place on Earth for you and your partner to escape reality together. Best things: always an excuse to dress up, huge beds, bigger tubs and showers, spa treatments, shows, steak, free drinks whilst playing.
If nature is you're thing, but the national parks are that little bit too far away from the big blue then I recommend Monterey. The world-famous Monterey Bay Aquarium is a great place to fall in love with all of the wonders that nature as to offer, as well as each other. Three days in this great spot can encompass everything from incredible seafood on Fisherman's Wharf to whale watching trips along the Pacific coast to a stroll through Pinnacles National Park. In the spring and fall, bring a cosy sweater and cuddle up on the beach to watch the sunset together. Best things: whales, sharks, sea otters, clam chowder.
Okay, so we might be into camping and getting down in the mud every now and again. Other times, just like Vegas, you gotta glam it up a bit. What could be better than the beautiful vistas over Lake Tahoe? Winter or summer, spring or fall, Lake Tahoe is a perpetual beauty. Treat yourselves to a spa hotel. Bring books and games and swimming gear and relax together. Take a dip along the shores of the lake. If you're interested in getting out there, then check out Heavenly Mountain Resort for all the best in skiing, zip-lining, and snowboarding. Hike to Eagle Falls. Visit Vikingsholm. Honestly, this enchanting little enclave of California is worth every penny. Best things: skiing, swimming, boat rides, hiking, luxury accommodation, camping.
Beverly Hot Springs
If your significant other is yourself or a member of the same gender, then I highly recommend the Beverly Hot Springs. Situated just outside of Beverly Hills, these natural hot springs are just one of the geological marvels that California has to offer. Whether you're here on holiday or looking for a break in the stress of day-to-day life, Beverly Hot Springs cannot be recommended enough! The spa treatments are favorites of the patrons, but if you're just like to enjoy the amenities then you will have access to: cold plunge pool, hot pool, steam sauna, dry sauna, showers, rest areas, as well as all of the personal pampering products you might need. These are gender separated, so could be a great opportunity for couples that want to get away from each other for a moment, but still love each other really! Best things: how quiet it is, everything else.
For the die-hard California fan, these might not be your idea of a romantic getaway. One of the spots on the list isn't even in California. Please feel free to comment with your opinion on where the best places are and I'll be sure to check them out!