Our Favourite Romantic Getaways in California
Our guide to exploring the best of the best coast with your better half.
They don’t call it the best coast for nothing. California is practically a planet unto its own complete with glorious beaches and equally impressive ski slopes, mesmerising national parks and some of the best food in the country. With the words ‘rad,’ ‘namaste’ and ‘intermittent fasting’ thrown around as much as they are, we wouldn’t be surprised if you sometimes did feel like you were surrounded by aliens. But it’s just this otherworldliness that makes Cali one of the dreamiest holiday spots in the US.
Our expertly curated list of the most romantic getaways in California will have you and your partner wishing Plum Guide would plan all of your vacations and believe us, nothing would give our fastidious home critics more pleasure.
Few places ooze romance like Malibu. This quirky yet ritzy village on the Pacific Coast Highway is home to posh hippies who reside here year round and Hollywood bigwigs with beach house crash pads for weekends. It’s also the perfect romantic getaway in California.
Lay your couple's holiday roots in a dreamy cottage on the sand and start your day by dipping your toes in the sea. Go for a smoothie and a spot of shopping at the Malibu Country Mart. Nothing says romance like buying each other a gift, especially at your age and tax bracket. The rest of the day can be spent on the sand or maybe even enjoying your swimming pool with a view. Catch the sunset over an early dinner at Nobu Malibu.
Come to La Jolla for pristine stretches of beach in upscale surroundings. The chicest place to stay in San Diego, La Jolla is the perfect spot for your romantic getaway in California. Take to the bluffs for a couple's hike overlooking the Pacific or practice your swing at the Torrey Pines Golf Course. Enjoy shopping at the many local boutiques and satisfy your appetite with the area’s array of charming and delicious restaurants.
San Diego’s plethora of world class museums will satisfy even the hungriest of culture vultures. Partners who prefer to relax can spend a day on the sand while the other stares at post-modernist paintings or meditates in Balboa Park’s Japanese Garden. There’s truly something for everyone.
Relax like the would-be royalty you are in Lake Tahoe. Nestled across California and Nevada, this forestal haven makes the ideal romantic getaway in California. Whether your idea of a prime holiday with your better half consists of casual boating on a crystal clear lake or zooming down the slopes at Heavenly Ski Resort, this is certainly the place for you.
Try kayaking if you want to reinvigorate your couples team spirit or immerse yourself in nature with a day trip to Yosemite National Park. Whatever you choose, we can assure you our fastidious Plum Guide home critics have scoured the area for the best houses you can possibly imagine so you’re sure to spend your days and nights living in the manner you’re accustomed to – and then some.
Wine taste to your heart’s content (or until one of you realises you’re too old for this all-day drinking thing) in beautiful seaside Santa Barbara. A charming and elegant city on the California coast, Santa Barbara is backed by the Santa Ynez giving you the best of the sea and the mountains. Quaint white stucco buildings line the peaceful roads, paying homage to the city’s Spanish colonial history.
Upscale boutiques and restaurants fit for foodies like you offer absolutely delicious seasonal fare and tantalising local vino to wash it all down. For the best Mexican food of your life outside Mexico, don’t miss local secret La Super-Rica where the tortillas will have you wanting to turn your car around and cross the border for more.
Reconnect with nature and each other in world-famous Joshua Tree. Whether you want to zen out at a quintessential sound bath, hike the trails of the breathtaking national park, pick up some killer vintage antiques and clothing at the local swap meet or simply gaze up at the stars from your private hot tub, this place is an absolute dream locale when it comes to romantic getaways in California.
Make sure to grab a date shake on your drive up from LA at classic road trip pit stop Hadley’s Date Gardens. That should keep you satiated until it’s time for dinner and dancing at Pioneertown hotspot Pappy & Harriet’s. Make sure to book a table because this place gets crazy. You’ll practically feel young again as you elbow your way to the bar to order a few drinks for you and yours. Don’t overdo it though, because tomorrow’s sunset over the desert will have you wishing you looked fresher in the photos.