Skip to main content

Romantic Things to Do in California

Romantic Things to Do in California

Want to plan a special date or romantic getaway with your flame? Get inspired by our list of the top things to do as a couple in California. Team


5 min read

January 29, 2024

While short autumn days beg for tender evenings cuddled up in front of the fireplace, California’s landscapes never cease to inspire romantic getaways. With miles of beaches, acres of rolling hills, and hundreds of luxury hotels, the Golden State oozes romance. Show your significant other how much they mean to you by taking them on a unique date or a much-deserved trip to California’s top destinations for love birds.

What better way to celebrate your love than to spend time somewhere new and do something exciting? With the numerous romantic things to do in California—whether you’re just falling for someone this fall, celebrating an anniversary, or looking for the perfect place where to pop the question—love is in the air here year-round. So, get inspired and start planning a romantic date or getaway with your flame.  

The Top Romantic Things to do in Northern California

1. Follow Highway 1 for a road trip to the vast beaches and lush forests of Big Sur. Along the way, stop by Highbridge Falls—it's considered one of Big Sur's most romantic things to do.

2. Among the most romantic things to do this fall are strolling around the European-inspired village of Carmel-by-the-Sea and unwinding by the town's white sandy beaches. Make a day of it and spend the night at a hidden haven in the Carmel Valley.

3. Bike along the 18-mile Monterey Bay Coastal Trail from Monterey State Beach to Lovers Point Park, and admire the crimson sunset while picnicking near the Point Pinos Lighthouse—ticking off the most romantic things to do in Monterey from your bucket list.

4. Book a cozy cabin tucked away in the pristine nature of Lake Tahoe, and propose on a sleigh or carriage ride by the lake

From touring San Francisco to hiking in Big Sur, there's no shortage of fun and romantic things to do in NorCal.

5. Head to Tahoe City, one of the most underrated towns near Lake Tahoe, and explore the surrounding natural wonders together. Cap off the afternoon by enjoying a couple’s massage at the luxe Lighthouse Spa.  

6. Cruise along the Sonoma Coast and spend the night at Timber Cove Resort—the coastal escape you don't know about yet but should.

7. If you seek a romantic thing to do in Fresno, look no further than Roger Rocka's Dinner Theater, where you can savor mouthwatering specialties by award-winning chef Eric De Groot while making memories with that special someone

8. Unforgettable romantic things to do in Sacramento include strolling through the Sacramento Zoo, picnicking at Capitol Park, watching a movie at the West Wind Drive-in Theatre, and having a scoop of 8 Fahrenheit Ice Cream.

9. Promise your undying love while strolling amidst 4,000-year-old ancient bristlecone pines in the Inyo National Forest.

Recomended businesses

Show me
Recommended Businesses near

Discover the best of California. Our recommended businesses are top-quality and are committed to their communities.

10. Pack a picnic to enjoy with your better half at one of the best Bay Area parks: San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, where you can munch on your favorite snacks and admire the lush scenery. 

11. Take a leisurely stroll up to Twin Peaks for panoramic views of the San Francisco skyline. Make sure to time your visit in the early evening so you can witness the awe-inspiring California sunset.

12. Take the apple of your eye on a U-pick trip to Apple Hill to pluck fruit fresh off the trees and stock up on homemade pies, jams, baked goods, and more. 

13. Go spelunking at Lava Beds National Monument, and let the magical landscape give your relationship new unlimited strength.  

14. Glamp in Yosemite National Park. This is among the top places to glamp in Northern California, allowing you and your partner to reconnect in the great outdoors without having to sacrifice creature comforts.

With stunning waterfalls and lush landscapes, Yosemite National Park provides the perfect backdrop for romance.

15. Hike to the Yosemite Falls and fall in love with your second half all over again as they admire this natural miracle. Make sure to snap a selfie in front of the cascading waters before you trek back to your campsite.

16. Enjoy a gondola ride on Oakland's beautiful Lake Merritt with Gondola Servizio. Snuggle with your lover in the authentic Venitian gondola as you glide across the tranquil waters and take in the views. 

Most Romantic Things to do in Southern California

1. Spend a night or two with your beloved at Miracle Manor Boutique Hotel and Spa, one of the most relaxing hot springs resorts in California.

2. Pitch your tent in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and watch the sunset give way to a starry night sky as your love life reaches a whole new level.

3. Head to the Mojave National Preserve—one of California’s most secluded getaways—and spend your evenings making s'mores by the campfire. 

4. Reconnect and reminisce about the hot summer days poolside at California’s desert hotels that'll make you forget summer has ended. 

For a unique date idea, spice things up in (and out of) the kitchen by taking a cooking class with your partner.

5. Go on a trip to the "Island of Romance." There's no shortage of romantic things to do on Catalina Island, from taking scenic boat rides and scuba diving in the clear waters to soaking up the sun at the resort town of Two Harbors and touring the Catalina Casino.

6. Visit Long Beach to explore ocean life at the Aquarium of the Pacific and enjoy a relaxing sunset cruise.

7. Meander through the vibrant Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve and watch your love blossom.

With its waterfront amusement park, pristine shores, and beautiful sunsets, Santa Monica is a prime date-night destination.

8. If you're looking for romantic things to do in L.A., take a stroll along the Santa Monica Pier, ride on the world’s only solar-powered Ferris wheel 130 feet above the ground, and share a kiss on the shores.

9. More fun things to do in Los Angeles for couples are without a doubt a weekend at Disneyland, a concert at the Hollywood Bowl, and a romantic dinner cruise through Marina Del Rey.

10. Head to La Jolla Cove in San Diego to go snorkeling and discover the magical underwater world with your lover.

11. Go for a ride in the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway—the world's largest rotating tram car—to the top of San Jacinto Peak and admire the sweeping view of Chino Canyon and beyond.

The picturesque Venice Canals of Los Angeles will transport you and your special someone to Venice, Italy.

12. Looking for romantic things to do in Los Angeles on a budget? Take a stroll along the Venice Canals while the setting sun turns the sky into vibrant colors of blood orange and violet. 

13. One of the best things to do for your anniversary in California is to rent a yurt at El Capitan Canyon. Nestled by the coast in historic groves of oak and sycamore trees, this glamping destination in Santa Barbara will make sparks fly.  

14. Book a vacation rental by El Matador State Beach to experience romantic days in Malibu, making sure to catch the SoCal sunset every night.

Need help with a home improvement project? Get a free quote today!

Enter Your Zip Code

Enter Your Zip Code

RELATED Articles

Discover More

fueled by the power of California love
We're committed to helping you discover the places, people and businesses that make our state Golden. Our online publication, updated daily, brings you all the content you need to live your California dreams. And that's just the beginning…
Purpose section
Purpose section