October 05, 2020
As California mitigates health risks during the COVID-19 pandemic, some travel restrictions may remain in certain communities. Call the local and regional tourism offices to learn more about the restrictions in your intended destination. Thank you for reading, and stay safe.
Heat up this season by taking your S.O. on a romantic retreat—it's time to make room for romance and shower one another with love. With its lush forests, rugged coastline, and picturesque mountains, Northern California has no shortage of dreamy romantic getaways. Undiscovered wonders await you and your beloved in NorCal's ethereal nature, and our favorite Northern California vacation spots will inspire you to start packing your bags. Whether you're looking for a romantic place in California to propose or you're simply in need of a secluded couple's retreat, these romantic getaways in Northern California will make sparks fly.
Sonoma County's Timber Cove is a magical place where stately redwoods pay homage to the vastness of the sea. With its spectacular landscape, breathtaking ocean views, and secluded setting, it’s an ideal weekend getaway in Northern California, especially if admiring magnificent sunsets is a top priority.
For lodging, Timber Cove Resort doesn't disappoint. Perched on a dramatic bluff high above the Pacific Ocean, the resort offers a one-of-a-kind stay; guests experience a deep connection with nature while relaxing in the casual, sophisticated space. You won't want to leave, especially when you have a vinyl library, three miles of hiking trails, 23 acres of coastline, live music Wednesdays, and a waterfront restaurant to enjoy during your vacation at Timber Cove.
A Mendocino getaway is always a good idea. This gorgeous coastal community is known for the scenic pathways and pristine beaches. Experience the region's beauty as you traipse the trails of Mendocino Headlands State Park, and learn the local history at the 19-century Ford House Visitor Center and Museum. If you're up for a cultural trip, the Mendocino Art Center awaits you; after admiring artworks, take your lover to the fine eateries clustered nearby. Then, make your way to the dramatic coastline of Russian Gulch State Park, where you can sit together and ponder the beauty of your intertwined lives.
For the ultimate getaway, go glamping at Mendocino Grove. One of the best glamping destinations in California, this romance-inducing spot is ideal for connecting with nature—and with one another. Get ready to enjoy long nights making s'mores over the bonfire and watching the sunset before admiring the twinkling stars above you.
South Lake Tahoe
South Lake Tahoe's glimmering waters, densely packed pines, and fresh mountain air make it a prime place to celebrate the magical four-letter word: love. The stunning water and mountain views provide the perfect backdrop for a special date, so it’s no surprise many people choose to visit Lake Tahoe with that special someone. Spend the day exploring the great outdoors before getting dolled up in the evening; the nightlife is booming and romantic restaurants are aplenty.
This top destination for couples offers a wide range of lodging options, but The Landing Resort and Spa is a standout. Just a few steps away from the lakeshore, the resort features a private beach and luxe rooms. Every detail is designed to make the most of the Lake Tahoe views and of each other’s company. Patios dotted with firepits face the lake, while Adirondack chairs surround an outdoor hot tub.
Another romantic option is Edgewood Tahoe. You’ll hardly want to leave the five-star hotel overlooking the lake; essentials include a balcony with a view, spa, pool, golf course, and top-notch restaurant and bistro. Better yet, it’s only three miles from El Dorado Beach and 13 miles from Monument Peak.
Eureka is quite the quaint NorCal town. Strolling the streets of this wonderful port city will transport you and your partner back in time. Eureka's Old Town district features upscale Victorian mansions and townhouses in hues of buttercup yellow, magenta, and pistachio. Tour the Ingomar Club's Carson Mansion—recognized as one of Humboldt County's most revered treasures—and indulge in picturesque views while learning about the fascinating history behind the home.
After exploring the mansion, go for a drive on the Redwood Highway, making sure to stop at scenic overlooks along the way. Picnic at the 67-acre Sequoia Park Forest and Garden after wandering the trails that lead you through the majestic redwood forest, meadows, duck pond, and creeks.
While on your romantic Northern California getaway, stay the night at Carter House Inns—the Victorian charm and modern amenities complement one another quite well. The luxurious four-poster beds and cozy fireplaces juxtaposing against contemporary art and deep-soaking hot tubs create quite the paradisical scene, highlighting the best of both past and present. It's particularly soothing after a day's worth of hiking through the area’s old-growth redwood forests.
Embark on a romantic adventure in Marin County. Seated across the Golden Gate strait, Sausalito's abundance of activities will make your romantic getaway in Northern California hard to forget. View the beautiful Art Deco bridge and S.F. skyline together from the Sausalito's Golden Gate Bridge Vista Point; make sure to snap a #CouplesGoals shot for the 'Gram. For more couple-worthy photo ops, go to the Battery Spencer observation deck and savor the romantic views and alone time.
While in Sausalito, also meander the Sausalito Boardwalk to browse the local shops and, of course, munch on a juicy burger along the way. Don't miss the opportunity to unwind together on Rodeo Beach, either, where you can chill on the shores of the Pacific and savor marvelous views before taking the trails by storm—can you name a better combo for a romantic getaway?
For your romantic night in, head to The Gables Inn Sausalito, where many rooms offer cozy fireplaces and whirlpool tubs fit for two. If you're a history buff, spend the evening at Cavallo Point, which is situated in Sausalito's historic district, on the S.F. Bay overlooking the Golden Gate.
Half Moon Bay
Half Moon Bay is a vibrant coastal region located approximately 35 minutes south of San Francisco and is widely known amongst couples as a honeymoon oasis. Its small-town charm, spectacular natural beauty, wealth of wildflowers, majestic mountains, artisanal shops, and lovely lodging make this a slice of oceanside heaven and an ideal vacation destination for you and your lover.
There’s no shortage of things you can do in Half Moon Bay. Rumor has it that if you hike the Coastside Trail at Half Moon Bay State Beach, your happily-ever-after moment will happen. Perhaps this is an exaggeration, but the trail is worth visiting nonetheless. The pathway winds around The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay golf course; you can live happily ever after at the Ritz, so check in here to enjoy beach access, magnificent views, and a luxury five-star resort experience.
If the Ritz doesn't entice you, head to the Oceano Hotel and Spa. Located in the beautiful Half Moon Bay Harbor, this dreamy hotel features rooms overlooking the marina, Pacific Ocean, and undulating mountains. What else do you need to enjoy a perfect evening? Perhaps a fireplace? The rooms have that, too. During your stay, take the relaxation up a notch by unwinding at the luxurious Oceano Coastal Spa together.
No romantic getaway in the cooler months is complete without snuggling and skiing in the Sierra Nevada. Romantic picnics amongst the High Sierra's aromatic wildflowers await you; picture yourselves sitting in the colorful field while savoring the solitude, just taking in the sights and sounds of the scene around you.
California’s famous ski resorts often get all of the attention, so for more serenity, head to North America’s second-oldest lake—Mono Lake—to stare into the depths of the glimmering azure waters before exploring the alpine village of June Lake and pitching your tent by the lake.
Or, head to Yosemite National Park and check off a few national park experiences from your bucket list. For a night's stay, reserve a room at the iconic, historic Ahwahnee hotel and indulge in the enviable amenities. But if you prefer to snuggle and sleep under the stars, spend the evening at one of the national park's campgrounds for the ultimate adventure.
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