It doesn’t seem like too long ago when couples were planning extravagant honeymoons in faraway destinations; however, due to COVID-19 travel restrictions and suggestions from the CDC, more and more couples are planning romantic vacations closer to home.
Whether you and your beloved live in California, you’re nearby and looking for a destination you can drive to, or you’ve always dreamed of a vacation in The Golden State, the climate makes this state a great destination choice year-round.
While many pairs plan to make the famous road trip up the coast along Pacific Coast Highway, others will choose to stay put in one of the state’s exceptional hotels and resorts to achieve ultimate relaxation. With such a wide variety of areas and properties to choose from, couples with a range of interests will find something they love. From pairs who love golf or the great outdoors, to wine lovers and foodies, to couples who crave the ultimate beach experience, there’s truly a locale for every type of couple to enjoy.
View some of our favorite honeymoon destinations in California, below:
For the Golfer: San Diego
Photo courtesy of The Lodge at Torrey Pines
Nearby the world-renowned Torrey Pines Golf Course – the site of the 2008 and 2021 U.S. Open Championships and host of the PGA Tour's annual Farmer Insurance Open – sits The Lodge at Torrey Pines. The luxury hotel along the stunning coastline of La Jolla features Craftsman-style architecture, world-class dining, a full-service spa, and insider packages that provide the opportunity for guests to golf where the pros play.
Couples can enjoy dining on the terrace at A.R. Valentien, highlighting elegant and refined regional cuisine, or watch the sunset while trying wood-fired dishes and local craft beers from the fire pits at The Grill at Torrey Pines.
The Lodge at Torrey Pines is currently offering a Romance Package complete with an in-room bottle of chilled Champagne paired with chocolate-covered strawberries, as well as a breakfast credit to enjoy a romantic getaway with a view of the Pacific Ocean, along with a number of golf-centered packages for aspiring and skilled golfers alike.
Photos courtesy of The Lodge at Torrey Pines
For the Sun Lover: La Quinta / Palm Springs
Photo courtesy of La Quinta Resort & Club, a Waldorf Astoria Resort
With sunny days almost all year round, the Palm Springs area has long been a favorite escape for both California locals and travelers across the country. A favored resort of Old Hollywood’s elite, including Greta Garbo, Clark Gable, and Shirley Temple, is still a famed retreat.
La Quinta Resort & Club, a Waldorf Astoria Resort – the host of this season’s The Bachelorette – offers residential-style suites, casitas, and villas, with many rooms offering private patios, pools, and hot tubs. The desert oasis boasts 41 pools on property for the ultimate lounging experience, three unique restaurants, access to five championship golf courses, a world-class spa, and tennis courts where legends Novak Djokovic and Maria Sharapova have played.
With so much to do on property, it's the perfect place to start your new marriage as newlyweds. Ideal for pairs with an adventurous spirit, the resort is currently partnering with Camp’d Out to provide a luxury experience in Joshua Tree National Park for a romantic night under the stars.
Photos courtesy of La Quinta Resort & Club, a Waldorf Astoria Resort
For the Beach Lover: Malibu
Photo courtesy of Nobu Ryokan Malibu
Situated right on the beach, Nobu Ryokan Malibu is a peaceful oasis boasting 16 intimate, luxurious accommodations right in the heart of Carbon Beach. Focused on meeting the needs of honeymooners, the adult-oriented property honors the traditional Japanese Ryokan featuring teak soaking tubs, both indoor and outdoor fireplaces, and romantic sweeping views of the ocean while subtly intermingling a beachy California vibe.
Though you may not want to leave the comfort of your room – and you may not have to with in-room dining – you will likely want to treat your palate to one of the many high-end eateries nearby, particularly Nobu Malibu which is just steps away from the hotel. Couples massages and an array of other pampering services are available in the spa, while on your more active days, the hotel offers complimentary paddle boards for beach activities and access to private instruction with a fitness instructor.
Currently Nobu Ryokan Malibu is offering the “Love Nobu” package (with a two-night stay), which includes early check-in and late check-out, Malibu Fit Concierge one-hour session, breakfast for two, and priority reservations at Nobu Malibu. Get ready to sit back and relax on your private deck with your new spouse, while listening to the soothing sounds of the sea.
Photos courtesy of Nobu Ryokan Malibu
For the Couple Who Just Wants to Get Away: Montecito
Photo courtesy of Rosewood Miramar Beach
Set along the “American Riviera,” Rosewood Miramar Beach offers a home away from home for discerning couples, as well as families. The estate-style property boasts gorgeous beachfront suites, bungalows with private terraces, and ocean-view guest rooms, as well as 60 Miramar – a two-story home providing five-star resort living and residential exclusivity.
Enjoy all that Montecito and nearby Santa Barbara have to offer or stay on property with plenty of gastronomic options to choose from, including oceanfront dining at Caruso’s, farm-fresh meals at Malibu Farm at Miramar, charming poolside eateries, and chic bars. Relax and rejuvenate your senses with sunrise yoga, sunset walks on the sand, tranquil treatments at Sense®, A Rosewood Spa, and poolside lounging.
For couples desiring a truly luxurious honeymoon, the Jet-a-Way experience offers a G550 private-jet transfer from Dallas, Los Angeles, or San Francisco for a three-night suite stay complete with 90-minute signature massages, access to Miramar Club and an intimate dinner at Caruso’s, an in-room session with personal stylists from The Webster boutique, golf and tennis lessons, and a gourmet beach picnic dinner or private in-suite dinner.
Photos courtesy of Rosewood Miramar Beach
For the Wine Aficionado: Santa Ynez
Photo courtesy of Santa Ynez Inn
Located in the heart of Santa Barbara wine country, Santa Ynez Inn provides newlyweds with the opportunity to experience understated elegance with a warm, welcoming atmosphere in a romantic, luxurious setting. With every stay, guests enjoy a gourmet breakfast, an evening wine hour featuring local wines paired with cheese and light bites, and a seasonal sweet dessert in the parlour before turning in for the night.
Comfortable accommodations feature stately beds and velvet lounge seating, and honeymooners will love the Premium King guest rooms, which offer a warm fireplace, private balcony or patio, as well as an oversized marble bathroom complete with a jetted tub, separate steam shower, and heated floors. Guests staying at the inn also receive complimentary tastings for two at over a dozen world-class wineries and are invited to end the night with a glass of wine by the fire pits or a whiskey nightcap in the library.
Get the most of your stay with specials on nearby experiences, including a vineyard horseback ride and wine tasting, a hot-air balloon ride complete with a Champagne toast, self-guided electric bike tours, and more.
Photos courtesy of Santa Ynez Inn
For the Vintage Lovers: San Luis Obispo
Photo courtesy of Madonna Inn
Perhaps most known for its historic Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, the city of San Luis Obispo is a whimsical location nestled in California’s Central Coast region. In Downtown, you’ll discover farmers markets with vendors selling an array of fresh or handmade products ranging from produce to hot plated food to flowers. Nearby is Bubblegum Alley, which showcases thousands of pieces of chewed gum artfully placed over a wall, and you can even enjoy the town’s contemporary museum of art highlighting California artists.
For accommodations, the pink-hued Madonna Inn is a favorite for those who adore all things retro. Renowned for its 110 guest rooms, each uniquely decorated with charming accents, it’s the ideal location for a couple who want a laid-back vibe mixed with excellent amenities and activities, such as the plentiful walking and bike paths on and around the property, or take a turn playing on the signature pink tennis courts. You can even rent a pink beach cruiser to roam the estate, then unwind on the hilltop pool area! The onsite fare is delicious, as well as the feast for the eyes in the hotel’s main restaurant: Alex Madonna’s Gold Rush Steak House. It’s lovely kitschy concept is perfectly pink, floral, and filled with overwhelmingly fun detail.
If you’re seeking an invigorating day trip, there are plenty of nearby wineries, horseback adventures, and maybe even a visit to Hearst Castle if you don’t mind waking up early for the drive.
Photos courtesy of Madonna Inn
For the Nature Lover: Big Sur
Photo courtesy of Ventana Big Sur, an Alila Resort
Located along a 90-mile stretch of strikingly beautiful coastline between Carmel and San Simeon, Big Sur offers exceptional views of the rugged seaside cliffs, towering redwood forests, and the beautiful Santa Lucia Mountains. A bucket-list destination for adventure-seekers, campers, as well as discerning travelers, the iconic location offers a romantic escape for honeymooners.
After hiking in the redwoods and lounging by the sea, relax and unwind at Ventana Big Sur, an Alila Resort. The property offers cozy guest rooms and suites as well as safari-style glamping to provide an array of experiences for luxury travelers. To ensure all guests feel safe while traveling in the current times, all Ventana bookings now include an array of inclusive offerings, including dining in-room, poolside, or at The Sur House, daily snacks and reusable water bottles to take on adventures, and access to yoga, meditation, Tai Chi, and daily hikes.
Guests can also partake in the property’s picnic program, use equipment from the Excursion Outpost for the ultimate day of exploring, and even drive a Volvo house car to visit Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park and other landmarks within a three-mile radius.
Photos courtesy of Ventana Big Sur, an Alila Resort
California boasts so many different experiences and settings for vacation destinations – choose the stay that sounds the most romantic to you. Whether you prefer a nature-filled vacation amongst the redwoods, a beach trip with plenty of time soaking up the sun, or a honeymoon with activities such as wine tasting or discovering historic neighborhoods, we wish you safe and happy travels!