Your Sunny Southern California Romantic Getaway Guide
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A Sunny Morning at Heisler Park in Laguna Beach, one of Southern California's Romantic Spots
By Greg Mattson, ERV Editor - Updated: May 8, 2018
Southern California is a very attractive and affordable romantic destination on the USA West Coast. “SoCal” enjoys great weather, beaches, interesting coastal towns, and some nice (although crowded at times) highways to connect all the dots.
Here’s our page full of ideas on where to go to find the best romantic places in California, and some tips on B&B’s, hotels and resorts offering Southern California romantic packages.
Best Time to Visit Southern California: you can enjoy your romantic California adventure or escape any time - Southern California usually has sunshine and warm temps year-round. There doesn't seem to be a real "high season", but it's generally less crowded in the winter months (Nov-Mar).
We've listed these romantic spots in Southern California starting in the LA area and moving South…
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Romantic LA Beach Towns
Beach House Hotel, Hermosa Beach CA
- Beach House Hermosa Beach - What Other Couples Liked: Location Right on the Beach - Scenic Views and People Watching from the Balcony - Cozy Gas Fireplace. 2018 Rating* for Romantic LA Area Beach Hotels: 90% of Couples Rate It Excellent/Very Good. (1300 The Strand, Hermosa Beach CA 310-374-3001)
Suite With a JACUZZI® Tub - Shade Hotel
- Shade Hotel Manhattan Beach - What Other Couples Liked: In-room fireplace and JACUZZI® Tub - Restaurants and Shops an easy walk away - Rooftop Pool. 2018 Rating* for Manhattan Beach, CA Romantic Hotels: 93% of Couples Rate It Excellent/Very Good. (1221 North Valley Dr, Manhattan Beach CA 310-546-4995)
- LA Beach Towns - Manhattan Beach, Redondo and Hermosa Beach are just a few Southern California Beach Communities in the greater LA area that are perfect for a weekend mini-vacation. Each has a strong sense of community, and are perfect places to relax and get away from the crowds of Disneyland and Downtown LA.
- Santa Monica – Santa Monica is one of the most fun and romantic places on the Southern California coast. You can ride the Ferris wheel at the end of the pier, grab an ice cream and people watch, or enjoy a sunny walk down the pedestrian-only Third Street Promenade.
Catalina Island - Romantic Inns & Things to Do
- The Avalon Hotel - Ocean views, private balconies, full service spa and free breakfast all await just 2 minutes from the pier. What Other Couples Liked: Complimentary Wine & Breakfast - Relaxing by the Fire Pit Under the Stars - Beautiful Courtyard. 2018 ERV Rating* for Romantic Hotels on Catalina Island: 97% - Excellent. (124 Whittley Ave, Catalina Island CA 424-226-3610)
- Aurora Hotel - a romantic bed and breakfast/boutique inn with flat-screen TV's robes, continental breakfast, and suites with jetted tubs. What Other Couples Liked: Beautiful and Clean - On-Site Couples Massage - Roof Top Deck. 2018 ERV Rating* for Catalina Island Romantic Inns: 91% - Excellent. (137 Marilla Ave, Avalon CA 310-510-0454)
Boats in Avalon Bay - Beautiful and Romantic Catalina Island, CA
- Catalina Island – just a hop, skip and ferry ride away from the Los Angeles area! Don’t miss catching a flick at the Avalon Theatre, a beautifully restored art deco-style movie house just below the Casino. Golf, dining by the harbor, long walks on the beach, and the Scenic Route high up around Avalon Bay are just a few more romantic ideas on Catalina Island. Catalina’s location is just 22 miles off the coast of Southern California, and travel time from the Marina del Ray / Long Beach / Newport Beach area is around 90 minutes by catamaran boat.
Southern California's Most Romantic Inn?
Gorgeous Pool at the Casa Laguna Inn & Spa, Laguna Beach CA
- Casa Laguna Inn & Spa - easily one of the most romantic places we've stayed in in Southern California...or anywhere! An absolutely gorgeous inn on the South Coast Highway in Laguna Beach, so it's central to lots of attractions up and down the coast, and all the dining options nearby. But we could hardly tear ourselves away from sipping wine and sampling their gourmet appetizer every evening in the courtyard (that was after a swim in their picturesque pool). Complimentary gourmet breakfasts and hot tub suites round out this extremely romantic small inn along the California Coast, just perfect for a honeymoon close to, but not in the major cities of LA and San Diego. 2017 Rating* for Southern California Romantic Inns: 90% - Excellent. (2510 South Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA 800-233-0449) See more photos (including a Whirlpool Suite) of the Casa Laguna Inn & Spa here.
Video: Casa Laguna Inn & Spa
See our video above of the Casa Laguna Inn & Spa in Laguna Beach, CA, which includes a look at a deluxe courtyard jetted spa tub suite, courtyard breakfast area and pool.
More Romantic Spots in Laguna Beach, CA:
Rooftop Lounge - also in the "Wow" category, this time for a wonderful outdoor lunch, happy hour or dinner atop the Casa del Camino hotel. With these awesome views, the tops of nearby palm trees just below you, and 180 degrees of the Pacific windward, you'll feel much the same as we did: you're really in Southern California now! Tip: on nice days, the Rooftop gets quite busy around lunch and dinner, so plan ahead, have a late breakfast and enjoy lunch around 1:45 or 2 here. (1289 South Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA 949-497-2446)
Heisler Park - it's not often you find ocean views, gorgeous flowers and trees, and spectacular rocky cliffs all in one compact, easy to find spot. The beach is accessible too, and we found it uncrowded with cheap street parking right there. (375 Cliff Dr, Laguna Beach, CA)
More Romantic Places in SoCal
Downtown San Clemente - there's shopping here along Avenida Del Mar (between and streets) where you'll come across some cool clothing shops, delis and wine stores. The San Clemente Pier is close by too, with some nice dining over the waves at Fisherman's Restaurant & Bar. The views are fantastic, the clam chowder's pretty good, and the fish n' chips almost big enough for 2 to share...
Cannon's Restaurant, Dana Point - there's dining with a view, and then the is dining at Cannon's. An incredibly romantic spot with jaw-dropping views from way up high of the Dana Point Marina, ocean, and around 6:30 PM, unbeatable sunsets. (34344 Street of the Green Lantern, Dana Point, CA)
Temecula Valley Wine Country Getaways
California Wine Country Inn - Carter Estate
- Carter Estate Winery & Resort - What Other Couples Liked: Poolside Grill Restaurant...Wine Tasting Room...Fireplaces and Private Patios. 2018 ERV* Rating for Romantic Temecula CA Hotels: 93% - Excellent. (34450 Rancho California Rd, Temecula CA 888-364-5709)
Romantic Horse-Drawn Carriage Ride - Ponte Inn
- Ponte Vineyard Inn - What Other Couples Liked: Carriage Ride Through the Vineyard...Sparkling Wine Welcome...Spacious Rooms with Great Views. 2018 ERV* Rating for Southern California Wine Country Inns: 94% - Excellent. (35001 Rancho California Rd, Temecula CA 951-587-6688)
Southern California's Temecula Valley Wine Country is a Perfect Couples Getaway
Temecula Valley Wine Country - for a cheap and romantic weekend getaway, try wine tasting in Temecula, CA. You can walk through the historic Old Town, check out the weekend farmer’s market, and of course, sample wines at the 20+ wineries in and around Temecula in Southwest California. And in the evening, be sure to enjoy some romantic dining at Cafe Champagne. (32575 Rancho California Rd, Temecula CA 951-699-0099)
Room with a View at the Pacific Terrace, San Diego
Pacific Terrace Romantic Pool at Night
- Pacific Terrace Hotel - What Other Couples Liked: Free bikes and Beach Chair Rentals - Sound of the Ocean Waves as You Sleep - Happy Hour by the Pool. 2018 ERV* Rating for Romantic Oceanfront San Diego Hotels: 93% - Excellent. (610 Diamond St, San Diego CA 858-581-3500)
Romantic Beaches Near San Diego - On a recent Southern California vacation in San Diego, we drove north for a romantic day trip starting at Oceanside, CA, and traveled south past Solana Beach to Del Mar, CA. There’s lots of places to enjoy a romantic picnic on the sand, or even fly a kite together by the ocean.
*ERV Rating for Couples: our unique, non-scientific rating formula for romantic hotels which includes:
- Romantic Amenities: such as an in-suite JACUZZI® tub or Whirlpool bath, scenic view, lounge, etc
- Location: proximity of hotel to restaurants, pubs, downtown, etc
- Clientele: demographic the hotel
attracts (couples, families with kids, business travelers, etc)
with Couples & Honeymooners: based on variety of social media & crowd-sourced reviews.
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