Most Romantic Getaways for Couples in Southern California

What are the most romantic getaways in Southern California? For active couples, SoCal offers a little bit of everything from luxurious beach hotels to cozy mountain cabins. From the bright lights of Los Angeles to the starlight of the open desert, we’ll show you the best couples vacations or romantic California staycation.

At Coleman Concierge, we focus on experiential travel, so our romantic weekends are focused on the active traveler. We’ll give you the nitty-gritty on the area hikes, bikes, and paddles that cater to your unique taste. If you love luxury, tasty food, and comfortable accommodations, we have that covered too. Our top 21 weekend escapes offer a little something for everyone. Since we worked in the service industry in Southern California, you can trust that we know the best that the area has to offer.

Romantic Beach Resorts

Photo Credit: Canva.

Maybe it’s one too many Beach Boys songs growing up, but who doesn’t think of romantic beach getaways? You can spend an endless summer with California girls picking up good vibrations. Only, the California coast is notoriously cold. When we lived in San Diego, we’d only surf in board shorts from August to October, the rest of the time it was wet suit season. Also, June Gloom is real. The sun doesn’t consistently burn through the marine layer until July. That doesn’t mean romantic beach getaways are bust. There’s still plenty to see and do in every season.

Summer is the peak season, with warm oceans and flat seas. However, the fall shoulder season is almost magical. The water is still warm, but the crowds have gone home, and you can find great deals on travel. Winter brings the best surf, and some unusual California styled holiday celebrations while spring brings flowers and baby animals. No matter when you visit, California beach resorts offer top-notch spas and amenities for the discerning traveler. You will not even have to leave the property to have an incredibly romantic beach getaway.

Nostalgic Stays on Coronado Island / Hotel Del Coronado

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Coronado Island is a barrier island outside of the San Diego Harbor. The island grows every time they dredge. It’s grown so much that now it’s technically a peninsula, connected to Imperial Beach by the Silver Strand (which happens to be the best bike trail in San Diego). Coronado Beach is wide with smallish waves since Point Loma shelters the shore from most of the incoming sets.

The harbor-side of the island offers incredible views of the San Diego skyline and convenient ferries to downtown. You could easily base out of Coronado Island and add a bit of San Diego urban escape to your beach getaway. There are enough delicious restaurants on Coronado Island that you find a new, romantic dinner every night and not have to drive.

Our Concierge Choice property for Coronado Island is the historic Hotel del Coronado, Curio Collection by Hilton. The Hotel Del is America’s largest wooden beach hotel with a long and glamourous past. For over 130 years, it has hosted presidents and movie stars like Theodore Roosevelt and Marilyn Monroe.

The contemporary side of Hotel Del offers a large selection of restaurants and bars, a fabulous spa, shopping, and a creative activity list to complete your stay. However, where they truly transcend is how they celebrate the holidays, especially the 4th of July and Christmas. Between the parade and the spectacular harbor views, there’s no better property in San Diego for the 4th. Over Christmas, they transform the Del into a winter wonderland complete with ice skating.

Fun Weekend Getaways for Couples at Mission Beach & Bay / Paradise Point

Photo Credit: Paradise Marina.

Mission Beach sits on a narrow strip of land between Mission Bay and the Pacific Ocean. If you called central casting for a California Beach, they would send you to Mission Beach. It has everything you’d want for a beach vacation, including miles of sand, an oceanfront boardwalk, and even a small amusement park.

What’s more, right behind Mission Beach is Mission Bay, an enormous aquatic playground protected from the open ocean. The back half of the bay is filled with jet skis and speed boats, but Sail Bay, directly behind Mission Beach, has a lower speed limit. It’s the perfect place to hit the water on everything from kayaks, to light up SUPs, to sailboats, and windsurfers. You can even ride on a paddle boat or floating hot tub. Mission Bay and Mission Beach are the perfect fusion between a fun/active beach and accessible water.

Our Concierge Choice property for Mission Beach is Paradise Point Resort and Spa because of location, location, location. Paradise Point is a bungalow hotel on an island in the middle of Mission Bay. You’re surrounded by parks, beaches, and water. They offer every water toy you could imagine from surfboards to sailboats and everything in between, including bikes for you to ride the paths around Mission Bay. You’re also only a mile away from San Diego’s dive boats if you want to explore the Point Loma Kelp Beds or Wreck Alley.

While you’re loving the active play of Mission Bay, Paradise Point still caters to romance. Between roasting smores on beach fires and private sunset dinner cruises aboard their Duffy boat, they have you covered. They also have a highly rated spa on-property. For a special treat, go the day after a full moon. You can watch the sunset over water to the west and the walk over to eastern beaches to watch the moon rise. This is also a prime location to watch the SeaWorld fireworks.

Amorous Adventures at Laguna Niguel / Ritz-Carlton

Photo Credit: Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel.

Laguna Niguel is a pocket of natural beauty tucked between Los Angeles and San Diego. On land, Laguna Canyon offers a plethora of hikes with vistas of the Pacific. The topology continues in the water, where you’ll find the cleanest and bluest water in Southern California. Long sets make this the perfect place to learn to surf or SUP. During the spring tides on a full moon, you’ll find tide pools filled with all kinds of curious creatures. You can even catch a ferry to Catalina Island from nearby Dana Point.

Our Concierge Choice property for Laguna Niguel is the romantic Ritz-Carlton. This hotel fuses modern luxury with playful creativity to capture the essence of the OC. From its perch on the bluffs above Salt Creek Beach, patrons have direct access to the ocean and uncompromised views. The on-property full-service spa offers treatments to restore and rejuvenate. Their house restaurants include 180Blu featuring patio dining with an ocean view, Raya with Pan-Latin coastal cuisine, and Eurosteak with pasture-raised beef.

Romantic Beach Getaways to Malibu / Malibu Inn

Photo Credit: Malibu Beach Inn.

Malibu is the first beach north of Los Angeles that makes you feel like you’ve left the city behind. You could venture south into the city, or head north up the coast beach hopping along the PCH. Make sure to make time to enjoy the magnificence of Malibu with a trip to the Getty Villa and watching the sunset with a cocktail in hand. Outdoor enthusiasts will love the night programs at Charmlee Wilderness. During the summer, they offer full moon hikes or stargazing on select nights.

Our Concierge Choice property for Malibu is the Malibu Inn. It has a private stretch of sand along Carbon Beach and a terrific romantic package. You’re greeted with chocolate-covered strawberries and chilled champagne and eat dinner at the on-property Carbon Terrace while watching the sunset over the ocean across the private beach. Doesn’t that sound romantic?

Luxurious Beach Escapes to Santa Barbara / Four Seasons

Photo Credit: Four Seasons Santa Barbara.

Santa Barbara is the luxury beach getaway for Los Angeles. When Hollywood heavyweights such as Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, or Jenifer Lopez go to the beach, they go to Santa Barbara. Adventurous couples will love Santa Barbara for its elegance as well as some truly unique outdoor experiences. You can ride your bike through the Lompoc Flower fields, which bloom all summer long, or take a bike tour through the local wineries.

Scuba divers can enjoy diving with baby sea lions on the Channel Islands in the spring. These puppies of the sea are the cutest things ever. In the winter, you look for monarch butterflies migrating to Ellwood Mesa from September through February. When you’re hungry, you can indulge in the culinary delights along State Street.

Our Concierge Choice property for Santa Barbara the Biltmore Santa Barbara, a Four Seasons Resort. This upscale property offers laid back sophistication along the Southern California coast with Spanish Colonial Villas set on a magnificent 22-acre property adjacent to Butterfly Beach. Their award-winning on-property spa provides a full range of services to relax the mind and body.

Affordable Romantic Getaways to Ventura & Oxnard / Mandalay Beach

Photo Credit: Embassy Suites by Hilton Mandalay Beach Resort.

Ventura is a fun, budget alternative to Santa Barbara. Main Street in Ventura makes a fine substitute for State Street, but it’s easier to find parking. You’re close enough to make a day trip to Santa Barbara if there’s something there that catches your eye. You can even book a scuba trip to the Channel Islands from Ventura. What it lacks is a true beach resort. That’s why we stay down the coast at Oxnard.

Oxnard might not have the hype of other beach cities, which is why we are happy to introduce our Concierge Choice property- Zachari Dunes on Mandalay Beach. I’ve stayed here often traveling on per diem, and it is legitimately nice. It’s directly adjacent to the beach with gardens and pools on the property. You will have to leave the property for romantic dining. They also have an on-call service for Spa therapists to staff their treatment rooms. It’s not Santa Barbara nice, but you’re not paying Santa Barbara prices either.

Sexy Urban Escapades

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Just off the Pacific Ocean sits two of the sexiest cities in America – San Diego and Los Angeles. Which one is better? It depends on what you’re looking for and who you’re asking. Los Angeles has the glitz and glamor of Tinsel Town, but San Diego is known as America’s finest city for a reason. Let’s just say you can’t go wrong no matter which one you choose. However, your choice of home-base will greatly affect the nature of your sexy urban escape.

We have highlighted four Southern California urban areas that are unique and sexy in their own right. San Diego’s Gaslamp District is a premier entertainment district that’s perfect for foot traffic. La Jolla is an upscale and artsy escape. Beverly Hills and Rodeo Drive are known around the world for their glamorous lifestyle. Our selection for Santa Monica is close enough to bike to the ocean, boardwalk, and beyond into the super cute beach communities of North Los Angeles.

Flirty Flings in San Diego / Andaz

Photo Credit: Andaz San Diego.

The Gaslamp Quarter is the premier entertainment district in San Diego. Young couples will love the clubs, dive bars, and cocktail lounges. At the same time, a more sophisticated crowd will appreciate the Spreckels and Balboa theaters. The entire neighborhood is lined with romantic restaurants and rooftop bars with a hopping street scene for foot traffic.

You’re walking distance from Little Italy, with great food and a fantastic farmer’s market on Saturday morning, and a short trolley ride away from Old Town and the Tijuana border. You can even catch a ferry over to the beaches of Coronado and the elegant Hotel Del. While you’re at the waterfront, check into whale watching and harbor cruises. One more thing, the proximity of downtown San Diego to the airport and the availability of public transportation makes it a perfect base for a car-free San Diego vacation.

Our Concierge Choice property for downtown San Diego is the Andaz San Diego. It’s a sexy, swanky retreat in the heart of the city. Watch the sunset from the rooftop pool and bar before heading out for a night on the town. When you eventually return to your room, you’re greeted with modern luxury and upscale amenities. You could even opt for an upgraded suite for your stay like the 750 sq. ft Cabana Suite with direct access to a private poolside cabana via a spiral staircase.

Discover the Joy of La Jolla / Pantai Inn

Photo Credit: Pantai Inn La Jolla.

La Jolla is a brilliant combination of natural beauty and upscale elegance. The town originated as a fishing village where La Jolla Canyon descended into the ocean. The area is now all protected habitat at the La Jolla Underwater Park, so the only fishing comes from huge colonies of seals, sea lions, and cormorants. You can visit these beautiful creatures as you walk along the beaches and bluffs of La Jolla Cove. If you snorkel or dive right from La Jolla Cove, you will probably see a sea lion swimming around.

To expand your adventure, take the Coast Walk Trail over to La Jolla Shores. There you’ll find kayak tours of the sea caves and snorkeling with nurse sharks. If you’re a strong diver, Vallecitos Point is the premier shore dive in Southern California. It’s a surf entry with a 1000′ kick out, but you can get down 100′ or more and see all kinds of critters. Up the beach by the pier is one of the best and easiest surf breaks in San Diego. La Jolla Shores is a prime area for stingrays. Make sure you do the stingray shuffle when you’re in the water, which is a good idea for any Southern California beach.

On land, La Jolla is filled with upscale elegance. Art Galleries line Prospect Street, and you’ll have your choice of delicious romantic dining. Make sure you save room for Bobboi Natural Gelato, it’s a life-changing indulgence! It’s also worth walking up to the Sunday morning farmer’s market to sample local snacks and produce. If you’re looking for a laugh, check out the Comedy Club, which features the best comics in Southern California.

Our Concierge Choice property for La Jolla is the Pantai Inn, a small luxury hotel with a Balinese theme. The grounds are superbly situated in the heart of La Jolla with a tranquil ocean view courtyard, outdoor fire pit, and seating area, and beautifully landscaped gardens. What’s more, they even offer free parking, which usually comes at a premium in La Jolla.

If you’re in the mood for love (and we know you are ), check into the Romance in La Jolla package, which includes a discounted room rate, a bottle of sparkling wine, chocolate-covered strawberries, a dozen red roses, and enhanced turndown service. For an added touch of romance, you can add an in-room spa treatment to your package.

Experience Exceptional Beverly Hills / Viceroy L’Ermitage

Photo Credit: Viceroy L’Ermitage Beverly Hills.

When you hear Beverly Hills, you imagine posh elegance. If you love high-end spas, fine dining, and shopping on Rodeo Drive, you’re going to love Beverly Hills. If you want to get out into nature, you can do that too, but you have to know where to look. Nature highlights include the trail to the Hollywood Sign and Griffith Park. For a little Rebel Without a Cause romance, consider heading up to an evening exhibit at the Griffith Park Observatory, where you’ll see the stars overhead and the lights of the valley sparkling below you.

Our Concierge Choice property for Beverly Hills is the Viceroy L’Ermitage. This luxury hotel was named the Ultratravel Collection Hotel of the Year for its extraordinary offerings. It’s the epitome of Hollywood glamor wrapped in unrequited privacy. It’s everything you would expect from a luxury Beverly Hills hotel from fine dining to pampering spas set in a resplendent backdrop. (if you’re considering staying in Beverly Hills, we assume you know what resplendent means)

Eco Escapes to Santa Monica / Ambrose Hotel

Photo Credit: Ambrose Hotel.

This might be our biased opinion, but Santa Monica is the most fun beach town in LA. Between the boardwalk and Santa Monica Pier, there’s entertainment around every corner. If you want a little funk in your fun, bike down to Venice Beach. The dedicated Marvin Braude Bike Trail goes all the way to Manhattan Beach. If you’re looking to class it up a bit, head up to the 3rd Street Promenade. From funky to fabulous, you can find it all in Santa Monica.

Our Concierge Choice property for Santa Monica is the Ambrose Hotel Santa Monica, a hidden oasis in the heart of the city. This sustainable and eco-friendly property features daily yoga and their signature guest amenity program. For a small upcharge to your folio, you get a deluxe continental breakfast with dairy-free and gluten-free options, complimentary local beer and wine and light fare available for purchase, Groundwork Coffee available all day, drop-off and pickup from the Tesla house car within a 3-mile radius, and use of house bicycles.

The availability of the house car and bikes combined with the proximity to LAX makes this a perfect property for a car-free LA weekend.

Cozy and Romantic Mountain Retreats

Photo Credit: Canva.

Part of Southern California’s unique charm is the mountain ranges towering over the cities. From the valley floor, they’re a reminder that nature is waiting for you just beyond the city limits. From the mountain tops, you can see the lights of the city sparkling beneath you like a thousand diamonds. However, if you keep pushing higher up the hill, you’ll find cozy mountain retreats where you can leave the city far behind (and beneath) you.

These mountain hideaways are perfect for escaping to pine trees or snuggling by a fire in a log cabin. In the summer, you’ll find wildflowers and mountain biking while the winter brings snow and skiing in Big Bear and Lake Arrowhead. In the fall, there’s apple pie and leaves turning in Julian. The mountains of Southern California might be the perfect way to disconnect from the world and reconnect with your love.

Juicy Jaunts to Julian / Gold Rush Hotel

Photo Credit: Julian Gold Rush Hotel.

Julian is a small mining town in the hills above San Diego that’s famous for apple pies and fall color. It’s only at 4,200′, so you will not find towering pine trees and cascading waterfalls. Still, you can take hikes such as summiting the 6,500′ Cuyamaca Peak or strolling along the Desert View Trail in William Heise County Park. You can even tour the tunnels of the Eagle Mining Company that started the town, but it’s Julian Main Street that keeps the town alive today. It’s a lovely, peaceful stroll through the past that filled with wholesome goodness and hot apple pie. You can also connect Julian to nearby Borrego Springs for a little romantic road trip.

Our Concierge Choice property for Julian is the Gold Rush Hotel because it captures the essence of the old west with historic ambiance with modern conveniences. This charming inn is the oldest operating hotel in Southern California. If you want to fully indulge in Victorian romance and charm, consider booking the Patio Cottage or the Honeymoon House. The Patio Cottage features a cast-iron fireplace and a veranda with views of the blooming gardens. The Honeymoon House is a two-room suite with a fireplace, antique claw-foot tub, and surrounded by lilacs and cedars.

Romantic Cabin Getaways at Big Bear Lake/ Gold Mountain Manor

Photo Credit: Gold Mountain Manor.

The town of Big Bear is at 6,700′ with neighboring peaks towering over 8,000′. This is where lovers will find their alpine escape. Even though you feel like you’re a million miles away, you’re only 100 miles northeast of Los Angeles. Big Bear is a four-season destination high in the San Bernardino Mountains featuring 100’s of miles of trails, 22 miles of lake shoreline, and in the winter, over a 1,000 skiable acres. In the summer, the ski resort opens its lifts for alpine slides and mountain biking.

Our Concierge Choice property for Big Bear is the Gold Mountain Manor, a charming 1928 log cabin. From your welcome home fresh-baked chocolate chip cookie to assisting with a romantic picnic by the lake, your hosts at Gold Mountain Manor are there for you. Be sure to check into their 2-night romantic rendezvous in the mountains. 

They’ll prepare your room with candles and chilled Champagne, arrange for dinner at one of the most romantic spots in Big Bear. If that’s not enough, they will draw a milk bath soak, and even provide a candlelit breakfast. The finishing touch is a couples massage in front of your in-room fireplace.

High Country Holidays at Lake Arrowhead / Lake Arrowhead Resort

Photo Credit: Lake Arrowhead Resort and Spa.

Just a little bit down the mountain from Big Bear Lake sits Lake Arrowhead. It’s a smaller, more exclusive mountain community with less focus on winter sports and public lake access. It’s the road less traveled, and sometimes that makes all the difference. Plus, being at a lower elevation means it’s easier to reach and get around, but you’re still in the pine trees.

Our Concierge Choice property is the Lake Arrowhead Resort. This lakefront resort allows guests to focus on the 3-Rs of romance – rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation. The property features an outdoor pool and spa area with incredible views of the lake, private beach, exclusive access to Lake Arrowhead, and a state-of-the-art fitness facility with daily classes.

Rejuvenating Desert Oasis

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Romantic adventurers can discover their own rejuvenating desert oasis just beyond the coastal ranges. The desert is a land of extremes where summer brings blistering hot days and brilliantly clear nights while the winters are cool and comfortable. Perhaps the most dramatic season is spring, where fields of flowers erupt in a showy display of natural beauty. The land sits in a balance between the parched soil and life-giving water. It’s a dance as old as time that plays out for everyone to observe when they take the time to listen carefully.

The harsh climate shapes the communities that spring up in these desert oases where art and nature live hand and hand. Desert opulence consists of water, shade, and panoramic views across the horizon. A romantic desert getaway ignites the imagination, passion, and an appreciation of infinity.

Delightful Discoveries in Palm Springs / Korakia Pensione

Photo Cedit: Korakia Pensione.

Palm Springs is the first desert city you reach heading out of the LA Basin. Once you cross the divide at Beaumont, the world changes. The air becomes hot, dry, and clear, and the views stretch out to the horizon. The landscape is dotted with casinos, golf resorts, and wind turbines until you reach Palm Springs.

Palm Springs is a legitimately cute and artsy little town out in the desert that’s seen its share of LA socialites looking for a retreat. Apart from tennis and golf, the outdoor adventurer can climb Mt San Jacinto, either by the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway or the challenging Cactus to Clouds Trail. If you prefer the downhill, area bike tours provide flowing rides with gravity assists that often culminate with a freshly made date shake.

Our Concierge Choice property for Palm Springs is the Korakia Pensione. This Mediterranean retreat captures the essence of the desert. The Korakia is one of the “Sexiest Hotels in America,” according to Forbes Traveler. Relax your body and spirit with yoga and spa offerings. Stargazing on a Moroccan style daybed transports your mind to the Casbah. If you’re looking for physical locomotion, they offer bicycles to explore Palm Springs, and the property is just a stone’s throw away from the Cactus to Clouds Trailhead.

Enchanted Journeys to Twentynine Palms / Campbell House

Photo Credit: Campbell House.

Twentynine Palms, the gateway to Joshua Tree National Park, is just a little past Palm Springs. Joshua Tree is a mecca to rock climbers, hikers, and mountain bikers. Of course, lovers will love the endless night sky blanketed by a sea of stars. Not to be missed are the summer meteor showers and dark sky specials in the park, such as stargazing and night photography sessions.

If you’re looking for a less crowded alternative to JTNP, consider Mojave National Preserve. You have all the beauty of the Mojave Desert with fewer people. It could be the perfect alternative on busy weekends, if the National Park is closed, or you just want to find your own corner of the desert.

Our Concierge Choice property for Twentynine Palms is the Campbell House, a historic desert inn founded in 1925. The inn features twelve guest suites and cottages situated on a 25-acre oasis. Unwind with a dip in the refreshing pool or a soak in the hot tub. Your days begin with a freshly prepared breakfast and end under a starry night sky.

Dreamy Getaways for Couples at Borrego Springs / La Casa del Zorro

Photo Credit: La Casa del Zorro Resort & Spa.

The spring bloom at Borrego Springs is a sight to behold. The hike up Palm Canyon during a super bloom reminds you that miracles exist. Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is the largest park in California with five hundred miles of dirt roads, 12 wilderness areas, and many miles of hiking trails. Our favorite experience in Borrego Springs isn’t in the park at all, but rather it’s biking through the bizarre and unique statue gardens that surround the town. Where else can you dance with a dinosaur or see the Milky Way shimmering above a dragon?

Our Concierge Choice property for Borrego Springs is La Casa del Zorro Resort & Spa. It is a desert oasis that dates back to 1937 and offers serenity, solitude, and unassuming luxury. Between the spa, yoga center, five pools, and tennis courts, you’ll enjoy your time on the property as much as you’ll enjoy the desert that surrounds you. Their casitas even offer private hot tubs, pool, or water features if you want to upgrade your romance. Be sure to check out their on-premise restaurants for some of the best dining in Borrego as well.

Unique Romantic Destinations

Photo Credit: Jenn Coleman.

For over a century, Southern California has attracted dreamers and creators. This culture of possibility lives on today with some of the most unique romantic boutiques you can imagine. Our offerings in the section include a stay on Titanic’s sister ship, a horse ranch just over the border in Mexico, a luxury Italian Villa in a vineyard, a picturesque Italian-style island, and an Airstream glamping resort in a hippy mountain town. Southern California is a land where dreams come true, and you’re only limited by your imagination.

Enchanting Escapades in Ojai / Caravan Outpost

Photo Credit: Caravan Outpost.

Nestled in the hills above Ventura sits a gem of a small town, Ojai. The Village of Ojai contains an eclectic collection of specialty shops that feature everything from fine art to handcrafted jewelry. Outside of town, an active couple can find rock climbing, mountain biking, jeep tours, and more. There’s even the Ojai Valley Trail the runs 10-miles into Ventura if you want to combine your Ventura escape with the Ojai scene.

Ojai is renowned as a spiritual vortex and is one of America’s first New Age destinations. The village is home to numerous spiritual and mystical practitioners, often traced back to the 1920s Indian philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti. Things are a little different up in Ojai, which is why our Concierge Choice property is Caravan Outpost. This property is a garden in the city where you stay in an Airstream trailer. It’s the perfect home base to explore Ojai. Maybe try the Spa Ojai’s Kuyam treatment, which combines the therapeutic effects of self-applied desert clays with a traditional Chumash Indian narrative. At night, you return home to your Airstream and perhaps join a drum circle by the campfire. You never know what you’ll find in Ojai.

Unusual Romantic Hotels in Long Beach / The Queen Mary

Photo Credit: Jenn Coleman.

Long Beach has turned itself into an adorable harbor town. The 2 1/2-mile-long breakwater that protected the port from Japanese torpedoes keeps the waves and the beachgoers down so I wouldn’t call it a beach town per se. However, there are still cute bike paths along the shore to enjoy. There’s also a plethora of restaurants and attractions, including the fantastic Aquarium of the Pacific. It’s also home to the main ferry terminal to Catalina Island. What makes Long Beach a romantic destination is the Titanic’s sister ship, Queen Mary, floating in the harbor.

Our Concierge Choice property is none other than the Queen Mary. Not only do you have the opportunity to book an estate room from the gilded era of ocean travel, but you can experience Queen Mary’s unique amenities. The QM offers everything from tours of the Titanic Museum to one of the best Sunday brunches in Orange County. The ship is also one of the most haunted places in the world. From ghost tours to séances, to the epic (and gregarious) Dark Harbor festivities that run all through September and October, you can indulge in Queen Mary’s haunted past.

Romantic Island Escapes to Catalina / Hotel Vista Del Mar

Photo Credit: Hotel Vista Del Mar.

The town of Avalon on Catalina Island is a little slice of Mediterranean paradise that’s a short ferry ride away from the hustle and bustle of LA. Many people come to Catalina Island to just relax. Maybe get a spa treatment or search the bars for the best Buffalo Milk (a local alcoholic specialty). Many people come to the island to do nothing at all.

However, an active couple can find plenty to do. You can hike or bike on the trails above the town or try diving at Casino Point. There’s ziplining, kayaking, and glass-bottom boats too. You have almost every beach activity available except surfing since Avalon’s beaches face the leeward side of the island.

Our Concierge Choice property for Catalina Island is the Hotel Vista Del Mar, Avalon’s finest oceanfront hotel. One of Avalon’s unique charms is that it’s pretty much car-free, which is lovely at times but terribly inconvenient if your hotel is up the hill or around the bend. The Vista Del Mar is ideally situated in the heart of everything, and super cute to boot.

Be sure to check out the romance package, which includes round trip transportation to the island and a bottle of Champagne upon arrival. It’s based on a courtyard stay, but you might want to upgrade to an ocean view for an extra special occasion.

Romantic Getaways for Wine Lovers in Temecula / South Coast Winery

Photo Credit: South Coast Winery Resort Spa.

Temecula is the southernmost wine region in California. More than 40 wineries dot the valley. Of course, there’s wine tasting and delicious dining, but there’s outdoor entertainment as well. An active couple could wake up early for a balloon ride and take a bike tour through the vineyards in the afternoon. On select summer evenings, there are even concerts and theater under the stars.

Many wineries in Temecula offer regular acoustic performances as well. Just imagine watching the sunset, sipping a glass of wine, and gazing at the panoramic rolling vineyard hills as the music plays in the background.

Our Concierge Choice property for Temecula is South Coast Winery Resort & Spa. This Spanish Colonial masterpiece sits on 63 acres of sun kissed vineyards. You can upgrade to an 1150 sq. ft villa complete with a private patio and in-room deep soaking tub or try out a couples massage at the spa. Music lovers should check out the Rhythm on the Vine lineup to see anything that strikes their fancy.

Nobody should leave without trying a meal at the Vineyard Rose Restaurant, which offers California cuisine crafted to perfection.

Sexy Siesta South of the Border in Tecate / Hotel Boutique Rancho Tecate

Photo Credit: Rancho Tecate.

We’ve alluded to the Mexican influence in Southern California, so why not cross the border and experience it in person? Of course, you’ll need insurance, but the crossing at Tecate is so much better than Tijuana. Once you’re on the other side, you can take a mini Baja Road trip through La Ruta del Vino or board the excursion train that runs through the breathtaking desert to Tijuana.

If you’re a really adventurous couple with a high clearance vehicle, you could continue on to camp at Guadalupe Canyon Hot Springs. It’s a whole new world south of the border, but still so close to Southern California.

Our Concierge Choice property for Tecate is the Hotel Boutique Rancho Tecate. Since 1893, this property was a horse ranch that has grown into a winery and resort. The sprawling property features lakes, oak trees, and sidewalks through the vineyards for hiking and biking. They’ll even rent you a bike and pack a picnic for you to eat as you explore the grounds. Most importantly, when you come to Mexico, pack your sense of adventure. If you spend your time worrying about how it’s different from America instead of exploring a new culture, then you’re bound to have a bad trip.

Wrapping Up the Most Romantic Getaways in Southern California

Photo Credit: Couple at Sunset Cliffs.

Whether you’re an active couple, or just looking for a romantic getaway, we hope we have provided both the inspiration and the tools to plan your own couples escape. Southern California is so much more than breathtaking beaches. From the mountains to the sea, there’s plenty of romance to be found in Southern California.