A Dozen Romantic Getaways
The real California “hot spots”!
WANTED: A special place for a romantic escape. Scenic, natural surroundings required. Must be lavished with sensual creature comforts. Obliging yet unobtrusive service preferred.
Does this imaginary classified ad sound like something you might have written? If so, we’re answering your cry for help with a dozen of the best places in California for a romantic weekend—choice spots bound to inspire relaxation and heartfelt moments. (No need to thank us—an emailed photo of your happy, rejuvenated selves will do!) To help you prepare, see our Tips for a Romantic Getaway.
- Inn at Schoolhouse Creek, Little River
- Solage Calistoga, Calistoga
- Hotel Vitale, San Francisco
- Ventana Inn & Spa, Big Sur
- Cambria Pines Lodge, Cambria
- Sycamore Mineral Springs, San Luis Obispo
The rugged coastline of Mendocino, famous for its crashing surf and misty twilight, has a Gothic wildness known to stir elemental desires. In dynamic counterpoint, the Inn at Schoolhouse Creek, with its featherbeds, fireplaces and oceanview hot tubs, is your cozy haven after a brisk forest hike or hand-in-hand amble through the Inn’s flourishing gardens.
At this new Wine Country eco-resort, picturesque environs, gourmet sustenance and the art of spa combine to release worldly tensions and weave a sense of togetherness. You and your significant other can experience the healing tingle of essential oil-enhanced mud treatments at Solage’s signature Mud Bar & Bathhouse. Later, from your private cabana, it’s just steps to the geo-thermally heated pool. Your guest cottage even has a pebbled shower floor, tempting you to linger in your bain à deux.
Sultry lighting, warm wood accents and fresh lavender scattered throughout lend a soft patina to this modern urban oasis, overlooking San Francisco’s revitalized Embarcadero waterfront. Couples can enjoy side-by-side massages, followed by a deep-tub soak on Vitale’s garden rooftop surrounded by a dramatic Bay vista. Your view-filled guest suite is your nesting sanctuary from which to sample indulgences like rainforest showers and 440-thread count linens…and of course, relaxing alone time.
It’s impossible not to be moved by the staggering beauty of Big Sur, which embraces Ventana Inn & Spa. Throughout your stay, you and your significant other experience a cascade of sensory delights: the layered fragrance of wild herbs, pine forests and sweet jasmine; a breathtaking coastal panorama; and the mating songs of native birds. The environs may be rustic, but Ventana’s rooms are luxurious perfection. A clothing-optional pool and open-air Japanese soak tubs are a fitting prelude to passion-filled evenings.
The artist’s village of Cambria is known for pristine beaches, rugged hiking trails and the garden paradise of Cambria Pines Lodge. Set on a forested knoll overlooking Moonstone Beach, the comfortably quaint Lodge is a welcome escape from day-to-day worries. Exploring the Lodge’s lovely themed gardens naturally turns one’s attention to the birds and bees, and whether you and your sweetie reserve a rustic cabin or a fireplace suite, the Lodge makes an inspiring setting for your own passion play.
In the wooded hillsides above Avila Beach lies Sycamore Mineral Springs, a natural haven for metaphysical connections, as well as more earthly pleasures. Stroll together through the Meditation Gardens Labyrinth and contemplate the meaning of it all, or lounge in your private redwood hot tub following decadent spa treatments. The resort’s West Meadows Suites offer ultimate privacy amidst a flowering glen. Culinary Bonus: The Gardens of Avila restaurant, which has consistently been voted “Most Romantic on the Central Coast.”