11 Romantic California Getaways for Valentine’s Day

romantic getaways for valentines day

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner! Jason and I rotate staying in and going big every year for Valentine’s Day. We’ve had some wonderful experiences all over California celebrating this silly holiday. Based on our experiences, I wanted to give you our best 11 romantic California getaways for Valentine’s Day.

If you’re a California local, most of these places should be a quick drive or short plane ride away, making them the perfect destinations to pack your bags and run off to.

1. Big Bear Lake, CA

If you or your partner are snow bunnies, then Big Bear is perfect this time of year. When it comes to Big Bear Lake, you never know when they will get their first snow. But fresh powder is almost always gauranteed in February!

For the perfect Valentine’s weekend, we recommend a day on the slopes followed by a couples massage, dinner, and ending the night with a glass of wine by the fire.

We recommend staying at one the awesome cabins offered by Midnight Moon Cabins. Their cabins are updated to a modern esthetic but still true to the cozy cabin feel.

Cabin in big bear with snow on the porch and ground. Big Bear Lake is  the perfect romantic California getaway for Valentine's Day.

2. Temecula, CA

Is your special someone a wine lover? Then Temecula is a great romantic California getaway for Valentine’s Day. Start your romantic weekend with a wine tasting tour that picks you up right from your hotel. Be sure to save room in your suitcase, as you’re sure to purchase a few bottles to bring home.

For extra brownie points this holiday weekend, surprise your honey with a sunrise hot air balloon ride. If that doesn’t say romance, then I don’t know what does.

Shot of a red and blue hot air balloon from underneath as it floats away.

3. San Diego, CA

San Diego is a place that typically comes to mind for summer vacations, but in reality this town is a great weekend destination year round. We’d recommend staying around Little Italy (because let’s be real, Italian’s know romance) and indulging in a great Italian dinner.

After dinner, take a walk hand in hand around town and in indulge in some gelato. The following day, you have to stop for lunch at Filippi’s Pizza Grotto to eat some of the best pizza in town and check out their decor.

End your trip with a boat ride to Coronado Island to walk off all the calories you’ve consumed on this trip. This destination is a perfect romantic California getaway for Valentine’s Day.

Aerial shot of San Diego in the background and Coronado Island in the foreground.

4. Santa Monica, CA

If you’re a lover of classic beach cities, it doesn’t get any better than Santa Monica. This is a great spot for a romantic weekend or even a one night stay.

We’d recommend dinner and a walk down the iconic Santa Monica Pier. Feel like a kid again by indulging in a few arcade games and rides. Once you and your partner have had your fill of the pier, visit one of the many breweries or cocktail bars for a nightcap.

Picture of the sun shining through the ferris wheel on the Santa Monica Pier. Santa Monica is  the perfect romantic California getaway for Valentine's Day.

5. San Francisco, CA

With all the things to do in San Francisco, we’d highly recommend staying for an entire week. However, if you only have a weekend and you’ve never been, be sure to stop at Fisherman’s Wharf and the Golden Gate Bridge.

In addition, be sure to spend the weekend exploring the town on the famous cable cars (they’re even designated as National Landmarks), and be sure to grab seafood at one of their many highly rated restaurants.

A picture of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco from underneath.

6. Santa Barbara, CA

For us, Santa Barbara has always meant passion and adventure. Meaning, it’s the perfect romantic California getaway for Valentine’s Day. Before we starting RVing, we would frequently sneak away to this beautiful beachside city. What more do you need than wine, the beach, and the cutest downtown you’ve ever seen?

Take a wine tour during the day (we’d recommend Dee from DeeTours of Santa Barbara), a quick nap, and then spoil your special person with a romantic dinner in Downtown Santa Barbara.

Man pouring red wine into a wine glass.

7. Palm Springs, CA

If the ocean or mountains aren’t exactly what you’re looking for, head to the desert! Depending on the vibe you’re going for, choose one of the many boutique hotels or resorts and0 spas throughout the town.

Since it’s Valentine’s weekend, we’d choose to splurge on a couples massage at a resort. While Palm Springs has an exciting main street, you don’t even have to leave your resort if you don’t want to! Feel free to order room service, take advantage of the resort amenities, and simply enjoy each other’s company.

Aerial shot of a golf course with towering mountains in the background, during sunset. Palm Springs, CA is  the perfect romantic California getaway for Valentine's Day.

8. Long Beach, CA

We’d recommend Long Beach for couples who truly love activities. You’ll find the Long Beach Aquarium, Whale Watching tours, the Queen Mary, beer tasting tours, and so much more in this bustling city.

We have partaken in all of the above activities in Long Beach and recommend them all. In fact, we love this destination so much; we even have a whole blog on it here. Even though this destination is packed full of adventures, it’s still a great romantic California getaway for Valentine’s Day.

The Queen Mary in Long Beach

9. Lake Tahoe, CA

If Big Bear Lake, CA got you excited, then Tahoe will set you over the edge. The atmosphere around Tahoe was made for outdoor enthusiasts.

In the month of February, you’ll find brisk weather, snow, and romance in Lake Tahoe. For our recommendation of places to stay and things to do, read it here.

Picture of the authors, Rae and Jason sitting on a ski lift on Heavenly Mountain. Lake Tahoe is the perfect romantic California getaway for Valentine's Day.

10. Catalina Island, CA

Catalina Island is high on our “definitely go back” list, so of course it made the cut for romantic California getaways for Valentine’s Day. Even the ferry ride over gives a sense of heading off to a grand adventure. Depending on which port you’re departing from, the ferry ride is about an hour.

Once you reach the island, settle into your hotel and take in the views. There’s plenty of restaurants overlooking the water, so you’re Valentine’s Day dinner can come with a spectacular scene.

If you’re the adventuring type, here’s what we recommend to do while you’re there.

Sunset on Catalina Island, CA over the water with multiple boats floating in the distance.

11. Napa Valley, CA

If you really want to impress your significant other, whisk them away to Napa Valley. If you’re a wine enthusiast then look no further, you’ve found your perfect Valentine’s weekend destination. 

Stay downtown or in one of the resorts in the surrounding areas; we’d recommend The Meritage Resort and Spa as their rooms were spacious and the property simply stunning.

Make reservations for dinner in Downtown Napa and be sure to set aside time for the Wine Train tour! The train offers many different lunch and dinner tours, as well as wine tasting tours. Quite the unique experience for those searching to impress their special someone this Valentine’s Day!

Close up shot of vineyards on a clear blue day. Napa is the perfect romantic California getaway for Valentine's Day.

Final Thoughts

Well, there it is folks! Whether it’s the adventure or relaxation that appeals to you, one of these destinations should inspire you to get out this Valentine’s Day. If you do end up choosing one of these locations or think we missed a great destination, let us know in the comments!

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