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Big Bear Lake
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Chad McDonald Big Bear Lake

Best romantic getaways from LA

Take your significant other on one of these top romantic getaways from LA for some quality one-on-one time

By Stephanie Morino

Looking to book a trip for two? You don't have to go far for some fun quality time with your significant other. From the best beaches to the mountains, Southern California is ripe for romantic getaways. So whether you're in the middle of wedding planning or you're still feeling that high from your first date, grab the cutie in your life and head to one of these romantic destinations.  

Top romantic getaways from LA

Mother's Day Brunch at Terranea Resort
Photograph: Courtesy Terranea Resort

2. Rancho Palos Verdes

Sure, all of Rancho Palos Verdes is beautiful. But when we say that Rancho Palos Verdes is a top romantic getaway, we really have one particular place in mind: TerraneaSituated on an oceanside bluff, the picturesque resort is a Mecca of relaxation and resort life—it boasts a nine-hole golf course, spa, four pools (including adult-only), and eight—count 'em, eight—restaurants. Take a romantic stroll along the bluffs and there's a good chance you'll see a whale or two in the distance. Accommodations range from the usual rooms and suites to larger, more luxurious bungalows, casitas and villas. 

Catalina Island, and the slow pace of island time, is just a short ferry ride away.
Photograph: Kate Wertheimer

3. Catalina

Things to do

What's more romantic than heading off to a secluded island? Okay, Catalina may not be secluded, but the island has romance written all over it. From ocean-view hikes, kayaking and plenty of bed and breakfasts, this quiant island is a nice getaway without being too inconvienent or expensive.

Ojai, CA
Photograph: Ken Lund/flickr

4. Ojai

Things to do

Ojai is home to one of the most romantic restaurants in America—no, really, the Ranch House was named one of the top 100 romantic restaurants in America by OpenTable in 2014. And the lush, garden-like atmosphere is the cherry on top of a delicious menu. But that's not the only reason Ojai is such a great a romantic destination. Small hotels like the Hummingbird Inn make for lovely stays for couples. Take a hike, have a spa day, walk through an orange grove or go wine tasting—whatever you choose, Ojai is ripe for romance.

Santa Barbara
Photograph: Shutterstock

5. Santa Barbara

Things to do

Spanish architecture, world-class restaurants, beautiful beaches—what more could you want? Santa Barbara can be as romantic as you want to make it—and as expensive. Stay on State Street at Hotel Santa Barbara, on the beach at a swanky resort hotel or a hidden ranch in the foothills. Go wine tasting at one of the many wineries or tasting rooms in the area, rent bikes on the beach, go to the zoo or just take in the beautiful views. Whatever you do, your significant other is sure to swoon.

Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/Luca Nebuloni

6. Big Sur

The six hour drive up Southern California's beautiful coast to Big Sur is beautiful in its own right, but once you get to your destination, the romance amps up. Completely unplug and stay in a cliffside yurt at Treebone Resort, or rough it even more at one of the many beaufitul campgrounds in the area—we recommend Kirk Creek Campground. Take a day trip up to Carmel or stick around and take a midnight dip at the oceanside Esalen Hot Springs or embark on one of many hikes with beautiful outlooks featuring a view of the entire coastline.

Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Chad McDonald

7. Big Bear

If your idea of romance is cuddling up by a fire in cabin in the woods as the snow falls outside, Big Bear is your closest bet. If you're looking to rent a cabin, you can try AirBnB or local vacation rental businesses like Big Bear Cabins. If you're looking for activities to do, hit the slopes (depending what time of year you go) or throw on your hiking shoes. There's also horseback riding and a myriad of lake activities in the spring, summer and fall.

Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Prayitno

8. Solvang

If the atmosphere of rolling green hills and wineries isn't enough to get you in a romantic mood, this quaint Danish town also boasts wine tasting, craft beer rooms, horseback riding, the Solvang Festival Theater from June to September and so much more. While summer is a good time to visit, Christmas is especially romantic thanks to the Solvang Julefest. Think: stealing a kiss under Christmas lights during the tree lighting.


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