Romantic Places in California
San Francisco Bay Area
European style cities and villages, deep blue waters, a golden bridge, and vast areas of natural wilderness.
The golden side of the Golden Gate. Across the Golden Gate Bridge, this arty hill-coated haven combines the quaint and alluring with the mighty and majestic. A landscape graced by the Bay Area’s tallest mountain peak and boasting water views every-which-way-you-look, beautiful Marin County prides itself on its organic and sustainable lifestyle.
Muir Beach, California
T: +1 (415) 363-6000. 7 rooms. US$ 195-
Captures the spirit of l6th century England’s west country; rooms have draped tester beds, Turkish rugs and old world antiques. Located in Golden Gate National Park, between the ocean and the giant redwoods of Muir Woods.
Mountain Home Inn
810 Panoramic Drive
Mill Valley, California
T: +1 (415) 381-9000. 10 rooms. US$ 195-
Perched high on a Mt. Tamalpais ridgeline between the ocean and San Francisco Bay, this Northern California romantic hotel overlooks quaint woodsy villages, S,F, Bay and distant mountain peaks. Trailheads right outside its door lead into Muir Woods and Mt, Tam parks.
East meets West in this vibrant bohemian city.
2160 Green St.
San Francisco, California
T: +1 415 563 3600. 14 rooms, US$ 375-
Elegant romantic hotel located in residential San Francisco neighborhood. (Note: this house has been bought by the Ann and Gordon Getty family and may be permanently removed from the hotel market.)
California’s premier wine-growing regions offer top restaurants and intimate lodgings.
11775 Sonoma Hwy.
Glen Ellen, Sonoma, California
T: +1 707 996-6501 5 rooms, b&b. US$ 150-
Step back in California’s history at this rustic white clapboard farmhouse with a wrap-around veranda, set among the peaceful Sonoma vineyard countryside. Antique cast-iron beds, local artwork and breakfast made with eggs laid by the ranch’s chickens. Owned by the fourth-generation descendants.
Auberge du Soleil
180 Rutherford Hill Road
Rutherford, Napa, California T: +1 (707) 963-1211. 50 rooms; US$ 295- www.aubergedusoleil.com
Luxury Mediterranean-style California hotel in the heart of the Napa wine country.
Northern California coastal community favored by artists.
Olson Lane Mendocino, CA
T: +1 (707) 937-0241. 6 room b&b. US$ 120-
1976 farmhouse surrounded by gardens and trees and found at the end of a quiet country lane. Just 1.5 miles from the artsy town of Mendocino, its setting has a special appeal for sun lovers: the inland location keeps it out of the fog most of the time.
“This park is a paradise that makes even the loss of Eden seem insignificant”. John Muir
Yosemite National Park 123 rooms. US$ 366-
A grand national park hotel built with towering beams and massive stone hearths.
Chateau du Sureau
48688 Victoria Lane
T: +1 (209) 683-6860. 9 rooms. US$ 250-
Provencal-style manor house located near south entrance of Yosemite National Park.
Post Ranch Inn
Big Sur, California
T: +1 831 667 2200. 30 rooms, US$ 700-
High end rusticity in a dramatic coastal setting 1,200 feet above the Pacific.
Carmel Couutry Inn
Dolores St. at Third Ave.
T: + 1 831 625-3263. 10 room b&b. US$ 225-
The most pet friendly b&b in charming Carmel. Cozy room and spacious suites with luxury surroundings.
Cass House Inn
222 N. Ocean Ave. Cayucos, CA
T: +1 805 995-3669. 5 room inn & restaurant.$165-
Former 1867 Sea Captain’s home located within walking distance of the beach and shops in a small surfing town, Freshly renovated with William Morris prints, Schumacher textiles and arts & crafts detailing, the romantic hotel is run by identical twins and their husbands, a chef and wine specialist.
A photogenic sea of surf, hills, and Mission-revival styled buildings.
Simpson House Inn
121 East Arrellaga St.
Santa Barbara, California
T: +1 805 963 7067. 14 rooms, US$ 160-
This Southern California romantic getaway is an elegant 1874 Eastlake home, with period Victorian antiques. Secluded within an acre of tall hedges, stone walls, lawn and gardens, a five minute walk from downtown Santa Barbara.
San Ysidro Ranch
900 San Ysidro Lane
T:+1 (805) 969-5046. 44 rooms; US$ 375-
John and Jackie Kennedy spent a romantic honeymoon here in a bungalow hideaway amidst the orange trees and eucalpytus in the Montecito foothills of Santa Barbara.
The lowest and hottest place in the western hemisphere (in 1913 temperatures reached 134° F), it received its name from 49er gold miners who succumbed to the temptation to use it as a short cut to the Sierra gold fields. Today it is a national park and its stark desert beauty draws a million visitors a year.
Furnace Creek Inn & Ranch Resort
Death Valley, California
T: +1 (619) 786-2345. 66 rooms; US$ 235-
A garden oasis with sweeping views of salt flats.
Noted for its Mission and midcentury modern architecture. During its heyday—the 1920’s through 1950’s—legendary Hollywood stars from Barrymore to the Rat Pack made Palm Springs their second home. Its decline thereafter help freeze in time its midcentury look and the town is undergoing a preservation revival today.
Willows Historic Palm Springs Inn
412 W. Tahquitz Canyon Way
Palm Springs, California
T: +1 619 320 0771. US$ 250-
1927 Mediterranean style villa. When it was still a private home, guests included the honeymooning Clark Gable and Carole Lombard.
Palm Springs, California
T: +1 760 864-6411.US$ 175-
Originally built in the 1920’s to recreate the Tangier ambience of its artist owner’s Moroccan years.
1330 E. Palm Canyon Drive
Palm Springs, California
T: +1 760 327-2300. 20 rooms. $100-
This former 1950’s motor lodge has been expertly recreated by the couple that founded the Korakia Hotel into a stylish old-time ranch hotel with rusted tin roofs, vintage swiss army blankets and a salt water pool. There’s a no-kids policy but dogs are allowed.
Colony Palms Hotel
572 N. Indian Canyon Road
Palm Springs, CA
T: +1 760 969-1800. US$ 190-
Avoid the poolside hotels filled with children and stay at this hip romantic hotel boasting a large pool and excellent restaurant.
Bel-Air, Los Angeles
Exclusive L.A. suburb.
701 Stone Canyon Rd.
T: +1 310 472 1211. 103 rooms, US$ 575-
Located on eleven acres, scattered villas containing 4-10 rooms and suites each.
Combines California character and Mediterranean charm, located coastside just north of San Diego.
La Valencia Hotel
1132 Prospect Street
La Jolla, California
T: +1 858 454 0771. 117 rooms. US$ 300-
La Jolla’s landmark “pink beauty” building evokes European charm.
Eight craggy rock islands spread out off the Southern California coast; the northern five making up the Channel Islands National Park. The islands are popular with California’s hiking, diving and kayaking set. Marine life found there includes the endangered blue whale, the largest animal living on earth.
A 75 minute catamaran ride from Newport Beach brings you to Avalon, a cobblestone town and harbor on California’s largest island.
Inn on Mt. Ada
Catalina Island, Channel Islands, CA
T: +1 310 510 2030. US$ 330-
Once the summer home of chewing gum magnate William Wrigley, this romantic mansion has panoramic views over the harbor and sea.