Romantic Getaways In Northern California

romantic getaways in Northern California

Whether you’re celebrating an anniversary, St. Valentine’s Day, honeymoon, or just want some romantic getaways in Northern California, you can rest assured there are a lot of perfect options available.

You don’t really need any excuse to go for a short drive (3 hours or less from San Francisco) out of town and kick that love fire up a couple of notches with some amazing places and things that will create the right mood.

Northern California getaways for couples - landscape

If you and your significant other are looking for a place to go on a romantic getaway, look no further than the great northern California.

There is so much to do here that it is hard to narrow down just one thing.

However, there are some things that stand out more than others such as wine tasting or glamping in the redwood trees.

Whatever you decide to do together in this beautiful area of California is sure to be memorable and will strengthen your bond with one another.

Our Top 6 Spots For Romantic Getaways In Northern California

No matter what time of year you go, these exquisite locations will deliver the finest setting for activating passion and romance.

With so many options for things to do based on your couple personality and taste, you will fill an incredible weekend away with great memories and all those warm and fuzzy feelings!

1. Soak It All In With A Visit To Calistoga

Get some your blood pumping and a healthy dose of oxygen hiking the Palisades trail. It’s an 11-mile trail great for experiences hikers looking for amazing views of Napa Valley.

Exploring the landscape of Calistoga is a perfect activity for outdoor adventurer couples.

Romantic Getaways Norther California - mineral water bath

After that hike (or for those that are tired just thinking about it) take advantage of Calistoga’s mineral water.

Sink into a mud bath and then soak in a tub with your sweetie for the ultimate couple’s relaxation experience.

Book a couple’s spa packages and just melt the day away together.

Make sure to book a nice bed and breakfast so there’s no rush to go anywhere. Who wants to sit in a car after that? Right?

Northern California Romantic Getaway - Spa

For the sightseeing enthusiasts, the Petrified Forest and Old Faithful are fun excursion to fill up your day.

2. Wine, Hot Air Balloon And Romantic Train Rides In Napa

Wanna sit back and enjoy a multi-course gourmet meal and see some gorgeous scenery zip past your window? No driving involved on your part.

Northern California getaways for couples - Napa Wine Train

Take the Napa Valley Wine Train.

The ride goes by vineyards and wineries with the charming Napa landscape in the backdrop as you indulge in plate after plate of scrumptious food.

You and your darling will have smiles on your faces the entire way. And, yes, there is also wine involved!

Northern California getaways for couples

No visit to Napa is complete without a taking a winery tour. There are some one of a kind wineries with unique architecture to see in Napa.

Don’t forget to do a tasting once the tour is over for the ultimate treat!

romantic getaways in Northern California - Napa Winery

Leave some time for an early morning hot air balloon ride. You might want to arrange your itinerary so you’re doing this before an evening filled with wine!

Gliding over the Napa Valley is as picturesque as it gets!

Don’t worry about being scared up there, just hold your partner close and enjoy the breathtaking beauty of the sunrise over this magnificent landscape!

romantic getaways Northern California - Napa Hot Air Balloon Ride

Other things to add to your romantic getaway to Napa should include:

  • Dining at Michelin Star restaurants in the area
  • Swing by the local art galleries
Northern California getaways for couples - Wine Train Food

3. Enjoy Sausalito’s Charming Ambience

A visit to Sausalito is one of my personal favorites when I’m in the Bay Area. If you don’t want to venture too far from San Francisco, Sausalito is the perfect day or weekend getaway.

Getting to Sausalito is where the fun and romance begins. We recommend you ride the ferry from San Francisco. You can every plan a day in San Francisco!

Start your trip at the Ferry Building market which offers a selection of gourmet shops and artisanal bakeries for the foodie couple.

Then, hop on the ferry for a fun ride with romantic views of the Golden Gate Bridge and The Bay Bridge as well as other famous spots like Alcatraz as you cross The Bay into Sausalito.

romantic getaways in Northern California - Sausalito

Enjoy your time in charming Sausalito by:

  1. Dining At waterfront restaurants
  2. Taking a romantic and very scenic stroll along the Bridgeway.
  3. Enjoying some peaceful together time at Plaza Viña Del Mar Fountain and Park.

This quaint and charming seaside village offers a laid back atmosphere full of fun shopping and good eats for the couple looking to have a great time connecting with each other.

Where to stay in Sausalito: Cavallo Point

4. Halfmoon Bay Activities For Couples

If you and your sweetie aren’t the beach bum types, maybe going for some horseback riding on the beach is more suitable.

Romantic Getaways Norther California - Halfmoon Bay

The outdoor adventurous types might take delight in walking hand in hand on the Half Moon Bay Coastal Trail.

This fantastic stretch running parallel with the coast gives you the most superb views of the Pacific Ocean and all the beautiful nature surrounding it.

For a really unique and totally different experience, you can take a tour at Harley Farms and get up close to some really cute goats while experiencing what farm life is like.

After learning about cheesemaking and checking out the pastures, head over to the farm shop for some delightful things to take back home to enjoy together.

5. Bonus Romantic Location: Capitola

There is nothing more romantic than taking a walk on the beach.

The sound of the waves as they crash onto the shore and the salty smell in the air makes for such an enchanting atmosphere.

Capitola has some amazing beaches where you can take your loved one for a romantic stroll. If you are looking to do something different, there are plenty of other things to do here as well!

When it comes to romance, every couple is unique and likes different things so we will list some possible activities that couples might enjoy:

  1. Take a long walk on one of our beautiful beaches
  2. Visit downtown Santa Cruz or Capitola Village
  3. Have dinner at Shadowbrook Restaurant for a real unique treat

6. Big Sur Nature And Luxury Romance

romantic getaways Northern California - Big Sur Couples

We suggest taking the Coast Highway and maybe stopping in at Monterey and Carmel-By-The-Sea on your way down to Big Sur.

It is the farthest spot on our list from San Francisco, but hey, sometimes you really want to get away!

Stop by Nepenthe for a delicious lunch with the dreamiest views!

romantic getaways in Northern California - Nepenthe Big Sur

Some other points of interest in Big Sur include:

  1. McWay Waterfall & Beach
  2. Bixby Canyon Bridge
  3. Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park Picnic and Hike

You can even get a full day guided tour with transportation included if you don’t want the hassle and distraction of having to drive yourself!

romantic getaways Northern California - McWay Waterfall

Don’t worry, though, you’ll find one of the most romantic hotels Northern California to spend the night in Big Sur whether you want to stay the weekend or just one night before you head back.

romantic hotels Northern California - glamping Big Sur

However, you can go for the absolute experience of luxury at their resort.

Complete with a spa, fantastic restaurant, and Japanese hot baths, Ventana Resort offers fantastic accommodations for the love retreat you need.

We celebrated my birthday here and had an unforgettable time!

Now Go Get Away In Northern California!

With all of these great getaways for couples in Northern California, which one would you choose? Maybe even try them all out, each on a different weekend or occasion.

When you need a break from the daily grind, there are plenty of romantic getaways close to home.

One example is Calistoga and Napa in northern California.

This area offers an abundance of wineries with scenic views that will help bring your date back to reality after hours spent tasting wine or relaxing at spa treatments.

Another option for an intimate escape is Big Sur and Sausalito – this destination features dramatic ocean scenery, quaint restaurants on wharf fronts, cozy inns on cliffsides overlooking crashing waves below, plus everything else one would expect from a coastal vacation spot.

Which areas have caught your eye? Make sure to book one of the suggested accommodations and plan that trip now!

There’s a romantic getaway that’s a bit farther in you’re up for it. You can see Yosemite in one day if you’re willing to make the drive.

There’s also some fun things to do for couple in Las Vegas, but that might require a plane ticket.

Either way, get together with your honey and have a good time!

Here are some resources to make planning your trips easier:

Additional travel guides:

5 Northern California Getaways For Couples
3 responses
  1. Lauren Avatar

    That hot air balloon looks to die for. Being from Australia we have only been to the US once and Big Sur was closed when we were road tripping California. I was so devastated. Seeing this gives me more reason to get back to Big Sur with my soon to be husband :-). Thank you for sharing.

    1. Taiss Nowrouzi Avatar
      Taiss Nowrouzi

      Aww I remember when that road closed up due to storms and mudslides…Australia is a bit of a distance but I hope you can get back there soon!

  2. Anna Schaeffer Avatar
    Anna Schaeffer

    These all look so dreamy and romantic! Wow! Especially the hot air balloon ride. Great post! And great photos!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Hi! We’re Rob and Taiss. We set off to live a life in as many places as possible. To actually live in locations around the world long enough to get to know the locals, the culture, and the food, not just a taste of it.
More About Us banner
Viator banner