Not everyone’s idea of a romantic vacation involves chocolate-covered strawberries and a couple’s massage. We offer some unconventional getaway ideas to celebrate your love—no rose petals necessary.
Best destinations for: Super Foodies
If your entwined hearts are reached by way of your stomachs, splurge on one of these five chef’s table experiences, where you’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at some of California’s culinary masters. Or take some road trip advice from a star chef himself: Follow Chris Cosentino’s culinary trip through Wine Country or check out one of Tyler Florence’s favorite road trips. For a trip straight to the agricultural source, consider a tasting getaway around Butte County’s farms and vineyards. If you’re celebrating an important milestone, look no further than the 11-course tasting menu at Healdsburg’s SingleThread.
Best destinations for: Adrenaline Junkies
If you and your companion are into extreme adventures, California has endless possibilities for thrills. How about extreme kayaking or river rafting? Or perhaps flyboarding off Catalina Island, or a backcountry guided tour in the High Sierra, is more your speed.
Best destinations for: Star Wars Fans
You won’t be able to visit Disneyland’s Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge until 2019, but we have plenty of recommendations for only-in-California Star Wars experiences you can enjoy in the meantime. Plan your trip based on your favorite character with California Vacations for Star Wars Icons or check out these nine options for a DIY Star Wars Vacation.
Best destinations for: Desert Dwellers
Looking for some serious alone time? Head to one of California’s desert locales for some bonding time in true isolation. Stay at one of these quirky desert hotels, explore the oddball trees and rocky formations at Joshua Tree National Park or experience the lowest point on earth at the mesmerizing Death Valley National Park. From February to April, use our guide to spot these nine spectacular desert wildflowers.
Best destinations for: Sun Seekers
You’ve come to the right place—California has quite the diverse collection of perfect beaches. To get you started, consider these recommendations for the best beaches in San Diego, Orange County, and the North Coast. For a romantic sunset viewing, you can’t go wrong by heading to one of these spots in La Jolla, strolling the scenic bluff path at Carmel Beach, or snapping a shot at one of the top Los Angeles locations for sunset photos.
Best destinations for: Tree Huggers
California is home to both the tallest and largest trees in the world, so forest lovers can take their pick. Head four hours north of San Francisco to wander around the gigantic redwoods and hike through fern-covered canyons—here’s our Insider’s Guide to the Redwood Coast. You'll find the world's largest tree at Sequioa & Kings Canyon National Parks, where you can also crawl through a cave, sleep under the stars, or climb to the top of a granite dome.
Best destinations for: Craft Beer Connoisseurs
The Golden State has more than 850 breweries (and counting), so beer lovers have a wealth of options. These California Destination Breweries should be some of the first on your beer bucket-list, but it doesn’t end there. Taste your way through the “Beer-muda Triangle” in Yolo County, get a tour at the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company in Chico, or time your visit to score a limited edition Pliny the Younger triple IPA at Russian River Brewing Company.
Best destinations for: Outdoor Enthusiasts
Discover one of these 7 epic outdoor adventures, which include Yosemite National Park, Lake Tahoe, and Lassen Volcanic National Park. Hike off the beaten path and find the Bridge to Nowhere, backpack the Lost Coast, or trek to the hidden Phantom Falls at Table Mountain (late autumn to early spring) in Oroville.