California is home to some of the most romantic places in the USA. Northern California in particular is a perfect destination for couples who enjoy the great outdoors and getting out in nature. From watching sunsets by the ocean to toasting each other in the valleys and hiking in the mountains, there are loads of wonderful spots in NorCal. Looking to escape to the Golden State with your special someone? Here are some of the most romantic getaways in Northern California.
7 Romantic Getaways in Northern California
1. Napa Valley, California
With an abundance of picturesque views, great gourmet and, of course, charming vineyards, the Napa Valley is one of the most romantic places in Northern California. Spend a few leisurely days with your loved one sipping on some of the best wines in the country whilst roaming from one magnificent vineyard to the next. Want to take the romance up a notch? Enjoy a hot air balloon ride across the beautiful valley or take the wine train through the heart of wine country and into the heart of your companion. Top it off by staying in an incredibly romantic wine hotel or an exclusive ranch where you can cosy up by roaring log fires, relax in outdoor hot tubs and sleep in regal four-poster beds.
2. Carmel-by-the Sea, Monterey County
Carmel-by-the-Sea is a charming beach city brimming with character and style. It has fairytale cottages, secret passageways, quirky boutiques, cosy hotels and lovely waterside restaurants – perfect ingredients for a wonderful romantic getaway in Northern California. From the town, it is just a short walk to one of the best beaches in Northern California, which is adorned with cypress trees with distinctive wind-sculpted branches. It’s the perfect spot to sink into the soft sand or splash about in the clear enjoying salty kisses with your beloved.
3. Lake Tahoe
If you are a couple who likes to stay active on holiday, then book a break to Lake Tahoe. Did you know that Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in North America? It’s also the second deepest lake in America and one of the clearest lakes in the world. With 75 miles of shoreline, you’ll easily find a perfect spot to chill out with your special someone. There are lots of tracks and trails to explore in the surrounding forested mountains. As you can see, Lake Tahoe is a romantic place for couples to get swept up in nature, as well as each other.
4. Mammoth Lakes
Situated high in the Sierra Nevada mountains, Mammoth Lakes is breathtakingly beautifully all year round. It’s incredibly romantic in the summer when wildflowers blanket the meadows and the valleys are verdant and lush. It is a wonderful place to bask in nature and bask in each other’s company whilst hiking, picnicking and dipping in the refreshing water. In winter, it is a wonderland where couples ski together all day before cosying up by the fire at night.
5. Russian River Secret Spot
Located an hour’s drive north of San Francisco, the pretty town of Healdsburg is the meeting point of three of California’s most famous wine valleys. So, therefore, it is the perfect place for romantic escapades in the wineries. Healdsburg is also where you’ll find the Russian River Secret Spot. This is a special, secluded swimming hole where you and your loved one can splash around and have a good time surrounded by the beauty of nature. When you get this place to yourself, it can be a very romantic spot, especially if you bring a picnic. There’s even a ‘secret’ island that you can both swim out to for some alone time. To get to the swimming hole, you have to tackle a steep, but thankfully short hike. The refreshing dip is so much more rewarding after the hard trek.
6. Sonoma County
Just an hour’s drive north of San Francisco, Sonoma County is a bucolic landscape of rolling, vine-covered hills. It is an idyllic romantic getaway for couples who want to enjoy a more relaxed pace and get active in nature. There are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy, for instance, hiking, mountain biking, and hot-air balloon rides. Whilst here, you can also stay in one of the most romantic hotels in the world, the Farmhouse Inn Forestville. This retreat in Sonoma County has a Michelin star restaurant and cosy rooms with a nightly turndown service with homemade cookies and milk. There is also a luxury spa, pool with a hot tub, outdoor fire pits, and beautiful gardens.
Nestled amongst the dairy farms of Northern California’s Humboldt County the charming village of Ferndale is old-fashioned Americana personified. The village is home to over 200 beautifully restored Victorian buildings, as well as historic hotels and inns. All of which are perfectly suited for romantic getaways. The most historic accommodation in town is The Shaw House, California’s first bed-and-breakfast hotel.