Romantic Getaways

Cambria is an uncrowded seaside gem. Be sure to visit downtown Cambria. PHOTO COURTESY VISIT CALIFORNIA

As luck would have it, Valentine’s Day falls on a Friday in 2020. It’s the perfect time to make this year’s “Most Romantic Day of the Year” a special occasion by planning a long weekend getaway.

California offers a variety of unique, romantic destinations to explore with your “significant other.” Consider visiting one of these unique romantic getaways during this “off-season” weekend:

Charming Cambria


This uncrowded seaside gem may be the ultimate romantic getaway.

Things to do:

Walk Moonstone Beach. n idyllic spot to stroll along the sand, or on the boardwalk, while taking in the gorgeous horizon. 

Visit Cambria’s historic East Village.  hese beautifully maintained buildings date back to the 1800s. It is the perfect dining and shopping destination.  

Wine tasting at Fermentations. ample award-winning regional wines. 

Take a historic walking tour. eveloped by the Cambria Historical Society, the tour has 28 stops exploring back to when Cambria was a bustling mining town. 

Visit La Cuesta Encantada, or “The Enchanted Hill.” his is home to one of America’s most impressive National Landmarks: Hearst Castle.

Victorian Village of Ferndale


Only five miles from the Pacific Ocean, the quaint and cozy village of Ferndale is renowned for its old-fashioned Americana. The town’s Main Street is lined with beautifully restored Victorian-
era buildings.

Ferndale is located in quiet Humboldt County and tucked away between the California Redwoods and Humboldt Bay. With only 1,300 residents, Ferndale is the perfect, restful romantic getaway. 

Things to do: 

Take a scenic drive along the Lost Coast. he Lost Coast is California’s only coastal wilderness, where no development or major roads come near the ocean. This wild and spectacular scenic drive starts in Ferndale and runs through high alpine forests, to the water’s edge, along the northern edge of King Range and then to the redwoods of Humboldt Redwoods State Park. Road can be narrow, windy and bumpy in places.

Visit Humboldt Botanical Garden. ounded in 1991, with the goal of being a world class botanical garden, the 44.5-acre gardens are home to a diverse collection representing Mediterranean and Pacific Marine species. 

Ferndale history. his tiny dairy town is home to some of the most ornate, well-preserved Victorian architecture in the United States; in fact, the entire town resides on the Register of Historic Places. Step back in time with the magnificent facades of Main Street’s Painted Ladies and neighborhoods lined with row after row of Queen Anne, Eastlake-Stick, Italianate, neoclassic, bungalow and mission-style homes.

Visit the Mind’s Eye Manufactory and Coffee Lounge. njoy organic espresso from locally roasted coffee beans, then explore the creative maker’s space of the Manufactory, home to craftspeople and artists. 

Ferndale’s Victorian-era inns and quaint bed-and-breakfast hotels. hey are perfectly suited for romance:

The Gingerbread Mansion Inn, an elegant High Victorian edifice with an ornate facade and a plush interior featuring period furniture and decor.

The Victorian Inn dates back to 1890. The boutique hotel offers a fine-dining restaurant and authentic furnishings.

The Shaw House Inn has the distinction of being California’s first bed & breakfast hotel. It is a lovely Victorian house surrounded by an acre of tranquil, tree-shaded grounds and private stretch of coastline.

The Hotel Ivanhoe, built in the 1870s, is one of the oldest hotels in the West. The hotel has a casual restaurant and guest rooms that are well appointed with Victorian antiques.

Unspoiled Half Moon Bay


Visiting Half Moon Bay, 30 miles south of San Francisco, is like escaping to another world. The diverse landscape encompasses miles of wide sandy beaches, lush bluff-top meadows, fog-shrouded cliffs, deep-green cypress groves and rolling forested hills. This sleepy fishing town is a slow-paced coastal community famous for unspoiled beaches and scenic hiking trails.

Things to do:

Visit Half Moon Bay State Beach. he weather can be windy and misty, but the dramatic scenery is worth the trip. 

Explore historic Main Street. on’t miss the bridge over Pilarcitos Creek, at the north end of Main Street. This bridge was among the first steel-reinforced concrete bridges in the world.

The Mill Rose Inn (built in 1901). his is the most romantic place to stay in Half Moon Bay with exquisite guest rooms featuring antiques and vintage-inspired decor. 

Visit Pillar Point Harbor. ith docks of colorful fishing boats and charming waterfront eateries, this cozy, seaside hamlet offers a taste of New England. 

Hike Gray Whale Cove Trail, one mile each way. his hike promises to “take your breath away.” Below you, the Pacific Ocean crashes against granite outcrops. To the north, looms gray-green San Pedro Mountain and inland views of pristine Montara Mountain.

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