California Kisses: 5 Secluded Romantic Getaways

by | Feb 7, 2024 | Day Trips From Los Angeles, Destinations, Romantic Retreats, USA, West Coast

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Love is in the air, and California is the perfect place to find secluded romantic getaways that cater to every couple’s desire for romance and relaxation. From serene coastal towns to lofty mountain retreats, our Golden State provides everything couples could want, from a romantic cabin getaway to a hotel room at a luxurious retreat. Let’s explore five of the best romantic getaways in California, possibly even in the United States, promising everything from private island tranquility and luxury accommodations to outdoor activities and intimate wine tastings.

“I got me a car, it’s as big as a whale And we’re headin’ on down to the love shack I got me a Chrysler, it seats about twenty So hurry up and bring your jukebox money” -”Love Shack”, B52s

Los Angeles might be known for its bustling city life, but just a short road trip away, couples can find many love shacks perfect for couples looking for a little hideaway. Here are the five best romantic getaways near Los Angeles for a quick escape…




Catalina Island: An Intimate Retreat

Catalina Island, off the Southern California coast, is known for its rugged landscape and gorgeous ocean views making it one of the best places for a romantic weekend getaway. This private island offers couples the chance to bask in natural beauty. The coastline is marked by a series of coves and sandy beaches. Here, visitors can enjoy secluded beaches, snorkeling in crystal clear waters, and charming accommodations in the town of Avalon or the more secluded Two Harbors.

The island is just 22 miles in length and only 8 miles across at its widest point. Its highest peak, Mount Orizaba, has an elevation of more than 2,000 feet, accessible by a gorgeous, romantic 3-mile round-trip hike.

Getting to Catalina Island from Los Angeles can vary depending on the mode of transportation. The most common way to get to Catalina Island is by ferry. The ferry ride to Catalina Island typically departs from four mainland ports: San Pedro, Long Beach, Newport Beach, and Dana Point. The most popular departure points are San Pedro and Long Beach because they offer the most frequent service. The ferry ride from these locations to Avalon, the main town on Catalina Island, usually takes about an hour to an hour and a half.

Another option is to take a helicopter from the Los Angeles area, which significantly reduces travel time. A helicopter ride from Long Beach or San Pedro to Catalina Island takes approximately 15 minutes.


Catalina Island from Afar -Best Romantic Getaways Near LA

Catalina Island from afar. @Shutterstock


Where to Stay: Zane Grey Pueblo Hotel is cozy with spacious rooms on a hillside that overlooks Avalon Bay. Its location ensures a private and romantic trip. Each suite has floor-to-ceiling windows. The luxurious accommodations even have a fireplace in some rooms. All guests like outdoor pools, but guests love this hotel’s rooftop heated swimming pool. 


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Idyllwild: A Mountain Escape

Nestled in the San Jacinto Mountains, Idyllwild is a sweet mountain town. It’s characterized by its natural beauty rich in ridges and woodland. The town is enveloped in giant pines, ancient cedars, and jagged rock formations. All of which makes Idyllwild a great place to enjoy outdoor activities. At an elevation of over 5,300 feet, this romantic getaway feels cooler than the surrounding lowlands even during warmer months. Some of its hidden mountain trails follow clear, babbling streams perfect for a romantic stroll. Idyllwild draws nature lovers looking for a romantic escape. Couples can enjoy spending time together hiking, visiting local art shops, relaxing with a couples’ massage, or simply holding hands the outdoor firepit.

A trip from Los Angeles to Idyllwild typically takes about 2 to 2.5 hours by car. It’s a scenic drive via Interstate 10 and CA-243. Along the San Jacinto Mountains, the road winds through forest, giving visitors glimpses of those awesome mountain views.

Where to Stay: Fleur Noire Hotel is a chic hotel that is adorned with giant lush flowers painted in moody colors. The suites have separate dining and lounging areas along with very private enclosed patios. Consider bringing take-out back to the patio for a private dinner. Throughout the hotel are cozy fire pits where couples can warm up with a glass of the hotel’s specialty rose from the bar. 


Couple hiking in the woods. -best Romantic Getaways near LA

Enjoy a long hike before coming back to your gorgeous escape. @Shutterstock


Ojai: Serene Valley Charm

Not far from Los Angeles, Ojai is a small town known for its boutique hotels, spas, and art galleries. Hugged by the majestic Topatopa Mountains, Ojai is a dreamy oasis in Southern California. This small town, cradled by rolling hills, is overflowing with citrus groves and olive trees. Locals are tight-lipped about them, but there are natural hot springs hidden around the mountain roads. Find them and soak away your worries in these blissful wonders.

The valley’s famous pink sunset, which is mirrored in the glowing Topatopa Bluffs, is the perfect backdrop for lovers. The town’s serene environment and beautiful mountain views offer an incredibly peaceful retreat for couples.

A trip from Los Angeles to Ojai typically takes about 1.5 to 2. The route takes US-101 North and then transitions to CA-33 North.

Where to Stay: Emerald Iguana Inn is a stylish boutique hotel surrounded by trees. Bohemian Mediterranean guest rooms are full of hand-carved furniture, Persian rugs, and local art. Want the most romantic place on site?  Be sure to ask for a room with a private patio and a wood-burning fireplace. Treat your partner to something extra special and schedule an in-room spa experience. The private hot tub near the outdoor pool is hidden by gorgeous towering trees and lush flowers.



Temecula Valley: Wine Country

Crisscrossed by meandering creeks and dotted with old oak trees, Temecula Valley rests in the heart of Southern California’s wine country. Reminiscent of Napa Valley, it is a landscape made of rolling hills and vast vineyards. Their vines hang heavy with clusters of grapes that ripen under the warm California sun. This fertile valley is framed by the Santa Ana and Palomar mountains. Enjoy wine tastings, watch hot air balloons, or stay at a secluded vineyard estate.

Getting to Temecula Valley from Los Angeles is relatively straightforward. The trip via I-5S and CA-91E typically takes about 1.5 to 2 hours, but this can vary based on traffic, especially during peak hours.

Where to Stay: Domaine Chardonnay Winery Estate and Luxury Guest Suites is an exclusive private Bed and Breakfast estate with three private suites on its 5-acre working vineyard. The rooms are so finely decorated, and the beds so lusciously comfortable that guests may never want to leave, but maybe the hot air balloons or horseback riding will lure them out. Maybe. 


Couple wine tasting. -best Romantic Getaways near LA

Wine tasting and romance. @Shutterstock


Topanga Canyon: Bohemian Hideaway

Topanga Canyon, an oasis cocooned in the Santa Monica Mountains, is characterized by its steep, rugged hillsides dappled with ancient oaks. Its winding creek and hidden waterfalls add a sense of serenity. Topanga Canyon is a masterpiece with breathtaking vistas opening up to the Pacific Ocean and a network of trails beckoning hikers and explorers. It offers a unique blend of rustic charm and artistic flair, with secluded cottages, boutique shopping, and nature trails. It’s only a short drive to Topanga Beach, one of California’s most beautiful beaches for surfers.

Getting to Topanga Canyon is relatively straightforward. Take the Topanga Canyon Blvd. exit off the 101 freeway west from inland. From PCH, you can also head east on Topanga Canyon Blvd., which runs all the way to the Pacific Ocean.


Surfer couple kissing by ocean. -best romantic escapes near LA

First we kiss, then we surf. @Shutterstock


Where to Stay: The Topanga Canyon Inn Bed and Breakfast is made of two Mediterranean-style buildings, Casa Blanca and Casa Rosa, and is enclosed in the Santa Monica Mountains. They boast a very country atmosphere with no sound pollution, even with their proximity to the city. Guests enjoy complimentary breakfasts, snacks, tea and coffee from the communal dining room area. Hiking maps to the trail system in Topanga State Park are found in every room. 

Two more wonderfully romantic destinations with lots of potential that didn’t make the list are Lake Tahoe (because it’s almost 8 hours away) and fan favorite Las Vegas (because it’s not in California, but still close to LA). 

Angelenos don’t need to travel far to find one of these five secluded romantic getaways. Each of these destinations is just a short drive, but each offers a unique opportunity to disconnect from city life and reconnect with your love.




Steffy McCourt is a mom to three active and awesome boys, two budgies, one cockatiel, and a mischievous corgi. Currently an ELA Teacher in Plymouth, Michigan, she also writes for parenting magazines and education websites. She just recently launched her own travel website,; a tribute to the state of Michigan. She has an MS in Educational Leadership from Butler University and a BA in English from Indiana University.