The great thing about living in Southern California is that we have detours in every which way—to the north: Big Sur, Santa Barbara, Oxnard, Ventura. To the south, we encounter Long Beach, San Diego, and Laguna Beach. And to the east: Lake Arrowhead and Crestline. Let’s not forget Idylwild and Palm Springs. All can be reached by car or train within hours. Ok, Big Sur might take half a day.

  1. Santa Barbara: The American Riviera (

Nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Ynez Mountains, Santa Barbara exudes a Mediterranean charm that makes it an ideal romantic escape. Take a leisurely stroll along the historic State Street, explore the picturesque wineries in the nearby Santa Ynez Valley, and enjoy a sunset cruise along the coast. The city’s beautiful Spanish architecture, combined with its vibrant culinary scene, creates a perfect backdrop for a romantic Valentine’s Day.

  1. Big Sur: Coastal Romance (

For couples who appreciate the rugged beauty of the Pacific coastline, Big Sur is a dream destination. The breathtaking views of the cliffs meeting the ocean provide an awe-inspiring setting. Explore the hiking trails in Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, unwind in hot springs, and share a candlelit dinner at one of the area’s renowned restaurants. Big Sur’s natural beauty and serenity make it an ideal spot for a romantic retreat.

  1. San Diego: Beachside Bliss (

San Diego offers a diverse range of romantic experiences, from its pristine beaches to its vibrant urban atmosphere. Take a sunset stroll along La Jolla Cove, explore the historic Gaslamp Quarter, or enjoy a romantic gondola ride in Coronado. With its pleasant weather, San Diego provides the perfect backdrop for a Valentine’s Day filled with sun, sand, and love.

  1. Lake Arrowhead: Mountain Retreat (

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city by heading to the serene mountain town of Lake Arrowhead. Nestled in the San Bernardino National Forest, this alpine retreat offers cozy cabins, charming bed and breakfasts, and scenic lakeside views. Enjoy a romantic boat ride on Lake Arrowhead, go hiking in the surrounding mountains, and cozy up by the fireplace in the evening.

  1. Laguna Beach: Artistic Romance (

Known for its artistic community and stunning coastal scenery, Laguna Beach is a romantic haven for couples seeking a blend of culture and relaxation. Explore the town’s art galleries, enjoy a beachfront picnic, and catch a breathtaking sunset at the iconic Crescent Bay Point Park. The intimate atmosphere and artistic vibes make Laguna Beach an ideal Valentine’s Day destination.