With dreamy sunsets and breathtaking beaches, California’s majestic coastline is an excellent choice for a romantic beach getaway. From lovely seaside towns to lively oceanfront cities, there are many wonderful places to consider visiting on your trip. With this list of the most romantic beaches in California, you’ll easily find spots to go both on Northern and Southern parts of the state.
Romantic Beaches In Northern California
Northern California has some incredible places to enjoy the surf and sand that make couples and families return the year after year. To give you some ideas on what the most romantic spots along the Northern coastline are, here we feature some of our favorites!
Carmel Beach – Carmel by the sea
The quiet California beach town, Carmel by the Sea is where you’ll find Carmel Beach. It’s among the most iconic beaches in the area and is right on Ocean Avenue.
It draws couples from all over the world to it because of its gorgeous ocean views, perfect waves for surfing, and pet-friendly policies. If you’re traveling with your four-legged friends, they can be part of your best memories as long as you can control them by voice.
There are many incredible shops and restaurants to visit in the area, too, so prepare to wine and dine to your heart’s content. Your itinerary can include stopping by one of the many art galleries in Carmel by the Sea before sitting down for a romantic meal.
You’ll feel incredibly full physically and emotionally after dining out with your significant other. The serene sandy Carmel Beach, which is just a 10-minute walk from the town is an excellent place to take a romantic beach stroll.
Your next romantic beach getaway in California should include a visit to Pfeiffer Beach. This mythical beach is just a stone’s throw away from Big Sur and an absolute must along the Pacific Coastal Route. It is home to the legendary Keyhole Arch and has unique purple sand.
The light that streams through the natural arch sets the tone for a romantic experience. It’s a place where professional and novice photographers can’t wait to capture.
Located in the Los Padres National Forest, you’ll find purple sand from the manganese garnet rocks on the northern part of the beach. Tidepools exist there, too, where you can see many different forms of marine life. It’s a great place to slow down, get close to your partner, and appreciate the beauty of Mother Nature and her paintbox full of colors.
Located in Fort Bragg, Glass Beach is among the most romantic beaches in California with good reason. Its shorelines are full of brilliant-colored pieces of tumbled sea glass.
Smooth to the touch and incredibly beautiful to witness in person, the broken bits of bottles and jars have spent years being turned over by the ocean until they wind up a part of the landscape. Couples of all ages flock to this place to photograph their personal love stories.
If you’re looking for a place that’s as pretty as the pictures you see of it online, Glass Beach is worth the trip. Although it’s quite difficult to get to without scrambling down the hill, it’s a sight to behold at least once in your lifetime. Be cautioned, however, that you can look all you want, but you’re not allowed to take any of the glass home with you.
Dunes Beach – Half Moon Bay
One of the best beaches in California for couples is Dunes Beach in Half Moon Bay which has soft sand and beautiful views of the ocean. It’s full of steep sandy trails that are short in length that travel through the dunes on the bluff to the beach: such a wonderful setting to spend time with your loved one!
The Half Moon Bay Coastal Trail is the perfect place to take a stroll or bike ride together as a couple. It’s paved and stretches from Pillar Point to Redondo Beach, and it’s even wheelchair-friendly so couples with disabilities are also welcome here!
You can make an entire romantic weekend out of exploring the area and enjoying as many activities outdoors as possible. It’s a great way to work on your tan and spend some quality time with your partner relaxing.
This hidden beach in the San Francisco Bay area, Kehoe is a secluded location on the Point Reyes National Seashore. It takes a half-mile jaunt on a dirt trail to get there, but once you arrive, you’ll be thrilled that you stuck with your plans. This location has a long shore, rocky bluffs, and dunes to explore.
It’s colder than other locations, so bring a blanket and plan to do some snuggling. Dogs are welcome on the northern part of the beach as long as they’re on a leash. You can plan a date that includes your four-legged friend. It’s an excellent place to visit for dog-owner couples.
The name itself implies that it’s a beautiful location to visit. Moonstone is a powerful and exquisite gemstone. This kid-friendly Northern California beach in Trinidad Humboldt County is a place where you’ll find seashells and driftwood galore, as well as sea caves, climbing rocks and even a freshwater stream, so your little ones will also find a lot of things to do while parents enjoy their well-deserved romantic time relaxing.
If you love water activities, Moonstone Beach is excellent for surfing and swimming too. Should you get hungry after an active day, visit the nearby Moonstone Grill Restaurant which offers not only excellent food but also beautiful views!
Southern California is famous for its dramatic Pacific coastline offering places to explore for all types of beachgoers. If you are looking for the best beaches in California for couples, consider visiting a few (or all) of these fantastic places!
Cardiff State Beach
Considered one of the most romantic beaches in California, Cardiff State Beach is a quiet, secluded beach near San Diego. It’s an excellent place to take a stroll, especially during sunset. You’ll appreciate having plenty of space to roam without being inundated with people.
Check out the tide pools or try your handle at paddleboarding. You’ll love exploring the low-key nightlife in the area. There are plenty of places to enjoy an excellent meal together. You may feel like grabbing a drink or going dancing, too, to finish out your romantic weekend getaway.
Carpinteria State Beach
Topping the list of romantic beaches in California is Carpinteria State Beach, with over 200 camping spots. It’s incredibly beautiful and a great place to see birds of many varieties. If you’re looking for a low-key vacation, it’s a great location to explore because of its wildlife and exciting trail.
It’s a place with picnic tables, volleyball courts, and plenty of seashells to collect and bring home with you as souvenirs. This California beach is one that many people visit, so be aware that it can get crowded at times. Still, if you want to wake up in an outstanding location that’s close to the ocean, the campgrounds are enough of a reason to plan a stay in the area.
Mission Beach is a popular Southern California romantic beach in San Diego. It’s the perfect place to go if you want to sightsee, swim or catch up on a good read while spending time with that special one.
There are plenty of places to grab a bite to eat and pick up a souvenir t-shirt or mug, too. One of the most outstanding things about Mission Beach is its classic boardwalk, complete with an amusement park, miniature golf, and chances to see whales. The nightlife draws a young crowd but can still be entertaining for older couples as well.
One of the best Southern California romantic beaches is Coronado near San Diego where the sand literally sparkles in the sun. Who wouldn’t want to capture that beauty in a photograph? Couples love the location because of its picturesque scenery and whimsical community.
Exploring the area can take up most of the day. That’s why a weekend or week-long getaway is ideal for couples. You can soak up the sun and take time to relax and step away from the ordinary truly. Coronado Beach is a place where magic occurs daily!
Santa Barbara’s hidden beaches remain the most romantic. It’s true about Gaviota Beach. It’s located under a train trestle and has a campground nearby, so if you are looking for honeymoon beaches in California where you can stay within a few feet from the ocean, you’ll love your oceanfront views here!
Hiking enthusiasts enjoy the trek to Gaviota Hot Springs. It’s a natural wonder that’s worth visiting. The trail itself is relatively short, measuring 2.5 miles in length. It’s a great way to create memories with your special somebody!
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