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The average honeymoon is one week, and couples prefer to spend most of the time enjoying the trip as opposed to traveling. Traveling to California is easy for everyone, and even a popular destination for foreign travelers.
You can design your honeymoon precisely as you please in California. Whether you prefer an adventure honeymoon filled with excitement and nature, or a more relaxing, beach honeymoon, California has it all for you. A beach honeymoon is the most popular type of honeymoon.
California is the perfect honeymoon destination where you’ll discover the romantic atmosphere, beautiful scenery, pure nature, major cities, and more.
California is the #1 tourist destination in the US – it welcomes over a quarter-billion visitors every year. California has something for everyone – family vacations, guys/girl trips, holidays, and, of course, romantic honeymoons.
California is one of the largest states, extending along the Pacific coast of the US. The state is very diverse in terms of its population, culture, landscape, and more.
You’ll find some of the most iconic landmarks and attractions in various parts of California – from the famous beachfront at Venice and Santa Monica to the Mojave Desert considered one of the hottest places on Earth.
The beautiful scenery is one of the main attractions. California is full of incredible sights, overlooking the major cities, or of untouched nature, or looking out into the Pacific Ocean. You’ve never seen a sunset until you’ve experienced it in California.
With California being a popular honeymoon destination, there’s plenty of places to find romance and fun at the same time.
Top Places to visit in California
California isn’t only destinations for glitz and glamour; Carmel Beach is one of the most scenic places to visit for honeymoons. It has a small-town vibe with a European ambiance, located along the Pacific coast.
Carmel Beach is a stark contrast from California’s major cities but is the perfect retreat for an intimate setting. You’ll be surrounded by excellent beaches and scenic views of the rugged coastline.
A unique thing about spending your honeymoon in Carmel Beach is the absence of major chain hotels and restaurants. Immerse yourself into the local atmosphere by staying at an intimate bed and breakfast hotel or a local inn. You’ll fall in love with the small-town charm.
In addition to the exceptional hospitality, it’s a fun place to explore with lots of things to do during your stay.
Honeymooners can enjoy the range of outdoor activities such as hiking, golfing, or spending time on the beach. There’s are lots of options for hiking, including the famous Clint Eastwood trail or visit the Devendorf Park.
Carmel Beach will be the highlight of your honeymoon with an excellent beach for lounging around in the California sun. Cool off in the Pacific or just sit back, relax, and enjoy the moment as newlyweds.
Carmel Beach is also well known for its vast art scene. Art galleries fill the town, with over 100 different galleries to choose from. You’ll also find unique fashion boutiques throughout the town.
Everywhere you look, you’ll have incredible views – Carmel Beach is home to one of the most scenic drives in the US, winding along the coastline looking out into the Pacific Ocean.
You’ll be just a short drive away from a major California wine region for tasting some of the best wine in the state.
Just a short drive away from Carmel Beach, you’ll come across Big Sur, a nature-lover’s paradise. Big Sur is home to a mountainous region of California located along the coast.
While you won’t find a major city atmosphere with luxury resorts at Big Sur, it’s one of the best places for adventurous couples spending their honeymoon in California.
If you’re hoping to spend lots of time outdoors, Big Sur is an ideal destination. Spend your time between some of the many state parks located in the area. Some of the favorite parks to visit are the Point Sur State Historic Park, Andrew Molera Park, and Point Lobos.
Andrew Molera Park has a variety of activities such as hiking trails, forest walks, and even surfing. Point Lobos has a diverse landscape, encompassing both protected land and marine areas.
If you’re looking for another great hiking destination in Big Sur, you could also explore the St. Lucia Mountain Range. It’s along the coast, so you’ll have beautiful ocean views while ascending to the mountain summit.
There’s plenty of places to enjoy time in the water during your honeymoon at Big Sur. Many couples enjoy visiting McWay Falls, one of the most popular waterfalls in the region.
After long days hiking, you and your spouse can relax down on Sand Dollar Beach, the premier beach of Big Sur. The beach stretches for several miles, giving you plenty of space to enjoy on your own. The best time to visit is to catch a glimpse of the beautiful sunset.
One of the most iconic things about Big Sur is the 17-mile stretch of Highway 1, running along the coast. Take a romantic drive along the famous highway as you wind around the mountain slopes and gaze out to the ocean.
Lake Tahoe is among the largest lakes in the US, and the second deepest in the country. Visiting Lake Tahoe for your honeymoon isn’t like going to your typical lake – the massive lake has endless things to do here, especially for couples.
Lake Tahoe is one of the top California destinations for spending your honeymoon that combines modern hospitality with outdoor fun. You’ll find everything you need around the lake, from accommodations to fun.
There are plenty of options for places to stay at the lake. For more modern stays, choose one of the luxury hotels and resorts on any side of the lake. For a more local stay, you can also make reservations for cabin stays or set up tents at one of the several campgrounds.
The lake is included as part of the Emerald Bay State Park. The park gives a rare chance to see and climb glaciers in California. You’ll also be able to explore some of the historical sites at the lake, such as touring an old castle.
Couples who enjoy lounging in the sun can head over to the Zephyr Cove, a small beach located along the lake coastline. The peddle beach is an excellent place for relaxing or cooling off in the shallow waters. It’s also one of the best places to see the sunset over the lake.
Another way to experience the sunset is with a sunset cruise on the lake. Boats take you around for sightseeing from the lake perspective while enjoying a champagne toast as the sun begins to set.
Places for incredible views are endless at Lake Tahoe. You’ll find many restaurants around the lake providing you with views overlooking the lake and surrounding landscape.
Take the gondola cable car ride up Heavenly Mountain for panoramic views over the entire scenery.
Travel just a short distance outside of San Francisco, and you’ll come across Sonoma, one of California’s most famous wine countries. It’s the perfect place to spend your honeymoon to dive into the culinary delights of the region while enjoying the beautiful outdoors.
Sonoma is home to hundreds of wineries and vineyards. Its location makes it the perfect place for grapes to grow, creating some of the tastiest wines in the state. Each winery gives a unique experience, allowing you to taste locally made wine.
A unique wine experience includes visiting one of the local wine castles. Several old castles welcome visitors to explore the traditional wine-making techniques, stroll the castle grounds, and taste the highest quality wines.
You can also take a wine tour via horse-drawn carriage.
You’ll have a complete romantic stay in Sonoma when you stay in one of the local resorts. You’ll find everything from modern stays to preserved European-style mansions for your accommodations. Many places offer bed and breakfast service, as well as other amenities catering to couples.
Sonoma allows you to add in a bit of adventure to your honeymoon trip. You’ll get to experience pure nature with many forests, parks, and mountain ranges. One of the most popular destinations for hiking is Mayacamas Mountains. There are plenty of trails that lead up to the summit for great views.
For an even better view, take one of the hot air balloon tours – you and your spouse will cruise high above the vineyards below to truly appreciate the landscape.
Couples can spend plenty of time lounging around during their honeymoon. There are plenty of beaches located along the Pacific Coast for sunbathing or dipping into the ocean.
Sonoma is an intimate place for a honeymoon where you won’t find large tourist crowds.
You can’t go wrong with a romantic seaside village to spend your honeymoon. Laguna Beach is exactly that and more, making it a favorite destination for honeymooners in California.
The main attraction to Laguna Beach is, of course, the beaches. Laguna Beach has plenty of beaches to choose from – some of the top beaches include West Street Beach and the beaches found in Crystal Cove State Park. You’ll have plenty of options for where to enjoy water sports, lounging, or viewing the beautiful sunsets.
Laguna Beach is along the Pacific coast, with water conditions perfect for getting out and enjoying. Many of the favorite water sports include kayaking, paddleboarding, and various tours. You can go sightseeing along the coast or even have a chance at dolphin sightings.
In case you don’t see the marine life in the natural setting, there are other places to visit during your honeymoon for an up-close view of the biodiversity of Laguna Beach. The Nix Nature Center and the Pacific Marine Mammal Center are popular locations to see marine life like sea lions, seals, and more.
Enjoying the water attractions isn’t the only thing to do at Laguna Beach. You can spend the day hiking the great outdoors with lots of trails to discover great views. Visit Alta Laguna Park to hike the mountain trails – ascend to the Top of the World viewpoint for panoramic views of Laguna Beach. You can even hike trails around the nearby Barbara’s Lake.
Go for a romantic stroll through Laguna Beach village and discover some of the best places to dine or nightlife bars and lounges. The town is filled with small shops and souvenir stores to find the perfect gifts for each other on your honeymoon. There are also plenty of options for boutique hotels to stay with a warm, local charm.
Top Things to Do in California
Visit the Beaches
You can enjoy the scenic California beaches almost anywhere along the long Pacific coastline running the length of the state. California has some of the best beaches in the US, making it the perfect getaway for a honeymoon trip.
California beaches provide a variety of experiences – some exclusive with small crowds, and other public beaches. Some of the most iconic beaches in California are at Venice Beach and Santa Monica Beach. Although public beaches, they’re two of the nicest beaches in the state.
You’ll get the chance to enjoy a range of water sports, with warm, blue waters and clean beach sands. There’s plenty of room to space out on the extensive beaches. They’re also an excellent destination for enjoying the famous boardwalks, filled with restaurants, ride attractions, entertainment, and more.
California even offers more intimate beach settings such as at Laguna Beach or in remote areas of the state.
Visiting the beach in California is a must-do activity during your honeymoon.
Live The Celeb Life in Hollywood
California is famous for its role on the big screen, with Hollywood being the hub of film and celebrities. Hollywood is in Los Angeles, and a popular destination for honeymooners to get a glimpse into the movie star glamour.
Spend a day hanging out in Hollywood to visit the Walk of Fame. See if you can find all of your favorite actors, athletes, celebrities, and other notable figures.
Many of the top movie studios are also nearby. You can tour the lots of Universal studios and others for a chance to see the behind-the-scenes of some of your favorite TV shows and movies.
Take a famous Hollywood tour to see where some of your favorite stars of the past and present live. You’ll board a bus and ride around Los Angeles for a chance to see celebrities hanging out around the city.
Major City Landmarks
California has some of the most notable cities. Whether you’re spending your honeymoon in the city or just outside of the city, spend a day or two exploring the nearest major city. You can experience the major city life in places like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento, San Diego, and more. Each of these places is filled with fun, history, culture, and more.
Some of the top landmarks to see in California include the Golden Gate Bridge, the Hollywood Sign, or the Governor’s Mansion State Historical Park. You’ll find plenty of tours in either city to take you sightseeing and experiencing the best that each city has to offer.
In addition, you’ll have a lot of entertainment, culture, and nightlife to add to your honeymoon. Head into the city during your trip and hang out at some of the hotspots in each city. It won’t be hard to find a romantic dinner to make reservations at or enjoying incredible views from a rooftop lounge.
Disneyland is the premier theme park attraction in California, near Anaheim. Adults can have just as much fun as the kids with lots of rides and romantic things to do in the park.
Pick up a couple of day passes for the park, and you’ll fill your day with excitement as you explore everything that the park has to offer. The thrill rides are just the beginning of a fun day at the park. Hop on one of the roller coasters for max adrenaline or choose one of the mellow rides across the park.
There’s plenty to eat and drink in Disneyland. You can find the perfect romantic setting at restaurants such as the Blue Bayou restaurant or enjoy wine and beer at various stations.
Be sure to stay in the park until the nighttime to see the beautiful fireworks from one of the parks’ terraces.
If you’re hoping to stay for more than one day, you’ll also find designated resorts for the park, perfect for finding couples’ amenities to pamper you throughout your stay.
Did you know that some of the best wine in the US comes from California? California is home to two prominent wine countries: Napa Valley and Sonoma.
You’ve never truly experienced wine until you’ve visited one of these locations – and what better time than on your honeymoon! Couples will have a fantastic time exploring the region’s wineries and vineyards.
There are lots of unique venues for tasting some of the country’s highest quality wine. Take a day trip to wine country and go around to a few of the local vineyards. You can even design your entire honeymoon around wine tasting by staying at one of the local resorts.
If you’re visiting California for your honeymoon, wine tasting should be on your to-do list. You can even pick up a special bottle to commemorate the honeymoon date with your spouse.
In a state as large as California, you can imagine that there’s lots of space to enjoy the great outdoors. California has the most national parks out of any state, with nine total spread across its land area.
California has a very diverse landscape – the national parks give the perfect opportunity to explore the biodiversity created by the various ecosystems. Parks include land and marine areas, giving you plenty to see and do.
Some of the top national parks in California include Yosemite National Park, Joshua Tree National Park, Death Valley National Park, and Kings Canyon National Park. The parks range from covering mountainous areas to forested areas to the California deserts.
There’s an abundance of plants and animals living within the parks. The parks are also a great location for a romantic picnic, hikes to view a scenic sunset, or enjoying various outdoor recreational activities.
Best Time to Visit California
The best time for a honeymoon in California depends on where you’re planning to go. The weather is generally great year-round in California, even for outdoor activities. You’ll always have sunny days, even during the cooler winter months.
Northern California has more natural scenery with parks, wineries, and mountains. Traveling between April to November is best for experiencing outdoors and better weather.
The best time to visit southern California for your honeymoon is during the spring or autumn. The summertime is using the peak travel season in the state and can reach extreme hot weather.
Weather in California
California is a large state, meaning that the weather varies significantly in various regions. In general, California has a Mediterranean climate. You’ll experience hot, dry summers, and mild winters with lots of rain.
Northern California has a higher elevation because of the mountainous regions. Winters a colder at these higher elevations and can experience snow. In the summer, temperatures can range from 68 °F to 90 °F.
Southern California features a more desert-like landscape. The region has the hottest summers – average temperatures in various cities range from 75 °F – 90 °F.
Wintertime in California has average temperatures in the 50’s across the entire state. Spring and Autumn have mild days with cooler nights.
California gets an average of nine hours of sunlight per day. The rainy season lasts from January to March.
How to Get to California
Getting to California is easy, accessible via land, sea, and air. There are lots of major highways that cross the entire country and end in places such as San Francisco (Lincoln Highway from NYC) or Santa Monica (I-10 from Jacksonville).
The main airport travel hubs in California are LAX – Los Angeles International Airport – and SFO – San Francisco International Airport. There are also other international airports in many of the other major cities like San Diego and Sacramento, making it easy to fly into the nearest airport and take a short ride to your final destination.
California has several ports where some of the top cruise ships operate, including Princess Cruises and Royal Caribbean. There are travel options to cruise along the coast to other California destinations.