A 5 Day Itinerary for a California Road Trip Honeymoon

California, Honeymoons & Destination Weddings
california road trip honeymoon itinerary

Photo: Courtesy of Post Ranch Inn

There are a million and one different honeymoon options you and your new Mr. can take. If you've always dreamt of a relaxing vacay with lots of beach lounging but he dreams of an outdoorsy honeymoon that requires staying in a tent you may think there's no way you'll both get what you want. That's where California comes in. Grab your favorite road trip playlistThe O.C. theme song included — and head down the Cali coast for the perfect honeymoon that has everything you both want.

Day 1 San Francisco
Check in early to the urban-chic Scarlet Huntington Hotel (doubles from $377, The Scarlet
) on Nobb Hill for a full day of sights, like Alcatraz Island and the Golden Gate Bridge. (Drive to Battery Spencer for the best views.) Stop for pre-dinner drinks at 20 Spot, a hip record store turned wine bar in the Mission. Then head to State Bird Provisions, a buzzy dim-sum restaurant on Fillmore Street.

Day 2 Big Sur
Take in epic cliffside views on your drive south to the insanely romantic Post Ranch Inn (doubles from $675, Post Ranch Inn). Ride horses on the beach or stroll through old-growth redwoods on your way to the spa for a couples massage. Dip out for an early dinner of wood-fired sea bass at Big Sur Bakery so you can make it back in time to catch a stunning sunset over the Pacific from your suite.

See More: A Road Trip Itinerary for a Savannah, Charleston, and Golden Isles Honeymoon

Day 3 Big Sur
Stay another night at Post Ranch Inn, or go glamping at a private tented camp on a bluff overlooking the ocean (from $550 per person, Epic Private Journeys). Your chef will greet you with a light lunch before a guided hike, then it's back to camp for a three-course dinner under the stars.

Day 4 San Simeon, Santa Ynez Valley, and Santa Barbara
Head farther south, with stops in San Simeon for selfies at over-the-top Hearst Castle and burgers at Sebastian's. Spend the afternoon sipping vintages at the Provence-inspired Sunstone Winery in the Santa Ynez Valley, and then post up at Belmond El Encanto (doubles from $425, Belmond), perched high in the Santa Barbara hills.

Day 5 Santa Barbara and Los Angeles
Hop on one of El Encanto's electric bikes and cruise on over to the beach in Santa Barbara. Then pick up some Cali mementos at Warbler Records and Goods, which has a cool home-decor section. On the way to LAX, stop at Neptune's Net, a seafood restaurant and biker bar in Malibu, for one last lunch with a view before your flight home.

Want more genius planning tips? For the best wedding dresses, advice, and big-day inspiration, pick up the BRIDES April/May 2016 issue, on newsstands now and available for download here!

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