The Most Romantic Honeymoon Hotels in Northern California

The Gables Wine Country Inn is our top pick for honeymooners

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

Northern Californias Most Romantic Honeymoon Hotels

Brides / Designed by Amelia Manley

There’s something so magical about Northern California—if you haven’t visited in a while, it’s time to reacquaint yourself. In fact, the stunning ocean views, myriad wineries and vineyards, access to laid-back beach towns and bustling cities, and proximity to forests and waterfalls makes NorCal the perfect honeymoon destination. Whether you choose one location for a secluded stay or opt for a progressive adventure on a road trip up the coast, one of these most romantic honeymoon hotels in Northern California is sure to be the perfect place to start your happily ever after.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: The Gables Wine Country Inn

The Gables Wine Country Inn

The Gables Wine Country Inn

Why We Chose It

Set on 3.5 acres in Sonoma County, this Gothic Victorian bed and breakfast offers honeymooners a standalone cottage with a two-person hot tub.  

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Daily 3-course breakfast included
  • Victorian touches throughout
  • Property has 120-foot-tall redwoods and a lavender field 

Cons

  • On a two-lane road that produces some morning traffic (each room comes with a sound machine)

Have you been dreaming of a secluded and romantic honeymoon set amongst some of Mother Nature’s most awe-inspiring trees? Your search ends at The Gables Wine Country Inn. Built in 1877, the property boasts Gothic Victorian architecture, a redwood barn circa 1850 (with two barn owls), an old milk house, and The Cottage, which was the original homestead. Most newlyweds choose to book The Cottage, a standalone honeymoon suite with queen bed in a loft, a sitting area with couch, wood-burning fireplace, kitchenette, and hot tub built for two. All guests are welcomed with a glass of wine (honeymooners receive a bottle of champagne), and are tempted every afternoon with fresh-baked cookies.

Each morning, at 9 a.m., a three-course breakfast is served on the back deck (weather permitting); many of the fruits and vegetables are grown on site and other ingredients (such as duck eggs) are sourced locally. The Inn brings nature right to your doorstep, with a lavender garden and outdoor fire pit under 120-foot-tall redwoods. Located in the heart of Sonoma County, you’ll enjoy easy access to all of the vineyards, tasting rooms, and outdoor adventures.

Notable Amenities

  • Vehicle charging stations
  • Welcome glass of wine and fresh-baked cookies in the afternoons

Best Boutique: Brewery Gulch Inn

Brewery Gulch Inn

Brewery Gulch Inn

Why We Chose It

This intimate property is the perfect romantic honeymoon hideaway in Mendocino County. 

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Daily breakfast and evening wine hour with appetizers included
  • Across the street from the ocean
  • Zen-like property borders 48,000 acres of unoccupied meadows and redwoods

Cons

  • No elevator

Planning a road trip along California's Highway 1? Be sure to spend at least one night at the Brewery Gulch Inn. Standing atop a bluff overlooking Smuggler's Cove, this rustic-chic lodge was constructed using eco-salvaged redwood from the Big River. With just 10 rooms and one two-room suite, it’s a cozy and intimate home base for exploring Mendocino County. Curl up in a leather chair and challenge your spouse to a game of Scrabble while sipping local vino personally selected by the innkeeper. For an unforgettable mind-body experience with your better half, book a guided Shinshin forest bathing session (a massage can be added, too). 

Evening wine hour with bento-style hors d'oeuvres (think: sesame-seared ahi, shrimp and beef dumplings, and carrot souffle) is the perfect complement to a day filled with scenic trails and sandy beaches. Savor a dinner of culinary delights prepared by the acclaimed chef before retiring to your love nest where feather-top mattresses, gas fireplaces, and decks with mesmerizing views of the Pacific Ocean promise an atmosphere of romance. Before heading out the next morning, fuel up for the drive with an extensive menu of made-to-order breakfast items (such as fresh pastries, whipped Belgian hot chocolate, and organic egg dishes). 

Notable Amenities

  • Vehicle charging stations
  • Japanese forest bathing experience

Best Budget: McCloud River Bed and Breakfast

McCloud River Bed and Breakfast

McCloud River Bed and Breakfast

Why We Chose It

This historic B&B sits on five acres of woodlands and offers plenty of perks for its modest price tag.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Daily 2-course gourmet breakfast included 
  • Views of mature redwood and aspen trees
  • Walkable to downtown McCloud

Cons

  • Creaky old floors may bother light sleepers on the first floor

Fairytale honeymoons do come true, and this one is found within a historic Victorian building at the foot of the majestic and ice-topped volcano Mt. Shasta. Built in 1903, what’s now known as the McCloud River Bed and Breakfast was once the town’s hub of commerce, housing the McCloud River Lumber Company, the bank and the local telephone switchboard—today, each of the five renovated guest rooms holds a piece of that history. The Switchboard Room offers a view of Mt. Shasta and antique furnishings, plus a sitting room with a daybed, while the Waterfalls room has a two-person whirlpool tub and a cherry wood four-poster bed.

Join other guests in the parlor each morning for a gourmet breakfast prepared by innkeeper Julie, who is also a custom baker (read: don’t miss the pastries and breads). The innkeepers are also happy to act as your honeymoon concierge, booking local activities, day trips, and dinner reservations to ensure you enjoy all the area has to offer. They’ll even offer you a selection of wines for purchase and deliver the bottle straight to your room for a romantic evening spent stargazing on the large deck. On Tuesday evenings, when most of the restaurants in town are closed, there’s a complimentary in-house dinner. The pièce de résistance? Each room is showered with its own plate of homemade desserts every evening.

Notable Amenities

  • Onsite massage therapist available 
  • Parking for a boat, horse trailer, or camper
  • Concierge services for booking activities and dinner reservations

Best Luxury: Ventana Big Sur, An Alila Resort

Ventana Big Sur, An Alila Resort

Ventana Big Sur, An Alila Resort

Why We Chose It

There’s no more luxurious and activity-filled honeymoon hideaway in Northern California than the all-inclusive and adults-only Ventana Big Sur, an Alila Resort.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Adults-only and all-inclusive (alcohol extra)
  • Safari-style glamping sites available
  • 160 acres of privacy and serenity

Cons

  • Closest airport (San Jose) is 75 miles away

Picture your honeymoon in a rustically chic resort setting nestled between the Pacific Ocean and dense forest, where children are forbidden and every meal is included. Nirvana! And that’s just the tip of the iceberg at Ventana Big Sur, an Alila Resort. You and your spouse may never leave your Vista Hot Tub Suite again once you snuggle up to the wood-burning fireplace or enjoy a soak in the outdoor hot tub on your private deck. But for a truly unexpected way to spend time alone in your honeymoon bubble, consider booking one of the two glamping sites within the redwood forest. You certainly won’t be roughing it with custom-designed mattresses and premium linens in a safari-style tent, a wood-burning fire pit stocked with bundles of wood, electric lamps and power outlets, a s’mores kit, a picnic table, and a pair of Adirondack chairs. 

There are plenty of activities to keep your days busy, such as yoga, meditation, Tai Chi, daily hikes, and access to a fitness center—not to mention, you’ll stay fueled through all of your adventures with the resort’s to-go-snacks and complimentary reusable water bottles. Plus, there are two pools, Japanese hot baths, falconry classes, and self-guided garden tours to round out your stay. Meals are included (but not alcoholic beverages), to be enjoyed in room, poolside on your chaise lounge, or at The Sur House. 

Notable Amenities

  • Volvo chauffeur service within a 3-mile radius
  • Wellness experiences, such as yoga, meditation, daily hikes, and Tai Chi

Best City Views: Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco at Embarcadero

Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco at Embarcadero

Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco at Embarcadero 

Why We Chose It

Location, location, location. And did we mention the views? They’re unbeatable.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Views of the Bay and downtown skyline
  • Centrally located in San Francisco
  • Guest rooms are on the top 11 floors of a 48-story building

Cons

  • Hotel restaurant is still being built 
  • Valet parking is $79/day

If you’re planning on spending your honeymoon entirely in your hotel room, why not book a room with a view? But not just any view will do for the most romantic vacation of your life. Choose one that will allow you to gaze out at the Golden Gate Bridge, the San Francisco Bay, and the city below. At the Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco at Embarcadero, you’ll be viewing all of these sights (and more!) from the top 11 floors of a 48-story tower in the Financial District. Nothing beats the two presidential suites—one of these 1,200-square-foot mini-apartments faces the city while the other faces the Bay. Both have spectacular terraces, a deep soaking tub and spacious shower, separate powder room, and living and dining areas. Luckily, room service is available 24/7.

Venturing out for some fresh air? There’s a Sky Bridge on the 48th floor, where you can participate in a visual hunt for specific city landmarks (such as Alcatraz and Coit Tower). Let the hotel’s concierge team make your dreams come true by crafting experiences and adventures, including San Francisco Through the Lens, a private photo class with award-winning photographer Adam Jacobs. For on-your-own exploring, it’s a short walk to Union Square, the Ferry Building, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the TransAmerica Redwood Park, and Chinatown. 

Notable Amenities

  • San Francisco Through the Lens experience

Best Vineyard Views: Kenwood Inn & Spa

Kenwood Inn & Spa

Kenwood Inn & Spa

Why We Chose It

Are you on a private vineyard in Tuscany? Or a hotel in Sonoma Valley? Honestly, it’s hard to tell. 

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Intimate hideaway set amongst vineyards and orchards
  • Breakfast, afternoon wine and cheese pairing, and evening cordials included
  • 2 pools with waterfalls and a hot tub

Cons

  • Will need a car, as nothing is within walking distance

Can’t make it to Italy for your honeymoon? Sonoma Valley’s Kenwood Inn & Spa has brought the Mediterranean right to Northern California, with its classic Italian villa set in a Tuscan climate and landscape. Italian-plastered buildings are tucked among three courtyards connected by vine-covered pathways that lead to lush gardens. The guest rooms are also designed to look like a classic Mediterranean villa, with high ceilings, king featherbeds, Italian furnishings and linens, and a gas fireplace. No two rooms are alike, and many have private balconies or terraces. You’ll find plush bathrobes and slippers next to the rain shower, and L’Occitane products to accompany the jetted tubs.

What else makes this one of the most romantic hotels in Northern California? The property boasts many fruit trees and lush landscaping, fountains, two swimming pools with waterfalls, and a hot tub. Each morning, guests dine on a full breakfast that’s delivered straight to their room featuring a signature chef’s choice entrée (such as a spinach and goat cheese omelets) served alongside cranberry orange scones and other baked goods. Each afternoon, indulge in a complimentary local wine and artisan cheese tasting accompanied by freshly baked cookies. In between, head to the spa for a vinotherapy bath in a tub for two overlooking the vineyards below. On Saturday evenings only, the Inn serves gourmet, pre-fixe, multi-course dinners with wine pairings in the main courtyard. (Hot tip: this always sells out, so reserve your table when you book your room.)

Notable Amenities

  • Pampered Pet package
  • The Spa at Kenwood
  • Free passes to the Parkpoint Health Club

Best Access to Nature: The Ahwahnee

The Ahwahnee

The Ahwahnee

Why We Chose It

Located within Yosemite National Park, this elegant property is known as the crown jewel of all national park lodges.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Easy access to walking paths and biking trails to waterfalls and lakes
  • Heated swimming pool
  • On-site dining offers views through floor-to-ceiling windows

Cons

  • Rooms book up far in advance

Giant sequoias. Sheer cliffs. Serene waterfalls. Stunning rock formations. These are just some of the reasons to honeymoon in Yosemite National Park, where you’ll have direct access to 747,956 acres of Mother Nature’s finest work. But we don’t necessarily mean you should spend your first days as newlyweds roughing it in the wilderness—get the best of both worlds by booking a room at The Ahwahnee. Located inside the park near the base of Half Dome and Glacier Point, this property’s architecture complements its natural backdrop, with a granite façade, log-beamed ceilings, handmade stained-glass windows, and massive stone hearths.

The JFK Presidential Suite (President John F. Kennedy stayed there in 1962) is the hotel’s most elaborate and romantic room, and the view of Glacier Point is unparalleled. The parlor has a fireplace, chairs, and sleeper sofa, plus there’s a bedroom with a king-size bed and full modern bath. Or book the Mary Curry Tresidder Suite, or The Queen’s Room, where Queen Elizabeth stayed in 1983. Make your way to the Ahwahnee Dining Room for floor-to-ceiling windows with views for days and such menu items as scrumptious homemade macaroni and cheese and locally sourced seafood. 

Notable Amenities

  • Concierge services
  • Bike rentals

Best Wellness: Cavallo Point

Cavallo Point

Cavallo Point 

Why We Chose It

For an up-close and personal view of the Golden Gate Bridge paired with myriad wellness-focused activities, Cavallo Point can’t be beat.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Located within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area
  • Eco Luxe Pups program, with organic and sustainable dog products
  • Onsite Murray Circle restaurant is a top culinary destination

Cons

  • Not a true urban San Francisco experience

Some properties have lived many lives and Cavallo Point Lodge happens to be one of ‘em. Set on a former military base at the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge, this LEED Gold-certified Sausalito retreat redefines what it means to be a sustainable stay. It proffers proximity to urban escapades while providing a restful and environmentally responsible venue to relish recreation of the restorative ilk. 

You and your spouse can choose from two room categories: historical (built during the early 1900s, these once served as officer’s quarters) and contemporary (these have the best views of the Bridge), though both types have flat-panel TVs, organic cotton linens, robes and slippers, espresso coffee and tea machines, and Dyson hair dryers. 

Cavallo Point offers a comprehensive wellness program, focused on the 6 Pillars of Healthy Living: active living, healthy eating, restorative sleep, stress reduction, connection, and passion, purpose and gratitude. As such, guests are encouraged to take advantage of the many wellness experiences throughout their stay. Rise and shine with a morning yoga class. Book a guided hike or Restorative Sleep Experience. Try a cooking lesson. Have your chakras balanced. Reap the balancing benefits of a Himalayan salt stone massage or take a dip in the pine-shaded pool. Go sightseeing. 

Better yet, just open the blinds. You literally don’t have to emerge from bed to take in commanding views of the San Francisco Bay and its most recognizable feat of engineering. Four-legged friends are welcome, too; imagine the look on Fido’s face when he discovers the pup-approved swag bag stocked with organic treats made by local businesses.

Notable Amenities

  • Holistic Arts Center & Spa
  • Award-winning wine cellar with over 2,000 options
  • Cavallo Point Cooking School

Final Verdict

The most romantic honeymoon hotels in Northern California all have one thing in common: an undeniable feeling that love is in the air. Now, all you have to do is pick the property that best matches you and your new spouse’s vibe. The Gables Wine Country Inn is an exceptional choice because of the included breakfast, historic touches, and access to nature. To spend your honeymoon in the lap of luxury, Ventana Big Sur, an Alila Resort, takes care of every little detail (such as its no-children-allowed policy and all-inclusive meal plan) so you and your sweetie can just focus on enjoying the first day of the rest of your lives. And for city sights and sounds, the Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco at Embarcadero puts newlyweds right in the heart of this vibrant city with sweeping views you won’t find anywhere else.

Methodology 

We evaluated dozens of hotels and narrowed them down to this selection of the eight most romantic honeymoon hotels in Northern California. To determine the best of the best for the chosen categories, we considered such factors as the hotel’s reputation, quality of service, and crowd-pleasing amenities (e.g. access to hiking and nature, ocean views, and heated pools). We also took into account the property’s dining venues and unique experiences (like wine selections, wellness activities, and concierge services) available to guests. In addition to customer reviews, we gave note to each of the hotel’s sanitation and cleanliness measures.

Related Stories