The great state of California covers more than 160 million square miles and stretches for nearly 900 miles from north to south along the edge of the Pacific — which means if you plan on honeymooning in "The Golden State," as it's known, you'll need to narrow down your options. On the state's northern region is anchored by San Francisco, that iconic city by the Bay, as well as the coastal communities of Half Moon Bay, Big Sur and Mendocino, and the famous wine regions of Napa and Sonoma. Whether you choose one location or make it a road trip out of it, these haute hideaways are seriously honeymoon worthy.
Ritz-Carlton at Half Moon Bay, Half Moon Bay
Set on the coast just 30 minutes south of San Francisco, the Ritz-Carlton at Half Moon Bay boasts 300 luxe rooms. Despite the size of the grand building and its expansive grounds, the property never feels impersonal, thanks to top-notch service. There's an onsite pool, fitness center, spa, hair salon, golf course, lounge, two restaurants, a wine bar and an outdoor terrace bar with romantic fire pits. Extra perks include a welcome glass of wine, bike rentals and a nightly bagpipe performance at sunset.
Ventana Inn and Spa, Big Sur
Set on 240 acres inside the Ventana Wilderness area 1,200 feet above the Pacific Ocean, the Ventana Inn and Spa is surrounded by the majesty of Big Sur, with beautiful views of the towering redwoods, rocky cliffs and sparkling sea. Rooms are spread throughout several buildings and feature large fireplaces, deep soaking tubs and private patios with hammocks or outdoor hot tubs. With two pools (one that's adults-only), a fitness room, spa, Japanese baths, library, onsite bar and restaurant, wooded walking trails scattered around the property, and activities like evening wine-tasting and morning nature walks, there's plenty to do without leaving the grounds.
For those who can pry themselves away, there's a complimentary shuttle within a five mile radius.
Meadowood, St. Helena
Once a private country club, Meadowood is one of Napa Valley's most secluded and stunning resorts. Set back from the Silverado Trail and surrounded by trees, the sprawling resort contains a fitness center, two large pools, a regulation croquet court, tennis courts, nine-hole golf course, hiking trails, a newly renovated spa and two restaurants, The Grill and the three-Michelin-starred Restaurant at Meadowood. Rooms range from studios to large suites with dining and living space and private decks.
Most rooms have king beds, French linens, marble bathrooms, and wood-burning fireplaces, and here's a daily evening wine reception and car service to downtown St. Helena, Yountville and Calistoga.
Brewery Gulch Inn, Mendocino
Set in a contemporary Arts and Crafts-style building and home to just 10 uniquely-designed rooms, the Brewery Gulch Inn is a cozy home base for exploring Mendocino county. Rooms feature feather beds, gas fireplaces and beautiful views of the ocean, and the inn offers a daily made-to-order breakfast and an evening wine and hors d'oeuvres hour in a comfortable communal space with a large fireplace and plentiful books and board games.
Farmhouse Inn, Forestville
Set on six acres in Sonoma County, the AAA Four Diamond Farmhouse Inn offers 25 stylish, luxurious rooms with pillow-soft four-poster featherbeds, jetted tubs and dual-sided fireplaces. There's a seasonal heated hot tub and pool area with fire pits (perfect for roasting some complimentary s'mores), a full-service spa and a Michelin-starred restaurant that serves dinner and a three-course breakfast. Additional perks include include the services of a concierge and sommelier, homemade cookies and milk at turn down and a Sonoma Bath Bar stocked with seasonal scrubs, salts and handmade olive oil bar soaps for a truly indulgent in-room bath experience.
Kenwood Inn and Spa, Kenwood
Built around three Mediterranean-style courtyards, the 29 rooms at the Kenwood Inn and Spa have featherbeds, tile floors, balconies, fireplaces and Tuscan-inspired decor that'll have you wondering whether you're still in Napa or honeymooning among the vines of Italy. The grounds offer two heated saline pools, a hot tub, a small wine bar, a spa featuring vinotherapy treatments and an onsite restaurant that serves dinner and complimentary breakfast complete with mimosas.
In keeping with a focus on relaxation and romance, the hotel is adults-only and there are no TVs in the guestrooms — all the better to settle in without distractions.
St. Regis, San Francisco
There's an abundance of great hotels in San Francisco, yet the St. Regis remains one of the best. Set just south of Market Street in the heart of downtown, the hotel has 214 guest rooms and 46 suites, a bustling lobby bar, four-star Remède Spa and an indoor infinity pool with breathtaking views of the city. Rooms are sleek and sexy, with leather-textured walls, window seats, oversized soaking tubs and gorgeous views of downtown San Francisco.