January 30, 2017

Valentine's Day in Southern California

Southern California is the perfect place to be for Valentines day. No matter your budget, and no matter your style, you'll find amazing memories waiting to be made in SoCal. Whether you're a nature-loving couple looking for beautiful hikes, or a pair of luxury travelers in search of amazing seafood, our coast is sure to wow you!

Of course you can plan a romantic dinner for February 14, but there are lots of other ways to make Valentines day memories on the California coast. Take a look at some of our top recommendations:

The Pacific Ocean is right there, just waiting! What better way to celebrate the magic and wonder of love, than to experience a little bit of the magic and wonder of the ocean. Not only that, a day out on the water is sure to deliver memories that will last a lifetime.

Our Southern California coast offers lots of opportunities for you to get out on the water:

Whale Watching in Dana Point and Newport Beach:
Wouldn't it be fun in years to come to be able to say, "remember that one time we saw a pod of dolphins?" or "remember when that whale came up right next to the boat?"

There is something incredible about seeing dolphins and whales gracefully gliding through the water and playing in their natural habitat. Our guests always look back on those moments as special, and Southern California is one of the best places in the world to plan those experiences!

Take a look at a couple of these whale watching options:

Boat Charters & Gondola Cruises:
What could be more romantic than a sunset cruise? The options are endless along our coast. You can book tickets aboard a sunset cruise , or charter a private sailboat for a more intimate experience.

You don't have to travel to Venice to experience a romantic gondola tour! Whether you're looking for the perfect backdrop to a romantic evening, planning a special proposal, or just want to try something new, a gondola tour is a great choice! You can book a gondola tour in Newport Beach , or Long Beach.

A vacation is the perfect time to get a new point of view and change your perspective, and Southern California is a great place to do that!

Helicopter tours:
You may have glimpsed a bird's eye view of the coast while flying in or out of John Wayne or LAX airports, but those little airplane windows can't do our beaches justice! Relax in a comfortable aircraft and let your OC Helicopters pilot take you on a tour of the coast! It's the perfect adventure to share with someone you love!

The Griffith Observatory:
If you prefer to keep your feet on the ground, you can still gain a new perspective at the Griffith Observatory in LA. On a clear day you can see all the way from the hilltop of the Griffith Observatory, across the urban sprawl of LA, to the Pacific Ocean. And, for an even more incredible view, get in line for the Zeiss Telescope and take a peek into outer space!

Spend some time together experiencing the awe, wonder, and cultural diversity of our local museums! You'll come away with memories and art and history trivia that will impress your friends.

Mission San Juan Capistrano:
You'll find Mission San Juan Capistrano on any list of the top things to do in Southern California, and with good reason! The ruins and gardens of this historic mission are a beautiful place to spend an afternoon, as well as a unique opportunity to learn more about California's history! Make sure to bring your camera - the mission is too beautiful not to photograph!

Bower's Museum of Cultural Art:
Bower's Museum seeks to celebrate world cultures by sharing their art with the world. Located in Santa Ana, Bower's Museum is a small museum located in an unexpected place, with an eclectic collection ranging from California plein air paintings, mandalas, military uniforms, and more. Be sure to check out current exhibits - you're sure to find something amazing!

International Surfing Museum:
Located in Huntington Beach, the International Surfing Museum is a great addition to any visit to Surf City. This museum takes you through a history of surfing, complete with surf boards from different eras. It will give you a whole new appreciation for this aspect of California culture!

There are lots of great museums to visit in LA, but the Los Angeles County Museum of Art is definitely one of our top recommendations. The largest museum in the western United States, LACMA houses almost 130,000 pieces spanning a vast stretch of art history. Don't miss this experience!

Are you a couple who likes to be active? Southern California is a great place to be for Valentines Day! You'll find lots of opportunities to get out and about on our beautiful coast. Check out just a few ideas:

Kayak Newport's Back Bay:
The beautiful Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve and Ecological Reserve is 1,000 acres of coastal wetlands, home to 200 endangered species, and you can explore it, either by walking or biking around the bay, or by getting out on the water on a kayak or stand-up paddle board .

Learn to Surf:
If you've never surfed before, this might be the perfect opportunity to bond with your sweetheart over your clumsy first attempts to stay upright on a surfboard! Check out these local options for surfing lessons:

Walk San Clemente's Beach Trail:
If you want to take a stroll and see more of the coast, San Clemente's Beach Trail is a great way to do it. This 2.3 mile long trail connects North Beach to Calafia Beach, with the San Clemente Pier and T-Street in between. You can also bike the trail.

Get Hiking in Laguna Beach:
Laguna Beach is a stunning place to visit! Whether you hike along the coast at Crystal Cove State Park , or choose a trail further inland in the Laguna Coast Wilderness Park , you'll find beautiful vistas, curious rock formations, and romantic groves of trees, the perfect backdrop to a nature-lover's Valentine's Day!

Of course, don't forget a Valentine's Day meal! Whether you choose breakfast, lunch, or dinner, to pause and celebrate over a special meal, Southern California has the perfect dining location for you and your sweetheart! Here are just a couple of resources to get you started!

Top Picks for Unique Valentine's Day Dining:
Feeling overwhelmed by so many options? Take a look at some of our unique dining choices for Valentine's Day .

Best Brunch Spots in Orange County:
Valentine's Day falls during the week this year, and if you find yourself too busy, you might want to celebrate the weekend before or after. If that's the case, why not make the weekend special by experiencing a luxurious Orange County Brunch ?

If none of these ideas seem like enough, and if you're feeling overwhelmed by life, it might be time for the two of you to plan a vacation! This Valentine's Day have a vacation planning date, and sit down and begin to brainstorm your next trip! Take a look at some of our advice below to get your vacation planning off to a great start!

And happy Valentine's Day!

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