In the mood for an indulgent, unforgettable Valentine’s Day with a special friend? The choices for high-end romance are endless for lovestruck San Franciscans. Here are a few sweet ideas, from an elegant wine country get-away to a snowy mountain escape.
A Victorian Wine Country hideaway
Nestled in the hills above Sonoma’s Dry Creek Valley wine region near Healdsburg, the Madrona Manor is a beautifully restored Victorian estate surrounded by eight acres of wooded and landscaped grounds. Built in 1881, the manor is an ideal wine country get-away for couples with romance in mind. During the day, tour the valley’s charming small wineries. Next, shop, stroll and eat lunch in nearby Healdsburg. Finally, enjoy a romantic meal in the inn’s acclaimed restaurant, which offers stylish, high-end cuisine such as lobster and truffle risotto in a cozy, old-world setting.
Romancing the Ritz in Half Moon Bay
The spectacular, cliffside Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay is just an hour south of San Francisco, but is a world apart. The Ritz provides a magnificent coastal backdrop for the perfect Northern Californian romantic escape. You can spend your romantic weekend in the spa, on the golf course or simply strolling the unspoiled beaches of the San Mateo coast. The resort offers two distinct guest room experiences: the Cottages and the main building. All rooms feature feather beds with duvets and 300-thread count Egyptian cotton sheets and 100% goose down or non-allergenic foam pillows. Marble bathrooms have separate shower and bathtub.
Winter Splendor at Yosemite’s Ahwahnee Hotel
There’s no Western winter scene more romantic than the ice-laced cliffs, towering waterfalls and snow-carpeted meadows of Yosemite Valley. The elegant Ahwahnee Hotel is a beacon of comfort amidst the stunningly wild beauty of Yosemite National Park. A distinctive AAA Four-Diamond hotel known for its magnificent façade and architecture, the Ahwahnee, once a village of the native Miwoks, was chosen because of its exposure to the sun and dramatic views of Yosemite’s icons – Half Dome, Yosemite Falls and Glacier Point. The guest rooms in the main building have been recently refreshed with new bedding, carpet, draperies and window shades.
A Mountain Hideaway in North Lake Tahoe
Nestled at the base of a superlative ski mountain, North Lake Tahoe’s Squaw Valley Lodge offers an enticing romantic winter getaway package. The deal includes two night lodging for two adults in a deluxe studio condominium, a three-course dinner for two at renowned Graham’s at Squaw Valley (beverages not included), a complimentary bottle of red wine from award-winning McDowell Valley Vineyards, a one-hour Swedish massage for two in Squaw Valley Lodge’s Massage Rooms and use of the Squaw Valley Lodge indoor/outdoor whirlpools, sauna, steam room and health club.
Related: Bay Area ski and now guide.
A Cozy Bed and Breakfast Stay in Mendocino
Cozy up with your special someone beside a fireplace while gazing out at coastal views of the Pacific Ocean and Smuggler’s Cove. Outside your room watch as wild turkeys and deer scamper about the grounds of the Inn. Just a three-hour, scenic drive up Highway 1 from the Bay Area, the town of Mendocino has housed artists and vacationers alike for decades but has not lost it’s old-time charm. Dining is easy in Mendocino whether you are up for an upscale, culinary experience or a quick stop at a pub. A visit to the Mendocino Theater or the Symphony of the Redwoods makes for a lovely date-night experience.
Related: Bay Area’s best florists.
Ben Davidson is a freelance writer living in San Francisco. His work can be found at http://www.examiner.com/road-trip-travel-in-san-francisco/ben-davidson