This Laid Back Coastal California Town Is Perfect For A Couples Vacation

Sunsets on sandy beaches, bright lights in big cities, and picturesque vineyards in wine country — there's no doubt that California oozes romance. The perfect getaway state for a couples vacation, one quaint California town in particular is the ideal destination for a romantic retreat. And it's only 10 minutes from San Francisco.

The seaside city of Sausalito is easily accessible from San Francisco by car, bike, ferry, or foot. Couples can opt for a 10-minute drive from the Golden Gate Bridge, rent bikes in tourist hotspot Fisherman's Wharf and cycle less than 10 miles to Sausalito, or opt for a quick and picturesque 30-minute boat ride from San Francisco's Ferry Building. Couples can also get to Sausalito by crossing the iconic Golden Gate Bridge on foot!

Whatever mode of transport you choose, couples traveling across the bay are in for a treat. Sausalito offers small-town charm and million-dollar views of the San Francisco skyline, the infamous Alcatraz, and sailboats bopping up and down in the beautiful blue water. Filled with art galleries, boutique shops, restaurants, and bars, Sausalito delivers so many romantic things to do and places to stay. It's the ultimate California coastal town for a couples vacation.

Romantic things to do in Sausalito

Stroll Sausalito's Bridgeway Promenade, hand in hand, of course. The coastal path gives the gift of serenity as couples gaze across the bay to Angel Island, Alcatraz, and San Francisco. The scenery is exceptionally breathtaking when the sky colors at sunset.

While exploring Sausalito, pop into a few art galleries, like Scrimshaw Gallery for unique nautical art or Daniel Merriam's Bubble Street Gallery for romantically surreal pieces. For couples who love movies, sports, and music memorabilia, check out Millionaire Gallery.

Sausalito's waterside location is also perfect for adventure-loving couples. What could be more romantic than kayaking under a full moon? At Sea Trek, couples can rent double kayaks and hit the open moonlit water with a professional guide. Kayakers can expect to see houseboats, seals, and the magic of the San Francisco skyline glittering at night.

Also in the evening, couples can add more romance to the menu and treat their tastebuds to fresh fish and cold cocktails at a number of restaurants on the water. Scoma's is an Italian restaurant that has served customers since 1969. The classic eatery serves fresh seafood in an unbeatable waterfront location. Bar Bocce is an excellent choice for a more casual experience — the outdoor seating on Richardson Bay is romantic, and couples can compete in a game of bocce ball while waiting for their pizzas. After dinner, couples can pick up ice cream cones for dessert at Lappert's Ice Cream.

Where to stay for a romantic retreat in Sausalito

Casa Madrona is a Sausalito landmark on the National Register of Historic Places. The luxury boutique hotel is centrally located in Sausalito, walkable to everything the little city has to offer. But couples may not want to leave the property. With gorgeous Richardson Bay views, firepit courtyards, spa facilities, and onsite fine dining at Poggio Trattoria, Casa Madrona is a wonderful place to stay for a romantic getaway.

Another centrally located accommodation, the Inn Above Tide, sits right on San Francisco Bay. Private decks with stunning views provide a beautiful setting for a delicious beverage and good conversation with your favorite partner. Each stay includes a complimentary breakfast and a wine and cheese reception.

Cavallo Point is one of the most unique hotels in the Bay Area. Just two miles from downtown Sausalito, couples can choose between historic lodging or more modern accommodations on a hillside with views of the Golden Gate Bridge. And there are two onsite restaurants at Cavallo Point. Sula offers Mediterranean-influenced dinners, while Farley is a bistro offering fresh meals all day. The outdoor seating at Farley is particularly special, as couples can spot the Bay Area's iconic red bridge in the distance while they dine. More romantic options at Cavallo Point include an onsite spa, nearby hiking trails, and add-ons, like one dozen roses or sparking wine and truffles delivered to your room.