There are some hidden gems in South California that are beautiful and romantic that you may want to take your sweetie on a day trip for Valentine’s Day. Los Angles and the surrounding areas have so many wonderful hidden gems that just packing a picnic basket and a good bottle of wine will do because the view and weather are free. When thinking of the beach and living in Los Angeles many people tend to think about Venice, Malibu or Santa Monica and forget to drive up the coast going north, this is where the real beauty of the California coast line comes to play. Taking the 101 freeway heading north towards Santa Barbara, there are many beaches that are more private, but are still open to the public. If you don’t want to pack a picnic basket but would like to eat out, there are some wonderful restaurants on the ocean along the way, but advanced reservation may be required.
When taking that drive up the coast and passing through Camarillo, down the grade, the peace, quite and beauty of the mountains will appear before your eyes, not to mention the clear crisp air. As you drive past Camarillo, one of the first places to veer off with your picnic basket or a hardy appetite is Channel Islands, there are places along the Channel Islands to lay out a blanket and have a picnic or eat at one of the many wonderful seafood restaurants. Channel Islands is also a national park and if you want to spend the day, there are many things to do outdoors, like taking a paddle boat through the channels, or exploring the many little shops along the channels.
As you continue the drive up north and decide to pass Channel Islands the next stop on the list is the beautiful beaches in Ventura. One of my favorite restaurants on the beach off of the Ventura pier is Eric Ericsson’s, the views are spectacular, the food is wonderful and then you can walk along the pier after, or take your picnic basket and head towards the end of the pier and eat, but make sure to bring a blanket because it gets cold. If you’re into fishing bring a pole and spend some time doing a little fishing. For more information on the Ventura Pier and surrounding area click here.
As you continue up the coast past Ventura there will be a small town to the left called Carpinteria and not only do they have a state beach that you can picnic on and hang out with your sweetie but one of my favorite restaurants is there and it is called the Palms restaurant that has been open since 1905. The romantic part maybe not, but the food is wonderful and the prices are terrific, but be prepared to wait it’s a local favorite. All you can eat salad bar, baked potatoes, beans and bread. You get to cook your own meat on the open grill or you can order some fresh sea food that they cook for you. The nice part about the town of carpinteria is that it is small and after dinner you can walk along the street and get an ice cream at the sweet shop. They have a few shops along the way if you get there a little earlier, that people have converted their homes into little stores.
Make sure to leave early and give yourself time to drive up the coast and enjoy the very best views of the beaches and mountains along the California coast line on Valentine’s Day!
To visit Dawn on her website got to The Happy Spouse