If you're like me, then when you think of romantic getaways in California, most of your thoughts focus on the ocean or the beach. And there's no doubt, those are romantic venues, all right! But California has a lot to offer along the ocean life. Another wonderful approach to romantic getaways in California is to go inland and explore the interior of this great state. A great example of a place to do that is the Santa Ynez Valley in southern California. It's just a short distance to the ocean, but the habitat is completely different from the coastal zone owed to the Santa Ynez Mountains that separate the valley from the Pacific Ocean.
A romantic activity in the Santa Ynez Valley is to drive around exploring the local farms. Small farmers' markets dot the countryside here, along with roads stand selling fresh, local produce. For the ultimate in freshness and authenticity, you can even visit one of several farms that for a small fee will let you wander the grounds and pick your own produce. You can stroll along enjoying the rural atmosphere and the clean country air, stealing a kiss now and again as you lean against one of the trees in an apple grove. It's a relaxing way to have a romantic getaway in California.
Once you've picked and ate your home-grown lunch, perhaps you'll be interested in working off some of those calories by renting a mountain bike and exploring some of the trails that wind through the valley. Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong trained in the Santa Ynez Valley sometimes, which means it's got trails challenging enough for literally anyone, but let me assure you, there are plenty of beginners' trails available as well. Perhaps you feel like exploring some of those same areas of the valley, but you'd like to do it in a less strenuous way. That too is possible in the Santa Ynez Valley, because several local stables offer horse rentals and will even teach you to ride if you've never been or if you need a short refresher course. Riding horses is very conducive to romance during a romantic getaway in California!
If you're thirsty after your bike riding or horseback endeavors, you might like to enjoy the region's wine tasting facilities next. The Santa Ynez Valley boasts about a dozen fine wineries. That's few enough that you could visit them all in just a few days. Few things are as romantic as wine tasting, and the best part is that bottles from some of these wineries can be very affordable, so you can bring home a souvenir from your romantic getaway in California. The Santa Ynez Valley will show you that California is more than beaches!