Honeymoon Discussions

California Honeymoon

Hey All!

Looking for some advice on where to go for the honeymoon, it'll be the end of October and we've decided we'd like to go somewhere in California.  We're throwing around San Diego or Monterey, we'd both like somewhere that's relaxing with some nice beaches, we really like zoos and aquariums and we also like browsing through antique and used book stores. I know that's pretty general, but I figure any advice or tidbits people can pass on (either because you've visited or because you live there!) would be fantastic! :-)
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Re: California Honeymoon

  • I haven't ever been to Cali, but I am also planning a trip there with my FI.
    We are probably going to stay at the Shore Hotel in Santa Monica. Rent a car, drive to Malibu one day, drive to Huntington Beach - Laguna & Newport as well.
    There are some really nice places in Laguna on the beach that are pretty inexpensive. 

    I haven't done any research for San Diego, but good luck planning!

    You should definitely plan a drive along the Pacific Coast Hwy - it looks beautiful
  • San Diego is fantastic. I'm not sure what your budget is, but I would recommend staying in Coronado and then taking advantage of the San Diego activities. The Hotel del Coronado is one of the best hotels I've ever been to, and it has a lot of history. It's very near San Diego - close enough to enjoy everything SD has to offer but still have a quieter, more relaxing "home base".

    I've also stayed at the Loew's Coronado Beach Resort (nice), the Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel (ok but would not recommend it because for what you pay, I wasn't overly impressed. I preferred the Loew's), and the San Diego Hard Rock (ok, cool decor, but the bathrooms were weird. They had a window from the room to the bathroom and from a certain angle you could see someone sitting on the toilet. Awkward. I don't know if this is still the case.)

  • Ooo, both of those sound fantastic! I think we're narrowing things down to San Diego or Monterey, anyone have any Monterey/Carmel/Big Sur experiences to share? What I've always thought would be wonderful would be a beach-front hotel/resort, so you can just walk right out onto the beach in the morning! (No idea how it is in practice, but just something that always seemed dreamy :-) )
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  • I've never been to Monterey, but I do know they are known to have a very nice aquarium.

    San Diego is great. I would check out Balboa Park, where the zoo is located. It's also where lots of museums and their Botanical Building is located. You could spend a few days checking out all of its features. I've just done day trips there, so I can't speak for hotels. Also, above San Diego is a city called La Jolla - soo beautiful. Definitely drive up there for a few hours.

    I'd also look on tripadvisor for more recs/reviews of restaurants and hotels.


  • Here is the Del's website. It is beachfront. They also have the best Sunday brunch I've ever experienced.


  • Send me a PM below. When I was nearly done with my very long post, my computer went ape. I'll send you a copy of the spreadsheet I made with hotel and restaurant info.
  • We are going to San Fran/Napa/Carmel/Monterey/Big Sur this July. I have not been before, but I can tell you from all my research that the northern areas of California aren't really "beach" weather. I mean you might be able to sit in the sand but that water is COLD! So if you really want to swim and have the "typical" beach experience, I'd do southern Cali.

    Having said that, Northern Cali looks gorgeous and we are so excited to go. It's just a different vibe. Depending on how long you are there, you could even rent a car and drive down the PCH starting in somewhere like Carmel or MOnterey and heading down to the San Diego area. You'd get the best of both worlds. H has done this before and loved it.

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  • KatfshhRNKatfshhRN member
    First Comment
    edited April 2012
    I live in Orange County, and the water in the Pacific Ocean is pretty cold most of the time. In October the weather can get pretty cool, especially at night. If you want to have more of a chance at a warmer, beach type Honeymoon, I would pick San Diego. It's a lot further South and odds are it will be warmer than up North. A lot of people think the weather here is warmer than it is. Anywhere along the coast usually stays in the 70's most of the year. It's never really hot here. I never swim in the Ocean here. I go to Hawaii for that type of beach experience.
  • I live in the Bay Area (near San Jose), and Northern CA is not the place to come if you want warm/beach... the water is too cold to go into, and often foggy/cold on the beach although in Oct it could be nicer, but still won't be that warm. I can't say I've ever worn a swimsuit on the beach here as it's too cold.  There is a saying "the coldest winter I ever spent was my summer in San Francisco"  and it's very true.  You'll find me in turtleneck and winter coat/gloves/etc in the summer in SF (much warmer in San Jose 40 miles South).

    But yes, it's gorgeous here :)
  • It's okay if we can't go swimming, I really like walking on the beach and looking for shells and sea glass, though it sounds like the more south we can get, the better it would be, but might be nice to see the coast in both locations :-) Would you guys recommend driving down from Monterey to San Diego or could we fly?  We're thinking at this point we'd like to do both because we're aiming for 2 weeks for the honeymoon.
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_honeymoon_california-honeymoon?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:11Discussion:6c5db713-8c3a-4617-a3b9-e9001fdbdd04Post:1a29dc44-28f1-4f11-b784-ab08e1418424">Re: California Honeymoon</a>:
    [QUOTE]It's okay if we can't go swimming, I really like walking on the beach and looking for shells and sea glass, though it sounds like the more south we can get, the better it would be, but might be nice to see the coast in both locations :-) Would you guys recommend driving down from Monterey to San Diego or could we fly?  We're thinking at this point we'd like to do both because we're aiming for 2 weeks for the honeymoon.
    Posted by KittennDave[/QUOTE]

    Southwest typically has very cheap flights (and San Jose (SJC) is one of the easiest airports to fly in/out of), but the drive along the coast is gorgeous. Just make sure you're not doing (particularly the LA to San Diego part) during commute hours or you'll be stuck for hours! 

    There are some wineries along the way, Hearst Castle which I've been dying to go to, Santa Barbara which would make an awesome stop for a night along with Ojai which makes for a beautiful and wonderfully relaxing spa day... you can make the trip down and back super fun and romantic if you drive :)
  • WHOO HOO! Come on down!

    I've lived in So Cal (Los Angeles) for a long time. San Diego IS AWESOME! I don't know if you are up to renting a car but San Diego Zoo and Sea World are teamed up with Universial Studios and Six Flags so that you can get into all those parks for a certain amount. I'm sure you could look into it if you were up for that.

    If you just want to stick to one city in SoCal, I would stick to San Diego.
  • I'll second what Katfish said, being a native Californian from Orange County (the best county in the state :)  We have pretty amazing beaches, not to mention Disneyland AND Knotts Berry Farm!!  Plus if you stay in southern Orange County (Laguna Beach, San Clemente, Newport, etc), you're pretty much equidistant from LA and San Diego.  You can drive to each city and do all kinds of things in just a day.  I will say that if you're looking for a zoo, yeah San Diego is alright, but don't overlook the LA Zoo.  It's about the same size or larger as SDZoo and it's working on (or may have just finished) a new elephant exhibit.  Plus it's near enough to the La Brea Tar pits, which is sort of like a zoo :)  Santa Ana in central Orange county also has a pretty good zoo.  It's know as the monkey zoo, so if you like monkey's, then that's your scene.

    In the San Diego region, there are a TON of great wineries in Temecula and they're all pretty much on one loop, so you can start at one end and then make your way around the loop.  Just want to point out that SoCal has wine too! We have some pretty good beaches too, but as Katfish mentioned, it's not as warm as TV and movies lead tourists to believe. No matter where you end up, you'll have a great time! Oh and if you do decide to drive from Monterey to LA area, it'll take about a day or two depending on how leisurely you want to be. Hope any of that helps.
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  • I am very interested in your spreadsheets! We are THINKING of a road trip honeymoon from San DIego to Northwest.....
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