Sunday, December 28, 2014

A Born Romantic? Southern California may be the Place for You by Connie Vines

Having lived or vacationed in nearly every state in the continental United States, I feel secure when I say southern California is the place for romance.

From wine country to the mountains, from sea shores to the Hollywood Bowl, California's backyard is tailored for romance. Be it a romantic evening with your special someone, or the perfect setting for a romantic novel, southern California is the perfect place.

Malibu.  The drive along the coast is breathtaking, romantic restaurants overlooking the ocean pepper this beach city. Geoffrey's Malibu and Nobu Malibu are the most popular.

The Hollywood Bowl. There are many places to see live music in Los Angeles, but the Hollywood Bowl is a wonderful experience. It's romantic and spectacular. You can purchase a picnic meal with wine at a local restaurant and dine at the Bowl.  From the LA Philharmonic to musical productions, there's something for every couple at the venue.

Beverly Hills. II Cielo Was named one of the top 100 most romantic restaurants in America by open table, an online restaurant reservation network. Despite being in the middle of the city, the restaurant managers to close itself off from the chaos. There's an ambiance – – a romantic vibe.

Laguna Beach.  For me it's a cross between La Jolla and Newport Beach. There are steep cliffs and a quaint beach town. The restaurants, my favorite being "The Cliffs", are perched on the edge. Seafood is fresh and expertly prepared.  Hollywood movies were filmed here: "Beaches" and "The Creature from the Black Lagoon" to name a few.

Santa Barbara.  For those who want to get out of town, Santa Barbara is a couple hours drive from Los Angeles.   "Cold Spring Tavern is the most romantic place, especially if you write historical fiction. It's actually where the trains came through for the gold mine. It's a romantic dive. It's a log cabin, and you can jeans!

San Diego. The Hotel Del (Del Coronado). Beautiful, expensive, one grand ole gal. "Some Like It Hot" starring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, and Jack Lemmon was filmed on the beach and featured many scene in or near the beautiful hotel. (In my salad days, I trained as a fragrance consultant at the perfumery in the lobby.)

Though not in SoCal, San Francisco must be included on my list! The Golden Gate Bridge, Cable Cars, Painted ladies, Fishermen wharf, China Town, and the bay. When my husband and I visit San Francisco, "The Franciscan Crab Restaurant" is our preferred dining experience.  Pier 43 1/2 Fisherman's Wharf, the view includes Alcatraz, Gold Gate Bridge, and the bay.  

If you are unable to visit southern California, you can always experience the SoCal vibe.  Catch a movie-- be it campy or romantic (Christmas in Palm Springs or Clueless), listen to sound of ocean waves or the tunes of  "The Beach Boys". Relax with your honey, and sip a glass of wine or indulge in a latte or two.  

Remember southern California is a state of mind--and romance is everywhere around you.

I hope you enjoyed your Christmas, or Celebration of your Faith.

Wishing you many Blessings in the New Year,

Connie Vines