The beauty and challenge of traveling on the west coast is that there is way too much worth doing. From national parks to quiet coastal towns, the west coast has a lot to offer for romance, relaxation, and adventure. If you’re planning a road trip as a minimoon or full honeymoon, there are a ton of activities to try.
How you spend your week (or two or three, it’s a special occasion, after all!) depends on what you like to do as a couple. If you want to wine taste your way down the coast, we’re here for it. If you’re hoping to hike the best parts of the PCT, you’re in for a treat. If watching the sunset on a different beach every night is your dream minimoon, pack a beach blanket and make it happen. If these all sound pretty great, we’ll help you fit in the highlights for the romantic and the restless.
Here are 8 things to do on your west coast minimoon.
1. Watch the sunset on the beach
A beautiful sunset is a romantic must for good reason, and nothing beats a bottle of wine on the beach. If you reach your overnight destination in time for sunset, spend some time taking in the view together. Pack a picnic basket or go for a walk while you admire the Pacific Ocean at its best.
Cabana Tip: If you’re thinking Sunset State Beach is too obvious of a place to stop for sunset, think again. It’s a peaceful beach with a quiet campsite perfect for a relaxing evening on your way up or down the coast.
2. Go for a sunrise hike
Sunrise is an underrated time for romance, but that’s the most romantic part about it. An early start is the best way to see some of the west coast’s greatest views without the crowds, or to spend some quiet time together. From Mt Rainier to Joshua Tree, hiking at sunrise means watching the world wake up, and it really is magical.
3. Find new thrills
Add some excitement to your minimoon by trying a new outdoor adventure as a couple. You could go ziplining on one of Washington’s islands, ride ATVs on the Oregon Dunes, ski on Mammoth Mountain, try kayaking in Santa Barbara, and go surfing in San Diego. Stepping out of your comfort zone together is a great way to make your trip memorable, and you might even find a new favorite hobby!
4. Sink into a hot spring
Spend some time relaxing in a natural hot spring. Trek to a hidden hot spring on a hike (like the Bagby Hot Springs Trail in the Mount Hood National Forest or the Gaviota Hot Springs Trail near Santa Barbara) and your body will thank you. For peak relaxation, book a spa day at a more developed natural hot spring instead. (Try Sycamore Resort & Spa in San Luis Obispo or Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort in Olympic National Park.
5. Visit a vineyard
Is there anything better than sipping wine with a scenic view? Sonoma and Napa are the natural choices, but there are fantastic wineries all along the west coast, from Walla Walla to Temecula. Stop in Southern Oregon for underrated vineyards and plenty of nearby foodie spots.
6. Enjoy seasonal specials
The whole west coast is spectacular year-round, but there are certain times where sections stand out. In the spring, you can chase blooming wildflowers or take a trip to a tulip festival. Traveling in the summer? Visit a lavender farm, like Araceli Farms in northern California or Pelindaba on San Juan Island. Planning for the fall? Get excited for unbelievable in-season fruits and vegetables, or keep an eye out for Oktoberfest celebrations and irresistible autumnal pop up bars. The winter is when southern California shines if you’re looking for a sunny escape. Or, embrace the holiday season by visiting a charming town like Washington’s Bavarian mountain town Leavenworth or central California’s Danish town Solvang.
7. Eat in every city
If food is your love language, you’ll find famous foodie spots in every major city (and a lot of unassuming small towns) along your path.
From celebrity chefs to the street taco scene, Los Angeles has almost too much to choose from. The choice of where to eat only gets trickier as you head to San Francisco (ranked by US News as the Best Foodie City in the US). Have a sweet tooth? Portland is the birthplace of Voodoo Doughnut and the quirky ice cream chain Salt & Straw. If you reach Seattle and don’t know where to go, just DM Cabana’s Instagram and the whole team will fight to send you to their favorite spot.
8. Embrace iconic views
We love getting off the beaten path, but there are some things you just can’t miss. Sure, there are tourist attractions that involve more waiting in line than experiencing the magic, but there are others that really are breathtaking no matter the crowds. (Okay, we’re talking about Yosemite.) Whatever your big bucket list item is, don’t miss the chance to cross it off for fear it’s overrated. You’ll never know unless you go, and it’ll probably be awesome.
If you’re feeling like this list made narrowing down your minimoon plans even more challenging, we have good news! Enter to win an elopement and 6-night Cabana trip down the coast, and you won’t have to plan a thing.