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It’s hard to imagine a setting more perfect for a romantic getaway than San Ysidro Ranch, a 500-acre former citrus ranch from the 19th-century, nestled in the foothills of the Santa Ynez Mountains. The approach itself sets the tone: a long drive fringed by olive trees and fragrant orange groves leads you to one of your cozy clapboard cottages, while a view of the Pacific appears in the background.
Bungalows are separated by footpaths that meander through oleander, jasmine, and lavender blooms. Individually decorated rooms may boast outdoor rainfall showers and large decks offering vistas of the Channel Islands, or private gardens and a soaring, wood-burning stone fireplace—but all are done with decidedly homey, shabby-chic accents: hand-stitched quilts and plush Persian rugs.
The most romantic hotel, of course, is not complete without its signature restaurant. Head to the Stonehouse, where you can enjoy dinner outside, beneath the stars and twinkling lights, the sound of a creek bubbling just beyond the terrace.
Is it any wonder that San Ysidro was the honeymoon retreat of choice for famous couples like John F. and Jacqueline Kennedy, as well as Julia Roberts and Danny Moder? Meanwhile, Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh, as well as Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez, tied the knot at this bucolic resort.
Melanie Lieberman is the Assistant Digital Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @melanietaryn.