Featured Image: Vista point on the slopes of Mount Hollywood in Griffith Park, Izayah Ramos via Unsplash
Some of them are absolutely free.
Love is in the air and Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, so we asked our Instagram readers to reveal their most romantic date spots around L.A. We had an interesting mix of responses, including scenic hikes, exploring landmarks and unconventional dining options. While “my house” and In-N-Out were also popular responses (and charming in their own right), we stuck to accessible places that would almost definitely get the sparks flying. So whether you’re a hopeless romantic, an unwilling participant or you just want to rekindle your love affair with L.A., you’ll find a number of Angeleno-approved ways to impress your special someone.
Here are all of our favorite suggestions from the audience:
1. A Stroll Along The Venice Canals
Strolling over the quaint bridges with vivid sunsets multiplied in the waters below, it would be almost impossible not to find the Venice Canals charming. We also recommend checking out the gondola ride in Long Beach
Pedaling around on spring day surrounded by lush greenery, lotus flower beds and the Downtown skyline in the backdrop is a classic L.A. experience. But on a balmy summer night, the swans are illuminated and the city lights dance across the dark waters turning the lake into a pool shimmering reflections.
Located southwest of Los Angeles, Santa Catalina is known for its wildlife, dive sites and Mt. Orizaba (its highest peak). You could spend your day kayaking, snorkeling, or paddle-boarding on the beautifully clear water and settle in for a rewarding bite to eat. If you’re up for something a little more land-bound then you could wander through Wrigley Memorial Botanical Garden and take in the incredible view of Avalon Bay while marveling at rare Channel Island plant species.
4. A Picnic For Two At Hollywood Bowl
While there’s nothing quite as romantic as catching an outdoor concert at this landmark venture, there’s still the option of taking your wine and picnic to the exterior park while reminiscing over your favorite concerts at the Bowl.
5. Griffith Park Observatory
No list would be complete without the Griffith Park Observatory. While you won’t be able to gaze at the stars inside of it right now, the views of the city from the outside are just as breathtaking (especially at night). If you’re up for something a little more active, the park’s hiking trails offer plenty of scenic spots.
This spot in Elysian Park is known for its not-so-secret secret swing. It has recently been removed, but every now and then it reappears. Regardless, it’s the perfect option for active lovers that want to be rewarded with epic views.
This Culver City institution has been winning over the hearts (and taste buds) of locals for generations and you only need to take one bite of their legendary hard shell tacos will know why.
8. Dinner At il Cielo
This twinkling, award-winning restaurant nestled in Beverly Hills is known as one of the romantic restaurants in town. You and your date will be treated to modern Italian cuisine with Japanese flair in a gorgeous setting with scenic views of the sky above.
9. Sunsets At The Korean Bell Of Friendship
The Korean Bell of Friendship is an ornate structure located in San Pedro which offers expansive sea views and a touch of history to keep the conversation going.
10. A Visit To The Santa Monica Pier
Here is another classic L.A. experience is admiring the neon-kissed pier and watching the waves crash into the sands below. The nostalgia of the Ferris wheel and rides is irresistibly romantic.
11. A Wander Through The Huntington Garden
The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens is open and it offers breathtaking scenery year-round. While all indoor areas will remain closed, there’s a diverse array of flora to marvel at within the themed gardens. If you’re not able to get a reservation, you can always check out other incredible gardens in the city here.
Beaches may seem like an obvious choice, but with the incredible array of sandy gems and cliffside havens in Southern California, it would be a crime to leave beaches out of the equation. Take a look at some of our favorites here.
The quaint street beams with old-world charm and immediately transports guests to a simpler time, reflecting Walt Disney’s early years in SoCal. It’s hard not to be seduced by the magic of Buena Vista Street, especially while Disneyland is off-limits.
Why blow money on a vacation when you can just drive along the California coast to a cafe on a private beach in Malibu? Though many restaurants in the 90265 claim to be beachfront, Paradise Cove Beach Cafe is the only restaurant in the area where you can enjoy a meal with your toes in the sand.
15. A Trip Along Mulholland Drive
This iconic drive offers sweeping views of the San Fernando Valley, Downtown Los Angeles and the Hollywood Sign. Whether you head out to catch a sunset or the flickering city lights, it’s bound to brighten up anyone’s day.