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Known for its golden beaches, palm trees, and star-studded streets, Los Angeles is also known for unique date ideas. From elegant dining and exhilarating entertainment to getting designer ice cream on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills or forest bathing in the botanical gardens at the Huntington Library, Los Angeles presents endless romantic date ideas to make your special day or night unforgettable. Here are our ten favorite date night ideas in Los Angeles…
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Stroll the Venice Canals, Ride To Santa Monica Pier
Inspired by Venice, Italy, the Venice Canals in Los Angeles were developed in 1905 as part of a seaside resort town. It’s also the setting for one of our best date ideas.
Start by strolling along the waterways. It’s a great place to pose for pictures on the sweet bridges while admiring the charming multi-million dollar bungalows and beautiful gardens. Then, head over to Venice Beach to gaze upon the Pacific Ocean under a sunset. Enjoy live performances on the Venice Boardwalk, rent a bike to ride to the Santa Monica Pier to enjoy the beach views on the Ferris Wheel at Pacific Park there, or challenge your honey to an old-fashioned game of pinball or one of the many other arcade games at Playland!
Where to Eat
Check out Baja Venice, serving delicious Mexican food in Marina del Rey since 1975. It has an eclectic, laid-back, beachy vibe with plenty of indoor and outdoor seating. We love the margarita flights, which pair perfectly with the chips and fresh pico de gallo. Not into Mexican food? Check out the site of LAFT Editor Rina and her husband Howard’s first date at 26 Beach Restaurant in Venice/Marina del Rey for an eclectic menu. Try the crab-mixed hamburger, a fan favorite, as well as the Chilean Sea Bass.
…at the Hotel Irwin and enjoy a nightcap on its rooftop pool overlooking the Venice Boardwalk and that lovely ocean.
Catch a Movie at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery
Start with an unusual cinematic experience at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, which hosts Cinespia screenings. Couples can bring a cozy blanket and a picnic to enjoy classic films under the stars, surrounded by the final resting places of Hollywood legends. It’s a one-of-a-kind experience at a perfect place that combines romance, history, and entertainment. Then, take a short drive to the Sunset Strip for drinks at Tesse or catch a late-night comedy show at the Comedy Club.
Where to Eat
One of the best places to pick up a bottle of vino and a pre-assembled picnic basket for two is at The Oaks Gourmet Market and Cafe in Franklin Village. Choose from a variety of salads and sandwiches. We love the Caesar salad and roasted turkey club. Be sure to return the reusable picnic basket to receive 10% off next time!
…at The Hollywood Historic Hotel, a charming 61-room hotel, where guests can find comfort in the simple, stately rooms.
Getty Villa and Wine Tasting in Malibu
Start with a visit to the Getty Villa, a recreation of an ancient Roman home, housing priceless artifacts from Greek and Roman times. Located on Pacific Coast Highway, then continue your date with a drive into the Malibu hills to enjoy a wine-tasting experience at one of the local vineyards, Malibu Wines. Found in the Santa Monica Mountains, Malibu Wines charms visitors with its picturesque setting for sipping wine. The 70 acres of rocky slopes are made up of twelve varietals growing on 70,000 fruitful vines. Enjoy a casual stroll around the grassy areas after a picnic dinner from the food trucks, or go on a guided hike before dinner with Malibu Wine Hikes.
Where to Eat
Once per month at Malibu Wines, visitors can enjoy a multi-course dinner thoughtfully paired with vineyard wines. The meals consist of the freshest local ingredients at The Farm to Table Dinner and Wine Pairing. Each ticket costs $125. The meal is only for those 21 and older.
…at The Surfrider, an upscale beachy boutique hotel, on the Pacific Coast highway and across from Surfrider Beach.
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Explore Griffith Observatory & Be Amazed At The Magic Castle
For couples who share a love for the cosmos, start with a visit to the Griffith Observatory, a free-admission facility set on the south side of Mount Hollywood and within Griffith Park. Apart from the stunning views of Los Angeles and the Hollywood Sign, the observatory offers fascinating exhibits and a chance to gaze at the stars through the telescopes. Enjoy a talk showcasing the beginning of the universe in the Samuel Oschin Planetarium. It’s a romantic and educational experience. Then, impress your date at a sleight-of-hand show at the Magic Castle. Make sure to ask your magician member friend to put you on the exclusive list. Admission is limited to magician members and their friends.
Where to Eat
After stargazing, enjoy dinner and drinks at the Magic Castle before the shows or try to spot a familiar face at the iconic Musso & Frank, a celebrity favorite since 1919.
Take a Sunset Horseback Ride
Experience the rustic charm of Los Angeles on a sunset horseback ride through the Hollywood Hills. Through Sunset Ranch Hollywood and $175, guests can ride into the sunset on Mt. Hollywood. The views of the city on horseback at dusk can’t be beat. Couples can enjoy the natural beauty of the trails, leading to breathtaking views of the city below. It’s a peaceful and romantic way to connect with nature and each other.
Where to Eat
Keep with the theme and saddle on up at The Saddle Ranch. Check out the reviews online to find out how many times diners mention the incredibly hospitable and thoughtful staff. I lost count! When the food is good (and generously portioned) and the service is superior, guests return again and again.
…at the Mediterranean-inspired Palihotel Hollywood decorated with soothing natural colors and filled with gorgeous greenery.
Enjoy Live Music at the Walt Disney Concert Hall
For music-loving couples, attending a live performance at the Walt Disney Concert Hall is a dream come true. Home to the Los Angeles Philharmonic, one of the greatest orchestras in the world, the concert hall offers an array of performances ranging from classical music to contemporary bands. The stunning architecture and world-class acoustics make it an unforgettable date night destination.
Where to Eat
After the concert dine at 71 Above Restaurant and Skylounge. At nearly 1000 feet above ground with 360 degree views in the heart of downtown LA, this dining atmosphere is a sensory experience unlike any other. Be sure to make a reservation, especially on a concert night, and do check their dress code. While smart casual doesn’t mean that men must wear a suit coat, they certainly are encouraged.
…at the chic boutique E-Central Downtown Los Angeles Hotel right in the heart of the entertainment district.
Visit The Getty Center
Perched atop the Santa Monica Mountains is The Getty Center, an art museum that is much more than its title suggests. Couples can explore the impressive collection of art, stroll through the meticulously manicured gardens, or simply enjoy the panoramic views of Los Angeles. The serene atmosphere and architectural beauty provide a perfect backdrop for a romantic date. Wear comfortable clothing and shoes, as many places and spaces exist to explore.
Where to Eat
Just a couple miles from The Getty Center in an inconspicuous setting, a modern-day artist, Daniele Uditi, master piazzolo, has begun to receive quite a bit of attention. Reservations aren’t required at Pizzana, but they are strongly recommended. Do try the signature Cacio e Pepe Pizza. The LA Times reported that the recent national restaurant trend of reimaging the classic pasta dish began with this pizza in 2017.
….at the high-rise Hotel Angelino with views of the city from the penthouse bar and a location that’s close to the Getty, Westwood, and the 405 freeway for those wishing to venture farther afield to Long Beach (40 minutes) or nearby Mulholland Drive.
Sail at Sunset in Marina Del Rey
Start with a sail on a private charter or join a group cruise in Marina Del Rey for an unforgettable evening on the water. As the sun dips below the horizon, couples can enjoy the gentle sea breeze and the calming sound of the waves. Whether it’s a luxurious yacht or a cozy sailboat, the experience promises a mix of adventure and romance, making it to the top of the list of date night ideas in Los Angeles. Then, enjoy an evening stroll in Fisherman’s Village.
Where to Eat
Dinner at SALT, which overlooks the marina, is always a good idea. Located on the bottom floor of the Marina Del Rey Hotel, it was recently awarded “Best Ambience and Outdoor Dining” by OpenTable’s Diners’ Choice. We love the seafood tower and lobster pasta.
Indulge in a Spa Day
Los Angeles is home to several luxurious spas that offer couples massages and treatments. Start with an escape from the city’s frenzy and spend the day unwinding together in a tranquil environment. Pamper yourselves at The Ritz-Carlton Spa or enjoy an all-day Korean spa experience at Wi Spa. Various treatments promise a rejuvenating experience at both. Then, continue your zen journey at a meditation retreat. Unplug LA is the premium mental retreat.
Where to Eat
Begin spa day with brunch at the vibrant, vegetable-first restaurant, Botanica. The menu rotates with the season, but our favorites are Overnight Oats and the Botanica Diner Plate, eggs, bacon and toast. The founders of the restaurant, Emily Fiffer, and Heather Sperling, were food writers and editors whose work led them to open a new kind of restaurant. Botanica’s mission is to create a standard for “nourishing hospitality.”
…at the Ritz-Carlton Los Angeles to continue the splurge or enjoy the fine cozy rooms after your couple’s spa treatment.
Explore the DTLA Arts District and Los Angeles Arts
Finally, for couples who appreciate the vibrancy of urban art and culture, start at the Arts District in downtown Los Angeles, the place to be. Wander through the colorful streets adorned with creative murals, explore trendy galleries, and enjoy a quick read at the Last Bookstore. Then, drive into West Hollywood to enjoy the many museums in the Miracle Mile area, starting with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Don’t miss generations of Hollywood magic at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. End the day with a concert at the Hollywood Bowl.
Where to Eat
While there are so many excellent choices in this area, a fun option after a day full of shopping can be found at Bavel, a Middle Eastern restaurant. The menu is created for sharing. Couples are encouraged to order between 4-6 dishes to nibble together. Begin with marinated olives and flatbread, then move on to the Slow Roasted Lamb Neck Shawarma. Dessert shouldn’t be skipped, and diners will have a difficult time choosing between the Apple Prune Cake and the Strawberry Sumac and Sweet Cheese Pastry. The space itself is full of natural light and greenery.
…at the high-end, yet affordable Kimpton Everly Hotel Hollywood, a great in-between location for your artistic escapades.
A diverse city like Los Angeles is full of fun date ideas. The options can be overwhelming but this list of our favorite date night ideas in Los Angeles is a good place to start your romantic adventure!
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From the serene beauty of art and nature to the excitement of urban adventures and luxurious relaxation, Los Angeles has it all. Each of these date night ideas in Los Angeles offers a unique way to explore the city and connect with your partner.