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16 Best Romantic Date Ideas in Los Angeles

Griffith Observatory in August

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What’s the best romantic date you can think of? Walking on the beach? Hiking in the mountains? Tastings in wine country?

Well, I have some good news: all these options (and more) are available in Los Angeles. When I was living in LA – not too long ago – it surprised me to see how many options you have if you’re looking for some romantic date ideas. You’ll never be at a loss. 

Admittedly, I can’t count the number of locations I would choose for a date. So, I made a list of the absolute best romantic things to do in Los Angeles I can think of. The list include some hidden gems, so make sure to take notes.

16 Romantic Things to Do in Los Angeles, By a Local Expert

The Griffith Observatory 

Griffith Observatory in August
Photo by author

The Griffith observatory is one of my favorite places in LA (that’s why it’s the first item on this list).

So, if you’re looking for a romantic evening among the stars, I highly recommend this place. The starry sky makes the perfect backdrop for your date. Nestled at the top of Griffith Park, the observatory is perfect during the day or night. 

During the day, you can catch one of the breathtaking shows in the planetarium. At night, you can use the Observatory’s telescopes to peer up at the night sky. 

Griffith Observatory even holds star parties every month where you and your date where you can get a chance to look at the Sun, Moon, visible planets, and other objects. 

The Last Bookstore 

Me at the Last Bookstore, LA
Me at The Last Bookstore

The first time I visited this place I was speechless. I had never seen a place where walls were made of books. You can see how happy I was feeling in the picture above.

The Last Bookstore is California’s largest used and new book and record store. Originally founded in 2005, the bookstore is now the largest independent bookstore in the world still standing.

I think it’s a perfect date idea for die-hard readers and record lovers alike. You can spend time walking through the book tunnel while you and your partner talk about your favorite reads. Or you can sit among the shelves filled with books.

It’s probably not the best place if your date isn’t really into reading and books.

Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach every year in April 

Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach
Photo by author

While I was living in LA I went to the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach every single year. So, if like me you’re into fast cars, take your date to watch the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach. It’s a great date idea – but only if you’re both into cars.

The Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach is an IndyCar Series race held on a street circuit in downtown Long Beach. Watch in the stands and you’ll be able to feel the adrenaline pump through your heart.

Long Beach holds this race every April, so be sure to book your tickets in advance.


Photo by author

Ahhh…the LACMA. I love it. And it’s definitely a great date idea for anyone.

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, or LACMA for short, is an art museum on Museum Row, right across from La Brea Tar Pits. 

With countless exhibits, LACMA offers something for everyone. Exploring the Museum gives you a fantastic opportunity to get closer with your date. 

The Urban Lights, one of the most popular artworks on the campus, is a famous spot for pictures, so be sure to get a picture with you and your partner among the lights. 

Santa Barbara 

Me in Santa Barbara (CA)
Me in Santa Barbara (sorry for the funny face)

I used to go to Santa Barbara a lot because it’s just 2 hours away from LA by car – and I have to say it’s one of the most romantic places I’ve been.

So, whether you’re newly dating, celebrating an anniversary, or simply seeking a beautiful place to visit, Santa Barbara makes for an ideal romantic day trip during the weekends. 

Insider tip: Go for a picnic at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden where they have 5.5 miles of paths to wander and gorgeous views of Santa Ynez and Channel Islands views. 

Another place I recommend to visit is the ruins at Knapp’s Castle. Knapp’s Castle is the ruins of a private mansion that burned down 70 years ago. But it’s the stunning 360-degree views of the Santa Ynez Valley that makes it special. 

Malibu Wine Tour 

Less than 40 miles from downtown Los Angeles, Malibu wine country is in the canyons of the Santa Monica Mountains.

With a wine tour, it lets you be intimate, connect with your partner and take your favorite blend home as a souvenir. 

There are many wine tours available in Malibu, making it a prime spot to go on a date. Check out of of the many wineries to go on a tour and get a tasting. 

If you’re looking for a good winery, try Malibu Family Wines. 

Echo Park Swan Boats 

If you’re looking for a fun, physical date activity, consider grabbing a pedal boat and go out on Echo Park Lake. The boats are easy to manuveur and offer views of the Los Angeles skyline, the Echo Park fountain, and the surrounding park.

For something even more romantic, you can take a ride at sunset or late night. Illuminated rides start at 5 PM, which is a good time to see the sunset.

The Swan Boats light up with LED lights that add a little after-dark sparkle. 

Beverly Hills Helicopter Tour 

Take your date for a helicopter tour over Beverly Hills for something a little different. Riding high above the city allows you and your partner to experience the beauty of Los Angeles from a completely different view. 

You can choose countless destinations for where you go on your helicopter tour, from The Westood to The Getty Center and to Beverly Hills. 

You could even try night tours, mountaintop tours, and sunset tours.

Santa Monica 

If you’re in Santa Monica, you’re in for a treat. The Palisades Park is a 26.4-acre park stretching over Ocean Avenue. The park stands on top of coastal sandstone bluffs, right along Santa Monica Beach. 

If you don’t mind the people, the Santa Monica Pier is a great backdrop for a date. Santa Monica Pier is best known for its small amusement park, where you and your date can get on rides and graze along the concession stands. 

There’s even the Santa Monica Aquarium that hides right underneath the pier. 

Watch a Movie at the Melrose Rooftop Theatre 

Cosy up and catch an outside movie on the Melrose Rooftop Theatre. They have a full bar with food and scenic views. 

You and your date can cuddle up and enjoy one of the movies friom Melrose Rooftop Theatre’s extensive movie catalog. The Theatre rotates through cult classics and new releases, so be sure to keep an eye on their schedule. 

Every individual is given a headset and personal beanbag.

Picnic at Redondo Beach Veterans Park 

If you’re looking for a nice place to get outside and picnic, look no further than Veterans Park in Redondo Beach. Veterans Park is 6.3 acres park located right by Redondo Beach. 

Pack your lunch of choice and bring your date over to picnic. Lay a blanket on the green space or find a picnic table to settle in. Veterans Park gives you the scenic views of the beach without all the sand in your food. 

As an added bonus, try bringing some music or games to play together. 

The Korean Friendship Bell 

Inside Angels Gate Park in San Pedro, you’ll find the Korean Friendship Bell. The Korean Friendship Bells is a 12-foot tall, 17-ton gift from South Korea. 

The Friendship Bell has amazing views of the Los Angeles harbor, the Catalina Channel and the sea terraces of San Pedro hill.

The Korean Friendship Bells rings out at several points over the year, celebrating key dates in American and Korean history. Check out the San Pedro site to see when it occurs. 

Bonfire at Dockweiler Beach 

Looking for a romantic date on the beach? Dockweiler Beach has your back. The beach is well-known for its fire pits and great for a relaxing evening. 

Imagine roasting s’mores and hanging out by the fire, all while enjoying the pleasant beach views and smell of love in the air. 

It may be harder to snag a bonfire depending what time of year it is. Dockweiler has about 40 fire pits, which is not enough to meet demand. You may need to get up early to snag a spot. 

Pits are big enough for 10 people, so you could do a couples’ night or share with another group. 

Visit the Lake Shrine 

Located in the Pacific Palisades, The Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine Temple is a peaceful oasis and beautiful gem. Lake Shrine is a wonderful place to take a break from the city and go somewhere quiet. 

Bring your date and bask in the peace. The shrine has beautiful gardens, flowers, ducks, and swans. Take a stroll through the Meditation Gardens, but make sure to make reservations in advance. 

The LA Disney Concert Hall 

Home to the Los Angeles Philharmonics, The Walt Disney Concert Hall is a romantic date night for music-lovers. The Concert Hall is full with stunning architecture, world-class acoustics, and a variety of live performances. 

They even have a hidden rooftop garden, Blue Ribbon Garden. The garden creates a striking backdrop for rooftop events. 

Check out the performances on the website to see which performances are coming up. 

Rent a boat

Being so close to the water, Los Angeles has its fair share of places to go boating. Take the day to rent a boat and go out on the water with your sweetheart. 

If you’re lucky, maybe you’ll catch a glimpse of dolphins or other marine animals while you’re out on the water. 

Whatever your preference is, there’s a perfect date for everyone in Los Angeles. The City of Angels offers many date options for the newly dating or longer relationships. 

Whether you’re taking a weekend off in Malibu wine country or flying above the LA skyline, you can’t go wrong with one of these romantic dates. 

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