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Romantic Date Ideas in Los Angeles

Restaurants, Locations and Activities That Exude Romance in LA

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Whether it's Valentine's Day, an anniversary or just a romantic whim that causes your heart to well up, Los Angeles can deliver when it comes to romance. Below is a starter list of some romantic date ideas in LA that will get you and your partner in the mood for love.

Picnic in the Hills or on the Beach

Couple having picnic on beach with wine
Cultura/GretaMarie/The Image Bank/Getty Images

Lucky us--Angelenos that is--as we have rustic hillside beauty and oceanside romance at our doorsteps. Call it old-fashioned, but a picnic never fails to put smiles on people's faces. And it's a nice chance to take a break from the online world--together.

First and foremost, make sure your basket is packed with delectable eats. For that, you'll need to stop in at one of the many gourmet delis in Los Angeles and stock up.

Next, pick a gorgeous settings. That could be a day at the beach in Malibu, some light hiking through LA's trails or just a neighborhood park you find particularly charming.

The rest is, of course, up to you.

Classic Seduction: Romancing the Hotel Bars

If your idea of romance involves an old Clark Cable film, then you'll probably want to plan a classic date. The best spots for these are the hotel bars of Los Angeles. Many of them have old-fashioned cocktails like Tom Collinses, Gin Fizzes and such and just the right vibes for a Bogey and Bacall style affair. Who wouldn't get in the mood sipping Martinis at the Chateau Marmont? That's, after all where, Gable and Jean Harlow allegedly cozied up to each other, back in the day.

Setting a Mood With a Meal

Wolfgang Puck's WP24 Restaurant at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Los Angeles
Photo Courtesy of Wagstaff Worldwide

LA is a foodie paradise, but you don't have to know your radicchio from your seared Ahi tuna to enjoy an evening of romantic dining in Los Angeles. If you quite simply enjoy ambiance with a capital "A," whether it's moody and oceanfront, or quirky and fun, you're sure to love one of these ambient dining spots in LA. There's something for everyone--from the classic burger fan to the upscale vegan.

A Cultural Connection

The Getty Center in LA
Photo: Bytebear/Wikipedia Creative Commons

Many a great relationship was begun over culture--at least that's what LA's culture ambassador Steve Martin might say. There's nothing more romantic than beholding the spoils of a creative mind such as the great architecture and art in Los Angeles. Go on a self-guided architecture tour of LA or spend the day at LACMA or at one of several photography galleries and museums in Los Angeles. Brains can be sexy too!

The Thrill of It All: Adventurous Dating

Photo © Carlo Allegri/Getty Images

Ok so maybe a designer cocktail at an old hotel or dinner at a rustic hideaway are not exactly your style. You may have watched enough reality TV dating shows to have figured out that adrenalin is just as much of an aphrodisiac. So why not go for an adventurous, sporty date? There's something to be said for tandem surfing or nuzzling up to each other in a ski/snowboarding lodge after a day of heightened physical activity. There's certainly no lack of surf spots in Los Angeles. And, if it's a wintertime heart you want to warm, head for the slopes for some skiing and snowboarding near LA.

Swept Away: The Mysterious and Romantic Weekend Getaway

San Diego California Rancho Bernardo Inn Golf Resort and Spa
Photo Courtesy of Rancho Bernardo Inn Golf Resort and Spa

If you know each other well enough--and are well past that first date--think of hitting the road--well, not like that. Road trips are a great way to get to know each other. Who doesn't love a little time away with the one they love (or deeply like)? Luckily there are enough fantastic spots near LA to facilitate a short (operative word) getaway--an overnighter or weekender. We all know that too much time on the road together can cause the dreaded bandmate syndrome (Hollywood's version of cabin fever). So check out this list of short distance road trips from LA that will get you there and back in under six hours driving time.

Seeing Stars

Griffith Park Observatory in Los Feliz LA
Photo: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Last but not least, my top personal favorite romantic date idea is a trip to the Griffith Observatory. Forget seeing stars on Robertson Boulevard. See some real shooting stars to the tune of 'Fly Me to the Moon.' After all, there's nothing more romantic than the view to end all views.

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