Maybe your idea of romance is an ultra-candlelit dinner. Or maybe it’s a venue so exquisite that you could stare at the scenery for hours. Either way, if you’re looking to make your date go “awwww,” the ideas below will definitely do the trick.
2912 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA 90405
Let the creative juices flow at this romantic little art studio. Friday nights from 6 to 9 PM, $34 gets you a canvas, paint, wine and cheese. Even if you’re not an artist, this intimate venue adorned with twinkle lights will tickle you with its charm, and leave you with a souvenir from what will hopefully be a memorable evening.
5437 E. Ocean Blvd.
Long Beach, CA 90803
Seriously, this date is big guns. You’re either taking her here to impress, or this is the anniversary date of a lifetime—or the perfect place to propose. In the middle of nowhere, Long Beach, you’ll find a quaint place called Naples Island, where costumed gondoliers row you through the canals accompanied by bread and cheese—and you can bring your own bottle of wine. Sunset is the best time to go—be prepared to kiss under the bridge!
2301 N. Highland Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90068
With a season from May to October, the Hollywood Bowl outdoor concert venue offers tickets as cheap as $8 for most of the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s classical concerts. The nosebleed seats may keep you far from the stage, but they do bring you a better view of the stars—and your date. Bring your own wine and picnic before the show, then huddle underneath a blanket together and enjoy the music. Some nights you may even get a free fireworks show (you can say you planned it).
11801 Ventura Blvd.
Studio City, CA 91604
Make reservations ahead of time and ask to be seated in the upstairs wine room—besides the exquisite wood-fired steaks, fish and pizza, this is THE REASON for going to Spark, and the reason this restaurant has made the romance list. Tea lights lead the way upstairs to a private wine room with just a handful of tables—it’s straight out of a movie (which, of course, is the idea).
1418 Descanso Drive
La Cañada Flintridge, CA 91011
It may be a bit of a drive, but this enchanting locale, open year-round, is worth it. Featuring a nature trail, waterfall, pond, rose pavilion, fountain, tea house, theater, and even an enchanted railroad, Descanso Gardens will give you plenty to see and marvel at. And admission is just $8!
2800 E. Observatory Rd.
Los Angeles, CA 90027
From afar, this white-washed building and its domes stand out as an ever-present mountaintop landmark, but up close, you can stargaze with your date, and take in the gorgeous views of the city below. Shows are offered daily except for Mondays, noon to 10 PM weekdays, 10 AM – 10 PM weeknights — come at night, it’s worth it!
17985 Pacific Coast Highway
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
The Getty Villa is located along the Pacific Coast Highway, so even your drive there is breathtaking. But wait ’till you see what’s in store at this lavish art museum locale. Greek columns, sparkling blue pools, lush vegetation and intricate details in the architecture make this locale incredibly sigh-worthy. Admission is free (parking is $15) but tickets are still required to hold your spot.
905 Loma Vista Dr.
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Weddings are constantly being held at this 1920s estate—that’s how you know it oozes romance. Tree-lined paths, sweeping staircases, arched doorways, fountains and ponds make up the mansion’s grounds, as does an elaborate garden. Best of all, visiting the historic mansion is free!
9018 Burton Way
Beverly Hills, CA 90211
For a fancy meal, call up this Italian restaurant and request one of their Romantic Packages—in addition to fresh flower petals, champagne and a delectable dessert, you can even reserve a private dining room for two. If that’s a bit much, simply treat your sweetheart to a quality meal out on the enchanting patio—or grab one of Il Cielo’s signature heart-shaped desserts to go.
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, CA 91108
Bring your camera and make a day of this date — the Huntington boasts world-class art collections, a library of rare books and manuscripts for literary connoisseurs, and jaw-droppingly beautiful botanical gardens. The tea room and café offer a nice respite and a chance to gaze away from the art—and into your honey’s eyes.
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