LA is known for old Hollywood glamour and the more seedy areas of town where you would only venture if you were looking for a fight. It is not Paris and many wouldn’t consider it a romantic city. However, when you really want to pull the stops out for a romantic date, there are so many places to consider. Dating in LA will always feel cheesy; you’re in the City of Angels. Once you have found your way over that detail, you can begin to plan a romantic first date in Hollywood’s home.
Those who live in LA will rarely visit tourist hotspots and spend most of their lives in traffic, but what if you lived like a tourist for one day, where would you go on a date? Dating apps such as Badoo have changed dating in California, making it easier to meet someone on the go. Gone are the days of being stuck in traffic and missing a call or having to head to the latest chic uptown bar to meet someone worthy of your attention. Mix and match your favorite tourist attractions to make a fun date for a day off, and appreciate the city the way the tourists do.
1. Griffith Observatory
Since La La Land hit our screens in 2017, the Griffith Observatory has been a busy place, with couples visiting for a romantic stroll. Once inside the observatory, confused couples wait to hover around the domed ceiling before finally realizing that the only way Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone managed to get up there was through the power of movie magic. If you’re a little sharper, you’ll be content with looking around the exhibits, exploring the incredible Planetarium and soaking up the incredible views from way up in the Hollywood hills. You might even do a little tap dance and sing a La La Land song or two.
2. Universal Studios California
For thrill seekers, Universal Studios makes for a great first date. For Harry Potter nerds, there’s a chance to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and take a ride on the Flight of the Hippogriff. If you’re a fan of the TV show The Walking Dead, Universal has a great new immersive attraction featuring live actors and original effects which will have you and your date quite literally clinging on for your life. One couple had their wedding at Universal inside a Voodoo Doughnut outlet. The first date might be a little early to start thinking about the future, but couples who ride together die together!
3. Beverly Hot Springs
After a day out at Universal, you probably want to spend a day relaxing, especially if you visited the Walking Dead experience. If you’re lucky enough to get an immediate second date straight after the first, why not try Beverly Hot Springs? The spa is pumped with water from a natural thermal spring which makes the pool water steaming hot, and great for your skin. The hot spring water is believed to increase circulation, combat fatigue, and improve the appearance of wrinkles. You may even feel revitalized enough to head out for dinner after. Third date and counting!
4. Sunset Ranch
If you and your date are lovers of the great outdoors, then head down to Sunset Ranch for a chance to ride ponies through the open landscape. As you trot out on your stallion, you’ll have a view of the Hollywood hills behind you, If you’re a fan of impressing someone on a first date, this is sure to be it. Just make sure that you can ride a horse before you take them out, otherwise, you may end up pulling a pony across the ranch, which isn’t quite as impressive as riding out into the sunset with your date.
Fans of Pretty Woman will know Cicadia as the Pretty Woman restaurant in which Julia Roberts attempts to spear her snails with her fork but instead sends them flying across the table. If you’re the wining and dining type, Cicada is impressive. The menu comprises of mainly northern Italian cuisine, and the opulent chandelier laden backdrop is exquisite. For a true Pretty Woman experience, visit stores on Rodeo Drive before you head to Cicada and watch the sales assistant become increasingly agitated as you pronounce “I love this!” and pretend that you can afford everything.
6. Point Vicente Lighthouse
Take yourself away from LA’s glamour for the day and visit the Point Vicente Lighthouse, which has more in common with Long Island than LA. The old lighthouse used to guide ships in from the sea, but nowadays the area is protected with conservation status, and people flock there to see wildlife in its natural habitat. You can see grey whales from the shore, or take a trip out whale spotting. Once you’ve climbed the lighthouse and are ready for dinner, there’s a great spot for cocktails on the beach.
7. Gondola Getaway
If you thought you would have to travel to Venice, Italy to experience a romantic gondola ride, then you’re probably in need of saving yourself a few bucks. You can take a gondola around Naples Island and Alamitos Bay. If you’re taking your gondola ride at night, be sure to wrap up, it can get chilly as the sun sets in LA, especially if you’re out on the water. You and your date could take a trip to one of the islands and couple it with a romantic dinner. Ask the gondola driver if you can have a go at steering the gondola and show off your sculling skills.
You’re probably itching to head out to tourist spots that you’ve not visited for years or even never visited, and you’re excited to head out with your date. We all need to be reminded why we love our city so much, especially when we’re stuck in traffic or trying to scrape together the last of our rent. Letting everything go and sending yourself on a mini holiday is the best way to get to know someone, even if it is only for a day.