By Esther Tseng
Los Angeles has no shortage of scenic spots for you and your date to enjoy. Fresh air and beautiful landscapes from mountains to waterways await! Whether you’re on foot, paddling, or pedaling, Mother Nature will set the perfect mood for your Bumble meetup. Here are our top date ideas in Los Angeles.
Bike on the Strand
After securing your wheels through the city’s Metro Bike Share, private rental, or guided tour, go for a cruise on one of the most famous bike paths in the city, or even the world. It’s a smooth, flat ride with prime beachfront views, taking you from Venice or Marina del Rey to Santa Monica or Pacific Palisades—and vice versa. There are plenty of stops for eats and shops along the path, so you can make a day out of the 7-mile stretch. 517 Ocean Front Walk #2440, Venice, CA 90291.
Venice Canal Historic District
Stroll through the quaint, Italian-inspired canals lined with boats, foliage, and characterful bungalows. The area’s walkways are well-groomed, and nine distinctive pedestrian bridges carry you over each channel for some of the most romantic sights in all of L.A. Park at the end of Lincoln Avenue, then walk south on the boardwalk to 25th Avenue for a path that cuts into the canals. 200 Linnie Canal, Venice, CA 90291.
Kayak in Long Beach
Make a day trip of your date and head south! Reserve your kayak online before heading to Long Beach for a spirited, scenic adventure. When there, you’ll be able to paddle past beautiful homes, boats and yachts, and a variety of restaurants clustered at six separate landing areas. Keep it outside and set up a picnic, and don’t miss the cove filled with “moon jellies,” or live jellyfish: the Long Beach Aquarium supplies their touch tank from there! 5411 East Ocean Blvd. Long Beach, CA 90803.
Abbot Kinney Boulevard
Stylish, palm-lined Abbot Kinney Boulevard remains the ever-evolving hub and heart of Venice. You’ll find one-off shops, big-name fashion boutiques, beloved restaurants, charming cafes, art galleries, and more settled along its one-mile stretch. As we return to normal, look forward to the return of First Fridays to peruse these art spaces and procure delicious fare from a wide variety of food trucks. Abbot Kinney and Venice Blvd, 90291.
Huntington Botanical Gardens
This Southern California treasure encompasses 130 acres, over a dozen themed gardens, and a wide range of ecosystems to stroll through. The Chinese Garden is one of the largest in the world, complete with ornate pavilions to take in the lake views. For a romantic setting, the Rose Garden is hard to beat, with its 3,000 heavenly-scented blooms. Be sure to make an online reservation ahead of time, and grab a to-go drink and snack at the Gardens’ 1919 Café. 1151 Oxford Road San Marino, CA 91108.
Griffith Park Observatory
Climb northbound up Vermont Avenue and past The Greek Theatre to enter the grounds surrounding Griffith Park Observatory. Take your date in the evening to marvel at the night sky, or enjoy sweeping views of the Hollywood Sign during the day. The surrounding 53 miles of hiking trails lend spectacular sights of the city below. Summit from the Observatory to Mount Hollywood to get a view of the entire Los Angeles Basin. Make a reservation at the Autry Museum ahead of time to explore the art of the American West. 2800 East Observatory Road; Los Angeles, CA 90027.
From this beautiful promontory with cliffs and coves in Malibu, you can see Catalina Island to the north and Santa Monica Bay to the south. Two miles of scenic trails through grasslands and coastal bluffs offer biodiversity along your hike. The beach is readily accessible for swimming, surfing, scuba diving, or fishing if you and your date are feeling sporty. This designated State Natural Preserve teems with wildlife, so keep your eyes peeled for everything from dolphins to lizards. Cliffside Drive & Birdview Avenue; Malibu, CA 90265.
Hike Zuma Canyon Trail
For hiking with unmatched ocean views, the Zuma Canyon Trail is the perfect, moderate-level trail that makes every step worth the effort. The 1.3-mile trail takes you along a stony creek bed and through a canyon lush with oak and sycamore trees that provide shade for hikers. If you’re game for a longer distance with your match, take the Canyon View and Ocean View trails for an additional loop and more sights. Do you or your date have a dog? Bring your furry friend along! 5721 Bonsall Drive, Malibu, CA 90265.
Santa Monica Pier and Boardwalk
For some good, old-fashioned fun, nothing beats this slice of L.A. history, complete with an arcade and the pulse-pumping rides at Pacific Park. Book ahead to take a whirl on the famous Ferris wheel (it’s solar-powered!)—and as the sun sets, stroll over to the Boardwalk to take in the coastal views. There are tons of dining options, from cheap eats like hot dogs to fresh lobster rolls at The Albright. 200 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, CA 90401.
Sunset at Barnsdall Art Park
There’s no more romantic spot to watch the sunset over the City of Angels from atop Olive Hill. It’s also the site of the Hollyhock House by legendary California architect Frank Lloyd Wright if you or your date are design buffs. If you’re able, schedule a tour to see the house before magic hour. Either way, you’ll want to stake out your place to relax on the lawn as the sun dips beyond the Hollywood Hills. On Fridays nights, the Park hosts wine tastings, but you’re welcome to bring your own picnic and blanket. 4800 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027.