What exactly do you need to know to be a dating success in the City of Angels? With its idyllic subtropical-Mediterranean climate, hilly terrain, Hollywood glitz, lively nightlife, this city of beautiful people has plenty of options for memorable dates. Just don’t count on public transit to get you there.
Dating in Los Angeles: Get Outside
Who says nobody walks in L.A.? Based on the number of trails in Los Angeles, hiking should be the official city pastime. Taking a long walk with a date is also a great way to get to know a person. Plus, it’s inexpensive and low maintenance! How very un-L.A.!
Go for a secluded romantic walk on the Tapia Spur Trail in Malibu Creek State Park. Picnic at Exposition Park’s Rose Garden. Cozy up in front of a bonfire at Dockweiler Beach.
Explore downtown on foot. Play tourist in your hometown and take a guided tour of City Hall, Little Tokyo or the Biltmore Hotel. Or go on an architectural walking tour of Bunker Hill.
Head to Griffith Park for a free outdoor Shakespeare in the Park performance.
Tired of walking? Bike the Strand, a 22-mile path that runs along Los Angeles County’s shoreline. Break for a picnic for two at Venice Beach.
If you want to make your date see you as her knight, take her for a Friday night dinner ride at Sunset Ranch Hollywood Stables. It’s first come, first served, so show up early.
Dating in Los Angeles: Museums
L.A. boasts two of the best museums in America. The Getty Center, celebrating art and architecture, opened in 1997 to instant fame. The view overlooking the city is breathtaking, and the Central Garden is practically a sculpture in itself. (Bonus: free admission.)
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) holds over 100,000 works of art, and frequently hosts date-worthy evening jazz and other music events.
Other date-worthy museums: the Museum of Jurassic Technology, the Hollywood Bowl Museum and the Hammer Museum.
Dating in Los Angeles: Farmer’s Markets
This “Original Farmer’s Market” isn’t all pickup trucks and fruit stands. It opened in 1924 and has become a gathering place for several L.A. communities. With dozens of restaurants, shops, markets, and bars, the date strolling is superb. Celeb-watchers should keep their eyes peeled for A-listers like market-regulars Jennifer Garner and Reese Witherspoon shopping for fresh veggies. Unlike most farmer’s markets, this one’s open every day.
Other markets to explore: The Hollywood Farmer’s Market on Sunday mornings and the Yamashiro Farmer’s Market on Thursday evenings. If you’re looking to include the kids, the Sunday-morning Motor Avenue Farmer’s Market offers a petting zoo and free pony rides.
Dating in Los Angeles: Game Night
Some of the best sports teams call L.A. home: the Lakers, the Dodgers, USC, UCLA, the Galaxy, the Kings and even the L.A. Clippers. Take your date to the game, or cheer from the comfort of a place like Santa Monica’s Yankee Doodles. It has the distinction among L.A.’s sports bars as having females among its regulars, making it a little more date-friendly than other options.
Shoot pool together at chic date spot Q’s Billiard Club & Restaurant on Wilshire, throw strikes at Shatto 39 Lanes in Koreatown, or hit the (mini) golf course at Sherman Oaks Castle Park.
For early birds, Roving Archers offers free Saturday morning archery classes.
Dating in Los Angeles: A Different Kind of Game Night
Play games! Drink beer and nosh on deep-fried Oreos while you play Skee ball — for free! — and make faces in the photo booth at One-Eyed Gypsy in downtown L.A, test your arcade skills with a friendly wager at Blipsy Barcade in Koreatown, or hang out at The Spare Room for a night of bowling, board games and cocktails at the retro-inspired lounge in Hollywood.
Feeling more adventurous? Sign up for a Watson Adventure scavenger hunt and explore the city together.
Dating in Los Angeles: Movie Night
Los Angeles has been called “the creative capital of the world,” with a silver-screen history and culture that’s hard to ignore.
Embrace Hollywood and stroll along the Walk of Fame on Hollywood Boulevard. Visit the Hollywood History Museum or Paley Center for Media. Go on a walking tour of downtown movie locations, or attend a taping of a favorite television show.
Catch a flick at Landmark Theater. The Screening Lounge has been called “the best seat in the house,” and lets you cuddle up to your date on a comfy couch.
If you’ve spent a summer in Los Angeles and haven’t caught a movie on the lawn of Hollywood Forever Cemetery, you’re missing out. This affordable summertime Saturday-night staple runs from May through September. Bring a picnic dinner — with a bottle of wine, as alcohol is permitted — and a low-back chair and sit back for a unique film experience.
Dating in Los Angeles: Night Owls
Los Angeles has a great late-night scene. So if you and your date are night owls, be sure to explore some of the legendary hot spots.
Some of rock’s biggest names have played at famous/infamous The Viper Room. The Troubadour was a major folk draw in the ‘60s, with Carole King, James Taylor and Joni Mitchell all stopping by. It remains a great showcase for emerging artists, making it a draw for new-music fans.
If you’re trying to skip the club scene, head over to Aloha Sharkeez, a popular Hermosa Beach local bar for a more relaxed atmosphere. The patio and dance floor are sure to be packed with beautiful beach bums.
Mojito-sippers and salsa fans will love El Floridita. Just make sure you make a reservation if you want a table.
When it comes to sexy date locales, it doesn’t get much cooler than the A-list night spot Tower Bar at the Sunset Tower Hotel. More laidback lounge than beats-heavy nightclub, the old-Hollywood-style piano bar, gorgeous view and memorable appetizers are sure to impress.
Or, if your date’s the bee’s knees, kick up your heels at Maxwell DeMille’s Cicado Club.
Dating in Los Angeles: Be a Kid
Men, take notes from Ryan Gosling’s dating playbook and take your girl to Disneyland or Magic Mountain. For a little old-fashioned fun, sip milkshakes as you stroll along the Santa Monica Pier, hand-in-hand. (Be sure to stop to ride the Ferris wheel at Pacific Park.)
Embrace a little childlike wonder and check out the space shuttle Endeavor at the California Science Center.
Escape the cynicism of the city and laugh like kids together.
Dating in Los Angeles: Laugh
One advantage to living in a city packed with wannabe actors is that you’ve got the nation’s top amateurs eager to entertain. Comedy clubs are scattered throughout the city, with The Laugh Factory in West Hollywood — popular comedians still frequent the place to try out new material — and Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre as standout date possibilities.
Other places to find laughs: Hollywood Improv, iO West and The Second City, all in Hollywood.
Learn more about Los Angeles Singles.