Find Love in the City of Angels: Iconic First Date Spots in LA

Los Angeles Local Dating

You’ve sealed the deal on eHarmony, and now you’re ready to take your match to the next level–meet in person. You’ve studied your match’s profile and checked out their pictures, so you know what activities they enjoy. To impress them on your first date, all you have to do is pick one of the best date spots in LA. 

If you are surfing the internet for ideas for date options in the Los Angeles area, you’ll find activities beyond dinner, drinks, and a movie. The laid-back city boasts no end of fun and exciting places to go on a date. Lucky for you, you’re in what’s considered the west coast version of the town that never sleeps. 

This list of fun dates in L.A. is for all couples who enjoy more than your average excursion, from delicious foodie experiences, like cooking classes, to classic L.A. date ideas. On a budget? You can even find a few free options at some hot date night spots. 

If you’re searching for date ideas in the Los Angeles area that are perfect for you and your special someone, read on. 

Foodie Date Options in Los Angeles

Cooking Classes

Are you on the hunt for cooking classes in your area to help you plan a fun and unique date? There are plenty of exciting choices in the L.A. area. Join a top-notch chef for a few hours of culinary creativity as they teach you how to prepare dishes like fresh pasta and vegetarian feasts fit for a king (or, in this case, you and your date!)

If you prefer to hang out at home for the night, try online cooking classes. Many recipes are catered especially for couples.

A Food Tour

If you prefer to bond over cuisine, many food tours in L.A. give insight into one of the most fantastic food scenes in the nation. Professional and expert local guides eagerly await the opportunity to take you around the city for a hands-on experience of the history, local architecture, culinary culture, and much more, all while you discover the best hotspots and hidden gems in L.A.  

Wine Safaris in Malibu

This two-hour safari excursion on Saddlerock Ranch is the perfect way to enjoy the outdoors while experiencing a fun and unique wine-tasting experience. On this tour, you’ll be able to:

  1. Learn more about the ranch’s past
  2. Taste various wines made 
  3. Feed the animals

Doesn’t this sound like a great experience?

A Private Chef Experience

Why not dial up the romance a bit with a private chef? You can dine on a chef-prepared three-course meal in an intimate environment. To start planning your private chef evening, search for private chefs in your area who will travel to your location with all their ingredients and skills necessary to make you and your date a meal so stunning you’d think you were in one of the best restaurants in the nation. It doesn’t matter if you have a taste for Italian food, African cuisine, or Thai. You can have your choice of many private chefs in the L.A. area to host your upscale, romantic evening. After cooking and serving you a mouthwatering meal, your chef will clean up before leaving.

A Wine Tasting and Tour

A winery tasting and tour is the ideal escape from the crowded city. It allows you to develop your tasting palates together while enjoying the great outdoors. This option is not your typical run-of-the-mill L.A. date. A wine tour takes you and your date outside the city to enjoy the beautiful California vineyards scattered throughout the county.

Relaxing Date Options in the L.A. Area

Take a Stroll through the Venice Canals

One of the more relaxing date options in L.A. is taking a romantic walk through the quiet Venice Canals, three blocks on the canal hidden between Abbot Kinney and Venice Beach. You both can check out and admire the retro cottages, see some wildlife in their natural habitat, and climb arching pedestrian bridges. If you have a kayak or canoe, take a tour through the canals from the water, beginning at the ramp on Venice Boulevard.  

Take an Online Tasting Course

Nothing bonds two people together more than learning and experiencing a new skill. If you prefer to cozy up together for a quiet night in, consider a relaxing date at home with an online tasting class. You’ll learn how to make amazing and unique drinks together in a mixology glass, or you can develop your palates in a virtual wine-tasting course.

Spend a Quiet Day at the Huntington Library

The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens is a Los Angeles hot spot where you can enjoy a relaxing date. You’ll have much to see, so you and your date will not run out of things to discuss. The beautifully spread-out botanical gardens may be the primary focus of your trip, but on hot days, head indoors and check out the vast collection of British art. For a memorable date, don’t forget to look at a Gutenberg Bible.

Outdoor Dates in Los Angeles

Take a Quiet Hike at Temescal Canyon

Temescal Canyon is just north of Santa Monica and is a popular hiking spot in the L.A. area. It’s densely wooded with a breathtaking seasonal waterfall. Temescal Canyon is great for nature-seekers looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. The hike is also great for pets, so if your date enjoys furry creatures, the more, the merrier. 

A Boat Ride in Echo Lake Park

If you’re looking for a rom-com kind of date in Los Angeles, check out historic Echo Lake Park for a fun boat ride. For a more intimate ride, you can rent a swan boat and pedal around the lake until your little heart’s content. Cap off the excursion by taking in a few downtown views, then enjoy a long stroll down the path surrounding the lake.

Enjoy a Hike at Runyon Canyon

You’ll enjoy the sweeping views of the city with a long hike at Runyon Canyon. This romantic date idea in L.A. is an excellent idea for couples looking for a free and exciting activity. You’ll begin at Mulholland Drive for a short 0.85-mile hike to the top to catch a gorgeous sunset view. Or, if you prefer, make it a full day of fun and challenge yourself to a longer hike.

Artistic Date Spots in LA

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art is an excellent option to take a date interested in art, specifically contemporary. With its collections of modern art, rotation exhibition, and exciting installations, you’ll have plenty of topics for discussion on your first date in L.A. 

The Broad Museum

If your date is well-versed in art, this is the perfect date option. The popular Broad Museum experience starts outdoors as you and your date take in the gorgeous honeycomb building. Inside, you’ll find a vast collection of contemporary art, lithography, and illustrations, including the perfect-for-Instagram Yayoi Kisumam Infinity Room. 

Check Out the Eames’ Los Angeles House

For furniture design and architecture buffs, the Charles and Ray Eames’ 1940s-styled home is a memorable date option in L.A. The home is located in the Pacific Palisades and is a mid-century modern architectural design landmark. After spending a few hours picturing your potential dream home together, wrap up the date with a few bites at the close by Cafe Vida. 

Venture Out to Getty Villa

Head outside city limits to Getty Villa, an Italian-inspired villa that houses a collection of ancient Roman, Etruscan, and Greek antiquities. The beautifully designed villa has been designed as a replica of an Italian villa near Mount Vesuvius. You can roam through the pristine area with stunning ocean views or check out the many breathtaking artifacts. During the summer, you can attend free evening performances of Italian operas and Shakespeare on the grounds.

Free Date Options in L.A.  

Check Out the Griffith Observatory

This is another free date in the Los Angeles area and is about as mystical as it is in the hit movie La La Land. You can head inside to see all the scientific exhibitions or take in breathtaking views of the entire city from the observation deck. If you visit at night, you and your date may be able to point out the planets and stars from the sky using state-of-the-art telescopes around the observation deck. 

Go for a Ride on Mulholland Drive

If you’re looking for something fun yet romantic, pack a picnic lunch and wind your way through the famous Mulholland Drive and to many of the classic L.A. overlooks. It’s an exciting and simple idea that offers plenty of conversation time, but the best part is it’s free. 

Go to City Hall’s Observation Deck

A government building doesn’t seem like a place for romance and might sound a little meh to you. However, the stunning views at the top of Los Angeles’ tallest building will knock your date off their feet. The best part about visiting the observation deck at City Hall is that it’s free! Do you know how rare that is in Los Angeles? After you take in the views, you can visit Perch and enjoy a rooftop dinner at one of the most romantic restaurants in the area.  

Adventurous Los Angeles Date Ideas

Bike Along the Marvin Braud Trail

If you don’t mind a little sweat, this date option in L.A. could be your outside-of-the-box experience. Known as “the strand” to locals, the Marvin Braud Trail is approximately 20 miles from Will Rogers State Beach and runs all the way down to Torrence. We suggest beginning at Will Rogers State Beach and biking to the Santa Monica Pier. You can take a trip around the Ferris wheel while enjoying a much-deserved ice cream cone. 

Visit El Matador State Beach

Malibu’s El Matador Beach is an adventurous couple’s dream date with cliff-top views and beautiful crashing waves. Locals once considered this extraordinary location one of Malibu’s best-kept secrets. It’s ideal for taking in the surf, some scenic strolling, and exploring shallow caves and towering arches. After a day of exploration, you can enjoy the iconic Patio Cafe and the Malibu Seafood Fresh Fish Market for a quick fresh bite to eat.

Classic Date Ideas in L.A.

The Hollywood Bowl

Don’t allow an L.A. summer to pass you by without hanging out at the iconic Hollywood Bowl arena. You can see an outdoor music venue lineup and choose a show you and your date won’t want to miss. This fun date option in Los Angeles is definitely one to consider. 

Rooftop Movie

This isn’t your typical date night movie. Rooftop movies are an excellent idea that doesn’t fall short of romance while you snuggle closely under the moonlit sky. One popular location that offers an outside viewing is The Melrose Rooftop Theater, located in West Hollywood. For a listing, visit the Rooftop Cinema Club website, where you can find more moving screening locations in the Los Angeles area.

Highland Park Bowl

The exquisitely restored Highland Park Bowl is Los Angeles’ oldest bowling alley and is the perfect place to hang out if you’re looking for a fun single or double date idea. Grab your date and some friends for a night of bowling, yummy food, and delicious drinks. Highland Park Bowl requires reservations, so make sure you plan ahead.

Check Out a Comedy Show at the Groundlings Theater

If you and your date want to spend an evening laughing, consider seeing a show at The Groundlings Teather. You can check out an intense show containing sketch and improvisational comedians. This popular hot spot boasts alums like Kristin Wiig and Will Ferrell. With tickets only $12, you can’t beat this exciting option.

Visit First Friday in Venice

If your date night happens to be on the first Friday of the month, why not go down to Abbot Kinney Boulevard and enjoy your favorite foods at L.A.’s food-truck hub? After dining on local cuisine, take a quiet stroll through the amazing shops lining the boulevard. Learn more about the types of food your date likes as you share different food samples from around the area. 

Take a Stroll through the Los Angeles Flower Market

The Los Angeles Flower Market is an oldie but goodie date idea in L.A. for a reason– a casual trek through the flower-lined aisles is a romantic way to get to know your date. We suggest going in the morning since most vendors typically close at noon. Then, end the day with a delicious Southern brunch at Popppy+Rose, an L.A. hot spot that serves some of the best eats in the area. 

Have a Bite to Eat at Grand Central Market

This option for a first date is yet another classic staple on your list of outings in Los Angeles. You can impress your date on a self-guided food tour of the L.A. area here, which for over 100 years has housed many of Los Angeles’ best food vendors. Visit G&B Coffee and grab a cup of joe and then head to the market, sampling everything from gourmet PB&J to downhome BBQ. Spend the entire day sampling until your bellies are full of delicious goodness. 

Other Options

Check Out a Board Game Bar

If you enjoy relaxing evenings but still have a competitive nature, a brewery or a board game bar are the perfect options. Board game bars are becoming more popular, so regardless of the neighborhood, you will certainly find one you enjoy. You can play a game of Scrabble, Monopoly, and even Guess Who. This idea is one of the best options if you want to have some fun while getting to know your date.

Go to a Paint-And-Sip Night

You may be an artist or someone who simply enjoys painting, so what’s better than an evening of painting and sipping in the Los Angeles area? It doesn’t matter if you’ve never picked up a paintbrush before because paint and sips aren’t about talent. They’re more about having a good time and ending the evening with some lovely artwork you created yourself. For a fun, low-stress environment, this is the ideal first-date option. 

Check Out Da Poetry Lounge

If you’re a poetry geek and enjoy listening to local poets, check out Da Poetry Lounge. On Tuesday, this favorite hot spot features local poets, plus you have the opportunity to recite some of your own works. If you’re searching for a bold option for a first date, it doesn’t get braver than reading your poetry. However, watching others put their words on display can be relaxing yet inspiring. 

Visit the Flea Market

If you’re searching for something new and fun, why not go on a treasure hunt at the local flea market? There is no shortage of markets to choose from, and you can check out everything from local artwork to unusual trinkets and vintage clothing. Make it a competition and challenge each other to choose something you think the other person will like. This first date idea is one of the best (and cheapest) for couples getting to know one another. 

Hiking on Hollyridge Trail

While this may be a stereotypical first date in the L.A. area, it’s still one of the most fun. For those that don’t know, Hollyridge Trails is also known as the “Hollywood sign hike” because it takes you directly behind the letters of the Hollywood sign. The hike is considered a rite of passage for all locals and tourists, and it’s one of the best date options in L.A. If you’re up for the challenge, don’t forget to bring water and wear sunblock, and definitely don’t forget your camera to capture all the breathtaking views. 

Head Out to the Wildlife Learning Center

If your date is an animal lover, you’ll want to consider taking them to the Wildlife Learning Center. You both will enjoy learning about unique critters from all around the globe. Admission is only $15, and that fee will go toward the center’s conservation efforts. You can have a good time while also being productive members of society. This idea sounds like a win-win.

Good Luck on Your Date!

Did you find something on this list that piqued your interest? Perhaps, a visit to Da Poetry Lounge or taking a joyride on Mulholland Drive? There are so many unique options to visit in Los Angeles for your first date. You may need help choosing just one. But that’s okay because if the first date is a success, you already have options for your second, third, or fifteenth date. 

Abigail Langton
Abigail Langton

Abigail Langton spends her time deep diving into the facts readers want to know about current dating apps online. You'll find her breaking down the latest price points and how to stay secure dating online.