BY: KARINA ANASTASIA ROCHE
Whether you are a local or from out of town, planning the perfect Valentine’s Day in Los Angeles can be overwhelming. There are so many places to choose from. To help our guests have a memorable romantic date, we’ve compiled this Valentine’s planner: five different date ideas ranging from Downtown L.A., Hollywood, Santa Monica, Malibu, and of course, Topanga Canyon, all within driving distance from the Topanga Canyon Inn.
5. Sophisticated Downtown L.A.
Looking for a cultured, upbeat, sophisticated Valentine’s with urban style? Visit downtown Los Angeles. Take your pick of cultural attractions, including The Broad Museum for a variety of artworks from living artists, or, for some music, The Walt Disney Concert Hall. Downtown L.A. is also home to some quirky yet delightful spots like The Last Bookstore, a used bookstore with a book tunnel, whimsical art, and perfect photos. Then relax outdoors in Grand Park L.A. before heading over to Perch for impeccable rooftop dining. Top the night off with a visit to The Varnish, a polished speak-easy bar hidden behind a restaurant, which only locals know about.
4. Old Hollywood
If you’re coming to L.A. seeking that glamorous Old Hollywood experience, start your date with a visit to Griffith Observatory and Park, the location of the famous star dance in the film La La Land, and excellent viewing point for the Hollywood Sign and breathtaking landscape of Los Angeles. Then make your way to downtown Hollywood and see a movie at The Chinese Theater (or just enjoy its distinct architecture) and visit the Walk of Fame, keeping an eye out for Elvis impersonators and Marilyn Monroe. Then wind down with dinner at Beauty & Essex, a suave restaurant of dark, gold tones and glamor–the sort of place where you feel like you’re only a table away from Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. Or, for a festive drink and a dance, visit Good Times at Davey Wayne’s, a 1970s style bar with all your favorite songs. It’s cozy outdoor garden, wedged between houses and quaintly beneath apartment windows, transports you back to a fun house-party of the 1970s. There are plenty romantic bench swings and couches just perfect for two.
3. A Date Atop the Ferris Wheel
For a charming and lively old-school date, head over to Santa Monica. The famous Third Street Promenade is a delightful place to eat, shop, and watch street musicians, and is just walking distance from Santa Monica Beach and the Santa Monica Aquarium. Afterwards, dine at FIG, a romantic, unique, and ambient Mediterranean restaurant, with its delicate, ivy-strewn patios and local produce. For the perfect ending, visit the Santa Monica Pier and amusement park, and ride the Ferris Wheel as it lights up with color against the Pacific Ocean and the night sky.
2. Sand, Sage, and Wine in Malibu
Where Malibu Creek meets the coast of Malibu, an oasis is formed, creating an idyllic location for a calm and romantic date. Malibu Lagoon is home to countless bird species, who live and nest and sing amongst the native flora and many pools formed by the lagoon. Take a romantic walk down one of the lagoon paths to the ocean, where seashells and colorful pebbles are strewn across the sand. Also highly recommended is a visit to the historic Adamson House, former home of the “King and Queen of Malibu,” a true beauty with its intricate tile work and restful, blooming gardens. Then visit one of Malibu’s wineries for some wine tasting, or drive up to Point Dume for sweeping views of the ocean from the tops of bluffs in Point Dume Nature Preserve. For a bright ending to a day spent by the water, drive into the Malibu mountains and dine at Malibu Café at Calamigos Ranch. This fun “nouveau barbeque” destination has endless outdoor dining, a lake, and many romantic pathways to explore for a truly lovely Valentine’s.
1. Serene Nature Getaway in Topanga Canyon
Our favorite place to spend Valentine’s is, of course, Topanga Canyon. If you are staying with us at the Topanga Canyon Inn and want a more quiet and relaxed Valentine’s Day, look no further. Topanga Canyon is the perfect getaway for the nature and art lover, a combination of breathtaking mountain views, bohemian history, and art culture. Take a hike into Topanga State Park and gaze at the ocean and canyon below as you sit atop Elephant Rock (don’t forget to take one of our complimentary maps). Get lunch where the locals go at Topanga Living Café, a cozy stop with a fun gift shop and pretty patio true to Topanga’s hippie culture. Then take a romantic ride with L.A. Horseback Riding: they will take you through one of its many gorgeous trails, and even have a Valentine’s Day special. For more activities in the canyon, visit the Topanga Village for local art at the Topanga Canyon Gallery, curious and vintage finds at Hidden Treasures, and bohemian shop Topanga Homegrown. For dinner, there is no better place in Topanga–perhaps even all of Los Angeles–than Inn of the 7th Ray, the crown jewel of Topanga and L.A.’s most romantic restaurant. This ethereal restaurant by the Topanga Creek, with its fairy lights, swooning sycamores, outdoor canopies and aromatic jasmines make for a fairytale ending to a serene escape in the mountains.
When staying with us at the Topanga Canyon Inn, you are right next door to L.A.’s most romantic locations and restaurants, just a short drive from the Inn. For those seeking the complete romantic escape, we recommend our Rhett & Scarlett or Fred & Ginger rooms. With flowy curtains, private balconies, Cal king beds, and mountain views, these rooms are perfect for a Valentine’s weekend retreat. Complement your stay with a luxurious celebration package of rose petals, bouquets, chocolates, and more–book soon before reservations fill up.
But remember–the perfect Los Angeles Valentine’s Day is all about whom you’re with.