"Roll down the window, put down the top
Crank up the beach boys, baby.
Don't let the music stop."
Randy Newman, I Love LA.
Although Los Angeles is usually associated with Tinsel Town and urban sprawl, there's no place for inspiring real passion than in the City of Angels.
Check out the top spots for where to take your baby for a night on the town, on Valentine's Day, a lovely weekend getaway, a hot date night, or for the start of a life-long romance as you consider 'popping the question' at the Top 10 most romantic locations in Los Angeles:
1. Hit the Beach In LA, the No. 1 romantic spot traditionally includes a stretch of sand and sea, preferably at sunset. At Malibu beach, the rugged scenery and crashing waves are sure to stir your passions. For a quiet stroll, try the Santa Monica pier where gentle ocean breezes will put you both in the mood for romance.
2. Mulholland Drive It's the iconic American ride of a lifetime as you rent a convertible with the top down at sunset to cruise along this winding road high up in the Santa Monica mountains. The view will evoke many a memorable movie scene. Be sure to stop at a number of scenic lookouts along with way to romantically gaze at LA twinkling below.
3. Huntington Botanical Gardens How do you define loveliness? Let Hungtington Botanical Gardens show you the way with romantic strolls around quiet lily ponds, lush camelia and rose gardens, and the scenic bridge at the Japanese Garden. While you're here, don't pass up a stop at a secluded park bench for a romantic cuddle, or to wax eloquent at the courtly Shakespeare Garden.
4. Griffith Park Observatory What could be more romantic than gazing up at the stars at one of the country's premiere observatories? Other amazing views await set high atop Mount Hollywood in L.A.'s Griffith Park, with spectacular views of downtown Los Angeles, the Hollywood sign, and the Pacific Ocean.
5. Museum Row Exhibit your more cultured side by taking your sweetie on a tour of one of the finest art museums in the country, LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art). Meanwhile, only steps away are the La Brea Tar Pits (Page Museum) the Craft and Folk Art Museum, and The Architecture and Design Museum (A+D Museum). Also don't miss a chance to daydream at nearby Petersen's Auto Museum for a fun look at some of the world's most rare and vintage automobiles.
6. Disneyland Filled with familiar sites and sounds, Disneyland is still a fantasyland where you can let the giddy kid in you run wild. Steal a kiss on the Matterhorn, the only Disneyland ride with seats designed for two. At night, stroll the romantic walkways near Sleeping Beauty's castle, and make a wish at Snow White's Wishing Well. Hold hands while walking the quiet paths around the Spanish Fountain (near the Haunted Mansion), or find secluded spots tucked away around New Orleans Square. Also, don't miss the nightly fireworks!
7. Gondola Getaway You don't have to travel all the way to Venice, Italy to experience one of life's most romantic diversions. All it takes is a short hop down the coast to Long Beach, where you and a date can be serenaded aboard an authentic gondola where music and song (and an ice bucket for the champagne) await for a glorious sunset exursion along the canals of Naples Island.
8. Catalina Island An hour's ferry ride from Long Beach takes you to the main oceanfront strip in Avalon, the island's only town, where many a weekend getaway has inspired a life-long romance. Book a room at a romantic oceanfront hotel, or rough it in any one of 5 campgrounds spread across the island. As evening falls, head down to the Catalina Country Club for a quiet dinner under the stars.
9. Dana Point Take a leisurely drive down the Pacific Coast Highway and experience what was once described (by writer Richard Henry Dana who wrote Two Years Before the Mast) as "the only romantic spot in California." Dana Point still fits the description with a spectacularly rugged coastline, and a visit to the old Mission at San Juan Capistrano. At sunset, enjoy a romantic seafood dinner at Cannons Restaurant, located high atop a cliff overlooking the harbor.
10. Temecula Valley Wine Country - Perhaps the LA area's best kept secret is the wine valley that's a lot closer than the more famous Napa Valley to the north. With a 2 hour drive south, you're suddenly amidst rolling hills of grape vines and citrus groves in Temecula Valley, were small and intimate wine tasting rooms await. Along with fabulous wines, you'll find incredible winery restaurants, intimate bed and breakfast inns, and lush resorts for a romantic weekend getaway.