Have a chill date without spending too much money.
Looking for a place to show off to that special someone in your life but want to venture out of your town? Here are our suggestions for the best date spots in Los Angeles and Orange County, in no particular order.
Good Times at Davey Wayne’s
Kicking this list off is Good Times at Davey Wayne’s in Hollywood. Located between Hollywood & Sunset at 1611 N El Centro Avenue, Davey Wayne’s appears on the outside to be just a garage. What makes it so awesome is that the entrance is “hidden” inside of a refrigerator located on the back wall of the garage.
Once inside, you are taken back to the 1970’s with decor, music and ambience. Davey Wayne’s is not a large location but it makes up for it with charm and style. Half indoors, half outdoors, the backyard area features a deck and yard with furniture to lounge around in.
Also located in the backyard is a food truck where you can get tacos, snow cones and refreshing mixed drinks. Good Times at Davey Wayne’s is definitely a spot to hit up for a memorable date.
Santa Monica Pier and Venice Beach
Take a stroll down Venice Beach if only for the sights. There are shops, restaurants and street performers galore. Venice Beach is one of the trendiest spots in all of LA and it will definitely take up a nice afternoon.
Keep walking down the stretch of beach and you’ll eventually end up at the Santa Monica Pier. The pier has rides, games and lots of food. If fun and games aren’t your style then just outside the pier is the Santa Monica Promenade for all your shopping needs.
Grand Central Market
Los Angeles’ Grand Central Market is the perfect way to spend an afternoon when you have nothing else to do. Walk around amongst dozens of food vendors that showcase LA’s cultural differences.
Located at 317 S Broadway in DTLA, the Grand Central Market will be too much to experience in one day so you’ll definitely want to make plans for another visit.
They even have breweries to get in some much-needed day-drinking.
LA’s Little Tokyo is your go-to destination for the BEST Japanese restaurants. You will feel like you stepped into a whole other country, but at the same time feel familiar with it.
Some of Little Tokyo’s spots even date back to the late 1800’s where the Japanese’s California roots grew. Find little shops, sushi joints and the best ramen spots ever. Little Tokyo is one of the most unique date spots in all of Los Angeles.
Universal Studios Hollywood
If all else fails, you can always hit up good ol’ Universal Studios. I was never a huge fan of Universal Studios because the price to size ratio just didn’t match up. Now, don’t get me wrong, I still believe that but within the last ten years they’ve made some major improvements.
One of my favorite improvements is the addition of Springfield from The Simpsons. Complete with the Duff Brewery and Moe’s Tavern, this is the coolest spot to drink. That’s right! Unlike most amusement parks in So Cal, you can actually drink in Universal Studios! That makes it so much more fun.
On top of Springfield, they recently opened Hogwarts land which has exploded on social media. It’s awesome, it’ll give you lots of Instagram shots and Universal Studios just keeps evolving.
They recently just announced that they are transforming the classic Jurassic Park Ride into a Jurassic World attraction. Between us, this will probably be the same ride with some updated animatronics but if you’ve seen the Jurassic Park ride recently then you know that it’s long overdue.
After your long day at the park, rest your feet at one of the dining locations and catch a flick at the awesome Universal City Walk.
Seal Beach Main Street
Seal Beach is a quaint little town just outside of Long Beach. Located along Pacific Coast Highway between Huntington Beach and Long Beach, Seal Beach has a nice little Main Street with lots of date night options.
From fine dining Italian restaurants to a classic Ice Cream shop just on the beach. Seal Beach is located right next to a Naval yard that you can sometimes spot huge Navy ships.
Some notable spots on Seal Beach’s Main Street include Beachwood BBQ, The Hangout and Old Town Cafe. Seal Beach is a great spot for a Saturday afternoon with the right person.
Huntington Beach Main Street
A little drive south of Seal Beach and you’ll end up in Surf City USA- Huntington Beach. Huntington Beach’s Main Street is a little bit more lively than Seal Beach’s as the vibe is more beach-goer than weekend brunch.
Main Street has lots of bars, restaurants and shops. Just south of Main Street within walking distance is the new Pacific City promenade which has even more options for a fun night.
After you catch a bite to eat and do some shopping you can top off your night with a stroll down the Huntington Beach Pier to check out the waves and even the stars.
Balboa Pier- Newport Beach
I mean, it wouldn’t be a true Orange County list if there weren’t at least three beach cities included. That being said, Balboa Pier in Newport Beach is one of my favorite spots to hit up on a date.
You may recognize it from the show Arrested Development, although you won’t see a Banana Stand. Located in the heart of the Balboa peninsula in Newport Beach, you can catch a ride to Catalina Island, do some fine dining and then have a margarita at one of the many bars.
Finish your night with a stroll along the relaxing beach and huge beach houses located along the beach and pier.
Knott’s Berry Farm- Buena Park
Are you even from Southern California if you don’t hit up Knott’s Berry Farm at least once a year? Cheaper than Disneyland and a lot less crowded, Knott’s Berry Farm offers roller coasters, booze and a great date atmosphere.
A lot of people from Orange County like to put Knott’s and Disneyland as enemies, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Knott’s gets most of its traffic from the Disneyland crowd and in fact, there would be no Disneyland if not for Knott’s Berry Farm.
The best time of year to go on a date here is during their springtime Boysenberry Festival. They offer tons of king sized foods with a boysenberry twist that you would be surprised at how good they are.
Downtown Disney- Anaheim
Located just steps away from Disneyland, which is not on this list because it’s not cheap! Downtown Disney offers the best in dining, entertainment and shopping.
As of 2018, Downtown Disney will be undergoing major construction to expand its hotel count, but they are also bringing in more dining and drinking experiences.
I’m most excited for Ballast Point Brewery to open up, and I highly recommend it for anyone looking to have a nice evening drink.
Bootlegger’s Brewery- Downtown Fullerton
There are tons of places to choose to drink at in Downtown Fullerton but the most humble and down to earth has to be Bootlegger’s Brewery. Tucked away in the back corner of the SoHo District, Bootlegger’s Brewery has dozens of beers on tap and even brew at the location.
It’s a great destination for day-drinking and just winding down after a long week. It doesn’t have a bar-scene feel, but more of a laid back beer garden to just chill with friends and family. I highly recommend Golden Chaos and Far Out IPA.
They are dog-friendly and are located right next to one of the best pizza joints in OC, Two Saucey Broads. Bootlegger’s is my favorite spot to grab a drink with friends and catch up with family. If you’re looking for a spot to get S-Faced, then keep looking. Bootlegger’s isn’t for you.
So there’s our list of the best date spots that Los Angeles and Orange County have to offer. Do you know of another spot that you wished more people knew about? Comment them below.