The big day is just around the corner, gentlemen. Now that you’ve gotten the Super Bowl out of the way, time to plan a special day for that special someone. The questions are bouncing around in your head as you weigh your decisions. Which restaurant? What kind of flowers? Which hiking trail?
Hiking!? On Valentine’s Day?
By all means. Even if you and your significant aren’t necessarily into hardcore outdoor adventure, there are plenty of great walks and short hikes that can certainly enhance Valentine’s Day, or any other special romantic occasion. And you don’t even need a reservation (except for Anacapa Island – and arriving early to Sturtevant Falls on a weekend isn’t a bad idea either). So let the romance begin on these ten hikes.
Aliso Peak. This is one of the best places in Orange County to see the ocean, and sunsets can’t be beaten. The trail, though short, may be a little steep for some novice hikers, but even just a nice stroll at Seaview Park is well worth the time.
Anacapa Island. Twelve miles off the Ventura coast, Anacapa is the most popular island in the Channel Islands National Park – known for its great geology and brilliant yellow giant coreopsis flowers, which bloom in the spring. The island is best while the flowers are in bloom, so check with the visitor’s center in Ventura.
Charmlee Natural Area. Check out Malibu’s natural side at this park, which not only provides great ocean views but it also known for its spring time wildflowers.
Heart Rock. Located in the San Bernardino Mountains near Lake Arrowhead, this short hike visits a waterfall and a rock with a nearly perfect heart carved inside.
Point Dume to Paradise Cove. What could be more romantic than a nice walk along the beach? In truth, this “walk” requires some climbing and scrambling, but for couples who want to put an adventurous twist on a romantic institution, this trip is not to be missed.
Point Vicente. Here’s another walk along the beach – but on pavement. The Point Vicente trails take in some awesome ocean views, interesting geology and provide a surprising amount of seclusion.
Signal Hill Loop. This urban hike takes in some great views of Long Beach, the ocean, and on clear days, Los Angeles, the San Gabriel Mountains and more. It’s a great place to watch the sunset. Hardcore hikers will probably want to look elsewhere, but for couples who want a little walk and some fresh air, Signal Hill is a nice addition to any date night.
Solstice Canyon. This popular hike visits a quiet, wooded canyon in the Santa Monica Mountains before arriving at the ruins of the Tropical Terrace, a mansion destroyed in a fire. It might be California’s answer to the ruins of castles throughout the European country side–or just a monument to the dangers of living excessively in L.A. Either way, it makes for a memorable excursion.
Sturtevant Falls. We know all about sunsets and walks on the beach, but how about some love for waterfalls? There are many great ones throughout L.A., and Sturtevant is one of the most popular.
Suicide Rock. Suicide? Romance? The two came together here, according to legend, when two Cahuilla lovers were forbidden to see each other and…well, you can probably figure out how that story turned out. This trip is best for experienced hikers, and requires a long drive from L.A. or Orange County, but the beautiful wilderness scenery and the Romeo & Juliet story behind it make this a great hike for couples with a thirst for adventure.
Now, of course, hiking isn’t for every couple. But it’s always good to keep in mind when you want a little change from dinner and a movie. Even if you and your loved one have never been on a hike, try one of these out. Pickings are pletty slim at the box office from what I hear, and, as for dinner, how does granola sound?