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Looking for a sunset picnic at a beach or park in Los Angeles Area?

I was thinking of doing laying a few blankets and lighting some candles and enjoying a picnic dinner with my girl on valentines day. Would like some suggestions where this is possible in Los Angeles?

Beaches or Parks would be nice. The time frame I would be doing this is around 5-7pm and i live around the Alhambra Area but traveling wouldnt be a problem.

Thanks in advance

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  1. Malibu Bluffs Park and then after you can go get the best Italian Gelato in LA at Grom just minutes away from the park.
    24250 Pacific Coast Hwy Malibu, CA 90265

    3886 Cross Creek Road, Malibu, CA

    1. If you want to stick close to home (in case the date goes well and ... oh never mind) there's always Ernest Debs Park. More green picnic space and smaller crowds than Griffith Park, and the view over downtown from the tadpole pond at the top should be amazing at sunset (which is evidently at 5:36 that evening, so your time frame should work fine).

      1. The bluffs overlooking Santa Monica beach, called Palisades Park. The rose garden at Alta and Ocean is really nice, although right now they've been pruned, but that's a great area nevertheless.

        11 Replies
        1. re: yogachik

          Do you think I can do a picnic at santa monica beach?

          1. re: maximuxx

            If you go to Dockweiler Beach near LAX you can have your own fire pit. (you supply the wood)

            1. re: wienermobile

              Couple of issues with Dockweiler: The noise from the jets can be overbearing. Also, the crowd at that beach leaves a lot to be desired. It can be a pretty rough bunch of people hanging out there.

              1. re: bulavinaka

                The jets you get used to. Sometimes we toast them as they pass. After a while you don't even notice them. I have never met anyone that left anything for me to desire. The campers are always friendly, helpful and nice people. The younger ones do like the late nights and jumpin music but sometimes, us old fogies like to join them and have a ball. Never found a rude or rough one in the bunch yet.

                1. re: Neta

                  I guess you're lucky or I'm unlucky. Got beaned in the head by a beer can while walking with my (then) two year-old son across the sand. Was cussed out for asking pedestrians walking three-wide on the bike path to step to the side while riding bikes (with my then) six year-old son on a tag-along bike behind me - through "The Pits" - we locals never called the place Dockweiler. Drunk gangbangers cursing and challenging each other, pitbulls crapping and no one picking up after them. Not my kind of beach for romance, or maybe just my rotten luck...

                  1. re: bulavinaka

                    We've never seen anything like that but we just started camping there within the last year and we go during the week as a rule. We have met some very nice people there and it's the only beach camping close enough to us where you can actually see the ocean from your campsite.

                2. re: bulavinaka

                  another issue with dockweiler beach is it's proximity to the sewage treatment plant. depending on the day/hour/and winds you could be treated the awful smell of sewage.

                  1. re: westsidegal

                    Of all the times I have ridden that stretch (more than 100 times over the years) I can't think of one time I've caught a whiff of the ST Plant at Dockweiler Beach. Absolutely the stench can be bad where the RV park is (over the little hill just south of Dockweiler beach) but not on the other side where all the fire pits are.

              2. re: maximuxx

                Sure you could do a picnic at Santa Monica Beach.
                I don't think candles are going to stay lit and there's no alcohol allowed there.

                1. re: monku

                  Parking lots close at sundown. Guess you can park on PCH, but not until you get way up into the Palisades, by Gladstones.

                  1. re: Phurstluv

                    Lot #1 North of the SM Pier is open from 7:30am-12:00am year round.

            2. Burton Chace Park at the end of Mindanao in Marina del Rey is pretty nice.


              1. I'd head up the coast to Malibu as others have suggested (Zuma Beach, and more isolated ones farther up the coast toward Leo Carrillo). Palos Verdes is another option - there are some nice overlooks/picnic areas along the bluffs. Check out the new Baldwin Hills overlook in Culver City too - great views of the whole city, mtns, etc. I'd scout it out in advance maybe, esp. for weather. Mid-Feb. can be cold and windy, and even 60 degrees with a chilly wind won't be that comfortable dining conditions. I'd check alcohol regs at the various parks/beaches, too, if you'll be going this route.

                As for Dockweiler, I've spent a lot of late afternoons working on that beach over the past couple years, and haven't run into problems with the visitors. I think once they upped the parking rate and started enforcing alcohol regs better, it's calmed down from, say 5-10 yrs ago. Usually it's pretty deserted, but there is that very romantic deafening roar of airplanes every couple minutes.

                1 Reply
                1. re: cant talk...eating

                  I would Second Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook, though Alcohol is not allowed

                2. Check what you can find about Abalone Cove.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: mc michael

                    Love Abalone Cove! But the prettier side of the cove is going to be hard to get to with blankets, chairs, food, glass, etc.

                    At the top, though, they do have picnic tables where you can see a view of the ocean which is also nice. It's also very quiet there--I've been there on Valentines Day (and several other times throughout the years) before and there were maybe only a few other people there.

                  2. If you do Dockweiler, make sure you get there well in advance of sunset. I took my now-ex there last valentine's day, and we were parking maybe 15-20 minutes before the sun went below the horizon. It was a mad scramble to get a fire pit, but I was fortunate to get the last one on the beach. By the time we got it and got set up with all the stuff from the car, the sun had just gone below the horizon.

                    Just so you know though, she absolutely loved it. I made a picnic dinner, brought some blankets and firewood, and brought my portable ipod speakers for some nice Van Morrison. She told me it was one of the best things I'd ever done for her. The people there were other couples/groups of couples and really nice, there was no stench, and the airplanes were fun to watch.

                    1. Above the Santa Monica pier.
                      It's lovely at that time of night.
                      You get the view of the ocean if you sit close to the end and if not, walk over after your meal and stare at the sunset.
                      Or San Vicente Blvd is fun. It's long and the middle is park-ish-like. How you'd set it up is your only concern, oh, and maybe that it wouldn't be legal. But I'd try anything once, a cop with a good heart and disposition and a love in his or her life, would probably smile rather than give you a ticket...........*wink

                      1. Alternative to a beach, but a great view nonetheless...

                        The historic Hollyhock House, built by Frank Lloyd Wright, sits at the top os Barnsdall Park in Hollywood. The lawn at Hollyhock House faces west, and has a really panoramic view of the Griffith Observatory, Hollywood sign, and the entire Westside, as the sun dips into the horizon...

                        Hollyhock House
                        4800 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: J.L.

                          I'll even add some photos of the view...