Getting out into nature with the one you love can be a great day to celebrate Valentine's Day. Southern California residents are fortunate to live in an area that not only has a temperate climate that supports year-round recreation, but also a huge variety of natural scenery, including ocean, mountains, beach, woods, desert and more. While dinner and a movie has its place, if you're looking for something different, here are some ideas: ten of the most romantic hiking and walking trips in Southern California.
Blufftop Trail. This short but scenic trail runs along the west side of the Palos Verdes Peninsula, providing great ocean views - especially at sunset. It's conveniently located to Long Beach, L.A.'s west side and even Orange County.
Chiquito Basin. Speaking of Orange County, this hike in the Cleveland National Forest visits one of the O.C.'s most secluded spots; a meadow high in the Santa Ana Mountains. It's perfect for a peaceful, quiet getaway.
Crescent Bay & Shaw’s Cove. If coastal O.C. is your destination, consider visiting this secluded beach in Laguna, which features a sea cave. Whether you scramble along the rocks at low tide or just enjoy the ocean view from the top of the cliff, you'll be glad you dropped by.
Fryman Canyon Loop. With panoramic views of the San Fernando Valley and a quiet wooded area known as the Rain Forest, this hike provides a lot of scenic variety. The Pohl Overlook, at the top of the loop on Mulholland Highway, is a great spot for a kiss or two.
Heartbreak Hill. What in the world is a hike called Heartbreak Hill doing on this list? Well, to be sure, the steep ascent might not be for all couples--but the view from the top is hard to beat. Active couples living in the Calabasas/Agoura Hills should consider adding Heartbreak Hill to their Valentine's Day plans.
Lake Fulmor. Located in the San Jacinto Mountains some two hours east of Los Angeles, Lake Fulmor is certainly a bit of a drive, but if your V-Day plans include Palm Springs, make the detour.
McBride Trail. Like the Blufftop Trail, this one can be found on the Palos Verdes Peninsula. Facing south, its high elevation allows great views of Catalina Island and the ocean.
Musch Meadows. This short loop in Topanga State Park's secluded western corner features nice spring wildflowers and good views of the eastern Santa Monica Mountains.
Newton Canyon Falls. What can be more romantic than a waterfall? Though the waterfalls in Newton Canyon usually only flows after heavy rain, the scenic stretch of the Backbone Trail is well worth a visit.
Santa Margarita River. In northern San Diego County, not far from Orange County or Riverside, the Santa Margarita is one of the only free-flowing rivers in So Cal. Pleasant oak woodlands and nice mountain views are among this hike's other scenic virtues.
No matter where you live in Southern California, or what your fitness level may be, there's sure to be a great outdoor place near you to enjoy with your loved one.