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6 Unique Dates In Los Angeles

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Sometimes you just want to head to the bar or grab dinner with your lady or gentleman friend, but sometimes you want to shake it up. Here are some weird and wonderful date ideas to consider whether it's your first date or your 10th anniversary.

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Smugglers Cove (Photo by howard-f via the LAist Featured Photos pool)
CLASS IT UP

Rancho Palos Verdes is arguably the most beautiful place in town: there are those dramatic bluffs that drop off into the sea, those amazing views. How romantic! You feel like you're a million miles away from Los Angeles, not just 30. If you really feel like splurging—maybe it's your anniversary?—you could stay at the pricey Terranea Resort. Or you could just get a meal at one of its fabulous restaurants overlooking the sea (we like the Mar'Sel and its cured seafood platter for brunch). But the Peninsula is worth a trip even if you don't have money to burn. Check out Abalone Cove Shoreline Park for gorgeous bluff views, tidepool exploration and some great hiking and biking.

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Terranea Resort is located at 6610 Palos Verdes Drive South in Rancho Palos Verdes

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Rosie's Dog Beach in Long Beach (Photo by paulbajerczak via the LAist Featured Photos pool)
MUST LOVE DOGS

Just because you're going out on a date doesn't mean you have to leave your pup at home. You could hit up one of the many dog parks around town but for something a little more romantic, why not head to the beach? Rosie's Dog Beach in Long Beach is the only beach in the county where dogs can freely roam off-leash. (Bring some quarters for the meters.) Afterward, you can head to one of the many nearby dog-friendly patios around LBC. Steamed has organic veggie cuisine or you can hit up Shillelagh if you'd like to get a beer or wine afterward.

Rosie's Dog Beach is located at 5000 E. Ocean Blvd in Long Beach; Shilleglagh is at 2742 E 4th St., Long Beach; Steamed is at 801 E. 3rd St., Long Beach

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"500 Bags of Summer," but you actually can't go here any longer (Photo by Mark Sebastian via the Creative Commons on Flickr)
MANIC PIXIE

Are you just a fucked-up girl with a cool haircut hoping some of your joie de vivre rubs off on your serotonin-deficient, cubicle-dwelling boy (or vice versa)? You can wander the streets of downtown (maybe in the rain!) and soak up its vintage architecture with this self-guided tour of downtown put together by the Los Angeles Conservancy based on "500 Days of Summer." But you don't need to play the ukelele or even like "500 Days Of Summer" (and its strangely white-washed vision of downtown) to appreciate the architecture tour that includes the Bradbury Building, a stop for food at the recently made-over Grand Central Market and ends on a bench overlooking Bunker Hill (which made our top list of make-out spots). Don't forget to check out Angels Flight, too. The Los Angeles Conservancy gives out weekly walking tours around town for $10, if you want something more in-depth and don't mind the company on your date.

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Museum of Jurassic Technology (Photo by Trevor Haldenby via the LAist Featured Photos pool)
WONDERFULLY STRANGE

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Head to the Museum of Jurassic Technology—because what else says romance like gazing together at a dead mouse on toast? There's a bizarre, wonderful collection of microminiature art and probably not-so-natural phenomena hiding behind the humble storefront. If you want to continue checking out the wonders of Culver City hiding in plain site, head over to the Hayden Tract and take a walk to check out the industrial architecture of Eric Owen Moss. The visionary cuisine of Roy Choi's A-Frame in Culver City seems like an appropriate place to grab a bite or some drinks afterward.

The Museum of Jurassic Technology is located at 9341 Venice Boulevard in Culver City; A-Frame is at 12565 Washington Blvd, Culver City

GUNPLAY

Truth be told, if someone suggested this for a first date, I'd run in the other direction. It isn't for everyone. But maybe you want to try something new and get your adrenaline pumping. Beginners are welcome at the Los Angeles Gun Club downtown, and you can rent out everything you need relatively cheaply: a target, ammo and a gun. You actually have to have a partner if you want to shoot at this indoor range downtown. Otherwise, you might be shocked at how easy it is to get in there are start shooting—until you remember that this is 'merica.

The Los Angeles Gun Club is located at 1375 East 6th St. in downtown

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Arroyo Seco Bike Path (Photo by marco antonio torres via the LAist Featured Photos pool)
BIKING ADVENTURE

How about a Metro-friendly Eastside adventure (yes, the real Eastside)? Depending on how adventurous you are, you can start at the Gold Line's Mission Station in South Pasadena and head over to the northern edge of the paved Arroyo Seco Bike Path that goes along the 110 Freeway. Get off at the Montecito Heights Recreation Center (or alternatively, you can start there from the Gold Line Southwest Museum and do a loop since the trail itself is only 2 miles). Then bike down Griffin Avenue to Broadway for some amazing, everything-but-the-kitchen sink nachos from Carnitas Michoacan in Lincoln Heights. You're not far from the Gold Line's Lincoln Heights/Cypress Park station, but if you feel like you have 2.5 miles of biking in you, you can head to Libros Schmibros, the awesome Boyle Heights lending library at Mariachi Plaza founded by David Kipen. There's another Gold Line stop there so you can go back from whence you came.

You can find out more about the Arroyo Seco Bike Path here; Carnitas Michoacan is located at 1901 N Broadway in Lincoln Heights; Libros Schmibros is located at 1711 Mariachi Plaza in Boyle Heights

More Date Ideas:
The Best Date Bars in Los Angeles
The Best Weekend Escapes From L.A.
LA's 14 Most Romantic Make Out Vistas
The 10 Best Tourist Spots In Los Angeles Locals Should Also Enjoy
The 10 Best Bike Rides In Los Angeles
The Best Rooftop Bars in L.A.
Wine-tasting in Malibu or Silver Lake
Horseback-riding in Griffith Park
Checking out the scenery on Mulholland Drive
Turtle-racing at Brennan's