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Top 7 Valentine's Day destinations in SoCal

Top 7 with Alysha Del Valle
February 9, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
Valentine's Day can put a lot of pressure on loved ones, so ABC7 teamed up with CitySearch to find the top 7 best and most diverse Valentine's Day destinations.At No. 1, indulge your Valentine at the historic Sunset Marquis and Villas, a sweet oasis right off the Sunset Strip. Boasting lush gardens, a world famous chef and the chance to bump into rock royalty, there is no other place like it.

"Quite possibly one of the most beautiful properties in all of Los Angeles. This is truly a getaway," said Citysearch editor Mar Yvette.

There are specials all weekend long, including a delicious $38 champagne brunch inside their beautiful indoor/outdoor restaurant, and a family-friendly Valentine's Day package.

"They have this really fun one, where you actually get a room, you get a dozen roses, breakfast in bed or at the restaurant, spa treatments and even an on-site professional baby sitter," Yvette said.

Not everybody can make it to wine country on Valentine's Day, so head over to Napa Valley Grille in Westwood. It's the No. 2 spot, and it's just what cupid ordered.

"Their food is so delicious, the ingredients are second to none. Chef Gillard is really about local, organic, sustainable ingredients, and it's such a romantic space," Yvette said.

With rustic fireplaces, fresh roses and a special menu created for the day, it's a hit as an impressive yet affordable experience.

"For Valentine's Day, they're doing a wonderful four-course $50 menu. They've got entrees like their pan seared whitefish or the rack of lamb," adds Yvette.

The regular a la carte menu is also available, but dessert is also a favorite. Choices include rose scented creme brulee, chocolate truffle cake and decadent rum babas - heavenly.

Next on the list is a place filled with gorgeous architecture, pretty fountains and gardens, and cozy corners to read with your loved ones. The No. 3 spot is the Central Library in downtown Los Angeles. It's romantic, it's beautiful and it's free.

"Yes, we are open Valentine's Day, and we welcome couples, families and their children to come celebrate the day together," said Joanna Fabicon, a Central Library librarian.

The Central Library has long been popular as a romantic place for weddings, receptions and marriage proposals. One took place just recently in the children's reading room.

"That's the kind of place the library is, a place to be uplifted and swept off your feet," Fabicon said.

Treat your sweetie to the No. 4 spot, Pasadena's Gold Class Cinemas. It's truly a one-of-a-kind theater with a full bar, plush suede recliners, fancy popcorn and candy, and a button to access your own private waiter to serve your gourmet dinner.

Gold Class employees describe the theatre as first class, comparing the experience to flying first class. The Valentine's Day special is $150 per couple, and it includes two movie tickets, three gourmet dishes, three drinks per person and a complimentary sweet treat as well.

Here are the rest of the top 7 Valentine's Day spots.

At No. 5, the Gondola Getaways in Long Beach offers a specially priced hour-long ride through the waterways of Naples.

Coming in at No. 6 is ice skating at ICE in downtown Santa Monica. It provides a fun Valentine's date, and an excuse to snuggle to stay warm.

Rounding out the Top 7 is Chinatown. Go celebrate love along with luck! Feb. 14 is also the Chinese New Year, the year of the tiger.

In Orange County, AnQi in Costa Mesa is a gourmet bistro and noodle house, offering a special five-course dinner for $79 per person.

While in the Inland Empire, visit Mission Inn Hotel and Spa in Riverside for their historic and lovely champagne brunch, along with family-friendly meals.

While in Ventura County, Cantara Cellars located in Camarillo is celebrating "Valentine 'n Wine" all weekend long.

Sunset Marquis Hotel and Villas
1200 Alta Loma Road
West Hollywood, CA 90069
(310) 657-1333

Napa Valley Grille
1100 Glendon Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90024
(310) 824-3322

Los Angeles Public Library - Central Library
630 W. 5th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90071
(213) 228-7000

Gold Class Cinemas - Pasadena
42 Miller Alley
Pasadena, CA 91103
(626) 639-2260

Gondola Getaway - Long Beach
5437 East Ocean Boulevard
Long Beach, CA 90803
(562) 433-9595

ICE at Santa Monica
1324 5th Street
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 393-8355

AnQi Restaurant
3333 Bristol Street
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
(714) 557-5679

Mission Inn Hotel & Spa
3649 Mission Inn Avenue
Riverside, CA 92501
(951) 784-0300

Cantara Cellars
126 Wood Road
Camarillo, CA 93010
(805) 484-9600