'Eye on L.A.': Great dates and weekends

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Where do you like to go and what do you like to do when taking that someone special out on a date? Our Facebook friends answered with everything from gondola rides to magic shows!

This could be the start of a beautiful relationship with a trip to see David Minkin's Evening of Enchantment for wine and magic, or a movie night at the Mission Tiki Drive-In, or a weekend at a great local hotel like the Shade in Manhattan Beach or the Langham Huntington Hotel in Pasadena.

Magician David Minkin has created a truly magical date experience with his Evening of Enchantment at the Avalon Theater at Bardot, Hollywood. After about an hour of wine tasting and hors d'oeuvres, guests get treated to an engaging and mind-blowing evening of close-up magic! A favorite magician of A-listers like Johnny Depp, Josh Groban and Felicity Hoffman, David Minkin creates an evening that your date will be talking about for a long time!

If your idea of a great date is catching the latest flick, may we suggest you go "old school" and cuddle up with your honey at the drive-in! With its cool tiki theme, the latest releases and $9 for a double-feature, Mission Tiki Drive-In in Montclair is a fun and unique date that won't break the budget.

If you're craving a little romantic getaway but don't really have the time to get out of town, the folks over at Los Angeles Magazine have some suggestions for a few, hot, staycation destinations!

Hotel Erwin in Venice: www.jdvhotels.com/hotels/losangeles/erwin

The Shade in Manhattan Beach: www.shadehotel.com

Hotel Bel-Air: www.hotelbelair.com

The Langham Huntington in Pasadena: http://pasadena.langhamhotels.com

Langham Huntington Hotel in Pasadena


Need to set up a date for the whole family, start with these ideas: a trip to Universal Studios to ride Transformers: The Ride 3D, a day trip to Catalina Island, a staycation at Terranea Resort, or even a big trip to Aulani Resort in Hawaii!

If you felt the blockbuster "Transformers" movies were a thrill, get ready to be blown away. The epic thrill ride features cars that move on a multi-level track, incredible special effects and one of the most elaborate flight simulation ride systems ever created.

Another place parents and kids will love is considered one of L.A.'s most charming getaways. Whether you want to take the whole brood for the day, the weekend or a week, a ferry trip to Catalina is a must-do!

Catalina Express: www.CatalinaExpress.com

Santa Catalina Island Company: www.visitcatalinaisland.com

For a Hummer Expedition like the one we took, try the Cape Canyon Expedition: www.visitcatalinaisland.com/activities-adventures/land/cape-canyon-expedition

Catalina Casino: www.visitcatalinaisland.com/activities-adventures/catalina-casino

Catalina Island Casino Movie Theatre: www.visitcatalinaisland.com/activities-adventures/catalina-casino/movie-theatre

Aulani is a family paradise with a touch of Disney magic on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. Aulani combines the beauty and spirit of the Hawaiian Islands with the magic of Disney storytelling and guest service, creating an unforgettable family vacation experience. Disney is the parent company of ABC7 Los Angeles.

Terranea Resort in Palos Verdes


You don't have to get on a plane to experience a top-rated oceanfront resort. Just jump on the freeway and head to Terranea Resort in Palos Verdes. You can enjoy spectacular dining venues, a world-class spa, a stunning 9-hole golf course and family-friendly activities, all without leaving L.A.

Trying to get that lovin' feeling back? Why not take a gondola ride from Gondola Co. of Newport Beach with your sweetie, or hit up Pop Champagne and Dessert Bar for a little alone time? If you're single, Vista L.A.'s Patricia Lopez got some great tips from Elena Burnett, author of "The Fairy Tale Formula."

Author Elena Burnett offers no-nonsense tips for how to find love in L.A. Check out her book "The Fairy Tale Formula" in online bookstores now. And make sure to catch Patricia Lopez on Vista L.A., Saturdays at 6:30 p.m. on ABC7.

Imagine gliding through the canals of Venice, overlooking the bay under the twilight. Now, you can evoke all the romance and lively fun that is synonymous with Italy right here in the beautiful bay and canals of Newport Beach, Calif. Ask about special romantic extras like the "Message in a Bottle" and "gondola kidnappings" from the Harbor's famous Villa Nova restaurant.

Gondola Romance: www.gondolaromance.com

Gondola Co. of Newport: www.gondolas.com

An "Eye on L.A." top pick for a great date is Pasadena's Pop Champagne and Dessert Bar! Their yummy sweet treats, delectably-shareable bites, and giggle-inducing bubbly, are practically guaranteed to score you a kiss!

You can find romance in lots of fun things and places! Hicksville Trailer Palace in Joshua Tree and Pappy and Harriet's in Pioneertown are a few fun ways to make some memories with your date.

If you want to do something a little "out there" with your honey, a trip to the desert might just fit the bill! Only 2 1/2 hours from L.A., Joshua Tree and its surrounding cities offer some fun and quirky date options. Must-dos include a stop at the Integratron, an acoustically perfect dome -- built by an aeronautical engineer who claims he got the technology from Martians. You can step into a living cartoon and stay at the cool and kitschy Hicksville Trailer Palace. Originally an artists' retreat, today you can rent vintage trailers in various themes. The colorful and secluded trailer park grounds include summer camp activities like archery, darts and ping pong, as well as a salt water pool, a giant teepee with an indoor fire pit, a rooftop Jacuzzi, a recording studio and film edit bay.

Hicksville Trailer Park


Hicksville Trailer Palace: www.hicksville.com

The Integration: www.integratron.com

Joshua Tree Cinematography: Thanks to Peter Bicknell for letting us use some of his amazing footage! www.peterbicknell.com

Just outside of Joshua Tree, Pioneertown is an unincorporated village that started as a live-in Old West motion picture set, built in the 1940s. Today it's a must stop photo op! Check out a hootin' and hollerin' shootout every Saturday at 2:30 p.m., April through October, by the Mane Street Stampede. The Mane Street Stampede is an all-volunteer group of re-enactors who perform entertaining Old West skits amongst the same sets once used by cowboys like Roy Rogers. The shows are free, but tips are accepted and donated to various children's charities. Next, head over to the world-famous Pappy and Harriet's. Not only do they serve the most authentic, slow-cooked BBQ in town, but every night they rock the place with incredible live music. Notable acts to have graced their stage include Robert Plant, Sean Lennon and Vampire Weekend.

Pappy and Harriet's: www.pappyandharriets.com

For this week's episode, "Eye on L.A." teamed with Los Angeles Magazine to find some great date getaways. Check them out at www.lamag.com and look up their 52 Great Weekend Getaways issue for more ideas.

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