Hikes are ok, but waterfall hikes are awesome!
Hiking in California is a day date idea good for anytime, but the best time for hiking with waterfalls is during springtime or "rainy" season. As you can see in the photo on the right here, the Escondido Waterfalls were quite amazing last month. I'm not fond of rain but it does provide 2 good things: waterfalls and rainbows. Unfortunately (depending on how you see it), no rain is expected in the next 10 days in the Malibu area.
According to Yelp reviewers, this is a 4.2-mile hike round trip at easy-moderate difficulty with half of the trail covered in concrete. That is unless of course you are the adventurous type and want to scramble to the top of the falls. The trail head starts 1 mile from the parking lot and then go left at the first split. Also, don't stop at the first waterfall (50-feet lower fall), because the 150-feet upper waterfall (biggest one of Santa Monica Mountains) is up ahead. Plan to spend at least 2 hours or more here, but I'd make it at least a half-day trip.
I think I have been here a long time ago (there are a few in Santa Monica Mountains), but it was during summertime, so I need to go back again for the waterfalls (hint hint to my man if he is reading my blog). I was originally going to blog about a fellow Tweeter's suggestion, Millard Canyon Falls, but learned that it was closed down until the Fall 2010 due to mudslide damage (future date idea!). I did discover an interesting website that is all about waterfalls, World of Waterfalls. This site covers different parts around the world and even has a section dedicated to Southern California AND a personalized Google Map for local waterfalls (click HERE). If Escondido Falls is not within reach, check out that site for other hiking spots near you.
For maps and reviews of Escondido Falls, here is a list of resources at your fingertips:
As with all outdoorsy date ideas, make sure to bring sunblock, bottled water, sunglasses, a hat and a camera (that's optional, but how can you not at this panoramic spot?). Obviously, proper shoes would be smart for crossing the creek a few times and trekking through muddy trails during rainy season and. Packing a picnic would be a romantic yet practical thing to do for this date idea. Have fun!
Approximate cost of creative date idea = Free.
Actual value of the cheap date idea = Priceless.