Parking in Cars with Boys: A List of Lovers Lanes
Who needs to book a fancy restaurant this Valentine’s Day? We’ve got you covered with the perfect romantic setting — and you never need to leave your car.
By Joni Gray
Like most people who grew up in California, my first make out session was in a car. In a bright orange Ford panel van with big huge tires and obnoxiously loud headers, we parked under the guise of, “let’s just go somewhere and talk.” It didn’t seem to matter where we were, as long as it was private. Time flies, windows steam and love blooms. That’s the G-rated version anyway.
In honor of Valentine’s Day, we found some legendary spots and dreamed up the perfect cars from which to enjoy the view – though you may never even notice it. But please, be careful. Urban legend, countless B-movies and actual crime records have proven that distracted couples kissing in their car in a dark deserted place can be a target for nefarious characters. But if it wasn’t a little risky, it wouldn’t be that exciting, now would it?
Los Angeles, CA: Mulholland Drive
Angelenos have their choice of 15 different public parking spots along the famous Mulholland Drive, but a romantic favorite is the Fryman Canyon Overlook. Located on the north side of Mulholland, it’s the parking lot for the Fryman Canyon Park Betty B. Dearing Cross mountain trail. But why hike when you can stay cozy with your honey in the car? The perfect chariot would be a BMW 7-Series with tinted windows. This is Hollywood, after all.
Pittsburgh, PA: Mount Washington
You may not know this, but Pittsburgh has a truly picturesque skyline and, on special occasions, some of the most fantastic fireworks displays on the planet. All this can be seen from a parking space on restaurant row that serves an antique cable car incline called the Duquesne Incline. A luxury sedan like the Audi A8 with a Bang & Olufsen Advanced sound system makes for sure-fire romance.
Watonga, OK: Medicine Tree
Lovers love their cliffs, and believe it or not, there are cliffs in Oklahoma. At the beautiful Roman Nose Park, once a campground for the Cheyenne Indian tribe, generations of Oklahoma couples have made their way up the hill to the Medicine Tree. Yes, it’s an actual tree that was believed to have healing powers, making it a great place to park after a lover’s spat. It’s also conveniently located with the road in full view to spot intruders as they arrive. This spot begs for a big, luxurious pickup truck like the Ram 1500.
Fort Lauderdale, FL: Thunderbird Drive-In
Science fiction, double feature. Here at the Thunderbird Drive-In theater, you can find a perfectly fine movie to ignore on one of their 14 screens while you and your honey smooch and giggle. The bonus is that when you decide to take a short break from your activities, there’s an exotic car museum to stroll through – what could beat that? This might be the perfect opportunity to snag the family Honda Odyssey minivan and park backwards with the back hatch lifted. Don’t forget to leave the kids home.
Bakersfeild, CA: The Bluffs
Somehow when you imagine a romantic setting, Bakersfield doesn’t come to mind. But folks who grew up in Central California’s San Joaquin Valley, 100 miles north of Los Angeles, know that the place to park with a date is at The Bluffs. Located along Panorama Drive, the bluffs overlook the Kern River, canals and oilfields of Bakersfield. And just to add ambiance to your evening out, bring your pooch and come before dark because the park is dog-friendly with water stations for both humans and dogs to get a drink together. This is especially nice if your dog likes to sleep happily in the back seat while you are “otherwise disposed.” My imagination dreams up a Jeep Wrangler, opened all the way up on a balmy summer night.
Boston, MA: Memorial Drive
Where do the truly brainy go to make out? Many a deep, meaningful conversation about the truth of the Universe gives way to affection. In Boston, just across the street from the main MIT campus on Memorial Drive, the perfect view of the Boston skyline provides an inspiring backdrop. Park there in your urban electric Nissan Leaf to add a dose of “smug factor” to the conversation.
San Francisco, CA: Grizzley Peak
Nestled high above the University of California at Berkeley Grizzley Peak’s views of the San Francisco skyline, Sausalito, Oakland and the Pacific Ocean will inspire you to true romance – especially at sunset. Because the roads to get there are winding, a roadster like a Mazda MX-5 Miata would be the ideal ride to take. Caution is suggested when it comes to parking, however. Some of the pull-offs are on right on the edge of the cliffs. On the other hand, this could give you all the more reason to snuggle.
Austin, TX: Mount Bonnell
Mount Bonnell Park, you’ll find a lookout point attached to a romantic urban legend. It’s a century old 100-step stairway that takes you to the top of the Mount Bonnell. Local lore says that if the couple climbs the stairs together once, they’ll fall in love; twice, they’ll become engaged; and after three times, they inevitably get married. After all that climbing, get your sexy back in a Ford Taurus with massaging front seats.
Long Beach, CA: Signal Hill
Growing up, we would drive to hilltop view just above the city of Long Beach and park in an abandon lot amidst TV transmitters to watch the “submarine races.” Now known as Hilltop Park, there’s a beautifully groomed park where there once was dirt, making it less edgy, but the view remains the same. This plateau sports an amazing 360-degree view of all things Southern California – the urban sprawl of Orange County, downtown Los Angeles, the Pacific Ocean and several mountain ranges. If you plan to stay within the privacy of your car and you have the means to buy one, a Land Rover Range Rover Sport would be a natural.
So, ‘fess up. Where was your favorite place to find automotive l’amour?