Feel the love in San Francisco With These Romantic Ideas All Year Long
From fine dining to picnics in the park to sailing the bay at sunset, San Francisco offers romantic experiences to help couples feel the love this Valentine’s Day.
CLASSIC ROMANTIC ACTIVITIES
Romantic San Francisco’s sweeping views of the bay provide a perfect setting for a Valentine’s weekend get-away. Here is a list of other classic, San Francisco activities to add to a passionate holiday.
The First Glance
The view of the city when approaching downtown San Francisco from the airport confirms the promise of excitement and beauty. Enhance the ride into this lovers' paradise and splurge with bubbling champagne poured by a chauffeur in a stretch limousine.
Between the Sheets
Many San Francisco hotel suites provide super plus beds with thick down comforters, sensuous bathtubs for two, intimate parlors with fireplaces, fresh flowers, breakfast for late risers, 24-hour gourmet room service and the ubiquitous "Do Not Disturb" sign. Find a hotel.
If You MUST Leave Your Room
Discover the charming multicolored Victorian houses stretching along the hills of Pacific Heights or the historical grandeur of Nob Hill on guided walking tours. For thrill seekers with soaring hearts, climb aboard a helicopter for a bird's eye tour of the city or take a flying lesson.
Explore the nooks and crannies of San Francisco by ducking down hidden streets and walkways to discover unique boutiques, galleries and restaurants. Or get physical on bicycle lanes and footpaths crisscrossing Golden Gate Park, a nature lovers' urban oasis with quiet meadows and serene lakes.
A Bridge to Take Your Breath Away
High above where the Pacific meets San Francisco Bay spans the Golden Gate Bridge. Walkers and bikers should dress with flexibility on this famous crossing — cool ocean breezes, blue skies and the sunshine, or misty fog.
To find a memorable keepsake, Union Street features turn-of-the-century Victorians renovated into shops and Hayes Valley is known for its eclectic stores and galleries. The Mission District, dubbed “the hippest neighborhood in America” by Vanity Fair, is a haven for burgeoning artists and stylish “only in San Francisco” designs.
Picnics for Two
A loaf of bread, a jug of wine - along with a blanket and picnic basket - are all that is needed to enjoy a casual brunch or dinner with a backdrop of a sunset at secluded China Beach or Baker Beach. It's a short ferry ride to Angel Island, which allows visitors to hike or bike this forest-covered isle offering spectacular views of the city. Another choice in Marin County is Muir Woods with its ancient redwoods, offering a myriad of trails and secluded spots for lovers.
San Francisco is a fantasy world for food lovers. Bustling Chinatown serves traditional dim sum (meaning “heart's delight”); North Beach restaurants offer San Francisco's own cioppino with interludes of live Italian opera on the side; straight off the boat, Pacific seafood is as fresh as it comes at Fisherman's Wharf; and formal restaurants with white linen, silver-laden tables and panoramic views present some of the finest dining experiences in the world.
Dancing on Water
An alternative to the traditional land-lovers dinner is a romantic dinner cruise. Charter companies provide a delectable dinner and night of dancing to live music aboard beautiful yachts sailing past Sausalito, Fisherman's Wharf, and under the illuminated Golden Gate and Bay Bridges.
Bay City Sunset
From Coit Tower's 360° view or the high-rise aerie of a hotel view lounge, the glowing sun in the west slips into the Pacific between the arches of the Golden Gate Bridge. A spectacular metamorphosis comes with nightfall when the view sparkles with evening lights from the city and stars above.
Cable Cars by Moonlight
After a night at the ballet, opera, symphony, theater or dance club, linger in the night air for a while. Embark on a moonlit cable car ride back to the hotel with the clanging bells heightening the romantic mood of the evening.
WINE AND DINE
Cocktails and a View at Top of the Mark
Known for their signature martinis and magnificent views of San Francisco, the Top of the Mark rooftop bar is the perfect place to complement the most romantic evening. Arrive for pre-dinner drinks and experience the sun setting on the San Francisco skyline, or linger for a nightcap with the twinkling lights of the city beckoning. www.topofthemark.com
Enjoy a first-class wine tasting experience at one of the many new urban wineries located within San Francisco’s 49 square miles. Bluxome Street Winery offers weekend tours and tastings of five wines paired with charcuterie. www.bluxomewinery.com
Illuminate Your Night
Lovers can gaze upon artist Leo Villareal’s monumental light sculpture The Bay Lights, illuminating the western span of the Bay Bridge. Dine at Epic Steak, Waterbar or Chaya Brasserie for a five-star dining experience, complete with a beautiful view of this stunning lights installation. www.epicsteak.com, www.waterbarsf.com, www.thechaya.com
Take a Stroll on Lover’s Lane
Take your date off the beaten path and hike through San Francisco’s historic Presidio. Open spaces, trails and inspiring vistas provide plenty of opportunities to be alone with your loved one while enjoying the quiet beauty that can only be found at the Presidio. Steal a kiss on Lover’s Lane and experience the sunset from Baker Beach. Guided tours are available through Urban Hiker SF, or explore on your own. www.urbanhikersf.com
Ferry Building Marketplace
Sample artisan cheeses, sip Blue Bottle Coffee and feast on Tomales Bay oysters – the Ferry Building Marketplace is the perfect day-date destination. www.ferrybuildingmarketplace.com
Picnic in the Park
For the budget-minded, bring a picnic lunch and rent a paddle or row boat and go for a romantic ride around the beautiful, 12-acre Stow Lake. Also in the park, share the love by making a handmade, pressed flower card at the Conservatory of Flowers and watch as the penguins build their nests out of heart-shaped valentines at the California Academy of Sciences. www.calacademy.org, www.conservatoryofflowers.org
Golden Gate Bridge
Take a romantic stroll on San Francisco's most famous bridge. Or for the more adventurous couple, rent a bicycle built for two with Spinlister, Blazing Saddles or Bay City Bike. Bike over the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco to Sausalito and enjoy a quaint, waterfront lunch. Too tired to bike back? Take the ferry from Sausalito to San Francisco. www.spinlister.com, www.blazingsaddles.com/san-francisco, www.baycitybike.com
Asian Art Museum
The Asian Art Museum is one of the largest museums in the Western world devoted exclusively to Asian art. Its holdings include more than 18,000 objects spanning 6,000 years of history and representing countries and cultures throughout Asia. Spend the day surrounded by objects of beauty, many made from precious materials, and discover a new passion for art. www.asianart.org