The 20 Most Romantic Things to Do in San Francisco

Spice up your trip with these activities.

With its breathtaking vistas, iconic landmarks and top-notch food and wine, the City by the Bay is an enchanting destination for romance. Here are a few activities to spice up your stay.

  1. Watching the Bay Lights 

    Marvel at the 25,000 white LEDs dancing and sparkling in this large-scale light installation on the Bay Bridge’s western span. Mesmerizing. 

  2. Sweets at Choux Bakery 

    Stop in for artisanal French cream puffs, including a to-die-for pistachio variety, at this little gem in the Lower Haight. 248 Fillmore St., San Francisco. 

  3. Cocktails at Top of the Mark

    Panoramic views of the San Francisco Bay and downtown will set both your hearts aflutter as you enjoy small bites and a cocktail from a menu that includes 100 types of martinis. 999 California St., San Francisco

  4. Relaxing at the Nob Hill Spa 

    Pamper yourself with a couples massage followed by a glass of Champagne in the spa’s indoor pool or on the outdoor sun deck at this top-rated spa. 1075 California St., San Francisco.  

  5. Taking the Stairs up Telegraph Hill 

    Get your hearts pumping by climbing the 284-foot hill via two steep sets of stairs. Your reward: breathtaking views and perhaps a glimpse of the hill’s iconic flock of parrots. Start at the Filbert Street Stairs at Sansome and Filbert streets.

  6. French Desserts at B. Patisserie 

    The artisanal bakery is known for its addictive, buttery-sweet kough aman and beautiful open pastry kitchen. 2821 California St., San Francisco.

  7. Dinner at Mason Pacific 

    Take the Powell-Hyde cable car line up to this atmospheric neighborhood restaurant in Nob Hill for a cozy meal of satisfying, seasonal fare. 1358 Mason St., San Francisco. 

  8. Exploring the Garden of Shakespeare’s Flowers 

    Stroll down a quaint brick path through beds planted with blooms mentioned in the bard’s famous poems. Extra points for reciting a few lines to your beloved. Golden Gate Park, San Francisco.

  9. Walking across the Golden Gate Bridge

    Yes, it’s touristy, but walking across SF’s iconic international orange span remains popular for a reason: It’s simply breathtaking. 

    Golden Gate Bridge

  10. Stroll around the Palace of Fine Arts 

    The iconic rotunda and fountain-festooned lagoon is the ideal place for a pleasant morning walk. 3301 Lyon St., San Francisco.

  11. A Sunset Sail on a Catamaran  

    Unleash your adventurous side with a catamaran cruise on the San Francisco Bay and watch the sun sink slowly behind the Golden Gate Bridge. Pier 39, Dock J, San Francisco. 

  12. A Wine Flight at Press Club 

    Taste Napa’s best without leaving SF at this swanky and moody subterranean downtown wine bar. 20 Yerba Buena Ln., San Francisco.  

  13. Dinner at Saison 

    If you’re willing to splurge, make the reservation of a lifetime to dine on cutting-edge, seasonal cuisine at this elegant yet unfussy culinary stronghold in the hip SoMa neighborhood. 178 Townsend St., San Francisco. 

  14. Discovering the Exploratorium’s Sensual Side 

    Science becomes steamy with couples-themed activities and exhibits focusing on touch, trust, love and human interaction at this bayside science museum. Pier 15, San Francisco.

  15. Renting a Tandem Bike 

    Enjoy a leisurely cruise through Golden Gate Park or pedal all the way to Marin County on a bicycle built for two. Bay City Bike, 1325 Columbus Ave., San Francisco.

  16. Indulging Your Inner Child at the Seward Slides 

    Let loose and fly down a pair of steep, long concrete slides. All you need is cardboard and a smile. 70 Corwin St., San Francisco. 

  17. Boating on Stow Lake

    Take a tandem pedal boat out on placid Stow Lake, where you can enjoy views of the waterfall or steer toward the arched bridge for a secluded smooch. 50 Stow Lake Dr. E, San Francisco.

  18. A Picnic at Crissy Field 

    Pack your picnic basket and your pooch (if you have one) and spread out a blanket on this soft expanse of green overlooking the bay. 603 Mason St., San Francisco.

  19. A Sunset Flight on the Seaplane 

    Take off from Marin County and sip Champagne while you float above the city. Make a memory watching the skyline aglow in a fiery winter sunset. Seaplane Adventures, 242 Redwood Hwy., Mill Valley.

  20. Happy Hour at Waterbar 

    Start your evening with oysters and a glass of sparkling wine on the outdoor patio of this bayside restaurant, complete with views of the bay, Bay Bridge, Treasure Island and San Francisco skyline. 399 The Embarcadero, San Francisco

     

    SLIDESHOW: The City's Most Romantic Activities in Pictures

Christine Tusher
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