The Most Romantic Spots in San Francisco
"I Left My Heart in San Francisco"
When a love song has been made about your city, you know you're in a place of romance. While Venice may rank as the most romantic city in the world, San Francisco vies with the best of them when it comes to the topic of love. With beautiful beaches, parks, monuments, cafes, and a thriving night-life, San Francisco takes the cake for having the most to offer for lovebirds.
Something for Every Couple
What is romantic to one couple is as personal and distinct as each couple. For a person in love with the outdoors, a trek through beautiful Muir Woods or a drive by the coast would be a gift of love. For someone who loves theatre, dinner in a candlelit restaurant and a night out to see the latest play would be reason to celebrate. A perfect date takes into consideration the beloved, and yet there are certain special places that by their very beauty, story, or background, can inspire love to take root and blossom.
What could be more romantic than taking a cable car? San Francisco's world famous cable cars take you from downtown Market St. and Powell St. to Fisherman's Wharf, where you can enjoy clam chowder in San Francisco Sourdough bread bowls and then pop into Ghiradelli Square and enjoy world famous chocolate sundaes. Pier 39 is also in the area and makes for a fun shopping experience, along with watching the sea lions that love to congregate below the pier by the boat docks.
For your return trip take the cable car back up Hyde and stop and see the Crookedest Street in the World ~ Lombard Street. Quite impressive for a first date, especially for those new to the city.
The Golden Gate Bridge
What better way to see a spectacular California sunset than on the Golden Gate Bridge? Just head out to catch the sunset and then head back. Wear layers to combat the wind; even on a sunny day the wind can be cool. Or, for the more adventurous, you can bike the bridge during the day and then tour the art galleries and small, quaint shops of Sausalito. Beware on the bike back there will be hills to climb so the faint hearted might want to take a ferry back instead.
Golden Gate Park
Golden Gate Park is home to so many attractions that it's hard to pick just one. Situated perpendicular to Ocean Beach, and running the length of the divide between the Richmond district and the Sunset, Golden Gate Park is one of San Francisco's most beloved areas. Below are my five favorite romantic spots that are found inside the park.
Stowe Lake Stowe Lake is a beautiful lake surrounding a hill that includes gazebos, trees, and flowers. Visitors can rent a paddle boat and paddle under stone bridges and watch geese, ducks, turtles, and the occasional squirrel and heron. You can also hike to the gazebos which are painted in an Oriental style for quiet moments with your beloved.
The Japanese Tea Garden A beautiful garden with flowers and plant life, arranged in the Japanese style. Not to be missed if you want to treat your date to a lovely place.
The Botanical Garden This garden is filled with walkways and paths that meander through beautiful landscapes of trees, blossoms, and bushes separated by peaceful lawns and a small lake. Another great choice for lovebirds that like a restful, beautiful garden to relax in.
The Arboretum Golden Gate Park also has an arboretum which houses exotic plant life like orchids and lilies and is home to hundreds of butterflies. This is a fun place to take a first date.
The San Francisco Bison While bison might not strike you as romantic, seeing them in the middle of the city can be impressive! For those who are adventurous, make a fun, unforgettable date of seeing the bison in the park. They live in an enclosure around 33rd to 35th Avenues inside the park. Follow the posted maps to find them.
Stroll Through a Farmer's Market
San Francisco is home to many Farmer's Markets, so just take your pick. Nothing like supporting local farmers and enjoying fresh, organic produce. You can collect your dinner menu together in the morning and crack out your gourmet cooking mastery at night. Did someone say chocolate dipped strawberries?
A love poem I wrote to my first love about the night I fell in love.
Take a Hike
Take a hike with your beloved one at Land's End near in the Outer Richmond. Remember to bring your camera to snap pics of the Golden Gate in the distance and the ocean below you. The views are incredible. The path will wind you around to The Palace of the Legion of Honor, also a great stop to see beautiful fine art. Later you can eat in the Inner Richmond, along Clement or Geary, where there are plenty of restaurants to suit any palate.
Outdoor Movies at Dolores Park
Bring a picnic and a blanket and catch an old-time movie at Dolores Park in the summer evening. These events happen weekly and are popular with locals. A fun first date.
Act Like a Kid
Another fun and popular San Francisco first date is the cement slides at Seward Street Slides. Bring your own cardboard to slide down.
Summer Music at Stern Grove
Every Sunday in the summer at Stern Grove, an outdoor theatre space in the Sunset, you can picnic with your loved one and enjoy free concerts.
Bring your own fruit and wine and enjoy your loved one's favorite type of music ~ every week is a different artist or genre.
A great way to relax and start a romance.
San Francisco Beaches
Another place to catch a beautiful sunset is in the Sunset district, at Ocean Beach. This sprawling beach is home to the Beach Chalet, which has two levels and a great atmosphere. Eat at the top and ask for window seating so you can enjoy the beautiful view of the beach and sunset.
Baker Beach is one of my favorites. You get a great view of the Golden Gate Bridge as well as of the ocean and San Francisco cliffs. A great place to spend a warm summer day with your beloved.
The Lyon Street Stairs
A popular early morning hangout for the exercise crowd, the Lyon Street staircase includes a gigantic art heart and a beautiful view of the bay. Inside the beautiful Pacific Heights neighborhood and surrounded by San Francisco mansions, you'll find the Lyon Street staircase next to the Presidio at Lyon St. and Broadway. Take your cameras for the view and check out the heart at the bottom of the staircase ~ the perfect romantic spot for a first kiss or two.
Fine and Fun Dining Romance
Those Italians, last I heard, knew a thing or two about romance. So check out North Beach for plenty of Italian restaurant establishments to choose from. If you'd like a more quiet, fine dining Italian experience, I recommend Cesario's near Union Square. With beautiful décor and candlelight, you can't go wrong for an exquisite evening there.
For a fun and unique date experience, try The Stinking Rose. Garlic is the theme there and the décor is great! Ask to sit in the caravan-styled section. A perfect place for a great date.
Enjoy San Francisco Entertainment
San Francisco Sweet Spots
Nothing says love like chocolate indulgence.
Leave Your Heart in SF
As you can see, San Francisco has plenty to offer for the romantic-hearted. Start making plans and take that first date or your long time love out on the town for an adventure to be remembered.