The city of San Francisco has been the inspiration for countless love songs, films and romantic novels and it’s not hard to see why. It combines historic districts with open spaces for romantic walks, flowers galore in every season, boat trips, scenic picnic spots, intimate restaurants and great sunsets over the Pacific Ocean. If you’re looking for a spot of Valentine’s Day romance or the perfect place to propose, then look no further than San Francisco.
Romantic Things to Do in San Francisco
Whether you are celebrating new love or a milestone anniversary, a romantic walk hand-in-hand offers plenty of time for talking, relaxing and creating memories to be treasured.
Crissy Field combines the East End beach with walks through forested paths beneath trees which have seen centuries come and go. As part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area it is ideal for leisurely café lattes in quiet waterfront coffee shops overlooking Alcatraz Island and the Golden Gate Bridge. Watch windsurfers when the breeze is fresh or hire bicycles to explore the area together.
Pack a picnic lunch – so much more personal and romantic than a bought meal – and share your favorite treats, washed down with a light bottle of sparkling Italian wine for the perfect lingering lunch.
The nearby Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park is the perfect dessert. This flower sanctuary offers vibrant beds of color at any time of year, although late summer is when the gardens showcase San Francisco’s official flower – the dahlia. On cooler days the restored Victorian Conservatory has 1,500 blooming species from around the world as well as romantic aquatic gardens with fountains, waterfalls and a glass bridge.
Beautiful Sunsets in San Francisco
Definitely the most romantic time of day, a sunset cruise across the bay is perfect if the weather is good. Alternatively, walk along the bay facing west towards Golden Gate Bridge just before sunset and see the blaze of colour which the California coast is famous for, particularly in the winter months. After sunset, walk back and enjoy the city sights after dark.
On cooler days opt for a table at the Top of the Mark. This softly lit bar is on the top floor of the Mark Hopkins Hotel and offers 360 degree views. It is perfect for sipping martinis as the sun goes down and watching the city lights slowly appear below.
Romantic Dining in San Francisco
San Francisco has hundreds of excellent restaurants, but it is important to choose not only a great menu, but also an intimate ambience and discreet service to finish the perfect day. Try Acquerello on Nob Hill with its graceful dining room and exquisite “amuse bouche”. The French are renowned for their delectable cuisine which can be enjoyed at Fifth Floor with a choice of 1,500 wines from France and California to toast your future together.
For a truly French experience, try the award-winning cuisine of Chef Traci des Jardins at Jardinière – but book your table well in advance for this established restaurant. For a unique dining experience with an Indian theme, request a table in the Fantasy Room at the Maharani and share an Indian meal ending with poetry readings.
Romantic Spots in San Francisco to Say “I Do”
If you are thinking of asking your loved one to become your life partner, there are some great spots in San Francisco to make that life-changing moment absolutely perfect. Drive out to the Marin Headlands for unforgettable views to match that all-important moment. Exit Alexander Ave on the north side of Golden Gate Bridge and climb the hill. There are several viewpoints, so go past the busier spots to find your own romantic spot.
Alternatively drive west along Marina Boulevard and turn left onto Lyon Street. The Palace of Fine Arts has a pretty rotunda next to a small swan-filled lake – a tailor-made spot for romance. If it is too busy, stroll around the lake to one of the benches on the opposite side with an equally lovely view.
If you’re in the mood for love in a gorgeous city like San Francisco, California, you can get a discount rental car at Payless Car Rental at the San Francisco International Airport (SFO).