15 Most Romantic Things to Do in San Francisco, California

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San Francisco, also known as the Golden Gate City, is one of the most preferable destinations for tourists on the West Coast. Over 25 million people visit the city every year and for a reason: San Francisco offers the perfect mixture of coastal vibes, urban art, and fascinating architecture. 

So, when it comes to romance, you might not consider San Fran as your dream location at least at first. And you will be missing out on a lot: there are many hidden gems spread around the town where you could enjoy a lovely picnic, a special dinner, or an exciting hike. 

To find these love spots, all you have to do is follow our guide to the 15 most romantic things you can do with your significant other next time you visit the city. 

  1. A Light Show For You Two

Golden Gate Bridge offers a picturesque view during the whole day, but only at night, you can enjoy another bridge’s breathtaking beauty that shouldn’t be missed. Take a magical walk with your s.o. near the Bay Bridge and enjoy the light show of 25 000 LED lights illuminating the bridge every night. 

It’s a spectacular experience thanks to the work of the famous artist Leo Villareal and some generous private donors. Ever since 2016, the light show is on, so make sure to catch it and share a beautiful moment with the person you love the most. 

  1. Let your inner child play

Our next suggestion for a romantic adventure for couples is to visit the Seward Street Slides. These legendary slides were built from cement by a teenager living in San Francisco more than 50 years ago as a protest against the lack of open space for children in the neighborhood. 

If you and your s.o. are looking for a fun date, you should definitely visit the slides. A good piece of advice is to bring cardboard so that your clothes don’t create friction and you can fully enjoy the ride! Also, make sure to check the open hours before you go. 

  1. Picnic with a view
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How about you surprise your boy/girlfriend with a romantic picnic and the view of the famous Painted ladies? We are sure you’ve seen them in movies or paintings, but sharing a delicious meal with your better half in front of this symbol of the city is a different experience. 

The Painted ladies are indeed a few Victorian houses painted in different colors and arranged in a row. Behind them opens up a magnificent view of San Francisco, so this is one of the best spots to have breakfast, lunch or even dinner. There is a lovely green area across the street and you might find other couples having picnics as well.

If you can, try to visit the romantic spot on a sunny day so that you can stay longer and relax under the warm sunlight. If it happens to be a cold and windy day, we suggest you bring extra clothing. Of course, it would be much better if you could bring your favorite electric blanket from home, but there are some other great alternatives like heated jackets and gloves that you can wear outside and still stay warm and cozy. 

  1. Love in the Shakespeare garden

Situated in Golden Gate Park, the Shakespeare garden offers a cozy and quiet place for your couple. Inspired by Shakespeare himself, in the small garden, you will find some of his famous quotes as well as his bronze bust. 

This might inspire you to read some love poetry to your lover or just to take a peaceful walk and enjoy nature. Whatever you prefer, the Shakespeare garden is exactly what you need to bond and spend some quality time together. 

  1. Climb together, stay together

For the adventurous couples out there, we have a great date idea: climb the famous 163 Moraga Steps! The mosaic decorations on all the steps are handmade and resemble different animals, birds and fish. 

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The view from the first step is quite spectacular as you get to see the whole picture, yet reaching the top is even better as nearby you can find the best 360 degrees view of San Francisco. We hope we gave you enough good reasons to conquer those steps! 

Climbing together is a great motivator and also a fun way to create new memories. If you are a more sporty couple, you can challenge yourself and compete to the top. 

  1. Explore and learn

San Francisco’s murals are a must-see when visiting the city and could be a great experience to share for couples. The most impressive ones, as you will find more than a thousand of them spread around the town, are situated in Mission District. 

What is special about them is their diversity: some are from the 70s, others are freshly new and their style is also interesting: you will find mosaics, paintings, or a mixture of both. You will see many are inspired by great historical, social, and cultural events so there is a lot to learn while exploring the area. 

Due to time, weather, and the surface on which the murals are created, some of them are not in the best condition, yet you could still enjoy their beauty. Taking a walk in the district gives you the perfect opportunity to explore San Francisco’s art and history transformation through the years. So put on your favorite patriotic t-shirt for the occasion and go share this experience with your boy/girlfriend. 

  1. Dinner on the top

If you want to impress your significant other, then we suggest you take them on a romantic dinner almost on top of the world. Invite them to a cocktail bar on the 19th floor with a 360-degree view of San Francisco by visiting the Top of the mark. You will find it in the well-known InterContinental Mark Hopkins Hotel. 

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The bar is everything you could imagine: a classy and chill atmosphere, where you can treat yourself to some fancy cocktails and if lucky (and well informed) you might catch an evening event with live music. 

What better way to show your love and make the person next to you feel special than sharing an amazing night on top of San Francisco?

  1. Go to the beach

A walk on the beach is always a good idea and San Francisco offers you the perfect spot for it: Black Sands Beach. Geographically speaking, the Black beach is not located exactly in San Fran as you have to cross the Golden Gate Bridge and go to Sausalito, but it’s so worth deviating! 

The beach is famous for its black-colored sand and the magical view of the North Pacific Ocean. What is really great about this location is that it’s still somewhat of a hidden gem so you and your partner could enjoy some privacy while exploring the area. 

So save this idea for a sunny day you want to spend away from the crazy big city. Have in mind that clothing is optional on the beach, so you might want to warn your partner about this. 

  1. Hop on a night cruise

As colorful and beautiful San Francisco is during the day, it’s even more spectacular and vibrant at night when the city is all lightened up. The best way to observe its beauty is from a distance, so our next suggestion is to take a cruise around the Bay. 

You will find many options from small boats to big cruise ships so that the adventure fits your budget. Some offer dinner and drinks on board and thus you can make the night even more special to the person you are sharing it with. 

Even on a warm day, the temperature will fall at night, so make sure to grab something to put on in case it gets cold. Also, bring a map of the city so that you can fully enjoy and explore the shore of San Francisco. 

  1.  A walk for lovers
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Maybe you prefer a more chill and relaxed kind of romantic experience? Then we have prepared the ideal option for you: take your lover’s hand and walk side by side on the famous Lovers’ lane. 

The trail itself is around 1km long and is situated in the heart of the park Presidio of San Francisco. The name comes from the 19th century when soldiers walked this route to visit their girlfriends in the city. Later on, an artist named Andy Goldsworthy created the so-called Wood line – literally a zig-zag line of trees that is fun to walk next to or on top of. 

Walking the Lovers’ lane is a very romantic experience and the best way to capture it is by taking many photos or even better: organizing a photo shoot. The light is perfect there as the surrounding trees offer a natural and almost magical atmosphere. 

  1. Catch the loveliest sunset

What screams romance more than a warm colorful sunset? San Francisco has many locations where you can watch the descending sun, yet one of the best is called Twin peaks. You can reach the two hills by walking, biking or driving, but either way you will end up with an incredible view of the Bay area. 

So consider taking your better half to a magical sunset experience and make sure to look around too: you will see the Golden Gate Bridge, the ocean and the city itself. You can also bring snacks or even dinner and create some special moments. 

  1. Go down the craziest street

One of San Francisco’s most visited attractions is Lombard street as it is the most crooked and steepest street in the whole world with beautiful landscape design pleasing to the eye. So if you want to impress your lover, take them there and walk up and down the street to fully appreciate its curviness. You can also drive on Lombard street but only if you feel experienced enough as it is quite a challenge. 

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Walking is probably the better option as you get to observe the beautiful architecture of the surrounding buildings. The street itself is almost 3 miles long but it’s worth exploring every inch of it. Don’t forget to take pictures especially if you decide to climb the street and want to capture the proud moment. 

  1. Travel back in time

Cable cars are emblematic of San Francisco so next time you visit the city, you should hop on one of them with your boy/girlfriend. It is quite the experience as these cars were invented and have been running for more than 150 years. Riding on them you get to explore and enjoy the beautiful hills and views of this fascinating city. 

In some way you also get to travel back in time as the interior of the cable cars is preserved and very impressive. Share this experience with someone you love and don’t forget to hold on very tight as San Francisco’s hills are very steep!

  1.  Explore Golden Gate on wheels

Another emblematic symbol of the city is Golden Gate Bridge. While it’s fun to observe it from a distance or closer by walking, it is something different to explore the bridge on two wheels. If you want more privacy, rent a bike for you and your s.o. and drive into the sunset. But if you don’t mind the company, join an organized bike tour with guides to get the most out of it (look them up online).

Riding bikes together while getting to know the city is also a great way to get to know each other better or reconnect if you’ve been together for a while. Let’s not forget you are burning some calories as well which is good if before that you’ve been enjoying San Francisco’s street food and especially the seafood delicacies. 

  1.  Take a love & wine tour
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Our final suggestion for a romantic activity when in San Francisco is to take your loved one on a special wine tour. Tasting regional wines and learning about the technology and processes behind their production sounds like a day well spent. 

You can book different types of tours (both half-days and full days), as some will leave you for a wine tasting near the Bay while others will take you outside of the city to the famous wine regions Napa and Sonoma. Whatever you choose, it’s going to be a memorable romantic experience for sure! Just be careful with tasting too much wine without having a proper lunch. 

We hope you have more than enough ideas to surprise your better half in the most romantic ways when you decide to visit San Francisco. If you want to make the stay even more memorable, just combine a few of our suggestions in an entire day of fun, excitement and of course, romance. 

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