I lived in the SF Bay Area for ten years, seven of which I spent with my partner. We’ve thoroughly explored the city together and have found our favorite romantic things to do in San Francisco.
Whether it’s having a romantic dinner, engaging in some friendly competition over mini golf, or admiring the sunset together, we’ve made some fond memories in the unique city that is San Francisco. Here’s a list of my top romantic things to do in San Francisco, in no particular order!
1. Play Mini Golf at Stagecoach Greens
What better way to spend a weekend than play mini golf and drink wine?
Located South of Market, Stagecoach Greens is a San Francisco-themed mini golf course with food and drink stands and outdoor seating areas abundant with fireplaces. It’s only been around for a few years, yet it’s already super popular among the locals.
I came here with my boyfriend and we loved seeing San Francisco’s attractions in miniature form throughout the course.
2. Bike Along the Embarcadero
I lived in SOMA the first three years I was in San Francisco, and the Embarcadero was one of my favorite places to hang out. It’s by the water, and you can run, walk, or bike endlessly without having to avoid cars. The Ferry Building located along the Embarcadero also has a farmer’s market on Saturdays.
If you’re visiting San Francisco for the first time, biking along the Embarcadero will be an unforgettable experience. Here are some companies that offer bike rentals in the city. Many of them are located along the Embarcadero.
3. Walk Across the Golden Gate Bridge
You can’t say you’ve been to San Francisco until you’ve seen the Golden Gate Bridge. One of the most romantic things to do in San Francisco, walking or tandem biking across the bridge with your partner will make the trip one to remember.
4. Stroll Down Lover’s Lane
Less of a hiking trail and more of a walking path, Lover’s Lane is located at the northern tip of San Francisco at the Presidio. The tall trees on each side of the trail makes the walk extra romantic. It’s the perfect escape from an otherwise busy metropolis, and a great place to hang out for nature lovers.
5. Go Ice Skating at the Union Square Ice Rink (Nov – Jan)
‘Tis the season to enjoy some of the best activities to do in the winter!! While San Francisco stays warmer than places like New York City during the winter months, you’re still able to enjoy activities like ice skating and skiing.
Every year, the Union Square Ice Skating Rink opens in November and stays open for ice skating until late January. General Admission including rentals is just $19 and this year all tickets must be purchased online.
6. Picnic at Dolores Park
One of the best things to do in San Francisco that can easily be turned into a romantic date is picnicking at Dolores Park. It’s somehow sunny 90% of the time at this 16-acre park in the Mission district, and the park offers great views of the city as it’s sitting on a slight hill.
Before going to the park, I recommend gathering components for your picnic at Bi-Rite Market. If you want something quick and pre-made, Greek restaurant Souvla is also a great option (it’s Michelle Obama approved!)
7. Have a Romantic Dinner at Foreign Cinema
Whenever I get asked what my favorite restaurants in San Francisco are, Foreign Cinema often comes to mind. The Californian (or what I consider to New American) restaurant is also located in the Mission District. It has a beautiful courtyard with string lights and a projector for a classic movie to be shown on the courtyard’s wall after dark.
It’s harder for a restaurant to get more romantic than Foreign Cinema.
8. Hang Out at the Japanese Tea Garden
I didn’t learn this until I moved away from San Francisco, but the Golden Gate Park is larger than New York City’s Central Park by 20%! The park is so big that sometimes you don’t even know what’s hidden among the beautiful greenery.
One such place that often gets overlooked is the Japanese Tea Garden. The garden makes for a perfect place to have a romantic stroll in San Francisco. There’s a small food stand inside the garden so you can actually sit down and enjoy Japanese deserts over tea.
9. Get Spooked on Alcatraz Island
Alcatraz Island is one of the best places to visit in San Francisco. Before turning into a tourist destination, Alcatraz Island was a civil war fort and a prison. For $49, you can get an in-depth guided tour of the island.
If you do end up deciding to visit Alcatraz Island with a significant other, I recommend checking out the night tour. There’s something fun and romantic about visiting a historic site together at night. Just make sure at least one of you has the guts to tour the whole thing without getting too spooked!
Read more about the Alcatraz After Dark Tour here.
10. Picnic at the Marin Headlands
Marin Headlines offers incredible views of the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco. Rent a car, pack a picnic basket, and drive up to the Marin Headlands with your lover for a romantic sunset picnic.
11. Stroll Along the Marina Green
Another scenic spot that doubles as a romantic date spot in SF, Marina Green offers an unobstructed view of the Golden Gate Bridge. You can take a stroll or bike along the Marina Green, or grab a coffee sit on the 74-acre lawn for few hours while admiring the beautiful view.
Plenty of Romantic Things to Do in San Francisco
Looking back on some of my favorite places to go on dates in San Francisco, I realized SF is quite a romantic city. Whether you like to spend time in the outdoors, picnic, or do a haunted tour, the city has something to offer for every couple visiting. Which of these activities do you see yourself checking off the list with your significant other?
If you’re in San Francisco for a while and looking for places to get away for a day trip. Check out my post on romantic getaways from San Francisco.