Posted Feb 23, 2015

Most Romantic Destinations in San Francisco

Quick – think of the most romantic city in the U.S. Chances are, the first place that comes to mind is San Francisco, and with good reason. The natural beauty, vintage charm and seaside fare make this city the perfect locale for a romantic getaway.

Most Romantic Destinations in San Francisco

I was fortunate enough to be able to spend a few days in San Francisco with my husband last year, and let me just say: You can’t help but feel romantic while you’re here. Surprisingly, the city is quite small when it comes to square miles, so it’s perfect for walking hand-in-hand.

It’s also multicultural and full of exotic cuisine, so there are lots of experiences that you two can enjoy together for the first time. Here are some great romantic destinations in San Francisco you can’t miss:

San Francisco Flower Mart

Flowers are a near-universal symbol for romance, and there’s no better way to show someone you care than picking up a fresh bouquet of blooms.

Most Romantic Destinations in San Francisco - San Francisco Flower Mart

Martha Stewart calls this place the best flower market in the country, so you know the flowers here are top-notch. As you two walk through the mart, the sights and aromas from the dozens of vendors here will definitely set a romantic mood.

Foreign Cinema

There are scores of romantic restaurants in SF, but Foreign Cinema is tops. Try to reserve a table on the open-air patio.

Most Romantic Destinations in San Francisco - Foreign Cinema Date

The twinkling string lights and projector screen that features classic films might be one of the biggest hidden treasures in the Bay Area.

Most Romantic Destinations in San Francisco - Foreign CinemaFresh, beautiful seafood is the star of the menu here, from Kumamoto oysters to Maine lobster to local cod. There’s also an impressive selection of bubbly to choose from if you really want to step up the romance factor.

Lands End

Active couples shouldn’t hesitate to bring their hiking boots along with them during an excursion in San Francisco, especially with a place like Lands Ends located within the city limits.

Most Romantic Destinations in San Francisco - Lands End Sutro Baths

You’ll find it on the northwestern corner of the city within Golden Gate National Recreation Area, and once you’ve laced up and started along the windy trail, you’ll see why Lands End has been a hotspot for couples for many years.

Cypress and wildflower blossoms, views of shipwrecks and the exotic ruins of the Sutro Baths make this a truly one-of-a-kind romantic destination. Oh, and did I mention the coastal views?

Treasure Island Skyline Views

Head across the Bay Bridge and and you’ll run right into Treasure Island, the best spot in the Bay Area for skyline views of the city.

Most Romantic Destinations in San Francisco - Treasure Island

What can be more romantic than a stunning vista of the twinkling lights of San Francisco in the distance?

North Beach

Lace up your comfiest shoes and be sure to hit this neighborhood, which is considered the most charming in the city. Adorable alleys with bakeries, colorful hillside architecture that glimmers in the sun and many of the city’s best Italian restaurants can all be found here.

Most Romantic Destinations in San Francisco - North Beach

In fact, many people refer to North Beach as San Francisco’s Little Italy. However, the Bohemian atmosphere and Beat poetry history is what has put North Beach on the map, especially with City Lights, a beautiful bookstore that once attracted literary giants like Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac.

There are also plenty of clubs and watering holes for bar-hopping, if you and your sweetie consider yourselves night owls.

Union Square

Walking through San Fran can wear you out, especially with the dozens of hills– but luckily, the city has a wonderful oasis where people-watching, cocktail-sipping, and relaxation are encouraged: Union Square.

Most Romantic Destinations in San Francisco - Union Square

This is tucked away near many of the high-end shops along Post Street, so it’s a great spot to relax and enjoy a glass of California cabernet on a date night after a retail therapy session for two.

The Palace of Fine Arts

Make your S.O. feel like royalty for a day and head to the Palace of Fine Arts. There are a lot of reasons why San Francisco locals choose to get married here: Simply put, its beautiful rotunda, fountains and lush greenery around every turn feel and look like something out of a romance novel.

Most Romantic Destinations in San Francisco - The Palace of Fine Arts

When you both walk in here, you will feel like you’ve left SF momentarily and are now walking through the streets of Paris. Yep, it’s that romantic.

Powell-Hyde Cable Car

You’re in SF, and it would be a shame not to hop on an authentic cable car. Are they touristy? Sure, but they are adorably romantic too.

Most Romantic Destinations in San Francisco - Powell- Hyde Cable Car

The Powell-Hyde cable car is my personal favorite, as it rattles through some of the cutest neighborhoods in the city, including the Marina District and Nob Hill. Be sure to stand so that you are facing the bay as the car slowly inches up SF’s classic hills.

De Young Museum

San Francisco has always been a haven for artists of all kinds, so it’s well worth a visit to the De Young Museum to make the most of the city’s enchantment with the arts.

Most Romantic Destinations in San Francisco - The De Young Museum


This architectural gem is dripping with elegance due to its fascinating collections, ranging from American paintings to oceanic art.

Most Romantic Destinations in San Francisco - De Young

However, if you and your S.O. are feeling a more contemporary vibe, head to De Young on Fridays. Couples can enjoy after-hours fun with panel discussions, dance and theater performances, film screenings, and hands-on arts activities alongside a cafe that serves up specialty cocktails and a prix fixe menu.

Golden Gate Bridge

All 1.7 miles of the Golden Gate Bridge are the sight to see in SF, especially with the skyline and Alcatraz Island in the distance and the roaring Pacific Ocean below.

Most Romantic Destinations in San Francisco - The Golden Gate Bridge

Be sure to have someone snap a photo of you two on this incredible landmark, because it will be an experience you both won’t soon forget. The bridge is accessible by bicycle and car, but I recommend a leisurely stroll if you are bringing along that special someone.

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Most Romantic Destinations in San Francisco

Photo Credit: Adam FagendutchbabyJulie BlausteinThomas HawkLuigi AnzivinoJitze CouperustorbakhopperAdam FagenChao-Wei Juanchialinshihtelmo32torbakhopperLuis Jou García

Rachel LaCroix


Rachel LaCroix is from the Music City, but she now calls the Windy City home. In her spare time, Rachel enjoys writing, reading, seeing local bands, frequenting Chicago eateries, playing with her adorable schnauzer and, most of all, traveling. She's seen Costa Rica to Copenhagen and loves it all!

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