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9 Best Romantic Date Ideas in San Francisco (2024)

You’re in luck! We’ve compiled a list of the 9 best date ideas in San Francisco to impress your significant other with a big dose of romance.

In a city like San Francisco, there’s no shortage of activities, restaurants, events, and outdoor areas to keep you occupied. But sometimes you need some extra inspiration for where to take a date, whether you’ve just met or are long-time lovers. 

You’re in luck! We’ve compiled a list of the 9 best date ideas in San Francisco to impress your significant other with a big dose of romance.

Cheers Each Other at a Speakeasy

Nothing says “sultry” like cozying up to each other in a speakeasy and clinking glasses in the name of romance. When you’re searching for secret, romantic spots in San Francisco, look no further than one of the many speakeasies hidden throughout the city.

Nestled in The Mission, The Hideout is a well-loved, romantic bar hidden behind the restaurant Dalva. Enjoy mood lighting and a craft cocktail with your partner until 2 a.m. on weekend nights. Oh, and no reservations here. In true speakeasy style, The Hideout doesn’t have a website. You’ll just have to rely on your “hidden cocktail sense” (or Google Maps). 

Another top pick for your date night in SF is Wilson and Wilson. You’ll need to walk through Bourbon & Branch to get to this intimate bar within a bar—perfect for deep conversation, gazing into each other’s eyes, and, of course, sipping on spirit-forward drinks.

Ride Bikes to Sausalito

One of the most quintessential date ideas in San Francisco includes crossing the Golden Gate Bridge. But why not cross it on your own two wheels? Rent bikes in the city, then meander your way to the bridge, where you can ride in the pedestrian lanes, stopping along the way to take selfies with the city or the ocean in the background. Then, head toward Sausalito, a quaint seaside town. It’s only four miles from the Golden Gate Bridge Welcome Center to Downtown Sausalito, and most of it is flat or downhill, so you probably won’t even break a sweat! 

Park your bikes and walk hand in hand with your date along Bridgeway, a street with boutique shopping and delicious food (stop in at Scoma’s for seafood with a side of beautiful waterfront views). When you’re ready to head back to the city, catch the ferry at the Sausalito pier, which takes you back to either Fisherman’s Wharf or the Ferry Building. From there, bike to your final destination with your love by your side.

Charter a Sunset Sail

This might be one of the best date ideas in the South Bay Area (but not for the seasick-inclined). Surprise your S.O. with a date they’ll never forget: a sunset cruise on the San Francisco Bay. No matter if you choose a more casual boat experience or a luxury one with food and drinks, you and your partner will be able to take in incredible views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, the Marin Headlands, and, of course, San Francisco—all bathed in golden-hour light.

Blue and Gold Fleet offers larger boat cruises, Adventure Cat offers catamaran tours, and San Francisco Sailing Co. provides unique sunset experiences on sailboats.

Explore a Museum

Looking for a cheap way to see the city with your significant other? This date idea in San Francisco lets you indulge in your creative side without spending a dime. Many museums throughout the city have days every month when admission is free. Put on your best walking shoes and pick a day (usually a weekday) to visit one of these 12 museums for free

From the Asian Art Museum to the Exploratorium, there are plenty of options to give you and your date a taste of culture. Even the Japanese Tea Garden and Botanical Garden include free admission during certain times of day. 

Stroll Through Golden Gate Park

The gem of San Francisco, Golden Gate Park provides the perfect location for your next date idea in the Bay Area. And coming in at more than 1,000 acres, the park is so big that you couldn’t possibly explore it all in one day, which means that now you have multiple date ideas! Here are some of our top picks for park dates: 

  • Angler’s Lodge: If you and your date like to fish, bring your own gear and practice casting out in one of the three pools near the lodge, which hosts the Golden Gate Angling and Casting Club.
  • Spot the bison: Yes, there are bison roaming a meadow in Golden Gate Park! Head to Bison Paddock near the northwest corner of the park to catch a glimpse of these amazing creatures.
  • Conservatory of Flowers: Walk through a stunning array of plants and flowers in this 150-year-old Victorian building. Admission is cheaper in the winter (excluding weekends), so plan your visit accordingly.
  • Have a picnic: Choose from most of the green spaces to sunbathe (if you’re lucky with weather) and enjoy a picnic, just the two of you.
  • Check out the events: Golden Gate Park is the hub for many events held in the city each year—from Outsidelands and Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival to the Surrealistic Summer Solstice Jam and Christmas Tree Lighting.

Go Rollerskating

San Fran’s cold and rainy weather doesn’t mean your date plans need to change at the first glimpse of clouds. For unique date ideas in San Francisco that don’t depend on a sunny forecast, head to Church of 8 Wheels, where you can strap on a pair of roller skates and start cruising. 

This once-abandoned church now hosts skaters of all ages. You can take lessons, attend a skate event, or just free skate with strobe lights and fun music in the background. (Hint: This is a great idea for a successful first date because handholding is natural—and even necessary if it’s been awhile since you’ve skated!)

Indulge in a Couple’s Spa Day

There’s nothing more relaxing and romantic than a day at the spa with your partner by your side. Thankfully, San Francisco has no shortage of lavish spas to rest and rejuvenate. One is Bamford Wellness Spa, which sits at the top of 1 Hotel San Francisco. Book the spa day package for you and your boo, where you can relax on the terrace with champagne and tasty bites and experience open-air bath soaks side by side in deep spa tubs. Don’t forget to schedule a massage or a facial to round out your day.

For a more unique experience, plan a day at Archimedes Banya, a Russian bathhouse on the shores of the bay. With the purchase of two day passes, you and your date can meander from the communal sauna, hammam, cold plunge pool, jacuzzi, and soaking tub. Separate treatments include massages, facials, and body scrubs. This not-so-secret romantic spot in San Francisco is sure to help you both feel more grounded and connected to each other.

Feel Like a Kid Again

While there are plenty of ways to feel like a kid again with your date (cloud-gazing, dancing with no inhibitions—you get the idea), what’s better than zooming down a slide? 

One of the most fun, free date ideas in the Bay Area involves taking your partner to the adult slides in SF. First, start at the Seward Street slides in Seward Mini Park near the Castro neighborhood. Bring pieces of cardboard for you and your date to sit on, and then see who can slide down the fastest. Then, drive or take the bus to Bernal Heights, where your next set of adult slides sits in Esmeralda Mini Park. We bet you’ll both be delighted by the childhood memories that these slides evoke, which can spark some first-date conversation starters.

After Esmeralda Mini Park, grab some post-sliding ice cream at Mitchell’s.

Get Fancy for Dinner

Date ideas in San Francisco aren’t complete without a fancy dinner option. SF is considered a foodie city due to the melding of so many different cultures, histories, and traditions. While you don’t have to fork over a ton of cash to experience delicious food here, it can be fun to splurge a little (or a lot) to treat your date to something extra special. 

KAIYO Rooftop is an unforgettable dining spot at the top of the Hyatt near Oracle Park. With sweeping vistas of the San Francisco Bay, the city, and the Oakland Bay Bridge, KAIYO is a truly one-of-a-kind date location. Make sure to book your reservation for sunset for the best views.

To realize your Chef’s Table dreams, book tickets at Lazy Bear, a really cool and really popular communal dining experience featuring seasonal dishes, incredible wine, and 2.5 hours of curated culinary delights. We’re sure that your date will be impressed.

If you’re lucky to live in or visit this phenomenal city, don’t overlook the amazing date ideas in San Francisco that are perfect for any couple looking for romance. And read up on our guide for first-date etiquette to make sure you’re putting your best foot forward.

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