Making Valentine’s Day memorable for your significant other doesn’t need to break the bank nor be uncomfortably over-the-top. Especially when you live in a vibrant, exciting city like San Francisco.
Whether you’re looking for outdoorsy activities, indulgent food, great cocktails or other ways to get to know one another better, the City By The Bay has countless activities, restaurants and scenic areas to plan the best date ever. Here are five ideas to help you plan a memorable Valentine’s Day!
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Mission Rock Resort + Stagecoach Greens + Spark Social Beer Week
Start your date off with a meal at the waterfront restaurant, Mission Rock Resort. Located on the shore of Mission Bay, this two-story restaurant offers incredible seafood, libations and a relaxed, outdoor setting with views of the sparkling bay. Start your meal off with fresh oysters and the misto fritto before digging in to popular dishes like the loaded cioppino, grilled fish tacos, fish & chips with crispy beer-battered local rockfish, and impressive shellfish towers. Once you’re satisfied, take an easy walk along the water to Stagecoach Greens, the city’s only outdoor mini golf course. Each of the course’s 18 holes is San Francisco themed, so expect impressive holes that take you through the city’s rich history.
Once the competitiveness dies out, check out the rotating food trucks and beer & sangria garden for libations, courtesy of SPARK Social SF. Located in the heart of Mission Bay neighborhood, this SPARK Social features over 150 unique street food vendors to create a different dining experience every single day. Also good to note? Valentine’s Day is during this year’s SF Beer week! Check the 2023 schedule here and quench your thirst with craft brews, food pairings and fun throughout the city and greater Bay Area!
Ferry Building Food Crawl + Exploratorium
The Ferry Building is home to an impressive array of boutiques selling handcrafted, artisanal goods; culinary delights that include cheeses, freshly baked breads, and specialities like empanadas, dim sum and more; and upscale eateries. A few favorites include Gott’s Roadside for stacked burgers and shakes; El Porteño Empanadas for sweet and savory fresh empanadas; Delica, a Japanese delicatessen; Hog Island Oyster Co. for the freshest oysters; Boulibar for aperitifs and wine; and Miette Patisterie for sweet baked goodies and candies. Specifically, the bay views and idyllic location along the iconic Embarcadero are a perfect setting for an afternoon of exploration with your special person on Valentine’s Day.
After strolling through the Ferry Building (be sure to get some ice cream cones from Humphry Slocombe before you head out!), take a short walk down the waterfront to the Exploratorium. This hands-on museum is all about science, technology and interactive learning. It’s great for all ages and particularly those who have an acute curiosity for the mechanics of how things work.
Devil’s Teeth Bakery + Land End’s Hike
For one of the best breakfast sandwiches in the city, stop by Devil’s Teeth Bakery. Known for their The Special Breakfast Sandwich with two eggs scrambled, with pepper jack cheese, applewood smoked bacon; their famous lemon-garlic aioli on our homemade buttermilk biscuit, it’s the perfect thing to get you ready for a day of romance. Once you’re full, take your coffees to-go and head over to Land’s End for a spectacular hike within the 7X7 city limits.
Located within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, it’s a beautiful, rugged trail with surprising views at every turn. Rocky cliffs; windswept cypress and eucalyptus trees; and spectacular views of the shore, headlands, and Golden Gate await visitors. If you want something more relaxed, take a nice stroll along Ocean Beach instead!
Picnic at Dolores Park + Mission District Murals & Cocktail Crawl
For this date, make a stop at Bi-Rite first and grab everything you need for the best picnic ever. We’re talking charcuterie, berries, cheeses, a nice baguette, chocolates and whatever else floats your boat. And don’t forget the bubbly or wine, depending on what you you both like. Once you have everything, take your picnic goodies and head over to the nearby Dolores Park for a lovely picnic overlooking views of the city. Lastly, be sure to bring a picnic blanket and jackets, as it can get chilly.
Once you’re fed and relaxed, take a stroll through the eclectic Mission District which is home to a unique selection of vibrant murals with themes that range from cultural heritage, politics and more. Keep your eyes open as walls and fences are adorned with works of art that’ll have you delighted.
Make stops at Balmy Alley at Between 24th and 25th streets, and Treat and Harrison streets; Clarion Alley at Between 17th and 18th streets, and Mission and Valencia streets; and The Women’s Building MaestraPeace Mural at 3543 18th St. The Mission is also home to some of the best cocktail bars! Some of our favorites include Curio, ABV, Wildhawk, Trick Dog, El Techo, True Laurel and The Beehive.
Twilight Walk at Lovers’ Lane + Dinner
For an evening date, take a twilight walk through the famous Lovers’ Lane in the Presidio. This is the oldest footpath through the Presidio, established in the 18th century. Today, this picturesque path is home to the iconic Wood Line, an art installation by Andy Goldsworthy located in the eucalyptus forest. This sculpture is made up of tree trunks laid end-to-end to create a zigzagging installation, perfect for romantic walks. Another very romantic and very San Francisco place to check out while in the area is the Palace of Fine Arts.
Once your walk is over, head over to Michelin starred restaurant, Spruce SF. This spot offers incredible California-inspired cuisine that highlights the freshest and finest ingredients available. With impeccable service, unbelievable food and a luxurious setting, it’s an ideal place to enjoy Valentine’s Day dinner. If you’re in the mood for something more casual and festive, take a seat at Colibri Mexican Bistro located at the historic Presidio Officers’ Club. They’ve got excellent cocktails and authentic Mexican dishes like the Mole Poblano in the traditional Puebla style, served over chicken; and the carnitas, Michoacan style marinated tender chunks of pork, served with guajillo and arbol chiles salsa.
Pin this for the next time you’re exploring San Francisco!