With its foggy harbor, graceful city parks, fabled hills and trolleys churning through its winding streets, San Francisco is the perfect place to celebrate an anniversary or romantic escape. This cosmopolitan city with a free love mentality offers visitors an endless list of romantic activities, but a few stand-outs include fine dining, a boat cruise in the bay, a hike through Muir Woods or tickets to shows at the theater, opera or ballet.
With more restaurants per capita than any other U.S. city, San Francisco combines fresh ingredients from its fertile surroundings and an ethnically diverse palate to deliver thrilling culinary options at nearly every corner. Lovers often head to the Embarcadero area for fine dining with sweeping views of the bay and its bridges. For an even more iconic San Francisco experience, head to Top of the Mark at the top of Nob Hill where you can wine and dine with a panoramic view of the city or treat that special someone to a meal at the Cliff House overlooking Ocean Beach.
Tickets to a Show
After dinner or a romantic walk through Golden Gate Park, treat your partner to a show at any one of San Francisco's world-class performing arts facilities. The Curran, Golden Gate and Orpheum theatres rival Broadway in their excellent theatrical selection and performances. An architectural jewel worth seeing even outside performance times, the War Memorial Opera House offers opera and ballet performances throughout the year. For extra points, take a romantic cable car ride through the city's hills on your way.
Some Like it Wet
You haven't seen San Francisco until you see its sweeping hills and jagged skyline from the water. For a romantic trip on the bay, look for sailboat charters departing near sunset, many of which are available from the city's ports and wharves. The Sausalito and Fisherman's Wharf areas are especially good for finding a sailboat charter. Look for alternatives including hors d'oeuvres and cocktails on the trip and pay close attention to the route. Sailing under the Golden Gate Bridge at sunset is an unforgettable experience.
One of the magical things about San Francisco is the way this big city blends urban and natural landscapes. Muir Woods National Monument -- famous for its giant redwood trees -- is a short drive from downtown in Marin County. Easily accessible for a day trip, the park offers couples a bit of intimacy along with beautiful scenery and easy hiking trails. For couples with a poetic streak, there's no better metaphor for lasting love than holding hands in one of the hollows in the massive trunk of towering centuries-old redwoods.