10+ Romantic Things to Do in San Francisco – Valentine’s Day & More

There are few places in the country as romantic as San Francisco. Sweeping ocean vistas, verdant wine country, and charming historic city streets.

If you’re looking for a few specific ideas to make your perfect romantic getaway – whether it’s for Valentine’s Day 2017 or another special occasion – check out a few of our favorite romantic things to do in San Francisco.

Regular admission to a number of these activities are included on the Go San Francisco® Card.

Choose as you go from dozens of top attractions and save up to 55% on combined admission vs paying at the gate.

See all available passes, attractions & prices – Learn more.

Please note, some of these special events may be separately ticketed and not included on the Go San Francisco Card.

Visit the California Academy of Sciences

The California Academy of Sciences is renowned for its innovative exhibits, activities, and special events – and Valentine’s Day is no exception.

Each year, Academy biologists distribute hand-made valentines (crafted by visitors like you!) to each of the members of the African Penguin colony.

Although the penguins ultimately use the valentines as nesting material, the gift itself promotes bonding between penguin couples: an important emotional bond for a species that is known to mate for life.

If you’d like to see the valentines distributed, visit on February 13 or 14.

Explore the Art World

DAKINISan Francisco has always been at the forefront of the artistic world, and the various art museums around the city are a perfect way to explore your artsy side.

From animation to textiles and beyond, there’s something for everyone.

If you love classical sculpture and traditional painting, the de Young Museum is a perfect fine arts destination.

If you’re more interested in the fun and funky, check out the Cartoon Art Museum. Culture lovers will be fascinated by the unique offerings of the Asian Art Museum.

Dazzle at the Conservatory of Flowers

Conservatory of FlowersRed roses are all well and good as far as Valentine’s Day bouquets go, but have you ever given a bunch of Dracula orchids?

What about lotus blossoms? At the San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers, you’ll be dazzled by the hundreds of plant specimens that call this specular “living museum” home.

From rare and beautiful tropical plants, to aquatic plants and special exhibits of regional flora, the Conservatory’s collection is breathtaking.

While you won’t be able to gather these unique blossoms in a bouquet, you can photograph the beauty to your heart’s content.

If you do want to take a little bit of the magic home with you, the gift shop features a wide array of plant and gardening accessories and books – including seeds.

Plus, the Conservatory is located in Golden Gate Park, so you’ll have quite the romantic walk after you leave.

Indulge in a Wine Country Tour

Gorgeous sunset over a California winery.

Gorgeous sunset over a California winery.

A tour of Northern California Wine Country is a unique spin on the “bottle of nice wine with dinner” component to Valentine’s Day.

Instead of ordering on your waiter’s recommendation, why not take a tour of Napa and Sonoma Valley and became a wine aficionado yourself?

Sonoma and Napa are the premium wine grape growing areas of North America, and there are dozens of high profile and independent wineries to visit – not to mention the lush scenery perfect for that ideal photo of you and your love.

The tours are informative, fun, and a great way to get in the mood for love as you learn all about the most romantic beverage in the world.

Enjoy a Romantic Dinner

Radius foodWho doesn’t love a delicious dinner? It’s even better when it’s spent in the company of your loved one, perhaps with some nice champagne and sumptuous chocolate dessert.

Fortunately for you, San Fran has a fabulous dining scene, drawing from global cultures and locally sourced ingredients.

You’ll find excellent meals ranging from elegant and high end to laid back but still delicious all over the city, but some of our favorite areas to look for great restaurants include SoMA, the Mission District, and the Financial District. 

Take in a Show

Image credit: SHN San Francisco.

Image credit: SHN San Francisco.

San Francisco has a fantastic theatre scene, from the grand and glamorous San Francisco Ballet to the funky indie theatres that populate areas like Haight-Ashbury and the Mission District.

This year, you’ll be able to enjoy performances like Jersey Boys (at the Orpheum), local show Beach Blanket Babylon, music by the SF Symphony, and more.

Remember to purchase tickets in advance, as going to a play or other performance is a popular Valentine’s Day tradition.

Hop Aboard a Cruise

golden gateThis Valentine’s Day, venture out in the world with a beautiful Golden Gate Bay Cruise. This one-hour tour sails directly under the Golden Gate Bridge, providing spectacular views of its unique architectural span.

Then, you’ll pass back into the Bay past Angel Island State Park and Sausalito, continuing on to Fisherman’s Wharf and past the SS Jeremiah O’Brien and USS Pampanito. Perfect for photo opportunities of you and your loved one as a way to commemorate your special day.

Of course, if you really want to up the romance game, there are specific Valentine’s Day cruises available with various amenities and special extras through several different tour companies, and they all offer beautiful scenery.

Save on Admission

We hope you’ve been inspired to try one – or a few! – of our favorite romantic things to do in San Francisco.

Whether you love wine country or the city itself, high romance or quirky fun, there’s something to please every couple.

Remember, some of these great options are included on the Go San Francisco Card, where you can save up to 55% on combined admission vs paying at the gate.

Please note, the special events taking place at some of these attractions may be separately ticketed and not included with the Go San Francisco Card.

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