36 Fun San Francisco Date Ideas

Updated 13 min read
A red suspension bridge over a bay with a small beach and cliffs to the side
San Francisco has many fun things for couples to do

Located in California, San Francisco is an exciting city with many attractions and world-famous landmarks. While exploring San Francisco, you'll also discover many things to do with your partner.

Fun San Francisco date ideas include biking over the Golden Gate Bridge, visiting breweries, and going on sunset cruises in San Francisco Bay. Whether it's your first date or you have been dating for a long time, these 36 romantic things to do in San Francisco are sure to please!

  • 36 San Francisco date ideas

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36 Fun Date Ideas in San Francisco

San Francisco Date Ideas Map

A map of San Francisco. Use the map to explore all the date ideas.

A red suspension bridge stretching over a bay with hills and a city on one side
Biking or walking across the iconic Golden Gate Bridge is a relaxed date idea

Bike across the Golden Gate Bridge

The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most renowned landmarks in North America. Visiting the bridge with your partner is a must, especially if you are in the city for the first time.

A fun way to cross the bridge and enjoy the view of the bay is by joining a Golden Gate Bridge bike tour. The ride takes you over the bridge and along the waterfront.

Marvel at Black Sands Beach

You and your date can find a few beaches around San Francisco, but one of the most unique is Black Sands Beach. When visiting the beach, you'll be amazed by its black sandy shores and bright turquoise water.

You can go for a romantic walk or hang out on the shore at the beach. It takes about 30 minutes to drive to the beach from central San Francisco.

A white conservatory surrounded by grass, flowers, and palm trees on a clear day
The Conservatory of Flowers is one of many pretty attractions within Golden Gate Park

Wander around Golden Gate Park

Golden Gate Park is about a ten-minute drive from the Golden Gate Bridge. The 1,017-acre park is the perfect place to wander around with your date, enjoying the fresh air and pretty gardens.

Notable things to see in Golden Gate Park include the Conservatory of Flowers, the Queen Wilhelmina Garden, and the vintage carousel, among many other points of interest. You may even stumble across the park's bison herd!

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art has many interesting contemporary art pieces

View contemporary art at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

If your date is an art enthusiast, a visit to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art has to be on your date ideas list. This famous San Francisco landmark was founded in 1935 and houses a collection of approximately 33,000 works.

As you explore, you'll discover contemporary art created by many renowned modern artists, including Louise Bourgeois and Andy Warhol. To make admission easy, purchase San Francisco Museum of Modern Art tickets in advance.

Challenge your date to a game at Mission Bowling Club

One of the best date ideas in San Francisco for a laid-back night out is going to Mission Bowling Club. After playing a game or two in this vintage-style alley, you can get some bar snacks and drinks to enjoy. The drinks menu is especially fun, with a selection of unique craft cocktails.

Take some cooking classes together

A fun way to bond and learn some new skills is by taking a cooking class together. Cozymeal is an excellent resource for finding a cooking class that you'll both enjoy. Just a few of the courses available include macaron baking, a paella and tapas class, and sushi basics.

Greenery surrounded by a bay with boats on it and a suspension bridge in the distance
You can enjoy views of the Golden Gate Bridge when hiking in Angel Island State Park

Hike around Angel Island State Park

Angel Island is somewhat of a hidden gem located within the San Francisco Bay. The island is the ideal place to spend time in nature with your date, and there are many hiking trails to follow.

In addition, you'll discover numerous beaches and historical attractions, such as the Angel Island Immigration Center. You can also admire views of the bay and Alcatraz Island from Angel Island.

Try delicious dishes on a Mission District food tour

If you and your date like finding fantastic eateries, going on a Mission District food tour is one of the best San Francisco date ideas to try together.

You'll be taken to some hidden culinary gems on this excursion, including bakeries, Italian delis, and ice cream parlors. The tour will have 12 people or less, plus your guide, but you can opt for a private tour.

A stone building with a tower on an island surrounded by water
Alcatraz Island is an iconic landmark that's interesting to explore with your date

Visit Alcatraz Island

As one of the most famous landmarks in the world, taking your date to Alcatraz is sure to be memorable! At the "inescapable prison," you can see prisoner cells and other parts of the prison and learn more about the site's history and various prisoner escape attempts.

You and your date can get to the island alone or opt for a San Francisco and Alcatraz tour. On the way to the island, you'll stop at a few other landmarks before spending two hours at the prison.

Catch a Broadway show

You can find a few theaters in the city hosting Broadway shows, including the Orpheum Theatre and the Golden Gate Theatre. During a visit to any Broadway theater in the city, a variety of popular and more unique shows can be seen. Just a few options include Oklahoma! and Moulin Rouge.

A vineyard and trees next to a stone house
Napa features many incredible wineries to visit with your date

Visit vineyards in Napa

Napa is known around the world as California's wine country, filled with vineyards and stunning scenery. Conveniently, this destination is located just an hour and a half from San Francisco.

You could drive to Napa or join a Napa tour from San Francisco. The latter option includes transport to and from Napa, plus guided tours of wineries with a wine tasting at each.

Go to the San Francisco Botanical Garden

Exploring the San Francisco Botanical Garden is another of the romantic date ideas in San Francisco for those planning a daytime date. The 55-acre attraction features a variety of garden displays, plus water features and ponds. Many events are also hosted that you and your date can join, like outdoor yoga and dance sessions.

A cream-colored church with two steeples and grass and trees in front of it
Saint Peter and Paul Church is one of the places to see on a North Beach walking tour

Stroll around North Beach

North Beach, also known as San Francisco's Little Italy, is a vibrant neighborhood in San Francisco that is worth exploring with your date. If you're unsure of the best spots to check out, go on a North Beach walking tour. Just a few of the places to visit include Italian bakeries, charming coffee shops, and Saint Peter and Paul Church.

A view over a town with trees, white buildings, and a white tower
Berkeley is a pretty city to visit with your partner

Go to the parks in Berkeley

Berkley is a small city that is just 30 minutes away from San Francisco. You can notably find many outdoor activities in Berkeley, including lots of amazing parks.

There are over 15 incredible parks in Berkeley and the surrounding area for you and your date to explore. These include Tilden Regional Park and Indian Rock Park. Before heading back to San Fran, check out central Berkely, which has cool attractions, shops, bars, and restaurants.

Have a dinner and movie date at Foreign Cinema

Foreign Cinema is a fun spot to take your date for dinner and a movie. At the venue's restaurant, you can enjoy Mediterranean-style dishes in a cozy space or on the outdoor patio. You can then go up to the roof to enjoy an outdoor movie. Foreign Cinema also serves brunch on the weekend.

© ronniechua via Depositphotos
One of many fun San Francisco date ideas is exploring Fisherman's Wharf
Exploring Fisherman's Wharf is one of many fun San Francisco date ideas

Hang out at Fisherman's Wharf

Planning fun date nights in San Francisco doesn't have to be challenging! One of the laid-back places to take your date in the evening is the iconic Fisherman's Wharf. Along with enjoying views of the bay, you'll discover restaurants, unique shops, and arts and culture attractions, like art galleries.

Many sea lions lying on a pier surrounded by water, and a sign that says "Pier 39"
You and your date can spot lots of adorable sea lions at Pier 39!

See the sea lions at Pier 39

Pier 39 is a famous California landmark located next to Fisherman's Wharf. One of the best things to do with your date is seeing the sea lions! Hundreds of sea lions hang out all day on the pier and are one of the area's most popular things to see. After seeing the cute creatures, you can check out the shops and restaurants.

Check out food trucks at Off the Grid

San Francisco has lots of great food trucks. If you and your date want to check some out, going to an Off the Grid event is a great idea. Off the Grid schedules food trucks at various locations in the city throughout the week. Multiple cuisines and types of food are represented at each event, including Japanese, Mexican, and American dishes.

A trail going through a forest
You can hike through old-growth forests at Muir Woods National Monument

Follow trails at Muir Woods National Monument

Another fun outdoor activity in San Francisco is hiking at Muir Woods National Monument. The 554-acre park features old-growth redwood forests and lots of trails. You can drive to the park in 40 minutes from San Francisco or join a Muir Wood tour. This excursion will also take you and your date to Fort Point National Historic Site, Pacific Heights, and Sausalito.

© flowertiare via Depositphotos
A Chinese-style entryway to a city's Chinatown with buildings next to it
When visiting Chinatown, you and your date can try delicious dishes and sweet treats

Taste Asian dishes on a San Francisco Chinatown food tour

Exploring Chinatown on a food tour is one of numerous fun SF date ideas for couples that like trying new dishes. During the three-hour excursion, you'll visit multiple restaurants where you can try authentic Asian dishes, including dim sum and sweet treats. You'll also pass some landmarks, like Tin How Temple and the Old Cathedral of St. Mary.

Shop at the Ferry Building Farmers Market

Also known as Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, the Ferry Building Farmers Market is a fun place to discover local vendors with your partner. The market has stalls selling local produce and other food goods.

If you are unsure what stalls to shop from, go on a Ferry Building Farmers Market food tour. Your guide will take you to the best vendors where you can try samples. You also get to visit Embarcadero Farmers Market.

A stone structure with columns and a domed roof next to stone arches and a pond
The Palace of Fine Arts is one of the most scenic places to take photos in the city

Snap pictures at the Palace of Fine Arts

An excellent place to take some pictures together in San Francisco is the Palace of Fine Arts. This interesting venue was constructed in 1915 for the Panama–Pacific International Exposition but was rebuilt during the 1960s and 1970s.

The outdoor attraction features stone sculptures resembling Ancient Greek structures, ponds, and greenery. It's a stunning place to take some pictures together with a unique backdrop.

A green hilltop with a curved path and a view of a city on a clear day
You and your partner can enjoy stunning views of San Francisco from Twin Peaks

Admire the views from Twin Peaks

Twin Peaks comprise two 922-feet tall mountains on the outskirts of downtown. Following this urban hiking trail to reach the peak and enjoy city views is a great date idea.

You could also go on an urban hiking tour that takes you to Tank Hill and some other attractions as well as Twin Peaks. If you're visiting the city with your other half, hiking Twin Peaks has to be on your San Francisco itinerary.

Join a San Francisco Love Tour!

Travel back to the Summer of Love by going on a San Francisco Love Tour. You'll explore the city in a retro VW bus and will see some of the city's hippie and hipster spots. In addition, you'll pass various landmarks like Fisherman's Wharf and the Golden Gate Bridge.

A green pond surrounded by green trees and two red pagoda structures behind the trees
The Japanese Tea Garden is a tranquil place to go for a romantic walk

Unwind at the Japanese Tea Garden

If you and your date want to escape the bustle of San Francisco and unwind a little, go to the Japanese Tea Garden. Located about 15 minutes from central SF, the tranquil garden has Japanese plants, Japanese-inspired structures like pagodas, and ponds.

Simply wandering around these gardens and taking in their beauty is one of the most romantic San Francisco date ideas.

Treat your date to unique desserts

If your date has a sweet tooth and loves ice cream, there are many unique places to take them in San Francisco. Uji Time Dessert is one of the cool places to go.

This Japanese-inspired ice cream store sells delicious flavors like matcha and black sesame and has fish-shaped cones. They also have ice cream for dogs if you or your date has a pup! The Baked Bear is another fun spot that specializes in decadent ice cream sandwiches.

A sailboat on the water with a suspension bridge in the distance at sunset
Sailing through the bay in San Francisco at sunset is very romantic!

Sail around San Francisco at sunset

Going on a sunset sail is definitely one of the most romantic things to do in San Francisco for couples. As the sun goes down, you and your date will sail through San Francisco Bay.

You'll see landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz as well. If you're also looking for the best things to do at night in SF, this activity has to be on your list!

Sip cocktails at a unique bar

You can find many fun and unique cocktail bars to take your date to in San Francisco. Pacific Cocktail Haven is a popular spot to try. This sophisticated bar serves Asian Pacific-inspired drinks, all of which not only taste delicious but will look cute on your Instagram! Smuggler's Cove, a vibrant Tiki bar, is another excellent option.

© canyalcin via Depositphotos
An orange sign that says "California Academy of Sciences" in front of a museum
The California Academy of Sciences hosts after-hours events with drinks and music

Spend the evening at the California Academy of Sciences

The California Academy of Sciences is a fun science and natural history museum that happens to be one of the largest of its kind in the world. While you can visit during the day, going to the California Academy of Sciences Nightlife event is a unique idea. This over 21s-only event allows you to explore the museum while enjoying music and drinks.

Brewery hop on a craft beer tour

Are you and your date looking for the best breweries in SF? Then go on a San Francisco craft brewery tour. This tour will take you to three amazing breweries where you can try samples and learn more about the brewing process.

© tifonimages via Depositphotos
A building with a tower next to a road and other buildings illuminated at night
Going on a ghost tour allows you to learn some spooky San Francisco tales

Experience a haunted tour of San Francisco

Lovers of the paranormal will want to book a San Francisco haunted tour for their date night! You and your date will get to visit spooky spots and hear tales of eerie events and ghost sightings. Places to go include the Transamerica Pyramid and Jackson Square.

Relax at the spa

Spending some time at a spa is not only one of the most romantic things to do in San Francisco, CA, but it's also an ideal way to relax and unwind with your date. Kabuki Springs & Spa is a highly tranquil place to go. This Japanese-inspired spa has a variety of treatments, plus a sauna and pools.

A dark sand beach next to a blue ocean and greenery-covered cliffs in the distance
Learning to surf at Pacifica Beach is a unique date activity

Learn to surf

Heading to Pacifica Beach for surf lessons is a unique date idea that will teach you both a new skill. This beginners class will show you all the basics and allow you to hit the waves to test out your new skills. If you both have fun, surfing can become a new hobby to enjoy together!

A view of a bridge and an island with ocean water in front of it at sunset
On a sunset photoshoot, you and your partner can snap pictures of San Fran landmarks

Discover the most photographed spots in the city

There are many places to take fantastic photos in San Francisco. An excellent way for you and your date to find them is by going on a sunset photography tour.

As the sun goes down, you'll be taken to a range of landmarks, including the Golden Gate Bridge and the Palace of Fine Arts. You and your partner can take photos together or snap pictures of the landmarks alone.

Watch a Golden State Warriors game

Sports fans won't want to miss planning at least one date at a Golden State Warriors game. The 2022 NBA champions play at the Chase Center between October and April in the regular season.

Even if you and your partner aren't the biggest basketball fans, going to a game is a fun and memorable experience! If you both like baseball, you could also plan a date at a San Francisco Giants game.

The ocean and a crescent-shaped bay with sand and shrubbery to the side
At Half Moon Bay, you and your date can hike, relax on the beach, and more!

Explore Half Moon Bay

One of the best beach towns in California is found just 40 mins from San Francisco! Half Moon Bay is a small town of just 2,800 residents that features beaches, coastal hiking trails, relaxing spas, and much more. No matter what you and your date like to do, Half Moon Bay offers an escape from the bustle of the city!

In Conclusion

This list comprises the most romantic things to do in San Francisco, California, plus some other fun and unique date ideas in and around the San Francisco Bay Area. By using this romantic San Francisco city guide, you're sure to plan a date that will please your other half!

This article was first published on Aug 23, 2022 01:58 UTC.

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Written by Alli Sewell

allisewell WRITER Currently based in Canada, I've also lived and worked in the UK and Brazil and travelled in North and South America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. I love finding the best photo-ops and food and drink locations wherever I go!


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