Date night in San Francisco can mean a wide range of different things, from the no frills to the downright decadent. These options below are perfect for fans of a little California romance — from the obvious to the unexpected. A big perk of walking down the Golden Gate is that you get amazing views of the bay, not to mention some of the best sunset views out there.
San Francisco is nicknamed The Paris of the West for good reason. My date experiment allowed me to tap into an abundance of SF date ideas, ranging from lighthearted first date ideas to more intimate places for an evening third date. The second date should be something that is active and free. The third date is where you can open up your wallet for a romantic, intimate dinner.
The first date is all about building trust and rapport. Ideally, this date should take place during the daytime between 11 am and 2 pm. Saturday is the best day of the week to plan this date, followed by Wednesdays and Thursdays. Sundays and Mondays are the worst days to plan this — or any — date. This coffee shop turns into a sexy bar at night and is the perfect spot for a sophisticated first date.
Enjoy loose leaf tea brewed in a glass globe and served in a beaker. The front entrance showcases a clock that is said to last for 10, years. Move over Mayans, The Interval has perfected the sundial. Seated at the bar, you will notice a series of glass orbs showcasing mysterious dark liquids hanging from the ceiling.
This is The Bottle Reserve, created by St. George Spirits, who concocted an exclusive gin, bourbon, and single malt whiskey for donors of The Interval. If you really want to impress your date, you can purchase your very own spheroid of the private-label liquor and the barkeep will store it for you in the Bottle Reserve.
Aside from the Bottle Reserve, the bar has a full list of hand-crafted cocktails and delicious coffee and teas to keep your date happy and cost-effective.
The food and coffee are awesome and also offers some great people watching should there be any lulls in conversation. This is my most recommended San Francisco date ideas for first dates because you can grab a coffee with your date and walk along the bay with views of Angel Island, Alcatraz, the Presidio, and the city of course. The Presidio used to be a U.
Army fort but has since become a massive, epic park.
Throughout its sprawling 1, acres are plenty of amazing views including the Golden Gate Bridge and great smelling eucalyptus trees. Being out and about on a date also helps prevent awkward silences which can happen when you spend the entire time sitting across from each other and provokes organic conversation. See below for an image of the Starbucks in the Presidio along with images of the short walk you can take along the black asphalt which le to a waterfall and small pond. The Coffee Roastery is a hip, folksy coffee shop with plenty of seating and eclectic menu items. I recommend you grab a coffee at the Roastery and then walk over to the Palace of Fine Arts.
This is a great way to include some culture on a first date in San Francisco. Do some homework and learn a bit about The Palace of Fine Arts before taking your date there. If you tend to get nervous on first dates — or any date, for that matter — this date has tons of cool things to distract you from your anxiety.
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There are an array of chocolate shops, coffee shops and other small businesses that are fun to check out. And, of course, a view of the Bay Bridge is always a great addition to any date. Below is an image of the Embarcadero building at dusk. This place has some crazy good bites along with its eclectic variety of teas and boasts a great ambiance for a first date.
If you and your date have a sweet tooth, this will be the perfect first date in the city. They have a ton of awesome flavors, whether you want to satisfy your sweet tooth with some traditional vanilla or chocolate, or something a bit more exotic like the lemon chiffon or Bordeaux cherry.
If you choose this date, be sure to bring cash. Along with being the perfect spot for a decadent sundae or piece of chocolate, Ghiradelli Square is a hotspot for tons of shops and 5-star restaurants. Then, walk around North Beach for some light exercise and cool sight. After getting your drinks, you can walk down the 16th Avenue Tiled Steps for an artsy twist. This is a quaint outdoor nook in between the Financial District and North Beach.
Below are a couple of images from this location. Boba Guys Tea is an amazing milk tea shop with tons of cool options to tantalize your taste buds. You can find some awesome San Francisco locations that serve mochi here. If your date lives in the Cow Hollow district, grab some coffee or tea at Blue Fog Marketand then walk across the street to Allyne Park.
At around 5 pm, you can watch a bunch of pups interact with each other at the park.
Again, cute animals make everything better. The Dandelion Chocolate factory tour is a great first date idea in the Mission. Well, for a myriad of reasons:. No money will need be exchanged during the factory tour. After your tour is complete, they give you a free hot chocolate card, so technically, this is a completely free date idea.
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When a date is active, rather than stationary, more sexual tension can be established. The tour guide does the majority of the speaking while you listen, learn, and get to taste chocolate together. Learning and experiencing new things facilitates pair bonding. It makes you feel closer to your date when you experience a novel activity together.
Lastly, Dandelion Chocolate is creative and unique, which makes your date idea stand out from your competitors. The Baked Bear is an incredible first date idea in San Francisco. If so, tell her to meet you at The Baked Bear right after work.
The purpose of the second date is to escalate sexual attraction, which is why I suggest this type of date always be active. And, yes, you can do all of this without spending a dime. Nestled in a gorgeous location Golden Gate Parkthis museum offers plenty of awe-inspiring exhibits that will make a big impression. I recommend this if you two have established that you both really enjoy being active and she seems game for this. Make sure you let her know to wear running shoes and workout gear.
Nothing can ruin the mood quite like calluses and a twisted ankle, so be prepared. The first image below showcases the top of the steps less steep. The second image below shows the tough bottom portion of the climb.
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On sunny weekend days, my boyfriend and I love jumping on our mountain bikes and adventuring over the Golden Gate bridge. If you and your date are up for it, try riding all the way to beautiful Sausalito. Walk up to Mission Dolores Park for a gorgeous view of the city skyline and — if it feels appropriate — meet up with some of your friends halfway there. A walk on the beach never gets old. Go to Baker Beach with a backpack full of frisbees and fun beach games. Below is an image I took of the Sand Ladder the last time I was there. This trail is either downhill or uphill, so pick your poison based on your current endurance level.
Once you get to the top, head over a block to the famous Lyon Street Steps. Let me know how you feel afterwards. This is another great trail with a stunning view of the Pacific coast. Download the AllTrails hiking app for a complete guide on where to start and finish. If you like roller skating, the Church of 8 Wheels will offer an awesome time in an eclectic environment.
What used to be a sprawling church closed since is now a recreational hub that is sure to offer a unique and fun experience for you and your date. Be warned: you should really only do this date on a warm day. Once again, this offers a great view and having a picnic is always a cost-effective but romantic date. Visiting Golden Gate Park is a great date in itself, but why not get a little more creative?
And guess what? There is a free frisbee golf course located right in Golden Gate Park, so all you have to do to play is show up! No assembly required. This treat for the eyes and the nostrils features of 8, different kinds of plants inside over 50 acres of area. What makes this botanical garden exist is our very unique weather here in San Francisco. We get year-round mild temperatures, an Indian Summer, Karl the Fogand wet winters to keep the climate here to be constantly shifting. This allows us to host a variety of plants from around the world.
This creative date idea will give you both some exercise and the reward of a stunning view.