San Francisco is routinely referred to as one of the most romantic cities in the world. Around every corner, we feast on all our five senses as we encounter dramatic views, the aroma of international cuisine, sounds of the cable cars, the spritz of saltwater on our skin and the taste of a fine wine, craft beer or classic cocktails.
It doesn’t matter if you are a closet romantic or one prone to PDA, this city was built for the most amorous of couples. Here’s my list of suggestions to plant one on your sweetie, be it Valentine’s Day or just a lazy date night.
1. The Golden Gate Bridge is the quintessential landmark for planting an endearing smooch…whether you are walking across the span in the mysterious fog or sailing under the bridge aboard a Hornblower (hornblower.com) dining cruise.
2. Rent a paddle boat at Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park and hold hands while making your way around Strawberry Hill and under two quiet stone bridges, where you can find a little privacy for a quick peck.
3. Dine in the dark at Opaque Restaurant where you can abandone your vision in exchange for a multi-sensual dining experience, focusing on your sense of taste, smell, touch and the sound of your companion’s voice.
4. Lands End is where the bay meets the ocean, so enjoy a leisurely stroll overlooking the city’s most dramatic coastline. There are plenty of nooks and crannies to steal away a kiss.
5. Underneath the dome of the Palace of Fine Arts, a relic from the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exhibition, this picturesque park is flanked with a small lagoon, swans a-swimming and the Greco-Roman style Rotunda with colonnades.
6. The carousal at PIER 39 is perfect if you want to bring out your romantic innocence. Climb aboard adjacent bobbing horses on the carousal at and test your skills of kissing in motion.
7. Sutro Heights Park is located just above the iconic Cliff House, overlooking Ocean Beach, which is ideal for viewing the expansive sunset.
8. The graveyard at Mission Dolores is one of the legendary sites of Alfred Hitohcock’s “Vertigo,” which features a romantic interlude between Kim Novak and Jimmy Stewart. While some may get spooked by graves, it is notoriously romantic and usually very quiet, with the exception of those underfoot.
9. Fisherman’s & Seaman’s Chapel boasts one of the best views of the bay, its two bridges and parading vessels. This is a remote little corner where only those in the know would venture off to watch the bay go by. Located between Fisherman’s Grotto #9 and Pier 45.
10. The Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park features several meandering pathways and quiet corners, but a kiss atop the Moon Bridge makes for a perfect photo op.