Romance is tricky. One minute you’re buying a dozen red roses for the love of your life, the next you’re flipping furniture and smashing plates, questioning why, why, WHY?! Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, and you want to do something special for your significant other. You could go with the old stand-bys – flowers, chocolates, promises you don’t intend to keep – but you run the risk of your sweetheart tearing you apart for lack of originality. This year, skip the clichés and take an adventure in a city that has garnered plenty of attention as of late, San Francisco.
There has been a lot of talk about San Francisco recently, as the hometown 49ers vie for their sixth Lombardi Trophy in their clash against the Baltimore Ravens this Sunday. While there might be some love lost between rival head coaches/brothers John and Jim Harbaugh at the game’s conclusion, visitors to the City by the Bay are enamored with its culture, food, and stunning views. San Fran possesses a diversity that is appealing to couples of all types. Whether your perfect date is a bike ride down Lombard Street (be careful!) or a quiet picnic in the shadow of the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco can deliver.
If you and your honey would rather spend a night marathoning shows saved in your nearly-full DVR queue, The San Francisco Comedy Festival is right up your alley. SF Sketchfest, in its 12th year, features comics from beloved cult television shows (such as Portlandia and Party Down), national headliners, local sketch groups, and others participating in round table discussions, panels, and much more. This year will also feature a screening of The Naked Gun in honor of its 25th anniversary. The festival runs through February 10.
Those who prefer an active lifestyle will delight in the city’s famous rolling hills, with bike rentals available at shops throughout town. Experience the iconic Golden Gate Bridge up-close by cycling across, then get a better view by winding through the hiking trails in either of the national parks that flank the landmark.
When visiting a city surrounded by water, taking a boat tour is an absolute must. The Red and White Fleet, which has been in operation since the 19th century, offers a variety of bay tours to showcase the San Francisco standards. Couples can take the Sunset Cruise, a two-hour tour that lets riders see the city awash in orange and red. The trip offers drinks, appetizers, and is scored with live guitar music. To up the romantic ante, take the California Twilight Cruise (runs November-March). Booking at the end of the season means your tour will coincide with the unveiling of The Bay Lights, an art installation that illuminates the Bay Bridge with 25,000 white LED lights.
For more trip-planning information, see our San Francisco destination guide.