PLAY THE TOURIST The area from Fisherman's Wharf to Pier 39 is a fun rst stop when you arrive in e City. Enjoy some fresh-as-it-gets sh with a spectacular view of the bay, then wander through the Musee Mecanique, a collection of antique arcade machines (measure the thrill of your kisses – are you ice cold or hot stu?).
Union Square has seemingly endless options for shopping, dining and lodging. Peek in the window at Tiany’s and fantasize about saying “I do” – or if you already did, relive the magical moment when he slipped the ring on your nger. If you venture outside the downtown area, we’d recommend cruising through the neighborhoods that feature the “painted ladies” – these Victorian homes in areas including Alamo Square and Pacic Heights are works of art in themselves. en traverse the “crookedest street in the world” – the famous block of Lombard Street that winds between Hyde and Leavenworth streets – drive slowly, as “carsick” is not nearly as romantic as “lovesick.” History-rich Chinatown and Japantown are extraordinarily popular tourist spots, and we have it on good authority that a massage at Japantown’s Kabuki Springs is heavenly. Side-by-side massages? Divine.
We did a little bit of exploring to give you a starting point for your own amorous adventure – don’t forget to walk slowly, hold hands and look deeply into your lover’s eyes as you wander Couples have been riding cable cars through the streets of San Francisco for generations; they connect some of the city’s most popular destinations and are a fun way to see the sights – it’s tough to beat the view when you crest one of those hills. Look for the brown-and-white “Cable Car Stop” signs. If you’ve got some time, consider a Hornblower cruise. Floating around the bay, dressed to the nines and gazing at San Francisco’s majestic skyline is an Union Square has seemingly endless options for shopping, dining experience that’s tough to beat.
ENJOY THE VIEWS You never know when that fog is going to roll in, but really, is there any time that the Golden Gate Bridge isn’t magnicent? Crissy Field is a breathtaking spot from which to admire the landmark, particularly at sunset. e mile-long bridge is open to pedestrians and bicyclists (rent one at Fisherman’s Wharf ). On a clear day, you can glimpse the city skyline, Angel Island, Alcatraz and the Marin Headlands on the other side of the bridge – bring a jacket and prepare to snuggle up with your sweetheart, as it’s frequently windy. If you’re an ocean lover, time seems to y at Ocean Beach on San Francisco’s western edge, adjacent to Golden Gate Park. Stroll along the beach, which seems to go on forever, or watch the waves crash on the rocks from the elegant and historic Cli House restaurant and bar. Check out the camera obscura from a deck overlooking the ocean. Another spot to revel in San Francisco’s beauty is from Coit Tower, a 210-foot-tall structure in Pioneer Park in the Telegraph Hill neighborhood. e inside of the tower is awash with spectacular murals. e elevator and stairs to the top were closed while we were there due to construction, but we still considered it a worthwhile stop for a smooch break. Beware: Parking can be a pain, as with many other popular destinations in e City.
PARK IT The 1,000-acre Golden Gate Park could serve as a weekend destination on its own. e park stretches from the Great Highway east to Baker Street and connects e City’s mostly residential Sunset and Richmond districts. Its possibilities for romance are about as limitless as your imagination. Hot tea and cookies in the Japanese Tea Garden are sublime, and ower lovers will swoon over the Conservatory of Flowers, one of the largest facilities of its kind in the world. e Academy of Sciences is home to the Steinhart Aquarium and the Morrison Planetarium, and the de Young Museum always showcases impressive exhibitions. e windmills at the west side of the park are a picture-perfect place for a picnic, and now is the perfect time to visit the Queen Wilhelmina Tulip Garden, which blooms in February and March. Or sweep your lover into your arms and steal o to the carousel, where you can hold each other tightly on the back of an exotic animal, giggling like teenagers.
Another spot to revel in San Francisco’s beauty is from Coit Tower, a 210-foot-tall structure in Pioneer Park in the Telegraph Hill neighborhood. e inside of the tower is awash with spectacular murals. e elevator and stairs to the top were closed while we were there due to construction, but we still considered it a worthwhile stop for a smooch break. Beware: Parking can be a pain, as with many other popular destinations in e City.
EXPLORE CULTURE Holding hands in the movie theater has nothing on snuggling up to your beloved in one of San Francisco’s majestic theaters. Running right now are “Avenue Q” at the Orpheum eater and “Next to Normal” at the Curran eater, and “Blue Man Group” begins in May at the Golden Gate eater. In addition to the de Young Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) is a dynamic exploration of modern and contemporary art that is complemented by a new rooop garden, a lm program and live art performances. Virtually dozens of art galleries of all sizes dot San Francisco’s landscape, and it’s easy to stumble upon fantastic live musical performances, particularly in the northeastern section of e City. A little bit of live jazz will set a slow and sultry mood for the rest of your evening.
EAT DRINK SLEEP Here’s the good news: San Francisco is home to a plethora of fantastic food and drink that will satisfy virtually every palate. Here’s the bad news: With so many choices, it’s awfully tough to decide where to go. e Alamo Square Seafood Grill on Fillmore Street is cozy with an imaginative menu. Pane E Vino Trattoria on Union Street features fresh, fantastic Italian cuisine. If you’re looking to be transported (and if money is no object), try Saison on Folsom Street, and plan to spend two or three hours there for the “fully tailored experience.” High tea at the Palace Hotel's Carriage Room is one for the memory books. Accommodations are also plentiful in San Francisco, from ve-star hotels to quaint bed and breakfasts. e Fairmont and the Mark Hopkins hotels are among e City’s nest. A stay at the Galleria Park Hotel on Sutter Street (near Union Square) includes an open wine bar each evening – sit by the large art nouveau replace and listen to languages from around the world, or take your drinks back to the room for an intimate cocktail hour before going out to paint the town. San Francisco also has numerous vacation rentals (www.vrbo.com) – search for “San Francisco” and then choose the neighborhood where you’d like to stay. ere’s no place like home, except a home-away-from-home. Toast each other as you celebrate this romantic time of year – and it’s OK if you leave a little piece of your heart in San Francisco.]]>