12+ Things to Do for Valentine’s Day in San Francisco

two people making a heart shape with their hands

Are you looking for something fun to do this Valentine’s Day in San Francisco? No matter your budget or interests, we have got you covered! From classic ideas like dinner out (but with a twist!), to out of the box ideas to surprise and impress your S.O., this list is sure to have something for you and that special someone. 

Below you will find 12+ of the best ways for locals and visitors to celebrate Valentine’s Day in San Francisco in 2024. 

1. Put a Special Spin on the Typical Date Night Dinner for Valentine’s Day in San Francisco

a silhouette of a couple toasting their wine glass

Going out for dinner is a Valentine’s Day staple. And why mess with the classics? But this Valentine’s Day in San Francisco, consider the following venues for something a little more special than just dinner, and definitely more memorable. 

Dine in the dark at Copas. 

Put your taste buds to the test by dining blindfolded at Copas Restaurant on Market this Valentine’s Day in San Francisco. This sensory adventure includes a secret 3-course menu that will surprise and delight. Tickets are available through Fever for Saturday the 10th. 

Combine dinner and a show at Berber for Valentine’s Day in San Francisco. 

You will never think of dinner theater the same again after an evening at Berber. Their refined Mediterranean menu pairs perfectly with their live cabaret style show, including acrobats, dancers, aerialists, and live musicians. 

Enjoy Valentine’s Day in San Francisco with a classic rom com with dinner at Foreign Cinema. 

Foreign Cinema is a San Francisco staple located in The Mission. They have a gorgeous heated patio where you can both dine on fresh, traditional cuisine and watch a classic film. For the month of February they will be projecting When Harry Met Sally. A night at Foreign Cinema is guaranteed to be a Valentine’s night in San Francisco you will both remember. 

2. Step Back in Time for Valentine’s Day in San Francisco at the Filoli Historic House

a view of a historic house surrounded by trees and bushes

The Filoli Historic House and Garden lies 30 miles South of San Francisco nestled in a slope of the Santa Cruz Mountains. The estate welcomes visitors daily to wander their 16 acres of manicured formal gardens and discover the treasures within the 54,000-square-foot Georgian mansion museum. 

For 3 nights this Valentine’s Day in San Francisco, the Filoli House Ballroom will play host to Love Notes, a concert of selections from the Great American Songbook sung by the marvelous Stella Cole. The setting and the music are sure to evoke a romantic and sophisticated era. Reserve your private table seating for two for February 13th-15th. 

For dinner, you don’t have to look far. Within 20 minutes of Filoli House are 3 michelin-starred restaurants that are sure to complete your romantic evening. 

3. Get Swept Away by a Live Musical Performance

If you are looking for a live musical performance just a little closer to the city, we have got you covered there too. Below are two excellent options for romantic Valentine’s Day outings in San Francisco. 

Enjoy classical music by candlelight. 

The International Art Museum of America in the Theatre District is welcoming Candlelight: Valentine’s Day Special on February 14th. Enjoy the 60-min concert under the gentle glow of candlelight. The program includes songs from popular movies like Romeo and Juliet, Titanic, and Breakfast at Tiffany’s, as well as classics from Debussy and Puccini. 

See the San Francisco Symphony. 

The San Francisco Symphony is always an excellent choice for musical performances in the city. They have a calendar packed with something for everyone. On February 14th and 15th, 2024, Sting will be joining the San Francisco Symphony in Davies Symphony Hall for the ultimate Valentine’s Day in San Francisco performance. 

a couple drinking wine at a table

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4. Find the Most Beautiful Sunset Spot in San Francisco

view of San Francisco from twin peaks overlook

Keep it simple for Valentine’s Day in San Francisco by finding a perfect spot to watch the sunset, side by side with your partner. Take it up a notch with something to drink, or even a whole picnic spread. The details are up to you, but here are a few of the best places to watch sunset in San Francisco.

Twin Peaks. 

For arguably the best panoramic view of the city, head up Twin Peaks. While beautiful at any time of the day, sunset here really takes the cake. Just be sure if you hiked to the top to bring light to make your way back down! 

Ina Coolbrith Park. 

This one is a bit of a hidden gem. Ina Coolbrith Park might be small, but it is mighty in its views of the city and Bay. This park is especially handy if spending the evening in nearby Russian Hill or North Beach.

Palace of Fine Arts. 

The Palace of Fine Arts has romance written all over it, making it perfect for Valentine’s Day in San Francisco. Maybe that’s why so many couples get their wedding photos taken here. These famous remnants of the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exhibition are a little out of place in laid back San Francisco, but that is what makes them so fun to visit. 

Baker Beach. 

For unobstructed water and Golden Gate Bridge views, Baker Beach can’t be beat. This vantage point is also the best place to admire the rolling green hills of the Marin Headlands across the water. 

5. Release your Inner Artist with a Wine and Art Night

Whether or not you consider yourself an artist, there is something romantic about filling a canvas with color, or sculpting something with your hands. Add your favorite wine, et voila – a great idea for Valentine’s Day in San Francisco. Bonus: These experiences will leave you with handmade art to remember the evening.

Create a Masterpiece at Paint Nite. 

This popular traveling event holds paint and sip events in bars and restaurants throughout the Bay Area. Your ticket includes all art supplies and live instruction, and drinks are available for purchase from the venue. Keep an eye on their upcoming schedule on Paint Nite’s website.  

Keep the paint and wine at home. 

With Class Bento, you can attend a live Paint and Sip night in the Bay Area, or you can stay in and connect with the class virtually from the comfort of your home. Pick up the listed supplies and your favorite bottle of wine, join the class online each Saturday, and paint your masterpiece (in your PJs if you want!). Class Bento also has tons of other crafting classes and kits available if painting isn’t your thing. 

6. Spend a Day at the San Francisco Ferry Building

Ferry building in San Francisco

Why not spend Valentine’s Day in one of San Francisco’s most beloved buildings — The Ferry Building! Even on a normal day the San Francisco Ferry Building is the perfect date location. There is a specialty food shop for absolutely every taste, locally made products perfect to remember your trip to San Francisco, and a famous farmers market 3 days a week. 

A great idea for a unique Valentine’s Day activity in San Francisco is to head to the Ferry Building for a gift-hunting challenge. Kiss your partner goodbye and split up to find them the perfect gift. Set a meetup place and time, and maybe even a budget. To add a twist and some healthy competition, decide on a theme you both must follow. Meet back up and exchange what you found. You may be surprised and delighted by what makes them think of you 😉 

As if that weren’t enough, the Ferry Building has several special events happening in the days surrounding Valentine’s Day this year. 

Learn to make sushi. 

Secure a spot for you and a loved one to learn the craft of sushi making from a master. This class will be held on Saturday Feb 17th from 1-3pm. Use all of your senses to pick the best ingredients, prepare the best rice, and then perfect that tricky roll. This class is BYOB, so make sure to bring your favorite saki or wine to enjoy with your handmade meal. Reserve your spot on the ferry building’s website

Go on a scavenger hunt for hearts. 

Every year, the San Francisco General Hospital Foundation partners with talented artists to create and display metal heart sculptures in the city. This year “Hearts in San Francisco” will be displayed within the Ferry Building for you to find. Head there soon though because the hearts will only be on display until February 7th, after which they will be auctioned off to raise funds for Zuckerberg General Hospital and Trauma Center. 

Indulge in specialty wine and food at Love Bites! 

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with gourmet wine and small bites from Napa Valley Vintners. The Ferry Building Marketplace will also host live music and art activities to complete the experience. Love Bites! will be held February 8th from 5-7:30pm. Buy tickets online or at the door. 

7. Get Your Endorphins Flowing on a San Francisco Hike

a budling structure surrounded by trees and a lake

San Francisco is one of the best cities around for access to incredible hiking. There are even options for great day hiking on the peninsula itself. But of course if you do want to reach out a little further, the possibilities are endless. Whether the two of you are looking for a quick city break, a hushed hike among giant redwoods, or an impressive trek along rugged Pacific coastline, one of the trails below will be just right for a perfect date hike. 

Stow Lake and Strawberry Hill. 

Let’s start right in the middle of Golden Gate Park this Valentine’s Day in San Francisco. This is almost more of a walk than a “hike,” but it is lovely, and makes for a perfect idea for Valentine’s Day in San Francisco. Walk around Stow Lake and then make your way onto Strawberry Hill via one of two bridges. Walk by Huntington Falls on your way to the top, where you will be rewarded with a great view from the highest point in the park. 

Land’s End. 

The Land’s End trail can’t get much more accessible, and yet the bustling city feels a world away. Get stunning views of the Sutro Baths, Pacific Ocean, and Golden Gate Bridge on this short and mostly flat trail. 

Point Bonita Lighthouse Trail. 

Just over the Golden Gate Bridge from the city lies the Marin Headlands. This stunning area is home to several unique trails, but one not-to-miss trail is the out and back to the Point Bonita Lighthouse. The 1-mile round trip can be done alone or tacked on to a longer hike. The coastal views from the Marin Headlands are simply stunning. 

Mount Tamalpais. 

Just a bit further from San Francisco is the serenity of Mount Tamalpais. The less-visited nextdoor neighbor to Muir Woods, this park provides beautiful nature with a fraction of the crowds. Mt. Tam includes more than 200 miles of trails to choose from. Climb to the top of East Peak for stunning views on a clear day, hike to popular Cataract Falls via two different routes, or simply visit stunning Stinson Beach. 

8. Indulge in San Francisco’s Favorite Aphrodisiac: Chocolate!

You can’t do Valentine’s Day in San Francisco without chocolate! And luckily for you, San Francisco has great chocolate. Keep it simple by dropping in to one of the handful of chocolatiers in the city to grab something to take home, or take it up a notch with one of the following ideas.

Combine chocolate and jazz in VisValley. 

Good Chocolate creates indulgent, sugar-free delights in the southern part of the city, and they want to share their chocolate knowledge! The Visvalley Jazz and Chocolate event on February 10th starts with a tour and chocolate making course behind the scenes at Good Chocolate. Grab something to eat nearby before making your way to the 99 Leland Jazz Venue for a tribute performance to George Gershwin by local musicians. 

Step behind the scenes at Dandelion Chocolate. 

Dandelion Chocolate might just be San Francisco’s favorite chocolate, in the running with Ghiradelli of course. And Dandelion loves to get everyone involved. They offer daily factory tours as well as an array of hands-on chocolate classes. Specialty classes in the week of Valentine’s Day 2024 include a chocolate and tea tasting and a cake making class. Check out the options on Dandelion’s website

9. Learn Together at the California Academy of Sciences

Tha California Academy of Sciences, or Cal Academy, is seriously cool. They have an aquarium, 4-story rainforest with free-flying birds and butterflies, planetarium, natural history museum, and more. If our planet fascinates you, you will love it here, and easily spend hours happily exploring. There are two activities to look out for this February to elevate your Cal Academy experience.

Make Valentine’s Day cards for the penguins. 

In years past, the Cal Academy has encouraged visitors to create Valentine’s Day cards for their resident penguins. We admit the Valentine’s Day wishes are more for us than the birds, but the penguins do use the papers as gifts to each other, which strengthens their bonds. Eventually, many of the valentines end up as highly-valued nesting material. 

Enjoy adults-only time during Nightlife. 

Thursday nights at Cal Academy are for the adults. From 6-10pm on most Thursdays, the museum offers themed nights of exploration, perfect for date night. Wander the exhibits, drink in hand, listen to live music, and enjoy a normally family-friendly museum without the kids. Thursday, February 15th is themed “Lunar Underground.” Grab your tickets to Nightlife on the Cal Academy website.

10. Spend Valentine’s Day on the San Francisco Bay

a couple watching the sunset under the golden gate bridge

A boat cruise of the San Francisco Bay is always a good idea, but Valentine’s Day in San Francisco is an even better excuse! Treat yourself and your significant other to time on the water with any number of experiences, from evening dinner and dancing boats, to private yacht excursions. Here are a couple of great options:

San Francisco Dinner Dance Cruise.

This semi-formal dinner cruise includes a 4-course plated dinner, live DJ and dancing, cocktails for purchase, and, of course, stunning views of the sun setting across San Francisco’s famous landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island. 

Hornblower Premiere Brunch Cruise. 

If a daytime boat trip is more your style, hold out until the weekend and take a Hornblower Premiere Brunch Cruise. These 2-hour cruises include a buffet brunch, complimentary champagne, and all of the same great views of the San Francisco Bay.

Book a private yacht. 

This one might just break the bank, but if you want the most personalized experience, consider booking a private yacht for the day. Some even welcome help with the sailing! 

11. Admire the Magnolias at the San Francisco Botanical Garden 

green garden near little lake in San Francisco botanical garden

Valentine’s Day lines up perfectly each year with the blooming of the magnolia trees at the San Francisco Botanical Garden in Golden Gate Park. The more than 200 trees cover the garden in magnificent (and on theme) splashes of white and pink from late January through March. 

While the Botanical Garden is always free for San Francisco residents, even visitors can visit the magnolias for free this year if they visit on February 13th, because every 2nd Tuesday of the month means free entry to this wonderful garden. 

If you do stop by Golden Gate Park for the magnolias, stick around and experience some more of what the huge park has to offer. Take instagram-worthy photos in the Conservatory of Flowers or climb up and over the drum bridge in the Japanese Tea Garden together. Walk through Shakespeare Garden, which is home to over 200 plants mentioned in the Bard’s writing.

Rent bikes to see more of the park and get in a relaxing cycle. If you make it to the west end of the park, stop by the Queen Wilhelmina Tulip Garden and Dutch windmill to see if any intrepid tulips are already in bloom. 

12. Explore Northern California together on a Day Trip from San Francisco 

While it’s true that the city provides endless ideas for Valentine’s Day (just look at this list!), it is hard to ignore the allure of the Bay Area and beyond. The city is situated in some of the most beautiful country there is, and the day trip options from San Francisco are world class. Below are 2 of the options we recommend for Valentine’s Day, but read our other article on the top one day trips from San Francisco for even more ideas. 

Kiss at the foot of a waterfall in Yosemite. 

Yosemite National Park is a must see. Even if you have been there before, the soaring granite cliffs, roaring waterfalls, and breathtaking views show you a new side each time you visit. Winter is a great time to visit Yosemite. Crowds will not be overwhelming, waterfalls will be flowing, and you may even get to see all of those famous landmarks covered in a picturesque blanket of snow. 

While a day trip to Yosemite can be done on your own, we recommend letting the expert guides take care of all the driving and planning on this Yosemite Winter One Day Tour from San Francisco. Just snuggle in with your sweetheart and watch the breathtaking scenery go by. And don’t forget to take a picture together with arguably the most romantic waterfall in the park — Bridalveil Fall! 

Wander amongst giant trees and sip wine. 

Hit two iconic regions of Northern California with this Redwoods and California Wine Country Tour. Spend the morning strolling hand in hand beneath the tallest living things on Earth. Then head to the wine country for lunch in historic Sonoma Plaza and tastings at 3 wineries. You really can’t improve on the scenery and flavors of this combo tour. 

If you would rather pair a trip to Muir Woods with a visit to the charming beach town of Sausalito, check out this Muir Woods Redwoods and Sausalito Morning Tour. If the weather is favorable, definitely choose to take the ferry back to the city!

And if you would rather skip the trees and just get straight to the wine (we get it – you have priorities!), try this Small Group Napa Valley Reserve Wine Tour. This trip includes a stop at the timelessly romantic Castello di Amorosa medieval castle. 

We hope this guide helped you in planning the perfect Valentine’s Day in San Francisco for you and your special someone. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Published on: January 24th 2024
a view of golden gate bridge with San Francisco buildings as background

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