The city of San Francisco, home of the Golden Gate Bridge, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. From its wide array of tours on land or water, upscale restaurants and historic waterfronts, plenty of attractions are available for couples in search of a romantic evening. The city's unique location also includes scenic vistas that range from the San Francisco skyline and bay to the Pacific Ocean, which only adds to the romantic atmosphere.
Take a Sunset Cruise on a Catamaran
For those looking for a romantic sailing tour of San Francisco Bay, Adventure Cat Sailing Charters (adventurecat.com) offers sunset cruises on board their 55- and 65-foot luxury catamarans. Based at San Francisco's Pier 39 marina, the 1.5-hour cruises sail around Alcatraz Island and out under the Golden Gate Bridge before returning to the bay for views of the city skyline. Each couple receives light appetizers and two complimentary drinks. The sunset cruises are offered daily from late February to late November with departure schedules based on the varying times of the sunset throughout the year.
Dining at the Cliff House Restaurant
The Cliff House (cliffhouse.com) is a historic restaurant located in San Francisco's western-most point. Since its establishment in 1863, four different variations of the restaurant that have existed, ranging from a seven-story Victorian chateau complete with dance halls and gift shops to the modern structure that exists today. The highlight of the location is now Sutro's, a casual restaurant and bar with floor-to-ceiling windows where every table includes panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and the coastline. The menu includes a wide variety of fresh seafood dishes accented with locally grown ingredients and an award-winning wine list. To add to the romantic atmosphere, the bar and lounge includes live jazz entertainment every Friday night and a cozy fireplace.
Explore the Aquarium of the Bay
The Aquarium of the Bay (aquariumofthebay.org) is located next to Pier 39 in San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf. The 65,000-square-foot facility is home to more than 20,000 aquatic animals. Couples can casually stroll through the 300 feet of clear-acrylic tunnels while viewing everything from sharks and bat rays to jellyfish. Special excursions include the Behind the Scenes Tour that allows guests to walk across the catwalk above the aquarium's large tanks and see how the staff care for the animals. The aquarium is open every day (except on Christmas) with extended hours into the evening during the summers.
Stay at the Argonaut Hotel
The Argonaut Hotel (argonauthotel.com) is a romantic waterfront accommodation located just steps away from Fisherman's Wharf. This Kimpton luxury boutique hotel includes 252 nautical-themed guestrooms and 13 suites that offer unobstructed views of the wharf, the bay and the city skyline. Guests receive luxury amenities such as terrycloth bathrobes, spa tubs, and in-room spa services that range from massage treatments to aroma therapy. In addition, couples can dine in the Blue Mermaid Chowder House and Bar, known for its fresh seafood dishes and homemade chowders, before strolling along the wharf to view the boats or catching the famous Powell-Hyde Street cable car, which makes a stop directly across the street.