Golden Gate Bridge at sunset — Photo courtesy of Tom Molanphy
There's nothing more romantic than travel, and traveling around San Francisco may be the most romantic travel of all. When you're ready for that intimate day for two, we recommend sticking by the water.
Start with a slow stroll on the Embarcadero. Unlike with the steep hiking of most of San Francisco, walking hand-in-hand along this flat stretch along the beautiful bay won't result in sweaty palms (a definite turn-off). The highlight of the Embarcadero is the iconic Ferry Building, where you can peruse all the sights, sounds and smells of the small shops inside, sampling fine dark chocolates and exquisite olive oil to tune in your senses for a long, romantic day. View of Ferry Building from the bay — Photo courtesy of Mrtony77
The next part of your date should be a ferry across the water, which you can catch just outside the Ferry Building at Pier 2. Sausalito is a good choice and offers quaint shops and cafes, like a romantic trip to a small village. If you have a full day to spare, we recommend a walk to Sausalito over the Golden Gate Bridge. Whether by foot or by boat, if crossing magnificent San Francisco Bay doesn't draw out the romantic in you, check your pulse.
Once in Sausalito, confirm the ferry schedule for your return back to Pier 2. (Ferries will also take you to Fisherman's Wharf, which is a fun place, but not exactly romantic.) Time your return to catch the sunset on the way back, enjoying a glass of pinot noir on the ferry deck under a blanket.
Bay Bridge lights — Photo courtesy of Mbz1
Once back on dry land, we recommend the Marketbar Restaurant's popular happy hour, which lasts until 7 pm and features quality cocktails for seven dollars. After the sun has set, and after a few rounds of wine and oysters, enjoy the highlight of the night: The Bay Bridge Lights, thousands of lights strung across the Bay Bridge that sparkle and change with the wind.
If you ask your servers at Market Cafe nicely enough, they'll find a seat for you by the window with a great view of these gorgeous lights. To go that one extra step for your partner, share your iPhone ear plugs and play your favorite song while watching the glistening lights. (It's a tested, knock-out move.)
After dinner and dessert, take a stroll on the Embarcadero, with both the Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate Bridge in sight, and keep an eye out for Bennett's "cable cars halfway to the stars." More oysters, anyone?