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Unique date ideas in the Bay Area

Valentine’s Day by the Bay is never a cliché. The city is positively filled with fun, romantic ways for couples to celebrate Cupid’s special day. Being romantics at heart ourselves, the Gig team has always had a soft spot for Valentine’s Day. Looking to make the most of yours? Check out the tips below.

Lover’s Lane

Impress your Valentine with a stroll down San Francisco’s Lover’s Lane. Your Valentine probably won’t be familiar with this enchanting path in the Presidio that connects the Main Post to Presidio Gate. They almost certainly won’t know it was established in the 18th Century and was used as a shortcut to get from the Main Post Office to Mission Dolores in the city’s Mission District. Amble the picturesque path, share its rich, historic story and watch your sweetheart fall in love with your insider’s knowledge.

Cocktails at the Top of the Mark

The martini menu is impressive, but it’s the 360-degree panoramic view of the city that will truly take your breath away. Located on the 19th floor of the Intercontinental Mark Hopkins, Top of the Mark is an old-school San Francisco favorite, and with its spectacular views of the Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate Bridge, it’s easy to see why.

Romantic dinner?

No Valentine’s Day is complete without a romantic dinner. When it comes to romantic restaurants, there is lots to love about the East Bay. Our favorites include Belotti Ristorante e Bottega in Rockridge for impeccable Italian and the perennial award-winner Hopscotch in Uptown for its cozy interior and brilliant mix of American and Japanese flavors. And if you’re really out to impress, consider a trip to Chez Panisse, the quirky, intimate Berkeley bungalow where understated French technique is practiced on gorgeous local California produce. C’est l’amour!

The Bay Lights

Leo Villareal’s world-renowned light sculpture has turned the western span of the Bay Bridge into a dazzling display comprised of 25,000 individually programmed lights. The best way to enjoy “The Bay Lights” is via a memorable walk along San Francisco’s Embarcadero, preferably with your Valentine. Top off your stroll with a dinner at Epic Roasthouse or double back to Slanted Door at the Ferry Terminal.

Cruise the Bay

If conditions are right, you can’t go wrong with a San Francisco Bay Dinner Cruise aboard the Hornblower. Treat your Valentine to a four-course dinner while you feast your eyes on amazing skyline views: Coit Tower, the TransAmerica Pyramid, and of course, the Golden Gate Bridge.

Roses are red...but this is ridiculous  

Why settle for a dozen roses when you can give your Valentine an entire amphitheater bursting with them? The Berkeley Municipal Rose Garden is a Bay Area landmark and the only place you can treat your sweetheart to the sight of 1,500 rose bushes and more than 250 varieties of roses. Your florist can’t compete with that.

Think outside the box of chocolates

As the Wall Street Journal declared in 2013, “Dandelion Chocolate makes some of the best chocolate the world.” The only thing that’s changed since then is that the famed San Francisco chocolatier now has a retail shop in the city’s Mission District. If you love chocolate, but hate the idea of giving your Valentine the proverbial box of chocolate, consider a trip to Dandelion’s retail shop on Valencia Street.

Romantic staycation

Cavallo Point is located just north of the Golden Gate Bridge in Sausalito and offers stunning views of the bridge and the city of San Francisco. The four-star hotel occupies a former historic military base, offers a world-class spa and is an ideal jumping-off point for excursions to the Marin Headlands, Point Reyes National Seashore, and California's Wine Country.


Searching for true love can be like finding a needle in a haystack. Luckily, coming up with great date ideas for Valentine Day’s in the Bay Area is like shooting fish in a barrel. It truly is hard to imagine a region better suited for romance, which makes it the perfect place to make this Valentine’s Day an affair to remember.

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