Happy Valentine’s Day, San Francisco! Make it a day to remember with these memorable activities, concerts, events, and restaurants in the Bay Area. Read on to get inspired, whether you’re spending the day with your partner, friends, family, or yourself.
1. Enjoy a dreamy Valentine’s Day concert by candlelight
Spend a romantic evening at the Candlelight: Valentine’s Day Special on February 14th at St. Ignatius Church. The one-time concert will showcase classical versions of romance songs ranging from pieces by Tchaikovsky and Puccini to “Kiss Me More” by Doja Cat and “My Heart Will Go On” by Céline Dion. Watch the Range Ensemble string quartet bring the house down with a breathtaking performance surrounded by hundreds of flickering candles.
Other Candlelight concerts to look for in February include:
- Feb. 9 – Candlelight: A Tribute to Fleetwood Mac
- Feb. 11 – Candlelight K-Pop: A Tribute to BTS
- Feb. 23 – Candlelight: Featuring Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and More at St. Ignatius Church
- Feb. 24 – Candlelight: A Tribute to Coldplay
2. Scroll our list of creative date ideas in the Bay Area
San Francisco is full of lovely romantic places to have a date, from fine dining to intimate outdoor adventures. Are you looking for a new activity to enjoy with a partner? Read on to get inspired.
3. See dozens of magnolias in bloom now at SF Botanical Garden
Every year, the San Francisco Botanical Garden explodes into a beautiful spectrum of deep magentas and bright pinks. The “Magnificent Magnolias“ event occurs in late January through March. The garden has announced that we’re now entering peak bloom, so be sure to find a day soon to see these spectacular blossoms at their best.
The garden announced that peak bloom will last about 2 weeks, so we have until around Feb. 21 to enjoy the show! SF residents can enjoy free admission to the SF Botanical Garden every single day, and non-residents can visit for free between 7:30-9am daily or on Valentine’s Day, February 14th!
4. Watch adorable penguin couples exchange valentines at the Academy of Sciences
SF’s California Academy of Sciences is bringing back its beloved tradition of presenting heart-shaped valentines to its penguin colony. Don’t miss this one-of-a-kind event on February 12th and 14th at penguin feeding times (10:30am and 3pm). Visitors can watch the festivities at the African penguin habitat in Tusher African Hall.
The male penguins usually accept the hearts and bring them back to their female counterparts to line their nests in an adorable display of penguin love! The valentines all bear charming messages handwritten by high school interns from the Academy’s Careers in Science program.
5. Take a trip to space at Space Explorers: THE INFINITE
Richmond’s Craneway Pavilion recently welcomed Space Explorers: THE INFINITE, an exciting virtual reality space adventure. The acclaimed experience uses EMMY award-winning film footage to recreate the International Space Station, where you can interact with other guests in the form of avatars. After 60 magical minutes in this hyper-realistic journey in outer space, guests can then explore the work of Japanese artist Ryoji Ikeda, whose eclectic art pieces make for the perfect photo op.
6. Discover the best in goat fashion at SF’s Goat My Valentine Fashion Show
Value Culture’s 5th annual Goat My Valentine Fashion Show is back at Union Square on Feb. 14th from 4-6pm. Watch GOAT (Greatest of All Time) surprise guests walk the runway with actual goats (yes, the animal), all decked out in the chicest goat fashions by Britex Fabrics. Special guests include Senator Scott Weiner, The Last Black Man in San Francisco actor Jimmie Fails, and rapper Big Rich. There will be a 21+ after party and beer garden at Hawthorn following the event.
As for the goats, they represent City Grazing, an SF-based goat landscaping nonprofit dedicated to sustainable land management and fire risk reduction. Proceeds will go to City Grazing and other nonprofits helping to put on the event.
7. Check out yoga, cooking classes, and more at the Ferry Building
San Francisco’s Ferry Building is one of the city’s most iconic buildings, serving as a hotspot for tourists and locals alike. It’s a center for events, pop-ups, a farmers’ market, and countless excellent merchants who sell their wares daily in the building’s many stalls. Here are a few things to look for in February:
- Now through Feb. 28 – Hearts in SF – The SF General Hospital Foundation’s 19th annual Hearts in San Francisco art project showcases 24 heart sculptures at the Ferry Building, which will be auctioned off to benefit the Foundation.
- Feb. 9 – Love Bites! – An evening of gourmet food, wine, cocktails, music, and art to celebrate Valentine’s Day.
- Feb. 12, 19 – The Art of Sushi Making – An interactive hands-on class that takes you through the perfect ingredients and methods of sushi making. The class is BYOB!
- Wednesdays beginning Feb. 15 – All-Levels Vinyasa Yoga – An indoor Vinyasa yoga series in the Port Room for all levels.
- And more
8. Party it up for “Galentines” and “Malentines” Day at Fort Mason Center’s The Candid Ball
Take advantage of the rare opportunity to dance in the historic General’s Residence at Fort Mason Center’s Candid Ball. Enjoy speed dating, live music, matchmaking, and dinner at the launch party for the Candid dating app.
9. Explore a mythical AR petting zoo at the Palace of Fine Arts
San Francisco’s Palace of Fine Arts transforms into a one-of-a-kind mythical petting zoo at this unique augmented reality experience. The Impossible Zoo is a magical world created through special holographic headsets, which allow you to interact with unicorns, dragons, and more whimsical creatures. Follow an extraordinary interactive quest with high-definition graphics that feels like a real-life video game.
10. Learn about the naughty side of nature at the Exploratorium’s ‘Sexplorations’ After Dark event
The Exploratorium at Pier 15 in San Francisco is an exciting place for discovery any time of the day, but these 18+ After Dark events are a must for some epic kid-free fun at their exhibits. Thursday, February 9th brings the return of the popular “Sexplorations” event, where you’ll learn about mating rituals, genetics, and more. After Dark happens each Thursday from 6-10pm with a different theme every week, featuring guest speakers, films, and great music.
11. Dance the night away at the Academy of Science’s NightLife Noise Pop party
NightLife at the California Academy of Sciences is one of our favorite ongoing events, and we’re thrilled to see more of these awesome themed soirees on the calendar! On February 16th, NightLife will celebrate Noise Pop’s 30th anniversary with plenty of music and dancing. The popular Thursday night festivities feature live DJs, outdoor bars, ambience lighting, and more alongside the Academy’s nearly 40,000 animal residents.
12. Snap pics with the newly-unveiled Hearts in San Francisco sculptures
The San Francisco General Hospital Foundation (SFGHF)’s 19th annual Hearts in San Francisco art project has now revealed its 2023 display. A selection of heart sculptures by local artists is on display at SF’s Neiman Marcus through Feb. 15, and even more hearts are on view at the Ferry Building now through Feb. 28.
13. Pick up some gourmet chocolate from these unbeatable SF chocolate shops
Whether as a gift for a loved one or a treat for yourself, good chocolate is always appreciated. Luckily, SF is home to several world-renowned chocolate shops for you to visit. Here are some of our favorite chocolate shops to snag something sweet for Valentine’s Day.
14. Get a new perspective of the city with these sailing and bike trips
Turn an otherwise normal day in SF into a totally memorable one with these sailing and bike trips. Whether you want to rent some bikes and take a spin around Golden Gate Park, or look for porpoises and whales in the Bay, here are some links to get you started.
- Golden Gate Park eBike rentals and bike rentals
- Golden Gate Park highlights bike tour
- America’s Cup Day Sailing Adventure
- Escape from the Rock: Bay Cruise
- Indoor skydiving
15. Plan a relaxing day at these local spas and saunas
San Francisco is known for its famously chilly weather but is luckily also home to some world-class saunas and spas. Enjoy an intimate and romantic day at these popular saunas in and around the city.
16. Check out the most romantic spots in the city, according to San Franciscans
We wanted to get to the bottom of the most romantic spots in San Francisco, so we asked our Instagram followers. These beautiful outdoor spots are absolute musts if you just want to create a special moment.
- Ina Coollbrith Park at night
- Pier 7
- Baker Beach
- And more
17. Take an unforgettable day trip around the Bay Area
Here in San Francisco, we’re quite well-located to check out some neighboring California gems. Be sure to put these day trips on your to-do list for the next time you want to get out of the city and into nature.
Bars, restaurants, and culinary experiences
18. Take a charming voyage on the Napa Valley Wine Train
The Napa Valley Wine Train dates back all the way to 1864, and stepping aboard feels like traveling to another century. The antique Pullman rail cars have been carefully restored to their former glory, in order to evoke the luxury of early-20th-century train travel. The vintage train is amazingly elegant and luxurious, providing visitors with unique and sprawling views of California’s famous wine country while enjoying gourmet meals showcasing local products.
19. Indulge in a champagne brunch or dinner & dancing aboard a yacht in the SF Bay
Take your romantic meal plans up a notch with these brunch and dinner cruises on the Bay. The voyages take off from the Hornblower Cruises & Events Landing and include some amazing photo ops with the SF skyline and Golden Gate Bridge in the background.
20. Treat yourself to a luxurious Valentines day meal from SF’s best restaurants
Surprise your significant other with a high-quality, lavish meal at these fancy SF restaurants. Place your order soon so that you’re sure to have a delicious feast waiting for you on the big day. Below are a few menus to check out with a peek into the day’s special dishes (go to each respective website for the full menu).
- Spruce – Bluefin tuna, winter vegetable salad, celeriac ravioli, roast pheasant, grilled veal.
- La Mar Cebicheria Peruana – Ceviche with halibut or hiramasa, king crab salad, lamb shank stew, alfajor cookie cake.
- Kokkari Estiatorio – Pikilia Greek spreads, grilled octopus, phyllo stuffed with Dungeness crab, mesquite grilled lamb, ravioli roasted artichoke.
- Empress by Boon – Winter perigord truffles puff, steamed shrimp and squid dumplings, grilled Alaskan black cod, crispy chicken.
21. Dine in style at one of SF’s most beautiful restaurants
These beautiful restaurants in San Francisco didn’t skimp when it came to the design of their dining rooms, and the results are absolutely phenomenal. Here’s a list of some of the most beautiful restaurants in the city, compiled with a little help from our Instagram followers. Check them out this Valentine’s Day!
22. Get cozy with a cocktail around the best restaurant fireplaces in SF
A homey, roaring fire is a hot commodity during winter (and basically any other season) in SF’s characteristic foggy weather. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite fireplaces in San Francisco, ranging from outdoor patios to neighborhood bars to fine dining restaurants. Read on to discover your next cozy haunt.
23. Enjoy a meal al fresco at these romantic outdoor restaurants and patios
The perfect romantic date spot for Valentine’s Day can take a variety of forms, but a night of upscale dining al fresco in San Francisco is a classic go-to. These 10 restaurants have magical outdoor patios to enjoy a variety of delicious food options, creative cocktails, and much more.
24. Top it all off with some delicious pours at SF’s best wine bars
San Francisco is a wine lover’s paradise. Between our proximity to wine country and a world-renowned restaurant scene, it’s no surprise that you can find amazing vino in nearly every corner of the city. Our wine bars range from chic and sophisticated to wine-fueled dance parties and everything in between.