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The Perfect Getaway: A couple's trip to San Francisco

With its diverse culinary scene, stunning views and charming neighborhoods, this Bay Area city promises a romantic weekend you and your significant other are sure to love. | By Alina Dizik | August 17, 2023

Take a weekend getaway to San Francisco and experience some of the country’s best wine, top-notch museums and plenty of outdoor activities with your special someone. With so much to do and see, you’ll want to extend your stay. Here’s what to consider for a memorable long weekend in the Golden City:

  • Park picnics: Pack your favorite treats for a romantic picnic in Mission Dolores Park

  • Scenic views: Head over the Golden Gate Bridge by bike, or hop on a ferry, to explore Sausalito

  • Museums and murals: Admire the city’s many museums and colorful murals for a dose of artistic wonder



Explore Chinatown.

Start your getaway amid the bustling streets of one of the largest and oldest Chinatowns in the U.S. Come hungry and visit several of the famous dumpling and steamed buns spots like Good Mong Kok Bakery. Ask a bystander to snap your pic at the ornate Dragon’s Gate, then follow the aroma — and the stunning pagoda-style roofs — to the historic Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory for a behind-the-scenes look at the iconic snack.


Visit the Rainbow Honor Walk.

Kick your feet up after checking into Canopy by Hilton San Francisco SoMa. Located in the middle of downtown’s South of Market neighborhood, the modern hotel serves as the ideal home base for a couple on the go. Once settled, grab lunch for two at Anchor Oyster Bar, known for its hearty clam chowder and some of the area’s freshest oysters. Take a post-lunch walking tour of the Castro District to learn about its role in LGBTQ+ history as one of the first gay neighborhoods in the country, being sure to explore the Rainbow Honor Walk, a tribute to individuals who paved the way for gay rights.


Grab a bite.

Located on the eastern side of the Bay Area, Oakland is accessible by car or public transport. The city is known for cutting-edge dining and plenty of entertainment. Consider Friday Nights at OMCA with Off the Grid, a free weekly event offering nighttime access to the galleries at the Oakland Museum of California, plus live music and food trucks. Or head to Daytrip, a funky fermentation-driven restaurant that never disappoints. Be sure to sample something from their bottle shop, serving a rotating selection of wine, cider and sake.



Enjoy a morning picnic.

Start your morning with Tartine Bakery’s famous sandwiches and perfectly flakey croissants. After visiting the bakery’s original location on Guerrero Street, take the pastries to go and head to nearby Mission Dolores Park. The nearly 16-acre (6.4-hectare) park is one of the city’s most famous, with plenty of green space for an impromptu picnic.


Bike across the Golden Gate Bridge.

Leave the city behind and hop on the ferry to Sausalito. For an added dose of adventure, rent bikes and take the scenic route via the Golden Gate Bridge. Built in 1937, San Francisco’s 8,981-foot-long (2737-meter-long) architectural marvel is still one of the most famous in the world. Once you reach the other side of the bridge, you’ll find a postcard-worthy town with stellar views of the bay and plenty of charm. Don’t leave without stopping by Le Garage, a Sausalito mainstay serving French classics with bay views.


Soak in the city views.

Head back to your hotel for a romantic dinner at Shelby's Rooftop. Located on the hotel’s 12th floor, the indoor and outdoor restaurant offers stunning city views. Sip on the Bicycle Thief, a gin-and-Campari-filled signature cocktail, and share popular dishes including the charcuterie board, local halibut crudo or the wagyu burger.



Peruse local markets.

Get an early start to the day with a walk to the nearby Yerba Buena Gardens. The public park offers a once-a-month Sunday market, a carousel and a variety of museums. Don’t leave town without checking out the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, a must-stop for lovers of contemporary art. Afterwards, get your caffeine fix at Sightglass Coffee, a local shop with an on-site roastery.


Learn a new skill.

Explore the Mission District, one of San Francisco’s trendiest neighborhoods with an array of new eateries, boutiques, colorful murals and inviting green spaces. Be sure to venture into Dandelion Chocolate, a local chocolatier offering chocolate-making classes for couples and tours of its historic 16th Street brick factory.


Tour the waterfront.

Take an evening stroll along the Embarcadero, a boulevard on the city’s eastern shore that is a popular spot for taking in the city’s waterfront views. Don’t miss Pier 39, one of San Francisco’s most popular tourist attractions, for a carnival-like atmosphere, shopping and a chance to spot sea lions. For dinner, head to La Mar, a Peruvian-inspired seafood spot known for its fresh ingredients.



Take in stunning views from Coit tower.

Start your day discovering the Telegraph Hill neighborhood for cool shops and charming cafes. Be sure to take in what are arguably the best views of the city from the Coit Tower observation deck inside Pioneer Park. Stay fueled for more sightseeing by grabbing some focaccia at Liguria Bakery, a spot that specializes in savory pastries.


See the historic sights.

Revisit the Embarcadero for another must-see San Francisco attraction — the Ferry Building. Serving as the city’s main ferry terminal since 1898, this historic building continues to draw crowds thanks to its grand architecture. Pop into the bustling Marketplace for specialties including honey, ceramics and even some artisanal pudding — an ideal spot for sourcing the perfect souvenir.

Until next time!

Take it all in.

With so much to explore and experience, San Francisco never disappoints for a romantic weekend getaway. More importantly, the countless stunning photo-ops ensure you'll remember your couple's adventure for years to come.

Alina Dizik is a veteran lifestyle journalist, covering travel, real estate, family, work trends and dining. Her work appears in The Wall Street Journal, BBC, The Cut, The Guardian and other top publications. She lives in Chicago and has spent time living in New York, Europe and the Middle East. She spends more than two months each year traveling internationally with her husband and two school-age children. She has visited more than 50 countries.

Canopy by Hilton San Francisco SoMa

Our downtown San Francisco hotel is within three blocks of the Moscone Center, Yerba Buena Gardens, and several museums. We’re within a mile of countless restaurants and shops, and we’re half a mile from transit stations. Enjoy locally inspired fare and handcrafted beverages at our rooftop lounge.