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upper noe/glen park, san francisco | © mk30/Flickr
upper noe/glen park, san francisco | © mk30/Flickr

18 Unusual Date Ideas to Try in San Francisco

Picture of Deanna Morgado
Updated: 4 November 2017

Anyone can make date night ordinary, but in San Francisco, the opportunities to wow that special someone with a creative date together are practically endless. Try any of these unusual date ideas for the next night, or day, out.

The Magic Bus

Board the Magic Bus for a tour of the city that proves to be quite a trip. This psychedelic tour takes passengers around the city, sharing the vibrant counter-culture of hippies in San Francisco. This makes for a colorful date that is sure to satisfy.

The Magic Bus, 280 Geary St, Union Square, San Francisco, CA, USA, +1 855 969 6244

Billy Goat Hill

Pack a picnic and head to Billy Goat Hill, where you and your date can spend the afternoon talking, eating, and admiring some pretty awesome city views. For a romantic touch, squeeze onto the tree swing and sway as time just melts.

Billy Goat Hill, 30th & Castro, San Francisco, CA, USA, +1 415 831 6331

Tank18 

This is a great idea for the creative types. Head to Tank18, where the two of you will have a wine tasting, nibble on a yummy cheese platter, and sketch your very own wine label. Even better, you’ll have a reason to come back, as your sketched wine bottles are good for cheap refills on repeat visits.

Tank 18, 1345 Howard St, San Francisco, CA, USA, +1 415 799 7161

El Techo

Wine and dine your date at this delicious Latin restaurant. Add to the ambiance on El Techo’s rooftop patio for the ultimate city-dining experience.

El Techo, 2516 Mission St, San Francisco, CA, USA, +1 415 550 6970

🌆✨🍷 #fridaymotivation – 📸: @jorgelopeza

A post shared by El Techo (@eltechosf) on

Lucasfilm Headquarters 

Couples who love Star Wars will have a ball exploring the Lucasfilm headquarters at the ‎Letterman Digital Arts Center in the Presidio. Although they don’t offer tours, you can still ogle the film artwork in the lobby, as well as the famous Yoda fountain.

Urban Hiking

What better way to spend time getting to know your date than on a long city walk rediscovering your own backyard? San Francisco is full of lesser-known parks, back alleyways, and other little gems. Create new memories at these places on date night.

Shaping San Francisco 

If neither of you has much of a sense of direction, instead of navigating your own way through the city, consider spending date night taking a guided walking tour. Shaping San Francisco offers biking and walking tours and teaches you about the city’s history along the way.

Shaping SF, 518 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA, USA, +1 415 881 7579

Midnight Mystery Bike Ride

These rides make for such an exciting date night. The meeting location is announced the day of, and then at midnight, you’ll begin on an unknown route and bike to an unknown endpoint. Well, it’s not completely unknown. They guarantee that there will be booze wherever you’re going. How can you go wrong?

Ride the Ferry to Brunch

Get an early start on your date by grabbing a coffee at the Ferry Building Marketplace and then hopping on the San Francisco Ferry to Tiburon for brunch. It’s a creative way to spend the whole day with your date. Plus, who doesn’t like a brunch date?

Forage SF

Here, you and your date will actually forage for your meal, which you’ll then prepare together, from beginning to end. Forage SF offers foraging classes in San Francisco and neighboring Oakland, where guides will show you how to pick your own wild mushrooms, catch seafood, and then cook it up. It’s fun and requires working together. That’s practically the ideal formula for a successful date.

Forage SF, 1473 Oak Street, San Francisco, CA, USA

Good display from @goodtoeatdumplings

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Find the Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill

Many people don’t know that there is flock of wild parrots that flap their way around Telegraph Hill. No one’s sure how they got there, but you and your date will love trying locate these mysterious and exotic birds.

Telegraph Hill, San Francisco, CA, USA

The Cheese School  

Learn how to whip up yummy cheeses with your date at a cheese school in the Mission. There are plenty of classes to choose from, including courses on pairing cheese with beer or wine. The Cheese School creates an interesting, hands-on experience for just the two of you.

The Cheese School of San Francisco, 2124 Folsom St, San Francisco, CA, USA+1 415 346 7530

Golden Gate Park Archery Range 

Not only is this a new and active activity for couples to do, it’s also free. If you’re both total newbies, don’t worry. The nearby San Francisco Archery Shop has plenty of equipment to rent, and they even offer short lessons before heading out to the range.

Golden Gate Park Archery Field, 47th Ave & Fulton St, San Francisco, CA, USA,  +1 415 753 7040

Sing Along Party

Bring your date to The Castro Theater when the historic theater hosts one of its famous sing-a-long parties. The two of you will have a blast watching old, mostly Disney movies, and singing your lungs out with the rest of the crowd.

The Castro Theatre, 429 Castro St, San Francisco, CA, USA, +1 415 621 6120

Paddleboat Stow Lake 

Forget just hiking Golden Gate Park. Head to Stow Lake and rent a paddleboat for a lovely afternoon date. Paddle, chat, and soak in the beauty surrounding you.

Stow Lake Boathouse, 50 Stow Lake Dr E, San Francisco, CA, USA, +1 415 702 1390

Church of 8 Wheels 

Turn your date into a throwback when you attend Church of 8 Wheels. This church-turned-roller rink offers lessons, and you can bring your date to their weekly 18-and-up Black Rock Roller Disco.

Church of 8 Wheels, 554 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA, USA, +1 415 752 1967

Roxie Theater 

Put a new spin on the classic movie date night, and catch a flick at the city’s oldest operating theater, the Roxie. Get ready to munch on popcorn and snuggle up to your date while watching alt-classics, limited release movies, and newly released independent films.

Roxie Theater, 3117 16th St, San Francisco, CA, USA, +1 415 863 1087

Urban Putt 

Test your putt-putt skills in a more adult setting at Urban Putt. Play until midnight or 1 a.m. on some nights. For competitive couples, up the ante by betting that the loser has to buy the first round at Urban Putt’s bar!

Urban Putt, 1096 S Van Ness Ave, San Francisco, CA, USA, +1 415 341 108