By Patricia Doherty
February 03, 2020
Courtesy of Manchester Grand Hyatt

Whether it’s a first date, anniversary, Valentine’s Day, or “got a babysitter, let’s go out” kind of date, sometimes you want to find the perfect place to be together. An intimate dinner is a favorite for some couples, and others find that sunset (or sunrise), a view of city lights or ocean waves, a solitary stroll, or special place brings on those romantic feelings.

San Diego has no shortage of gorgeous views, dreamy restaurants, and natural beauty, so we’ve rounded up a few ideas to keep in mind for your next date night or afternoon. With all the city has to offer, you might be able to add your own romantic locales to our list.

Courtesy of U.S. Grant Hotel

Romantic Cocktails and Dining

Rendezvous, the Wonder Bar at the historic U.S. Grant Hotel, features a French theme, dim speakeasy-style lighting, sofas, music, wine, beer, cider, and specialty cocktails. Stroll through the Gaslamp District and then take in the glamour of the classic hotel before finding the perfect spot for your cocktail.

For another romantic venue, head to the Top of the Hyatt at the Manchester Grand Hyatt. On the hotel’s 40th floor with floor-to-ceiling windows, the lounge offers panoramic city and Pacific views. Watch sunset with a cocktail, champagne, or craft beer along with an appetizer plate to share.

The Pool House at the Pendry San Diego in the Gaslamp Quarter offers breathtaking skyline views along with cocktails and in their contemporary indoor/outdoor space. You might want to continue the evening at the Oxford Social Club with music and an intimate setting.

Mr. A’s is a favorite restaurant for a special night out. The extensive French-American menu includes classic and modern dishes served with impeccable flair in a luxurious room with views of the city and bay.

The Marine Room in La Jolla is the place for dining close to the waves with eye-level views of the ocean, cove, and sunset. Guests enjoy local seafood, regional classics, small plates, cocktails, and wines in a spectacular setting.

Courtesy of SanDiego.org

Romantic Views and Activities

Balboa Park’s gardens offer quiet places to stroll hand-in-hand or rest on a bench to enjoy the surroundings. The Japanese Friendship Garden’s paths take visitors past bonsai displays, cherry trees, koi ponds, and flowers. The Alcazar Garden is modeled on the gardens of Alcazar Castle in Seville, Spain, with fountains, colorful blooms, Moorish tiles, and a shaded pergola.

Cabrillo National Monument, at the southernmost tip of the Point Loma Peninsula offers ocean, city skyline, and harbor views. Enjoy the breezy surroundings, explore the tidepools, and stroll along the Coastal Trail.

Take a cruise on San Diego Bay at sunset aboard a sailboat, yacht, gondola, or catamaran. You can also opt for a dinner or cocktail cruise. Find your perfect voyage in La Jolla, downtown San Diego, Point Loma, or Mission Bay.

Visit Seaport Village to browse the shops, grab a snack, and take in the views. For fun and romance, ride the historic carousel together.

Plan a visit to Sunset Cliffs, a small coastal park and perfect place to watch the sun sink into the ocean. It’s a short, easy hike to the best views atop the bluffs. If hiking together is a romantic adventure to you, San Diego offers several ideal trails along the coast.

A trip to the San Diego Zoo can be both fun and romantic. The lush setting, colorful wildlife, and playful antics of the zoo’s residents create memorable experiences.

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