San Francisco, California, more commonly known as SF, is well known for its culture, the golden gate bridge and a quickly burgeoning technological industry. But that’s not all that the city has to offer. Locals know that the famous city provides an easy going atmosphere full of great food, romantic views and a supremely unique culture.
Locals also say that it’s, “Never the same. Always San Francisco” and promise that the city never ceases to surprise. Fun fact: if you head to The Castro- the famous gay neighborhood, you’ll be able to see tourists and locals walking around in nothing but what they were born in. SF has a history of public nudity, so the cops don’t care and neither does anyone else.
If you’re looking to spend some time in Northern California for your honeymoon, San Francisco is absolutely worth considering. Beautiful scenery, easily accessible day trips and plenty of adventure awaits the couple who plan a honeymoon to San Francisco.
Honeymoon travel tips
- Jackets and boots: Because of its bayside location, San Francisco tends to experience cooler temperatures all year round. Even in the summer, it can be a bit chilly. While this weather makes for the perfect hiking temperatures, and romantic honeymoon weather, it’s smart to bring a raincoat and rain boots, a warm jacket during the winter, and a light one during spring and summer.
- Shoes: SF is also a pretty walkable city- so a comfortable walking shoe is a great idea.
When to visit:
- If you want to beat the tourist rush, San Francisco in the spring has mild weather and hotel prices aren’t yet competitive. Average temperatures are in the mid-60’s but can sometimes lower, especially at night.
- Beyond that, if you’re looking to honeymoon in the San Francisco heat, try and plan your trip to hit their “indian summer” months-between September and November, where temperatures can reach up to 80 degrees. Plus, the crowds are much thinner.
How to get around San Francisco:
- Avoid driving: Regardless of San Francisco’s otherworldly romantic feeling, you’ll still be in California. And traffic will still be thick with minimal parking.
- Google maps: The app shows transit all over SF for your trip
- Lyft and uber: SF offers both, so take your pick!
- Buses, cable cars, trolleys: run all over the city and are good options- you can also buy a Muni Passport if you plan to use public transportation frequently. It’s available for 1, 3, and 7 days and works as both a receipt and re-ride ticket.
- “F” Line Trolley: If you want to check out some SF history on your honeymoon, this historic trolley is a great traveling option if you’ll be in the Market Street area. It goes by The Embarcadero and Fisherman’s Wharf and is a great way to get to Union Square.
Fun local San Francisco spots for honeymooners:
- Hike Twin Peaks: it’s great exercise and is a great way to experience pre-technology SF. The hill is 922 feet and one of the largest in the city. At the top, you’ll see beautiful and romantic views of the bay area
- The SOMA StrEat Food Park: is a favorite spot of many locals. You can order some local food, grab a beer and relax in the sun. The park is open all week for lunch and dinner. Plus they offer free wifi!
- Hang at the POPOS: Privately owned public open spaces. They’re basically urban gardens that honeymooners will find spread out all over the city. Sometimes they’re plazas, other times terraces. There are plenty around market street where you can sit down to plan your next adventure, people watch, or just relax with your significant other.
Things to do during your San Francisco honeymoon:
- Golden Gate Park: The park is 1017 acres an has beautiful gardens to stroll through.
- Conservatory of flowers: is located inside Golden Gate Park park’s Victorian-era glass greenhouse is home to more than 2,000 species of plants and flowers.
- Pier 39 at Fisherman’s Wharf: the famous spot to see all the sea lions!
- Chinatown: This part of SF is filled with romantic and vibrant lanterns and every corner has a fun and unique shop that promises you won’t leave empty handed
- Art and culture: San Francisco’s The de Young museum and the Legion of Honor both hold ancient, famous art.
- The Presidio: This big lush part of western SF is part of the National Park Service and is home to 25 miles of hiking trails that are waiting to be explored.
- Grab a drink: The Mark Hopkins Hotel has a rooftop bar has one of the most beautiful sky high city views.
Where to stay on your San Francisco honeymoon:
Inn at Union Square:
($250.00/night) this beautiful property is located in San Francisco’s iconic Union Square and offers guests an unforgettable experience smack dab in the middle of all the hustle and bustle. Their often complimented on their impeccable service and attention to detail: two things you definitely want during your honeymoon. The Alma Spreckels Suite is a top of the line suite with a living area, wood burning fireplace, walk in closet, and dual shower heads.
The hotel only has thirty rooms, so privacy is guaranteed. They also offer complimentary wine and cheese reception each evening from 5:30-7:00pm, and room service from Morton’s Steakhouse. The “Romance Package” for a honeymooners includes a bottle of bubbles upon arrival Breakfast in the bed for two with Mimosas, complimentary late check-out at 2pm, “Superior King Studios,” “King Suites” or the “Alma Spreckels Grand Suite.”
Hotel Los Gatos:
($300.00/night) Hotel Los Gatos is located in the Silicon Valley and is close to the base of the Santa Cruz Mountains. The property is only minutes away from a premier wine tasting which is perfect for honeymooners or a romantic getaway. The hotel is set against a mediterranean sophistication that blends with California charm and reminds most of a private villa. They offer a pool, jacuzzi, and a patio area that is very romantic.
Their restaurant Dio Deka is highly rated and they even have a spa if you’re looking to relax and unwind. Their Alma Suite is luxurious and will make you never want to leave. The big living room, balcony, a private jacuzzi, fireplace and bay windows are perfect for newlyweds who are looking to cuddle up.
Where to stay for your honeymoon outside of the city:
Hotel Valencia Santana Row:
($350.00/night) is located in San Jose, CA and recently named the #1 hotel in San Jose by Conde Nast Traveler, and #2 in San Jose by US News & World Report and one of the Top 100 Hotels in the World by Expedia. The romantic atmosphere of this hidden oasis is the perfect destination for honeymooners to retreat together.
Two of the hotel’s packages are perfect for couples who have just tied the knot. The Romantic Getaway Package includes sparkling wine and chocolate covered strawberries upon arrival, dessert for two in Oveja Negra, the hotel’s on-site “unruly tapas” restaurant and complimentary deluxe breakfast for two. The De-stress & Diffuse Package includes: Sparkling water and fruit plate upon arrival, saje ultrasonic diffuser and diffuser blend to take home, saje soothing bath salts and complimentary deluxe breakfast for two.
Pebble Beach Resorts:
Couples can book an excellent honeymoon suite at Pebble Beach Resorts’ Casa Palmero. It’s about three hours outside of the city and the 24-room estate is just steps from the Forbes Five Star Spa at Pebble Beach. They offer a private pool, wood-burning fireplaces, and oversized soaking tubs are among the suite amenities at Casa Palmero, which features its own luxurious living room, library, billiard room, private cocktail hour each evening and a personal coordinator to customize every aspect of guests’ stay. The resort offers exploring the incredible natural beauty of Pebble Beach and the Monterey Peninsula, golf on Pebble Beach Golf Links, which is the number one public golf course in America.
Napa Valley: Napa Valley is a great day trip to fit into your SF honeymoon. The beautiful wine region is perfect for honeymooners and ensures plenty of adventure and wonderfully selected wines. The easiest way to get from San Francisco to Napa is to take the San Francisco Bay Ferry from Fisherman’s Wharf Pier 41 to Vallejo. From Vallejo, you can connect with the napa valley vine busy system, or call an uber to explore all your new favorite romantic wineries. The ferry and bus travel will be about an hour longer than the drive, which is two hours. But if you’ve got a day to kill and want to spend some time on the water… why not?
Pebble Beach: Getting to Pebble Beach by car takes about three hours and is totally worth the drive. The breathtaking resort coupled with the inclusive activities and the number one public golf course in America is a great idea. Unfortunately, there isn’t a public transportation option to get honeymooners between the two places, so renting a car is the best option.
Yosemite: The famous, scenic National Park is only three hours away from San Francisco. Because Yosemite is so big and offers so much adventure for honeymooners, I’d suggest doing more than just a day trip. Dylan’s Tours offers a bus ride from Yosemite to San Francisco and back again. It takes about four hours but renting a car and planning a few separate days for the park is a great idea so you can see all that Yosemite has to offer.
Monterey: Beautiful Monterey is located on California’s rugged coast and it’s famous for its aquarium. It’s only about two and a half hours to get from San Francisco to Monterey. Dylan’s Tours also offers a bus ride both ways and is perfect for a day trip.
Carmel by the sea: Carmel-by-the-Sea is a small beach town on California’s Monterey Peninsula that takes about three and a half hours to get to when driving and about five hours by bus. The beach town is well known for its museums, libraries, fairy-tale like cottages and cute shopping centers. This is the perfect day retreat out of the fast paced city life into some tranquil waterside relaxation that is perfect for honeymooners.