16 Romantic Date Ideas in San Diego That Aren’t Going to a Restaurant

As Valentine’s Day approaches, there’s no denying that love is in the air! If you’re looking for the perfect romantic date ideas in San Diego that aren’t the typical routine, we’ve got you covered!

Step up your Valentine’s Day game this year by planning a unique experience that your special someone will remember forever. After all, San Diego is home to lots of romantic potential!

Check out these suggestions for a date that will sweep your other half off his or her feet.

Choose Your Own Adventure At Balboa Park

There’s something for everyone at Balboa Park, the absolute gem of our city. Whether you’re in the mood for an artsy date at one of the park’s many museums or an outdoorsy outing strolling hand-in-hand, admiring the beautiful gardens and century-old architecture, you can find everything you need for a romantic time here. Pack a picnic to enjoy in a secluded section of the park, get cultured at the San Diego Museum of Art, or catch a play at the Old Globe Theatre.

Take a Gondola Ride in Coronado

Venice is one of the most romantic cities in the world, and the gondola-filled waterways are an iconic image of love. Luckily, you don’t have to fly across the world to experience the romance of Venice. Instead, you can take your loved one for a gondola ride in Coronado by The Gondola Company.

Charter a private cruise for two or make it a double or triple date, as gondolas can accommodate up to six people for the 50-minute excursion. Cuddle up under a cozy blanket and bring your favorite beverage, or add a bottle of wine to your package for an extra cost. Want to add some additional ambiance? Upgrade to the musical option and enjoy the sounds of either a mandolin or violin player. Reservations are required and prices vary by day.

Indulge in a Couple’s Massage

San Diego is home to many incredible spas that offer romantic couple’s massage packages for Valentine’s Day. Visit the Spa Pendry in the Gaslamp for the Romance Couple’s Massage, which includes chocolates, a romantic beverage, and side-by-side foot soaks, followed by the 90-minute Love Fusion massage in a candlelit, rose petal-strewn couple’s suite.

Choose from several couple’s spa experiences at the Spa at Rancho Valencia in Rancho Sante Fe, including the Lovers Ritual and the Sensual Plunge. Both include a relaxing soak followed by a couple’s massage, but the Ritual also features a warm sunbake with essential oils and clay.

Or check out the spa specials at Estancia La Jolla, which has an incredible spa to go right along with the exceptional service and setting of the hotel – you can’t help but leave feeling relaxed!

Enjoy the Stunning Views of the City

Since we’re lucky enough to live in San Diego, which is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cities in the country, we might as well take advantage of it.

Hike or drive to one of the many vantage points and treat your special someone to a bird’s eye view of America’s Finest City. Try Cowles Mountain for a true outdoorsy experience, or give Kate Sessions Park a go for a less intensive workout with equally impressive views.

Bonus points if you can time your adventure to coincide with the sunset.

Act Like a Tourist and Plan a Staycation

People travel to San Diego from all over the world, but it can be easy to take our lovely city for granted when it’s our day-to-day life.

Don’t let it happen! Act like a tourist and book a staycation at one of the amazing luxury hotels in San Diego.

Book a room at the Pendry or The Guild and enjoy being in the center of all the downtown action. Or stay at what we think is one of the most romantic hotels in the area, the very European-feeling La Valencia hotel overlooking the cliffs in La Jolla.

If the beach is more your scene, San Diego has tons of incredible oceanfront properties, including L’Auburge in Del Mar, Catamaran Hotel Resort and Spa in Mission Bay, or the beautiful Alila Marea Resort in Encinitas.

Or you can really make an impression and book a stay at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar, the highest-rated luxury hotel in California.

Book a Harbor Cruise

Set sail on a harbor cruise for a romantic date on the water with the stunning San Diego skyline as a backdrop. You can opt for a casual daytime sightseeing cruise or a more formal dinner cruise.

Legend says that kissing under the Coronado Bridge will bring good luck, so be sure to steal a smooch when you cruise under the bridge!

Go Back In Time At The Hotel Del Coronado

For over a century, the Hotel Del Coronado has beckoned lovers from near and far to escape within its charming seaside walls.

If booking a room at the resort is a bit too pricey for your budget, you can still get lost in the romance of the historic building. Grab a drink and listen to live music in the old-fashioned Babcock and Story Bar, or indulge in a luxurious couples’ spa treatment.

Of course, there’s also the prime opportunity for a sunset walk on the beach too.

Visit A Winery

While Temecula is often the go-to spot for wine tasting, there are some amazing San Diego wineries that make for a great date, too.

The Bernardo Winery, which is San Diego’s oldest winery, is home to a wine-tasting room and several adorable shops with hand-crafted items, and often hosts special events. There’s even Cafe Merlot, a full restaurant, on-site if you’re looking for a bite after all the sightseeing and browsing.

And if you’re up for a bit of a drive, the Milagro Winery, or the Castelli & Pizarro Family Winery, both just 50 minutes east of San Diego in Ramona, are gorgeous getaways with fantastic wine and views!

Go Secluded!

We have amazing mountain towns within an hour or two of San Diego that make for the perfect opportunity to get away from the action of the city for a night or two! Rent a cabin in Julian or Idyllwild and get lost with that special someone!

And if you’re looking for a unique, rustic getaway in Big Bear, we highly recommend Sessions Retreat!

Explore The La Jolla Cove

The beauty of the La Jolla Cove makes it an ideal date spot. From viewing the seals and sea lions as they sun themselves on the beach and rocks to watching the sun sink into the Pacific, there are sights-a-plenty to see here.

You can grab a blanket and cozy up on the grass at the park or hunt for your own secluded piece of paradise. Then stroll through the Village for dinner and a drink!

Watch a Movie at One of San Diego’s Amazing Theatres!

We are fortunate to have some seriously over-the-top theatre experiences in San Diego, with THE LOT and Cinepolis leading the list! These are NOT a normal movie-going experience…they have reclining chairs like your dad used to have in the living room, for Pete’s sake!

Or take it outdoors with incredible views of downtown and the bay at Rooftop Cinema Club, which is now open during the winter months as well!

Float Over San Diego In A Hot Air Balloon

Make a big impression and book a hot air balloon flight to literally take your date to new heights. Compass Balloons offers daily flights over the Temecula Valley and San Diego area. It may be a bit pricey but it’s hard to beat in the romance department.

Hike Torrey Pines

Show off your athletic side with a hike through Torrey Pines State Park.

By the time you climb from the bottom of the hill to the top, you’ll feel the rush of endorphins taking over. Meander through the various trails to view the flora or hike down to the beach.

Either way, you’ll have a spectacular view of the sunset to share with your significant other.

Bike the Beach

America’s Finest City is known for a lot of good things and one of them is a scenic bike ride, which is why you can find bike shops sprawled around the city.

There are bike routes, from super easy ones like the Rose Canyon Trail, Bayshore Bikeway on Colorado, and Balboa Park to challenging ones like the Fortuna Mountain Trail and Swamis Seaside Park.

We prefer a cruiser and a fruity cocktail along the beach!

See the Animals at the Zoo

Our San Diego Zoo is a big place, so if there’s one sure thing that will come out of your date, it’s definitely that it’s going to last for hours.

You can opt to go on a Discovery Cart Tour for a 60-minute guided tour of the Zoo led by one of their knowledgeable guides or the Animals in Action Experience for an interactive experience, as they bring the animals out to you for an up-close view.

Ride and Play at Belmont Park

With all the exciting carnival rides and arcade games, you will never run out of fun things to do at Belmont Park with your date. Challenge your bae to a friendly game of skeeball—loser buys the monster cone!

See you there!

Nothing is more romantic than someone who has gone out of their way to think of something special just for you…here’s your opportunity to shine! We hope we’ve sparked some romantic date ideas in San Diego—get creative and surprise that special someone with a date that’s out of the routine!

See you there, San Diego!

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