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A Breath of Fresh Air: 10 Outdoor Date Ideas for San Francisco

By: The Outbound Collective + Save to a List

There's nothing wrong with a good old fashioned dinner and a movie date. We love movies. And we definitely love dinner. But occassionally--or very frequently--it's nice to take your date outside and maybe even get a little exercise. San Francisco is one of the best cities in the world when it comes to immediate access to the outdoors and there are a lot of great options for outdoor dates right here in the city (or just across the bridge). Whether you're an avid outdoor explorer with your lifelong special someone, or a rookie hiker in tennis shoes on a first date, any of these amazing outdoor dates will be a welcomed escape from the same old thing.

1. Boating at Stow Lake

Who knew you could go boating on a lake right here in San Franciso? Bring your date to Golden Gate Park and rent a boat for a leisurely cruise around Stow Lake. Finish up with a picnic or hit up The Tacoshop at Underdogs for margaritas and, yup, tacos. (Insider tip: $1 margaritas from 6-6:30 every Friday) Learn more.

2. Picnic on a Black Sand Beach

Make the short staircase hike down to this mile long stretch of black sand just across the Golden Gate Bridge for a secluded beach picnic. Stop by Lucca Deli on the way to the bridge to pick up sandwiches and snacks. Learn more.

3. Crab Fishing

You and your date will be stoked to do something out of the norm and even more stoked to be eating fresh caught dungeness crab. Hit up Gus' Discount Tackle and get everything you need before heading to China Beach for a day of crabbing, chillin, and of course, feasting. Learn more.

4. Hiking in the Marin Headlands

A sunrise hike may not be second--or even third--date material, but if you and your significant other are early risers, head over to the Marin Headlands to catch one of the best views of San Francisco at sunrise. For an extra boost after that early morning, hit up Philz Coffee in Sausalito. Learn more.

5. Ocean Beach Bonfire

Pack some beers and blankets and cozy up next to the fire at Ocean Beach. Watch the sunset and when you run out of firewood, head over to the Park Chalet for food, drinks, and live, local music. Learn more.

6. Hiking in the Presidio

Stroll along Lovers' Lane (actual name!) in the Presidio for a tranquil retreat from the city. You'll be surrounded by eucalyptus groves and pass by one of Andy Goldworthy's art installations along the way. Head to the Inner Richmond afterwards for dinner at Burma Superstar or any of the other great spots on Clement Street. Learn more.

7. Sunset in Marin

Catch the sunset and maybe even some waves at this secluded beach just 10 minutes past the Golden Gate Bridge in Marin. If you're not in a hurry, start by picking up Punjabi burritos at Avatars in Mill Valley, then drive through Muir Woods to Rodeo Beach. Learn more.

8. Hike to Marshalls Beach

Hike along the well known and beautiful Batteries to Bluff trail down to Marshall Beach to enjoy goreous views of the bridge and coastline. Depending on how the date is going, feel free to join (or avoid at all costs) the nude sunbathers that frequent the far northern end of the beach. Learn more.

9. Hike to the Top of Tank Hill

This more secluded alternative to Twin Peaks is perfect for a weeknight hike. Stop at the Upper Terrace Market for wine or beer, snacks, and even a boquet of flower, then post up for a very relaxing evening. Learn more.

10. Ride the Seward Slides

Dating can feel very grown up. It’s nice to pretend to be a kid again and you can do just that at the Seward Slides. Do as many laps as needed for the “I feel like a kid again!” to take full effect, then head to Mama Ji’s for authentic Dim Sum. Learn more.

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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