11 Best Romantic Things to do in San Diego

Discover the best romantic things to do in San Diego, California like: watching the sunset in La Jolla or cruising San Diego Bay.
Todd Sarouhan
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Your Guide to Romance in San Diego, California

Dining with a View at Mister a San DiegoTaking a Gondola Ride with the Gondola Compay Coronado

When it comes to San Diego, it’s common to think of the beach, surfing and outdoor activities. While the area does have a wide variety of activities and events, it’s also filled with romantic activities for couples to add into their itinerary.

It can be tough to fit in time for romantic outings while you’re home. There’s work, kids, taking kids to their activities, more work and the list seems to never end. So, going on a vacation or staycation in San Diego is the perfect time to plan a romantic outing or three to make up for lost time.

Koi Pond in Balboa Park
Koi Pond in Balboa Park

San Diego, California has numerous romantic things to do including: picturesque strolls along the beach, watching a movie at the drive-in or dinner cruises through San Diego Bay. For couples who are huge sports fans, there’s Petco Park which features Padres baseball games and other events. For couples who are searching for some relaxation, there’s plenty of lowkey locations to kick back and relax.

Whatever your interests may be, San Diego county is the best place to watch the romance between the two of you unfold and create memories that will last a lifetime. There is an abundance of options to choose from, so narrowing it down can be difficult. The good news is there are romantic options fit for every couple and their interests!

If are looking for something romantic to do on or near Valentine's Day check out our guide for the Unexpected Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day in San Diego!

Modern and bright, let Todd show you why the family-friendly, 4-star Carte Hotel San Diego Downtown, Curio Collection By Hilton in Downtown is one of the best hotels near the Cruise Port. Take a tour around the pool, lobby and more!

Stay at the Carte Hotel San Diego

11 Best Romantic Things to Do

Couple Watching the Sunset and Surfers at Sunset Cliffs Natural Park
Couple Watching the Sunset and Surfers at Sunset Cliffs Natural Park

1) Sunsets on the Beach

Neighborhood: Mission Beach
3000 Mission Blvd, San Diego, CA 92109

If you’re visiting San Diego then you definitely have to plan a trip to one of the white, sandy beaches. Kick the romance level up a little by planning an intimate stroll on the beach during sunset. Mission Beach, La Jolla Shores and Coronado Beach are all great options for beach sunset strolls in San Diego.

Sunset Harbor Cruise in San Diego Bay
Sunset Harbor Cruise in San Diego Bay

2) Harbor Cruise on San Diego Bay

San Diego Tours: 13 Best San Diego Harbor Cruises & Boat Tours
990 North Harbor Drive San Diego, CA 92101

There’s nothing quite as romantic as a cruise on San Diego Bay. Plan a special night out on a spacious yacht to celebrate an anniversary, birthday or the love between the two of you.

Plan in advance and pick-up a Go City San Diego pass to reserve a sunset or dinner cruise on the bay. Excursions are offered by catamaran, sailboat or even luxury yacht (depending on group size). Through our exclusive partnership with Go City San Diego pass, we’re able to offer an additional discount on top of the discounted price offered to the general public. Just use the code GVSD5OFF.

Book a Harbor Cruise
Watching a Padres Game at Petco Park in San Diego
Watching a Padres Game at Petco Park in San Diego

3) A Day (or Evening) at Petco Park

100 Park Blvd. San Diego, CA 92101

Petco Park is the ideal date for the couples who are sports fanatics! Kick back, relax and enjoy a San Diego Padres baseball game while munching on your favorite ballpark foods!

The park features views of the San Diego Bay and the San Diego Skyline, so there’s plenty to feast your sights on! In addition, there’s various other events held at Petco Park, so if baseball isn’t quite your style there’s other activities available! Either way, the trip to Petco Park will be memorable and romantic.

Interested in a little something unique? Consider a behind-the-scenes tour of Petco Park and everything San Diego baseball has to offer. This guided tour includes exclusive access to the press box, dugouts and more!

We recommend purchasing a Go City San Diego pass for the best savings! Available through their All-Inclusive, Explorer or Build Your Own options, the Petco Park tour can be combined with other area attractions such as a trip to the San Diego Zoo, a Whale Watching Adventure or ‘Sights and Sips’ Cocktail Cruise.

Book a Petco Park Stadium Tour
Taking a Stroll at Sunset Cliffs Natural Park
Taking a Stroll at Sunset Cliffs Natural Park

4) Explore Sunset Cliffs

San Diego Parks & Nature: Sunset Cliffs Natural Park
1253 Sunset Cliffs Blvd. San Diego, CA 92107

Sunset Cliffs’ name pretty much speaks for itself. Couples can find this romantic getaway on the far edge of San Diego, south of Ocean Beach and on Point Loma Peninsula. There are around 68 acres of bluffs and walking paths towering the Pacific Ocean, so the view is nothing short of spectacular.

If you’re not feeling up to walking around the area, there are parking lots on the cliff so you can enjoy the scenery without leaving the car. Spice up the romance a little by grabbing food on the way and having a picnic on the cliff.

5) Movies at the Drive-In

2170 Coronado Ave. San Diego, CA 92154

Catch a movie at the drive-in for a romantic evening that may be a little bit of a throwback and bring along some nostalgia! Couples can pack their own food, drinks and snacks to munch on while spending alone time watching a popular film.

There are two movie drive-ins currently operating in San Diego county: the South Bay Drive In Theater and the Santee Drive In Theater.

Head to either of these drive-in movie theatres for an old school, romantic evening that is the perfect mix of privacy and fun!

Beach Boardwalk in Front of the Hotel Del Coronado
Beach Boardwalk in Front of the Hotel Del Coronado

6) Visit the Iconic Hotel del Coronado

Hotel: Hotel del Coronado, Curio Collection by Hilton
1500 Orange Ave. Coronado, CA 92118

Chances are you stumbled across Hotel del Coronado when searching for a place to stay during your visit in San Diego. Commonly referred to as “The Del,” this Victorian era hotel has hosted politicians, royalty and celebrities for years. It’s easy to say that Hotel del Coronado is a world-class establishment and one that should be added to the list of places to visit while in San Diego.

While you might not have the budget to stay at Hotel del Coronado, you can always go there one afternoon or evening for a romantic getaway. Hotel del Coronado is conveniently located on Coronado Central Beach which is the widest beach in the county! Prepare a picnic, go walk the beach and enjoy gorgeous views of Hotel del Coronado.

Book a Night at the Del
Taking a Gondola Ride with the Gondola Compay Coronado
Taking a Gondola Ride with the Gondola Compay Coronado

7) Gondola Rides on San Diego Bay

Neighborhood: Coronado Island
503 Grand Caribe Causeway Suite C. Coronado, CA 92118

If you’re searching for something romantic to do in San Diego county, how about a gondola ride on the bay? That’s right, there are gondola rides on San Diego bay just like there’s gondola rides in Italy. While the bay isn’t quite Venice, it’s the next best thing!

During the gondola ride, couples will ride through the canals of the Coronado Cays and San Diego Bay. The ride through the canals is an exemplary way to get some privacy and have a romantic evening with each other.

Fountain at Alcazar Garden in Balboa Park
Fountain at Alcazar Garden in Balboa Park

8) Stroll in Balboa Park

Neighborhood: Balboa Park
1549 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101

From theaters to garden strolls to decadent restaurants, Balboa Park truly has it all. This is the perfect place to plan an entire date day because there is so much to do!

Take your significant other to walk hand in hand through the Japanese Friendship Garden which features cherry trees, koi ponds and lovely florals. Follow up your stroll with lunch at either The Prado or Panama 66 restaurants located conveniently inside the park. Plus, you can finish your evening with a bang by catching a play at the Old Globe Theater in Balboa Park.

Surf Lessons at La Jolla Shores
Surf Lessons at La Jolla Shores

9) Watersports Adventures

San Diego Tours: 5 Best San Diego Surf Lessons & Rentals

For the outdoor enthusiasts, there’s plenty of watersport rental options located throughout San Diego county. This is a great romantic outing for couples who are wanting to explore San Diego’s beaches and become one with the nature that surrounds them.

Spend a day taking surf lessons with each other, rent a tandem kayak and paddle the coastline or plan the ultimate adventure by renting jet skis to explore San Diego’s beaches. When it comes to watersport rentals in San Diego, there is no wrong choice!

Book Surf Lesson
Dining with a View at Mister a San Diego
Dining with a View at Mister a San Diego

10) Dinner at Mister A’s

Neighborhood: Bankers Hill
2550 Fifth Ave. San Diego, CA 92103

Did you really go on a date if you don’t go to dinner somewhere? Mister A’s is a popular French-American restaurant located west of Balboa Park in Bankers Hill and gives diners a unique experience due to the panoramic view of the city.

Mister A’s is the perfect option for a romantic evening celebrating an anniversary or a birthday. Your significant other will feel “on top of the world” due to the views and exquisite dining experience.

Be aware that there is a business casual dress code that is strictly enforced.

Romantic Dinner at the California Wine Vault and Bistro
Romantic Dinner at the California Wine Vault and Bistro

11) California Wine Vault and Bistro

Neighborhood: Mission Hills
3731 India St. San Diego, CA 92103

For the couples who love flavorsome wines paired with tasteful foods there is the California Wine Vault and Bistro located in Mission Hills. California Wine Vault and Bistro specialize in prix-fixe, three- and five-course meals, so it’s easy to say couples will leave satisfied.

There is an option to sit on the patio or dining room. Each option provides a cozy, romantic feeling that couples are sure to enjoy.

Save with your Go Pass!
Coronado - 90-Minute Tandem Kayak Rental
Coronado Kayak Rental
Looking to rent a kayak? Head over to Coronado's and enjoy a 90-Minute tandem kayak rental with your All-Inclusive Go Pass! Enjoy your ride out on San Diego Bay, and take in the sites. Kayak, paddle and life vest rental are included.
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Local Tips
What activities does the Go City San Diego pass include?

There’s a variety of activities included with the Go City San Diego pass such as: The San Diego Zoo, Safari Park, LEGOLAND, SeaWorld, Hiking Tours, Whale Watching, Museum Tours, Speed Boat Adventures & more!

For the most popular attractions and water-sport rentals as well as the biggest discounts, consider the All-Inclusive Pass.

Use our exclusive discount code GVSD5OFF to save an extra 5%!

Featured Hotel
Carte Hotel San Diego Downtown, Curio Collection by Hilton
Carte Hotel San Diego Downtown
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The Carte Hotel San Diego Downtown, Curio Collection by Hilton has elevated the hotel stay, offering guests unparalleled luxury with a central SD location.
Prices Starting at $162
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San Diego Harbor Cruise
San Diego Harbor Cruise
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USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum
USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum
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