Love is in the air…or maybe that is just because when I head to the grocery store I am flooded with heart balloons, flowers, chocolate, and “I love you cards.” Regardless, its the season for romance and mushy cards.
Maybe it is because Valentine’s Day is coming up, but what better time than now to plan a romantic trip to San Diego for you and a loved one. We won’t get super mushy and gushy in this article, but we will talk about the best date ideas for San Diego.
These spots are some of the best and most unique date ideas for San Diego that you may find. Prepare to be amazed or maybe even romanticized by these “out there” date night ideas.
ROMANTIC DATE IDEAS FOR SAN DIEGO
Are you someone who loves love? Do you enjoy indulging in the spirit of Valentine’s Day? Well then, this San Diego girl has got you covered with some of the most romantic date ideas for San Diego! Read below and book your reservations for these spots soon!
1. ROMANTIC DINNER AT MISTER A’S!
There isn’t a more romantic dinner spot in San Diego than Mister A’s! Book a table outside on the terrace in time to watch the sunset and you’ll quickly realize why Mister A’s is consistently voted the best restaurant with a view in the city.
As the sun sets and the sky changes color, sip on delicious fruity cocktails whilst perusing the menu trying to pick from all the yummy sounding dishes on offer. Service is attentive, yet discreet with very knowledgeable staff on hand to help pick dishes and wines to your tastes whilst not ruining the romantic mood.
You really can’t go wrong with any of the dishes on the menu, although the lobster strudel is the ultimate decadent dish! Enjoy a range of dishes showcasing some of the finest local ingredients as the skyline twinkles in the distance, and perhaps share a dessert before you leave.
This place is the perfect date idea for San Diego as it encompasses everything San Diego is known for. Sunsets, beaches, and great food!
Laura from The Traveling Stomach
2. A ROMANTIC DINNER IN A BUBBLE
This San Diego date idea is a new one. It has never happened in San Diego before and I am excited to share it with you! This fun event is called Dinner With A View. It will be located in Liberty Station on February 6th-March 8th.
If you have never been to Liberty Station before then you are in for a treat! This place is a former Naval training center located in the community of Point Loma. During this event, you will enjoy a luxurious dining experience in a unique setting.
Indulge in a 3-course blind menu by a celebrity chef in a dome. Each dome is decorated with inspiration from a different region of the earth. They are transformed into terrariums with distinct terrains. Each dome is brought to life through different terrains such as tundra, tropical, grasslands, and much more. For a full list of details check out the Dinner With A View website. Get your tickets soon though as San Diego is already 70% booked. Use my code EXPLORE60 for 60% off!
*I have been lucky enough to get an Insider’s view of this new event coming to San Diego on February 5th. Follow along on my Instagram for a behind the scenes look at this event.
3. TAKE A FERRY ACROSS TO CORONADO
What’s more romantic than an evening full of fine dining, white sand, and ocean breeze? This is an iconic San Diego date idea. Board the Coronado Ferry from Broadway Pier in Downtown San Diego and ride over to Coronado Island for a romantic date night. Reserve a table at the romantic restaurant in San Diego, Serea, at Hotel del Coronado for an oceanfront experience and a sea to table fare with a beautiful view across the Pacific.
After dinner, stroll along Coronado Beach hand in hand as the sun sets. Stop along the way to collect seashells or see who can spot the prettiest sand dollar. The breeze coming off the water at dusk can get a little chilly giving you the perfect opportunity to squeeze in close. When you’re finally ready to head home, board the ferry and admire the stunning skyline after dark as you cross the Bay back to San Diego.
If you feel like extending your date night into a romantic overnight getaway, book a room at the Glorietta Bay Inn just across the street from the beach. Once the dream home of the founder of Hotel Del Coronado, this Italian Renaissance-style mansion turned boutique hotel is pure romance.
Now, I know not everyone likes to celebrate Valentine’s Day, so you could also take the following date ideas and use them for just a normal date or even a friend’s hangout. Below are a few options for this upcoming holiday. You can make it as romantic as you want it to be. Set up a picnic, bring some flowers and chocolate along, or just spend some quality time with your person.
4. TAKE A STROLL IN BALBOA PARK
Lovers will enjoy strolling around the cultural heart of San Diego – Balboa Park! You could easily spend a week here, enjoying the lush grounds and Spanish Colonial architecture. There are 17 museums on topics ranging from photography to dinosaurs, plus be sure to check out the free botanical garden inside the park.
Catch a play at the theater, see budding dancers at the youth ballet, or see the famous pandas at the San Diego Zoo. If you’re more into enjoying the outdoors, there are 5 trails, 2 dog parks, golf, lawn bowling, tennis courts, and even a velodrome.
The sheer amount of activities here can be overwhelming. We recommend starting your day at Balboa Park with a free one-hour walking tour given by a local expert. From there check out the Botanical Buildings and Lily Pond. Take a lunch break and savor the flavors at the Flying Squirrel Cafe in the Natural History Museum.
Once you’re fueled up, stroll over to the Museum of Man to brush up on your cultural anthropology. End your day by choosing a show from one of the ten performing arts centers, like the outdoor Starlight Bowl. Whatever you choose to do with your day, you’ll be swept away by the romance of this beautiful park.
Written by Aimee E. from One Chance Travel.
5. WALK AROUND SEAPORT VILLAGE
Located in the heart of downtown San Diego, Seaport Village makes a perfect afternoon date! This little area is primarily focused on its 50+ unique shops, but also offers great outdoor entertainment and 13 restaurants. Live musicians croon from 12-4 PM every day near the Carousel area, and on Sundays from 12-3 PM in the Lighthouse District. You will find a specialty shop for almost anything!
Check out the American Nostalgia store for Americana at its finest, find your team’s flag at Alamo Flags, get spicy at Hot Licks, dress like a surfer at San Diego Surf Co., pick up a tasty treat at the Something Sweet Shop, or buy a cap at the Village Hat Shop.
You and your sweetie can snap selfies at the Koi Pond, get your caricature done at Funny Features, and grab some surf n turf at the Edge-water Grill! There are even horse and carriage rides available around Seaport Village to turn up the romance. You’ll be whisked away and get a great view of the ocean while your ponies treat you to a magical, insta-worthy moment!
Seaport Village is free to enter and walk around, so this can be an inexpensive romantic date that’s close to downtown San Diego and the Gaslamp District. Don’t forget to stop by Ben and Jerry’s for a sweet treat!
6. DINNER AT THE CRAB CATCHER IN LA JOLLA
What better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than dinner and then a stroll by the shore? San Diego is one of the best cities, and there are always people looking for a perfect Valentine’s Day date!
Starting off at Crab Catcher set the tone for the evening. This restaurant is located in the La Jolla Shores neighborhood, and their specialties are seafood dishes from all over the world! The price can really range based on what you get, and sharing smaller plates is an option. Their crab cakes are amazing! Be sure to make a reservation so you leave time to catch a sunset!
The closest beach area to Crab Catcher is La Jolla Shores. Strolling along the coastal path and watching the sunset from the cliffs is one of my favorite memories of San Diego. Be sure to check out The Children’s Pool beach area or Seal Rock for a view of resting seals and sea lions!
If you are interested in a bit more travel, nearby Coronado Island also has beautiful sunsets. Our visit was made even more magical by a giant sand sculpture created in celebration of the holiday, located on Coronado Beach.
Celebrating Valentine’s Day with your significant other is easy in a beautiful place like San Diego! Find a restaurant with fresh and tasty dishes, then burn off those calories while taking in the beautiful colors created by the sun slipping behind the expansive Pacific Ocean! What could be more romantic?!
Looking for other top places to visit in California? Check out this post!
Submitted by Samantha from A truthful traveler.
UNIQUE DATE IDEAS FOR SAN DIEGO
These date ideas for San Diego are a bit different and kinda “out there.” However, if you are up for it you should try out one of these fun and unique date ideas.
7. DINNER WITH SHAMU
Are you an animal lover? I know I am! Fun fact: dolphins are one of my most favorite animals. So, dining with a huge whale, like the famous Shamu would definitely create for a unique date idea.
During your dining experience, you will enjoy a delicious meal on the private poolside patio right next to multiple Orca whales. This is an hour-long experience, but something you will never forget. Advanced reservations are highly recommended.
Click here if you are looking for discounted tickets to Sea World for the perfect date night deal in San Diego!
Give your date night standby of dinner and drinks an upgrade with a cocktail (or two) at one of San Diego’s speakeasy bars. Finding these places is half the fun, and will spice up any date night. Reservations are essential, especially if you’re wanting to visit on Valentine’s Day!
Read below for more information on one of the speakeasy bars that can be found in San Diego.
False Idol: Are you feeling something a bit more tropical? This Little Italy tiki lounge is focused on all things rum. The bar is accessed inside Craft & Commerce, just past the walk-in coolers. Reservations are available online via OpenTable, and they set aside tables each night for walk-ins.
Noble Experiment: The East Village bar is tucked away in the back of the casual eatery Neighborhood, behind a wall of kegs. (The bar is open despite some renovation work happening at the restaurant.) They do set aside some seating for walk-ins, but prepare for a long wait if you go that route. Reservations are available online.
Raised by Wolves: If your honey’s planning some shopping attached to your date night, first of all, lucky you. Second of all, don’t avoid speakeasy bars just because some of them are hiding in plain sight at the mall. Raised by Wolves is hidden inside its retail store by the same name, and accessed via a rotating fireplace. Yes, it’s that Harry Potter-esque. Reservations are the way to go at this one, as they only offer walk-in spots if there’s a cancellation or a no-show.
Written by Agnes from Travel on the Reg
9. HOP ON A CRUISE AROUND THE HARBOR
The perfect place to have a date night in San Diego is a cruise around the San Diego bay. You can hold hands while watching for city sights and enjoy a drink with your special someone. You can take a cruise around the bay and see sea lions and enjoy watching the city line fade as you get closer to the open ocean.
The boat will then turn around and you can see the picturesque Coronado Island. The smell of the ocean air was refreshing and calming. The boat offers snacks and drinks for purchase and is the perfect spot for enjoying the beautiful sunshine San Diego has to offer.
While waiting for your ride, you can walk around the harbor where there are little shops and food stands. You can even time your tour to enjoy the romance of a sunset. This is definitely a perfect place for a date night and Sarah from I heart frugal highly recommends it. Prices will vary, but if you are looking for a Valentine’s experience then use the code VDAY20 for 20% off or use this link to get a great deal on a cruise around the San Diego harbor.
It was hard to narrow this list down to just a few date ideas for San Diego, but living here has helped me narrow this list down for you. San Diego offers so many fun and unique date ideas that you really can’t go wrong with what you choose.
Let me know in the comments below if you have any favorite date ideas for San Diego!
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