28 Things To Do In San Diego For Couples (Fun Date Ideas)

Things to Do in San Diego for Couples

Looking for fun date ideas in San Diego? These are the most romantic things to do in San Diego for couples!

Not only does San Diego boast near-perfect temperatures year round, a sweet spot balance of city life and outdoor activities, a multitude of entertainment options, and an incredible eclectic history, it’s also the epicenter of that much sought after laid-back SoCal vibe.

As my hometown, San Diego is near and dear to my heart and I know the city like the back of my hand. So, as an insider as your guide, here are my picks for the best ways to spend a romantic date in San Diego!

Things to Do in San Diego for Couples

Take a Romantic Walk in Balboa Park

Just minutes from downtown, Balboa Park is the largest urban cultural park in North America and is home to seventeen unique museums, art installations, and a multitude of different events hosted throughout the year.

Casa Del Prado, Balboa Park San Diego

A few of my favorite museums here include: San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego Natural History Museum, and Museum of Photographic Arts (MoPA).

Sunset is a particularly romantic time to visit Balboa Park. Pack a picnic to end your day in a quiet area of the park while watching the sun go down.

Visit San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Spread across 1800 acres in the San Pasqual Valley, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the county. With Africa-themed exhibits, free-range enclosures, and over 2600 animals consisting of more than 300 species and over 3500 species of plants, this park is a great educational experience.

Purchase your ticket in advance here. And for a more unique experience that will impress your date, book a Wildlife Safari for up-close views of the wildlife.

To save money, I also highly recommend purchasing a Go City Pass if you’re planning to visit multiple San Diego attractions during your visit.

Read more: 20 Best Restaurants in Encinitas

Things To Do In San Diego for Couples - San Diego Safari Park

Plan a Date Night in Gaslamp Quarter

Located in downtown San Diego, the Gaslamp Quarter is an entertainment district famous for its Victorian architecture, eclectic history, live theatre, music productions, world-class food, and array of nightlife options.

Gaslamp Quarter San Diego Sign

The quarter is also home to some awesome museums, including the Gaslamp Museum at the Davis-Horton House, and the U.S.S. Midway Museum.

Read more: San Diego Travel Guide

Take an Old Town Trolley Tour

The oldest settled area in San Diego as well as the first Spanish settlement on the West Coast, Old Town is one of my favorite places to go to soak up San Diego’s heritage. With museums displaying the story of the city, boutique shops, and plenty of historic sites, a visit to the Old Town is a great way to pay ode to the early days of San Diego.

This San Diego Hop On Hop Off Trolley Tour starts in Old Town and stops at many of San Diego’s famous sights including the Gaslamp Quarter, San Diego Zoo, USS Midway Museum and the Cruise Ship Terminal, Little Italy, and more.

Read more: The Ultimate Budget-Friendly California Road Trip Guide

Snorkel or Kayak in La Jolla Cove

A small, lifeguard patrolled spot in La Jolla, La Jolla Cove is a must on your visit to San Diego. Featuring breathtaking sunsets, great conditions for swimming, snorkeling, taking a sea caves kayak tour, and even scuba diving, this picture-perfect cove will have you reaching for your camera in no time.

Date Ideas for Couples San Diego

Spend the Afternoon in Point Loma

Point Loma is a rugged peninsula filled with trails, sea caves, coastal bluffs, lighthouses, tide pools, and cool exhibits on California history.

However, besides the aforementioned, Point Loma is famous for both the Cabrillo National Monument and the Women’s museum; the former commemorating the landing of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo at San Diego Bay, and the latter being a must-see museum dedicated to women’s history and art.

Read more: The Best Photography Locations in California

Dine in Little Italy

San Diego’s Little Italy is a vibrant neighborhood filled with craft breweries, art galleries, boutique hotels, cafes, and wineries. Additionally, Little Italy plays home to a bunch of awesome annual cultural festivals.

It’s one of my favorite places to take a date to dinner in San Diego!

Read more: 25 Easy Weekend Getaways from San Diego (By a Local)

Little Italy San Diego street sign

Walk Along Sunset Cliffs

Stretched along the west shore of Point Loma, Sunset Cliffs National Park is a hotspot for people wanting to take in the scenic cliffs, caves, and incredible sunset views.

Things to Do in San Diego for Couples

Read more: Women’s Packing Guide For Southern California

Hike Torrey Pines State Reserve

Sitting on the cliffs above Torrey Pines State Beach, this natural preserve is home to the rarest pine tree in North America, the Torrey Pine, and is therefore dedicated to the tree’s preservation.

The preserve is a gorgeous mix of pine forests and sandstone canyons, and even has multiple difficulties of hiking trails to get out and enjoy. Note that the preserve is only open during the day and has limited amenities.

Read more: The Most Beautiful Oceanfront Hotels in California

Experience Belmont Park

Opened on July 4, 1925, Mission Bay’s Belmont Park is a historic beachfront amusement park. Aside from the rides, the park boasts a laser maze, zip line, rock wall, mini golf, and an array of restaurants.

Belmont Park San Diego Rollercoaster

Visit Coronado Island

A resort city on San Diego Bay, Coronado is home to a wide beach, Centennial Park (that has awesome San Diego city skyline views), and the famous Hotel Del Coronado, a historic upscale beach hotel.

Coronado Island at Sunset - San Diego

Opened in 1888, the Hotel Del Coronado is situated just five miles from downtown and is both a National Historic Landmark and a California Historical Landmark.

Read more: The Ultimate Guide to California’s Pacific Coast Hwy

Watch the Sunset at Torrey Pines Gliderport

Located in La Jolla, the Torrey Pines Gliderport was established in 1930 and is a private use glider airport that was originally used as a soaring site. Today the gliderport is one of the top paragliding and hang gliding spots in the country.

I recommend taking your date for a sunset picnic along the cliffs for epic views of the gliders with the Pacific Ocean as the backdrop. For additional fun, just off to the side of the gliderport you’ll find Blacks Beach, a secluded section of beach that has one of the most powerful surf breaks in all of California.

Note that just about 100 yards south of the trailhead leading to the Gliderport begins the clothing optional section of Blacks Beach so, depending on what you’re into, you can make a beeline for it or steer clear.

Most Romantic Places to Visit in San Diego

Go Whale Watching

From blue whales to humpback whales, whale watching is one of my favorite things to do in San Diego! This 4.5 hour whale watching tour leaves from San Diego and it includes sodas and snacks. They have a whale sighting guarantee — so if you don’t see a whale, you get to come back for free! 

In my opinion, a whale watching trip beats going to Seaworld San Diego any day (not to mention is a lot more ethical and kinder to the animals).

Read more: The Ultimate Packing Guide for Travel Photographers

Spend the Day at Windansea Beach

Located at 6800 Neptune Place, Windansea Beach in La Jolla offers quality surf breaks year round with a panorama of unreal views. While at Windansea, head over to the historic Surf Shack that was built in the 1940’s by WWII soldiers who also enjoyed surfing here.

Fun fact, Windansea was the primary location of Andy Warhol’s 1967 film “San Diego Surf.” Talk about iconic.

Things To Do In San Diego on a Date

Read more: 15 Best Weekend Getaways in California

Hike Cedar Creek Falls

One of my favorite day trips from San Diego, Cedar Creek Falls (also known as Devil’s Punch Bowl) is an 80-foot tall waterfall that cascades into a glistening freshwater pool below.

Cedar Creek Falls San Diego

In my experience, it’s best to head to the falls in the spring when the weather is warm enough and the pool depth is at its peak, and make sure you bring ample drinking water, the trek there can get strenuous.

Read more: Devil’s Punch Bowl (Cedar Creek Falls) Travel Tips

Visit Birch Aquarium

The Birch Aquarium offers more than just a quick gaze at ocean life. They offer more than 60 habitats and hands on interactive experiences that allows visitors to have a glimpse into ocean life from the Pacific Northwest to Tropical seas and everywhere in between.

See little blue penguins, seadragons, seahorses, the hall of fishes, a giant kelp forest and have a one-of-a-kind hands-on experience at the Tide Pool Plaza.

Things To Do In San Diego for Couples - Birch Aquarium

See Live Music at Petco Park

Home to the San Diego Padres, Petco Park is also a prominent venue that hosts concerts, soccer, golf and rugby. Tours of the park are offered daily, including pre-game tours! Even if you’re not a baseball fan, the architecture and set up at this ballpark is something to see.

Read more: Where to Stay in San Diego: Best Neighborhoods & Hotels

Take a Sunset Cruise in San Diego Harbor

Spend a quick hour or two sight-seeing in the California sun on a San Diego harbor cruise. This narrated tour will take you by the Coronado Bridge and the US Naval fleet and provide stunning harbor views from the water. For an added bonus, you may even get to see sea lions sunbathing on the rocks off the shore.

Best Date Ideas in San Diego

Take Memorable Couples Photos at Carlsbad Flower Fields

The elaborate coordinated flower displays The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch are in bloom for 6-8 weeks each year, spanning early March through early May, so this is the best time to visit these beautiful gardens.

Carlsbad Flower Fields San Diego

The dynamic bursts of color created by the lush gardens are something out of a movie. Stroll the fragrant pathways, take charming pictures and enjoy a beautiful day amongst the fields.

Read more: The Best Places to Photograph in San Diego

Sunset Sail Around San Diego Bay

For gorgeous sunset views of San Diego Bay, book a sunset sailing cruise.

Your view will include military vessels, historical landmarks and of course, the peaceful San Diego waterfront. This is a small group experience so space is limited to only 6 people which makes it a unique and romantic experience.

Read more: The Most Beautiful Road Trips in California

Go on a Gondola Ride

Are you celebrating a special occasion during your visit to America’s Finest City? Most people don’t know that you can take a Gondola ride in San Diego!

A Gondola Cruise through the Coronado Cays is your passport to Italy without leaving California. It’s a private tour for just you and your date — a perfectly romantic setting for a surprisingly affordable price!

Take a Hot Air Balloon Ride

The perfect date idea in San Diego! If you have spent any time in San Diego, then there’s a good chance you’ve seen the hot air balloons gliding through the air at sunrise or sunset.

hot air balloon ride in San Diego

This sunrise Hot Air Balloon Ride will take you high above Temecula, soaring over gorgeous vineyards and rolling hills. Breakfast, beverages and wine tasting coupons are all included in the price.

Go Wine Tasting

For a fun date idea, head to Temecula or Rancho Bernardo for an afternoon of wine tasting! You can create your own tour or, for the more responsible route, take a chauffeured wine tour.

San Diego City Lights Night Tour

In this San Diego City Lights Night Tour, you can discover the enchanting charm of San Diego after dark on a 1.5-hour city lights tour. Travel from the city’s Gaslamp Quarter to Balboa Park and the Embarcadero. The tour begins and ends in Seaport Village.

Watch a Sunset from Mt. Soledad

Visit a popular landmark and see the sites! Mt. Soledad is known for the flawless 360-degree panoramic views, it is the perfect place to watch the sunset over the golf course, La Jolla Cove or La Jolla Shores.

Visit Presidio Park

Take a quick trip back in time and visit Presidio Park. This was one of the first European settlements in San Diego founded in 1769. There is so much to see and do at the park, so stop by the Visitor Center to learn about everything it has to offer.

Offering complimentary admission, the museum is open daily from 10am to 4pm.

Have Lunch in Del Mar

A famous beach town in San Diego County, Del Mar offers more than just beaches (but of course the Del Mar City Beach and the Del Mar Dog Beach are must-sees!). If you want to spend your day walking around and exploring, Seagrove Park, Powerhouse Park, and Del Mar Plaza are all great options to explore.

My favorite thing to do in Del Mar is have lunch at one of the many restaurants along coastal Highway 101. It’s a great place to grab an ice cream and window shop as well!

If you happen to be in San Diego during the racing season, The Del Mar Race Track can be a great place to bring a date!

Tour USS Midway Museum

With nearly 10 acres of displays exploring airline hangers and flight deck exhibits, the USS Midway Museum offers more than you could imagine. Aside from the exhibits, they offer activities such as flight simulators, the battle of Midway Theater, and an Aircraft Gallery full of actual aircraft.

It’s the perfect spot if your date is an aviation enthusiast. This “City at Sea” is massive and you could easily spend hours here! You’ll want to grab dinner afterwards at the nearby Fish Market for fresh seafood and sunset views.

Make sure to take a photo in front of the famous “Kissing Statue” along the downtown waterfront, right next to the USS Midway!

Romantic Places to Stay in San Diego

Hotel Del Coronado

As mentioned above, Hotel Del Coronado is a San Diego, not to mention American, classic. With the beach just a few steps away, great entertainment and restaurants, and all the amenities at your fingertips, a stay at Hotel Del Coronado will be just as notable as your trip to San Diego itself!

La Valencia Hotel in La Jolla

A hotel steeped in luxury with a great ocean view, La Jolla’s La Valencia Hotel is a vintage gem that will have you staying in one of San Diego’s most iconic neighborhoods.

Romantic Places To Stay In San Diego for Couples

Kona Kai Resort on Shelter Island

With plenty of restaurants within walking distance, cute beach-vibe rooms, and a new adults-only pool, Kona Kai Resort is a great place to come back and relax in after a long day of sightseeing.

Staypineapple at Hotel Z

For travelers looking for a budget-friendly place to stay in the Gaslamp Quarter, Staypineapple at Hotel Z offers all the amenities and is close to nightlife, great restaurants, and historic sites.

Plan Your Trip

After traveling consistently for over 15 years, we’ve come to trust and rely on a few websites to help us find the best deals on flights and accommodation.

Flights: Going is the first place we check when searching for cheap flights. If you sign up for their email alerts, you’ll receive flight deals at up to 90% off. I have traveled all over the world using their flight deals.

Accommodation: Booking.com offers savings on hotels, apartments, and villas in 80,000 destinations worldwide. You can browse hotel reviews and find the guaranteed best price on hotels for all budgets.

Travel Insurance: We never travel without a travel insurance policy because it’s not worth the risk! We use and trust Visitors Coverage, which we’ve used for the past 10 years.

Let us book your trip! Looking for a Travel Advisor to help you plan your trip? Contact us here for more information!

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