Most Romantic Things To Do in San Diego
San Diego has so many cool things to do, it is not hard to come up with a fun and romantic date night that is a bit more inspirational than dinner and a movie. Our San Diego date ideas will help you plan the perfect romantic date night with your special someone, no matter what your budget and interests are.
UPDATE: Please note that some of the ideas are currently closed or have changed their offers due to the current health regulations. Please take a look at their websites to find the latest details.
Cheap or Free San Diego Date Ideas
Romance does not have to be expensive. I always tell my husband that a thought-full date that he put a bit of planning and effort into, will make me swoon much more than a dinner at a fancy restaurant.
There are plenty of cheap or even free things to do in San Diego that will make for a memorable date that won’t break the bank. These activities below are free or under $30/ per person.
Fly a Kite at Seaport Village
Seaport Village still has its touristy-kitschy charm that no-one can resist. Take your date out to the waterfront promenade, get some ice cream, and fly a kite in the park overlooking the beautiful San Diego Bay.
Bring a blanket, maybe some drinks and snacks, and enjoy the beautiful SoCal weather. Show your date how to do some awesome flips and moves with your kite, or just watch the other kiters do their magic.
Murder Mystery Tour in the Gaslamp Quarter Downtown
This fun and scary tour takes you on a walk around the beautiful Gaslamp Quarter downtown. You will hear a lot about the gritty history of the old (and not so old) days, from brothels, bars, and brawls to gruesome murders, ghost stories, and much more.
Drive-in Movies – Always a Classic
A Drive-in movie is a fun twist to an always popular classic. Show your date that you are fun and unique. but with a classy base. Extra points, if you pick your date up in a classy car with a big back seat (wink wink).
Picnic at Sunset Cliffs
Pack up a basket, a blanket, and some pillows and take your date to one of the most romantic picnic spots in San Diego – Sunset Cliffs. Overlooking the Pacific Ocean, you can relax, unwind, and get to know each other.
If you bring your own picnic supplies, this is a super low-cost option, but if you want to splurge, you can also get a little help. PopUpPicnic offers to organize and set everything up for you. I am in LOVE with the Boho style picnic!!!
Play in the Tide Pools in La Jolla
Channel your inner marine biologist and take your date to the Tide Pools in La Jolla. Climb around the rocks, play in the water, and see how many critters you can spot.
This place is usually pretty crowded with families and kids, so I recommend going later in the day and best during the week for a more quiet atmosphere. Then, watch the sun go down on the horizon.
Go Mural Hunting at Chicano Park
If you and your date like Street Art and murals, you HAVE to go to Chicano Park, right between downtown and Barrio Logan. I recommend going during a sunny day, as the colors of the paintings seem to pop even more.
Afterward, take your date to Las Cuatro Milpas for some of the best tamales in San Diego. This family-operated gem has been around since 1933 and a great place to check if your date’s got good taste! Make sure to get there early enough, as they close as soon as they run out of tamales.
Ghosts & Gravestones Frightseeing Tour
Here is another spookey date idea: you can take a tour on a renovated all-black “doom buggy”. Get transported back in time with such skill that by the end of the tour, you’ll feel as if you’re a ghost roaming the astral plane. This tour is not appropriate for children as the stories told contain graphic details and adult themes. Read our full review of the Ghosts & Gravestones Frightseeing Tour here>>
Stargazing at Palomar Observatory
Yes, it is a bit of a drive out there, but oh so worth it. If you and your date like nerdy things, a trip to the Palomar Observatory is a MUST! The CalTech research facility has a visitor gallery and offers guided tours.
Keep in mind that looking through the Hale Telescope is not part of the tour, however, you can ask all your geeky astronomy to the CalTech docents, who will gladly give an impromptu presentation.
Take the Ferry to Coronado for Amazing City Views
Want to take your date on a bay cruise with a stunning view, but don’t want to break the bank? Take the San Diego – Coronado Ferry! Yes, it only lasts about 15 minutes, but it only costs $5 per person. You can’t beat that!
When you get to Coronado, check out the shops at the Coronado Ferry Landing, and if your budget permits, grab some happy hour snacks and drinks at Peohe’s.
Take a Hike at Mission Trails
Mission Trails is one of the top hiking spots in San Diego County and locals as well as tourists flock to this San Diego Park for lots of outdoor fun. The regional park was started in 1974 and with over 8000 acres, it is one of the largest urban parks in the United States.
With a total of over 60 miles of trails, you can pick, choose, and combine trails to make the perfect hike for your stamina and skill level.
Ride the Coaster at Belmont Park
The Great Dipper at Belmont Park just screams childhood memories, right? Take your date on a ride on the wooden rollercoaster overlooking the ocean, then feed them some cotton candy and win them a huge bear. Who wouldn’t fall for you after this? I know I would… Pssst… don’t tell my husband 😉
Laugh Together at the Comedy Club
Comedy Clubs are awesome. Whether you take your date to see a big name comedian or simply go to open mic night, you’ll instantly know, if you have the same kind of humor. Ever heard of the saying: Couples that laugh together, stay together? Yeah, that is definitely true.
Visit the Whaley House for a Scary Date
Address: 2476 San Diego Ave, San Diego, CA 92110
Phone (619) 297-7511
The Whaley House is known as one of the most haunted houses in San Diego, if not even in the whole of the US. Visitors report seeing orbs and apparitions all over the house during both the day and night tours. There are quite a few ghosts that are rumored to show themselves.
A visit to the Whaley House is not for the faint of heart. You definitely will have a lot to talk about after your visit and will open your communication up to a whole other dimension.
Clubbing with Style: Trailer Park after Dark
To be honest, I don’t like clubbing. It’s just not my favorite way to spend a Saturday night. But Trailer Park after dark is different. It’s like a food truck park, but underground and instead of food, they have cocktails and there is music. It’s a really chill atmosphere, I love the concept and I love that place!
Adventurous Date Ideas San Diego
Go Cliff-Gliding in La Jolla
Nothing gets your blood rushing on a date more than… jumping off a cliff of course! If you want to fast test if your date is as adventurous as you, this is the ultimate test.
On the other hand, your date will be strapped tightly to another person, so if you are the jealous kind, this might not be a good idea. However, if you go for it, the rush of excitement should keep you engaged and talking for hours afterwards.
Ride a Speedboat in San Diego Bay
Speed is exhilarating, so a private speedboat ride on the San Diego Bay is a great adventurous date idea in San Diego. I love that you can ride your own speedboat, just you and your date. How fun and exciting is that?
Even if you have never commandeered a boat, this is still for you. They will give you a detailed instruction and you follow the guide boat around on a fun little speedy cruise on the bay.
Horseback Riding in San Diego
What’s not to love about a horseback riding adventure? This is the perfect date idea. You get to go out in nature, spend time with animals, and enjoy each other’s company. Horseback riding in San Diego is always a good date idea! Check for Groupon deals here>>
Historic Bi-Plane Ride over Downtown
Take your date on a vintage 1920s bi-plane ride over San Diego! This unforgettable adventure is definitely a San Diego date idea that will impress your special someone.
Your flight can take you over the beaches, downtown or over to Coronado. There are many flight routes and itineraries available. Go check them out here>>
Go Kayaking at La Jolla Cove
La Jolla Cove is a stunning piece of coast line, but even more mesmerizing from the water. Take your date out on a kayaking tour around the sea caves of La Jolla.
You’ll get to explore the caves and learn a lot about the local ecosystem, and see some wildlife while you are out there having fun on the water. Greg and I saw a sea lion snatch up a spiny lobster right from the cliffs when we were out. Book your kayaking tour here>>
Go Snorkeling with Leopard Sharks in La Jolla
The best time of year to go leopard shark snorkeling in La Jolla is June through September. During that time, you’ll see most of them. However, a resident population of about 100-200 are always hanging out in La Jolla, so you can enjoy this activity year-round.
The best place to see leopard sharks is off the coast of La Jolla Shores in the La Jolla Underwater Park Preserve. You can simply swim out there from the beach. If you don’t have Snorkeling equipment, you can rent it here>>
San Diego Date Ideas for Foodies
Farmer’s Market Outing With Brunch
Going to the Farmers Market is always fun and San Diego has some really great one. Check out our guide on the best San Diego Farmers Markets here. Take a stroll, try some local delicacies, and then head out to a delicious brunch somewhere nearby. Sound like a fun daytime date, don’t you think?
Go on a Food Tour in San Diego
Food Tours are so much fun, even in your own city. Most people tend to go to the same restaurants over and over again. When you go on a food tour, you get to try lots of new places that you can add to your rotation and come back to for a traditional dinner date down the line. What’s not to love?
Sip your Joe at a Coffee Cupping Event
Who doesn’t love coffee? But most of us don’t really know much about the drink that gives us life every morning. Learn more about coffee, its history, and origin at Achilles coffee shop. They do (free) monthly cuppings, where you get to taste and try various coffee beans and learn more about the tasty bean drink. Sign up for their newsletter to get notified for the next cupping event.
Taco Tour in Tijuana
We we got some good tacos here in San Diego. But when you head down to TJ, it’s simply a different level. Yes, it is worth it crossing the border for tacos. My husband and I do it all the time and love our little mini-getaways.
If you don’t want to go by yourself, you can also book a tour from San Diego. The guide will meet you at the border and take you over to Tijuana and back after the tour. Book your Tijuana taco tour here>>
San Diego Date Ideas for Boozy Lovers
Go Wine Tasting
Walking around the vineyards, tasting wine, loving life – how could this date idea not be a winner? Whether you prefer to stay local and explore San Diego wineries or head out to Temecula, you two WILL have an amazing time. If you want to make it extra special, check out these romantic winery hotels in Temecula for a romantic wine-tastic getaway.
If you don’t want to drink and drive (which I highly recommend!), you can book a tour that will take you around the best wineries in Southern California.
Drink with a View – Find the Best Roof Top Bars
Outdoor roof top bars are special. Somehow, sitting under the stars on top of a roof makes sipping cocktails much more romantic, don’t you think? Here are some of our favorites:
Try Some Local Brews
San Diego breweries are renown around the world and going on a brewery crawl is one of the best ways to enjoy a night out, whether you are going out with friends or on a date.
If you want to keep your date a bit more casual, you can invite them to an organized brewery tour. This option is perfect, as you don’t have to worry about driving and organizing anything. Just show up, drink beer, get to know your date, and have a good time.
Date Ideas in San Diego – Luxury Edition
Hot Air Ballon Ride
Pure romance. That’s what a hot air balloon ride is. Take your special someone on a ride above the clouds and make some really special memories.
I highly recommend going on a sunrise or sunset balloon ride, as the light and shadows down below and in the sky are simply breathtaking. Find a Groupon deal here>>
Plan a Staycation at a Luxury Beach House
A house directly by the beach is a dream for most people. Make this dream come true and rent one of these stunning beach houses in San Diego for a night and fall asleep to the sounds of the waves crashing.
RELAX – Luxury Spa Day
Take your date and enjoy a full day of bliss and pampering at a local spa. From couples massages to pools and jacuzzis, saunas and steam rooms, this date idea is perfect if your loved one had a stressful time recently.
Spend some time with each other and let other people take care of you as the stress simply melts away. This is definitely one of the most relaxing San Diego date ideas on this list.
Rent a Catamaran for a Sunset Bay Cruise
This date idea takes the good ol’ sunset bay cruise to the next level. Rent a private Catamaran for a sunset bay cruise. If you want, there is enough space to invite some friends or other couples for a double or triple date night.
Greg and I went on an amazing Catamaran bay cruise recently and it was so much fun. The company, Triton Charters, invited us on their catamaran for an epic sunset cruise on their Triton Catamaran. This Catamaran has space for up to 105 people, so this would be perfect for an engagement party, rehearsal dinner, or even a small wedding.
Watch the sun set from the water and enjoy the view of the San Diego skyline. That is a date night, your special someone will never forget!
A Night at the Del Makes Her Heart Swell
Book a night or two at this iconic hotel and enjoy the time with your love, reconnect and relax together without the hassle of planning a big getaway. This is one of my favorite date ideas of all times. Classy. Luxurious. Simple. Find the best deal on your room at the Hotel Del here>>
According to Thrillist, San Diegan’s are flaky and non-committed daters and the competition is fierce. I have to disagree. Dating in San Diego is fun, active, and laid back. Whether you are looking for your forever sweetheart or just some fun in the sun, you can use these Date Ideas San Diego to win them over.