SAN FRANCISCO, February 1, 2013 – If you’re going to leave your heart in San Francisco a la Tony Bennett, there is no better time than Valentine’s Day. The San Francisco Bay Area is home to stunning architecture and breathtaking scenery, world-renowned restaurants, four-star hotels and spas, thought-provoking art, and some of the best wine in the world. Combine these treats and you will be swept off your feet this February 14.
The 49-Mile Scenic Drive – this drive is exactly what it claims to be, from the top of Coit Tower, to the green fields of Golden Gate Park, and the stunning views of the Golden Gate Bridge. Follow the signs around town and you will see the absolute best parts of San Francisco. Pack a picnic and a bottle of wine to share along the way. When you reach the Golden Gate Bridge, keep heading north and drive to the top of the Marin Headlands. The views are romantic, and it is a great place to catch the sunset.
Antiquarian Book Fair, Concourse Exhibition Center, SOMA. If literature strikes your fancy, head to this international book fair where you will find such rare gems as John Lennon’s erotic sketches, the first edition of The Federalists Papers, and even a mini Koran the size of a nickel. The exhibit runs Friday 2/15 through Sunday 2/17, and tickets start at $15.
Baker & Banker Restaurant, Pacific Heights. Celebrate romance with a special 5-course prix fixe menu with mouth-watering dishes topped off with indulgent desserts like “Red Hot Velvet Cupcake” and “Passion Fruit Cheesecake.” Prices start at $95 per person with optional wine pairing for an additional fee.
Personality Hotels: Hotel Diva, Kensington Park and Hotel Union Square. At these trendy and sexy boutique hotels, the words “Cheap Date” and “Va-va-voom” are great things! Their Cheap Date package is a $15 add-on that is sure to get your date to laugh. If you opt for the Va-va-voom package, it is a mere $35 add-on and includes an intimacy kit, bottle of sparkling wine, heart-shaped box of Ghirardelli chocolates, a late check out and 2 blank Valentine’s cards.
Union Street Wine Walk, Cow Hollow. Union Street has a crush on you and wants to show you how much during their Valentine’s Day Wine Walk. Experience the romance of this historic street while sipping wine and strolling through the neighborhood shops. Wine tasting, food sampling and other special treats will be offered on Union Street from Gough to Steiner, and on Fillmore from Union to Lombard Street. Tickets are $20.
WINE COUNTRY/NORTH BAY:
Mount View Hotel & Spa, Calistoga, Napa County. At the Mount View Hotel they specialize in the art of relaxation. Feel the stress of the day melt away as soon as you set foot inside the hotel. In winery-themed suites and cottages, you are surrounded by wine country in and out of the hotel. Try one of the romance packages or sweetheart deals to make your trip extra special. For dinner try the wine and food pairing at JoLe.
Napa Valley Opera House, Napa. The Opera House is showing a true romantic classic film on Valentine’s Day: Casablanca. With some pre-show bubbly and a chocolate pairing from Domaine Carneros and Le Belge Chocolatier, this is a romantic date not to be missed. Check the Do Napa website for ideas for dinner beforehand. $10 tickets.
Safari West, Santa Rosa. For the completely unexpected, try Safari West “Wild Jungle Love” Valentine’s Day Romantic Safari tour. The tour begins with a chocolate and wine reception, and continues with their open-air vehicle safari sex tour. View exotic animals and learn from their experts as they reveal the “ins and outs” of wildlife courtship. Adults only, and reservations are a must. Saturday February 16, 2:00pm. $80 per person.
Taste Route 116, Sonoma County. The collection of wine tasting rooms that formed “Taste Route 116” will host the Sweet 116 wine tasting event for a second year on Saturday, February 16. At the event you will enjoy decadent treats and delicious wines at seven wineries along Highway 116 near Sebastopol. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation. Tickets are $30 per person.
Underdog Wine Bar & Concannon Vineyard, Livermore. Tucked away inside Concannon Vineyard you will find the super chic Underdog Wine Bar. Treat your sweetie to a romantic dinner overlooking the picturesque vineyards while nuzzling up to your wine. Prix fixe four-course dinner with wine pairings: $85 per person. On Saturday and Sunday, Concannon is featuring a special Valentine’s Day flight with chocolate pairings. Start with the decadent wine and chocolate pairing and stay for dinner.
Lindsay Wildlife Museum, Walnut Creek. Love is in the air at the wildlife museum, where they are featuring family-friendly “Wild Valentines” presentations that showcases how wild animals find mates, raise families and above all else, love. Thursday through Sunday; admission starts at $5.
Wine & Chocolate Weekend, Lodi. Try handcrafted Lodi wines paired with chocolates from Brix Chocolate at over 45 Lodi wineries. This event provides an excellent introduction to Lodi wines. If you are already familiar with Lodi wines, perhaps you can find something new. Tickets are $45 in advance and $55 at the door. February 9-10.
SOUTH BAY/SAN JOSE:
Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa, Monterey. Head south for a luxurious weekend getaway in Monterey and take advantage of their “Romance Package.” This customizable package includes an ocean-view room, champagne and chocolate-dipped strawberries, and a $100 resort credit valid at the Vista Blue Spa or Schooners Coastal Kitchen.
Westfield Valley Fair, Santa Clara. Boasting Silicon Valley’s most extensive collection of luxury retail and unique first-to-market stores, Westfield Valley Fair is the ideal Valentine’s Day shopping destination. Their touted “Lover’s Lane” – the west wing of the shopping center - houses many of the top shops for your Valentine’s Day treats. They also offer a mobile app to help simplify your shopping experience.
GENERAL GIFT IDEAS: Chocolates & Sweets
Anette’s Chocolates, Napa. What girl doesn’t love a little chocolate, especially on Valentine’s Day? Instead of buying a random heart shaped box filled with ordinary chocolate, blow her mind with artisan Anette’s Chocolates. Anette’s is featuring elegant heart boxes filled with truffles, rocky road hearts, Italian cherries, wine truffles, fudge and more. Anette is also famous for her brittle and wine chocolate sauces.
La Boulange (all over Bay Area). French bakery La Boulange has whipped up a few delicious ideas for treating your Valentine Day date to the perfect treat. Try their famous Macarons de Paris, a box of their chocolate and raspberry macaroons, hand crafted for fruit lovers, or a yummy heart-shaped red fruit tart.
High on a hill, San Francisco calls to you. The cable cars climb halfway to the stars and the morning fog may chill the air, but you won’t care. Your love waits for you in San Francisco (lyrics by Tony Bennett).
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