BRIDES Northern California: How to Have the Ultimate San Francisco Honeymoon

Updated 05/02/16

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Many couples dream of escaping to an exotic overseas locale for their honeymoon, but planning such a trip can sometimes be as stressful as planning the wedding. Instead, venture to the magical city of San Francisco (no passport required!) and spend your first vacay as a married duo exploring all that the Bay Area's crown jewel has to offer. With its wealth of scenic locations, top-notch restaurants, and numerous places to explore, San Francisco is brimming with honeymoon potential. Here, we round up the best ways to spend your romantic vacation in the endlessly charming City by the Bay.

Photo: Courtesy of Cavallo Point

Where to Stay

For a rustic romantic retreat with a worlds-away feeling (that's still within driving distance of the heart of the city), look to Cavallo Point. Here, you and your partner in crime can take in sweeping views of the Golden Gate bridge, unwind at the spa, take a cooking class together, and toast your newlywed status with a candle-lit bubble bath, rose petals on the bed, and a big bottle of champagne. For a posh hotel experience, stay at The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco located in the Nob Hill neighborhood. San Francisco's historic cable cars conveniently stop right outside the doors of the hotel ready to whisk you away to explore the city's main attractions.

© 2013 Marvin Manabat

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What to Do

The best way to explore San Francisco is by foot, so be sure to pack your walking shoes. Start by roaming around Golden Gate Park's lush gardens and marvel over the exotic blooms at the Conservatory of Flowers. Then, check out the touristy sea lion-filled Pier 39 at Fisherman's Wharf and hop on a ferry to Alcatraz Island for a haunting tour of the former prison. Follow that adventure with a stroll under the picturesque lanterns in San Francisco's vibrant Chinatown and browse the shops for souvenirs. But, if you're craving some serious retail therapy, shop 'til you drop at Union Square. And when you need a little down time, chill out alongside your love with a picnic in front of the iconic Painted Ladies Victorian homes.

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What to See

It goes without saying that the iconic Golden Gate Bridge is the one San Francisco attraction you just can't miss. Check biking or walking across the big beautiful bridge off your bucket list and don't forget to take tons of pictures in the process. Next up, explore the city's impressive collection of museums. For art loving-couples, there's the architecturally stunning de Young museum and the Legion of Honor filled with beautiful ancient art. If you and your partner are science nerds, then a visit to the interactive Exploratorium is a must. Or, tour an aquarium, planetarium, natural history museum, and four-story rainforest inside the wondrous California Academy of Sciences.

Photo: Courtesy of Foreign Cinema via Facebook

Where to Eat

San Francisco is arguably one of the best food cities ever. Some must-visit spots include the bustling Ferry Building — a true food lover's paradise. Arrive hungry and dig into clam chowder and oysters at Hog Island. For a romantic newlywed dinner, head to the Paris-style bistro Cafe Jacqueline and share one of their signature soufflés with your new hubby. Or, enjoy a decadent dinner and a classic movie at Foreign Cinema. Whatever you do, don't end your honeymoon in San Francisco without a stop at the cult-favorite Mr. Holmes Bakehouse to indulge guilt-free in a mouthwatering cruffin — a deliciously fluffy muffin-meets-croissant pastry.

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