If the sight of heart-shaped chocolate boxes and Cupid cut-outs make you wince, then read no further. This is a tribute to the lovers, not the haters. Commercialism be damned. We will take any excuse to sprinkle rose petals in our bathtubs, uncork champagne after riding a bicycle built for two and stretch our hands across a red-and-white checkered tablecloth, lit by a single candle. Wipe away that cynicism and indulge your heart and loved ones in a Valentine’s Day worthy of a soap opera. We believe San Francisco is for lovers.
Best place for a first kiss
MODERN: On the deck of a Hornblower yacht. Sure, it’s cold. But between the twinkling of the city skyline and the restlessness of the Bay, here’s a smooch you’ll never forget. www.hornblower.com
SOMETHING DIFFERENT: Fort Point. The military fort planted directly underneath the Golden Gate Bridge is deliciously eerie at night, sending chills up anyone’s spine. You’re bound to embrace.
Best place to propose
TRADITIONAL: Ocean Beach. The waves at your feet, the crackling bonfires — how could you say no?
MODERN: Union Square. The hustle-bustle, the spray-painted street performers and the smell of the hot-dog cart. This is true love.
SOMETHING DIFFERENT: SFMoMA. There you are in front of Matthew Barney’s Repressia exhibit, and it’s oh, so quiet and it’s oh, so still, and it’s oh, so shiny, and, yes, we will! 151 Third St.
Most romantic spot
TRADITIONAL: Boat on Stow Lake. Sigh. It’s love, hook, line and sinker. Golden Gate Park
MODERN: Washington Square Park. Where wedding bells begin to ring, namely from Saints Peter and Paul Church. North Beach
SOMETHING DIFFERENT: Wave Organ. This sculpture of tombstones has heart-stopping views and an essence of abandon. At the end of Yacht Road
Best spot to see the stars
TRADITIONAL: Randall Museum. In Corona Heights, star-gazing is heavenly. That’s why the San Francisco Amateur Astronomers meet here. 199 Museum Way
MODERN: Yerba Buena Gardens. The din of city life is the perfect backdrop. Fourth and Mission streets
SOMETHING DIFFERENT: American Conservatory Theater. The stars always come out at this San Francisco theater company. 415 Geary St.
Most romantic takeout
MODERN: Delessio. Take your picnic basket to this gourmet deli, fill it with artisan cheese and don’t forget the dessert. www.delissiomarket.com
SOMETHING DIFFERENT: Westfield food court. Bring home a buffet reminiscent of suburbia. 865 Market St.
Best romantic stroll
TRADITIONAL: Lovers’ Lane Presidio. This one-mile walk takes hand-holders through some of the prettiest stretches of the Presidio. Entrance at Funston Avenue and Presidio Boulevard
MODERN: Aquatic Park. Have a seat on the tiered steps and watch the nutty folks who brave the chilly water. Between Fisherman’s Wharf and Fort Mason
SOMETHING DIFFERENT: Sutro Baths. These ruins were once an architectural marvel. www.sutrobaths.com
Best place for chocolates
TRADITIONAL: Ghirardelli Square. Why yes, I’ll take the chocolates in the tin cable car. 900 North Point St.
MODERN: Cocoa Bella. Confectioners from around the world meanyour love has never been so intercontinental. 2102 Union St.; Westfield Centre
SOMETHING DIFFERENT: Christopher Elbow. Miniature pieces of edible art; it’s bittersweet when you finally break down and indulge in the lavender caramel or the bourbon pecan. 401 Hayes St.
Best place for a twilight picnic
TRADITIONAL: Conservatory of Flowers. Bask in the splendor of this glass palace and take in the sweet smells of the botanicals. Golden Gate Park
MODERN: Bench on the Embarcadero. The sun is setting, the bridges are aglow and the joggers and tourists make for excellent people-watching.
Best venue for making music
Traditional: San Francisco Symphony. Only the hardened cannot be swept up by the magic that is the symphony, from the amazing performances to intermission on the mezzanine. 201 Van Ness Ave.
MODERN: Yoshi’s. Now sporting a new San Francisco location in the Fillmore district, nothing swings more than catching a show and dinner at this sleek jazz club. 1330 Fillmore St.
SOMETHING DIFFERENT: The Mint. If it’s your dream to woo your loved one with song — or be wooed by your loved one with song — this karaoke bar might make both dreams come true. 1942 Market St.
Best place to share a drink
TRADITIONAL: Top of the Mark. The 19th floor and a menu that lists more than 100 martinis; if you forget this night, it won’t be so bad. 999 California St. (at the Intercontinental Mark Hopkins Hotel)
MODERN: Rooftop deck of Medjool. Under heat lamps and beside urban hipsters, take in the Mission district’s graffiti-splashed walls. 2522 Mission St.
SOMETHING DIFFERENT: Asia SF. It doesn’t get more San Francisco than a nightclub that’s been going strong for a decade and bills itself as hosting the world’s greatest gender illusionists. 201 Ninth St.