UNITED STATES—When it comes to dating in San Francisco, there is an abundance of potential destinations that will make for a memorable experience, from wonderful restaurants to wineries, concert venues to scenic parks. But if you’re looking for a more unusual activity, how about using the movies as a backdrop to your date? San Francisco has been used as the background to countless films over the years, with many of the iconic locations instantly recognizable. So why don’t you invite your date to visit some of these, relive the classic scenes, then move on to wining and dining?
Golden Gate Bridge
You can start your tour at the city’s most iconic location of all, the golden gate bridge. This towering structure has been featured in many films over the years. It also provides amazing sweeping views of the city and beyond. This backdrop was used to particular effect by director Alfred Hitchcock in his psychological thriller, Vertigo (1958). Starring Kim Novak and James Stewart, San Francisco Bay is frequently seen in the background. During one pivotal scene, Kim Novak’s character, Madeline, jumps into the river, although James Stewart’s detective, Scottie, overcomes his fear of heights to save her. This action takes part at Fort Point, built around the time of the American Civil War to provide a coastal defense against attack by Confederate or foreign forces.
The Golden Gate Bridge has also featured in the recent Planet of the Apes films and has been blown up in X-Men 3 and Monsters v Aliens.
After visiting this stunning location, you could enjoy a romantic dinner at the nearby Eureka Restaurant, where the Cajun and creole dishes are especially recommended.
Palace of Fine Arts
The late, great Robin Williams was a mercurial comic talent, and one of his most famous roles was the eponymous Mrs. Doubtfire, the Scottish housekeeper alter-ego of recently-divorced voice actor Daniel. The whole film was set in Frisco, with the main location for the action taking place at 2640 Steiner Street in the Pacific Heights area. This area offers commanding views of the Bay, looking over Alcatraz. It is also close to the Palace of Fine Arts.
After you have checked out the scene of so many of Mrs. Doubtfire’s madcap adventures, head over here with your partner to soak up the art exhibits. This presents a beautiful stage for any date, with lagoons and walkways providing tranquil scenery. In the evening the building is lit by floodlights.
Various other films have featured the Palace of Fine Arts, including Time After Time (1979), a sci-fi thriller starring Malcolm McDowell and Mary Steenburgen, and Mike Myers and Nancy Travis’s black comedy, So I Married An Axe Murderer (1993).
San Francisco’s notorious island prison has featured in several Hollywood films, notably the action thriller The Rock (1996), starring Sean Connery and Nicholas Cage. While it has housed some of the country’s most dangerous felons over the decades, it is now a National Park and popular tourist attraction.
One of the cells was featured in the Clint Eastwood movie Escape From Alcatraz (1979), where you can see where concrete was chipped away during the action.
Perhaps it might not seem an obvious first-choice as a romantic destination, but then again, surely unusual and quirky are far-preferable date choices than boring or conventional. It can be fun finding out some of the stories centered on this establishment prior to its 1963 closure. After your unusual history lesson, once the ferry has returned you to the city you are spoilt for choice with eating places around the extensive wharf area.