By Brittany Doohan
1. DIY Wine Bar Tour
Do you and your partner consider yourself wineos? Take yourself on a little tour of all the great wine bars in the Castro! Start at Canela (2272 Market Street) where you can get a great Spanish-style meal paired with one of their spectacular wines that they’ve hand-selected from different parts of the world. Then head to Swirl on Castro (572 Castro Street) and try any three of their 20 rotating offerings. After that, finish off your evening at Blush! (476 Castro Street) to experience a cool relaxing vibe, a wide variety of European wines and live music!
2. Get Kiddie With It
Need a break from your adult responsibilities? Maybe it’s time to escape them and unleash your inner child with your partner. While the day is fresh and warm, head over to the Seward Street Slides (Seward & Douglass Streets)! Bring a piece of cardboard, wear sturdy pants, and prepare for a joyous ride. After all that fun in the sun, head over to Hot Cookie (407 Castro Street) and treat yourself to something sweet. With a cookie in hand, then head over to Whatever... (548 Castro Street) for a huge selection of comic books and fun toys.
3. Get a Couples Massage
There’s nothing like releasing the stresses of the week with a relaxing massage — especially with your partner! Check out Groupon for some local deals or hit up one of the Castro’s many spas (like M Spa or The Lotus Touch) to get your hour (or two or three!) of serenity.
4. Make Dinner with Local Ingredients
Head to your local Castro Farmers’ Market or grocery store and pick out some fresh ingredients (and a bottle of wine) to make a delicious dinner for you and your sweetie. Some great local stores include: Mollie Stone’s (4201 18th Street), Fenway Market (4686 18th Street), Bi-Rite Market (3639 18th Street), Buffalo Whole Food and Grain Co. (598 Castro Street), and the Castro Farmer’s Market (through March-December: http://goo.gl/9W3qPP).
5. Picnic at Dolores Park
If you’d rather soak up some sun on your date, you can pick up some ready-to-eat goodies at the local markets and have a picnic in the park instead. Dolores Park is the Castro's favorite place to celebrate, relax, picnic and enjoy great views. With plenty of food close by and lots of people-watching opportunities, you could stay here all day! Read more about Dolores Park: http://goo.gl/0KnFIC
6. Take a Historical Castro Walking Tour
Lace up those sneaks, grab your lover and take a lovely walking tour through the heart of San Francisco’s LGBTQ community. With this step-by-step guide, you can learn about the history of Castro, San Francisco while getting an afternoon of leisurely exploration. (Plus, you’ll burn a bunch of calories so you can feast at all the famous Castro District restaurants afterwards!) Take the tour: http://goo.gl/NoYC6D
If you feel like walking a little more, take a hike at one of these beautiful Castro hiking spots: http://goo.gl/wiMkSD
7. Picnic at Dusk and a Free Outdoor Movie
Starting in June until September, Film Night In The Park holds an annual summer film festival at Dolores Park showing favorite flicks new and old. Admission is free but they do encourage donations. Goodies like drinks, candy and popcorn are available at all screenings, but it’s fun to bring your own, too! Arrive by 8pm and be sure to bring blankets and pillows so you can cuddle up with your S.O. More information: http://www.filmnight.org
8. Grab Dinner and Watch a Classic Flick at Castro Theatre
Grab some dinner at one of the Castro’s hottest restaurants [http://goo.gl/4WmA09] and then catch a movie at Castro Theatre. The gorgeous Castro Theatre was built in 1922 and is the Castro hotspot for classic movies and Disney sing-alongs! Learn more: http://goo.gl/Y2Y0Si
[Photos: sabmiller.com, sfgate.com, cityluxbeauty.co.uk]