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San Francisco's Most Romantic Parks

no cheating no dying - simon and schuster
Photo Credit: Simon and Schuster

At age 27, Elizabeth Weil moved to San Francisco, never intending to stay. But then three days after arriving she met her future husband, and the two started falling in love. There's really no better place to do that than San Francisco. The whole city is so beautiful, so vibrant, so quirky, so romantic. It throws everything into the most perfect light. In her book "No Cheating, No Dying: I Had a Good Marriage. Then I Tried to Make It Better," Elizabeth Weil writes about her life and marriage with her husband, Dan — a story filled with ups, downs, sun, and fog, just like San Francisco.

Here are some of Elizabeth's favorite local spots for falling and staying in love.

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Dolores Park

Dolores Street
Between 18th St and 20th St
San Francisco, CA 94110

I love Dolores Park — just adore it. It's compact, dreamy, green, and it has something for everybody. From the top, there's an amazing view of downtown. From the bottom, you're just a block to the best ice cream in the world at the Bi Rite Creamery. You can sunbathe, people watch, watch kids roll down the grassy hill and erupt in a fit of giggles. Dolores Park is also extremely sentimental for me. When Dan and I first met, he lived a block from the top and I lived a block from the bottom, and every day we met in the middle, where we could sit in the grass near a tree, me in the sun, Dan in the shade.

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Chrissy Field

Chrissy Field Center
1199 East Beach, Presidio
San Francisco, CA 94129

It's hard to get more classic San Francisco than a walk along the Bay Chrissy Field. That is, unless you're crazy enough to swim from Alcatraz Island to Chrissy Field. Dan and I did this, and it was hands-down the most romantic thing we ever did together in San Francisco. Cold, yes. Difficult, yes. But what a thrill to take such a wild journey together, and to end it so close to home.

view of bernal hill from noe valley
Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Bernal Hill

Bernal Heights Summit
San Francisco, CA 94110

You know those spots we all have, those geographic touchstones, the places you return to again and again and they show you how much you've grown? Ours is Bernal Hill. The climb starts just a few block from our house. We walked there with the dog we had before we had babies. Then we carried the babies up the hill, and then those babies started to grow. It's not a huge park, but it's full of hidden adventure — secret slides and tire swings. Along the paved path are a few wooden benches. I hope Dan and I are sitting on one when we're old.

Elizabeth Weil's "No Cheating, No Dying" was published in February 2012 through Simon and Schuster and Scribner Books.


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