Best First Date San Francisco 2012 - Conservatory of Flowers
Bring romance back to its together-in-real-time, stop-and-smell-the-flowers basics with a visit to the iconic Conservatory of Flowers, built in 1879 and both the park's oldest structure and the nation's oldest wooden conservatory. Much more than a greenhouse, the Conservatory stands as a sensory experience—its heated interior alone will melt away first-date jitters. On display are over 1,700 species of tropical, potted, and aquatic plants—one of which, the Victoria amazonica, a giant water lily, has been known to grow up to 6 feet and can support the weight of a small child. You can catch sight of some kitchen favorites, like banana, coffee, cashew, and vanilla, and buried in the depths of this impressive foliage is one of this country's largest and most comprehensive collections of high-altitude orchids. What better place to start a budding romance than amid plant life's major sex organs? The Conservatory is free every first Tuesday of the month, and has lately offered some extraordinary special exhibits — programs on playground fauna and carnivorous plants that prove this ain't your grandma's greenhouse.