Great suggestions. Carmel sounds nice and I do want to see the Pacific this trip. No swimming though. Brrr.
If you do go to Monterey/Carmel, there is a beautiful shoreside walk beginning at Cannery Row that goes through Pacific Grove to the end of the peninsula. But visit the Aquarium first.
Either the end of the Monterey Peninsula or the beach at Carmel (just follow Ocean Ave, running between 5th & 6th Avenues, west) are great places to watch the sun drown in the Pacific. If it's calm, I'd prefer the beach. The point is more exciting if the weather's blustery.
If you take the 17-Mile Drive around the peninsula, just after Seal Rock (you'll know why it's called that when you see it) look to the Cypress Point golf course on the left (the side away from the shore). If it's morning or evening, there will be parts of the local deer herd out on the course.
There is a large Ghiradelli shoppe in S.F. at Ghirardelli Square
on the hill over Fisherman's Wharf, and a small one on Cannery Row in Monterey. Hot fudge!
At Fisherman's Wharf in S.F., there's the Musee Mechanique,
a museum of coin-operated games and diversions that is an absolute hoot. Admission is free!
There are a boatload of things to see & do in S.F.'s Golden gate park, from the bison herd to the Japanese Tea Garden to the deYoung art museum to the California Academy of Science, which is a science museum and research center. There may be a polo game going on or model boat races in the lake and it's a great place for a shady walk. (Or sunny, if it's cool.)
For a different dinner you can try The Stinking Rose (menu)
a restaurant of all things garlic. Have the bagna calda! Have the 40-garlic chicken! Have the garlic pizza! Especially have the garlic ice cream!! (No kidding, and it's a wonderful confection that starts out sweet on the front of your tongue and bites in the back.) You must love garlic, though, or there's nothing here for you.
in S.F. is a fun place to explore science and marvel at the creativity of people who want to help you learn about it. It's aimed at kids, but as RBB&B circus says, "kids of all ages" holds true here.