San Francisco advice
Replies: 8 - Last Post: Oct 1, 2012 11:45 PM Last Post By: sfgirl42
Sep 28, 2012 12:54 PM
San Francisco adviceMy wife and I are travelling from the UK to San Francisco in two weeks time for a 12 day stay. The prime reason for the trip is to see Neil Young's Bridge School Benfit at Mountain View on 20/21 October. We want 3-4 days in SF before hiring a car to go out to the concerts and then having 3-4 days doing Monterey, Carmel etc. then returning to the city for final 3-4 days.
For the time in SF I would like to find a mid-priced hotel in a reasonably quiet area of the City but reasonably close to the central area. Also best advice for getting into the city from the airport when we arrive. Are cabs good value?
Finally, I have a couple of guidebooks and have a list of touristy things to see eg Fishermans Wharf, Alcatraz, Haight Asbury, Golden gate bridge. What are the must dos in addition to these?
any advice welcomed
Sep 28, 2012 1:39 PM
1The hotels in the Marina/Cow Hollow district are fair value in my opinion, offering easy access to most of the major sights.
Airport cabs are so-so value - instead I'd recommend the airport shuttles which will take you from SFO to your hotel for ~$16 - $20 per person (don't forget to tip your driver!).
Other sights: it depends on what you're into and who you ask. I'd recommend Chinatown, North Beach, neighborhoods like Russian Hill, Nob Hill, the Mission etc - all with their own charms and opportunities. Muir woods. Baker Beach. Berkley. Mt Diablo. Stinson Beach. Too much to list - but if you have any specific interests, please post them and we'll take it from there :)
Sep 28, 2012 2:37 PM
2A cab from SFO to downtown SF will be about $50 once you add in tip. If you're headed to the Marina/Cow Hollow, it'll be closer to $60 with tip. You can decide for yourself if that's a good value.
BART can get you downtown for $8.15 per person. Assuming you're landing at the international terminal, which is where the airport BART station is located, it'll take about 15 mins longer than a taxi (unless you're arriving into weekday rush hour traffic), and it drops you off on Market Street which is convenient for Union Square but far from the Marina.
Sep 28, 2012 3:17 PM
Sep 28, 2012 6:13 PM
4Accomodation prices in San Francisco fluctuate wildly depending on special events going on or
if it's a weekend (business hotels get discounted.) Hotels.com is a website that will give you some idea of
prices for your travel dates. Without a car, Union Square has some good-value lodging- along with some
expensive ones- so don't be shy and let us know what your budget is. The cable cars will get you from
Union Square up to Nob Hill, Russian Hill and Fisherman's Wharf. so you can get around easy without a car.
I like to stay in the Financial District if it's a weekend as the area is quiet and the hotels are discounted
heavily. From here you can catch a cable car up California Street to Nob Hill. The Ferry Building is nearby
as is Chinatown, North Beach with its restaurants, nightclubs and historical buildings. The gold-rush era neighborhood surrounding Jackson Square is close. Most everything is walkable (except the hills!) and
Fisherman's Wharf is only a mile or so away.
San Francisco's comprehensive website is OnlyInSanFrancisco.com
Sep 28, 2012 6:30 PM
5You mentioned Neil Young's benefit so I thought you might find these addresses in The City interesting--
places where these 1960's Rock and Rollers lived--
The Grateful Dead - 710 Ashbury ( ground-zero for the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood)
Jefferson Airplane - 2400 Fulton Street ( band member lived in this house from 1967-1971)
Janis Joplin - 122 Lyon Street
Sep 28, 2012 6:46 PM
6A quick check fof hotel prices in San Francisco for October 17, 18 and 19-- the 3 days immediately prior to
your Neil Yound event shows very, very high prices for this period. One exception is the San Remo hotel at
Fisherman's Wharf for $98. You might want to check into the Capri Motel, the Royal Pacific Motor Inn,
and the Marina Motel. October is very busy in The City and prices are reflecting this.
Sep 29, 2012 5:36 AM
7Fishermans Wharf, Alcatraz, Haight Asbury, Golden gate bridge. What are the must dos in addition to these?
We really liked: the vast farmers market at the Ferry Building (on Saturdays), and the smaller farmers market at Berkeley (ditto), and we loved walking through the large University of California Berkeley campus - where it all began ...
We really liked Golden Gate Park (housing museums, galleries, and more), Golden Gate Bridge and Presidio, The Castro gay district, The Mission (Hispanic etc district), Haight-Ashbury (as you have listed), a ferry to Sausalito, and just catching all the trams, street-cars, and trolley buses. Fisherman's Wharf is fun just for a short time.
Speaking of transport, a seven-day travel pass is good value, and we caught the BART train into the city from San Francisco Airport (domestic) - not particularly hassled, especially if you travel light.
Oct 1, 2012 11:45 PM
8I just postetd some info on another thread, you may find some of it useful:
Affordable, unique places to eat:
If you're up to walking up a steep hill...your reward, a fantastic view and affordable cafe...in an art college..
Local newspaper listins of affordable, good places:
An alternate weekly's 'best of' listing:
(I really liked Il Pollaio.
Since you're heading down the coast, do consider checking out Santa Cruz and perhaps a detour so you can drive through Big Basin RedwoodsState Park..
The Redwoods are unique and awesome in the best meaning of the word.
You might consider spending a night while heading north and stay at one of the two hostels on the coast..
Piegeon Point or Montara Lighthouse... (I've stayed at the Montara one...wonderful)
And remember there are probably wineries you could visit in the Santa Clara area (and south)...if you like wine.
Hope these prove useful...and that you have a great time.
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