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Thread: San Francisco travel advice needed

  1. #1
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    San Francisco travel advice needed

    San Francisco has been on my to-do list for years.

    DD2 and DSiL have invited me to go with them for a week sometime in late January, 2018 which should be fun.

    We are interested in learning about the options for touring around SF, must-see's, transit, day-tours to the surrounding area. I love history, gardens, classical music and art, etc. They are game for more adventure they can drive to as well as some of my interests.
    We are thinking that a home base with two bedrooms and kitchenette would be ideal. I could do some of my adventures and they could do some of theirs as desired as well as joint activities. Where would be a good area to look?

    Any and all advice would be much appreciated.
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

  2. #2
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    I've been to SF several times--mostly on business. When I was a "young" business traveler I took time to rent a car and drive up north, across the Golden Gate to Sausalito, and on up to Napa Valley. That's a "must do" during your week. I've missed the chance a couple of times to do Muir Woods, so that's still on my bucket list.. please get there for me!!

    In SF, walking around or taking the famous trolleys are also a "must-do"--check out the typical sights like Lombard Street, Fisherman's Wharf, Embarcadero (which is where I had a dozen oysters before realizing they don't agree with my stomach and I consequently spent 5 hours from SFO to EWR in the plane's bathroom. Not joking. The entire trip. But the oysters were great!)

    I've been to the SF Opera House which is amazing. Saw The Flying Dutchman there. Maybe there will be something going on when you go.

    It's a great city. I'll check with my friend who lived there for years to see if there are any "off the beaten path" places you should see.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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  3. #3
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    Irish coffee at the Buena Vista!

  4. #4
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    I love SF, its the city I would live in if I had a bezillion dollars.

    When Ive been there, I wander around the neighborhoods looking at houses. Pacific Heights, Knob Hill, etc. Those hills! I got my workout.I stayed downtown (the last time in Chinatown) and walked everywhere.

    you are going at the right time of year for theatrical productions, so I will bet there is lots to choose from.

    I remember walking to some kind of art institute that was high on a hill and there was hardly anyone in it but I don't remember the name of it. Then there is that famous bookstore, City Lights bookstore.

  5. #5
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    We only live 4 hours away so have been there many times. All the suggestions you received are great. WE also took a boat to Angel Island where you can hike etc and then we also took the tour of Alcatrez which was really interesting. YOu can do both things with 1 ticket.

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    OMG where to start. My favorite 4d weekend is SF. Definitely rent a place in the city. Use the cable cars or bus to get to places you don't want to walk to......I've literally walked every street from VanNess/Market to the water all the way along the Embarcadero.

    Walk up and down Lombard. I think it's more fun than driving it. Spend some time in Golden Gate Park, The Exploratorium, Grace Cathedral is amazing architecture, The Presidio, Fisherman's Wharf, the Marina district, there's a great theatre on Taylor/Market (saw the King and I with Marie Osmond in the lead role), must have lunch or dinner at the Cliff House, wander through Haight Ashbury, Coit Tower is great history, Take the ferry over to Sausalito and Tiburon, brave walking across the Golden Gate Bridge? (haven't done that)

    That list would either not be complete or be a very exhausting whirlwind 7 days!

    I like going south more than going north (we don't drink wine). We've rented a car and gone down to Big Sur (must have a burger at Nepenthe'), wandered around Monterey and Carmel...great history, missions to visit, aquarium is awesome, beaches are fabulous, rent a cabin at Pfeiffer for some awesome quiet in the woods

    That's another 3 days.

    Oh I am so jealous. We did all these trips in the early 2000s. Feels like forever ago.

    Have a fabulous fabulous time!

  7. #7
    Senior Member jp1's Avatar
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    Definitely do Alcatraz. If you like wine make a day trip up to Sonoma. Way less crowded and less commercial than Napa. Muir woods is great and will be a lot less crowded during the week. Ride the cable cars. Walk or bike the golden gate bridge. Go to the San Francisco Symphony. Have a drink at City Scape on the 46th floor of the hilton. (ok, that one is a gratuitous plug for SO's hotel, but seriously, the view is insane. Go on a day when it's not foggy, get there a little before sunset so you can enjoy both the day and night views.) If you're into hardcore walking get this book: https://www.amazon.com/Stairway-Walk...+san+francisco And of course go to Alamo Park to see the Painted Ladies.

  8. #8
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jp1 View Post
    Definitely do Alcatraz. If you like wine make a day trip up to Sonoma. Way less crowded and less commercial than Napa. Muir woods is great and will be a lot less crowded during the week. Ride the cable cars. Walk or bike the golden gate bridge. Go to the San Francisco Symphony. Have a drink at City Scape on the 46th floor of the hilton. (ok, that one is a gratuitous plug for SO's hotel, but seriously, the view is insane. Go on a day when it's not foggy, get there a little before sunset so you can enjoy both the day and night views.) If you're into hardcore walking get this book: https://www.amazon.com/Stairway-Walk...+san+francisco And of course go to Alamo Park to see the Painted Ladies.
    Oh yes, the famous Painted Ladies victorian houses! I walked to see them, also walked down Lombard Hill.
    Last edited by iris lilies; 7-29-17 at 7:47pm.

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    I second the Alcatraz tour; fascinating.

  10. #10
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    I did an initial search to see prices for accommodation downtown SF for 7 days. Wow! How is the transit from some more modestly priced hotel/motel areas? Where would I look? Remember I add about 30% exchange to everything but our C$ is looking a little better these days.
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

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