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Any San Fran experts on the board?

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Chat' started by Joe, May 4, 2013.

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  1. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    Still trying to take advantage of my wife's companion status on SWA and even though the flight schedule hasn't opened up yet for November, I was just using Oct as an example.

    Anyway, flight is non-stop and under $270 roundtrip.

    Any thoughts? Would you go or is the city just too over-priced? No car, so we would like to stay in a central location, maybe with access to BART & also bus lines.
     
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  2. shifter

    shifter Degenerate Gambler

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    not an expert, but I did live near there for a few years. it's a great city to visit, lots to see. it is expensive, I guess, but not more than any other big city. there's some nice hotels downtown and you can take the cable cars a lot of places. walking isn't fun though because of all the hills. definitely worth a visit if you haven't been there. get some great grub at fisherman's wharf (skip pier 39 that's all overpriced tourist stuff and go to the vendors right near the big ship's wheel statue), walk across the golden gate bridge, go to the observation deck on the Transamerica pyramid, take a ferry to Alcatraz and tour the prison, etc.
     
  3. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    I was there once about 25 years ago when my company sent me to a video computer editing school for a two week course. I drove up to SF and met my good friend's brother who lived there.

    He showed me around the city, as much as you can do in 4 hours, but my wife has never been there. We are just kicking around ideas of where to go on SWA before her companion status runs out at the end of the year. We really would prefer non-stop, no matter where we fly.
     
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  4. smartone

    smartone VIP Whale

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    SF is incredible IMHO... we love it! No need to rent a car, as parking at the downtown hotels is $35-$40 and most things are well within Cable Car, cab or walking distance. If you and your wife are walkers, you'll love the Union Square (downtown) areas. Cable Car out to Fisherman's Wharf and take a one of the boats out under the Golden Gate and definitely tour Alcatraz. SF is a GREAT city!
     
  5. mdee

    mdee VIP Whale

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    Yes it can be a fun trip! Alcatraz was awesome! Loved the Trolleys, Pier 39, The Sea Lions, Fisherman's Wharf, Muir Woods, Lombard Street,
    Golden Gate Bridge, the Town of Sausalito, Union Square, China Town and all the tourism stuff! Do a city tour and use the hop on hop off buses!
     
  6. shifter

    shifter Degenerate Gambler

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    I forgot about Sausalito. definitely go there and walk through the town one day. we went there more often than we went all the way into the city when we lived near there.
     
  7. LucyR.

    LucyR. VIP Whale

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    Buses take you everywhere in S.F.

    Last time I visited S.F. I just took the buses to anywhere I wanted to go.

    I went to China town to buy some cheapy pearls and had fun shopping.

    Every city in u.s.a. has a FOOD COURT in a shopping Mall. You will never have
    to spend a lot of money to eat. You can always buy drinks and snacks for your hotel in a Mini Mart store. You can also pack some of your favorite snacks from home like cookies, fruits, salty snacks.

    Don't buy any tours unless it is something you really want to do. It could be some fun to do that though since you have never been there. You can buy tours at your hotel. Pay for a tour of the city. Look for buses while you are on the tour.

    Restaurants can be expensive in all cities so wait until you get home to eat
    at a restaurant.

    Go just for 4 nights and you will get a taste of the city.

    I am a frugal person when it comes to traveling to any city. But when it comes to convenience I do pay the extra money for my own comfort.
    I will take a taxi back to my hotel if I get super tired and exhausted.

    Look for a 99cent store to buy all kinds of stuff.

    I will be in S.F. next week for one day since I am going on a cruise ship.
    I plan to take the buses to tour the city again. I have been there many times.

    Have you been to San Diego, Calif. It is also a beautiful city with a beach?
    LucyR.
     
  8. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    We have been to San Diego about 5 times and really enjoyed the city. The trouble is no more non-stops from our location and I've become spoiled. I hate connecting flights.:nono:

    San Fran is a non-stop both ways, but I haven't eliminated San Diego yet.

    Our old pattern was to fly into San Diego, when it was non-stop, stay 2-4 nights, then drive to Vegas and stay another 2-4 nights, then fly home from there.

    Car rental was reasonable because apparently they needed more cars in Vegas, than SD.

    Still just kicking ideas around since SWA doesn't open November up until 5/8.
     
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  9. BlueSkadoo

    BlueSkadoo VMB Sweetheart

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    I would take a connection to get to San Diego if it meant I could go to the Grand Del Mar. That place is amazing.

    I have been to San Francisco a few times as my best buddy lives in Alameda. We had a great time driving up to Napa and doing the vineyard thing in addition to all the tourist stuff. It'd probably be more fun to do it with someone who is really wine though. He never drives in the city because like someone else said, parking is expensive and inconvenient. The transportation system is a little more complicated than the Deuce vs the SDX, but its manageable. Its definitely a fun place for a long weekend though!
     
  10. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    Damn Skadoo, I'm am trying to spend my nieces and nephews inheritance, but I have to draw the line at $500 per night at Grand Del Mar.:nono: We've been savers our entire life and just couldn't do that. But thanks for the suggestion.:thumbsup:
     
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  11. addicted

    addicted Low-Roller

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    I stayed at Loews Resort in Coronado/San Diego a couple years ago and it was great. I just looked at their site -rooms are about 300/night.

    Who has recommendations for a place to stay in SF? The GF and I are looking to go this summer.

    Big thanks to shifter for noting to skip pier 39 -overpriced tourist stuff is exactly what I am looking to avoid.

    When you ride the cable cars do you pay by destination/mileage or can you get a day pass?

    Sorry for hijacking the thread
     
  12. walylama

    walylama Tourist

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    I'm from that area and have rarely stayed in a hotel since I can just drive home however, the website 511.org will tell you everything you need to know about getting around anywhere in the Bay Area. You have to buy different passes should you leave SF Muni system and go to the VTA system in San Jose or AC Transit so you can buy what's called a "clipper" card and use it on all the different types of Bay Area public transit.
    Joe, if it isn't in San Fransisco you don't want it. They have the very best of absolutely everything withing its grasp.
     
  13. VegasVegan

    VegasVegan Tourist

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    You don't need a car in San Francisco. In fact, owning a car is more of a hassle than a help.

    Public transportation is great but the "subway" (BART) doesn't run 24/7 like in NYC because it's a single track so they have to shut it down each night for maintenance.

    If you haven't been in a couple decades you should definitely go. It's a jewel of a city. Some would argue the best city in the world.
     
  14. VegasVegan

    VegasVegan Tourist

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    Don't skip Pier 39. It has great views of the Bay and boats and Golden Gate and Alcatraz. That whole area from Fisherman's Wharf to Pier 39 to all the way down to the Ferry Building is seeing upgrades and renovations in anticipation of the America's Cup race. It's a beautiful walk. Watch out for the Bush Man!

    Lots of hotel options but I would pick a place in North Beach or the Union Square area. You can hop on a cable car from both locations.
     
  15. shifter

    shifter Degenerate Gambler

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    I said skip pier 39, not skip all the piers. I just think there's some better piers to go to for the views without all the tourists and overpriced junk.
     
  16. gambler

    gambler VIP Whale

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    No expert here either but we've been 3 times and wouldn't hesitate to go again if we got a cheap flight. Hotels are expensive but sometimes you have to treat yourself. We stayed at the Tuscan Inn twice. It's a boutique hotel, small rooms but very central for walking and very near a Safeway store for liquor and food. We usually bought at least one meal at Safeway and took it back to our room so we could rest our feet and relax. I can't find the name of the hotel we stayed at with our kids but it was a larger room with a view of the Golden Gate bridge, a bit cheaper than the Tuscan but still within walking distance to Fisherman's wharf and the cable cars.

    Staying downtown, there was no shortage of things to do. We spent lots of time just watching the street performers. They were hilarious! Just wandering around the wharf is good for a few hours. We've done Alctraz a couple times and always find it interesting. We always booked ahead for Alcatraz, not sure if it's still necessary though.

    My daughter took the train from Seattle to SF and is there right now. She sent me a pic this morning with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background. Tonight she's going to the Giants-Dodgers game. We're so jealous! She's staying at a hostel to save money but I'm pretty sure you're not THAT thrifty.

    Treat yourself Joe! With those free flights you're getting how could you not enjoy a trip to San Francisco.

    Edit: Just saw VegasVegan's comment on watch out for the bushman. That's our hilarious memory of SF!
     
  17. nhcris

    nhcris High-Roller

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    Very good timing on this thread! My son is headed to SF in a couple weeks for a job interview. None of us have been there, so I will be watching this thread closely :)
     
  18. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    I used to live there and my sister still does. Not sure what advice I can give you, but for something you can't find anywhere else...

    Go to the old Ferry Building. There is a farmer's market there and one of the vendors sells something called nduja. It's a spreadable salami that is FANTASTIC with some good cheese and SF Sourdough and some Napa wines.
     
  19. RH-NY

    RH-NY Tourist

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    Go north to Tomales Bay Oyster Company. Grab a bag of oysters and a picnic table. Great time.

    My favorite restaurant in the city is Sotto Mare in North Beach.

    If you like baseball, AT&T park is an incredible place to watch a game.

    Have fun!
     
  20. chitownjohn

    chitownjohn High-Roller

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    I worked in downtown San Francisco for 8 months a few years ago and fell in love with the city. It’s a great walking town with lots of good pubs and restaurants.

    If you go in the summer, take a day trip to Yosemite. The melting snow produces some spectacular waterfalls in May/June.

    Do a bike ride over the golden gate bridge to Sausalito and take the ferry back after spending some time over there.

    Pier 39 is a tourist area but great for people watching and if nothing else you can watch the sea lions, they can be very entertaining.
     
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