San Francisco in a weekend - suggestions?

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San Francisco in a weekend - suggestions?

Postby Highlander » Sun Aug 11, 2013 1:09 pm

I'll be in the San Francisco area on a business trip for a week (in October) but won't be venturing into the city during that time. I hope to get to the city for the weekend after the trip - any suggestions? I suspect San Francisco is pretty walkable. can you get around much of the city on foot and using the street cars?

I also hope to take a day and get out across the Golden Gate to Muir Woods and I'm considering an extra day to go to Sonoma Valley. Will need to rent a vehicle for that, how is driving in the area north of San Francisco.

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Re: San Francisco in a weekend - suggestions?

Postby bbqboy » Sun Aug 11, 2013 1:42 pm

What do you mean by how is the driving? Crowded but beautiful, I'd say. Are you going to Sonoma for wine or views?
I've always loved driving HWY1 over Mt. Tam to West Marin and on up to Olema, then you can shoot back over to San Rafael on Sir Francis Drake, then up 101, but there are roads everywhere that are fun.
Marin Transit has buses to Muir Woods and other locations.
http://www.marintransit.org/routes/66.html
Lots of hills in the city. You'll need calves the size of cantaloupes. :)
One of my favorite SF blogs, just to amuse you.
http://burritojustice.com/
Where will you be during the week?

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Re: San Francisco in a weekend - suggestions?

Postby Highlander » Sun Aug 11, 2013 4:38 pm

bbqboy wrote:What do you mean by how is the driving? Crowded but beautiful, I'd say. Are you going to Sonoma for wine or views?
I've always loved driving HWY1 over Mt. Tam to West Marin and on up to Olema, then you can shoot back over to San Rafael on Sir Francis Drake, then up 101, but there are roads everywhere that are fun.
Marin Transit has buses to Muir Woods and other locations.
http://www.marintransit.org/routes/66.html
Lots of hills in the city. You'll need calves the size of cantaloupes. :)
One of my favorite SF blogs, just to amuse you.
http://burritojustice.com/
Where will you be during the week?


By how's the driving - just what you said, how much time will traffic add, particularly outside of San Francisco itself.

During the week, anywhere between Monterrey and Sonoma but not in the city except passing through. I'd like to fly my wife out when business is over and have come up to Sonoma for the view and the wine although I admit I am a craft beer fan and not much of a wine connoisseur.

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Re: San Francisco in a weekend - suggestions?

Postby bbqboy » Sun Aug 11, 2013 5:08 pm

Stu's list is one I always recommend to visitors. He's knowledgeable and honest...
http://www.fodors.com/community/united- ... ations.cfm

And don't forget to make a stop at Lagunitas Brewing when you're headed that way.

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Re: San Francisco in a weekend - suggestions?

Postby bbqboy » Sun Aug 11, 2013 5:08 pm

:arrow:
Last edited by bbqboy on Mon Aug 12, 2013 1:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: San Francisco in a weekend - suggestions?

Postby earthling » Sun Aug 11, 2013 9:41 pm

Used to spend a lot of time in Bay Area in late 90s to early 2Ks. Many say SF transit sucks for a major world city. It has excellent intercity transit (BART, Caltrain) but intracity transit is awkward outside of Market St. The cable cars are touristy and not often practical to use, but a charming way to get to key parts of city. There are muni lines to get to neighborhoods and might hit a place you want to go, but said to be unreliable, I never used them. Cabs are fairly plenty but I usually had to go to a hotel to get one, very hard to hail them (at least when I spent time there). I mostly used bus (or cabs) but often had to mini-plan it, had to do more transfers and waits than I would've expected, but that was around 10+ years ago. Most of the time I was based in Silicon Valley area and took CalTrain in, which was very good way to get into city, but ended up walking with more long haul walks than you'd expect for major cities as it was often too many hassles to use intracity transit, especially at night. I'm sure those who know the city well can use it perfectly but for newcomers, transit is not as intuitive or practical as other major cities. I thought it might just be me but it's apparently a common complaint. Might not bother with in city transit. Do the cable car touristy thing and otherwise expect long haul walks or waits for cabs. Long walks are great way to see city first time anyway, but may suck when forced to. Carry a pocket umbrella.

SF is otherwise obviously a great world city and whatever you run into has a unique SF spin. Have done most every touristy thing and lots of locatarian things and it's nearly all good, even Alcatraz tour. While it's one of the best cities for eats, there's still a lot of random crap, stick to what others recommend - but ignore hotel concierges, they may send you to a friend's place or have some vested interest. I've often felt a sense of con/grifting in SF that I've never noticed in other US cities. Hotel staff and other hospitality industry people were actually least trustworthy to me. And keep distance from pandhandlers/homeless. SF apparently lately has had a streak with general public getting stabbed by homeless.

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Re: San Francisco in a weekend - suggestions?

Postby bbqboy » Mon Aug 12, 2013 1:14 am

um, transit? That's it?

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Re: San Francisco in a weekend - suggestions?

Postby grovester » Mon Aug 12, 2013 7:43 am

Hike the Dipsea Trail from Mill Valley down to Stinson Beach.

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Re: San Francisco in a weekend - suggestions?

Postby earthling » Mon Aug 12, 2013 8:27 am

bbqboy wrote:um, transit? That's it?


He asked about getting around the city and I stuck on that line of thought. For first trip in the City that is just over a weekend, may be best to stick to core area of city and even the touristy hotspots (Chinatown, North Beach, Wharf, Union Square, SoMa) and the cable cars just to get a broad feel of what SF is famous for.

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Re: San Francisco in a weekend - suggestions?

Postby chrizow » Mon Aug 12, 2013 9:08 am

we did 5 days in sonoma last october. it was great, i highly recommend getting up there. SF is a great city, my favorite in the US, but to me the main pleasure of SF is that it is unbelievably easy and quick to get out of town and into beautiful and varied scenery. we picked up our car at rush hour on a thursday afternoon and it took us about an hour to get from the golden gate bridge to our exit for our sonoma lodging (which was well past the actual town of sonoma). during non-rush hour times, it's even easier.

as far as the city of SF itself, the part of the city you're most likely to be walking in is extremely pedestrian friendly and walkable. SF is a very small city, but if you're on foot you may as well just limit yourself to the northeastern quarter (or so) of the City. http://0.tqn.com/d/sanfrancisco/1/0/S/G ... rid500.jpg - unless you have a specific destination in mind, if youre short on time you can basically skip inner/outer richmond, inner/outer sunset, and everything south of noe valley/mission/portrro hill, etc. you can very easily walk around this entire area - we did mission, castro, haight, tenderloin, north beach, etc. on foot in a day and a half. obviously there is a ton to see, and especially a ton to eat.

i would pick a couple of neighborhoods or destinations and take an indepth tour of those, but my advice is to DEFINITELY get outside of town and north of the City. SF is awesome, but its surroundings are way more awesome. An easy thing to do if you give yourself a couple of days is to go up to sonoma wine country, maybe doing a hike in golden gate, mt. tam, or even point reyes on your way up, hit a couple wineries, sleep overnight, then do some hiking or sightseeing back into town.

i can get some more specific quick hikes or treks near the city from some friends of ours who live out there.

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Re: San Francisco in a weekend - suggestions?

Postby aknowledgeableperson » Mon Aug 12, 2013 11:13 am

Get a Mustang and drive around like Steve McQueen in Bullitt.

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Re: San Francisco in a weekend - suggestions?

Postby bbqboy » Mon Aug 12, 2013 1:27 pm

I'd have to say, the soul of the city is in the neighborhoods and the people in them. I'd skip all the tourist spots and

concentrate on seeing the real city. The Mission, Clement Street through the Avenues, take the streetcar to
Ocean Beach. Drive to the top of Twin Peaks. Angel Island. Marin and Sonoma for sure.

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Re: San Francisco in a weekend - suggestions?

Postby earthling » Mon Aug 12, 2013 2:09 pm

^That's my taste too but for first visit that's only a few days, is still good to check out the areas that SF is famous for. Ditto with Manhattan vs Brooklyn. A big chunk of the soul and real hoods are in Brooklyn/Queens as Manhattan has become ultra gentrified but for a first visit, Manhattan is probably best for most people to check out first.

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Re: San Francisco in a weekend - suggestions?

Postby chrizow » Mon Aug 12, 2013 2:11 pm

yeah, i'm not saying to go to the wharf or anything...but a lot of the "soul" of SF is in that quadrant - mission, chinatown, north beach, etc. the sunset and richmond are great place, esp. for food tourists, but are kinda remote and maybe don't pack as much punch for a whirlwind trip?

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Re: San Francisco in a weekend - suggestions?

Postby earthling » Mon Aug 12, 2013 11:47 pm

I sometimes check out the most lame well known touristy spots of most any city, once - just to be informed about the city if anything for future reference. Depends on what and where it is. Some view it as a waste of time that can be spent somewhere else, some view it as a detached anthropological experience. You can speak to Fisherman's Wharf because you've been. Where else can you chill with sea lions and avoid buying a bunch of tourist trappy crap that says San Francisco. :)

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Re: San Francisco in a weekend - suggestions?

Postby bbqboy » Tue Aug 13, 2013 12:30 am

I guess. But there are so many unique and beautiful and cool things, people, and places that it seems a shame to waste limited time in (relatively)crappy venues.

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Re: San Francisco in a weekend - suggestions?

Postby earthling » Tue Aug 13, 2013 8:07 am

Yeah, I'm not going to defend going to the Wharf but if deciding to do Alcatraz tour, may as well check it out.

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Re: San Francisco in a weekend - suggestions?

Postby bbqboy » Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:53 am

Yeah, see, I'd much rather go to Angel Island than Alcatraz. Hit the North end of the GGbridge and look out on the gate.Oh well, if nothing else, we should be getting Highlander enthused. :)

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Re: San Francisco in a weekend - suggestions?

Postby bbqboy » Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:58 am

by chance, KCMeesha reposted his SF visit today-
http://kcmeesha.com/2012/09/24/checked- ... francisco/

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Re: San Francisco in a weekend - suggestions?

Postby bbqboy » Sat Aug 24, 2013 8:59 pm



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