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View Full Version : A few questions about San Fran


ChisJo
04-19-2005, 01:49 PM
Hey everybody....

I was wondering if I would be able to ask a couple questions about San Francisco.

1) How long of a drive is it from LA? What route do I take (the fastest)?

2) Can a person do all the major attractions in this city within 3 days?

3) what are must do's?

4) Has anyone been on a hot air balloon over the Napa Valley, and is it as wonderful as it sounds?

5) Was going to stay in Fisherman's Wharf area. Is this a good area?

Thanks everyone,
Jo

B9erSteve
04-19-2005, 02:15 PM
1) For fastest travel take 5 north then 580 to Oakland, cross the Bay Bridge and you're there. Count on at least 7-8 hours drive time.
2) 3 Days should be sufficient. Kinda depends upon what your interests are, Like any big city there is a great deal of diversity to the city and many things to see.
3) Alcatraz is cool. Most like the Wharf. My fav. place to eat on the Wharf is Joe's Crab Shack. Golden Gate Park is excellent. There are museums that hold a great deal of interest. There's an old Fort at the base of Golden Gate Bridge that is really neat. Chinatown. Lombard St. is now closed to traffic but still an interesting site as the most curvy street you will ever see.
4) I've seen the balloons, when they are en masse, they are a wonderous site. Never been on one though.
5) SF is absolutely over run by homeless. They like the Wharf because all the tourists and opportunity for panhandling. I've never been in the area enough to get a real good handle on the crime level. You may be happier closer to Market St. Although, you'll pay for that priviledge.

ChisJo
04-19-2005, 02:31 PM
I am also interested in doing some walking tours. Can anybody recommend a good company? There are so many, and in one tour book I was looking at, they caution booking with tour companies because they go out of business so frequently.
Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks, Jo

Whiskers
04-19-2005, 02:46 PM
We were just there over spring break. Had a good time - we also stayed in the Fisherman's Warf area. We didn't do any walking tours - just did it on our own. We walked to Coit tower, all over the Warf area - very nice city. However it did rain and rain and rain most of the time! Bring extra shoes and coats - ours were soaked!

Itinkso
04-19-2005, 02:51 PM
We stayed at the Hilton and the Marriott at Fisherman's Wharf and didn't notice many homeless/panhandler people. There were many on Market when we walked from the Cable Car area to the museums. We felt the Fisherman's Wharf/Pier 39 area was much safer.

The SBC ballpark is quite nice if you are in SF when the Giants have a home game. You'll be able to get a lot done in 3 days.

Jamesbyr
04-19-2005, 02:58 PM
Call ahead and make reservations for Alcatraz.(They have a site.) If your trip is in the summer, they will be sold out 4-5 days ahead if you just show up.

Jamesbyr
04-19-2005, 03:00 PM
Call ahead and make reservations for Alcatraz.(They have a site.) If your trip is in the summer, they will be sold out 4-5 days ahead if you just show up.
Oh and carry a warm coat. Temperatures vary wildly from one side of town to another, and at different times of the day.

Mary Jo
04-19-2005, 03:38 PM
1) Lombard St. is now closed to traffic but still an interesting site as the most curvy street you will ever see.
5) SF is absolutely over run by homeless. They like the Wharf because all the tourists and opportunity for panhandling. I've never been in the area enough to get a real good handle on the crime level. You may be happier closer to Market St. Although, you'll pay for that priviledge.


We were there in March, and I was able to drived down Lombard Street -- my son stood & stuck his head out of the sunroof & filmed the drive down w/my little digi camera.

We stayed at the Holiday Inn on Van Ness & California (or Pine). That was a good spot for us - we had a nice view, and the cable car stopped right there. We walked to our hotel from Fisherman's Wharf & that was nice, too.

I also stayed at the Holiday Inn that's down kind of close to Fisherman's Wharf - able to walk to Ghiradelli Square, the cable car stop was right there, and we could walk to Fisherman's Wharf.

We didn't take any walking tours, but enjoyed our stay all the same - it's beautiful there.

AFMom
04-19-2005, 03:41 PM
What we like to do....
Boudins for Sourdough bread bowls with clam chowder
Gharadelli Square for chocolate!
Marin Headlands if you want to see natural coastline
Definitley get reservations for Alcatraz
Walk across the Golden Gate
See the sea lions at Pier 39
Golden Gate Park - beautiful!
while there - Japanese Tea Gardens
Zoo
China Town
For kids - amazing Childrens' Discovery Museum just north of the bridge
Exploratoreum

Get a cable car pass - you can ride all day for one small fee and it's a great way to see the city.

It's my favorite place in the US..... have a wonderful time!

dlgrammie
04-20-2005, 12:05 PM
Re: SF walking tours, the following web site will give you information on walking tours that have been going on for over 30 yrs. They're sponsored by the city library and are staffed by trained volunteers....there's something for everyone....and they're fun!! www.sfcityguides.org

We've also taken walking tours with GraceAnn Walden, a food writer for the SF Chronicle. There's a fee, but she's a kick and knows everyone in SF. The tours usually include lunch, or food of some kind, and she has tons of inside info about SF and San Franciscians. She can be reached at gaw@sbcglobal.net for information on her tours. She's also a terrific source for restaurant recommendations.

Whatever you do, you'll have a great time.....SF is a wonderful city for walking.

cryssi
04-20-2005, 05:55 PM
oh! I luv the Exploratorium! :)

LucyKate
04-20-2005, 08:39 PM
We were there in December and drove down Lombard street - is this closure new? We stayed in Fisherman's wharf and I saw only 1 or 2 beggars - I thought it much less of a problem than in most cities.

The Fisheman's wharf area was superb - a bit touristy but not in a threatening way, and it also meant you have plenty of transport options around (trolley, cable car, bus, ferry). Just be aware that if you take your car parking there is $30 a day.

We spent three days there and would have loved more, but still had a great time. We caught the Powell Hyde cable car up the hill to Union Square, which was sensational and did the bay cruise under the Golden Gate.

But the single best thing we did, without a doubt was to cross the golden gate in an old fire engine. See www.fireenginetours.com or our travel diary description of the trip, with pictures, at http://www.ballofdirt.com/entries/5333/35977.html (hit page forward and page back for other descriptions of SF)

ChisJo
04-20-2005, 09:10 PM
But the single best thing we did, without a doubt was to cross the golden gate in an old fire engine.

I read about this somewhere and was very interested. I am so happy that someone on these boards was able to share their experience. It looked fantastic and now I am more interested in doing it than before. Thanks!
Jo

c&m
04-25-2005, 04:11 PM
When we were in SF, my DH and I really enjoyed the Napa Valley wine tour that we took with Grayline. They picked us up at our hotel and then took us to wine country to visit various estates. It was so much fun testing! At the end of the day, they dropped us back at our hotel.

DVCTiff
04-25-2005, 05:34 PM
Also, if you love Japanese food/culture don't miss Japantown. We love it there!