Disney Information Station Logo

Go Back   The DIS Discussion Forums - DISboards.com > Disneyland > California & the West
Find Hotel Specials & DIScounts
 
facebooktwitterpinterestgoogle plusyoutubeDIS UpdatesDIS email updates
Register Chat FAQ Tickers Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 02-13-2013, 12:40 AM   #1
steves1bear
Mouseketeer
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Hawaii
Posts: 150

San Francisco/Oakland

I need some advice about the San Francisco and Oakland areas. We are looking at flying into Oakland from Honolulu (arriving at night), spending 4 full days in the area, and then leaving the next morning.

What is there to do? We have 4 kids who will be 10, 7, 4, and 16 months. Our kids travel easily and are pretty adventurous. They love anything nature, science, or ocean oriented.

We could get a car, but were wondering if it's possible to go anywhere without one.

Also, would appreciate suggestions for hotels that aren't super expensive, but will hold all 6 of us.

If it were Southern California, I could plan without any problems because we've done it so many times, but anything north of L.A. and I'm clueless. Any advice and suggestions are really appreciated!

Thanks!
steves1bear is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2013, 06:01 AM   #2
PrincessInOz
in
Catch you at the other end
 
PrincessInOz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Melbourne Australia
Posts: 90,391

Are you planning on staying in Oakland or in San Francisco downtown? The BART and MUNI systems are terrific ways of getting around.

Maybe this thread might help with some ideas on what to do...
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2451585

I usually travel with DH and DS; so I can't help out much with accommodation for 6. Perhaps some of the locals might be able to provide more info.


Which reminds me.....I need to update that thread with a few more bits and pieces. Spent 5 days in the bay area in November last year.
__________________

Disneyland - Dec 1986, May 1990, Dec 1997, Aug 2003, Jun 2005, Jul 2007 TR, Nov 2008, The Mad Dash (Jan 2011, Nov 2012) Oct 14 PTR
Walt Disney World - Jun 2005, May 2010 (POR, BCV) PTR || TR, Oct 2010 (CSR) PTR || TR, Oct 2013 Anyone Game? PTR || TR in progress
Hong Kong Disneyland - Mar/Apr 2012 TR
PrincessInOz is offline   Reply With Quote
|
The DIS
Register to remove

Join Date: 1997
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 1,000,000
Old 02-13-2013, 09:21 AM   #3
danaesacto
DIS Veteran
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: near Sacramento
Posts: 659

It is a surprise to many- but San Francisco is very family friendly. There are ferries that go from Oakland to the city as well as BART. We usually drive in so I can't tell you if public transportation is easy, especially with 4 kids but someone will know.

Depending on when you are coming the Exploratorium opens back up in April in its new location in the Piers. The kids would love it. http://www.exploratorium.edu/

Oakland has a small but nice zoo, the San Francisco Zoo is larger, near the ocean and has been recently updated. The California Academy of Science has an aquarium, hands-on exhibits and much more : http://www.calacademy.org/

Golden Gate park has lots of trails, with playgrounds, gardens, etc.

Pier 39 area is a typical tourist area- but it is still fun. Over by the Golden Gate is the Disney museum and Fort Point. A day trip to Angel Island or Alcatraz includes a fun boat ride (buy tickets online and early for Alcatraz.

In Berkeley is the Lawrence Hall of Science and the http://museumca.org/ reopens its new science wing in May or June...
__________________
Amazing Trip March 9-11, 2013
Thank you DisBoard and all those who helped us plan!
danaesacto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2013, 12:17 PM   #4
steves1bear
Mouseketeer
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Hawaii
Posts: 150

Perfect! Thank you so much for the ideas and the thread link. Count me in as someone who had no idea how kid friendly these areas really are. You gave a great list, danaesacto! Everything mentioned are places my kids would love.

We're looking at two possible options in terms of dates. We're actually relocating for 7 months for my DH's job and we'll be flying in around June 5th (give or take a few days) and then flying back through at the end of December with our flight home being Dec. 31st.

I'm not sure where we would stay, but probably Oakland since our flight would get in around 8:30 p.m. Since we'll have a lot of luggage, car seats, and a long flight, I'm not wanting to go farther than necessary.

Thanks again! My DH was a bit skeptical, but you've convinced him it's actually worth it to spend a few extra days in the area!
steves1bear is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2013, 12:26 PM   #5
danaesacto
DIS Veteran
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: near Sacramento
Posts: 659

I love to go down that way for family day trips- and we even spent a 4 day weekend a year ago exploring parts of the city we always skip- and there is still more to do! I also have 2 Girl Scout troops that we have taken down to the city for field trips too- we never get tired of it

You are going to like flying into Oakland- a smaller airport, easy to navigate.
__________________
Amazing Trip March 9-11, 2013
Thank you DisBoard and all those who helped us plan!
danaesacto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2013, 12:32 PM   #6
bcla
DIS Veteran
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Posts: 3,403

I'll throw in a plug for Oakland. I know it often gets a bad rap, but most of Oakland isn't East Oakland or West Oakland. Chabot Space and Science Center in Oakland is supposed to be really good. Childrens Fairyland is pretty fun too.

As for a party of 6, your best bet is to get two rooms and ask for joined rooms. It's not a fire code issue, but usually hotel policy.

Around Oakland Airport, you probably want to stay close to the Airport if your concern is being tired. There are a bunch of hotels near the airport like the Hilton, Holiday Inn Express, . The motels closer to the Oakland Coliseum are in a more "interesting" neighborhood.

One fairly close place for a night would be the Extended Stay America in Alameda. It's actually right next to the airport in a section of Alameda apart from the island. You'd have a fully equipped kitchen and everything. You might still need two rooms.

Last edited by bcla; 02-13-2013 at 07:51 PM.
bcla is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2013, 10:04 AM   #7
gatorfreud
DIS Veteran
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 1,485

San Francisco is great for kids - I know since we live here! Tons of awesome museums, great playgrounds (check the big one out at golden gate park, with old fashioned concrete slide), easy to get around (don't get a car!). We took the double decker bus tour one day just for fun and the kids loved it. be sure to go to china town and visit the very tiny fortune cookie factory in Ross Alley.

Can also rent bikes at Crissy field or just walk there. Tons of stuff to do!

Kim
__________________
Me DH DS9 DS7
6/04, 7/06 - Pop Century
12/06 - MVMCP, Contemporary
3/07 - All Star Sports
7/07 - Disney's Vero Beach
11/07 - MVMCP, POR and Coronado Springs
1/08 - Disneyland
3/08 - Camping at Fort Wilderness
6/08 - Saratoga Springs and SWW!
10/08- DLR, GCH no kids!
11/08 - DLR, DLH Thanksgiving
4/09- Off site
6/09 - CBR and Poly
9/09- DLR, DLH
gatorfreud is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2013, 12:03 PM   #8
bcla
DIS Veteran
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Posts: 3,403

Oh - I forgot my biggest "secret". A custom miniature steam train in the Berkeley Hills, with rides open to the public. The place is in Tilden Regional Park just east of Berkeley. The same park has other activities such as hiking, a swimming lake, and some of the best views in the Bay Area.

http://www.ebparks.org/kids/fun_rides
http://www.redwoodvalleyrailway.com/



Oh - they also have a 1911 Herschell-Spillman carousel.
bcla is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2013, 10:17 PM   #9
steves1bear
Mouseketeer
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Hawaii
Posts: 150

Thank you, thank you, thank you!! You have given me some really great ideas and I am so excited to plan this trip. My kids are going to have a great time.

Thanks again!!
steves1bear is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2013, 12:25 PM   #10
RSWA2
Mouseketeer
 
RSWA2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 323

Quote:
Originally Posted by danaesacto View Post
Depending on when you are coming the Exploratorium opens back up in April in its new location in the Piers. The kids would love it. http://www.exploratorium.edu/

Oakland has a small but nice zoo, the San Francisco Zoo is larger, near the ocean and has been recently updated. The California Academy of Science has an aquarium, hands-on exhibits and much more : http://www.calacademy.org/
I recommend these as well, or you can get a City Pass too.

http://www.citypass.com/san-francisco

Which you can use for Aquarium of the Bay and also for the muni pass to travel.

If you stay in Oakland and are intending to drive into SF, make sure you have toll money for the bridge. You can take the Bart in, but you'll need to take other public transportation to get around. It is very easy in SF, but different for someone just visiting.
RSWA2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2013, 02:39 AM   #11
lizziegirl450
Earning My Ears
 
lizziegirl450's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 43

I just moved up to the Oakland area and I seriously recommend the CA Academy of Science. It's so much fun. You could spend all day there. And I love BART. It's not overly expensive (but not super cheap), and there are quite a few stations. Just avoid rush hour if you can because a lot of commuters use it.

Also, if your kids are into lizards/snakes/spiders and the like, there's this cool vivarium in Berkeley that's free, but I don't know how to get there with public transit. It's called the East Bay Vivarium and it's technically a store. (I freaked out pretty bad when I went and spent a grand total of minutes in the store before racing out and checking out the shops down the street.)

If you do decide to get a car, there's the Muir Woods with giant, super old redwoods. That's nature-y, right? (:
Have a great time!!
__________________
lizziegirl450 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2013, 06:51 PM   #12
bcla
DIS Veteran
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Posts: 3,403

Quote:
Originally Posted by lizziegirl450 View Post
I just moved up to the Oakland area and I seriously recommend the CA Academy of Science. It's so much fun. You could spend all day there. And I love BART. It's not overly expensive (but not super cheap), and there are quite a few stations. Just avoid rush hour if you can because a lot of commuters use it.

Also, if your kids are into lizards/snakes/spiders and the like, there's this cool vivarium in Berkeley that's free, but I don't know how to get there with public transit. It's called the East Bay Vivarium and it's technically a store. (I freaked out pretty bad when I went and spent a grand total of minutes in the store before racing out and checking out the shops down the street.)

If you do decide to get a car, there's the Muir Woods with giant, super old redwoods. That's nature-y, right? (:
Have a great time!!
http://www.eastbayvivarium.com/

I remember going in there once and seeing an employee torn about selling a mouse as snake food. She was just looking over it and talking about how cute it was. Also - they're sold by size, and the smallest ones are sold as "pinkes" or "fuzzies".

It's not that hard to get there by public transportation. AC Transit 51A or 51B stops a couple of blocks away - one of the stops is actually at the Berkeley Amtrak station.

Beside that, Berkeley's 4th Street shopping district is right on the next block to the west.
bcla is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply



Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

facebooktwitterpinterestgoogle plusyoutubeDIS Updates
GET OUR DIS UPDATES DELIVERED BY EMAIL



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:40 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Copyright © 1997-2014, Werner Technologies, LLC. All Rights Reserved.