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Old 03-23-2012, 10:16 PM   #1
elgerber
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Need San Francisco hotel advice please

Hi,
I have read many posts and other sites on SF hotels. I have gathered its generally best to skip the car, stay in Union Square and walk/take public transport. Also the parking is minimal and expensive. Here is our situation, any ideas would be great...

We have a car booked, really great price. I thought about skipping it, but remembered we wanted to drive to Muir Woods.
We will only be in SF for 2 days. We want to do Alcatraz also, probably check out Fishermans Wharf, and a couple other things in the little time we have. My dd would like to see the houses from Full House too. We'd like to drive across the bridge also.
In our situation, would it be bad to stay further out, and just deal with driving in and parking for me or two days? And if it would be ok, any ideas where to say?

This will be a Sat/Sun in mid June.

Thanks!!
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Old 03-24-2012, 12:34 AM   #2
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I dont know about the hotel or the parking. But I will say if you do want to visit Alcatraz, order your tickets early as they are usually sold out. I enjoyed Alcatraz. I know it is hard to decide as they keep charging for the parking.
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Old 03-24-2012, 01:11 AM   #3
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You could stay north - there are some hotels I see off 101 when driving north - nothing fancy, but they look ok. There are buses that go into the city from up there as well.

There are lots of hotels by the airport as well.

I don't think parking cost is that outrageous - but I also live here and am used to it. Probably to park for the day will be like $25-35.

There are some nice hotels in the Marina that might be a bit cheaper than staying at the wharf... maybe, I would check.

And my normal response - it is almost always COLD in the summer here. June is usually a bit warmer than July, but still it could be quite chilly. ALWAYS dress in layers and bring a sweatshirt - the weather can turn cold quite quickly! Almost no one ever wears shorts - maybe like 2 days a year. Maybe.

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Old 03-24-2012, 03:33 AM   #4
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We stayed at the Columbus Inn - free parking at that time. Walking distance to the piers and near a cable car turnaround. I think it's in "North Beach".

http://columbusmotorinn.com/
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Rev...alifornia.html
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Old 03-24-2012, 12:41 PM   #5
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Columbus Motor Inn is an excellent suggestion. If you can get a decent rate, book it.

Also, if you have a car, most people stay on Lombard Street, in the Cow Hollow district. Most of the motels in that area are reasonably priced (for SF), and include free parking. Basically, that's the area of Lombard Street that's west of Van Ness. Possibilities include Cow Hollow Inn, Quality Inn, Buena Vista Inn, and several others.

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Old 03-25-2012, 01:45 PM   #6
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Old 03-27-2012, 04:52 PM   #7
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Grey Line tours does a half a day trip to Muirs Wood with a stop in Sausalito.
We took the morning tour and then the ferry back to SF (Fishermans Wharf area) from Sausalito after eating lunch.

Last year we used an double decker bus tour with on and off. It was a great way to see the city if you only in town a short time. I think it did stop at the park across from the houses shown on "Full House". It also went across the Golden Gate Bridge. You could get off at the observation areas at both ends, take pictures and then catch the next bus back.
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Old 03-27-2012, 05:43 PM   #8
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IMO I would stay in the Fisherman's Wharf area. There is allot to see/do in this area, it is easy to get to the freeway from here and easy to park here.

I LOVE Union Square and Love, Love, Love staying at the Sir Francis Drake when staying in the this area; but getting in/out of the area with a car is a total pain. Better off without one. Hotel Triton is also trendy and fun; a few blocks from Union Square, walking distance from Chinatown; but also kind of a pain with a car.

Given you are going to have one; then I really like the Raddison at Fisherman's Wharf. Easy access, nice hotel with balconies, walking distance to food.

The Hyatt in the finanical district is nice too but that is more for the business travler and, once again not easy access...I would'nt stay outside of the City unless you were just looking to save some cash; then IMO I would at that point save the cash by not having the hassle of a car.
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Old 03-27-2012, 08:13 PM   #9
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We stayed at the Hyatt Fisherman's Wharf last year. Loved it. We had our car but enjoyed being able to walk to almost everything.
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Old 03-30-2012, 12:58 AM   #10
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When we have a car we usually stay on Lombard at the Cow Hollow w/free parking - also fairly inexpensive. Not fancy but in a good area for restaurants and if you get a top floor room you may get a little view of the bridge.
We've also gotten great Priceline deals ( see betterbidding.com - can really help you narrow down what you may get ) - and then to avoid the $40 nightly parking we'll use the city lots or drive around till we find some '$15 after 9pm' deal - usually have some luck.
We've also stayed in Novato across the bridge - handy for Muir woods. You'll still need parking during the day in the city - tough on weekdays.
When we're at the Lombard hotel we often leave the car there and take buses!
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Old 03-31-2012, 04:52 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elgerber View Post
Hi,
I have read many posts and other sites on SF hotels. I have gathered its generally best to skip the car, stay in Union Square and walk/take public transport. Also the parking is minimal and expensive. Here is our situation, any ideas would be great...

We have a car booked, really great price. I thought about skipping it, but remembered we wanted to drive to Muir Woods.
We will only be in SF for 2 days. We want to do Alcatraz also, probably check out Fishermans Wharf, and a couple other things in the little time we have. My dd would like to see the houses from Full House too. We'd like to drive across the bridge also.
In our situation, would it be bad to stay further out, and just deal with driving in and parking for me or two days? And if it would be ok, any ideas where to say?

This will be a Sat/Sun in mid June.

Thanks!!
We were in San Francisco for two nights with our boys (ages 5, 11 and 12) last month. My husband and I had been to San Francisco many times before (I am originally from the area) and we had stayed near Union Square.

But with the kids, we decided on the Argonaut Hotel (a Kimpton property) right at Fisherman's Wharf. Now, I usually wouldn't stay in that area, but it was GREAT with the kids and very festive with a nice view of Alcatraz from our window. We booked a package with free parking, which was a great deal for us. We walked a ton - Fisherman's Wharf, to catch the Alcatraz tour boat, etc. On arrival day, we drove across the Golden Gate bridge, stopped at an overlook and let the boys run around a little. We checked in at the Argonaut, ordered appetizers at the bar, and then walked over to Boudin Bistro for our dinner reservation.

The next day, we grabbed breakfast at a great diner near Fisherman's Wharf and then walked over to catch our boat to Alcatraz (we booked that way in advance.) After our morning at Alcatraz, we took a cab to Tony's Pizza for lunch and then enjoyed a long walk from there to Union Square. We rode a cable car back to Fisherman's Wharf, picked up our car, and visited Golden Gate park - amazing playground and the boys loved it. We drove over to one of the beaches on the edge of the park for more running around. We had a dinner reservation at the Social Kitchen and Brewery (loved that restaurant found street parking for that pretty easily) and then headed back to the hotel.

In the end, the Argonaut was perfect for all of this and I'm really glad we had the car and the free parking package!

Happy Planning!
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Old 04-04-2012, 04:57 AM   #12
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Quote:
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Columbus Motor Inn is an excellent suggestion. If you can get a decent rate, book it.

Also, if you have a car, most people stay on Lombard Street, in the Cow Hollow district. Most of the motels in that area are reasonably priced (for SF), and include free parking. Basically, that's the area of Lombard Street that's west of Van Ness. Possibilities include Cow Hollow Inn, Quality Inn, Buena Vista Inn, and several others.

-Bob
This is where we are going to be this summer! We stayed last summer at their sister property Coventry Motor Inn which we really liked but it was only barely walking distance down to Fishermans wharf etc. and no way could I manage the walk back! Columbus Motor Inn is much closer, walking distance for sure, and looks nice too. We were really impressed with the quality of the Coventry motor inn, considering it's low price and free parking! We even had a nice view of the Golden Gate Bridge from our room! So we are hoping because they are sister properties we will be happy here too. We have a 2 room suite this time as well. We will be with our daughter and 3 year old grand son this summer and need somewhere that is walking distance for a 3 year old! The cable car is in the next street from this one too. have you stayed here?
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Old 04-07-2012, 11:36 PM   #13
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We always stay next to the Cow Hollow Inn at the Travelodge Golden Gate. We eat breakfast every morning at the Bayside in the Cow Hollow inn. The Lombard area where these hotels are is on the main street to get to the GG Bridge and its a quick drive or bus to the Wharf area
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Old 04-08-2012, 04:39 PM   #14
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we Booked here Americas Best Value Inn Golden Gate. for July approx $75 a night incl taxes. had a few picked and cousin lives in SF and did not have room for us all, so picked a few and she advised this one and the area like PP said is good and you can walk to everything apparently. She said not to go expensive as we will be out all day and will only be sleeping in it
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Old 04-09-2012, 04:06 PM   #15
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We stayed at the Hyatt Fisherman's Wharf last year. Loved it. We had our car but enjoyed being able to walk to almost everything.
I'll 2nd that. We have stayed there twice (one trip we got a stay 3 get the 4th night free deal). There are also a Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Xpress and various other hotels within a few blocks
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