Tips for traveling to San Francisco

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Ozman712, Feb 28, 2007.

  1. Ozman712 macrumors member

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    #1
    Hey guys,
    I am going to be traveling to San Francisco in a few weeks and I was wondering if you had any ideas on things to do while I was there. I will be there for about 5 days so I have time for just about anything. If you have been there or live there I would also appreciate restaurant tips.

    Thanks
    Oz
     
  2. livingfortoday macrumors 68030

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  3. szark macrumors 68030

    szark

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    #3
    Well, obviously, you should drive down to Cupertino and visit Apple HQ. A must for anyone visiting SF. :)

    Alcatraz is a very thought-provoking experience. Don't miss it.
     
  4. gauchogolfer macrumors 603

    gauchogolfer

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    #4
    I can give you plenty of restaurant ideas, but I need a budget first. :)
    Where will you be staying?
     
  5. nateDEEZY macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    If you've never ridden a trolley, definitely ride the ones in san francisco!
     
  6. devilot Moderator emeritus

    devilot

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    #6
    I've never been. :eek:

    And I'd offer some wise traveling advice, except I have none. SF is like a different universe, I hardly know any of it.


    It might help others if they knew if you'd have access to a car or not.
     
  7. artalliance macrumors 6502

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    #7
    Chinatown...

    Get some vegetarian dim sum in Chinatown.
     
  8. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor

    WildCowboy

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    #8
    Touristy-type things that are pretty worthwhile:

    Alcatraz, Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman's Wharf, Lombard Street, Cable Cars (and free Cable Car Barn museum), tons of other museums if you like that sort of thing (Asian Art Museum in Civic Center, the new de Young art museum in Golden Gate Park, the SF MOMA in Yerba Buena, etc.).

    The view from the top of Twim Peaks is great if it's not socked in by fog.

    As far as eating goes, my favorite Chinese restaurant is Oriental Pearl on Clay between Grant and Kearny. My favorite Italian restaurant is Caffe Macaroni on Columbus (or it's sister restaurant a couple of blocks further down), but there are other great Italian restaurants along Columbus as well. Steps of Rome has fantastic desserts.

    Outside of SF, I like Marin...Sausalito is a nice little trip, as is driving through the Marin Headlands or heading up to Muir Woods and Point Reyes. The drive south of SF along the coast on CA-1 through Pacifica, Half Moon Bay and beyond is fantastic. Yes, there's also the Apple HQ in Cupertino about 45 miles south of SF.
     
  9. artalliance macrumors 6502

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    #9
    And if you do that trip, you are pretty close to Bodega, where Hitchcock's THE BIRDS was shot.
     
  10. TheAnswer macrumors 68030

    TheAnswer

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    #10
    And that's not to far from Santa Rosa, where he shot "Shadow of a Doubt"...plus Skywalker Ranch is up there too, where Lucas came up with the idea to have Greedo shoot first.
     
  11. corywoolf macrumors 65816

    corywoolf

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    #11
    Tickets for the Alcatraz tour were scarce when I was there in the summer of '03. It will probably be less in demand this time of year though. Go the to wharf and get the tickets the day before if you can. My dad decided to take me on this circle tour instead, it was way cheaper and got right up close to Alcatraz and we went under the Golden Gate Bridge. Unless you have a lot of time, I would just take the circle tour. I would save some time for Haight-Ashbury. It is a very unique area, that's where Timothy Larry was in his hay day. Go to the wikipedia page on SF and just read through everything and decide for yourself. Oh and DO NOT go to Ripley's Believe it or Not there, it is generic crap and not unique to SF. Check out North Beach's pizza shops and check out China Town.
     
  12. iGav macrumors G3

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    #12
    Hire a Mustang and pretend you're Frank Bullitt.
     
  13. nadyne macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    If you want to go to Alcatraz, you can purchase your tickets in advance online at Alcatraz Cruises instead of hoping that they'll have tickets when you walk up. The audio tour is fantastic.

    Museum-wise, the San Francisco Museum of Modern ARt has a Picasso exhibit featuring several Picasso works alongside works by other artists that were inspired by them. Some of these works haven't been exhibited in America before, so it's a great opportunity to see some well-known modern art in the flesh. The exhibit concludes at the end of May.

    In Palo Alto (which you can get to via CalTrain), you can visit Stanford University. Stanford's Cantor Art Center has the largest collection of Rodin sculptures, aside from the Museé Rodin in Paris.

    Otherwise ... Lots of shopping is to be had in the Union Square area. Wander through Haight-Ashbury or the Castro. Take BART over to Berkeley to see how the real liberals live, and visit Moe's Books (a fantastic six-story bookstore) while you're there. If you walk past Amoeba Records (in the Haight) or Rasputin (in Berkeley or Union Square), go buy lots of music.
     
  14. szark macrumors 68030

    szark

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    #14
    * adds to list of possible things to do in SF this year. * :)

    All very nice drives. Highly recommended.

    Yes, definitely buy tickets in advance. And dress warmly.
     
  15. Ozman712 thread starter macrumors member

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    Mar 6, 2006
    #15
    Thanks to everyone, some great ideas. As for my food budget, I would say we will splurge once so do a $75-100 a person night, but the rest of the time probably just normal everyday type food.

    I never thought of Cupertino, that would be pretty awesome.
     
  16. shecky Guest

    shecky

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    #16
    quoting myself from another thread about SF:

     
  17. mcarnes macrumors 68000

    mcarnes

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    #17
    If you plan to go swimming, be sure to bring your rubbers.
     
  18. RugoseCone macrumors 6502

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    #18
    No trip to San Francisco would be complete without a stop at Sears Fine Foods on Powell street for their famous pancakes. It's right near Union Square and they open early. Good, cheap food.

    Alcatraz is really spectacular, but I'd suggest an evening trip. They open parts of the prison, that aren't normally accessible during the day and more of the admission cost goes towards preservation of the island.

    Stop by the Cafe Buena Vista near the Cannery to partake of an Irish Coffee where it was invented. They also have fantastic cheese sandwiches! Very moderately priced (except for the aforementioned libation). Going to the top of Coit Tower is not to be missed! Excellent views of the city on a clear day. Great for photos.

    Fisherman's Wharf is a big tourist trap. It's interesting to walk around a bit, but don't eat down there. Very pricey and better food can be had all over the city. Golden Gate Park is a must, especially the Japanese Gardens. I'd also suggest heading over to Cliff House on the coast. Cliff House isn't as cool as it used to be when the penny arcade was still there, but walk up the hill to the Sutro Baths. It's the ruins of an old bath house on the coast. Very cool spot (my favorite).

    Don't go to Starbucks if you want coffee. There are scads of great little coffee houses all over the city. Especially in the neighborhood of North Beach.

    There is lots of great ethnic food in SF that can be had for very reasonable rates. Some higher end places to consider; Cafe Claude (French), Kuletos (Italian), Grand Cafe (French/American), Tadich Grill (Seafood), John's Grill (Steaks, scenes from the Maltese Falcon shot here).
     
  19. gauchogolfer macrumors 603

    gauchogolfer

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  20. Ozman712 thread starter macrumors member

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  21. Phat Elvis macrumors 6502

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    #21
     
  22. jayb2000 macrumors 6502a

    jayb2000

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    #22
    North - on the way to Bodega, stop in Stinson Beach and get some grilled oysters. If you have a sunny day, the view from the top of Mt Tamalpais can't be beat.
    Plus you can do lunch in Sausalito and it has some great views and places to go.

    Or you can go the http://www.frenchlaundry.com/tfl/frenchlaundry.htm]Fremch Laundry and blow ALL your money on one meal!

    South, follow route one through Pescadero, stop at Norm's to get a lof of their Artichoke Garlic bread. Absolutely drool worthy! Keep going by the coast, Bean Hollow, Año Nuevo State Reserve, or San Gregario are all cool beaches.
    You can get from SF to Santa Cruz in about 1:10 if you just keep driving. On the other hand, if you get breakfast in SF, cruise down the coast, you can get to Santa Cruz for shopping and lunch.
    Downtown has several cool and independent shops.
    If you like Salmon, the Seabright Brewery has amazing Salmon fish & chips and good beers.

    If you are not too close to rush hour, take route 17 over the hill towards San Jose and follow 280 back to SF. Gives great views of Silicon Valley, including going right by Apple HQ.

    In the SF itself, I agree with Alcatraz, Coit Tower and the Japanese gardens.

    PacBell or whatever the baseball park is named now is a great place to watch a game, you are going when they play.

    Oh, and Napa and Sonoma are only about an hour north of the city as well. If you like wine, I highly recommend Bartholomew Park Winery.

    I am sure we can give more suggestions if you can you maybe tells us some stuff you like to do.
     
  23. shecky Guest

    shecky

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    #23
    thats not a meal, thats a religious experience :)

    too bad they are booked months in advance, i doubt Ozman could even get in there in the next few weeks.
     
  24. obeygiant macrumors 68040

    obeygiant

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    totally cool
  25. nadyne macrumors 6502a

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    #25
    They only book two months in advance, to the calendar date. Calling today would net you a reservation exactly two months from today. Well, calling now wouldn't net you a reservation at all; you have to call at 10am to get the reservation. :)

    If you can't get a reservation, you can call and ask to be put on their waiting list. You're more likely to get in if you're flexible with your day and time.
     

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