San Francisco Holiday: Need Tips

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by redAPPLE, Jan 28, 2009.

  1. redAPPLE macrumors 68030

    redAPPLE

    Joined:
    May 7, 2002
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    2 Much Infinite Loops
    #1
    hi guys.

    i am directing this thread especially to you guys living in the bay area.

    i have been reading up on the bay area for a few days now. the problem is, some websites does not state, when a webarticle has been written, so i don't know how fresh the information is.

    i am trying to find a fitting hotel for me.

    i keep reading, the tenderloin and soma part of san francisco has to be avoided. how true is this?

    another question: i plan to take the bus, bart, cable cars and so to get around. what if i find a get a hotel outside the san francisco... say oakland... would that be a good idea in general?
     
  2. InvalidUserID macrumors 6502a

    InvalidUserID

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    Palo Alto, CA
    #2
    As with any big city, yes there are areas to avoid. Hunter's Point more so than the Tenderloin. The main reason is homelessness. The homeless in SF are rather aggressive in some parts although if you stick to the main "touristy" areas, you'll be fine.

    If you are going to be spending the majority of your time in SF, I would avoid staying at a hotel in Oakland. It just makes more sense to stay in SF and avoid having to take BART into SF. If you plan on getting out and about the rest of the Bay Area, then it would be OK.

    BART is OK...MUNI (bus system) not so much. I've only been on it a few times and vowed never to use it ever again.
     
  3. djjclark macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    #3
    I would avoid the tenderloin and hunters point not as much for safety as there are way better places to be. Expect the homeless and the charity folks to be aggressive (and more then a fair share of wackos).

    You can generally get around the are with mass transit but it can be confusing at times so get a good map and study the route you need to take.
     
  4. Silencio macrumors 68020

    Silencio

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    NYC
    #4
    What are the main things you want to do in San Francisco? And do you have a rough budget on what you'd like to spend on a hotel? Hotels are notoriously expensive in SF, though maybe the recession is doing its part to soften demand and knock down prices.

    I'd say the MUNI is okay to take to more centrally located places, like going along Market Street. The 30 and 45 lines are good; they'll take you from downtown to Chinatown, North Beach, Fisherman's Wharf, The Marina, and the Presidio.

    The MUNI Metro (light rail) goes underground along Market Street and then branches out amongst some of the outer neighborhoods. The N-Judah will take you to the Upper Haight.

    Some bus lines like the 14-Mission can be rough and I wouldn't recommend them to the out-of-towner.

    MUNI has a PDF map available online somewhere.

    And hey, the Tenderloin does have its attractions: good, cheap ethnic restaurants and some quality bars, dive or otherwise. Some blocks and intersections are best avoided, but just exercise some awareness of your surroundings and common sense and you'll be fine.
     
  5. ELMI0001 macrumors 6502

    ELMI0001

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    Olympic Hills GC
    #5
    I will be in San Francisco for the first time March 18-23 to watch the basketball tournament with buddies from college. 4 of us are staying at the Holiday Inn Golden Gateway - we're basically sleeping there - and plan to take the Muni down to my buddies place in the Richmond district. Looks like we're close to things and we're each picking out what we want to see.

    Any suggestions of things that you have to see your first time to San Francisco? We're thinking either Alcatraz or At&t Park, my buddy wants to see the SF Chronicle, I want to see San Fran City Hall, pictures by the bridge, pictures by Haight-Ashbury and what else ...?
     
  6. redAPPLE thread starter macrumors 68030

    redAPPLE

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    #6
    what do you mean by aggressive? like they'd hold you till you give something? well, i want to do some touristy stuff, but not all the time. i don't care about the untidy streets or bars, its just, i want to sit in a bar, drink my beer, maybe enjoy some local band playing, then go home. i'd rather not have the fear of walking around midnight and fearing that someone would jump out an alley and stab me.

    funny, i have read that the muni should be a decent way to check out sf. but that's the reason i am asking your opinions. thanks.


    actually, i don't care if the room is small. i just want a clean bed and a clean shower. i don't even care for cable tv (free wireless would be great :)). actually i would rather support the local hotel owner than the large corporate ones.

    you mean by "exercise awareness and common sense", that would be like don't bring your (video) camera at night, when going out?

    a few websites say, that the tenderloin and soma is getting better and so on. is that true? is getting a hotel there or walking till like midnight (1 am or 2 am) like asking for trouble?
     
  7. redAPPLE thread starter macrumors 68030

    redAPPLE

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    #7
    i have been told, that alcatraz is something like a tourist trap... a lot of people have been discouraging me to join a tour of alcatraz...

    same as avoiding the pier 39...

    well, that is what i have heard... :)
     
  8. ELMI0001 macrumors 6502

    ELMI0001

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    Olympic Hills GC
    #8
    I've heard the same thing; I think we'd all be up for the ballpark tour for sure but my buddy out there hasn't even been to alcatraz so we might check that out. I was looking into the Coit Tower too. Seems interesting but it's not by us and I don't think it's worth it.

    I might pick up Frommers or something for the flight out, so I have something to read and then maybe something else would spark my interest.
     
  9. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

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    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #9
    Alcatraz is a tourist trap but I'd say it's still worth doing especially if you can get on one of the night trips when it's really spooky on the way back - and you get some awesome shots of the skyline.

    Pier 39 is complete tourist trash as is Fisherman's Wharf although there are still some good restaurants around there - Scoma's for one which is fabulous. I stayed in the Argonaut one time I was there as a 'treat' which worked well since I was getting the cablecars the 'wrong' way at peak timesso generally got on them easier without queuing so much.

    Soma depends how south you go - the first couple of blocks are OK although they're not vastly populated in the evenings. I've had luck with some rates on Priceline in the Hilton near Union Square which technically is the 'wrong side of the tracks' but which was fine in reality. SF has lots of little 'boutique' hotels which can be great if you're not too fussed about room size and amenties like gyms, pools etc.

    Chinatown and Little Italy are good to wander around if you have time to stop for dim sum or in a cafe for a latte and people watch for a bit. The fortune cookie factory is a 3 minute stop but is fun to watch if you're in the area.

    You can hire bikes near Fisherman's Wharf and cycle out to through the Presidio to the Golden Gate which is a good way of seeing it.

    MUNI is like bus systems everywhere - when you want to use it can be crowded and confusing unless you've figured out where/when you're going. If you're OK with public transport, it's fine and can be really handy. I'm pretty sure there's a 3-day passport that lets you use any form of public transport.
     
  10. redAPPLE thread starter macrumors 68030

    redAPPLE

    Joined:
    May 7, 2002
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    #10
    that is one really good idea. alcatraz at night... even i would consider that. thanks.

    i also have read about hotels in japantown. one of the cons was that it is "far" away from the happenings of the city. how true is this?

    does anybody have experience re: japantown?
     
  11. Silencio macrumors 68020

    Silencio

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    NYC
    #11
    There's nothing wrong with going to Alcatraz. On a nice day it's great to be out in the middle of the bay, and of course the prison and its history are fascinating. You generally have to book your ferry transit a day or two ahead, though.

    I would skip Pier 39 and Fisherman's Wharf, unless you want to partake of some fresh dungeness crab or In-n-Out Burger.

    J-Town? Maybe. The Tomo looks pretty cute in a J-pop mod sort of way, though I have no idea about the room rates. That neighborhood is close enough to some major bus connections (38-Geary, 22-Fillmore) to get you most places you might want to go.

    I had heard good things about the Mosser Hotel downtown (4th and Market). Smallish rooms, but clean, somewhat stylish, and reasonably priced.

    With the homeless, I think you just have to ignore them. If you don't look at them or say anything to them, they usually take the hint pretty quickly and move on. I feel like such a jerk doing it, but 99% of the time your spare change would go towards liquor or drugs.

    As for strolling the Tenderloin at night: yeah, common sense means don't stare at sketchy looking people, don't conspicuously flash around expensive electronics gear, avoid groups of people hanging around, &c. &c.
     
  12. redAPPLE thread starter macrumors 68030

    redAPPLE

    Joined:
    May 7, 2002
    Location:
    2 Much Infinite Loops
    #12
    hey silencio.

    thanks for the tip.

    re: j-town. and other neighborhoods for that matter. how long does buses/metro usually drive at night?

    does the tenderloin really have a high "crime" rate in general?

    thinking about going there for wwdc, i guess it would be better to book early, i guess...

    i also found a website (but lost the link :() in which private people rent their apartments.

    does anybody maybe know the link to it?
     

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