Who is from San Francisco? need help

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by phas3, Nov 22, 2008.

  1. phas3 macrumors 65816

    Oct 5, 2008
    taking a roadtrip to san francisco from LA, i'd like to know the best route to get the best scenary.

    Also I would like to take my friend to these locations

    Golden gate bridge and the other bridge(can someone help me here)
    Fisherman's Warf Pier 39
    Best route for a cable car to see lots of attractions
    Japanese Tea Garden
    Lambard Street

    if you guys have any other suggestions where she might enjoy please list

    and also where would be the best place to get a hotel so driving wont be far from any of these?
  2. CalBoy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2007
    For the scenic route driving up the peninsula, there's no beating 101.

    As for the sites, it'll be best to plan your sites so that you can flow in one direction.

    I would hit Pier 39 and Lombard in one (they're not very far from each other on the map, but depending on the day and time of day, you might burn quite a lot of time getting there, as in budget for over 15 and up to 20 because parking will be unfriendly).

    The "other bridge" must be the Bay Bridge, as it's the only other one that goes directly into the city (unless you're thinking of a bridge that isn't connected to SF). The Ferry Building gives you a nice shot of the bridge, but you can move along the Embarcadero as needed until you get a view that's right for you (personally, I like the Golden Gate more).

    If you want to ride the cable cars, I think the traditional "touristy" thing to do is to go to Powell and Market and buy tickets from there (the cable cars also turn around there).

    Japantown and other sites (like Chinatown) might best be served simply by driving down and then making your way to the Tea Garden however your itinerary has been planned.

    As for hotels, I suggest you go with what's cheapest, not with what you think will be closer to any one site (because that will never work out anyways).

    If you guys have any spare time and want to see something that's, "only in SF," I think you should see Alamo Square. The Painted Ladies aren't the only interesting thing to see there (the whole neighborhood is full of interesting architecture).

    As for other stuff to see, it really depends on your interests. There's a lot for everyone really, so it all depends on what you really want to get out of it.

    One last bit of advice: bring the smallest, most fuel efficient car you can. You'll thank me when you try to parallel park. ;)
  3. phas3 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Oct 5, 2008
    awesome post man, we will be there for 3-4 days possibly 5 this is during december before christmas

    i think we will dedicate a day to both lombard and pier 39, when is the best time to go to pier 39 i want her to have the best experience?

    the bay bridge is what I was talking about, I think we will just visit the golden gate and stop by the golden gate park what is the garden called in golden gate park? Where is the location most of the pictures are taken from the golden gate bridge?'

    ive been reading about the powell and market and I understand there is 3 lines that run from there, which one should we take to see the most of san francisco that goes through downtown and buildings etc...? and also is there like a station where all these 3 lines start at powell?

    what did you mean by driving down japan town and chinatown having our itinerary planned?

    another thing where is a good restaurant, she loves Pho, seafood, italian just about anything is there a must restaurant we need to visit? I know we'll love fishermans warf cause of the seafood.

    so comes down to this

    Day 1 - Pier 39 and lombard street
    Day 2 - Golden Gate Bridge / Park
    Day 3 - Powell and Market Cable Car Ride
    Day 4 - Japanese town Or Alamo Circle

    i might switch those days around
  4. Azmordean macrumors 6502

    Mar 10, 2004
    Silicon Valley
    Not from San Francisco but I've been there several times and it is one of my favorite cities. While 101 is indeed scenic, the Pacific Coast Highway (1) is moreso. I've not been south of Cambria, CA, but the section between Cambria and San Francisco is well worth the extra transit time. A big piece of this section, Cambria to Monterey, is "Big Sur" which has some of the most fantastic coastal scenery I've ever seen.

    Once you get to SF, the areas you mentioned are good to see. Well, except just be aware that Fisherman's Wharf is relatively touristy and not particularly authentic. In addition to what you listed, I would suggest just roaming some of San Francisco's neighborhoods. Chinatown is great of course - the Frommer's San Francisco book has a great "self guided tour" of Chinatown. And North Beach is also awesome - a friend and I did the "self guided tour" in the Lonely Planet book. It is also fun to hop in the car and tool around the Presidio and some of the more residential areas around Golden Gate Park.

    Finally, if you want a nice day trip out of the city, take the PCH NORTH out of San Francisco into Marin County and up to Point Reyes National Seashore. Beautiful scenery up there, and good hiking if you are so inclined.

    Restaurants - I highly recommend Moose's, which is right on Washington Square Park in North Beach (1652 Stockton St). It is "fine dining" but is not too terribly expensive, and is VERY good. The Stinking Rose, an Italian restaurant known for its heavy use of garlic, also in North Beach (325 Columbus Ave), is another favorite. Try the Garlic Prime Rib.

    Hotels - there is one place and I cannot recommend it enough. That is the San Remo Hotel. http://www.sanremohotel.com/ Super clean, neat ambience with books and reading areas throughout, and CHEAP for its location. And the location is fantastic - it is smack dab half way between Fisherman's Wharf and North Beach. You can walk to a lot of the sites I mentioned and are like a block from one of the main cable car lines.

    Note the bathrooms are shared in this hotel. Don't let that scare you - they keep the place IMMACULATE. Its cleaner than your house almost certainly. They even have heated towel racks! My friend and I stayed there for 3 nights, in one of the rooms without a sink. I was leery at first but it was fantastic, frankly just like being at home. I really can't recommend this place enough.

    Now, if you want a TV, a phone, etc, this isn't the place for you. But if, like my friend and I, you are out most of the day and just want a clean, comfortable place to relax, read, and sleep, that has nice "Old San Francisco" ambiance - its perfect.

    Good luck on your trip!
  5. phas3 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Oct 5, 2008
    how did i forget about marin county! thank you for reminding me, i read so much about it, the drive up to the light house is scenic enough. And yes I do agree about coast highway i was under the impression that the 101 was the PCH 1
  6. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603


    Apr 29, 2005
    San Francisco
    Just gotta say that you could likely condense those day trips a bit. You could fit a lot of time looking around Pier 39, but Lombard street doesn't have much to it (I am assuming you are talking about the red brick curved portion). Lombard street itself is fairly long. Perhaps you should throw Crissy Fields into your Day 1. Crissy Fields is the beach that runs up to the Golden Gate Bridge and you can walk there easily enough from Pier 39.

    And for the GG Bridge and Park, they aren't necessarily right next to each other so I suggest renting bikes or something. GG Park is huge, I always like it in the morning, but it is very big. Cable cars are fun, don't matter which route you take. They're fun.

    As for driving up to SF I really say the fastest way is just go up the 5 to the 580 and come through Oakland across the Bay Bridge. The 101 is very pretty but Santa Barbara traffic seriously blows and ultimately it is a lot further (and more cops) along it (the 101).

    Going out on the town at all? If you're over 21 then this city is the place for you. I love the Mission District in particular, although North Beach is a safe bet (and cleaner).
  7. CalBoy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2007
    With that kind of timeline, you have more than enough time to see even more stuff.

    You can also fit Chinatown into this trip easily (have lunch on the Wharf and dinner in Chinatown). This will give you time on another day to head up to Twin Peaks.

    The Botanical Garden? That's really all that comes to mind at the moment.
    Ok, but first you tell me how many angels are on the head of a pin. :p Seriously though, just go to the base of the bridge, park your car, and walk (best pics this way).
    I don't know if any of the routes give you a really nice view of downtown (it's honestly been years since I last went on a cable car), but the route that travels on Hyde will be nice because you can get off at Lombard.

    Check out this site and see what you think (I think you should open a Google Maps page next to it so you know where it's going. :p).
    I meant that you should figure out what other stuff you plan to see on a given day and then plan a trip to Chinatown around that. Since you have so much time, I honestly wouldn't stress about it.
    Another poster mentioned The Stinking Rose, which is an experience. :p

    IIRC, Forbes Island (the faux "lighthouse" restaurant off of the wharves) has pretty mediocre reviews, and it's pricey, but some people swear by its atmosphere. Unless you're really itching to spend a lot of money, I think you should probably avoid it and get better seafood off of the wharf.
  8. phas3 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Oct 5, 2008
    you guys are right i can probbly condense these days. Well i have a hotel room on hold at the Hilton San Francisco Union square, i think this is near chinatown which is good. Are the cable cars running 24/7?

    here's what its looking so far tweaked the planning out alittle

    From La to San Francisco, I think we'll take the I5 then when we get to the 166 merge onto that and it will take us straight to the 1 and from there we'll take the 1 all the way up passed Monteray, Santa Cruz and to San Francisco instead of 5 hours it will be an 8 hour trip.

    Day 1 - Cable Car Ride Powell and Hyde Route to ghiradelli square, walk to pier 39 then take the cable car to chinatown and have dinner there

    Day 2 - Golden Gate Bridge, Crissy Fields, Park / Botanical Gardens this should be almost the end of the day so i'll add The Stinkin Rose for dinner

    Day 3 - this day consist of alot of driving, Twin Peaks and a scenic route to Marin County up to the lighthouse at Point Reyes

    what do you guys think? where is good bar etc club, a place where there is a good night life. ANd also how bout a comedy club?
  9. phas3 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Oct 5, 2008
    one more thing when going through monteray taking the 1, will we go through this bridge

  10. me_94501 macrumors 65816


    Jan 6, 2003
    I'm not from SF proper, but have lived in the area my entire life.

    The Ferry Building might be worth a visit, especially on Farmer's Market days. Take a stroll down the Embarcadero and take it in. Also consider the Academy of Sciences and DeYoung Museum in Golden Gate Park (adjacent to each other, and in really innovative new buildings). Coit Tower's a must as well, and if either of you are into shopping, don't forget Union Square. The nice thing about SF is that it's a relatively compact city, so many of the attractions are fairly close to each other. I'd say make some time to explore the city by foot.

    Oh! almost forgot! The Apple Store on Stockton Street! :D

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