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Need tourist advice for SF

By CovfefeButDeadly following x   2014 Apr 7, 7:54am 13,207 views   46 comments   watch   nsfw   quote     share    


Visiting there for a brief bit on my vacation this summer, fiance and a 15 year old in tow. I've been in the bay area a few times, but never in SF proper...just Hayward, Berkley, and San Jose.
So I am totally unfamiliar with SF.

Staying in Union Square.

Arriving on a Saturday, probably will check out Fishermans Wharf for dinner/early evening.

Sunday I have tickets for Dodgers vs Giants(lol of course right). Probably will get there when the park opens just to check out the ballpark, roam around, get some autos, etc. Best way to get to the game is to go to the station at Market and Powell and take the muni, correct? The family won't want to walk the whole way. I'm guessing well be wiped out after the game so well probably go clean up at the hotel, have dinner, and wander around Union Square that night.

My main concern is monday. I'd like to check out some of the sights...Lombard Street, Golden Gate Bridge, etc. I'll have a car(were also going to the central coast and then Yosemite), but I'm super concerned about Monday traffic in the city...I don't want to use the car if well be moving 2 feet per hour. I would like to drive up into Golden Gate Natl Rec Area though if I can.

So is there anything I'm missing that I should be squeezing in? I discarded Alcatraz due to time constraints....but I'd like not to miss something important I'm overlooking.

Thanks for any advice :)

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2   rooemoore   ignore (1)   2014 Apr 7, 8:05am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

dodgerfanjohn says

So is there anything I'm missing that I should be squeezing in? I discarded Alcatraz due to time constraints....but I'd like not to miss something important I'm overlooking.

Too bad. It's fantastic. Fisherman's wharf is a tourist trap nightmare although it still has its charm.

You can can take a street car from Union Square (at Market and Powell) down to the Ferry Building. Be sure to go inside - lots of cool shops. From there you can walk or catch a pedicab along the waterfront to the game.

We recently visited the Disney museum in the Presidio National Park. It was kind pricey (we had free tickets) but really interesting. Maybe boring for the 15 year old.

One other thing - Go Dodgers! (transplanted LA fan)

3   smaulgld   ignore (4)   2014 Apr 7, 8:18am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Try north beach cafes up a few blocks from fisherman's wharf
then head up Russian hill to pacific heights for views of the bay and bridge.

4   edvard2   ignore (1)   2014 Apr 7, 8:19am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Agree. Fisherman's Wharf is a trap and its not all that great anyway. On the other hand Golden Gate park is great and its large enough to where its not that crowded. I HIGHLY recommend the Walt Disney museum in the Presidio, which is also a part of the Golden Gate park.

If you decide to venture out and do some wine tasting, consider the areas of Livermore and Lodi. Good wine, not as well-known, every bit as picturesque as Napa.

I'd suggest also staying away from Yosemite. It is VERY popular this time of year and most any other time for that matter. If you go, prepare for a very crowded experience, especially if you decide to go to the Valley floor where all of the famous rock formations are You might want to consider Lassen national volcanic park instead. Every bit as amazing. Its a bit further. But its remoteness makes it less accessible.

5   smaulgld   ignore (4)   2014 Apr 7, 8:20am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

rooemoore says

We recently visited the Disney museum in the Presidio National Park. It was kind pricey (we had free tickets) but really interesting. Maybe boring for the 15 year old.

Didn't think much of that Disney museum the park is nice though

6   New Renter   ignore (11)   2014 Apr 7, 8:25am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

edvard2 says

Agree. Fisherman's Wharf is a trap and its not all that great anyway. On the other hand Golden Gate park is great and its large enough to where its not that crowded. I HIGHLY recommend the Walt Disney museum in the Presidio, which is also a part of the Golden Gate park.

If you decide to venture out and do some wine tasting, consider the areas of Livermore and Lodi. Good wine, not as well-known, every bit as picturesque as Napa.

I'd suggest also staying away from Yosemite. It is VERY popular this time of year and most any other time for that matter. If you go, prepare for a very crowded experience, especially if you decide to go to the Valley floor where all of the famous rock formations are You might want to consider Lassen national volcanic park instead. Every bit as amazing. Its a bit further. But its remoteness makes it less accessible.

Its a bit early for Lassen, are they open yet?

I agree with the winetasing suggestions especially if you like big reds. There are also some excellent wineries in the Sierra foothills, notably El Dorado and Amador counties. Nice thing about getting away from Napa is the wineries are less crowded and tend not to charge for tasting.

7   rooemoore   ignore (1)   2014 Apr 7, 8:30am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

smaulgld says

rooemoore says

We recently visited the Disney museum in the Presidio National Park. It was kind pricey (we had free tickets) but really interesting. Maybe boring for the 15 year old.

Didn't think much of that Disney museum the park is nice though

Like I said, may be boring for a teenager.

BOOM!

8   Tenpoundbass   ignore (15)   2014 Apr 7, 9:20am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag        

You ain't coming by Google bus is you?

9   APOCALYPSEFUCKisShostikovitch   ignore (38)   2014 Apr 7, 9:49am   ↑ like (3)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Go to the Mission and moon the Google bus!

10   Ceffer   ignore (1)   2014 Apr 7, 10:00am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

I thought everybody was supposed to vomit their vegan breakfast/lunches/dinners on the Google bus now. With all the practiced vegan anorexics in SF, they can hurl a stream from across the street.

It's kind of like a technicolor yawn tofu honor guard. Join the fun!

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2598342/Protester-angry-huge-tech-buses-employees-Silicon-Valley-jobs-VOMITS-yahoo-vehicle-Googles-Kevin-Rose-flyers-posted-round-home-calling-parasite.html

11   rooemoore   ignore (1)   2014 Apr 7, 10:02am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

APOCALYPSEFUCKisShostikovitch says

Go to the Mission and moon the Google bus!

No, go to the moon and Google the mission bus.

It's San Francisco, silly.

12   EBGuy   ignore (0)   2014 Apr 7, 10:51am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Even if you don't pay for admission at the DeYoung Museum in Golden Gate Park, you can still go up in the tower. Nice views of the City and environs. I'd put it high on the list of fun, free stuff.
As roomoore mentioned, I'd also recommend the historic street cars that run along Market and the Embarcadero (towards the Wharf). Only two bucks compared to the cable cars (which are geared towards extracting $$ from the tourists). In the Ferry Building, Acme bread has a sandwich of the day which will set you back considerable less than other choices (like, say, artisanal bison jerky).

13   Strategist   ignore (2)   2014 Apr 7, 11:23am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag        

Leave the car at the hotel. Parking is hell, and cable cars are fun.

14   clambo   ignore (4)   2014 Apr 7, 2:46pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

You can easily walk from Union Square to Grant Ave (Chinatown). Walk down Grant Ave but take a little detour to see Waverly Place, it's a block off Grant but very cool.
Continue down Grant Ave, then to Columbus Ave (left direction, towards the water). This is North Beach.
Stop at Puccini for the best coffee in the world, you can also eat there FYI the food's great too.
Continue down and left at Beach, few hundred feet you are at Aquatic Park. Go down Hyde and check out the old ships.
If you have energy/time I also love visiting Coit Tower that is visible from North Beach. Parking up there is often difficult, it's a hike up a big hill but the Depression murals are great. You can also ride up to the top and the view of San Francisco is commanding.
Golden Gate is a must see but you can also hike around Chrissy Field if you have time.

15   lostand confused   ignore (0)   2014 Apr 7, 3:29pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

You can always walk down to the Tenderloin from Union Square too-now that is an adventure!

16   APOCALYPSEFUCKisShostikovitch   ignore (38)   2014 Apr 7, 3:41pm   ↑ like (3)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

You can always hijack the Google bus and fill it with winos and let them off at the Mountain View campus with promises of lithe teens and steak dinners donated by Eric Schmidt.

17   Vicente   ignore (0)   2014 Apr 7, 3:51pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag        

I like Angel Island. The Golden Gate is special too. Fisherman's Wharf? You can see a wharf and eat seafood in many coastal cities.

18   SFace   ignore (0)   2014 Apr 7, 4:01pm   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag        

Need Tourist advice, just do everything opposite of Edvard.

I'm sorry, if you visit San Francisco for the first time and want to avoid Fisherman's wharf because it is tourist trap, might as well say Waikiki is tourist trap, Pike Place is a tourist trap, or even Santa Monica piers is a tourist trap, visit Fisherman's wharf, don't overthink it.

The restaurants are definitely tourist trap but that is the deal, duh. Just don't sit down in a plain jain place disguised as a fancy place and just have a Boudin bread here, an In-out burger there, crab and street foods. If you must sit down, then my prefer choice is Bubba Gump, at least I know it is not a box of chocalate and you get the best view in all of Fisherman's wharf. It's almost better to skip the fancy meals on vacation and just keep it simple. I rather spend money on a restaurant I love and crave.

Yes, I believe the muni Metro from Powell is the best path to AT&T park. It's still ballpark food, but AT&T sells Gordon Birsch beer. The only thing about AT&T is you get to see yachts out in the bay and you get a nice cool breeze (in the upper deck at least) even when it is sunny. If you want to take pictures with the 2010, 2012 world champion tropies,m they are located right underneath the coke bottle beyond the left field bleachers. There are lot of expense card/corporate restaurant around the ballpark. San Francisco is as corporate as any city in the world and half the people who dines here are paid by someone else, meaning they all run around 30-50 a head for simple meals to unlimited budgets for VP's.

From Union Square, you should definitely take cable car on Powell (the hyde line) up nob hill, russion hill and down to the wharf. You'll pass by Lombard Street on the HYDE route. The difference between LA and SF are the hills. Once you are in the wharf, head toward pier 39 there detour back from the Mason cable car line which runs through Washington square, home of the European town and not a single starbucks or brand store in sight. If you love real football or the english premier league, i mean soccer then this is the place to watch it.

You should definitely head toward Fort Mason and Park Presidio if you want mostly postcard type views. If you are fit, rent a bike and go across the bridge to the other side for an even better view looking back from the city. Or go down to crissy field (on a bike) and enjoy the most beautiful clean air of a big city in this world. On a beautiful weekend there may be 500 yachts out in the bay and you have the most amazing weather, sight and fresh air. You look out from there and it's reminder why I think it is the best place to live in the country.

skip the disney museum (as you come from home of Disneyland afterwall and sick of mickey and friends and pixar and friends), if you are the museum type go to the De Young or Academy of science instead. I'm not sure if there are any special exhibits going on.

sorry, who the hell goes wine tasting in lodi or Livermore, does that even sound right to you? Might as well just go to treasure island as there is a wine tasting warehouse there and save yourself the gas. You know the wine areas, Sonoma, Napa, St Helenas. Personally, I would detour there on Monday morning (opposite traffic) and head to your next destination from that pivot point.

Monday traffic should not be bad as some 500K people come into the city by car, bus, boat or BART, not leave it and it is not like you are heading to the finacial, market, SOMA district. But you definitely don't want to leave the city after 4:00pm. If you are heading 80E, probably good idea to leave by 2:00pm because the Fairfield area trafffic are pathetic during commute hours. San Francisco's commute hours are shorter than LA's. That's what a lot more vehicle registration will do. Your real concern is the Sat afternoon traffic through 101N to make it into dead of downtown.

Have fun, come report back.

19   Bigsby   ignore (10)   2014 Apr 7, 10:01pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Food's always important on a trip. There's not much around Union Square, but I really liked Bouche (on Bush Street) the few times I've been there. Very convenient for staggering out of/into from one of the nearby hotels.

20   edvard2   ignore (1)   2014 Apr 8, 1:13am   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag        

SFace says

Need Tourist advice, just do everything opposite of Edvard.

I suppose we are all offering opinions here, which is fine. But even when I first moved here I thought Fisherman's Wharf was cheesy and overly touristy.SFace says

sorry, who the hell goes wine tasting in lodi or Livermore, does that even sound right to you? Might as well just go to treasure island as there is a wine tasting warehouse there and save yourself the gas.

Guess you don't know much about wine do you? Some of the better Italian varietals I've had are out of Livermore. Livermore was also the first area in the country to grow Petite Sirah. In fact they've been making wine in the area since the 1860's. As far as Lodi, well some of the best Zinfandel in the country and perhaps world come from there. The reason is because for decades and decades the area was primarily a grape growing region supplying wineries. During prohibition many of the vines went dormant. Afterwards and in some cases decades afterwards the vines were trimmed and brought back. So in some cases the Zinfandel you can get up there are coming from 100 year old, and older vines. And that is why a great many of the wines there have an astronomical BRIC rating, yet are some of the most refined, smooth, and well-balanced wines in the state.

Yet another area that is off the map wine tasting wise is Plymouth CA. I've had some of the more interesting wines you'll find. Some of the vines there date back to the gold rush.

Sure- no doubt there are some excellent wines that come from Napa and Sonoma. But you're also going to be driving down the roads with hordes of tour buses, limos, people getting married, tourists, and so on. Additionally, the tasting fees are usually very high and so too are the prices of the wines. The reason of course if because its got the name recognition. Personally wine tasting to me is about relaxing out in the nice warm weather and getting to talk with people. Napa doesn't really afford that experience while many of the other areas I mentioned do. But what the hell? If others want to go to Napa... let em' That way the areas I mentioned will stay the way they are, which is fine with me.

21   David9   ignore (0)   2014 Apr 8, 2:00am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Wow, no one mentioned Alcatraz or a boat ride in the Bay.

If you and your fiancé are feeling adventurous, at least as of several years ago there was at least one Straight sex club with a $40 entry fee.

(A couple took me there if you just had to know. ;-) )

22   New Renter   ignore (11)   2014 Apr 8, 2:35am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

David9 says

Wow, no one mentioned Alcatraz

Yes he did

dodgerfanjohn says

I discarded Alcatraz due to time constraints....

SFace says

sorry, who the hell goes wine tasting in lodi or Livermore, does that even sound right to you?

I do and yes it does.

23   David9   ignore (0)   2014 Apr 8, 2:45am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

New Renter says

Yes he did

I stand corrected. I did not read the whole article.

A 1 hour boat ride which goes under the Golden Gate Bridge and around Alcatraz island might be nice, especially if there is fog and clouds.

24   rooemoore   ignore (1)   2014 Apr 8, 3:30am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

SFace says

Or go down to crissy field (on a bike) and enjoy the most beautiful clean air of a big city in this world.

If only that were true.

25   zzyzzx   ignore (1)   2014 Apr 8, 3:43am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Ripped off from this thread /?p=1232157 :

Bungee jumping from the Golden Gate Bridge ( bungee chord optional)
... its all the rage...

26   David9   ignore (0)   2014 Apr 8, 3:45am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

San Francisco has some great museums:

http://www.baycityguide.com/museums.html

The Asian Art Museum is quite impressive.

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art I found more cutting edge than most.

27   dublin hillz   ignore (0)   2014 Apr 8, 4:13am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

rooemoore says

APOCALYPSEFUCKisShostikovitch says



Go to the Mission and moon the Google bus!


No, go to the moon and Google the mission bus.


It's San Francisco, silly.

No, they will just yelp the restaurant reviews in san francisco on their google browser on their latest mobile device because despite their self proclaimed open mindedness and hipsterism, they are actually quite a conformist bunch....

29   Tenpoundbass   ignore (15)   2014 Apr 8, 4:17am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag        

SFace says

If you must sit down, then my prefer choice is Bubba Gump, at least I know it is not a box of chocalate and you get the best view in all of Fisherman's wharf.

Personally I would rather sit in a locally sourced Tourist trap, than an international conglomerate of tourist trappers who are perched in every city in the world worth visiting, to snatch their money from their and take it back to their evil corporate lair.

You guys do know that Tom Hanks in character, doesn't actually own Bubba Gump right?

30   dublin hillz   ignore (0)   2014 Apr 8, 4:21am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Yeah, definitely be careful about walking to the southwest on market st past powell st - the town will change instantly and I am not exagerrating. You may want to definitely take trolley #5 or bus 38 to the end of the line and check out the pacific ocean on great highway.

31   dublin hillz   ignore (0)   2014 Apr 8, 4:32am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

I encourage all the napa snobs to ignore livermore wineries - I want to continue to enjoy the $5 flights!

32   edvard2   ignore (1)   2014 Apr 8, 5:05am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

zzyzzx says

Ripped off from this thread /?p=1232157 :

Bungee jumping from the Golden Gate Bridge ( bungee chord optional)

... its all the rage...


Yeah. Its also very popular with all the locals who know what's what to go great white shark watching. dublin hillz says

I encourage all the napa snobs to ignore livermore wineries - I want to continue to enjoy the $5 flights!

Yes. In fact, now that I think of it I take back everything I said before. Its true. Napa is the only place to go for wine. Places like Livermore are as mentioned by a previous response- like warehouses. Its just that I am too uncultured to know any better. That works out for the Napa folks. It means more room for them.

33   rooemoore   ignore (1)   2014 Apr 8, 5:13am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

dublin hillz says

I encourage all the napa snobs to ignore livermore wineries - I want to continue to enjoy the $5 flights!

I think your secret is safe.

Seriously, I'm sure there are some very good Livermore wines, but comparing a visit there to the Napa/Sonoma valleys is absurd.

34   edvard2   ignore (1)   2014 Apr 8, 5:25am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

rooemoore says

Seriously, I'm sure there are some very good Livermore wines, but comparing a visit there to the Napa/Sonoma valleys is absurd.

Why? Ever been in Livermore and/or Lodi? Its beautiful up there. The major difference is the types of people that the places attract. Honestly, I find more people who genuinely enjoy wine in Livermore than in Napa. In Napa its all about going because you're rich and you're "supposed" to go to Napa... because that's what you're supposed to do when you're rich.

35   Strategist   ignore (2)   2014 Apr 8, 6:52am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag        

David9 says

Wow, no one mentioned Alcatraz or a boat ride in the Bay.

If you and your fiancé are feeling adventurous, at least as of several years ago there was at least one Straight sex club with a $40 entry fee.

(A couple took me there if you just had to know. ;-) )

We just have to know what you did next.

36   David9   ignore (0)   2014 Apr 8, 7:06am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Strategist says

We just have to know what you did next.

Oh, now that is tempting. Not sure this is the right venue for a taste of San Francisco erotica. But thanks!

37   New Renter   ignore (11)   2014 Apr 8, 8:22am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

rooemoore says

dublin hillz says

I encourage all the napa snobs to ignore livermore wineries - I want to continue to enjoy the $5 flights!

I think your secret is safe.

Seriously, I'm sure there are some very good Livermore wines, but comparing a visit there to the Napa/Sonoma valleys is absurd.

Depends on what you're looking for. As far as the wines go many Napa and Sonoma wineries get their grapes from lowly Lodi so if you really want to see where your wines come from go to Lodi.

38   rooemoore   ignore (1)   2014 Apr 8, 11:41am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

edvard2 says

I find more people who genuinely enjoy wine in Livermore than in Napa.

I'll grant you that:

39   BlueSardine   ignore (2)   2014 Apr 8, 12:43pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Not to worry.
In that part of the county, anything you miss will be squeezed in for you....

dodgerfanjohn says

So is there anything I'm missing that I should be squeezing in?

40   New Renter   ignore (11)   2014 Apr 8, 1:29pm   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

rooemoore says

edvard2 says

I find more people who genuinely enjoy wine in Livermore than in Napa.

I'll grant you that:

So why are you showing an image of a Polish wino in Warsaw with a bottle of cheapass Polish fruit wine?

http://www.lightstalkers.org/images/show/621717

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