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Old 01-22-2012, 08:51 PM
 
8 posts, read 10,971 times
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Hi all. I had posted a thread about a week ago asking about the weather when I come to visit in March and everyone was so helpful that I thought I would come here to ask the locals about lodging.

This is my first visit to San Francisco and I'll be by myself (aside from the weekend when a friend from Los Angeles will be flying up to meet me) and I will be using public transpo/walking for all of my exploring. I will be staying for 6 days and really only need a clean/safe place to sleep and shower. I want to stay away from hostels and hotels that have shared bathrooms (never knew that those still existed but there seem to be quite a few in your city!) but unfortunately my budget is pretty strict since I'm a recent college grad (this is my graduation present to myself ).

My searches keep coming up with the Marina Inn (3110 Octavia Street). It's definitely in my budget (Priceline has it at $60/night, other sites at $71) and it has a majority of decent reviews on TripAdvisor and Yelp. I just keep wondering if it's all too good to be true because of the price.

I saw an earlier post on here from 2009 that had good things to say, but a lot can change in a few years. Thanks everyone for any input!
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Old 01-25-2012, 06:48 AM
 
Location: OAKLAND CA
317 posts, read 618,388 times
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Marina Inn is a yes in my book. Quiet, clean and good location are the pluses. Maybe the rooms are a bit dated and small but I was able to accept that. Enjoy because it worked for me.
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Old 01-25-2012, 09:59 AM
 
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Not sure what your interests are, but I would normally recommend staying closer to Union Square, but it may not be feasible on your budget. The advantage to Union Square is that there are a lot of hotels there and easy walking distance to theaters, shopping, museums, Chinatown, North Beach and transportation.

The Marina Inn is on a high traffic and main thoroughfare to the GG Bridge. It's close to the Marina district, which is the perennial youth area of bars, restaurants and apartments and Union Street for boutique shopping. Otherwise, it is a hike to the other areas mentioned above. You will either be spending time on buses, time walking, or money on cabs getting to and from your location there. You may want to consider only staying there a couple of days and moving to another hotel closer to Union Square for the remainder of your stay.
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Old 01-25-2012, 06:39 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tanglenet View Post
Not sure what your interests are, but I would normally recommend staying closer to Union Square, but it may not be feasible on your budget. The advantage to Union Square is that there are a lot of hotels there and easy walking distance to theaters, shopping, museums, Chinatown, North Beach and transportation.

The Marina Inn is on a high traffic and main thoroughfare to the GG Bridge. It's close to the Marina district, which is the perennial youth area of bars, restaurants and apartments and Union Street for boutique shopping. Otherwise, it is a hike to the other areas mentioned above. You will either be spending time on buses, time walking, or money on cabs getting to and from your location there. You may want to consider only staying there a couple of days and moving to another hotel closer to Union Square for the remainder of your stay.
I'm actually a regular bus rider at home (no car), so the bus riding probably won't bother me all that much because Orlando (home) has the worst public transportation system in the entire country and all I ever hear about is SF's awesome public transpo system.

I was initially thinking Union Square, but then kept reading reviews about crime and not being safe at night to walk alone and such. I walk by myself at night a lot when I'm home but that's because I know where I'm going and make sure to exude that snooty aloofness that make a lot of Floridians unapproachable. But walking around SF, I will get lost, a lot. I just don't want to get lost in the wrong part of town. Is Union Square really not as bad as people say?
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Old 01-25-2012, 07:32 PM
 
Location: San Francisco, CA
506 posts, read 996,808 times
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Given what you've said, I think Marina Inn is a good choice. I like walking around that area. Yes, you'll spend some time on busses, but that's a great way to experience the city! Besides, there's cool stuff to see all over.

I would not stay near Union Square, myself. The area right there is fine, east and south and north are okay, but you go two blocks west and boom: slum. It's bizarre. I avoid walking around the area at night. (If I have to switch transit late, I do it further north and east, by the Embarcadero.) I don't think tourists actually come to any harm when they wander a bit far west of Union Square, but they sure look freaked out. And that's in the daytime.
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Old 01-25-2012, 07:45 PM
 
8 posts, read 10,971 times
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Originally Posted by Isebiel View Post
Given what you've said, I think Marina Inn is a good choice. I like walking around that area. Yes, you'll spend some time on busses, but that's a great way to experience the city! Besides, there's cool stuff to see all over.

I would not stay near Union Square, myself. The area right there is fine, east and south and north are okay, but you go two blocks west and boom: slum. It's bizarre. I avoid walking around the area at night. (If I have to switch transit late, I do it further north and east, by the Embarcadero.) I don't think tourists actually come to any harm when they wander a bit far west of Union Square, but they sure look freaked out. And that's in the daytime.
BUS TIPS! THANK YOU!
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Old 01-25-2012, 11:51 PM
 
2,644 posts, read 4,823,605 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evilqueen76 View Post
But walking around SF, I will get lost, a lot. I just don't want to get lost in the wrong part of town. Is Union Square really not as bad as people say?
Don't plan on getting lost, just get a Muni foldout bus map that shows all the streets and routes. The Books Inc. store on Chestnut probably will have one.

The Marina Inn is a great loaction since it is close to the water and near many scenic attractions. The 30 Bus will be the most useful bus in that location. Take it going east to Fisherman's Wharf,North Beach,Chinatown,Union Square & downtown. Take it going west to the Exploratorium,Palace of Fine Arts and Crissy Fields.

Other useful buses are the 43,28 and 22. The 43 starts a couple blocks west of the Marina Inn near Chestnut and Webster. Take it to Haight Ashbury,Cole Valley,Inner Sunset(Irving St.) and two blocks from Golden Gate Park at 9th and Judah.

The 28 bus goes to the scenic outlook for the Golden Gate Bridge. Get back on in the same direction and get off at Clement St. There are many shops and restaurants in the New Chinatown between 12th and 3rd Aves. on Clement.

The 22 bus is useful if you want to explore Japantown and the upscale shops/restaurants along Fillmore St in Lower Pac. Heights. Continue south on the 22 to Church and Market. This is a vibrant area,close to Mission Dolores and a short walk to Castro St.

http://www.sfmta.com/cms/mmaps/documents/30-layer.pdf

http://www.sfmta.com/cms/mmaps/documents/43-layer.pdf

http://www.sfmta.com/cms/mmaps/docum...-28L-layer.pdf

http://www.sfmta.com/cms/mmaps/documents/22-layer.pdf

http://transit.511.org/static/provid...2201020601.pdf

http://transit.511.org/static/provid...3201191042.pdf

Last edited by capoeira; 01-26-2012 at 12:49 AM..
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Old 01-26-2012, 06:32 PM
 
Location: San Francisco, CA
46 posts, read 207,297 times
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I would definitely recommend getting a visitor's passport for MUNI - which is not actually a passport, just a pass that will let you ride public transit for a week for $27.Where/When to Buy Fare Media Bus fare is $2.00, and you get a transfer that will let you ride for 90 minutes (in case you need to take two busses to get where you're going) so if you're getting around by public transit the visitor's passport will save you money. I would say this is doubly true if you're staying at the Marina Inn, since there isn't that much to do there. Good places to go that are close to the Marina Inn are Union Street (between Van Ness and Steiner); Fillmore Street (between Sacramento and... actually all the way to the end, but mainly to Post); Polk from Filbert to Pine; and if you want to get all touristy there's fisherman's wharf/pier 39.

If it were me I'd stay at a place like America's Best Value Extended Stay in Union Square. It's not a great area (O'Farrell/Jones) but it's not terrible either. It's just down the street from the SF Hilton, and it's one of those border areas. You don't want to walk down to Golden Gate or Eddy and I'd steer clear from 6th street. I've never stayed at the hotel I'm recommending, though I have stayed at the Hilton, which is in the same area. It's really not that bad as long as you don't head south without going East first. When I checked it was $65 dollars a week for the first week in March, and they have a microwave and fridge/freezer in the room which is very handy and economical (vs. restaurant eating for every meal).

I'd also recommend checking out the SF city guides free walking tours San Francisco Walking Tours | City Guides as long as the weather is nice when you're here. BTW, we've often had heat waves in February or March (never lasting more than a week). In San Francisco that usually translates to mid 80s (with low humidity, so not so bad). In the summer it tends to be foggier and colder, then nice again in October. I'd say March, April and October are probably the nicest months in San Francisco and the Northern Peninsula.
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Old 01-26-2012, 07:40 PM
 
2,644 posts, read 4,823,605 times
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Originally Posted by FrenchKissed View Post
If it were me I'd stay at a place like America's Best Value Extended Stay in Union Square. It's not a great area (O'Farrell/Jones) but it's not terrible either.
I would not stay at O'Farrell/Jones even if they gave me a free room! And I've been to that location many times to go to Shalimar, Lahore Karahi & Pakwan so I know it well.
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Old 01-26-2012, 08:32 PM
 
Location: San Francisco, CA
506 posts, read 996,808 times
Reputation: 316
Oh yes, I second getting a Muni Passport. Loved using that!

Other bus stuff: the posted schedule is, um, idealized at best. Assuming you've got a smartphone, check nextbus.com for when a bus will ACTUALLY be there. Especially if you have to wait out in the rain in some marginal area, you'll want to know when (and IF) the bus is going to show up.

Like, Google maps keeps suggesting I take the #1 California bus home from downtown to Pac Heights on weekend evenings, but the "next bus" time is always 30+ minutes away, and it never leaves the terminal. Sooooo... um. Yeah. It's nicer to wait for a bus that is going to eventually show up.

Also, when that automated Muni Voice says "Please Hold On"... do that. The busses are electric and take off fast! And stop fast, too. And some times do both in rapid succession like the driver is trying to shake everyone loose. Ha.
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