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Old 05-16-2013, 02:42 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,139 posts, read 29,530,248 times
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Ferry Building is a must see for eating.


I am on my phone, please forgive the typos.
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Old 05-16-2013, 03:24 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
77,945 posts, read 69,884,727 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
Ferry Building is a must see for eating.


I am on my phone, please forgive the typos.
The Embarcadero in general is good for eating and shopping. Outdoor cafes abound.
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Old 05-16-2013, 03:37 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
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WARNING about cable car rides: there are 2 historic lines left. The most popular, the Powell Street car, is PACKED with tourists (waiting lines!). It's the most scenic; it goes up a hill where you get a spectacular view of Alcatraz and the Bay, swerves left (hold on tight!), rattles around some neighborhoods, swerves again (it's like a Disneyland ride!), and drops you off at Ghirardelli Square and the famous chocolate factory. Sounds great, right? WRONG! 2 major problems: a) the cars are so packed with tourists, and the waiting lines so long, people get stranded out at G. Square, and can't get back downtown. If you have cab fare, that would eliminate the problem. b) Ghirardelli Square is a HUGE tourist trap! Be forewarned. You may enjoy it anyway, depends on what you like. The chocolate factory's kind of cool, though, and there's a cafe area where you can order ice cream treats with loads of chocolate sauce.

The other cable car line, the California Street line, goes up and down California Street. It's more of a thing for locals. You can catch it on CA street downtown, at CA and Market. You can ride it up to near the end of the line, near a Whole Foods Grocery, if you need to do some grocery shopping. No sharp swerves, no Disneyland. But the brakemen are cool. Most cable car brakemen are very cool, they're an experience.

Chinatown. (Another tourist trap. Bland food, too; it's all Cantonese, none of the interesting, spicy northern Chinese cuisines.) Mostly cheap trinkets. The very cool and well-priced antique stores have mostly closed. Still, for a newbie, I guess it would be interesting enough. A pleasant walk, anyway.

SO. Sounds like you're going to spend your day downtown, rather than at the park and bridge. Fair enuff. The Powell Street car actually passes a couple of blocks from Chinatown at one point. You could conceivably ride the car part way, and get off at the top of the hill (tell the brakeman you want Chinatown), and walk down to Chinatown. From downtown (defined generally as the area around Union Square, with the gate to Chinatown off to one side), you can walk down to the Embarcadero for lunch or dinner, views, shopping, puttering around. A few block south of Market Street from downtown is the Museum of Modern Art, "MOMA".

Expect some panhandlers and homeless on your sojourn downtown.
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Old 05-16-2013, 04:28 PM
 
43,012 posts, read 92,000,781 times
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No. No. No. You've talked me out of cable cars and Chinatown!

We're going to the park and bridge!

Is there a flea market or open air market of some sort for me to get a shopping fix? It will be Sunday.
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Old 05-16-2013, 04:37 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
77,945 posts, read 69,884,727 times
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Sunday in the Park is fun. It's closed to traffic on Sundays, and there are roller-skate rental booths around. Sunday is skating-in-the-park day.

I don't know about fleamarkets. Ask Jade. re: lunch/dinner on a Sunday--there are some good Chinese restaurants in the neighborhoods around the park. On Geary Boulevard, and on Fulton, bordering the north of the park. They're open Sundays. I don't know if Cinderella Bakery (which I linked earlier) is open on Sundays.

Pick up a Sunday Chronicle Sunday morning. There's an entertainment section that will tell you what's going on in the city (and Bay Area) Sunday, and the rest of the week. If there are any open-air art/craft fairs or other events, they'll be listed there. There should be something somewhere that would feed your shopping bug. If not GG Park, maybe the Presidio Park, or something downtown. There could be free concerts going on, too.

Don't enjoy yourself too much; you may end up wanting to relocate!
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Old 05-16-2013, 07:25 PM
 
1,696 posts, read 2,255,173 times
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Egyptian Museum in San Jose and the gigantic award-winning Rose Garden next door! Gotta drop this in for ya. Next time if you come back for a 2nd visit, this could tide the kids over for half a day
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Old 05-16-2013, 07:44 PM
 
249 posts, read 372,658 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
WARNING about cable car rides: there are 2 historic lines left. The most popular, the Powell Street car, is PACKED with tourists (waiting lines!). It's the most scenic; it goes up a hill where you get a spectacular view of Alcatraz and the Bay, swerves left (hold on tight!), rattles around some neighborhoods, swerves again (it's like a Disneyland ride!), and drops you off at Ghirardelli Square and the famous chocolate factory. Sounds great, right? WRONG! 2 major problems: a) the cars are so packed with tourists, and the waiting lines so long, people get stranded out at G. Square, and can't get back downtown. If you have cab fare, that would eliminate the problem. b) Ghirardelli Square is a HUGE tourist trap! Be forewarned. You may enjoy it anyway, depends on what you like. The chocolate factory's kind of cool, though, and there's a cafe area where you can order ice cream treats with loads of chocolate sauce.

The other cable car line, the California Street line, goes up and down California Street. It's more of a thing for locals. You can catch it on CA street downtown, at CA and Market. You can ride it up to near the end of the line, near a Whole Foods Grocery, if you need to do some grocery shopping. No sharp swerves, no Disneyland. But the brakemen are cool. Most cable car brakemen are very cool, they're an experience.

Chinatown. (Another tourist trap. Bland food, too; it's all Cantonese, none of the interesting, spicy northern Chinese cuisines.) Mostly cheap trinkets. The very cool and well-priced antique stores have mostly closed. Still, for a newbie, I guess it would be interesting enough. A pleasant walk, anyway.

SO. Sounds like you're going to spend your day downtown, rather than at the park and bridge. Fair enuff. The Powell Street car actually passes a couple of blocks from Chinatown at one point. You could conceivably ride the car part way, and get off at the top of the hill (tell the brakeman you want Chinatown), and walk down to Chinatown. From downtown (defined generally as the area around Union Square, with the gate to Chinatown off to one side), you can walk down to the Embarcadero for lunch or dinner, views, shopping, puttering around. A few block south of Market Street from downtown is the Museum of Modern Art, "MOMA".

Expect some panhandlers and homeless on your sojourn downtown.

All words of wisdom.
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Old 05-16-2013, 08:39 PM
 
2,622 posts, read 4,795,621 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hopes View Post

We are landing near midnight on Saturday and staying at hotel near the airport. We will be staying near Big Sur on Sunday night. After breakfast on Sunday morning and checking out of the hotel, what do you recommend we do in San Fran for the day and into the evening? We are perfectly fine checking into our next hotel late on Sunday night.
Driving to the Big Sur in the dark = very bad idea. First it causes one to miss all the Highway 1 California scenery. Highway 1 south of Carmel is a treacherous 2 lane highway without lights, probably limited cell phone service and at night it could be very foggy. I would stop somewhere like San Jose and proceed further south in the a.m.
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Old 05-16-2013, 08:58 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
77,945 posts, read 69,884,727 times
Reputation: 75730
They could drive to Santa Cruz after dinner, and it would still be light. It's daylight until 9 pm, so if they left at 7:00-7:30, they'd be ok. Or they could try the Monterey area. Pulling in at night on a holiday weekend might not be advisable for finding a place to stay, but they seem to be into winging it and being adventurous.
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Old 05-16-2013, 09:24 PM
 
43,012 posts, read 92,000,781 times
Reputation: 30379
Quote:
Originally Posted by capoeira View Post
Driving to the Big Sur in the dark = very bad idea. First it causes one to miss all the Highway 1 California scenery. Highway 1 south of Carmel is a treacherous 2 lane highway without lights, probably limited cell phone service and at night it could be very foggy. I would stop somewhere like San Jose and proceed further south in the a.m.
Thanks for the warning. We were planning to arrive around sunset since we will be tired from flying in the previous night.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
Pulling in at night on a holiday weekend might not be advisable for finding a place to stay, but they seem to be into winging it and being adventurous.
I've been making reservations for the past two days.

I WISH I could wing it. I'm ensuring the possibility to cancel reservations to accommodate our adventurous spirit.
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