U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Travel
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 06-13-2015, 01:30 PM
 
4,665 posts, read 2,637,440 times
Reputation: 3342

Advertisements

My wife and I are vacationing to San Francisco later this month. We will be driving, but I don't know anything about getting around. The first night we are staying on the outskirts of town in a cheap hotel as we will be getting in late (likely around 9 p.m.) and won't have much time to do anything. Not including that night we will stay for 3 additional nights. I've looked with little success on finding cheap lodging in the city, so I figured I'd come on here and ask for recommendations. I'd love to only spend about $100/night, but not sure if that's possible. We may end up staying at the same hotel the duration, it's only $70/night and not a bad hotel, it's 1 hour driving (according to google figuring in traffic) to the wharf area.

Some things we will likely do, visit Chinatown, Golden Gate Bridge, Wharf, USS Hornet Museum.

Is public transportation going to be better then driving a car around, I can't imagine parking is easy? Any advice/recommendations on what to see, where to stay, how to get around would be greatly appreciated. We are big foodies as well, so any restaurant recommendations would be cool too, we aren't wealthy, so no extravagant places, but $50-80 for 2 is tops
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 06-13-2015, 05:03 PM
 
357 posts, read 1,699,066 times
Reputation: 331
Have you looked into airbnb, the world's largest private rental home/apartment site? I have used it in several cities around the world. I stayed in cities like San Diego to London for about 50-100 per night. You have the option of staying in a private room or renting the entire apartment out. It kind of works like tripadvisor, as you need to read all the reviews to make sure its the right spot for you.

San Fran is great without a car as you have many different transport options. If you will have a car, I suggest heading up to Twin Peaks which will give you the most amazing view of San Fran. Its a must!

Also, take the Golden Gate Bridge over to Sausalito for a nice lunch. Great town, amazing views. Last time I went with my friend, she had never been, we did the double decker red bus tour, which gave a great overview of the city, which we later explored the parts we wanted to walk around.

Personally, I wouldn't want to spend an hour there and back for a hotel. Some other places to check out....the Ferry Building has some great restaurants, as well as neighborhoods like Little Italy, Chinatown, even the Castro (gay area) but super cool to walk around.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-13-2015, 05:23 PM
 
9,190 posts, read 9,267,265 times
Reputation: 28779
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattks View Post
My wife and I are vacationing to San Francisco later this month. We will be driving, but I don't know anything about getting around. The first night we are staying on the outskirts of town in a cheap hotel as we will be getting in late (likely around 9 p.m.) and won't have much time to do anything. Not including that night we will stay for 3 additional nights. I've looked with little success on finding cheap lodging in the city, so I figured I'd come on here and ask for recommendations. I'd love to only spend about $100/night, but not sure if that's possible. We may end up staying at the same hotel the duration, it's only $70/night and not a bad hotel, it's 1 hour driving (according to google figuring in traffic) to the wharf area.

Some things we will likely do, visit Chinatown, Golden Gate Bridge, Wharf, USS Hornet Museum.

Is public transportation going to be better then driving a car around, I can't imagine parking is easy? Any advice/recommendations on what to see, where to stay, how to get around would be greatly appreciated. We are big foodies as well, so any restaurant recommendations would be cool too, we aren't wealthy, so no extravagant places, but $50-80 for 2 is tops
Check all the usual suspects: Expedia; Hotwire; and Travelocity. We have stayed near Fisherman's Wharf at Travelodge by the Bay on Lombard Street. Its not brand new, but has been good lodging in a good location that has met our needs. Rates are higher in the summer though.

I think one could easily do San Francisco without a car, but I have generally brought my own vehicle and used it much of the time to get around. Despite parking hassles it does make it easier and more convenient to get to some areas of the city. Parking is tough and I would check out whether the hotel you pick offers parking and whether there is an additional fee for it.

1. What to See (In addition to your own list)

Golden Gate Park and the Japanese Tea Garden. Possibly the De Young Museum in the park as well.

Consider walking all the way across the Golden Gate Bridge

The John Muir Woods (tall redwood trees) north of the Golden Gate Bridge

Coit Tower (actually a memorial to firefighters)

Ride the cable car from the Wharf to Chinatown. Spend an afternoon looking around Chinatown.

The row houses in Haight Ashbury.

Alcatraz Island (You must make reservations before you come)

Angel Island (ride the ferry out and hike for half a day). I believe there is a ferry from both the wharf and Tiburon.

2. Restaurants (from cheap to expensive)

If you stay somewhere on Lombard Street, there are plenty of sandwich shops which will fill your belly without draining your wallet.

Virtually anyplace in Chinatown (they are all good if you like Chinese food)

Original Joe's in North Beach (Italian Food)

Ghiradelli's (at Fisherman's Wharf) if you just want to eat ice cream and call it a meal.

Pacific Cafe (34th and Geary Streets)

Alioto's (Fisherman's Wharf)

The Spinnaker in Sausalito

Franciscan Crab Restaurant. (Fisherman's Wharf)
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-13-2015, 07:20 PM
 
Location: Myrtle Beach
1,498 posts, read 1,189,287 times
Reputation: 3790
Traffic is SF is terrible especially around South of Market during commute time or if there is a ball game. The google time estimates are extremely inaccurate for driving during commute hours. Get a 3 day bus pass, it's good on buses, Muni underground, streetcars and cable cars. There are some great motels on Lombard St with excellent access to public transportation and a great walking area. I have friends stayed at the Tuscan at the Wharf and loved the location.
Restaurants
Dim Sum - Yank Sing is considered the best (Lunch only), but City View gets my vote for less expensive but still very good.
Betelnut on Union for great Asian fusion and a great place to stroll before or after dinner
Scoma's at the wharf has a well deserved reputation.
The Ferry Building for coffee in the morning watching the commuter ferries come in.
If you are in the Union Square area check out the food court at the Westfield mall - it's not your ordinary food court.

To do
If you want to go to Alcatraz make your reservations NOW. This sells out fast.
Take the ferry to Sausalito and the bus back across the Golden Gate Bridge.
See the seals at the wharf and then walk to North Beach for Italian
If you're there over a weekend check the paper (sfgate.com) and see if there are any street fairs going on.

Check out tripadvisor.com San Francisco for more ideas - read the trip reports and see what interests you.

Relax and have fun
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-13-2015, 09:43 PM
 
Location: City of Angels
2,935 posts, read 4,765,000 times
Reputation: 2236
I am working in SF right now and having a major problem finding affordable accommodation. Even crappy SRO's with shared bathrooms are approaching $100/night. It's crazy how expensive this place has become.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-14-2015, 12:30 AM
 
2,642 posts, read 4,820,571 times
Reputation: 3457
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattks View Post
Not including that night we will stay for 3 additional nights. I've looked with little success on finding cheap lodging in the city, so I figured I'd come on here and ask for recommendations. I'd love to only spend about $100/night, but not sure if that's possible. We may end up staying at the same hotel the duration, it's only $70/night and not a bad hotel, it's 1 hour driving (according to google figuring in traffic) to the wharf area.
If that hotel is near a Bart Station you can easily take Bart into downtown San Francisco for sightseeing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattks View Post
Is public transportation going to be better then driving a car around, I can't imagine parking is easy?
Public transportation is better in the crowded tourist area east of Van Ness Ave. and north of Market St. For attractions in the western part of SF like Golden Gate Park, Twin Peaks, the Legion of Honor, Land's End and Ocean Beach driving is better but public transport is doable.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-14-2015, 02:46 AM
 
6,353 posts, read 5,156,240 times
Reputation: 8527
markg91359's to-do recommendations are good.

There is no place in the city proper that is an hour's drive from the center. Your hotel must be way out in the suburbs. Don't do it. airbnb.com and vrbo.com are the answer! Enjoy your stay.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-14-2015, 05:31 AM
 
32,063 posts, read 32,962,795 times
Reputation: 14945
I always suggest visiting the free (small) Cable Car Museum near Chinatown. In the center of San Francisco it is definitely better to use public transportation including take at least one ride on a cable car. But for the Golden Gate Bridge it is much more convenient to get there by car. For even more recommendations, I suggest you post your query also on the San Francisco forum (which is a sub-forum of California).
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-21-2015, 10:51 PM
 
4,665 posts, read 2,637,440 times
Reputation: 3342
Thanks everyone for the replies! We just got back from vacation and had a blast! San Francisco has definitely made it to the top of my list of favorite cities. Sure the traffic is bad, but not as bad as I would have imagined, even parking wasn't too hard to find. My only beef with the city was the prices, but it's understandable I suppose. I didn't realize there were tolls over the bridges, if I had known that I may have booked the hotel in San Francisco proper. The first time over the bridge I didn't have cash, so I was basically screwed, $25 fine coming my way... I learned quickly its wise to carry a decent amount of cash there. Despite some of those things it really has become my favorite city. The people are very friendly, the food is awesome, the weather is awesome, tons to do and see, etc. I see another vacation to the city in the future. Chinatown, the Wharf, and Twin Peaks were my favorite places.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-22-2015, 03:38 AM
 
Location: SW France
14,248 posts, read 14,137,087 times
Reputation: 27914
Quote:
Originally Posted by urbandeco View Post
Have you looked into airbnb, the world's largest private rental home/apartment site? I have used it in several cities around the world. I stayed in cities like San Diego to London for about 50-100 per night. You have the option of staying in a private room or renting the entire apartment out. It kind of works like tripadvisor, as you need to read all the reviews to make sure its the right spot for you.

San Fran is great without a car as you have many different transport options. If you will have a car, I suggest heading up to Twin Peaks which will give you the most amazing view of San Fran. Its a must!

Also, take the Golden Gate Bridge over to Sausalito for a nice lunch. Great town, amazing views. Last time I went with my friend, she had never been, we did the double decker red bus tour, which gave a great overview of the city, which we later explored the parts we wanted to walk around.

Personally, I wouldn't want to spend an hour there and back for a hotel. Some other places to check out....the Ferry Building has some great restaurants, as well as neighborhoods like Little Italy, Chinatown, even the Castro (gay area) but super cool to walk around.

You beat me to that! Good idea.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Travel
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top