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Old 06-12-2013, 01:31 PM
 
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Kind of a weird question and I know it may be TMI. I have some family visiting for the 4th of July holidays, will be first time in the Bay Area for them. One of my cousins, she's a teenager and I love her to death, but she has a medical condition with her stomach. Sometimes she'll get these "attacks" where she'll have to find a restroom for a "number 2" within 10 minutes max or she'll have an accident. Luckily for her these things don't happen that often, but if it does it can be quite stressful for her and those around her. She also suffers from social anxiety/ OCD, so she's very peculiar about the restrooms she can use. They have to be at least shopping mall-level cleanliness, she'll refuse to use, say, a public park restroom (although to be fair I sure as hell wouldn't go in one of those either).

I admire her living with this and still being willing to try new things, but at the same time we have to be aware of this issue. I want to show them around the city and the Bay Area, but I know from personal experience that finding a bathroom in certain areas of the city can be a challenge.

So what would be some good areas to visit (I think museums would be fine for obvious reasons) and places to avoid (hiking across the Golden Gate may not be an option)?
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Old 06-12-2013, 02:58 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
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Yeah, if she is not comfortable using restrooms that aren't mall-level clean, then the GG Bridge might be an issue. Although maybe you can go scout them out first to see how clean they are. I know they built a new tourist center on the SF side of the GG Bridge. So newly built usually means cleaner or at least it will look cleaner cause it is new. On the other side though, if they do have restrooms it will be old.

You can take them to Lands End Lookout during sundown- beautiful sunsets over the ocean view plus they can explore the old ruins of Sutro Baths. They also built a really cool looking new visitors center. The restrooms were clean when I visited and since it is newer, it also gives off the look of cleanliness too. The visitors center isn't too far from the Sutro Baths and sitting area to look out.

Union Square should be easy because there are lots of department stores around. You guys can sit and eat inside Union Square park- they have a cafe in it. Or, you can also take them to Yerba Buena Gardens park and there are plenty of restrooms inside the Metreon center. You can have a picnic on the grass there and sometimes they have free shows. You can check their website for them. I think they are held by the YBCA.

You can also take them to the Ferry Building when they have the farmers market on Saturday mornings. The restrooms inside the Ferry Building were pretty good from what I recall.

On Friday evenings, they have Off the Grid at the Fort Mason center. That features 30+ food trucks with live music and they can get a sampling of the latest food offerings in SF- diverse cuisine and innovative stuff. They have good restrooms, although in an older building, they aren't bad inside one of the buildings in the back. I've never had to wait in line to use them. It is the one that houses the bookstore. If you aren't sure where, you can ask the info booth at the event. Go scout it out first to see if you think it is doable.

I think you should avoid Chinatown- the restrooms are going to be dirty and run down, plus that place in general is dirty, crowded, hard to find parking, and high chance of getting food poisoning if you eat there.

Always carry a packet of hand sanitizing wipes and some tissues or travel size packet of them in case she needs them for any reason. They are useful for cleaning up after you eat from food stands too.

I hope these ideas help and hope she and your family will have a good time. I once had to travel with a temporary disability and I know how challenging it can be! Good luck!
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Old 06-12-2013, 03:00 PM
 
486 posts, read 1,163,052 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mini_cute View Post
Yeah, if she is not comfortable using restrooms that aren't mall-level clean, then the GG Bridge might be an issue. Although maybe you can go scout them out first to see how clean they are. I know they built a new tourist center on the SF side of the GG Bridge. So newly built usually means cleaner or at least it will look cleaner cause it is new. On the other side though, if they do have restrooms it will be old.

You can take them to Lands End Lookout during sundown- beautiful sunsets over the ocean view plus they can explore the old ruins of Sutro Baths. They also built a really cool looking new visitors center. The restrooms were clean when I visited and since it is newer, it also gives off the look of cleanliness too. The visitors center isn't too far from the Sutro Baths and sitting area to look out.

Union Square should be easy because there are lots of department stores around. You guys can sit and eat inside Union Square park- they have a cafe in it. Or, you can also take them to Yerba Buena Gardens park and there are plenty of restrooms inside the Metreon center. You can have a picnic on the grass there and sometimes they have free shows. You can check their website for them. I think they are held by the YBCA.

You can also take them to the Ferry Building when they have the farmers market on Saturday mornings. The restrooms inside the Ferry Building were pretty good from what I recall.

On Friday evenings, they have Off the Grid at the Fort Mason center. That features 30+ food trucks with live music and they can get a sampling of the latest food offerings in SF- diverse cuisine and innovative stuff. They have good restrooms, although in an older building, they aren't bad inside one of the buildings in the back. I've never had to wait in line to use them. It is the one that houses the bookstore. If you aren't sure where, you can ask the info booth at the event. Go scout it out first to see if you think it is doable.

I think you should avoid Chinatown- the restrooms are going to be dirty and run down, plus that place in general is dirty, crowded, hard to find parking, and high chance of getting food poisoning if you eat there.

Always carry a packet of hand sanitizing wipes and some tissues or travel size packet of them in case she needs them for any reason. They are useful for cleaning up after you eat from food stands too.

I hope these ideas help and hope she and your family will have a good time. I once had to travel with a temporary disability and I know how challenging it can be! Good luck!
Thanks SO MUCH. This was amazingly helpful!
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Old 06-14-2013, 09:27 AM
 
Location: Springfield, Ohio
13,827 posts, read 12,236,087 times
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Haight Street should also probably be avoided...they don't have public restrooms outside of certain restaurants because of all the street kids up there. Also, no underground BART stations have public restrooms, which includes all the SF stations you'll likely be traveling through.
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Old 06-14-2013, 10:31 AM
 
Location: State of Transition
90,492 posts, read 86,605,163 times
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Yes, I think the GG Bridge would be fine for a short walk, as there are restrooms nearby. Golden Gate Park is worth an extended visit; restrooms are in the DeYoung Museum, the California Academy of Sciences, and probably at the Japanese Tea Garden.

Last edited by Ruth4Truth; 06-14-2013 at 10:49 AM..
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Old 06-14-2013, 10:47 AM
 
Location: San Francisco, California
1,949 posts, read 5,784,742 times
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most restaurants will not let you use the rest room unless your a customer

some will even put a sign on the door that says "out of order" to prevent people off the street from asking to use it

even though it's not really out of order they still let paying customers use it

fisherman's warf has a restroom at the visitor's center museum that seems to be kept clean most of the time

the Westfield Shopping Center is a large mall in downtown SF that has plenty of clean restrooms for public use, they even have restroom attendents that make sure it's kept clean at all times

also public libraries, except the one near the civic center, that one has lots of homeless people using the restrooms
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Old 06-15-2013, 10:46 AM
 
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Just to warn you: The Ferry Building's a great destination and a wonderful visit at any time, but the lines for the bathrooms are INSANE on Saturdays! I'd visit another time
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Old 06-16-2013, 03:58 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
18,817 posts, read 27,994,553 times
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If she'd be comfortable with the bathrooms on a cruise ship, you might consider one of the SF Bay cruises on the bay. I took a Hornblower champagne brunch cruise once through our senior center, and it was fantastic. They provide the food and you get to see the city from the water, goes by Alcatraz and under the Golden Gate. And the bathroom would be handy the entire time.

They even have a 4th of July cruise where you can watch the fireworks from the ship:

San Francisco Fireworks Cruise | 4th of July San Francisco | Hornblower

It's a bit pricey, but if she'd be comfortable with the restroom, it might be worth the money to know you have several hours of low stress entertainment, and it's a great way to see the city.

There are a few of these cruise companies that operate out of SF. You can google more options.
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Old 06-17-2013, 08:18 PM
 
Location: South Korea
5,242 posts, read 12,242,429 times
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Avoid any American city if you need clean and available bathrooms at all times, especially San Francisco. In most big cities you're just not going to find bathrooms easily, and you can't use ones at cafes and restaurants unless you're a paying customer. Stores never have public bathrooms. And there's not really a network of city-run bathrooms like in some cities, though those would be gross anyway. Sometimes you'll find the self-cleaning bathrooms that SF put out, but they're pretty gross due to hobo infestation.
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Old 06-17-2013, 08:58 PM
 
486 posts, read 1,163,052 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mayorhaggar View Post
Avoid any American city if you need clean and available bathrooms at all times, especially San Francisco. In most big cities you're just not going to find bathrooms easily, and you can't use ones at cafes and restaurants unless you're a paying customer. Stores never have public bathrooms. And there's not really a network of city-run bathrooms like in some cities, though those would be gross anyway. Sometimes you'll find the self-cleaning bathrooms that SF put out, but they're pretty gross due to hobo infestation.
Avoiding American cities is not an option as we live in America, so I guess we're screwed.
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