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Old 02-11-2009, 04:39 PM
 
Location: Australia
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Hi everyone,

I am visiting San Franciso in the beginning of March. I just like to seek some info about the area.

1. Is it safe to walk from BART Montgomery St Station to my hotel at 465 Grant Ave at night around 11pm? (I assumed there is a train service from SFO to Montgomery)

2. Which areas are no-go zones due to high incidence of crime?

3. Is Civic centre and union square safe to go at all? I heard mix reviews of safety in these areas.

4. Would it be safe to wander around the neighbourhoods near botanic gardens, japantown, chinatown, fisherman wharf and downtown, especially at night?

Any advice you can think of would be very much appreciated.

Thanks so much in advance.
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Old 02-11-2009, 05:22 PM
 
Location: Northern California
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Are you male or female?
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Old 02-11-2009, 05:27 PM
rah
 
Location: Oakland
3,315 posts, read 8,783,464 times
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1. yes that area is very safe at all hours (though you should always watch your back at night in the city). Also, yeah there's train service, which would be BART. You can hop on at the SFO station and get off at Montgomery Street station.

2. the closest things to no-go zones that you would likely be around as a tourist would be the Fillmore district (a lot of public housing here...it can seem very quiet at times, but don't underestimate it...this one's important too because the Fillmore can often be right in your path when trying to get to places such as Alamo Square, the Beach or Golden Gate Park) and depending on your experience with tough neighborhoods, parts of the Tenderloin, especially at night (this area is right next to union square, nob hill, and civic center, so it's even more easy for a tourist to wander into. During the day it's extremely busy though, so even clueless tourists are likely to be perfectly safe). You could get away with going through these neighborhoods, but I would just be careful as a tourist, because shady individuals can easily spot who belongs and who seems out of place. Also, be a little careful of mid-market street (from 5th to 9th street) and parts of SOMA, especially around 6th and 7th street...once again worry most at night. The real no-go zones in SF are in the southern parts of the city though, past where your usual tourist would ever turn up.

3. As I said, Union Square and Civic Center are both on opposite sides of the Tenderloin, which is a very busy, dense and poor neighborhood, full of immigrants, cheap restaurants, bars, poor people living in SRO's, and a nice collection of homeless people, drug addicts, drug dealers, pimps and prostitutes. Its decidedly more sketchy at night, and the borders are pretty much alright at all hours. Civic center is sort of like Tenderloin light. It can be sketchy, but it's smaller than the tenderloin, and mostly comprised of government buildings and offices, so the sketchiness is overall less pronounced.

4. those areas are all fine to wander around at night...but if you go south of Japantown, you'll end up in the aforementioned Fillmore district. Golden Gate Park can be a little sketchy at night too. As for downtown, be careful depending on what part you're in...the tenderloin, SOMA, and Civic Center are all parts of Downtown. Union Square, Nob Hill and the Financial District are as safe as could be. North Beach and Chinatown can be kinda sketchy at night too if your not careful, but they're not bad compared to places like the Tenderloin or Fillmore.
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Old 02-11-2009, 05:38 PM
 
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It's not safe at night and The Civic Center area is the worst next to the Tenderloin. The recipe for safety is pretty universal so I'll mix it up for you:

It's safer with other people around and lights. North Beach fits this description after dark. Union Square and Japantown are okay until about 10 pm but you need to be careful any time after dark. Best to taxi to your destination and back. Taxi from the Bart to Grant. Forget saving money. Carrying a suitcase at that time is paramount to waving a banner that says: "Here I am! I'm from out of town!"

Botanical Gardens, Japantown, Civic Center, and Downtown are much, much safer during the daytime and the last thing you want to be doing at night is "wandering." At night, pick a destination and go there, don't dawdle on the street. I work nights and deal with security issues so trust me. Be careful. If you have other people with you it adds to your safety considerably.
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Old 02-11-2009, 06:11 PM
 
Location: Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by humboldtrat View Post
Are you male or female?
I am male, traveling with a female.
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Old 02-11-2009, 06:35 PM
 
Location: Australia
50 posts, read 174,710 times
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Hi, thanks so much for your response so far.

Can you please give me the street names bordering Tenderloin and Fillmore please so I can mark this area on the map?

Chinatown is Grant Avenue, starting from my hotel going north isn't it? Which street is Japantown exactly?

Is there a taxi rank within Montgomery Street station (or somewhere else safe and close) to take a taxi from there to the hotel?

I also saw some mix reviews about safety of Market St. It seems like a major road on google earth. Is there any safety issue there and to the area south of Market St?

If I walk from fisherman wharf back to my hotel (i think it's located southern end of chinatown), would it be safe at night?

Is there any night life in San Francisco or are the streets empty at night?

Thanks
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Old 02-12-2009, 11:49 AM
 
Location: Northern California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailo View Post
Can you please give me the street names bordering Tenderloin and Fillmore please so I can mark this area on the map?
The Tenderloin is bounded more or less by Geary on the north, Van Ness on the west, Market St on the south and Mason on the east. http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ten...co,_California

A good website for tourists is San Francisco Underground Travel - Brutally Honest Reviews of Hotels, Restaurants, Activities, and Transportation. Type in Fillmore, Japantown or any SF neighborhood on this site for more info.
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Old 02-12-2009, 12:13 PM
 
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You should be fine walking from BART to your hotel---it's not very far, and that's not so late as that neighborhood goes. Also, remember that the maps of SF often don't show the topography. I wouldn't want to walk from Fisherman's Wharf to your hotel simply because it would be a very long, hilly walk, especially at the end of the night.

Why do you want to go to the tourist areas at night? They'll be much more interesting during the day, when the shops and attractions are open and there are people around. Get a City Pass and ride the trains, buses, and cable cars around the city---it's bigger than it looks. At night, you'll probably have the most fun picking a good restaurant or club to try and then heading there. If it's too late to take transit back (midnight or so), you can always ask restaurants to call you a cab. But SF isn't really a late-night city, either.

Market Street is generally safe because there are usually people and cars around regardless of the hour, but as others have noted, you don't want to be wandering around late at night with "tourist" stamped on your forehead. That's not wise in any city, however safe it might typically be. Area south of Market (SOMA) varies depending on where you are---it's not dangerous per se, but some areas are empty at night, which makes them bad places to wander around. Other parts have restaurants and bars and will have more people around. But again, the cost of a few cab rides back to the hotel at the end of the night will be small change in the cost of the overall trip, and are well worth it.

Just be smart as you would in any city, and remember to have fun too!
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Old 02-12-2009, 01:50 PM
 
Location: Northern California
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You seem to be planning to walk around SF, even at night. There are quite a few hills in SF and maybe you should try public transit. You can ride a cable car between downtown and Fishermans Wharf Cable Car Routes & Maps. You can also ride on the light rail (tram), even out to the beach for $1.50 http://www.transit.511.org/static/pr...2200722226.pdf. And you can also ride on old historic streetcars between downtown and the wharf on the "F" line www.sfmta.com/cms/mmaps/documents/F.pdf. Also $1.50.

You should plan to visit during the day, not at night. Remember, it's winter here and it might be cold and raining when you come here in March.
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Old 02-12-2009, 03:04 PM
 
Location: Australia
50 posts, read 174,710 times
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Thanks humboldtrat & artemis78 for your very helpful replies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by artemis78 View Post
Why do you want to go to the tourist areas at night?
I will allow at least a day up at fisherman wharf doing all sorts of activies like alcaltraz island, museum, aquarium, tours, coit tower etc. etc. I would assume these activities will go beyond sunset, esp. when the aquarium closes at 6pm and wax museum closes at 9pm. Would I be right?

Where would it be an interesting and safe place to hang around at night for dinner? Is there any type of american food I can try besides typical food from Mac'cas/KFC?

Anyone have street boundaries for Fillmore, Japantown and Chinatown?

Is Treasure Island worthy to visit?

Is there a 3 days "all you can eat" public transport ticket for both buses and BART? I am aware of "passport" fare, but that can't be used on BART.

I already purchased the "Go San Francisco Card" so it's not economical to purchase another city pass. I also used its included attractions as a guide to plan my itinery, so I might miss out on other touristy places not included there. Any advice would be very much appreciated.

I will be spending 4 days in your city and my plans so far starts from 6am, finished by 9pm. Believe me, the 4 days planned is pretty compressed. I should of make it 5 days to allow time for Yosemite tour but it's too late now.

Thanks so much in advance for all your help.

Cheers

Last edited by sailo; 02-12-2009 at 03:16 PM..
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