One night in San Francisco

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    Feb 15, 2011 12:29 AM GMT
    I'm going to be in San Francisco for just one night, as I'm visiting Stanford the rest of the weekend. I've done most of the typical touristy stuff already, so I'm not looking to go to Alcatraz or ride the streetcar. It's a bit of a "business-y" kind of trip for me, so I'm wondering about recommendations on:

    1) Somewhere to stay
    2) A gym that I can pay a day pass fee to

    Preferably these two would be close to each other. I will be renting a car, but I've heard pretty bad stories about parking in SF. It's just cheaper renting a car than it is to get a shuttle/cab to and from the airport and going out to Stanford.

    Oddly enough, I've never done the "gay tourist" thing in SF yet (if there is even such a thing). I feel like I should visit the Castro just to say I've been there. Opinions?
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    Feb 15, 2011 3:01 AM GMT
    I live in the Castro. You should visit it, but DO NOT look for a hotel in the immediate vicinity. There are LOTS of great hotels downtown.... the Four Seasons, the St. Regis, the Hilton, the Palace, the Nikko, the W, the Clift, the Westin St Francis, the Mariott Marquis, etc... It depends what you are looking for and what price point, of course.... and all the hotels I mentioned are just a short walk and a 10-minute ride on the underground MUNI train to the Castro. Save your car for the drive to Stanford.

    As for a gym, Crunch Fitness is great, more classy than 24Hr or Golds, close to the hotels I mentioned, and they certainly have day passes. However, the best gym in the city, by overal consensus, is SportsClub, which is in the Four Seasons. So if you stay there, you've got both bases covered and you don't need a day pass. icon_smile.gif
  • LuckyGuyKC

    Posts: 2080

    Feb 15, 2011 3:14 AM GMT
    I love the Prescott Hotel on Union Square. All of the Kimpton Hotels are great, but this one is one fine boutique hotel. A nice basket of Aveda aromatherapy and toiletries, a yoga mat, a nice wine and cheese happy hour, and a gym pass.

    lrg_hote_prs02.jpg

    If you stay on Union Square make sure you visit the original alley shops and all the little shops.
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    Feb 15, 2011 5:08 AM GMT
    I actually like the Sir Francis Drake.

    (The Clift is such a pretentious train wreck, it's fun just to walk through it.)

    Don't think I've actually ever hit a gym in SF... usually go for long walks or run up and down the hills.
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    Feb 15, 2011 5:55 AM GMT
    The Edwardian.
    The Mark Twain.
    The Hotel Milan

    You can get from anywhere in San Francisco to Stanford by train (thus avoiding the car in the City), but it will take you a heck of a long time to get there and back (2 hours).

    Consider public transit combined with Zipcar.

    zipcar_mini_2-blog.jpg
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    Feb 15, 2011 6:56 AM GMT
    LanceKC saidIf you stay on Union Square make sure you visit the original alley shops and all the little shops.


    Which alley shops are the "original" ones?
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    Feb 15, 2011 7:03 AM GMT
    I think 24 Hr Fitness allows you to use the gym for a fee. Not sure how much it is for a visit though. Staff and alumni can buy one day passes for Stanford facilities pretty cheaply. Maybe the people you are visiting can pass some along to you.

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    Feb 15, 2011 8:01 AM GMT
    Iguana's Guide to Doing the "Gay Tourist Thing" in SF:

    First, prepare: Sculpt your eyebrows in the Tijuana Prostitute style that is currently all the rage. Form your hair with lots of goo into a shape that looks like a dessert you might have been served in a Wolfgang Puck restaurant in 1990. Put on big plastic shutter glasses in a bright candy color. Flowing scarf. Plunging V neck T-shirt. No -- more plunging than that. No, really, more. Jeans so tight they make your head pound. No. Tighter. No really, tighter.

    Gather your hags about you. Three is the ideal number. All of you must be able to squeeeeeeal and shrieeeeeek endlessly in response to, well.. pretty much anything really, and to keep it going all night. Make sure one of your hags has a propensity to vomit after her second brightly colored drink.

    You are ready.

    Hit Lime, Badlands, Trigger, Boy Bar at the Cafe, the Mix, Q-Bar, and the Lookout. Bounce back and forth between them, all night, until they close, taking time out to vomit on the sidewalk in transit. Diss all those boys that tried to dance with you. Can you BELIEVE them? Don't forget to keep up the squeals and shrieks. Stop at Walgreen's for something -- doesn't matter. Knock over stuff. Squeeeeal! Stop at Hot Cookie and buy the penis shaped macaroon -- extra large size. Take pictures of yourself and your hags posing suggestively with penis cookie, taking care to block the full sidewalk. Squeeeeeeeal!

    Hit Bagdad Cafe for a burger and fries afterward. Don't stop squealing!

    Pile into a cab, squealing and shrieking all the way back to the hotel. Post on facebook how wasted you all were, upload your penis cookie pics, and tell everyone how AWESOME San Francisco is.

    Yay! You've done the "Gay Tourist Thing" in SF!
  • Beeftastic

    Posts: 1747

    Feb 15, 2011 8:15 AM GMT
    Iguana your post made me physically nauseous. Hopefully he doesn't take your advice, I might have to get violent at the corner of Noe and Market once again.
  • Beeftastic

    Posts: 1747

    Feb 15, 2011 8:22 AM GMT
    So if you want to visit a really gay gym in the Castro, go to Golds. I'm there once or twice a week icon_smile.gif (I go to the other Golds the rest of the week). The Castro Golds is a bit small and sometimes too crowded. If you want a serious workout, check out the Golds Gym on 9th and Brannan, it is big and very well appointed as far as weights and machines. Either Golds charges about $15 for a day pass, and you may very well recognize some porn stars that you have been fantasizing about icon_smile.gif Both gyms have about 80% gay members on the floor at any time.

    You can get an underground Muni train from Market St. or Union square to the Castro for $2. .

    For a budget place check out the Hotel Whitcomb. You can get deals there for around $60 sometimes. Decent place, a lot of gay men bunk there too.

    http://www.hotelwhitcomb.com/

    Where to go for fun depends on what night of the week you will be there. If it's Thursday to Sunday, the best places might be South of Market area (SOMA). The rest of the week, the Castro is probably your best bet.

    If you will be renting a car, be sure to check the price for the garage at your hotel, it can cost up to $50 to keep your car in the hotel garage a night.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 19, 2011 2:35 PM GMT
    Er..where is the "Tenderloin"?
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    Feb 19, 2011 2:40 PM GMT
    bryanc_74 saidEr..where is the "Tenderloin"?


    thats where dreams come true
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 19, 2011 2:41 PM GMT
    Ha. I was told to avoid it icon_smile.gif
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    Feb 19, 2011 2:44 PM GMT
    bryanc_74 saidHa. I was told to avoid it icon_smile.gif


    why? two of the best brunch places are there, dotties and brendas. also, like i said, thats where dreams come true.
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    Feb 19, 2011 2:47 PM GMT
    No idea really. They didn't say specifically.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 19, 2011 9:16 PM GMT
    A very clean and reasonable hotel ($50) is the Broadway Manor Inn.
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    Feb 19, 2011 9:22 PM GMT
    OH , the Tenderloin. icon_razz.gif

    Umm, just make sure to not be there past midnight like I was my first night in SF. Haha, i got scurred, but honestly they just wanted a couple of bucks.
  • SF2PS

    Posts: 63

    Feb 19, 2011 9:35 PM GMT
    All the Kimpton hotels are nice and gay friendly and occasional you can score a real bargain. The Serrano, Prescott, Monaco and Triton are scattered around Union Square and easy walking distance to public transportation.

    The Gold's in the Castro is gay, gay, gay and pretty cramped. I worked out there for many years, mostly before it was Gold's. I would make the trek to the SOMA location of the Gold's gym - It is about a mile from Union Square, and the walk is through SOMA which is safer than it looks. It is about 3/4 gay but straight-friendly, great equipment and lots of eye candy (including porn stars and some RJ-ers and for that matter some RJ-ers who are porn stars). I find it very motivating working out there.

    One night isn't very long to explore - I'd be tempted to go to the Castro and just wonder. If you want two easy places to grab a meal solo, Chow on Church just south of Market is one and Fuzio on Castro just south of market (try the firecracker pork) are both favorites.
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    Feb 19, 2011 9:44 PM GMT
    AvadaKedavra said
    bryanc_74 saidHa. I was told to avoid it icon_smile.gif


    why? two of the best brunch places are there, dotties and brendas. also, like i said, thats where dreams come true.
    Perhaps two good places to eat but the Tenderloin in general is NOT a good area to hang and certainly not a place for hotel accommodations. I work in that area and it's filthy. Granted there are a few nice places, some also on the fringes (ie: bourbon&branches) but for the most part, not the area you want.