Trip to San Francisco!

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    Feb 17, 2011 7:25 AM GMT
    I´m going to san francisco for the first time. Any tips on where to go and what to see?
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    Feb 17, 2011 4:11 PM GMT
    The typical San Francisco tourists hotspots:
    Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Fisherman's Warf, Ferry Buildiing, Union Square shopping, Chinatown, Japantown, the Mission, the Haight, the Castro, the Presidio, Golden Gate Park, deYoung Museum, Twin Peaks, Lombard Street, North Beach, the Marina, Chrissy Fields,...

    What kind of things do you like?

    Or go watch Vertigo or The Maltese Falcon, or read Tales of the City to get a idea of San Francisco history.
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    Feb 17, 2011 4:26 PM GMT
    Arc87 saidI´m going to san francisco for the first time. Any tips on where to go and what to see?
    Hey, welcome, when are you headed north? Do you have any particular interests you want to explore up here? Coming alone? Family? Date?

    Just PLEASE don't wear blue up here, you know the Giant's fan are not real kind to Dodger blue icon_smile.gif

    Seriously, email me if you want specifics on things in the area.
  • shadow9667

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    Feb 17, 2011 4:28 PM GMT
    I'm off to San Francisco later and will spend a weekend there. Is it convenient to drive around or I'm better off with public transport?
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    Feb 17, 2011 5:19 PM GMT
    I went to SF last year on vacation. Saw everything Ermine mentioned. Stayed on Knob Hill. Definately don't need a car. Walking, BART, cabs, Cal Train, trolley should suffice unless you plan to see something way outside the typical tourist spots.
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    Feb 17, 2011 6:27 PM GMT
    Yeah. This definitely needs more information because there's so much to do in SF. I personally hate tourist spots, so although things like the Wharf, Ghiradelli Square, and Alcatraz are "quintessential," they drive me crazy.

    I recommend places that are a little less known.

    If you have a car, go across the golden gate bridge, pass the immediate "Vista Point" exit when you cross (only tourists go there) and take the 2nd exit for Sausalito. Take a left after you exit, go under the road, and then take the first right up the hill onto Conzelman Rd. This is a place called the Marin Headlands and has hands-down the best views of SF. On a clear day, it's breathtaking.

    The palace of fine arts is beautiful and on your way to the Golden Gate Bridge. Just google it and see if it's something you'd be interested in. Hard to get to if you don't have a car though.

    Coit Tower also has cool views of the city, and although it's a bitch of a hill to walk up, there are a lot of gardens on your way. You'll be close to North Beach (SF's Little Italy). Go have lunch on Columbus Ave. I recommend Steps of Rome. Best tiramisu in the city.

    Golden gate park is fantastic. You can lose yourself for a whole day there. The De Young usually has cool exhibits. I've never been to the California Academy of Sciences, but I'm told it's awesome. Just get the eff out before sundown. It can get kinda sketch.

    For clubs, it REALLY depends on what night you're going out. I would recommend hooking up with a couple SF peeps on here and message them a week before to see if there are any fun events. If all else fails, get in a cab, tell them "Castro," and wander around.

    The day after bar-hopping, come back to Castro, find yourself a good brunch spot, grab a cup of coffee from Philz on 18th street, and make your way to Dolores Park if it's nice outside. Go all the way up to the top of the park. That's where the gays are. (We call it the "fruit shelf" icon_lol.gif )

    Wow, I feel like I just divulged all of our secrets. icon_rolleyes.gif
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    Feb 17, 2011 7:39 PM GMT
    Cafe Gratitude
    Samovar
    SFMOMA
    Ferry Building
    Golden Gate Bridge
    Drive up Twin Peaks

    Also if you want a yoga class, let me know.
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    Feb 17, 2011 11:51 PM GMT
    Come on! What is the one thing you wanna see that would make your friend's envious back at home?icon_wink.gif
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    Feb 18, 2011 12:17 AM GMT
    Oh my god yes... I totally forgot. I second the Philz Coffee recommendation. Its like my second home.
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    Feb 18, 2011 12:49 AM GMT
    catfish5 saidI went to SF last year on vacation. Saw everything Ermine mentioned. Stayed on Knob Hill. Definately don't need a car. Walking, BART, cabs, Cal Train, trolley should suffice unless you plan to see something way outside the typical tourist spots.


    "Knob Hill"?? LOL!
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    Feb 18, 2011 1:23 AM GMT
    Taylor Street Cafe (for breakfast)
    Golden Carousel (Chinese food)
    Gussie's Chicken and Waffles (derp!)
    Hot Cookie!
    Delancy Street Restaurant (brunch)
    The Grove at Yerba Buena (coffee or post-MOMA munch)
    Bi-Rite Creamery (Ice Cream!)
    Pizza Orgasmica (The one in Inner Richmond is better)
    El Balazo (in the Haight)
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    Feb 18, 2011 1:54 AM GMT
    Whatever you do, take advantage of mass transit! My man and I thought we could walk from the golden gate to pier 29 in the morning, then from Haight-Ashbury to the Castro to that evening for dancing. We ended up kicking our feet up at the bar all night. San Francisco is bigger than it looks!
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    Feb 18, 2011 3:49 AM GMT
    Ravco saidWhatever you do, take advantage of mass transit! My man and I thought we could walk from the golden gate to pier 29 in the morning, then from Haight-Ashbury to the Castro to that evening for dancing. We ended up kicking our feet up at the bar all night. San Francisco is bigger than it looks!


    On one of my trips up to San Francisco I walked from my hotel in Union Square, through Chinatown, around North Beach, up to the Marina, up Pacific Heights, through J-town, across to the Haight. When I made it back to my hotel I had to buy moleskin and soak my blisters. Not a fun thing to do on vacation.

    eb925guy said
    Just PLEASE don't wear blue up here, you know the Giant's fan are not real kind to Dodger blue icon_smile.gif

    Seriously, email me if you want specifics on things in the area.


    Unless you're wearing blue to show your support for that little school east of San Francisco. Go Bears!
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    Feb 18, 2011 4:02 AM GMT
    MenschPress said
    catfish5 saidI went to SF last year on vacation. Saw everything Ermine mentioned. Stayed on Knob Hill. Definately don't need a car. Walking, BART, cabs, Cal Train, trolley should suffice unless you plan to see something way outside the typical tourist spots.


    "Knob Hill"?? LOL!


    Yup. That's where all the strip clubs are. There's also an area called the Tenderloin, which is adjacent to Knob Hill. And the area between them … the Tender Knob. Lol. ;)
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    Feb 18, 2011 4:11 AM GMT
    -- Amoeba music store in the Haight

    -- L'Ardoise restaurant near the Castro

    -- DeYoung Museum in GG Park

    -- Canteen restaurant a few blocks from Union Square

    -- Ferry Building

    -- etc.
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    Feb 18, 2011 11:14 PM GMT
    Goto where all the locals go:

    Steamworks

    Power exchange

    Twin Peaks Tavern

    Eros
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    Feb 18, 2011 11:36 PM GMT
    FierceEyes said
    MenschPress said
    catfish5 saidI went to SF last year on vacation. Saw everything Ermine mentioned. Stayed on Knob Hill. Definately don't need a car. Walking, BART, cabs, Cal Train, trolley should suffice unless you plan to see something way outside the typical tourist spots.


    "Knob Hill"?? LOL!


    Yup. That's where all the strip clubs are. There's also an area called the Tenderloin, which is adjacent to Knob Hill. And the area between them … the Tender Knob. Lol. ;)


    Yes, I know, I live here... Cute nickname, but let's be sure to let the out-of-towner know we're talking about Nob Hill. icon_smile.gif
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    Feb 18, 2011 11:46 PM GMT
    You must get clam chowder in a bread bowl down at the wharf, but watch out for the homeless man who hides behind a tree branch and then jumps out at tourists to scare them.
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    Feb 19, 2011 12:29 AM GMT
    My last visit to SF was in 1995, where I found the Central Backpackers Hostel at Market Street, and checked in. (A bit of a walk from the Greyhound Bus Terminal - but that didn't matter first thing in the morning, after an overnight trip from LA.) They had a bicycle to rent and with it I was able to cover a large extent of the city in a day.
    Unfortunately, it looks to me that this hostel had closed down some time ago, but there are many more backpackers across the city, I'm sure, including the HI-AYHA right underneath the Golden Gate Bridge.
    Away from the busy traffic, I was intrigued by the pleasant quietness of the Golden Gate Park with a waterfall, Roman Bridge and the oriental bushes and trees surrounding a couple of Japanese-style pavilions. But at the Presidio, I spent my time in surprising solitary sitting at the bank close to the Golden Gate Bridge, enjoying the lapping of the waves of the Pacific Bay inlet. For the crowds, Pier 39 was lively, but rather than spend what I had on all the trinkets around me, I watched the seals basking in the sunshine in the heart of the city harbour.
    I also bought a day return ticket for a ferry sailing from near Pier 39 to Sausalito, where I spent a few hours. The boat sailed straight past the Rock.
    Great fun!
    (PS. All the "touristy bits" are already posted above - I have no need to mention them here.)
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    Feb 19, 2011 1:53 AM GMT
    AvadaKedavra saidGoto where all the locals go:

    Steamworks

    Power exchange

    Twin Peaks Tavern

    Eros


    You speak from experience?
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    Feb 19, 2011 12:36 PM GMT
    I'd definitely second the suggestion of Steps of Rome -- one of my favorite little unpretentious places in North Beach.

    I live in Cole Valley (near the Haight & Golden Gate Park), and I'd suggest Zazie for a nice casual French meal. The Academy of Sciences in GGP is great, and there's apparently a very cool exhibit on the Olmecs at the de Young that I heard about on KQED today: http://deyoung.famsf.org/deyoung/exhibitions/olmec-colossal-masterworks-ancient-mexico
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    Feb 19, 2011 9:19 PM GMT
    SwimSF saidI'd definitely second the suggestion of Steps of Rome -- one of my favorite little unpretentious places in North Beach.

    I live in Cole Valley (near the Haight & Golden Gate Park), and I'd suggest Zazie for a nice casual French meal. The Academy of Sciences in GGP is great, and there's apparently a very cool exhibit on the Olmecs at the de Young that I heard about on KQED today: http://deyoung.famsf.org/deyoung/exhibitions/olmec-colossal-masterworks-ancient-mexico
    Wow, I live here and didn't know about Steps of Rome, thanks SwimSF icon_smile.gif I second the trip to the Academy of Science in GG Park, nice exhibit. The de Young always has good exhibits that change regularly. The regular spots include Chinatown via a trolley (to say you've done it, with Rice-a-Roni or not ), Fisherman's Wharf, Alcatraz and if you have wheels, the Golden Gate Bridge. If at the wharf, stop and have an Irish Coffee at Buena Vista bar (acclaimed for the first Irish Coffee).

    If you want the less touristy stuff, then most any neighborhood will have little cafes and coffee shops worthy of breakfast, lunch or a coffee break.