San Francisco or San Diego

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 17, 2012 12:36 AM GMT
    I was in SF (and the outskirts) for a wedding in early May and am thinking about going back for a short trip in order to visit Napa Valley. I've never been to Napa, but I enjoy wine and think that could be cool. However, lately San Diego keeps popping up in conversations as a fun destination. I've never been to that area at all and don't know anything about the city, but I'm willing to give it a try.

    Given the choice, I'm curious to hear which area RJers think would make for a good 4-6 day trip some time during late Nov-early Jan. I'll be traveling from Boston, so I'm not worried about the cold since just about anywhere else will be warmer. I am interested in finding good food, interesting culture, and easy-to-use transportation.

    Thanks in advance for the advice.
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    Jun 17, 2012 2:08 AM GMT
    Both places are great and you can't go wrong with which either one you pick. If you can...do both.

    Nov-Jan will be warmer in San Diego than in San Francisco. However, it doesn't get that cold in San Francisco. It hasn't snowed here anytime in the 21st century.

    Both places have their flavor and pros and cons.

    Both places have great culture, both places have great food.

    San Francisco has the edge on easy to use and access transportation. You don't need a car when visiting San Francisco. You don't need a car to go up to Napa (Golden Gate Transit motor coach has regular daily service). And, you can always rent a car for the day if you really do need your own wheels. You just won't want them while you're in The City due to traffic and parking.
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    Jun 17, 2012 3:47 AM GMT
    Not much goes on in San Diego, after living there for 14 years. The Mexican food was worthwhile, but everything else... meh.

    There's a lot of miles to drive to get between SF and SD. Not worth the effort to travel that distance, IMHO.
  • turtleneckjoc...

    Posts: 4685

    Jun 17, 2012 5:59 AM GMT
    For good food, interesting culture and dependable transportation...San Francisco wins hands down. As GAMRican mentioned, you can do Napa Valley wine tours and in many cases, they will pick you up from your downtown hotel.

    On the other hand, you need a car to get around San Diego and if you are not familiar with the area, it could be a challenge. Unless you are into theme parks (Sea World), the entertainment and culture in the area is confined to the Gaslight District downtown. Some downtown hotels will provide their own dedicated transportation or you can use a service like Supershuttle, which provides transfers from the airport to downtown.

    Personally, I would choose San Francisco over San Diego.
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    Jun 17, 2012 6:02 AM GMT
    I visited many times and lived in San Francisco for about 3 1/2 years. It's a wonderful city, lots of things to do, cultures, nightlife, sailing, biking, hiking.....etc. It's a moderate/cloudy city and not a warm city though unless you come in late July, August!

    If you're more into the beaches, sand, surfing, blond guys and other *SoCal stuff, come to San Diego. I visited it a couple times, too.

    Based on your questions, I'd suggest come to San Francisco. It has excellent transportation, muni, food and cultures. SF around that time will be like Holiday/Vacations for the bay area natives. Pick up a guide and sight-seeing the city. Have fun.
  • Vaughn

    Posts: 1880

    Jun 17, 2012 7:00 AM GMT
    SF because I said so.
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    Jun 17, 2012 7:10 AM GMT
    I like SD a lot better, but I've only been to SF maybe 4 or 5 times. The San Francisco vibe is just too rigid for me.
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    Jun 17, 2012 7:34 AM GMT
    SbStudent saidI like SD a lot better, but I've only been to SF maybe 4 or 5 times. The San Francisco vibe is just too rigid for me.

    Have to warn you. Most of San Diego is very conservative. And, the rest won't talk to you unless your an A&F model or are really well off.
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    Jun 17, 2012 8:13 AM GMT
    If you like Sean cody, go to San Diego. Otherwise if Falcon studios is your thang, then go up San Francisco icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif


    Kidding aside, it's worth to visit both places. I'm more biased towards SF as it's my home and there's no other city like it!

    cheers
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    Jun 17, 2012 10:40 AM GMT
    Hands down! San Francisco if you've never spent time there. There is more than enough things to occupy one for a week's stay in the Bay Area. It is a much more interesting place as a whole than is San Diego. There are lots of interesting things within a short day trip of the Bay Area, too, if you rent a car. If you go to San Francisco in the fall, be sure to take in an opera at the War Memorial: http://operagasm.com/2012/01/san-francisco-opera-announces-2012-2013-season/
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    Jun 17, 2012 12:11 PM GMT
    Thanks for all of the responses. Seems like SF is the winner hands down. Guess it's time to start looking into those tours of Napa.
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    Jun 17, 2012 12:44 PM GMT
    I like SF. There are plenty of places to go. I've only been to SD once, and I can't say I remember much. It was back in elementary school haha.
  • GraphicGuy

    Posts: 115

    Jun 17, 2012 12:58 PM GMT
    If you go to SF try and head down to Monterrey and Big Sur for a day. I was there last summer and scenery was amazing.
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    Jun 17, 2012 1:03 PM GMT
    I definitely prefer SF over SD, but it depends what you're looking for. SD has great beaches, a pretty epic zoo, Seaworld, and a town that's quite spread out.

    SF is much more doable without renting a car, and (from what I've seen) has a lot more to do and see for a 'tourist' than SD has. And although I've never been to Napa, I'm told it's a must see!

    Let us know how you like it!
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    Jun 17, 2012 1:35 PM GMT
    Never been to San Francisco, but San Diego is amazing. Beautiful weather, great beaches (especially in La Jolla), and the authentic fish tacos (especially from Tin Fish by Petco Park) are amazing.
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    Jun 17, 2012 1:51 PM GMT
    Never been to SF, but SD FOR SURE!!!!!! What a wonderfull place, fulled with great ppl, great places to hang out... Balboa park is really beautiful, had great walks there (got lost and scarried once, but that's ok).
    I couldn't enjoy the night life there, tho... i'm too young :/
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    Jun 17, 2012 1:53 PM GMT
    Couldn't agree more with the guy above me. La Jolla is amazing. Btw, there's a place in Ocean Beach called Hodad's, that's a restaurant that serve junk food such as hamburgers, fries, milkshakes... I highly recomend this place!
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    Jun 17, 2012 2:02 PM GMT
    GraphicGuy saidIf you go to SF try and head down to Monterrey and Big Sur for a day. I was there last summer and scenery was amazing.


    Especially Big Sur. There's a place called "Lucia Lodge". Stay the night. Or, there's a hostel in Monterey.
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    Jun 17, 2012 2:09 PM GMT
    RobertF64 said
    SbStudent saidI like SD a lot better, but I've only been to SF maybe 4 or 5 times. The San Francisco vibe is just too rigid for me.

    Have to warn you. Most of San Diego is very conservative. And, the rest won't talk to you unless your an A&F model or are really well off.


    Thank God.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 17, 2012 2:09 PM GMT
    RobertF64 said
    SbStudent saidI like SD a lot better, but I've only been to SF maybe 4 or 5 times. The San Francisco vibe is just too rigid for me.

    Have to warn you. Most of San Diego is very conservative. And, the rest won't talk to you unless your an A&F model or are really well off.


    Thank God.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 17, 2012 2:10 PM GMT
    GAMRican saidBoth places are great and you can't go wrong with which either one you pick. If you can...do both.

    Nov-Jan will be warmer in San Diego than in San Francisco. However, it doesn't get that cold in San Francisco. It hasn't snowed here anytime in the 21st century.

    Both places have their flavor and pros and cons.

    Both places have great culture, both places have great food.

    San Francisco has the edge on easy to use and access transportation. You don't need a car when visiting San Francisco. You don't need a car to go up to Napa (Golden Gate Transit motor coach has regular daily service). And, you can always rent a car for the day if you really do need your own wheels. You just won't want them while you're in The City due to traffic and parking.
    It has too!icon_eek.gif
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/27/us/27snow.html

    But it aint NEVER even frosted in KW!icon_wink.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif
  • Suetonius

    Posts: 1842

    Jun 17, 2012 4:17 PM GMT
    turtleneckjock said As GAMRican mentioned, you can do Napa Valley wine tours and in many cases, they will pick you up from your downtown hotel.

    Sorry to disappoint about the "easy to use transportation part," but unless "easy to use" includes renting a car, you will have trouble getting around Napa Valley. If you are really into wine, don't count on some ordinary tour to get you to wineries, unless you can't drive a car. - it'll only get you to a few, and probably the less interesting ones. Research any tours very carefully. If you can, rent a car for the day/days you want to go to Napa (or Sonoma county, which is far less touristy, but with great wines). You don';t want a car in SF, unless you are in an outlying district - parking is impossible, and hotels will charge an arm and a leg for parking, plus the 18% tourist tax. If you are coming with someone, you might even hire a limousine for the day - a great - though expensive - way to visit wineries, and can allow you to imbibe more (you would never want to get a DUI ticket in California). You might even want to spend the night "up there," as we say it. Some gay B&B's in the Russian River area of Sonoma county. Definitely research where you want to go - even the wineries - before you come.

    If you are really into wine, consider coming in April, and going on the Passport To Dry Creek Valley event (http://wdcv.com/passport), always the last weekend in April. Costs about $100, and gets you into some wineries that are not normally open for tastings- discounts on purchases, wine tastings, gourmet food included - provide your own transportation,however.

    As others have said, San Diego is a bit warmer at that time of year, but I think even San Diego requires a wet suit for swimming in the winter (unless you are a polar bear type.) The zoo animal park is worth a trip. You will a lot see more eye candy on the street in San Diego than in SF.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 17, 2012 4:38 PM GMT
    Everyone is mentioning Napa, and I love wine, but if craft beer is more your style, then San Diego has one of the best brewing scenes in the country right now.

    No recent travel article about San Diego is written without mentioning all the microbreweries and craft beer bars in town. Here's one specifically about it in the NY Times:
    http://travel.nytimes.com/2012/05/27/travel/san-diegos-thriving-craft-beer-scene.html?smid=fb-share

    A gay brewpub just opened up a few weeks ago in Hillcrest. I haven't been yet.