San Francisco in August

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    May 23, 2015 12:59 AM GMT
    So I'm planning on visiting family in Central Valley this august but I'm playing with the idea of flying into San Francisco three days early and staying in the city. I'm looking at the "Non-touristy" lists and I'm not planning to go too heavy on the Gay stuff (other than the requisite historical items) but I'd like to know if anyone has any pointers or suggestions of must-see, must-do things. (it'll be 3 weekdays most likely)
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    May 23, 2015 1:18 AM GMT
    Rent a mountain bike and go to Pogonip trail near Santa Cruz, SDSF Flow trail near Santa Cruz, and Tamarancho Flow trail near Fairfax.

    I've been to the first two, and going to the third one next week.

    Oh and definitely do some urban downhilling in the city. I did it at night a couple weeks ago. icon_cool.gif
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    May 23, 2015 1:19 AM GMT
    Oh and BTW, if you don't want to rent a bike, I have two here.
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    May 23, 2015 3:10 AM GMT
    I'm a pretty good explorer if I get pointed in a good direction. Also pretty good at using transit for someone who grew up in a city of crap transit systems, lol. I might save mtb adventuring for next year. I've only been to sf once before and I was 9, so I really want to spend this visit getting familiar with the city itself.
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    May 23, 2015 3:01 PM GMT
    You can buy a 3-day transit pass that'll get you all around town w/ ease if you study the routes and plan ahead. I lived in SF x 25 years w/o owning a car and did just fine riding my bike and taking MUNI wherever I needed to go. And, it's pretty walkable, steep hills notwithstanding.

    Last time I stayed in town, I did at the Hayes Valley Inn, on Gough, a Euro kinda place w/ shared showers and heads, though each room has a sink. Elsewhere, hotel prices are high, so definitely start looking now, like the tourists who descend on SF in August - lots of Italians then - already are. Same for restaurants, but check out the Groupons and similar deal sites.

    In addition to the Big 4 art museums (DeYoung, MOMA, Legion of Honor, Asian), a walk along the Embarcadero all the way up to the Wharf and on to Ft. Mason, the Marina and Ft. Point is a must, and yes, do walk across the GG Bridge, and on up to the Marin Headlands for some really fine views. Check out North Beach at night, and the eye candy at Justin Herman Plaza eating their weekday lunches outside. Stroll thru the Ferry Bldg., and maybe even take the ferry over to Sausalito or Tiburon and back. If the Giants are in town, that's a good time, too, but pricey. Walk around Cow Hollow and Pacific Hts. to see some really fine homes and views; same for Russian, Telegraph, and Potrero Hills, each of which has its own little neighborhood full of shops and cafes. And, take a daytime walk thru the Castro - but save SoMa for the dead of night! icon_cool.gif
  • Ironman4U

    Posts: 738

    May 23, 2015 4:34 PM GMT
    If you like to explore the city and take in the beauty of the area, there are tons of things to do. Some of my favorites include Golden Gate Park. It is amazing and is full of hidden gems from bison to Japanese Gardens to secluded trails and paddleboats. At the end of the park, you also have Ocean Beach if you want to get your toes in the sand. Climb up the hill to the Cliff House and you'll discover Lands End and Sutro Park. Spend some time in the visitor's center to get a feel for SF History. You can take paths that will lead you on rocky ledges and cool vistas as you wind back toward Golden Gate Bridge.

    Of course, you can cross the Golden Gate Bridge and climb Hawk Hill, giving you one of the most panoramic and picture-worthy views of the city. You can also wind down to Sausolito if you like all the shops, restaurants, etc. Get a block or two off the main drag (running parallel) and you will discover a non-touristy, smaller and quainter side of Sausolito.

    A must in my book is a performance of Beach Blanket Babylon. Hysterical musical performance that is so worth the price of admission. Should order your ticket online before you go. Because it will probably be sold out in advance.

    Lots more to do and see. Enjoy!


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    May 23, 2015 6:22 PM GMT
    If you can include a Sunday in your stay, one of the "requisite historical" gay items would be the "Drag Me Along Tour," a 2-hour walking tour of the Barbary Coast region given every Sunday at 11:00 by "Lola Montez."

    I can highly recommend it. Fun and informative, covering historical San Francisco of gay interest.

    Reservations are required.

    www.DragMeAlongTours.com
  • goodguyrjr

    Posts: 18

    May 24, 2015 2:53 AM GMT
    1) the San Francisco Steps streets- the city is famous for streets that are made up of hidden stairways with houses along the steps; here's a link to many. http://www.sisterbetty.org/stairways/stairways.htm http://www.sfweekly.com/bestof/2007/award/best-scenic-stairs-563317
    2) the wave organ is out on the bay viewing the GG bridge https://www.exploratorium.edu/visit/wave-organ or stroll down further and see the new Crissie Field restoration
    3) At the end of Geary St at the pacific ocean is a great hike along the cliffs, also eat at Louis' diner there-
    4) food: walk along Valencia St between 22 and 15th st
    5)go see a baseball game at ATT park

    6) Coit Tower,
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    May 24, 2015 3:59 AM GMT
    Life2Short saidI'm a pretty good explorer if I get pointed in a good direction. Also pretty good at using transit for someone who grew up in a city of crap transit systems, lol. I might save mtb adventuring for next year. I've only been to sf once before and I was 9, so I really want to spend this visit getting familiar with the city itself.
    I've only been to SF proper once...a couple weeks ago...didn't even stop anywhere to shop or eat, just rode the bike a while then took the BART back across the bay.

    Today I was flying over the city for a few hours (my job) and scoping out more places to ride. icon_lol.gif
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    May 24, 2015 4:22 AM GMT
    All good information from RJrs, you might want to get a day pass and ride the SF Cable Cars (Trolley) that serves the city at specific points and you can experience this as well and will take you to some areas pointed already in the OP.
    Also, although is August in the city it does get chilly and weather can quickly change from sunny, to cloudy and cold. Therefore, is always best to carry a backpack with a jacket or dress in layers, so you can quickly change to be comfortable. Also, great restaurants and nothing like warm sour dough bread, most places have it.

    http://www.sfcablecar.com/
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    May 24, 2015 4:42 AM GMT
    uombroca saidAll good information from RJrs, you might want to get a day pass and ride the SF Cable Cars (Trolley) that serves the city at specific points and you can experience this as well and will take you to some areas pointed already in the OP.
    Also, although is August in the city it does get chilly and weather can quickly change from sunny, to cloudy and cold. Therefore, is always best to carry a backpack with a jacket or dress in layers, so you can quickly change to be comfortable. Also, great restaurants and nothing like warm sour dough bread, most places have it.

    http://www.sfcablecar.com/
    Yes...about the weather...yes, yes yes!

    It's ALWAYS cold in SF. I used to loathe cold weather, but since I've started mountain biking I actually prefer it. It allows me to ride harder without sweating as much.

    But when I ain't riding, this place can be a refrigerator during summer. Definitely have some winter/fall clothing with you at all times, cause when the sun ain't shining, it's cold.
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    May 24, 2015 4:44 AM GMT
    I love the evening fog. It is so romantic!
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    May 24, 2015 6:29 AM GMT
    I'll likely be cycling through SF in August too, headed home along the coast. I must admit I miss the mountains of Marin, like some might miss a lover. The West Point Inn is a must-stay, in my mind.
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    May 24, 2015 11:23 PM GMT
    uombroca saidAll good information from RJrs, you might want to get a day pass and ride the SF Cable Cars (Trolley) that serves the city at specific points and you can experience this as well and will take you to some areas pointed already in the OP.
    Also, although is August in the city it does get chilly and weather can quickly change from sunny, to cloudy and cold. Therefore, is always best to carry a backpack with a jacket or dress in layers, so you can quickly change to be comfortable. Also, great restaurants and nothing like warm sour dough bread, most places have it.

    http://www.sfcablecar.com/


    Layers and a light shell are a must in climates like that, and considering where I'm from I LOVE places like that. New Orleans has bizarre weather patterns in january/february so I'm used to being ready for anything.

    (apologies for the rant)
    And the cable car isn't TECHNICALLY a "trolley". The word "trolley" comes from the earliest days of electrified railways before the circuits were grounded out through the rails. They ran two wires overhead (hot and ground) and the car pulled along a 4-wheeled "troller" that rode along top of the wires. Cable cars are a "cable railway" and they used to be in a LOT of cities (Brooklyn for example). They declined at a pretty steady rate once the solution of smooth engagement of electric motors was reached, though the singular greatest year of cable railway "closures" was in 1906, for obvious reasons.

    Sorry, transit/urban planning geek, lol. The cars that run on the F-line are streetcars but also get called "trolleys" and "trams" (the latter being the European term)
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    May 25, 2015 5:16 PM GMT
    Anyone going to the San Francisco Bay Area these days should apply for the free Clipper Card http://clippercard.com/ClipperWeb/index.do and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clipper_card, (named for the clipper ships which sailed around the Horn during the Gold Rush.) One can get it by email and snail mail and there is telephone information. The Clipper Card is extraordinarily convenient (and a great bargain, too, if one qualifies for the various discounted fares, eg., 62% off for seniors) as one can pre-load it with money at any of the BART stations. BART now connects to SFO airport, so one can function immediately one gets off the plane. It is good on BART, the SF transit system (possibly with the exception of the cable cars according to some gossip I heard), and the ferries and CalTrain. For a three-day visit the ClipperCard can be used to see the East Bay (UC Berkeley campus and its great views on clear days), Stanford down the Peninsula, take the ferries to Marin County (Sausalito and Tiburon) and go by Alcatraz in the bargain.
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    May 27, 2015 2:25 PM GMT
    Decided to trade savings for scene and found the Griffon on the Embarcadero. And yeah, I was planning on picking up a Clipper (i wish we had something like that here)
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    May 27, 2015 2:36 PM GMT
    paulflexes said
    uombroca saidAll good information from RJrs, you might want to get a day pass and ride the SF Cable Cars (Trolley) that serves the city at specific points and you can experience this as well and will take you to some areas pointed already in the OP.
    Also, although is August in the city it does get chilly and weather can quickly change from sunny, to cloudy and cold. Therefore, is always best to carry a backpack with a jacket or dress in layers, so you can quickly change to be comfortable. Also, great restaurants and nothing like warm sour dough bread, most places have it.

    http://www.sfcablecar.com/
    Yes...about the weather...yes, yes yes!

    It's ALWAYS cold in SF. I used to loathe cold weather, but since I've started mountain biking I actually prefer it. It allows me to ride harder without sweating as much.

    But when I ain't riding, this place can be a refrigerator during summer. Definitely have some winter/fall clothing with you at all times, cause when the sun ain't shining, it's cold.


    It can actually get quite nice in late summer to early fall once the morning fog burns off. That's what's fun about biking earlier in the day. Can be in warm sunshine then ride into a fog bank and it feels like you just rode into a refrigerator.
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    May 27, 2015 3:01 PM GMT
    freedomisntfree said
    paulflexes said
    uombroca saidAll good information from RJrs, you might want to get a day pass and ride the SF Cable Cars (Trolley) that serves the city at specific points and you can experience this as well and will take you to some areas pointed already in the OP.
    Also, although is August in the city it does get chilly and weather can quickly change from sunny, to cloudy and cold. Therefore, is always best to carry a backpack with a jacket or dress in layers, so you can quickly change to be comfortable. Also, great restaurants and nothing like warm sour dough bread, most places have it.

    http://www.sfcablecar.com/
    Yes...about the weather...yes, yes yes!

    It's ALWAYS cold in SF. I used to loathe cold weather, but since I've started mountain biking I actually prefer it. It allows me to ride harder without sweating as much.

    But when I ain't riding, this place can be a refrigerator during summer. Definitely have some winter/fall clothing with you at all times, cause when the sun ain't shining, it's cold.


    It can actually get quite nice in late summer to early fall once the morning fog burns off. That's what's fun about biking earlier in the day. Can be in warm sunshine then ride into a fog bank and it feels like you just rode into a refrigerator.

    That "quite nice when the fog burns off," only lasts for 1 - 3 days at a time. It is only September and October when it is warm every day.
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    May 27, 2015 5:46 PM GMT
    HikerSkier said
    freedomisntfree said
    paulflexes said
    uombroca saidAll good information from RJrs, you might want to get a day pass and ride the SF Cable Cars (Trolley) that serves the city at specific points and you can experience this as well and will take you to some areas pointed already in the OP.
    Also, although is August in the city it does get chilly and weather can quickly change from sunny, to cloudy and cold. Therefore, is always best to carry a backpack with a jacket or dress in layers, so you can quickly change to be comfortable. Also, great restaurants and nothing like warm sour dough bread, most places have it.

    http://www.sfcablecar.com/
    Yes...about the weather...yes, yes yes!

    It's ALWAYS cold in SF. I used to loathe cold weather, but since I've started mountain biking I actually prefer it. It allows me to ride harder without sweating as much.

    But when I ain't riding, this place can be a refrigerator during summer. Definitely have some winter/fall clothing with you at all times, cause when the sun ain't shining, it's cold.


    It can actually get quite nice in late summer to early fall once the morning fog burns off. That's what's fun about biking earlier in the day. Can be in warm sunshine then ride into a fog bank and it feels like you just rode into a refrigerator.

    That "quite nice when the fog burns off," only lasts for 1 - 3 days at a time. It is only September and October when it is warm every day.
    Pretty much. Here's the current view (regularly updated webcam).
    http://www.wunderground.com/webcams/scr33n/1/show.html?
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    May 27, 2015 10:00 PM GMT
    I have been to San Francisco several times as a British backpacker (in 1977, 1978, and 1995) and I learnt that it was during August that the Golden Gate Bridge tends to be enshrouded in thick fog, obscuring visibility outright.

    Marin County offers great views of Golden Gate Bay and of the city skyline. And back in 1978, I boarded a ferry from the Wharf to Sausalito, a pretty port at the northern end of the bay area. I know that this was nearly 37 years ago, but I'll be surprised if this service no longer runs, as it sailed straight past Alcatraz Island, making the sailing very popular at the time.
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    May 28, 2015 4:51 AM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle saidI was just in SF last week.
    And you didn't say hi?
    *pouts*
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    May 28, 2015 4:52 AM GMT
    Although, I may be up in STL sometime this summer. A friend of mine lives there and mountain bikes with some of the Redbull guys, so that should be interesting. icon_cool.gif