My husband and I stayed at the Argonaut for one night on our return from Napa valley. He had never spent time in SF, so we decided to spend a day and a night here before heading to the airport. Depending on what you want to see in the city, this can be a really great location. You are steps from Giardelli Square, which, although touristy, does have a few good shops and restaurants. You are also literally one block from the cable car line on Hyde and you are practically on Fisherman's Wharf itself. Here is what we did in our short stay, which hopefully gives you an idea of the possibilities:
We had a bit of trouble finding the hotel; the traffic and crowds on Jefferson, where the front of the hotel is located, are pretty crazy on a Saturday! You pretty much have to valet your car for $40 per night, because there is no parking close by. Check-in was prompt and friendly and our room was small but clean and cutely decorated with a nautical theme.
We quickly made our way to Fisherman's Wharf, which starts just a few steps outside the hotel. We had lunch at the Fog Harbor Fish House. The atmosphere, food and service were great, however the portions are HUGE! Way too much for a lunch when you plan to be walking around! After lunch, we walked The Embarcadero and up Telegraph Hill via the Filbert steps, then made our way down the Greenwich steps. This is quite a hike, but I highly recommend it. After lunch, we did some souvenir shopping along Jefferson and back to the hotel for a nap. The hotel was quiet.
We then walked to Ghiradelli Square for dinner at McCormick and Kuleto's. Although this is a chain restaurant, the service and food were good and we had amazing views of the bay. The next morning, I walked up Hyde to Lombard and down the "curvy" section of Lombard, which is another popular tourist activity, then stopped at the Starbucks on the block behind the Argonaut to pick up coffee and bagels.
All in all, the hotel was very sufficient for our needs of an overnight stay. There seemed to be a wedding going on that night and there was some loudness in the hallway near our room late at night, but it only lasted a few minutes until the revelers returned to their own rooms. This is a very cute hotel and better than most in the neighborhood. The location allows you to experience a lot of what SF has to offer. One last peice of advice; the boat trips to Alcatraz leave from the Wharf. I highly recommend touring Alcatraz, but you must purchase tickets days in advance, as they sell out. I have been to Alcatraz in the past, but my husband wanted to go and even with the concierge's help, we were unable to obtain and tickets the day-of.