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“A great travel destination” 4 of 5 stars
Review of San Francisco

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Poughkeepsie, New York
2 reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“A great travel destination”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2009

San Francisco offers so much to see and do! I highly recommend a visit to the California Academy of Science in Golden Gate Park... this place has an aquarium, planetarium, and rainforest all inside. The shopping in Union Square is great; Fisherman's Wharf is touristy, but offers spectacular views; the Cliff House and beach is nice; Chinatown has some great finds for cheap prices; and don't forget to catch a Giants game at AT&T park.

For the cost-conscious (like myself!) the Cable Car Museum is nice for a quick visit (and free!); walking across the Golden Gate Bridge makes for a fun afternoon; stay away from costly cabs... buses are the way to go around here (ask for details at your hotel, try "511.org," or just do an internet search for "San Francisco muni.")

Even with everything we did, we still have more we want to see and do in the future!

Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peterborough
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
“Nice to have been but would not race back”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2009

If visiting in the summer it is a good idea to watch Eddie Izzards jokes about this city - he is not exaggerating! It was cold (56 degrees F) and quite foggy - unable to see Golden gate bridge fully. This is apparently normal weather and locals recommend September to visit, I thought the city was over rated. Yes the trams were good but pier 39 and Fishemans wharf were packed, cold and very touristy. We did Alcatraz evening trip which was good but you have to book months in advance. A lot of homeless drunks around and although it caused us no problems it was unnerving particularly at night. We were there for three days as we were on a fly drive holiday. Nice to have been but would not be racing back.

Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NJ
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Trip Report 7/22-24”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2009

First thanks to all of the great tips I found while researching our trip to San Francisco from all the TA's here.

Arrived in San Francisco on Wed., July 22 via a Greyhound bus from Vacaville, CA where our son is stationed (Travis AFB). Took the greyhound because of the advice I have read on here re parking in San Fran and man it was right on the money. Would have been near impossible to drive in that city.

Again thanks to TA, I knew to bring some warm clothing. However, there was a weird weather pattern going on so it was more like their winter weather. It was FREEZING. 40's and 50's everyday and very cloudy. I just wore every shirt I had along with a hoody. You tended to warm up as you walked and boy do you walk. We must have walked close to 8 hours a day. Ok, getting ahead of myself.

We were able to get an early checkin at the St. Frances right in Union Square. While the St. Francis was nice, I was not that impressed at all. Even though they did an upgrade on the hotel, I thought it was just so-so. And I usually stay in Marriott courtyard or Best Western. The amenities were just about null. I needed to use a PC and had to pay $10 for 20 minutes of use. I will say it was the fastest PC I have ever used! As well as it should be for that ridiculous price.

Walking around Union Square was pretty neat, there are all kinds of high end shops if you are into shopping. And tons of interesting people walking around. There is a HUGE homeless population and while they weren't persistant (except for one or two) they do constantly panhandle. Some sing, some do tricks, some spouted poetry and they all wanted to be paid for it. We mostly ignored them.

The location is excellent however. As soon as we walked out of the lobby we were right in the middle of Union Square which was pretty cool. Each night there was a different band playing somewhere in the square and they were all very very good and attracted alot of people.

The first day/night we checked out Union Square and bought the best thing ever! The Muni passes. What a deal. We figured out the transit system pretty quickly, the map the hotel gave us was very useful. We jumped on a bus and headed to Haight Ashbury to check it out. Honestly, it was a little seedy, lots of head shops, and you can tell who came in the sixties and just stayed. But it was pretty cool just experiencing it. You could (we didn't) buy a map showing where alot of the great 60's rockers lived. Not alot of homeless the day we were there. You could probably score some weed if you were looking hard enough, cause we did smell it often while walking around. Went back to the hotel and crashed. Had a early start the next day to go to Alcatraz.

Alcatraz was AWESOME!!!! TG I bought tickets a month in advance due to advice on here. There were so many people looking for tickets and there were none to be had. The line to get on the ship was long but very organized and they moved fast. They take everyone pics before they get on the boat in case anyone wants to buy them when you get off. Price was $22.00?
We had no desire though especially since we were taking each others pics (4 of us). Before we left, I told my 28 y.o. daughter that I bought us all tix to tour the prison. She didn't think it sounded interesting at all but after the tour she could not stop raving about it. It was a self guided tour with audio which was excellent. If you closed your eyes you can almost think you are there. We did a day tour but wish we did the night tour. We were there for about 2 1/2 hours and it was worth every minute! Yes it was cold going over but the boat had outside heaters and the views were great. The fog wasn't too bad and you were able to see the Golden Gate Bridge and Angel Island which I wish I had signed us up for. The view of the city was absolutely beautiful, I can only imagine how it would look at night. This is def a MUST DO!

Departed the boat and took a walk through Fishermans Wharf, yes it is very touristy but hey, we are tourists from the East Coast. We didn't buy too much, I got a hat cause it was cold. We went and saw the Seals which are so adorable. There were hundreds of them, just lounging around and making lots of noise. Could have stayed there for hours just watching them.
We ate lunch at Bubba Gumps which was very good and plentiful. If we had gotten a dish shrimp back in Atlantic City, you would have seen about 5 on your plate. These plates were full. The server was great and made a great impression on us. All of the servers looked like they were having a blast working there.

After lunch we walked around, walked through North Beach/Little Italy, had coffee on a outside patio, was a nice street, saw the Coit Tower and Lombard St. We thought about walking up it but didn't. There were alot of those little go cars driving around there and that looked like a lot of fun. We ended up walking to Chinatown. Yeah I read that it was a tourist trap but you know what? It was fun! If you are from out of town go there and buy some of the cheap souviners (they are the only cheap thing in the city) It really was neat walking around and seeing this different side of what we are used to. Had a great meal (sorry the name escapes me right now) but I was told that if you ate Chinese food there you will realize that everywhere else you have eaten it does not do it justice and OMG it was very very good. And again the portions are huge, it was so good. We were seated in a semiprivate room that was really neat and our servers were very nice. We walked around and bought some things for friends and family. We did find some beautiful things but didn't feel like getting it shipped home.

The next day we went to check out Castro, was very clean and didn't see any homeless at all there. Some of the peeps there were very funny and again everyone was so nice. My daughter and her friend went to a club there that night and said they had fun dancing with all of the guys.

We did some more walking around the different areas, I think I must have lost about 10 pounds. You got so into everything that you didn't get hungry, we just wanted to see more of the City.

We went to a couple of bars that night in Union Square, expensive but was cool. We had some apps in one and it was very good.

Our last morning, my husband and I got up around 0600 and walked around. Yes it was a ghost town but neat to see it empty. We went to Sears Fine Foods for b'fast and was very disapointed. For one thing, there were only 4 other people in the resurant and it took about 15 minutes to get some coffee. The food was ok. I didn't think it was worth it at all. My daughter and her friend had b'fast in the square across from the hotel and said it was delicious. There was also an art show going on in the plaza and that was neat to wander around and look.

Decided to go to Golden State Park on our final day. Had to go back to Haight Street because someone wanted to get a tshirt and it looked as if GSP was only a few blocks from there so we decided to walk it. It wasn't that far but that was just the entrance, we walked and walked and walked. Beautiful park, just beautiful. We kept walking for miles and we were all so tired when we came across a bike rental place. We rented tandem bikes and rode around. Never did get to the water and bridge but again it was all good. Except trying to find a bus back. We had to climb up a hill to get to a bridge then walk down a major highway for about 1/2 of a mile till we hit a bus stop. Did see a pretty waterfall while hiking up to the bridge though. Finally got on the bus - yay! I was dead tired. Had dinner in the hotel, the Oak room. Great steaks and wine but for 4 of us the bill was over $400. That was for 4 steaks, 2 apps, 6 glasses of wine and 1 local brewed beer. But it was a nice place for our last night.

I want to say how everyone in that city is extremely nice and helpful. They must get sick of tourists asking questions but they don't show it.

Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Great tips for San Francisco!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2009

Spent a week at Sir Francis Drake Hotel in S.F (see revu under that hotel), Buena Vista near waterfront a must for Irish coffee (the best!), Harry Denton's Starlight Room excellent for classy club, low cover, great bands and excellent food/fun entertainment at Sunday (drag) brunch, Foreign Cinema in Mission district for excellent food/quirky location, excellent museums at de Young and Asian Art Musuem, loved Parisian macaroons at Miette's and oysters/chowder at Hog Island at Ferry bldg, fabulous find on Filmore (really!) at La Mediterranee - cheap/excellent, neighborhoody. Cafe Claude in Union Sq very French/tres bon! Don't miss Cortez @ Adagio Hotel near Union Square - exquisite flavors small/lg plates! Trip up Rte 1 to Stinson Beach highly recommended for views and beautiful beach. Wine country - love Korbel (best tour along w/ Beringer's), try the Silver Oak blend (OMIGOD), and dine at Tra Vigne in St Helena - superb! If you can, visit the neighborhoods as they each have their own personalities, shopping and of course, food!

Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California, Maryland
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Love SF”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2009

I love this city. San Francisco is beautiful. People are friendly, laid back and accepting. There is just so much to do!

Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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