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Short stay in SF with family

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22 posts
3 reviews
Short stay in SF with family

Dear forum experts,

I'm trying to figure out a good itinerary for our short stay in San Francisco. We are a family of 4, with 2 teenagers aged 14 and 15.

We will be arriving in San Francisco on august 19th from Monterey, and I have booked a hotel in Columbus Av. I don't think there will be much time left for SF on the day of our arrival, as we plan to visit the Small NASA Museum and Stanford on our way there.

Day 1 (Saturday): Lombard Street and dinner somewhere in Chestnut Street. Any good tip?

Day 2 (Sunday): Ride the Cable Car to Market Street. Walk to Union Square, Chinatown, Coit Tower and then to Pier 33 for Alcatraz Tour at 3:50 PM (already booked). Evening at Pier 39

Day 3 (Monday): In the morning, bike from Fisherman's Wharf over the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito and return by ferry. Maybe Exploratorium in the afternoon. Castro / Mission District in the evening. We have a car, would you recommend to use it, or better using public transport /uber to go to Castro?

Day 4 (Tuesday): Drive to Yosemite

What do you think? Is this planning enjoyable? Would you recommend to leave straight to Yosemite on Tuesday, or could we add another SF sight?

Comments, suggestions, hints and tips are more than welcome!

Many, many thanks,

Roberta & family

12 replies to this topic
San Francisco, Ca
Level Contributor
21,909 posts
79 reviews
1. Re: Short stay in SF with family

>>dinner somewhere in Chestnut Street. Any good tip?<<

You're not near the commercial portion of Chestnut Street (assuming you're at the Columbus Motor Inn or similar). Head away from the Wharf on Columbus into North Beach for dinner... Ideale for Italian, or China Live for modern Chinese.

>>Ride the Cable Car to Market Street. Walk to Union Square<<

Get off the cable car at Union Square. It's only 3 more blocks to Market Street, where there is little of interest except the cable car turntable (and you would have been able to see that if you board at the Bay/Taylor turnaround near your hotel). So you'd end up walking back those 3 blocks to Union Square to begin your sightseeing.

>>bike from Fisherman's Wharf over the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito and return by ferry<<

Make your bike reservations for your return ferry in advance.

>>We have a car, would you recommend to use it<<

No. There's very little parking in the Castro or the Mission. (The two neighborhoods are sort of near each other, but they're not the same.)

>>Would you recommend to leave straight to Yosemite on Tuesday, or could we add another SF sight?<<

You 'could' add another SF sight, but whether or not this is wise depends on how much time you have in Yosemite.

buenos aires...
Level Contributor
2,193 posts
133 reviews
2. Re: Short stay in SF with family

I got exhausted just reading your itinerary..

Level Contributor
22 posts
3 reviews
3. Re: Short stay in SF with family

Dear SFSusanW,

Thank you for your precise an helpful answers.

We will certainly take them on-board.

Could you please just clarify on point?

What do you mean by "Make your bike reservations for your return ferry in advance"?

I bought the ferry tickets online, but I did not have to specify the time for the trip. Is it possible to reserve in advance? Many thanks,

Roberta

San Francisco...
Destination Expert
for San Francisco
Level Contributor
59,769 posts
149 reviews
4. Re: Short stay in SF with family

Roberta. There are tokens for bikes on the ferry. That is what gets full ( the bike space ) That info plus the details of the route are in our top questions on biking in SF

Alternatively you can leave bikes in Sausalito for 12 a bike to a company that returns them

Level Contributor
22 posts
3 reviews
5. Re: Short stay in SF with family

Dear Belomiser,

Thank you for your feedback. I will check that out carefully.

Have a nice day,

Roberta

California
Level Contributor
4,375 posts
335 reviews
6. Re: Short stay in SF with family

You do not have an exhausting itinerary at all for an energetic family. In fact, it looks very well thought through, with the helpful suggestions thrown in. Enjoy the City.

Level Contributor
22 posts
3 reviews
7. Re: Short stay in SF with family

Thank you, Liars!

I am glad and reassured: we are an energetic family, and we are just looking forward to our trip!

Roberta

Level Contributor
3,604 posts
1 review
8. Re: Short stay in SF with family

It is also possible to reserve a space on a ferry for the bike ahead of time (as opposed to the tokens). But you would have to know which ferry you want to return on.

For $12 per bike you can return the bikes in Sausalito and then the whole worry about getting the bike on the ferry is eliminated.

Level Contributor
22 posts
3 reviews
9. Re: Short stay in SF with family

Thank you Madeline for your explanation.

I will consider the two options.

Have a nice day,

Roberta

San Francisco
Level Contributor
145 posts
138 reviews
10. Re: Short stay in SF with family

I too think your itinerary is well thought-out, and no problem for an active family. I suppose with a car on your last day you could drive through Golden Gate Park or along Haight Street (west end) before heading out of town to Yosemite, or you could even have breakfast out at Louie's at Lands End, if any of those ideas sound appealing. If it were me I'd want to leave SF for Yosemite by noon at the latest - as much to minimize traffic as to be able to stop along the way, if anything enroute appeals to you. And as an earlier poster said, if your time in Yosemite is limited, you might want to try to arrive in Yosemite earlier, rather than later in the day or evening.

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