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A hotel convenient to the Legion of Honor museum?

Dublin, Ireland
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A hotel convenient to the Legion of Honor museum?

I am flying to San Francisco in early June 2013, arriving on a Sat. and staying until Tues or maybe Wed. The main purpose of my visit is to see the Old Masters in the Legion of Honor Museum. I am looking for the name of a hotel in the vicinity of the museum, or a hotel in an area of the city close to public transport which will take me directly to this museum. I believe that the museum is closed on Monday, so on that day I intend to do a city tour. Any advice on conveniently situated hotels or on city tours will be greatly appreciated.

Bloomington, Indiana
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1. Re: A hotel convenient to the Legion of Honor museum?

First, welcome to the TA forums!

Second, there is a hotel that is fairly close to the Legion of Honor, the Seal Rock Inn. It's still about a 1.5 mile walk/ride to the museum along streets (probably more like a mile walk if you don't follow streets), but I believe that is the closest you can get.

It is located at the end of Geary Street and you can see reviews, etc. here on TA.

A few other comments:

1. Geary is a main east/west street with a major bus line. Thus, it is reasonably easy to get from Seal Rock to downtown (or from downtown to the Legion of Honor). When I say reasonably easy I mean you don't have to transfer and it also has limited & express buses which can reduce travel time. Still it's going to take some time to get from one to the other.

2. This cuts a little both ways. You can use the 38 Geary to get from Seal Rock to downtown for the day you won't do the museum, but you could also do the opposite. Stay downtown and use the 38 Geary to get out to the museum on the days that you'll be doing it.

3. Thus, I would have you should really examine what you're going to be doing on your whole trip. If you're truly going to spend most of your time at the Legion of Honor, then you might want to stay at the Seal Rock and "lose" the commute time on the day(s) you don't go to the museum. On the other hand, if you decide that you'll be doing enough other things, you might want to stay downtown and "commute" to the museum.

4. Be aware that things are pretty "sparse" out by the Seal Rock. It's basically in a residential neighborhood. Now, like much of SF, you'll find a smattering of stores, restaurants, etc. reasonably close (in fact the Seal Rock has a restaurant "on-site," but not sure of its hours), but you won't find tons of stuff right outside the door like you would downtown. You'll need to ride the bus to get to larger commercial areas. You won't have to go all the way downtown, but it will likely require a ride. You can use Google maps streetview to see what I mean (but be aware what you're seeing might be "stale").

5. A hybrid you might want to consider is to stay in Japantown. There are a few hotels in this area and it is located between the Legion of Honor & downtown (more towards downtown). The idea is that you'd use the 38 Geary and head either direction depending on what you're doing for the day. It will be pretty good for going downtown, a little less so for getting to the museum (but still better than downtown). Japantown has plenty of restaurants, shopping, etc all close by.

That's a few thoughts, hope they help,

hlo

Edited: 6:48 pm, March 25, 2013
San Francisco...
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2. Re: A hotel convenient to the Legion of Honor museum?

I would stay in Union Square and take the bus. It's a straight shot on the 38L with a short walk from the bus stop to the museum: http://goo.gl/maps/2KvfY

From their website:

The Legion of Honor is accessible via Muni bus lines 18-46th Avenue, 38-Geary, and 1-California.

The 18 stops directly in front of the museum.

The 1 stops at 33rd Avenue and Clement Street. From there, you can transfer to the 18 or you can walk one block west to 34th Avenue and up Legion of Honor Drive.

The 38 stops at 33rd Avenue and Geary Street. From there, you can transfer to the 18 or you can walk two blocks north and one block west to 34th and Clement and up Legion of Honor Drive.

The walk from 33rd Avenue and Clement Street to the Legion of Honor entrance is approximately half a mile.

San Francisco
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3. Re: A hotel convenient to the Legion of Honor museum?

<<The main purpose of my visit is to see the Old Masters in the Legion of Honor Museum>>

Are you here for the "Impressionists On the Water" exhibit (opens June 2) or the permanent collection?

The Impressionists will be a popular ticket and it would be advisable to purchase in advance ... if for no other reason than to miss the line.

The permanent collection is very nice but I'd say, if you live in Dublin, you are within much closer striking distance to immensely better collections in London, Paris, Amsterdam, The Hague, Madrid, Florence and Rome.

But if you happen to be in SF anyway, the Legion has a nice collection and is located in a wonderful location. Not convenient to downtown perhaps, but lovely.

Be aware that the museum is closed Mondays.

I would agree with sfimporter and stay downtown. Take either the 38-Geary (destination Fort Miley or Point Lobos) to 34th Ave or the 1-California to the end of the line. You can either take the 18 or walk the 1/2 mile or so through Lincoln Park (nice walk but a bit uphill).

San Anselmo...
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4. Re: A hotel convenient to the Legion of Honor museum?

Ah, yes the 38 Geary Express, I rode it for the first 5 years or so of my time in San Francisco. It is a lovely route passing by all sourts of interesting places, it also takes time even in commute hours and the 38 L which I took recently to Kaiser at Divisadero was not exactly speedy. Downtown may not be the choice for this person, it depends on how much time they want to spend at the Palace of the Legion of Honor.

Seal Rock Inn does have some merit, after all Hunter S. Thompson (at least as I think I have read) once wrote something there. It is hard by the Cliff House and the Camera Obsura. One can walk to Ocean Beach, as I did when I lived at 47th and Cabrillo, and watch the waves splash on the shore.

It is also correct that it is primarily a residential neighborhood with limited culinary and other attributes. There was once an excellent Persian restaurant nearby on Balboa but it is long gone. But there remain multiple asian restaurants in the neighborhood and some of them must be good.

I do not now pretend to know where I would stay to visit primarily the Palace of the Legion of Honor, I do know it would not be downtown. I would ask that those whose knowledege is more current not make the knee jerk reaction of downtown is best.

I will also suggest that the OP should indicate how many days they want to visit the Palace of the Legion of Honor.

San Francisco
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5. Re: A hotel convenient to the Legion of Honor museum?

<<I would ask that those whose knowledege is more current not make the knee jerk reaction of downtown is best. >>

I realize your opposite knee is jerking whenever anyone mentions Union Square but truly -- even if it takes an hour from downtown to the Legion (which it might door-to-door) I still think it a better choice than to base oneself out in the boonies of the upper Avenues. If the OP stayed at the Seal Rock Inn she would still be 1.3 miles from the Legion -- and a pretty fair up hill walk the entire way. And if she wanted to bus it she'd be on the very same 38.

And once at the Seal Rock Inn there is very little within walking distance for food and nothing for entertainment or shopping. And as one day of the OPs trip includes the Monday that the Legion is closed, she will be on the opposite side of town from anything -- even a tour pickup.

The OP could also stay at a hotel along the Embarcadero and take the 1-California. A bit slower ride because the 1 is a local rather than a Limited but perhaps a more interesting ride.

Bloomington, Indiana
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6. Re: A hotel convenient to the Legion of Honor museum?

I don't view the suggestions of staying downtown as "knee jerk," but rather as reasoned suggestions (certainly mine is and I think the others are too).

The bottom line (in my opinion) is that Union Square is generally a good place to stay for many (most) visitors to SF; including those for whom visiting the Legion of Honor is a priority. There is a reason that it is generally the default suggestion for most visitors.

Now, does that mean the OP should absolutely stay in Union Square? No, but it does mean they should consider the details of their trip and pros/cons of staying there versus the Seal Rock. And, in my opinion, weigh Japantown in the mix too. Many of the factors have been discussed and "reasoned" (mainly proximity or lack there of to other things). About the only thing I can think of that haven't been mentioned that might influence my suggestion are hotel cost/budget, desired "star" level or style of hotel, and whether a car is in the mix (I assume no since OP asked about public transit, but that's an assumption on my part).

One additional comment re: Sal's Seal Rock walk information. She is right that the walk from the Seal Rock to the Legion of Honor is up hill, but according to Google maps walking directions the distance is a little under a mile if you take El Camino Del Mar. I wouldn't be shocked to discover that this distance could even be shaved a bit via walking paths and/or going down Clement and then heading due north (but don't fully remember the "lay of the land" in this area and didn't it out).

Bottom Line: I think this is the devil is in the details situation. We know the OP wants to focus on the Legion of Honor, but don't know everything else; everything else OP wants to do, meal plans, etc. Without this information I wouldn't rule out any of the 3 possible locations I mentioned (Seal Rock, Japantown & downtown) nor would I say one is vastly superior.

That's my $.02,

hlo

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7. Re: A hotel convenient to the Legion of Honor museum?

<<according to Google maps walking directions the distance is a little under a mile if you take El Camino Del Mar.>>

You're correct hlo, but that route requires walking through the Veteran's Hospital campus, then onto a path and down a set of stairs. Not impossible but perhaps not well marked. My 1.3 mile estimate was heading on Clement to 34th Ave and then up the street to the Legion.

I hope the OP comes back with more about their plan. If they have two days to devote to museums, I would recommend spending one at the Legion and another at the de Young.

Dublin, Ireland
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8. Re: A hotel convenient to the Legion of Honor museum?

Thanks Rambling Sal, I am coming to see the Old Masters' permanent collection, not the Impressionists. Visiting the Legion of Honor museum is not the main reason for my stay in California but I'm glad of the opportunity to do so. .I am an art historian. Some years ago I visited the museums in L.A. I have been in all those museums in Europe which you mentioned. Now it's time for the Legion of Honor. Thanks again for taking the trouble to reply to my query.

Dublin, Ireland
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9. Re: A hotel convenient to the Legion of Honor museum?

Thanks for your long and detailed reply to my query. It has helped me to decide to stay down town and to commute to the museum. Very grateful to you.

San Francisco...
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10. Re: A hotel convenient to the Legion of Honor museum?

Great use the SF hotels link in the top menu and you can find downtown hotels in the union square area and then take our MUNI to get around town. if you need help with hotels, please shortlist a few, after reading reviews and checking availability and we can help you pick one. But do provide supporting info about what you are looking in a hotel. We know everyone wants a clean room in a safe area BTW.