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Stay at San Francisco airport hotel or Union Square hotel?

Singapore, Singapore
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Stay at San Francisco airport hotel or Union Square hotel?

Hi,

My family and I will be arriving at San Francisco airport the day after thanksgiving(Friday) at noon, and leaving on Sunday morning. I planned to take the Monterey, Camel, 17 miles tour on Saturday. That gives me only the rest of Friday to tour around the city.

Should I just stay at San Francisco airport hotel and take bart in and out of the city on Friday ? If I stay in the city I will have to take a shuttle as it is inconvenient to take bart with my luggage, and have to walk to the hotel. And I believe the Monterey, Camel, 17 miles tour operators do pick up people from the airport area.

I am worry about the road traffic going in to and out of San Francisco on friday and sunday.

Thanks you.

Pacifica, California
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1. Re: Stay at San Francisco airport hotel or Union Square hotel?

In this situation, staying out by the airport sounds OK to me.

Traffic should be light when you visit, since it's a holiday weekend.

BTW - everyone I know who's taken the 17-mile drive says it's not that interesting. If you've never been to SF, I would actually recommend skipping Monterey and Carmel, and spending Saturday in SF. Of course, in that case, getting a hotel in SF might make more sense.

Singapore, Singapore
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2. Re: Stay at San Francisco airport hotel or Union Square hotel?

Thanks Pacifica for your advice.

I was always under the impression that the 17 miles has lots of nice sceneries. Looks like I have to do some research and maybe skip the trip and save some money too($85 per person).

San Francisco...
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3. Re: Stay at San Francisco airport hotel or Union Square hotel?

The Friday after thanksgiving is very busy in downtown San Francisco - especially in Union Square. Lots of shoppers, kooks and protesters all day. The Christmas Tree lighting in Union Square is that evening too.

San Francisco...
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4. Re: Stay at San Francisco airport hotel or Union Square hotel?

Most would suggest 3-4 days in SF to see SF. With your plans you may get half a day in the city and then you are gone. The Monterey Peninsula (Carmel, Point Lobos, Big Sur) are very pretty but one of those bus trips won't cover the Big Sur and give you a very short time in that area. I would suggest you stay in SF and see SF

The Top 10 questions have info on options to get to and from SF as well as info on using MUNI and getting around from Union Sq and Fisherman's Wharf

Sacramento, CA
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5. Re: Stay at San Francisco airport hotel or Union Square hotel?

From what I understand from your post you will spend the only full day in the area on a bus going to and from Carmel. This doesn't sound like how I would want to spend my one day. Have you been to SF before? If not then I would suggest you spend your time in SF. If you are arriving from Singapore then you will be jet lagged and sleeping on the bus...not fun.

Sightseeing in San Francisco would be the best use of your small amount of time in my opinion. Having a hotel in the City would allow you to go back and take a rest if you need to.

sf
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6. Re: Stay at San Francisco airport hotel or Union Square hotel?

Skip the 17 mile drive, I did it once with visitors and wasn't impressed. Lots of expensive houses on golf courses, with killer views, and costs too much.

San Francisco
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7. Re: Stay at San Francisco airport hotel or Union Square hotel?

I agree that 17 Mile Drive isn't worth it. But if the OP goes to Monterey/Carmel it will be with a tour operator so I don't think they'll have any input to the itinerary.

SFOAC, if this is your first time to the Bay Area, then I agree with others to skip the bus tour and stay in San Francisco. But as Wes has indicated that's a busy shopping weekend so I would book a hotel quickly.

Singapore, Singapore
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8. Re: Stay at San Francisco airport hotel or Union Square hotel?

Thank you so much for all your useful advice.

Looks like I will skip Monterey/Carmel/17 miles tour, and stay in SF.

Now my question is: Should I take a shuttle bus, or Bart to downtown ? My plane arrive at SFO around 12:50 friday noon . Do you expect bad road congestion on the day after Thanksgiving, and on Sunday morning (I will leave around 9am on Sunday) ? I am talking about perhaps more then 30 minutes jam.

BTW, I go from Singapore to LA/Anaheim, Las Vegas, then SF. This is my first trip to western US.

Thanks in advance.

San Francisco, Ca
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9. Re: Stay at San Francisco airport hotel or Union Square hotel?

Traffic into the Union Square area will be a mess on "Black Friday" (the day after Thanksgiving and the kick-off of the holiday shopping season). BART may well be faster, although it will also be crowded. Sunday won't be a problem.

San Francisco
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10. Re: Stay at San Francisco airport hotel or Union Square hotel?

If your flight gets in at almost 1PM I would think most of the shoppers would already have headed into the city before then.

The airport is the beginning of the line so you won't be getting on a crowded train. It may get crowded as it goes along but you won't have to squeeze into a crowded car with your luggage. However, at Civic Center begin to make your way to the door and be at the door when the train stops at Powell St. There is always a surge of people getting on there. If you're not right at the door you might miss the stop.