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San Francisco 4 Day Itinerary (input please!)

Whitehouse, Texas
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San Francisco 4 Day Itinerary (input please!)

San Francisco 4 Day Itinerary

June 9-13th

We are in our 30s and are traveling with just the two of us. We very much want to explore the city, but also want to keep a slower pace/relax since we stay busy at home. My husband is very physically active. I struggle with lower back issues and plantar fasciitis/heel spurs, so I am more limited physically. I can only walk 1-2 miles at a time. We love to eat at "hole in the wall"/mom & pop/authentic restaurants. We love all ethnic foods and enjoy the occasional fine dining meal. We would love input on whether this plan is practical, restaurant recommendations, and definitely transportation tips for getting to and from the places we'd like to go! And please let us know of anything else we shouldn't miss!! It's our first visit to San Francisco.

Monday:

Flight arrives at 1:45pm

(Buy a transportation pass at airport? Which kind?)

Take cab to Pier 2620 Hotel in Fisherman's Wharf

Checkin to hotel

Take double decker bus tour of city (Is there a specific company recommended? I was thinking a Gray Line HOHO day pass, but it's kind of expensive. Is this redundant since we are doing Dylan's bus tour also? Thought it would be a good way to get a lay of the land our first day and spot places we'd like to return to.)

Get off in North Beach for dinner (Original joes? Piazza Pellegrini?) & walk back to hotel (this is downhill, right??)

Didn't want to plan too much this day, since we will have traveled and have a fairly early start the next day...

Tuesday:

Meet at The Bike Shop at 9:40am (walk?) for Dylan's driving tour: Golden Gate Bridge/Muir Woods/many San Francisco neighborhoods and more!

End in Sausalito & eat an early dinner (restaurant recommendation?)

Take ferry back

Wednesday:

Breakfast at Hollywood cafe

Explore Fisherman's Wharf

Pier 39 (sea lions)/Guirardelli Square/Embarcadero (maybe a light lunch or just dessert at Guirardelli since we are eating a big breakfast?)

Dinner at Delancy Street Restaurant

7:15 Giants game

(Best place to buy tickets? Seating recommendations?)

Thursday:

Take Cable car to Union square (Lunch at top of Maceys? Or somewhere better?)

Telegraph Hill & Coit Tower

Chinatown for dinner (Looking for an authentic restaurant/not too expensive?)

Beach Blanket Babylon at 8pm (Is this a dressy event?)

Friday:

Golden Gate Park (What is the best way to get here from our hotel?)

Rent bikes at park?

California Academy of Science (Moss Room or Academy Cafe for lunch)

Japanese Tea Garden

(Other sites we shouldn't miss at the park?)

8pm reservation for sunset anniversary dinner at Sutro's at the Cliff House (I assume we need to dress up for this? Maybe we will take MUNI back to hotel late afternoon to rest & come back dressed up?)

Saturday: Take cab to airport

Thanks for your time and expertise!

San Francisco...
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1. Re: San Francisco 4 Day Itinerary (input please!)

Thanks for taking the time to plan your tour. If you have Dylan's no point doing another HOHO

There is a wealth of info on what to do and see in SF and where to eat in SF. The info is updated and is on the right side of this webpage. You can also access it on a mobile or tablet via the 2nd post of the SF Forum.

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g60713-s510/San-Franc… is the link to get to all the info

Buy Muni Passport at SFO visitor center 1,3,7, day - you may want to go and use the 3 day or buy 7 day -- your choice

Sausalito -- Poggio Restaurant

Chinatown -- list of Chinese places such as R&G or Z&Y or Hunan's home or Great eastern -- in the top questions link above

The Fisherman's wharf and Embarcadero -- that may be just about 3-4 hours for the whole thing plus meal time. You have time to do other things

SF Giants tickets -- check prices at Giants site or stubhub.com info on where to sit TOP QUESTIONS

Edited: 10:40 am, May 22, 2014
Whitehouse, Texas
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2. Re: San Francisco 4 Day Itinerary (input please!)

Thanks! This is helpful! I've been reading all of the links so much, it all has started running together! Lol! Much of what I have so far is from my research on Trip Advisor! (How did we plan trips before it existed?!) There are so many restaurant options...it's a little overwhelming! I'm really wanting places locals prefer to eat as opposed to popular tourist places.

Any tips on what to do our first afternoon instead of the HOHO? Maybe just explore North Beach?

Also, what would be in the area that we could do in between Embarcadero/Fisherman's Wharf and the baseball game?

Thanks again for your help!

Bloomington, Indiana
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3. Re: San Francisco 4 Day Itinerary (input please!)

Here's a handful of comments/suggestions/observations:

1. Belo is right you can get a MUNI Passport at the Visitor's Center (located in the below street level plaza at Powell Street Station), but I'll suggest getting it at SFO. There are info booths in the baggage claim areas that sell them. Thus, while waiting for you luggage to arrive you can purchase your passport and make use of the time that you'd otherwise just be standing around. They're a "lottery style" scratch off, so you can wait until you're ready to use them to activate them.

2. I'd go ahead & get the 7 day Passport. It's only a few buck more will cover your whole time in the city. The fact that you "over buy" a day or two is pretty much meaningless (in my opinion). You'd likely pay the cost difference on the days the 3 day wouldn't cover.

3. I agree you've got too much time allocated to Fisherman's Wharf. With a few exceptions, in my opinion, it merits a few hours to walk through not an entire day. Now, if you plan on doing the Maritime Museum, I'd add some time and you might be able to spend a whole day there if you're really interested in what it has to offer.

Given that you're staying in the FW area, you might consider not allocating any "official" time to see it. You'll be spending time walking it on your way to/from your hotel and this is probably enough to enjoy the views, check out the sea lions, etc. (especially if you make minor detours as you leave/return).

4. Agree R&B is a good choice for Chinese in Chinatown (it's my wife's favorite Chinese *anywhere*), but the Top Question lists a few others.

5. I think walking around North Beach and maybe into Chinatown and/or Union Square is a reasonable substitute for the HOHO you've dropped. You could walk North Beach into Chinatown, catch the California Cable Car to Market Street (eastbound & never a line to board) and then catch the F Market (antique Streetcars) back along the bay to your hotel. (Alternatively you could ride the California line west up to Nob Hill and transfer to one of the other lines, but you might have a wait to board the other line.)

6. To get to GG Park from your hotel I'd take the F Market to one of the Market Street MUNI Stations (any one of them from Embarcadero to the Civic Center, but I might not use the Civic Center due to the street population there) and then catch the N Judah (underground here). This will take you to the (Inner) Sunset which is near the "museum entrance" to the park (9th & Irving is the closest, but you might want to get out a little earlier or later & walk the commercial area around there; fair number of shops and eating/drinking options). Alternatively you could ride the N Judah further out (it parallels the southern edge of the park a block or two to the south all the way to the ocean) and get off about anywhere and then walk back to the museums in the park.

7. If you really want local's restaurants, I think getting out into the neighborhoods is a good idea (not that locals don't eat downtown, but . . .). Spending 15 minutes or so (even less) on MUNI or a cab will open up a lot of the neighborhoods and associated eating options.

8. As for dressing, SF is a fairly casual dress city. I don't think I see anything on your list where dressing up is necessary; certainly could if you wanted to, but I don't think it needs to happen as long as you're not in worn, tattered jeans, etc.

9. Do be aware that your "view" at the Cliff House might consist of just fog; I doubt it, but it is certainly a possibility.

That's what I've got for now - hope it helps,

hlo

hlo

Forestville, CA
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4. Re: San Francisco 4 Day Itinerary (input please!)

hi: you've done some nice work on your itinerary...i'm going to talk a little about North Beach since you mentioned it along with Telegraph Hill, Coit Tower and Beach Blanket Babylon. NB is San Francisco's old Italian neighborhood and it still retains much of its architectural charm, bohemian soulfulness and wonderful atmosphere. You will find a beautiful park with benches and pretty church in the center of the neighborhood, appearances of wild parrots in the park, boutique shops, yum restaurants & eateries, famous bookstores and cafes, cool bars, hills with vistas and Chinatown just a few blocks away. The 30-Stockton bus can take you to Union Square or back the other way to Fisherman's Wharf, Fort Mason Center and the Marina. The 39-Coit can bring you up to Coit Tower as the hike may be challenging (steep hill).

Some ideas:

EATERIES/RESTAURANTS

--Molinari's Deli. 373 Columbus at Vallejo. Italian 'to go'. eatingoutwell.com/en/…

--Marios Bohemian Cigar Store. Union & Columbus. Old-time cafe serving espresso drinks and delicious oven-baked focaccia sandwiches. View of the park. www.northbeachshop.com/pages/marios.html

--Tony's Pizza Napoletana. Union & Stockton. Pretty yum Naples-style pizza. www.tonyspizzanapoletana.com/

--L'Osteria del Forno. 519 Columbus (btw Union & Green). The real deal...small, casual. https:/…

--Original Joes. 601 Union (btw Stockton & Columbus). Upscale, great restaurant.

http://originaljoessf.com/

CAFES (there are so many, here's an old timer)

--Caffe Trieste. Vallejo & Grant. northbeachshop.com/pages/caffetrieste.html

FAMOUS BOOKSTORE

--City Lights Bookstore. www.citylights.com/

FAMOUS (and not so famous) WATERING HOLES

--Vesuvio. www.vesuvio.com/

--Speck's. yelp.com/biz/specs-twelve-adler-museum-cafe-…

--Tosca's. http://toscacafesf.com/

--The Saloon. tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60713-d53…

Resource link:

www.sfgate.com/neighborhoods/sf/northbeach/

Whitehouse, Texas
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5. Re: San Francisco 4 Day Itinerary (input please!)

Thanks so much for all the great tips! I especially appreciate the transportation tips in great detail, huntlawoffice! And perfect information for North Beach...just the type of stuff I was looking for, chester9cat! I'm a bit of a research nut when we travel! ;) Love getting an inside track with the locals! If you ever visit the Piney Woods of East Texas, I'll be sure to return the favor. Lol!

Whitehouse, Texas
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6. Re: San Francisco 4 Day Itinerary (input please!)

Thanks so much for all the great tips! I especially appreciate the transportation tips in great detail, huntlawoffice! And perfect information for North Beach...just the type of stuff I was looking for, chester9cat! I'm a bit of a research nut when we travel! ;) Love getting an inside track with the locals! If you ever visit the Piney Woods of East Texas, I'll be sure to return the favor. Lol!

San Francisco...
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7. Re: San Francisco 4 Day Itinerary (input please!)

On wednesday of your trip, eat at the Ferry Building....lots of choices, great views.

Whitehouse, Texas
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8. Re: San Francisco 4 Day Itinerary (input please!)

I made several adjustments per your recommendations. How is this looking?

San Francisco Itinerary

June 9-13th

Monday:

Flight arrives at 1:45pm

Buy a citypass at airport

Take cab to Pier 2620 Hotel in Fisherman's Wharf

Checkin to hotel

Take Muni to North Beach and explore. Check out Washington Square Park, have espresso at Caffé Trieste, & go to City Lights Book Store.

Original Joes for dinner

Walk back to hotel

Tuesday:

Meet at The Bike Shop at 9:40am (walk?) for Dylan's driving tour: Golden Gate Bridge/Muir Woods/many San Francisco neighborhoods and more!

End in Sausalito & eat an early dinner (Taste of the Himalayas, Arawan Thai or Sushi Ran?)

Take ferry back

Guirardelli Square for dessert

Wednesday:

Breakfast at Hollywood cafe

Fisherman's Wharf

Aquarium of the Bay

Exploratorium

Lunch at Ferry Building

Pier 39 (sea lions)

Blue and Gold Fleet Bay Cruise or RocketBoat

Musee Mecanique

Dinner at Delancy Street Restaurant

7:15 Giants game

(Best way back to hotel after game? I assume public transportation will be crowded.)

Thursday:

Breakfast at Boudin bakery

Lombard street

Take Cable car to Union square (Lunch at top of Maceys? Or somewhere better?)

Grace cathedral

Filbert steps

Telegraph Hill & Coit Tower

Explore Chinatown

Dinner in Chinatown (Z&Y or R&G)

Beach Blanket Babylon at 8pm

Friday:

Take MUNI to Golden Gate Park

Rent bikes at park?

California Academy of Science (Moss Room or Academy Cafe for lunch)

Japanese Tea Garden

Walk Ocean Beach

8pm reservation for sunset anniversary dinner at Sutro's at the Cliff House

Saturday: Take cab to airport

Forestville, CA
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9. Re: San Francisco 4 Day Itinerary (input please!)

hi: you're doing great!! there were a few logistics/routes that i thought could be massaged (the experts will surely give the best advice).

WEDNESDAY-- i think all the Fisherman's Wharf sites (Pier 39, Mecanique, shops, Aquarium) can be visited before lunch and then on your way to the Ferry Building (there are trolleys if walking is too much) is the Exploratorium. Since there are so many places to eat and stumble across at the Ferry Building, it's easy to become overwhelmed & tired. Encourage researching to help focus. http://www.yelp.com/search?find_desc=ferry+building+restaurants&find_loc=San+Francisco%2C+CA

(if link doesn't work, look up "ferry building restaurants sf"). Map of ferry bldg ... ferrybuildingmarketplace.com/merchant_map.php

Take trolley back for Bay Cruise...rest....head back up (yes, backtracking but it's not much) to Delancy Street for dinner, then to the ballgame! If you are a true baseball fan, then it's not over til it's over...but if it's a bust and you feel you could leave the ballpark early, it might be a good idea. Take trolley back to FW.

THURSDAY-- Grace Cathedral is the one place that is far away from the rest of your day's activities; perhaps re-think. Union Square, Chinatown, North Beach are all in the same general vicinity and easily gotten to between each other. The 30-Stockton bus will be your friend, although it can be slow.

Now, the Filbert Steps up at Coit Tower will be going down towards the Embarcadero...then you're all the way back down there again. Suggestion:..what i've done before with visiting friends is walk down the steps about 1/8-1/4 of the way and then turn around and come back up. That way you experience some of this pretty place.

FRIDAY--don't forget to see the ruins of the Sutro Baths! Happy Anniversary Dinner!

I found this nice walking tour & map you might like--

…nationalgeographic.com/travel/…

San Francisco...
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10. Re: San Francisco 4 Day Itinerary (input please!)

Just a note: Wednesday - I don't see how you are going to fit Aquarium by the Bay *and* the Exploratorium in before lunch. I can spend several hours at the Exploratorium and at least an hour or so at the Aquarium by the Bay. (Make sure you get coupons online for the Aquarium, I think it's kind of overpriced otherwise.) Probably at least an hour at the Musee Mechanique as well, depending on how interested you are in the old arcade amusements. I love them hard but it gets loud and overwhelming in there after too long.

Maybe do Fisherman's Wharf type stuff, lunch at the Ferry Building and then walk back to the Exploratorium?There's some back and forth there, but it is a lot to stuff into one day.