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  1. Default San Francisco Trip...

    Hello, my husband and I are going to San Francisco this weekend for 5 nights. We have already planned an Alcatraz/Muir Woods/Sausalito tour and an Oakland A's game. I have some other ideas such as Fisherman's Wharf, Cable car rides, Chinatown, Coit Tower, etc, but I was wondering if anyone has been to San Fran and has any other suggestions of places they found to be great? I know a lot of people mention wine country, but my husband and I aren't drinkers and don't like wine, so I don't think that would be good for us...but does anyone have any other suggestions? I am espeically wondering what is available to do at night, like I said we are not big partiers/drinkers, so besides clubs what else does the city have to offer?

    Also, we have been looking into possibly doing a Jelly Belly factory tour (about an hour north of San Fran) and see one of the Old Faithful Gysers (about another hour beyond that), has anyone done either of these things and are they worth the trip?
    Thanks for any help you can give me!
    Jill

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Québec, Montreal, Arizona, California, France
    Posts
    761

    Default A few more things to do

    Welcome back Jill!

    but I was wondering if anyone has been to San Fran and has any other suggestions of places they found to be great
    I think the best view of San Francisco can be found at Twin Peaks. Golden Gate Park is a great place for a walk, its Japanese Tea Garden is particularly beautiful. You can feed the penguins at the Steinhart Aquarium. Lincoln Park is not bad either.

    North Beach is an interesting part of town, once the HQ of the Beat Generation (Jack Kerouac, Alen Ginsberg, etc.). You can still find some relicas of that period at the Citylights Bookstore and the Vesuvio Café on the corner of Jack Kerouac Alley and Colombus Ave.

    You can visit the famous Alcatraz prison, but I think you have to make reservations.

    If you are into art, go to the SF Art Institute, my favourite gallery is Diego Riviera's. If you enjoy shopping, head to Union Square and SoMa.

    Other attractions include : Lombard Street, the crookedest street, Ghirardelli Square at the Fisherman's Wharf, the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Company guided tour).

    If you have some extra time, you could drive a stretch of the Pacific Coast Highway (a.k.a. Highway 1), one of the most beautiful scenic roads in the US.

    I am espeically wondering what is available to do at night, like I said we are not big partiers/drinkers, so besides clubs what else does the city have to offer?
    You can check out a few outdoor shows, like this Mime Troupe or attend an event at the Stern Grove Festival. Here's an article on free concerts and films.

    Castro has a pretty lively atmosphere day and night and a lot of cafés and restaurants are opened late in the evening.

    Hope this helps!

    Gen

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default Oakland?

    If you don't mind me asking, how did you end up deciding to go to an A's game?

    Its not that there's anything wrong with the A's, but San Francisco's AT&T (Formerly SBC, also Formerly PacBell) Park is generally considered one of the most beautiful parks in all of baseball. The Oakland Colliseum, to put it nicely, is not.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Jelly Bellies

    Quote Originally Posted by Jylly18
    Also, we have been looking into possibly doing a Jelly Belly factory tour
    Megan did the tour back in 2000 and really enjoyed it.
    and see one of the Old Faithful Geysers
    Ummm. The only old faithful geyser I know about is in Yellowstone. The geysers in Geyserville are capped for power production --- very, very noisy.... I really like Point Reyes National Seashore -- during rip tides the waves going out to sea are bigger than ones inbound.

    Mark

  5. Default Try the mud baths instead...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jylly18
    [ ... ]
    Also, we have been looking into possibly doing a Jelly Belly factory tour (about an hour north of San Fran) and see one of the Old Faithful Gysers (about another hour beyond that), has anyone done either of these things and are they worth the trip?
    Thanks for any help you can give me!
    Jill
    Ahhh.. I hate to say I went to it years ago. Here's it's web site... http://www.oldfaithfulgeyser.com/ Now, that was a decade or more ago, but I wasn't impressed. Not that I think it's not a real geyser, nor that the folks who run the place aren't entitled to making a bit of money at it... But it wasn't that spectacular, and it was fairly costly for me and my friends to see (around $30). *Shrugs* each to their own.. the area up there (near Callistoga) is geothermically active, with other active hot springs and geysers. I personally got more of a kick out of the mud baths and hot spring soak I had -- but heck if I can remember the name of the place now.

    I will note there are some great restaurants in the Napa Valley area, and some very romantic small hotels or B&Bs -- which has always been fun to do with the right person. And also after wine tasting all day, and then a good meal (with wine...) I don't want to be driving toooo far...

    Now, for something funky to see.. cruise on over to Sonoma and look in the town square. (There are some wineries around too, so its not a wasted trip..). Yep, there's this huge statue of a heroic figure draped with a flag. It's the Bear Flag monument, where California declared its independence as the "California Republic" from Mexico in 1846. I found this by accident early one foggy Sunday morning when I was wandering around Sonoma waiting for the stores and restaurants to open.. http://www.noehill.com/sonoma/cal0007.asp

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Keithville, LA
    Posts
    638

    Default Walking is Wonderful

    When I went a few years ago I quickly discovered that my car was trapped in the "parking garage" at the hotel. We won't discuss the 45 minutes it took me to extricate the car in the end nor the lovely scratches it sports to this day.

    Anyway - seeing as how our car was trapped - we set out on foot and managed to spend the entire day just wandering around San Francisco. We went to Alcatraz (you do have to book ahead). The NPS recommends, and I used, the Blue and Gold Fleet. We then wandered around Fishermans Wharf, and headed towards the famous hilly streets. We wound up in Chinatown, saw the "Painted Ladies", etc, but I couldn't tell you how we found all of these places. It was a blast!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Bay Area, CA
    Posts
    234

    Default what a good time

    Quote Originally Posted by Jylly18
    Hello, my husband and I are going to San Francisco this weekend for 5 nights. We have already planned an Alcatraz/Muir Woods/Sausalito tour and an Oakland A's game. I have some other ideas such as Fisherman's Wharf, Cable car rides, Chinatown, Coit Tower, etc, but I was wondering if anyone has been to San Fran and has any other suggestions of places they found to be great? I know a lot of people mention wine country, but my husband and I aren't drinkers and don't like wine, so I don't think that would be good for us...but does anyone have any other suggestions? I am espeically wondering what is available to do at night, like I said we are not big partiers/drinkers, so besides clubs what else does the city have to offer?

    Also, we have been looking into possibly doing a Jelly Belly factory tour (about an hour north of San Fran) and see one of the Old Faithful Gysers (about another hour beyond that), has anyone done either of these things and are they worth the trip?
    Thanks for any help you can give me!
    Jill
    I heard that the weather is going to be great this weekend. A lil hot, but no fog, hopefully.
    I would suggest you to take the elevator to the 9th floor at de Young art gallery(Golden Gate park). Its free and I haven't seen such a view.

    Baker's beach, imo, gives the best view of the Golden Gate. If by sunset, its still not foggy, get to the ocean beach to see the red apple go down.
    I think there is a dragon dance at Chinatown around noon. Its real fun. It starts at the entrance and goes all the way to the end.

    There is nothing much in Union Square, but its a nice place to hang. Crooked street is a must-see. I like Mission bay, just below the bay bridge.

    Finally, a Muni pass might help you save some money and your leg some pain as well.

    Imo, old faithful is definitely not worth the money($8). Its too commercial.

    SF is magical.

    Have fun.

    cool

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Go see the Monarch Butterflies!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jylly18
    I was wondering if anyone has been to San Fran and has any other suggestions of places they found to be great?
    The Monarch Butterflys are arriving from their summer feeding grounds in the Canadian Rockies. You can walk among tens of thousands of them in Santa Cruz. Look at this post for more info.

    Mark

  9. Default

    Some good restaurant tips:

    La Taqueria at 24th & Mission. Arguably, the best authentic taqueria in the city. Really low key and cheap, but it's always packed and the food is amazing. It's in the Mission District, which is a fun place to walk around -- go up to Valencia St., though, it has the better shops, including a pirate shop at 826 Valencia, which also serves as a writing workshop place started by writer Dave Eggars.

    Tomaso's in North Beach on Kearny at Broadway. Excellent Italian food, but a little more expensive. My parents have been going there for about 30 years; it's still excellent.

    Moki's in Bernal Heights on Cortland. Excellent sushi. Also, for really good sushi, try Blowfish on 18th and Bryant.

    Chows on Church has some really good Asian fusion food.

    If you're into music you have to visit Amoeba Records on Haight St. It's the largest independent music retailer in the country and it's amazing. Also, see Aquarius Records on Valencia St.

    SF Museum of Modern Art on 3rd is awesome.

    There you go, have fun.

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