Feedback on my 3 day plans for SF??

Old May 28th, 2005, 04:11 PM
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Feedback on my 3 day plans for SF??

Hi Everyone - Thank you for ALL of your help so far. I have come up with a very rough itinerary for my 3 days in SF. Can you let me know if this is feasible or if I am cramming too much in to this time?? I also have a few things that I would like to fit in, but not sure if I can. And if I can, where I would fit them in. Also, if you would recommend certain things over others that I have planned, let me know...Here it goes!

Saturday - arrive from NY at 10:18AM - staying in Marina area
- 1PM Marina/Palace of Fine Arts Walking Tour (offered by Public Library)
- Cow Hollow wandering and eating - Union St
- Russian Hill - Crookedest part of Lombard
- North Beach or our area for dinner

- Wake up early and see Alamo Square and Steiner St (if I start this walk at 8:30AM and need to be at the Haight Tour at 11AM, is that enough time??)
- Haight Tour at 11AM
- Nob Hill OR Victorian SF tour of Pacific Heights at 2PM - ONE of these tours OR scrap the 2PM tours and hang out at GGB Park instead
- Mission For Dinner

- 9:30AM Alcatraz Tour
- Fish Wharf (quick)
- Coit Tower (Filbert & Greenwich St Stairs off of Sansome St)
- North Beach
- Chinatown

Other things I'd like to fit in, but not sure where??
- cable car ride

- Ferry Bldg?? - is this a "must" see -can I fit this in on my last day?? I heard there is a farmer's market on Saturday, is that the best day to see it??

- walk across Golden Gate Bridge - is this a "must" or is seeing it from Coit Tower or Marina area good enough, especially given my limited time??

- JapanTown - We have Chinatown in NYC, am I better off seeing Japantown over Chinatown?? Can I see both?? If so, when would you "squeeze" it in...

- Noe Valley?? - everyone seems to like this non-touristy area, but I don't know if I can make it there on this trip. Any suggestions?? Should I substitute this for another neighborhood on my list or just head there for dinner??

-GGB Park - I heard if we don't have a car or bike, we might not be able to cover too much ground here. If that's the case, is it worth it??

Thanks so much everyone!! I could not have come this far without all of you!! - Laura

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Old May 31st, 2005, 07:13 AM
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Hi Everyone - sorry for the long post!! I usually try not to make them this long since I know it takes a lot of time/work to respond to these itinerary questions. Any feedback would be appreciated. Thanks! - Laura
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Old May 31st, 2005, 08:04 AM
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Laura~I used to live in Noe Valley. While it can be a nice place to poke about, I think you can hold out for visiting it another time. It is very residential with some fine dining places. Check out places like the Mission,the Castro, the Marina and North Beach for greater diversity of scene and offerings.

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Old May 31st, 2005, 09:05 AM
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Imavolio, I think you'll have a great trip but I would try to "relax" your schedule a bit.

San Francisco is a fun city and I like to plan my days there by choosing an interesting area to explore for each day, and leaving my schedule a little more open. Because you will pass by something that you will spontaneously want to include. With an open schedule you have time for this.

I like to have a day-time destination within the city of San Francisco, and an evening plan. I do research what there is to do in my destination area, but I don't pin it down exactly.
For example I took a "girls only trip" to San Francisco with my 2 teen daughters. First time we went somewhere on our own! When we were in the Fisherman's Wharf area, on the main street there we passed by Ripley's Believe It Or Not. They begged me to go in. I thought it would be silly but I agreed. It was great family fun! If we'd had a tight schedule we couldn't have fit in this memorable shared experience. It's a playful place.

In my opinion there isn't any one Must-Do sight in San Francisco. It's all about enjoying the personality of the city.

Get on the cable car wherever you find the shortest line!

I wish I had my info handy here, somewhere on fodors it must mention the public transportation available in San Francisco. I chose a hotel that was right on a public transportation line (NOT the cable car), maybe it was a trolley or a bus, and it was cheap and no long lines, it took us to Fisherman's Wharf and back, very handy. ON the bus (or trolley?) we met a nice local student who told us where to eat!

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Old May 31st, 2005, 09:13 AM
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Imavolio, I should add that I've been to San Francisco many times, and still haven't seen everything. We have never done any guided tours in San Francisco. We have explored China wTown, Fisherman's Wharf area and nearby piers, Ghiradelli Square, Golden Gate Bridge, Golden Gate Park, and that high-tech entertainment building downtown which I forget the name of, but it has an IMAX theatre, virtual bowling, family fun. Also did the Exploratorium, drove down the crookedest street in the world, did the famous cable car ride.

And we're still not "DONE" with San Francisco! I'm NOT a city-lover, but I love San Francisco. (However I love Rome, Italy, more...)
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Old May 31st, 2005, 09:38 AM
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>>>"Ferry Bldg?? - is this a "must" see -can I fit this in on my last day?? I heard there is a farmer's market on Saturday, is that the best day to see it??"<<<

The Farmerís market at the Ferry Plaza happens on Saturdays and Sundays. Itís a ďmust doĒ if you are a foodie and would like to gain a very good and hedonistic experience of San Francisco/ Bay Area food culture. Anything from fresh oysters (Hog Island), cheese (Cowgirl Creamery), wine shops, restaurant stalls, chocolates, freshly-baked goods, etc. are offered.

>>>"walk across Golden Gate Bridge - is this a "must" or is seeing it from Coit Tower or Marina area good enough, especially given my limited time??"<<<

Walking across the GG Bridge is a much more positively overwhelming experience that looking at it from a distance (Coit Tower or a high point in the Marina). Iíd encourage you to go and stop for a 15 minutes at the Vista Point at the Marin side of the bridge to take in the breathtaking view of the Bay Area.
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Old May 31st, 2005, 10:36 AM
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Re: Saturday morning farmers' market at the Ferry Building.

It can get crowded after 10:00 a.m., so make it an early stop. There are some very popular food stalls as well as restaurants inside the building.

I was there on Saturday. Before I hit the veggie sellers (I buy almost all my salad greens there and at the Marin Farmers Market), I sat down and finished a coffee on one of the benches with a view across the bay. To my right was a pair of musicians playing banjo and guitar. To my left was a lady with a plate of barbecued oysters. Does this tell you anything about what our priorities are in San Francisco?

Yes, I think you should go if possible. There is a statue of Ghandi in the center of the outdoor market. Someone often places a bouquet in the statue's hand - hope you see that!
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Old Jun 1st, 2005, 04:21 AM
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Thanks everyone! I really appreciate your feedback. I know I am packing a lot into this trip. It's tough b/c SF sounds so great and I want to see it all!! Melissa5 - as you mentioned, I think I am going to "relax" my schedule a bit. I think I will skip Noe Valley, GGB Park & the GGB walk on this trip. I'll just enjoy the views of the bridge from the many scenic areas within SF. I will probably still hit 1 of the walking tours available through the public library. I think it's a good way to get familiar with a neighborhood and then wander around after. Still not sure on the Ferry Building - the food market sounds GREAT and I usually enjoy those types of things, but I'll see if I can fit it in when I get there. Other than that, does the rest of my itinerary look ok??
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Old Jun 1st, 2005, 10:00 AM
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Just a few observations from all the times I've "toured" friends and family from out of state and noticed what they seemed to like best: 1) They generally all seemed to think the Haight district is overrated as a destination (I get a lot of "hmm, is this it?") although everyone really likes GGP but you do really need a car if on short schedule. Therefore, I'd suggest you skip the Haight tour. 2)Everyone LOVES to see the GGB and more importantly, the SF city view from the Marin side so I don't know if you could even take a taxi across or a short tour but it would be shame to miss seeing the city from that angle. 3) My friends/family love when I take them on a driving tour through Lombard/pacific heights/nob hill/steep streets etc so they can see the houses, etc so it sounds like you have that covered. 4) Skip Noe Valley and Japantown for this first trip, 5)At least walk through Chinatown as I think it is worth it even if you've been to NYC chinatown - you'll be amazed how quickly you can walk from North Beach to Chinatown to Union Square! 6) Ferry building is great but probably not a must see on your first trip. 7)Coit tower is a good view but many of my friends/family were so-so on it and preferred to spend their time elsewhere and get views from other locations but that's because I often take them to GG, Presidio, and top of Hyatt/Fairmont/or Top of the Mark for a drink and views. Finally, you should definitely eat dinner in North Beach, eating in Mission district is not my top of list but there are clearly some good places. I personnally prefer eating in North Beach, or in the following areas - Embarcadero/ Market/SOMA (Slanted Door at Ferry building,Shanghai 1930 for Chinese, Boulevard, too many places to mention). Have fun and don't forget, you can always come back!
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