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Help me construct a short San Francisco itinerary?


May 22nd, 2014, 06:42 PM
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Help me construct a short San Francisco itinerary?

Hope some experts here can help me plan a visit. My sister and I are arriving in San Francisco on Thursday, June 19th in the afternoon. We will leave for Sonoma Sunday morning, June 22. We are staying at the Coventry Motor Inn on Lombard Street, and although we will have a car, it looks as though public transportation will be our friend...especially Bus 30, which seems to go almost everywhere we want to go.

Can someone help me arrange our tour in a logical way? We want to visit Fort Point and the Disney Museum at the Presidio. We will want to see the sea lions and Musee Mechanique at the Wharf, Union Square, and the Ferry Building. Maybe the Exploratorium. One of those super-fast bay boat rides sounds fun. We want to ride a cable car and the F line trolley. And we have reservations to see Beach Blanket Babylon on Saturday night in North Beach, and would like to have a nice dinner beforehand.

We are (Southern) Californians so have already seen a lot of SF, but want to make this sisters' trip a special one. Thanks for any help!!!
azzure is offline  
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May 23rd, 2014, 02:20 PM
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StuDudley where are you?
Alcatraz maybe?
Topping the thread so it doesn't drop out of the top 25.
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May 23rd, 2014, 03:38 PM
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I am by far not a San Francisco expert but we had so much fun on the catamaran that took us around the bay. It was the Adventure Cat run by Adenture Cat Sailings. I heard about it here years ago and booked it for my sister and I. It was us and one other passenger. You can go on the net and even drive it. When I took my parents 2 years ago, I went for another ride. It was a highlight for my mom as she got to drive. She is going back in June and going again. If you go and want to take a walk on the net, just make sure you go out there after riding by Alcatraz. If you go before, you'll most likely get soaked.

I am not a museum person nor a Disney fan but the Walt Disney museum is one of my favorites, and I only have two favorites. I got there by walking from the Palace of Fine Arts and don't recommend walking. It was a too long of a walk so hopefully someone can recommend an easier way.
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May 23rd, 2014, 04:20 PM
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Dang - lost a post looking something up. And people wonder why it's not always in one post.

Anyhow - since you have a car - you could drive out to the Palace of Legion of Honor - and also enjoy the view of the Golden Gate from there - as well as have brunch/lunch at the nearby Cliff House - or Dim Sum/whatever on Geary or Clement Streets.

And walking around Chinatown is fun - as is adjacent North Beach - as well as down Union and Chestnut Streets.

The De Young Museum in Golden Gate Park is worth a visit - as is the nearby Japanese Tea Gardens.
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May 23rd, 2014, 05:39 PM
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The Saturday market at The Ferry Building is very interesting. We parked across the street for only $2.50 with validation.
Stockton St. in Chinatown was my favorite part, I felt truly transported to Asia. Grant St. is more tourist with gift shops and restaurants.
We dined at Mona Lisa in North Beach and enjoyed it very much.
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May 24th, 2014, 10:02 PM
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I would drive to the Disney Museum and Fort Point, either on the day you arrive or as a side trip from your motel. The Presidio has some public transit but parking is available at both the museum (metered parking Monday-Friday, 8am-6pm) and Fort Point (small parking lot at the site or additional parking at Crissy Field with a short walk).

As you mentioned, the 30 Stockton bus is handy to the Coventry Hotel. The bus stop is on Chestnut & Buchanan, across from the park. It's a short bus ride to Fisherman's Wharf and Musee Mechanique, and a little further walk to Pier 39 and the sea lions. From there, you can take the Powell-Mason cable car to Union Square. You can return to the Coventry on the 30 Stockton bus (caution: take the bus with the destination of Chestnut and not North Point).

A variation would be to take the F historic street car from Pier 39 to the Ferry Building or Union Square (Market and Powell). Most of the historic street cars are from the 1950s, but my favorite ones are the orange cars from Milan, Italy (with wooden bench seats and Italian ads).

You could also travel in the opposite direction, taking the 30 to Union Square (Stockton & Sutter stop), then later walk to Market St for the F street car for Pier 39.

If you're near Union Square at lunch time, try the restaurants on Beldon Place (more restaurants with outdoor seating) or Claude Lane (pedestrian alleys near Bush & Kearny) for a European feel. The lower level of the Westfield Mall on Market St has an upscale food court (go past the Panda Express).

Beach Blanket Babylon is on Green Street, off Columbus Ave. in North Beach (SF's Little Italy). There are many Italian restaurants on or near Columbus Ave. If you want to go for atmosphere, try one of the restaurants with sidewalk tables (if the weather is cool, the restaurant will turn on the overhead heater). My husband and I usually look at the posted menus or talk to the host/hostess at the door. We finish the evening with an espresso drink at Caffe Grecco or gelato at Naia. Columbus Ave. is fairly safe after dark for 2 women if there's still people walking on the street. Cabs should be available along Columbus also.

The best days to visit the Ferry Building are the farmers market days: Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.

The Muni bus/light rail fare is $2 and is good for single/multiple rides (except cable cars) for up to 90 minutes or time marked on paper transfer); exact change is required. A single ride cable car is $6 with no transfer. There are also a 1-day ($15) and 3-day ($23) passes available for unlimited rides on all modes. It would be worth it if you were planning to take public transportation for the entire day AND were riding a cable car.

The web site http://tripplanner.transit.511.org/ can help you plan your bus trips.

Remember to dress in layers--the SF mornings and evenings in June can be foggy and windy. Sonoma should be warmer. Have fun on your visit.
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May 25th, 2014, 07:07 AM
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Best day to do Ft Point is Friday or Sat when the fort is open and you can walk to the top for the best views. Drive there. Afterwards, back in the car & drive across the Golden Gate Bridge and into the Golden Gate Natl Recreation Area on Conzelman. Do this in the later afternoon for the best views (sun will be in your face in the AM),

A perfect Friday would be (by car) Disney Museum in the AM. Then GG park & anything you might want to see there. Then the Cliff House (lunch?) & Sutro Baths. Then do the drive described in the link below that goes by the Legion of Honor (visit?), El Camino Del Mar St, Seacliff, China Beach, Baker Beach, then to Ft Point (above) and over the GG Bridge to the GGNRA. You'll get some fantastic views.


Stu Dudley
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May 25th, 2014, 03:31 PM
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Wow, thanks to everyone for the good ideas! I have been having trouble grouping things in a logical way.
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May 29th, 2014, 09:48 AM
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The Golden Gate Bridge has all-electronic tolls, meaning no toll takers. Please refer to http://goldengate.org/tolls/ for more information (scroll down to the bottom half of the page).
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