Help Me! San Jose/San Francisco

May 16th, 2004, 06:32 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 103
Help Me! San Jose/San Francisco

I have two weeks to through a trip together. I have never been to northern California. I'm flying in early Saturday morning (San Jose airport) leaving late Tuesday night. I want to go to Pier 39, Fisherman's Wharf, Golden Gate Bridge, Union Square. In other words, all the touristy stuff. I have no idea on where to stay, where to park (I will need a car) I'm so lost. Cable cars, trolleys, where is it safe to walk around. By the way, need a car because I'm traveling with a person who is sick,in case of an emergency.
azgrl is offline  
May 16th, 2004, 08:47 PM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 2,022
Although you probably could do without a car in San Francisco, getting from SJC to the City without one, will cost $$$ and -- unless you hire a cab -- precious time.

If you're also _departing_ from SJC, rent a car and make the drive to the City on Saturday (drive time approximately 45 minutes). To make your touring easiest, stay in town -- lots of hotel choices right here on Fodors "hotel" section.

You'll want to drive across the Golden Gate Bridge, so take advantage of that and include Sausalito and the Marin Headlands.

City transportation is good -- buses, cable cars, and the beautifully restored old trolley line (Market Street and the full length of the Embarcadero -- to Pier 39 and all the way to Fisherman's Wharf).

All the hotels offer parking; some if it free, but most of it for a nominal daily fee.

Have a wonderful time!!
auntiemaria is offline  
May 16th, 2004, 11:09 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 17,106
The best place to stay with free parking is the Cow Hollow Hotel. Most other hotels have parking fees and they can be quite high, as much as $30 a day.

On the other hand, if you bid on Priceline and can get a great hotel around Union Square for around $65, then adding in $30 parking will make the total $95. Plus tax, this will place you around the $110 area - which is almost the same at staying at Cow Hollow with its free parking.

The San Francisco area with the most tourist hotels is Fisherman's Wharf. Hotels there are generally around 3 star. Best of the lot is probably the Argonaut.

The second most popular place is around Union Square. You will find 2-4 star hotels in this area.

If your departure city is San Jose, I would suggest that you start out early for San Jose Airport to avoid the traffic. Driving into San Francisco on Saturday should not be a problem.

Public transportation in San Francisco is excellent. Get the official muni map and you'll find your way around town easily. However, if you have a sick/elderly person with you, you may not have much choice but to drive everywhere. In which case, be prepared to pay high parking fees.

Hope this helps a bit. Type in "San Francisco" in the search box above and you will find a great deal of information on this forum. Otherwise, I'm certain the other Fodorites will have thoughtful and excellent suggestions.

Happy travels!
easytraveler is offline  
May 17th, 2004, 12:49 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 20,952
You can stay at motels along the beach. There are some near the zoo and one near Golden Gate Park. Both have easy street car access to downtown (the L Taraval and the N Judah lines). Street parking is no problem in both areas.
Michael is offline  
May 23rd, 2004, 08:46 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 125
I agree that the Cow Hollow Motor Inn is the best place to stay in SF since they have free parking. On Saturday I would allow about 1.5 hrs to get from the City to San Francisco. Even though it's a weekend, traffic can be unpredictable. The best route from the City to San Francisco is to take 87 south to 280 north. Once you get to the upper Peninsula 280 becomes 19th Avenue. It's quite a scenioc drive and beats the soundwall scenery on the 101.

The areas of SF to be watchful for are Union Square/Downtown, the Mission, and South of Market. I do not mean to concern you, but there has been a spike in violent crime in some parts of Sf such as downtown. So being aware of your surroundings and not carrying purses (in the case of women) is prudent. The Cow Hollow Motor Inn is in a nice area of town. Fisherman's Wharf should be just fine. There are quite a few homeless in the wharf area as well as downtown that can seem intimidating. Just ignore them.

Treck is offline  
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