Last minute San Francisco trip

Old Feb 17th, 2006, 06:52 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 445
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Last minute San Francisco trip

I just found out that I am going to be in San Francisco next week for work. I don't do much business travel so I'm super excited. I have all day Sunday to walk around but I'll be on my own. I'll be staying at the Marriot Courtyard Downtown on 2nd Street. I know I'm risking getting back responses that say "Do some research" (and you'd be right) but seeing that I'm short on time ...

Am I going to be close enough to walk to things like Union Square and Fisherman's Wharf and Chinatown. On the map, it looks close enough to walk but I'm not sure. It may be necessary for me to figure out public transportation. Is San Francisco like New York when it comes to cabs? Are they available to just hail? Also, can someone recommend a good restaurant for this area. On the map it looks like I might be close enough to walk to Plouf and I'm dying to have mussles and wine at the bar there but it would also be nice to know of a place near my hotel for during the week.
Kath is offline  
Old Feb 17th, 2006, 07:42 AM
  #2  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 445
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Ok, so it looks like Plouf isn't open on Sundays.
Kath is offline  
Old Feb 17th, 2006, 08:06 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 775
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Fishermn's Wharf might be too far to walk. Public trandsport (buses and the cable car) is very good.
Union Square and Chinatown are closer. The visitorcenter at market Street (and maybe also for sale at other places) have daycards for buses etc.
Usually in hotels there is a visitorsguide with a good map which bus to take etc.
We had an excellent diner in The Empress of China at Grant Str. in
Chinatown with great view over the city
Ida101 is offline  
Old Feb 17th, 2006, 08:17 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 1,360
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Dear Kath,
If you want to go to the Wharf area, you have some transit options. I would walk up to Market Street and catch one of the vintage trolleys for the most direct route. For a longer more colorful ride in the same direction, walk over to 3rd street and catch the 30 Stockton bus, which will take you through Chinatown and North Beach on the way.

If Plouf is not open on Sunday, check out Restaurant Lulu on Folsom Street. You could have the "iron pan" mussels, for which they are justly famous. Lulu would be a 20-minute walk or a short cab ride from your hotel.
dovima is offline  
Old Feb 17th, 2006, 08:19 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,711
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Ida....Another fan of Empress of China here!! Thats where we take my Grandmother for her birthday..I dont even mind getting all dressed up(coat/tie) required by the DGM....Or as she says, all gussied up....And the food was good.Every time I have been there it has been packed.
BeachBoi is offline  
Old Feb 17th, 2006, 08:21 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,108
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If the line to get on the cable cars is long - which it very well might be on a Sunday, you can take the F-line streetcars to Fisherman's Wharf. This line runs along Market and the Embarcadero in front of the piers. Very convinient. There are also plenty of buses. Cabs aren't plentiful, but if you want one, you can stop in at any hotel and request one. They will call one for you.
J_Correa is offline  
Old Feb 17th, 2006, 08:36 AM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 445
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Excellent - this is just what I needed. Thank you so much. I think I may check out Restaurant Lulu and the 30 Stockton bus to go to Chinatown. So much to do. I am going to be absolutely exhausted after this whirlwind trip! Thank you to every one of you.
Kath is offline  
Old Feb 17th, 2006, 08:48 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 19,419
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Both 30 and 45 buses go to China-town. There may be bus 15, it goes 1 or 2 blocks away parallel 30 and 45, good for China-town too.

One ride is $1.50 adult fare, but you must get a transfer (paper ticket) from the driver, it's the law. On this ticket you'll see time indicated - it means you get free rides till that time on the transfer, just show it to the driver.

Same ticket valid on the historic F trolley line running along Market street, Embarcadero, Fishermen's and Pier 39.

This ticket is not valid on the cable cars... how much is it now? $3? $5?
FainaAgain is offline  
Old Feb 17th, 2006, 09:51 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,094
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Since it's your first time there, I suggest you try at least one ride on the cable car (if not on Sunday then at least during the week). It's a great ride. And be sure to take one of the standing spots on the outside. There's nothing like riding up or down one of the hills while standing on a cable car. I've been there many times and go regularly, but I still enjoy taking those rides when I'm there.
almesq is offline  
Old Feb 17th, 2006, 10:06 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 15,312
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
For the cable cars, take the Hyde St line from Powell & Market - not the Taylor line (Hyde is more scenic). Also, stand on the east side for the best views. The Calif line is not as scenic as the Hyde St line. There are lots of very nice restaurants on Hyde between about Washington & Green st. It wold be fun to take the cable car there, have dinner, then return on the cable car, or walk down to North Beach & take the Taylor line back. I detailed out something like this earlier this week for someone who wanted a "romantic" event - click on my name & find it.

Are you on an expense account for dinner?? - it you are, then you might want to dine at one of our better retaurants - I believe Boulevard has counter seating, which would be fun for a single. Also, Tadich is probably our oldest restaurant - they have counter seating also.

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is online now  
Old Feb 17th, 2006, 10:46 AM
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 445
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I've looked through your previous posts Stu and I know which one you're talking about and I printed it out. The company is picking up my dinners so I want to hit somewhere nice.

I don't really understand what a transfer. I do want to try to get on a cable car. Thank you so much for this great info. I'll use it all.
Kath is offline  
Old Feb 17th, 2006, 11:03 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,094
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If you like dim sum, you've got to go to Yank Sing (2 locations, one in Rincon Center, one on Stevenson Street--both downtown in financial district). Being from NYC, I can certainly get good dim sum here, but whenever I'm in SF, I go to Yank Sing--it's excellent, as good as or better than what we can get in NY.
almesq is offline  
Old Feb 17th, 2006, 11:16 AM
  #13  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 445
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'm from Texas and I've never had Dim Sum. Yank Sing is definitely on my list.
Kath is offline  
Old Feb 17th, 2006, 12:10 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 15,312
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Not sure you completed your sentence about "transfer".

When you get on a bus or an underground Muni Metro Bus, you pay your fee and they give you a receipt. This receipt is also a transfer. You can get off the bus, and ride on another bus anytime within 1 1/2 hrs from the time you last paid a fee and got a ticket/transfer. The ticket is "ripped" (don't know of another word) when you get it and the place it is ripped at is the time that the transfer is no longer good. It's my experience that it is usually longer than the "posted" 1 1/2 hrs, and the conductors rarely pay attention to the time unless it's something like 2 hrs later than the 1 1/2 hrs.

Transfers are not good on BART and I don't think they are good on the Cable Cars.

After explaining all that, you should buy a multi-day Muni Pass which might also include the cable cars - this will allow hop-ons & offs. However, get someone elses facts on the Cable Cars - I do not use them for getting around in the City.

San Francisco is not Texas-size. It's only 49 Sq Miles - which is 7X7. It is very easy to get almost anywhere by public transportation pretty fast - even faster with a Taxi. From the Muni-Metro underground station nearest your hotel at Montgomery, you can get on the J-Church line & be in the Noe Valley in 20 mins. Sit in the east/left side of the J-Church to get a great view back at downtown from the south end of Dolores Park. There are lots of nice "neighborhood" restaurants in the Noe Valley - Incanto is my favorite. There is a Muni stop at 27th St which is 1/2 block away from Incanto.

You might want to try different venues for dining in our city.

1 night in North Beach - I like North Beach Restaurant

1 night to stick it to your company - dine at Boulevard just a few blocks east on Mission & the Embarcadero. There are some Bay views from this restaurant.

1 night in a "neighborhood" restaurant - try Incanto - it's a "non-North Beach" type Italian place - very upscale for a neighborhood restaurant. Excellent wine selection - get a "flight"

LuLus would be fun for a SOMA place

1 night taking the Cable Car to Hyde & dining on Hyde at Orvieto (another Italian) or Spanish Tapas at Zarguela

1 night Asian - I like Thep Phanom on Waller - take a taxi there. You can take the N-Judah Muni Metro there, but you would have to walk a ways either through a park or in an area where you might feel a little uneasy if you are not use to large cities.

1 night at a restaurant on Belden - there are about 8 restaurants on this 1 block long street - Plouf is there.

1 dim sum lunch at Yank Sing

1 lunch at Tadich Grill in the middle of the Financial district. I like their Clam Chowder, Rex Sole, and creamed spinach.

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is online now  
Old Feb 17th, 2006, 12:16 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,094
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Just note that for Yank Sing, they serve dim sum from about 11:00 am until about 3:00, so go for lunch.
almesq is offline  
Old Feb 17th, 2006, 12:26 PM
  #16  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 445
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks so much Stu! I understand transfers now. And your restaurant suggestions hit all the areas I want to see. You are a great asset to this board. I have printed off so many of your posts that I feel like you are a celebrity!

Good tip Almesq - I would not have know that. Thank you.
Kath is offline  
Old Feb 17th, 2006, 12:53 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 1,360
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Kath,
One more thing about transfers on Muni buses and subway - if you are not using some sort of pass (monthly or tourist) and are paying a single cash fare, it is absolutely essential that you take a transfer whether you will use it or not. It's the law now that you must be able to produce proof of payment on any Municipal Railways vehicle. A transfer is your receipt if you don't have a pass. Believe me, I've seen the Muni cops going through buses and trains and busting people who could not produce proof of payment - the fine is about $200.

Anyway, don't worry too much about this - worry instead about your dining choices, for instance!
dovima is offline  
Old Feb 17th, 2006, 02:19 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 500
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I love walking in the city, and I've walked from Union Square to Fisherman's Wharf before. I've walked further than that even. If you get tired, there's often a taxi going by, or you can look at a bus map at a bus kiosk. At night, I'd be much more careful. But if you're a walker, take advantage of this beautiful city. Wear comfortable shoes, though. Another thing for a foodie would be to check out the Ferry Building. Don't remember anyone mentioning it, but it's really fun to wander around there, and you could grab a bite, or walk over to Boulevard (one of my favorites).
sfamylou is offline  
Old Feb 17th, 2006, 07:43 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 2,391
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Stu - you should write a guidebook!

The mussels at Lulu are fantastic!
cabovacation is offline  
Old Feb 23rd, 2006, 11:57 AM
  #20  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 445
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I just wanted to say "thanks" to all the Fodorites who gave me last minute advice for this trip.

I did just exactly as recommended for the Cable cars. I made sure I got the Hyde street cable car from Market and I also made sure I was on the east side. Really worked out well. The only thing I didn't do right was that the lines were VERY long on Sunday. There was a line for tickets and a line for the cars. I stood in the line for the tickets first, even though I didn't need to. The ticket line is for multi-type passes so if you are buying a one way ticket for the cable car like I was, you can just get on and pay the driver. My bad. I made sure I stood on the outside of the car and leaned dangerously outside, snapping pictures the whole way. I can't believe that SF doesn't lose a tourist or two to a cable car incident each year. But it's way fun, so I hope law suits never shut it down.

I made my way to the Wharf and took and Blue and Gold Bay tour to see the Golden Gate bridge up close. That was pretty fun. I was a little disapointed in the Wharf overall though. Overflowing garbage cans, trash everywhere, WAY too many people, low end tshirt shops, etc. I KNEW to expect that, but didn't realize just how overwhelming it was going to be. After a few hours down there, I realized that I hadn't eaten since I left Dallas - so 10 hours! I was too hungry to try to make it to North Beach for a nice restaurant. I really didn't want to eat at any of the wharf restaurants, so I found The Mandarin in Ghiradelli Square. It was a peaceful spot to get away from the crowds and I had a beautiful view of the bridge from my table. The Chinese food was quite good too. The lines for the cable cars are way too long at Hyde so when it came time to go back, so I walked over and got on at Mason. Much shorter lines there and I'd already seen the "good" view going down there.

Unfortunately I didn't get to get out much and hit my restaurant list. My business meetings spilled over into dinner and I was at the mercy of the group. We ate at Momo's for dinner one night. It was a pretty good spot across from SBC park. And I ate at Restaurante Umbria one night and thought it was quite nice and peaceful as well, but not a super "foodie" type place. Just good food and good service. I really liked the hotel, which was the Courtyard Marriot Downtown, and I plan to stay there when I take my son back for a Giants game. It's very convenient to the ballpark and was far enough away from the tourist spots that it was quieter, and seemingly safer, at night.

That was my first visit to SF. I loved it and can't wait to go back with this great list of restaurants that you guys put together for me. Thanks so much.
Kath is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 05:44 PM.