Palo Alto to San Franciso + a beach

Old Apr 3rd, 2012, 04:22 AM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
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What? The worst traffic I hit on my trip back to SF last fall - was at Fisherman's Wharf. Just chock-a-block with cars, obnoxious tour bus operators, and the like.

Way back when - we loved going to the Wharf for Hot Fudge Sundaes at Ghiradilli's http://www.ghirardellisq.com/ or an Irish Coffee at the fabled Buena Vista (which SF Giants pitcher - John "The Count" Montefusco used to frequent - and was part owner? at one time - overlooking the cable car turnaround http://thebuenavista.com/index1.html - ).

Back then - our favorite Sunday-night-fish place (the Rex Sole was fabulous - if you can still find it - and the Abalone was also good - which is even more difficult to find now-a-days) - was tucked away Scoma's (http://www.scomas.com/ )

But now - not sure if I lived back in good old SF - that I would be much of a Wharf fan. Way different now, with much klitzier stuff.

I would still recommend Scoma's - but the one in Sausalito - with a great view looking back at the SF skyline.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2012, 04:30 AM
  #22  
 
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And definitely second the drive over to Half Moon Bay. Have lunch/dinner downtown in one of the cute places - or at the Ritz - overlooking the ocean and golf course. http://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/Proper...ay/Default.htm

Went to see Notre Dame play at Stanford last fall (in the new football stadium) and then drove over to stay with a college buddy of mine and his wife at Half Moon Bay - and loved it.

And hope your teens also love Stanford. My niece loved getting her PhD there (after Brown under-grad) and had I not gone to the AF Academy way back in the 60's - would have played baseball at Stanford. Great school - "Down on the Farm".
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Old Apr 3rd, 2012, 07:59 AM
  #23  
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I love you guys! I have viewed the restaurants suggested and truth be told scomas, cliff house and the Ritz are out of my budget(but we might stop by for appetizers or dessert for the view/fun). Does anyone have some suggestion for cheaper eats (not McD!). In San Fran, FW (if any besides Lori's diner which sounds fun-like Ed Debevics in Chicago), Half Moon Bay, and/or Sausilito?

I know this sounds dumb but is the Embarcadero Center just shopping? PS is the weather getting any better?
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Old Apr 3rd, 2012, 08:26 AM
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You might just walk around Chinatown and North Beach (Broadway, Vallejo, etc) and check out the places, as well as down lovely Chestnut Street.

Go into Molanari deli and check out their great sandwiches. It's the last real deli left in North Beach - and then stop by Victoria Pastry for some apres treats. http://www.victoriapastry.com/

There are also good pizza/pasta places in SF - just google away.

Here's one webpage to poke around for Union St/Cow Hollow and Chestnut St/Marina places: http://www.sfstation.com/restaurants...ina-cow-hollow
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Old Apr 3rd, 2012, 08:27 AM
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Sames goes for downtown Half Moon Bay and Sausalito. Just drive/walk around and you should be able to find something you will like. And Palo Alto has a number of dining options for students.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2012, 08:28 AM
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Weather wise: It's been a "late" winter - so who knows for sure how April will turn out. Haven't looked at the long range forecasts, but we just keep getting storms blowing through.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2012, 08:49 AM
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Tomad: What? The worst traffic I hit on my trip back to SF last fall - was at Fisherman's Wharf. Just chock-a-block with cars, obnoxious tour bus operators, and the like.

Tom, they're only to stay at Fisherman's Wharf, not drive round and round it. The hotels are usually on much quieter and less traveled streets.

gradygirls: if the Cliff House is out of your budget, there's a diner almost next door, Louis. It and the Cliff House are the only two structures on that point of land.

http://louissf.com/

If you look at an expanded google map, you'll see a couple of gray areas near Louis. Those are the parking lots. Don't try street parking. There's usually plenty of space in the Land's End parking lot.

Before or after dining at Louis, you can walk around, plenty of places to explore - there's the ruins of Sutro Baths, there's the Lands End Trail, and across the street, there's Sutro Heights Park, where Sutro used to have his estate (no houses, just a lovely park remains with good views).

Hope the weather breaks for you!
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Old Apr 3rd, 2012, 09:06 AM
  #28  
 
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Embarcadero Center is not a shopping mall. It's a complex of office buildings and a hotel (the Hyatt Regency) that have some shopping in them. Not a destination shopping place, as all the stores have outlets in the more-traveled shopping areas, too (ex. Ann Taylor, Ann Taylor Loft, Lucy). I work in one of the buildings.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2012, 09:41 AM
  #29  
 
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OOps- guess my Molonari cut and paste didn't take. And the guys behind the counter are a trip - part of the SF tradition. Ask them for some good, reasonably priced places to dine. http://www.molinarisalame.com/

And if it was me - I would rather stay at a Motel down by Lombard St./Chestnut St./Marina Green/Palace of Fine Arts than by the busier Fisherman's Wharf. Can get in and out much easier (to the Golden Gate, down the Peninsula to Palo Alto, etc) - and can walk to fun places which are not mobbed by tourists with smoke belching buses noisily driving by you.

http://www.sftravel.com/bgt.html http://www.palaceoffinearts.org/Welcome.html
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Old Apr 3rd, 2012, 12:43 PM
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With girls that age, they will like the shopping and action around Union Square. FW will be fun for what my daughter calls "junk shopping". I think it would also be fun for them to stay downtown near Union Square or Embarcadero .
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Old Apr 4th, 2012, 08:56 AM
  #31  
 
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For HMB - there is a small grocery store on Main Street - the comercial section of Main isn't long, so it is easy to find. They make good sandwiches, so I like to stop there to pick up picnic stuff and take it out to the beach. If you head south on Hwy 1 from HMB, there are several beaches along there. Pick one and hand out awhile.
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Old Apr 4th, 2012, 10:05 AM
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The grocery in HMB is Cunha's:

http://halfmoonbay.patch.com/listing...-country-store

Even easier, grab a sandwich at the deli next to San Benito House, also on Main Street, and take it to the beach.
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Old Apr 4th, 2012, 10:06 AM
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Oops, not easier -- just an alternative (I thought nm was recommending MAKING sandwiches, not buying deli sandwiches!)
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Old Apr 4th, 2012, 10:11 AM
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>>The grocery in HMB is Cunha's:

Even easier, grab a sandwich at the deli next to San Benito House, also on Main Street, and take it to the beach.
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Old Apr 4th, 2012, 10:24 AM
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Well, if you have to be along the Pacific shore, like at Half Moon Bay, etc.,

and

if you like fish

Then you have to find someplace to try out the Pacific sand dabs, which are a local favorite.

Or,

if you like berries,

then you have to try the olallieberry - in pies, jams, etc.

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Old Apr 4th, 2012, 10:41 AM
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>>

and the place to try it is the local institution Duarte's in Pescadero -- have the ollalieberry pie.
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Old Apr 10th, 2012, 12:12 PM
  #37  
 
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Yes, I meant get deli sandwiches made up It's no fun trying to assemble sandwiches on the beach.

In addition to Duartes, if you head south further you can hit Swanton Farms - cool little place right off the highway with jam tasting, coffee, hot chocolate, small berry pies, etc.
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Old Apr 10th, 2012, 01:50 PM
  #38  
 
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Sorry to disagree, but I don't think Priceline will work for your group. It sounds to me like you have three people traveling. As I understand it, there is no guarantee that you will get two double beds when using Priceline "name your price." So if there are lots of available rooms in your hotel, the front desk would probably swap you....but if not you may only get one queen bed in the room. Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity etc all have deals on rooms where you CAN select your sleeping configuration. You can also call a hotel and ask them to match the Expedia price you found. Some will match.

I remember going to San Francisco in high school with a school group and also with family. The things we loved were shopping and the cool architecture. I remember being fascinated by the cool little boxes and fabrics in Chinatown. I am not sure I would have appreciated the wild beauty of the beaches at that time. But that was a teen girl's perspective. A couple of people here have said you have boys. Ghiradelli ice cream was a big hit, but then we had less exotic flavors at the grocery store than now.

I love Union Square these days, have been a couple times in the last year or two. I think as a teenager I would have loved lunch at some cute little outdoor table like those in Maiden Lane (near Union Square). There's also a Frank Lloyd Wright building on Maiden Lane that houses a very cool gallery to check out. And the H&M is quite a large store.

I think you will have fun whatever you do, though!
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