PLEASE HELP: SFO IN 3 DAYS?

Old Jul 28th, 2003, 06:13 AM
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PLEASE HELP: SFO IN 3 DAYS?

Hi, my wife and I (in our early 30's) will be in San Francisco this coming weekend (7/31-8/3).

We're arriving at 9:30 AM on Thursday. We're staying at the San Mateo Marriott (would have preferred to stay in town, but the stay is free, so can't complain). We'll be leaving at 8:30 AM on Sunday, so we have all day Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

What is the best itinerary? We?ll be renting a car at SFO airport for the entire stay and since we?re staying in San Mateo we?ll probably need to get around, right?
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Old Jul 28th, 2003, 07:02 AM
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I'll leave the city itinerary to Fodorites who know SF better, but I would like to mention a few places near your hotel you might like. If you don't eat dinner in SF, drive over to Burlingame Avenue, off El Camino in Burlingame--you'll find lots of restaurants, coffee shops, and boutiques, along with, unfortunately, a few chains like the Gap. But it's a charming street for dinner and a stroll.

On El Camino itself, in Millbrae very near the airport, is the Hong Kong Flower Lounge, an outpost of a restaurant founded in Hong Kong that is justly famous for its elaborate weekend dim sum. It gets very, very crowded with locals, nearly all Asians in large extended family groups, but is lots of fun.

I don't mean to say that you should skip any part of SF for the pleasures of the 'burbs, but if you return to your hotel early one evening, have a look around! Enjoy your trip!
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Old Jul 28th, 2003, 07:05 AM
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Oh, and as for SF itself, I am a fan of the Alcatraz tour, with audiotape. Many here would disagree, but I think it's an excellent attraction, from the boat ride to the atmosphere and history of the island. Tickets can and should be booked in advance to avoid long lines; they also sell out on weekends.
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Old Jul 28th, 2003, 07:38 AM
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I seocnd the recommendation of Hong Kong Flower Lounge in Millbrae. It's one of the best Chinese restaurants that I have been to. Burlingame Avenue in Downtown Burlingame is a very charming place to stroll with its cafes and shops. If you getting the urge to shop, I highly recommend goind to near Hillsdale Mall in San Mateo.

http://www.edwardstephens.com/burlingame.html

http://www.spectrumnet.com/burlingame.html
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Old Jul 28th, 2003, 07:43 AM
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Please excuse my typos.

To make my last sentence a little clearer it should say "if you get the urge to shop, I highly recommend going to nearby Hillsdale Mall in San Mateo."


http://www.designagents.net/clients/shophillsdale/

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Old Jul 28th, 2003, 08:57 AM
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Staying in San Mateo, you will most likely need a car. Parking in SF is expensive though, so you might look into BART or Caltrain for getting into SF and then taking Muni around the city.
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Old Jul 28th, 2003, 10:02 AM
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Normally I wouldn't recommend that you keep the car in SF because of the expense of parking. However, as you will not be parking overnight or long term in SF itself, parking will not be as expensive and many locations outside of downtown and the Wharf will be free. It will be convenient to be able to drive to Golden Gate Park, through the Presidio, to Crissy Field, across the GG Bridge, up to the top of Twin Peaks, to the Palace of Legion of Honor, and such.
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Old Jul 28th, 2003, 04:28 PM
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Burlingame (near where you are staying) is having a street festival that weekend which could be fun. Your hotel should be able to tell you about it. There is a new Marc Chagal show at the SFMOMA and the new Asian Art Museum in the SF civic center area is really wonderful. I highly recommend it.
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Old Jul 28th, 2003, 06:58 PM
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jdolpies- You didn't say if this is your first time in SF. If so, how comfortable are you going to be driving around extensively trying to take in SF in three days?? I would recommend starting your day early on Friday or early afternoon Thursday taking a Greyline or other recommended overview of the City type bus tour. You will see all the big highlights. Then on your other days....take the cable car from Powell St. and all the way into the wharf area. Another adventure might be the ferry over to Sausalito. Check posts under CA and search San Francisco dining and neighborhoods. I personally love North Beach, Chinatown. Walking is the best way to really see things once you've done the overview tour thing. Wish it was me. Have a great time and don't forget sweaters and jackets. The summer fog gets very chilly.
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Old Jul 29th, 2003, 04:17 AM
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Thanks to everyone who responded.

Yes, this is our 1st time.
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Old Jul 29th, 2003, 10:57 AM
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I always enjoy walking around Chinatown--unless you're from NYC, it's a unique and fun experience, like going to Asia for the afternoon. If weather permits, you might consider a few hours in Golden Gate Park, which is beautiful and easy to stroll around. Are you interested in baseball at all? It might be fun to take in a game at China Basin; you could but tix online ahead of time. Btw, I second the suggestion of bringing jackets--you might encounter a heat wave, or you might freeze in the fog, and if you take any boat tour, you'll be glad to have them. Have a wonderful stay!
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Old Jan 4th, 2004, 05:34 PM
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Just fyi if anyone is considering the San Mateo Marriott be aware that it's a franchise. Therefore, some amenities may not be available. I know for sure they force guests to pay for internet connection unlike genuine Marriott hotels that offer high-speed internet for free.
I know someone working there and it's not the same standards as the the corp. owned Marriotts.
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