San Fran 2 days, 3 nights to spend....

Old Dec 8th, 2001, 05:34 AM
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San Fran 2 days, 3 nights to spend....

Hi Guys, visiting SF for a short time during X'mas. Any suggestions on how to make the best of it.
I plan to take city bus tour....Please recommend some good ones.
What sightseeing can one do after sunset?
Is bike renting possible in Wine country...Sonoma/Napa? Plan to spend half day there...not a big wine fan.
Is Alcatraz visit during night the better option than during the day?
Would Muir woods be cold at Xmas?
Is Fishermans Wharf kinda tourist trap...meaning is it a just a hyped up spot?
I am visiting SF the first time, so would like to stick to known attractions...
One last would the crowds be during Xmas....Thank you.
Old Dec 8th, 2001, 07:14 AM
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You can't make the wine country visit a half day trip unless you have your own Lear Jet. That's going to eat up most of a day even, especially if you want to bike around the area.
But it's worth a visit if you find that kind of thing to be a priority.
Just understand that you'll be devoting nearly half your stay in the Bay area to a somewhat brief tour of the Napa area.
Personally, I think your time is too limited, and there's so much ELSE to see that's more relevant for a first time visitor, that I'd put off the Napa trip until your next visit.

Muir Woods is a good choice. Weather should be OK. It looks very close on the map (as the crow flies it's not far from the Golden Gate) but it takes much longer to drive there than you'd guess just looking at the map. The road is a winding 2 lane affair with plenty of terrain, so the total trip takes at least 3 hours (if you just duck in and duck out of the woods).
Saualito provides a convenient little side trip off the Muir Woods route. and offers great views of the SF cityscape.
Alacatraz is a memorable, worthwhile trip, but I haven't been there at night.
There are weeks worth of things to see in the area (SF proper, east bay sites, redwoods/sequoias, wine country, Monterey, Big Sur, Yosemite, Lake Tahoe....) that it takes weeks to get the full flavor of this region.
Old Dec 8th, 2001, 10:19 PM
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I've been on the Alcatraz Night Tour and it's MUCH better than the day tour. It's a totally different atmosphere. Spooky and eerie...but at the same time beautiful because of the city lights. There are also additional tours and programs offered at night that aren't offered during the day. If you're planning to go the week between Xmas and New Year's, buy your tickets ahead of time -- there are many many visitors in town that week.

Muir Woods will be great -- be sure to look in Redwood Creek because the salmon and trout have started running there. They're huge! Be sure to take one of the side trails, even if just for a few minutes. The main trail tends to be quite busy, but 50 yards off on a side trail, you'll have the woods to yourself. On the way back from Muir Woods, you might also want to take a drive or hike in the Marin Headlands, which are just on the north and west side of the GG Bridge. Take the Alexander Ave. exit and loop under the highway if you're coming from SF. If you're on the way back, follow the signs just before the bridge to the Marin Headlands. Great views, interesting military bunkers, spectacular beaches, and a wonderful lighthouse called Pt. Bonita Lighthouse.

I don't like Fisherman's Wharf at all. I find it very tacky and touristy, but everyone has their own opinion of it. If you like to shop, I suppose it's fine.

I'd also recommend a stroll through Golden Gate Park if the weather is nice, along with a drink at the Beach Chalet, which fronts Ocean Beach at the extreme west end of Golden Gate Park.


Old Dec 9th, 2001, 09:33 PM
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I'd agree that the best sightseeing to do after sunset would be a look at the skyline, either from the Alcatraz night tour or Sausalito.

Will it be cold in Muir Woods? Where are you coming from? It won't be snowing but it will be cold. It will be cold in the city as well, or quite possibly raining.

A bike ride on Angel Island (you can rent bikes there) would be better for a half-day than the wine country, especially if you don't really dig wine.

Fisherman's Wharf is a tourist trap. But Union Square will be crowded with Christmas shoppers. I'd suggest staying in the Marina area which is convenient to ferries and the Golden Gate bridge but not crowded or touristy. Also has many great restaurants in walking distance. Have fun!
Old Dec 10th, 2001, 05:44 AM
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If your young. San Remo hotel in NorthBeach is fun. Bath down the hall. Go to North Beach for dinner one night. Forget Napa biking. The shoulder area is rough. Muir Woods on a Grey Line tour is good on a nice day. Go to Pier 39 if you want to see the seals. Otherwise stay clear of Pier 39 and Fisherman's Wharf. Great city can't go wrong.

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