San Francisco areas to avoid staying in

Jul 3rd, 2019, 08:30 AM
  #1  
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San Francisco areas to avoid staying in

I will be in SF later this month with my husband and two teenage children. I'd like to rent a house as opposed to a hotel. Can any tell me if there are any neighborhoods unsafe neighborhoods we should avoid? Or can you recommend areas you know are safe? We're willing to stay outside the downtown area. I understand we'll have to pay for parking but that's ok.

I am new to this forum so if this has already been answered or there's a FAQ forum I should look at please let me know. I did a quick search but didn't find what I was looking for.

Much thanks and safe travels to everyone.
hcalappi is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2019, 10:25 AM
  #2  
 
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An introduction to renting a house for two weeks or less... I am going to walk you through this. Please stay with me and read through, as I am in the middle on this. I have stayed in some short-stays, but I am also watching my own very progressive city try to work with Airbnb and get the run-around time and again. So here goes.

The name for these, often Airbnb, but also homeaway, booking.com, vrbo and others is short-stay rental.

San Francisco is a city where airbnb type rentals are licensed and/or have strong restrictions. There is good reason for this: There are now cities in the USA and around the world where so many vacation rentals have gone in, there is not enough housing for the people who actually live/work there, and the cost of that remaining housing has gone up so much because absentee landlords have driven up the price for housing to get more vacation rentals.

It also lowers the quality of life in an apartment or condo building when all of your neighbors are coming and going at all hours, trying to open your unit instead of theirs down the hall, and in some cases having bachelor or bachelorette parties etc. Obviously this impact is harder to quantify than the prices of rent, and this board has had many debates about what is a responsible traveler and what is a responsible business.

But finally, the pre-licensing era was problematic in certain cities, most especially New York, where there were a lot of fake listings, tourists would arrive and there would be no unit at all and they would need to get a hotel at the last minute. Im sure you can see how that would be really an expensive way to fund your vacation. Pay for a fraudulent unit (that you may or may not get reimbursed) and then pay rack rate for a hotel. So there are some reasons for your own protection to have licensing.

You need to dig in and find out the rules for Airbnb in San Francisco, and especially if you are a short-stay. On the other hand, if you are going to be in San Francisco for a longer period of time--say a month because you are there for work--then you would likely fall under different rules.

One way to avoid regulations in some cities is to head to the suburbs where there are less rules. But one problem with that in San Francisco is that much of the Bay Area has a high cost of living. Silicon Valley is really nice, but I know from sending a kid there for an internship that it is only more expensive, not less.

Another way is to look at a suburban hotel that is more amenable to families. When we went to San Francisco, we opted to stay across the bay at the Courtyard by Marriott in Larkspur Landing. One day we took the ferry into the city across the bay (really pretty ride) and the other day we drove in and parked. Not a big deal. It was a nice hotel with a pool, and free parking. We got a rollawway since we are a family of 5. It had a great collection of small restaurants down by the ferry landing, including a favorite we loved called Bel Campo.

Another area to stay would be San Jose and stay near Great America, the amusement park and go there one day with your teens.

As to San Francisco--avoid the Tenderloin. But homeless camping is a problem in many areas. I go a lot but the story is often changing. If you have cross streets for a possible location to stay, a local can clue you in. I would also advise you to look at Google Street view maps of any rentals you consider.
Hope this helps...
5alive is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2019, 10:45 AM
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Welcome to the forums. They can be an excellent resource. I think it works more smoothly if you find some rentals that suit you and post either the link (if you are comfortable doing that) or the cross-streets or address. Then people can comment specifically as to the pros and cons of a location. That's easier than trying to outline and describe all the possible residential areas in a major city. Since you mention paying for parking I'll guess you are renting a car for the entire stay?

I don't think the answer is here already but people can help as you proceed a bit further with your research of options! Welcome!!
suze is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2019, 11:17 AM
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Agreed, Suze. I just decided to cut to the chase and explain the pros and cons and get them all out there rather than a debate.

Lodgings are a tough find in San Francisco for a family no matter what they decide.

If they pursue a house rental, I absolutely agree that cross streets or a general 10 block area would probably be the OP's best approach.

Last edited by 5alive; Jul 3rd, 2019 at 11:19 AM.
5alive is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2019, 11:17 AM
  #5  
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Thanks for taking the time to reply.
hcalappi is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2019, 11:22 AM
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I wasn't meant in any way to be disagreeing with you! What you posted is very important and we can't tell from the questions if they are familiar with renting properties, done it a million times in different places, or this is their first try at it.

I know (more on Trip Advisor forums than here, but occasionally) for Seattle, my home city, if people are considering rentals in my neighborhood, I've been able to do a drive-by and report back. Or at least I know if it's a fantastic neighborhood, or there might be some hidden reason it's not the best (whether safety or public transportation or traffic or the location was a bit misrepresented, etc.).
suze is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2019, 11:25 AM
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It's all good I hope that it helps our newcomer to make an informed decision.
5alive is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2019, 12:09 PM
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Unfortunately the OP is brand new (welcome to fodiors BTW ) and he's used his posting ration for today ;(

you need to tell us when you are visiting and why sort of budget. Short term rental can be problematic, but properties like the Columbus Motor Inn and sister properties have kitchenettes in so e rooms.
janisj is online now  
Jul 4th, 2019, 03:43 PM
  #9  
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Thanks everyone. I tried to attach maps but Im too new 😄 One area i was looking is Daly City close to Hillside Blvd and Guadalupe Canyon Pkwy. The other two places I was considering are described as "in the Montclair hills" and Oakland Hills. They are both east of Warren Fwy between 24 and Joaquin Miller Rd. Well be there July 14-17 before we head up to Seattle. Any thoughts/opinions are appreciated.
hcalappi is offline  
Jul 4th, 2019, 05:33 PM
  #10  
 
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You realize neither of these are in San Francisco right?

Originally Posted by hcalappi View Post
Thanks everyone. I tried to attach maps but Im too new 😄 One area i was looking is Daly City close to Hillside Blvd and Guadalupe Canyon Pkwy. The other two places I was considering are described as "in the Montclair hills" and Oakland Hills. They are both east of Warren Fwy between 24 and Joaquin Miller Rd. Well be there July 14-17 before we head up to Seattle. Any thoughts/opinions are appreciated.
Daly city is just south of San Francisco. And easy to get to the city on Bart.
Montclair is a very nice section of Oakland, which is in the East Bay across the bay bridge from San Francisco. Its also not super accessible with public transportation but is parking in San Francisco itself is really expensive and limited youd be shooting yourself in the foot. Its also easy for someone to list something in Montclair when its actually in a different part of Oakland.The Oakland hills would have the same issue you need to have a car to get around but having a car coming to San Francisco would be expensive and pointless.

If your purpose for coming here is to visit San Francisco none of these locations would really be that great but Daly City would definitely be easier than the East Bay. And overall Daly city is a safe place to stay.
newtome is online now  
Jul 5th, 2019, 05:26 AM
  #11  
 
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one problem with Daly City and using BART is that the BART parking lots fill up early. You might be better off farther south in Millbrae which is the end of the BART line and where you can almost always find parking.
sf7307 is offline  
Jul 5th, 2019, 08:33 AM
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Don't some of the motels by the Great Highway have kitchenette facilities? They would be just one streetcar ride away from the center of the city.
Michael is online now  
Jul 5th, 2019, 09:12 AM
  #13  
 
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I always feel it’s best to stay in the city you are visiting, if you really want to get a feel for it, rather than learning the commute in & out of it.
Maybe find an all-suite hotel in SF.
MoBro is offline  
Jul 5th, 2019, 11:49 AM
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What are you planning to do in San Francisco? I see people mentioning BART but I thought they had a rental car they could use?
suze is offline  
Jul 5th, 2019, 12:36 PM
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I definitely would not stay in the Oakland hills to visit SF, and if you are planning on driving, the daily commute in would a HUGE hassle.
janisj is online now  
Jul 7th, 2019, 03:06 PM
  #16  
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Thanks for the help everyone. I went with a hotel in San Francisco. We decided we didnt want to deal with the whole commute thing.
hcalappi is offline  
Jul 9th, 2019, 08:03 AM
  #17  
 
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We're in SF often since we have relatives here. The most family friendly areas are: Cole Valley, Noe Valley, Noe Valley and Glen Park. It will be harder to visit tourist/landmark spots, but these areas are great local family friendly neighborhoods.
inwanderland is offline  
Jul 10th, 2019, 12:47 PM
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Many new rules and regulations in SF for short stays. I'd opt for a hotel in the middle of things...NOT the wharf area (too many tourists). Embarcadero or Union Square. Look for deals on Travel Zoo or other websites.
momincv is offline  
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