San Francisco Girls Wknd - Union Square?

Old Jun 3rd, 2010, 11:00 AM
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San Francisco Girls Wknd - Union Square?

I'll be very specific....My friends and I are heading to SF for the first time this month. We're all in our early 30's. We've already booked our stay in Union Square at InterContinental Mark Hopkins but I'm starting to question this decision. While in SF we would like to spend our time enjoying great coffee in the a.m., shopping local trendy shops (not Bloomingdales/Nieman), visiting China Town, having fresh seafood for lunch at Fishermans Warf(?), and maybe a nice sushi restaurant for dinner. After the day is done we'll be ready to enjoy the nightlife! We love a good DJ (not into rock bands or karaoke), like bars/clubs/or pubs w/lots of energy, modern is a plus, and hot male bartenders are always a bonus! Where would be the best place for us to stay close to transportation, nightclubs, etc. Union Square or SoMa?
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Old Jun 3rd, 2010, 11:04 AM
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Just as a starting point, the Mark Hopkins is not in Union Square, it's at the very top of Nob Hill. And it's definitely NOT where I would stay given your description of your group and your trip.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2010, 11:05 AM
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Oh, and the best places for shopping local trendy shops are Chestnut Street, Union Street and Hayes St.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2010, 11:13 AM
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Thank u! Not in Union Sq? Good to know-
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Old Jun 3rd, 2010, 11:25 AM
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Any suggestions where to stay?
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Old Jun 3rd, 2010, 11:30 AM
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You might consider staying on the Embarcadero someplace like Vitale, because it will give you access to SOMA, without being in one of the big convention hotels like the Marriot near Moscone. For something different you might consider the Inn at the Opera in Hayes Valley, which would give you access to both Hayes Valley, lots of local shops, and lower Haight, lots of hip bars. Union Square is not local, trendy shops--it is Macy's, Bloomies (at Westfield Center) Nike, Disney, Coach, etc.

BTW lots of places to have fresh seafood in SF other than the Wharf and given your description of yourselves I doubt that the Wharf will be your cup of tea.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2010, 11:37 AM
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Thanks for the info! I'll start looking at those options. I had a funny feeling I didn't pick the right place.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2010, 11:41 AM
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>>

as opposed to Union Street (completely different neighborhood) that does have a lot of local, trendy shops (along with a healthy dose of chain stores, as does Chestnut Street)
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Old Jun 3rd, 2010, 12:10 PM
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Thanks for the clarification. could you describe each of the 2 areas of town (union Sq, and SoMa)? From what I gather Union Square is a big shopping area with tons of tourist and large hotels and SoMa is smaller with lots of bars and restaurants. Is that even close?
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Old Jun 3rd, 2010, 12:17 PM
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Your description of Union Square is quite accurate -- it's still a very nice area, though, and loads of adult tourists choose to stay there.

SoMa is a little more difficult to describe because to the extent SoMa incorporates everything South of Market, it also incorporates parts of lots of other parts of town. For example, technically, the Hotel Vitale is SoMa (South of Market), but it's on the Embarcadero, so noone really thinks of it as SoMa. Then there's the area between the Vitale and AT&T Park, also along the Embarcadero. And the area east of there (but still south of Market) that's really part of the Financial District at this point (more office buildings than anything else). Then there's the area south of Union Square (and south of Market) where there are hotels, Moscone Center, Yerba Buena Center, MOMA. I actually think you might like staying in this area, since it's vibrant, but not as shopping-oriented as Union Square itself. But the Embarcadero suggestion is also a very good one.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2010, 01:52 PM
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I appreciate all the insight! I can't wait to visit SF. My parents met there almost 40 years ago when they were both young and single, living in the city.
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Old Jun 4th, 2010, 07:50 AM
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You may want to consider staying in the Marina - tons of great restaurants/bars, fantastic boutique shopping on Chestnut St. and Fillmore St. and close proximity to the water & GG Bridge. Personally, I think it's a much nicer neighborhood to hang out in than SoMA. If you want to go to a club in SoMA, take the #30 bus downtown or just cab.
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Old Jun 4th, 2010, 09:20 AM
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Just to add - the Marina district that ECinSF is talking about, along with Cow Hollow, are the areas including Union Street and Chestnut Street (connected by Fillmore) that I mentioned above. They are great, for shopping, eating, and probably "access". However, the hotels in the area are all "motels" -- not your Marriotts, Ws, Westins etc.
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Old Jun 12th, 2010, 08:31 AM
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Check out the Rex for a place to stay.
http://www.jdvhotels.com/hotels/rex

The location is great - lots of good stuff (including Nordy's! and Bloomingdales) within walking distance.
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Old Jun 12th, 2010, 03:52 PM
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We stayed at The Hotel Rex several years ago, and we really liked it.
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Old Jun 12th, 2010, 04:00 PM
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I'm no expert but I've stayed around Union Square a few trips. For your group I ditto the suggestion of Embarcadero, south of Market, Financial District-ish areas (over Union Square or Nob Hill).
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Old Jun 12th, 2010, 04:17 PM
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i might consider staying at the Le Meridian if it's in the same price range as the mark hopkins. the location is great - you are not quite in the "scene" but you have lots of access to places. You can walk to most areas of SOMA from here and you can also walk to the Ferry Building (5 minutes) as well as Chinatown (15 minutes) from here. It's likely a 20 minute walk to North Beach as well and a 20 minute walk to Union Square. Some of the best lounges and bars are in different areas (SOMA, Mission) but the city is really all about cabs so its all accessible.

You'll find yourselves in the Marina at least one of the nights but the hotels around there are crappy and given the quick taxi ride, I would stay somewhere more central.
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Old Jun 12th, 2010, 04:47 PM
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Actually, I think from le Meridien both Chinatown and North Beach are no more than a 10 minute walk. I can easily walk from Four Embarcadero (where I work) to North Beach in 15 minutes.
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