San Francisco in March

Feb 1st, 2008, 06:45 PM
  #1  
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San Francisco in March

Hi, I am going to San Francisco with my wife and our nine month old daughter in March for 5 days,we would appreciate any advice on lodging and what area should we stay at,we were here back in 2000 for our honeymoon and had a great time.
Waldemar is offline  
Feb 1st, 2008, 07:32 PM
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what is your budget? Will you be driving in or flying? (if driving - parking can be a huge consideration)
janisj is offline  
Feb 1st, 2008, 08:05 PM
  #3  
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We will be flying in on March the 15th,renting a car and driving to tiburon were we'll stay for two nights,then drive back to the city and spend 5 days there.Our main concern is how do we move around in the city with the baby,we both know by past experience about the parking issues(hard to find spots,expensive,traffic)in the city, so we will probably be without a car.Our budget is around $2,500.00
Waldemar is offline  
Feb 1st, 2008, 08:20 PM
  #4  
 
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hello Waldemar, here is a website which you might want to reveiw as it might be helpful to you for your lodging in SF. Have a wonderful time in Tiburon and SF.

http://www.cowhollowmotorinn.com/
LoveItaly is offline  
Feb 1st, 2008, 08:28 PM
  #5  
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Hi LoveItaly, thanks for the website.
Waldemar is offline  
Feb 1st, 2008, 08:33 PM
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$2500 - for the whole trip? Or for your hotel for 5 nights in SF? or something else?

What I really meant - what is your hotel budget per night?
janisj is offline  
Feb 1st, 2008, 08:45 PM
  #7  
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The $2500.00 budget is for the hotel stays at Tiburon and SF,about $300.00 / night.
Waldemar is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2008, 04:49 PM
  #8  
tpl
 
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Hi Waldemar,

I live in Marin, so I don't have any specific SF lodging advice, except to say that when we travel we usually really like Kimpton properties. They are well-appointed and can be very kid-friendly. There are several Kimpton hotels in SF, all with good locations and close to public transportation. Though they are more expensive than Cow Hollow Inn, their rates are still in line with your budget, and they have a best-rate guarantee if you book through them. In my own experience, I prefer to book directly when traveling with a child (vs Priceline, etc), since plans can change. Their website has a page with all the SF locations shown on a map.
http://www.kimptonhotels.com

While you're here, I do have a couple tips for places to go with a baby. You probably weren't thinking about it on your honeymoon, but the SF Bay Area is wonderfully kid and baby-friendly. Since you're staying in Tiburon, I recommend a visit to Fish restaurant in Sausalito for lunch or dinner: http://www.331fish.com/

Prices are a little high, but the portions are large, all the seafood is sustainable, and the price includes tax and service. We've taken our now 3 year-old daughter there since she was a baby. The restaurant is located right on the harbor front, with picnic table seating inside and out.

Muir Woods would be a lovely stroll, as would be Crissy Field in the Presidio: beautiful views of redwoods + GG bridge and bay. The promenades at both locations are ideal for strollers.

Have a great trip, and welcome back.
tpl is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2008, 05:40 PM
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Hi Waldemar with a budget for $300.00 per night you have a lot of selections lodging wise. I thought your budget was the total for your trip.
LoveItaly is offline  
Feb 4th, 2008, 10:06 AM
  #10  
 
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Waldemar, if you have a folding baby carriage, not sure what they are called, they fold up like umbrella and take very little space, then it's not a problem on buses.

If one of you carries the baby, another folded carriage it's easy to get on and off the bus, just use the front door for the bus driver to see you. Going through the back door, you need to hold it opened, not easy holding a baby or a carriage.

Check the MUNI website and visitor's center website, forgot which one sells what kind of passes - 1, 3, 5 days a weekly. You need 2 adult passes, the baby (under 5 years old) is free.

Any particular questions, like how to get from A to B?
FainaAgain is offline  
Feb 4th, 2008, 05:23 PM
  #11  
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Hi tpl,thanks for all the tips on hotels,restaurant in Sausalito(We'll definetly check it out)and the places to go on the bay area.I do have one more question, is the Mill Valley area worth visiting while we are at Tiburon?
Waldemar is offline  
Feb 4th, 2008, 05:37 PM
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Hi FainaAgain,thanks for the tips on traveling with a baby carriage on the buses.We are debating on maybe keeping the rental car while we are in the city because of the weather in March(rainy)might make it an issue for us moving around with the baby. We both know from experience that driving a car around in the city is definetly not going to be easy with all the traffic and parking problems.Do you have any suggestions?
Waldemar is offline  
Feb 4th, 2008, 06:42 PM
  #13  
tpl
 
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Hi Waldemar,

I may be in the minority here, but I would recommend keeping the car -- I just think it will be so much easier when traveling with your baby. Public transportation is good when it works, but MUNI is often late and could put a real damper on your plans, especially with bad weather. You will have so much more freedom to explore with a car.

Parking is expensive, but March isn't that busy a time, so perhaps your hotel will have a package that includes parking. As far as traffic goes, I drive in and out of SF frequently, and (barring the unforeseen) as long as you avoid morning/evening rush, I don't think you'll have huge problems. Other than the days you're coming from Tiburon, it sounds like you'll just be driving around the city itself.

I'm not sure what activities you have planned, but there is parking around all the major sites/museums. It is free to park at GG Park, Crissy Field, etc. and if you're headed someplace like Fisherman's Wharf, there is metered parking as well as lots. The Ferry Plaza has 2 lots that are adjacent and across the street where you can get validated, and there is a lot to do in/around that neighborhood. Honestly, I've driven in most major US and European cities, and SF is really not so bad.

As for Mill Valley, it's a lovely little town, but not a real destination (it is for me -- my sister lives there!), but definitely stop by for coffee or lunch if you're headed to Muir Woods. You can drive directly across the freeway from Tiburon to Blithedale Ave, which will take you all the way to downtown MV (it dead-ends at the square). There are a bunch of cafes, including The Depot, Peet's, and another independent place on the corner. For lunch or dinner I like Avatar's Punjabi Burrito at 15 Madrona St. (just around the corner). I can't remember the name of the street that takes you up the mountain to Muir Woods from there, but any mapping service will give you directions. Once you get up the mountain, instead of driving down to the woods, you can also drive up to Mt Tam State Park, which is really beautiful.

Hope this helps -- let me know if you have any other questions.

tpl is offline  
Feb 5th, 2008, 11:03 AM
  #14  
SAB
 
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Driving in SF is not difficult, some one way streets and some hills, but nothing like driving in Manhattan, London, or Rome!! I drive every day in SF and the worst thing I encounter is traffic backup on streets leading to the Bay Bridge at rush hour, which just annoying when you are in a hurry. So if you want to keep your car and drive around SF it is not unrealistic to do so--especially outside of downtown.

Parking in SF is also not difficult IF you are willing to pay for it. What is difficult is finding inexpensive parking both overnight and daily, downtown or the Wharf and North Beach, which is why many of us recommend not keeping a car in SF, especially since many visitors tend to spend most of their time in the downtown/NorthBeach/Chinatown/Wharf areas.

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Feb 8th, 2008, 04:35 PM
  #15  
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Hi tpl,
You have been extremely helpful with all your tips and advice on where to go and what to do.I have two more questions for you,are there any restaurants you would recommend in SF that are baby friendly for lunch or early dinner? and would you like to meet us at Fish restaurant in Sausalito for lunch during our stay in Tiburon?, we would very much enjoy meeting you.

Waldemar is offline  
Feb 8th, 2008, 04:55 PM
  #16  
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Hi SAB,

Thanks for the driving and parking tips,we are definetly keeping the rental car during our stay in SF.I have one question for you, we would like to visit Coit Tower,but we have read that finding a parking spot there is a nightmare,most travel books recommend taking the bus,but with our baby is probably not the wisest choice.Any suggestions on what time or day to go that we can get a spot to park?
Waldemar is offline  
Feb 10th, 2008, 07:47 PM
  #17  
tpl
 
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Hi Waldemar,

Thanks for the invitation -- we will actually be on our own vacation (Mexico) during your visit!

As for baby-friendly restaurants, I like Ton Kiang for dim sum/Chinese food. It's not in Chinatown though -- it's on Geary between 22nd and 23rd (not far from GG Park). They are busiest on weekend mornings/early afternoons, and they serve all day. Google them and check out their website.

Taylor's Refresher at the Ferry Plaza is also good, especially when the weather is nice (it's upscale American fast-food). There are a lot of other places to eat at the Ferry Plaza, but Taylor's is particularly easy with a baby. Otherwise, Mistral (also in the Ferry Plaza) has great food (country French/rotisserie), but you can't always get a table. If the weather's good, though, you can sit outside or walk across the street to Justin Herman Plaza. The Ferry Plaza has a good website with links where you can look at menus, etc: ferrybuildingmarketplace.com. If you are interested in local, organic products like cheese, bread, olive oil, fruit, and chocolate this is a fun place to stop (and you can take the ferry right from Tiburon).

Is there any kind of food you are looking for specifically? Are you more interested in places for lunch or dinner, and do you have a budget you're trying to keep to? Let me know, and I'll try to help. I also recommend chowhound.com for terrific advice on dining in the Bay Area.
tpl is offline  
Feb 10th, 2008, 08:08 PM
  #18  
 
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Waldemar - parents who live in SF manage on the buses. For the most part it is a walking/riding city - not a driving one. I do drive in the city but not unless I have too. (I live in northern California but not in SF, but do know the city pretty well) Public transport really is easier unless you know all the "inside routes" and tricks. Simple things like knowing which lane you need to be in to get into a parking garage, or to a poorly signed on ramp. Miss the turning and you'll have to go 6 or 7 - or 15 - blocks out of your way to get back to where you want to be.
janisj is offline  
Feb 11th, 2008, 08:15 AM
  #19  
 
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Lucky you! I love SF, especially in March when it is not so crowded.

Definitely spend time at the Ferry Building Marketplace. Our fave is on Saturday with the Farmer's Market...loads of produce, live music and great eats.

We prefer staying in the Union Square area at the Sir Francis Drake (our fave). This area is busy, but you are close to the transportation hubs, dining and restaurants. In the vicinity...We like SFD's corner cafe'/coffee bar for quick hot eats that is family friendly. Max's Restaurants (there are a few in town) has an incredible selection and is VERY family friendly.

Frommers (sorry Fodor's) has an excellent book "San Francisco with Kids" which is chock full of tips and family friendly lodging/dining.

Weather permitting, I'd pack a blanket and take advantage of picnicking.

Have fun.
adventureseeker is offline  

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