Old Oct 13th, 2003, 12:37 PM
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My wife and I are trying to plan a trip to San Francisco from 11/5 thru 11/9. I would prefer not to rent a car and stay at a hotel that is within walking distance to many popular attractions. Any suggestions on hotels and "must see" places would be greatly appreciated. We are both early thirties and enjoy the nightlife.
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Old Oct 13th, 2003, 06:13 PM
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We would also prefer a place close to Fishermans Wharf/Pier. Thanks.
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Old Oct 13th, 2003, 06:50 PM
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Recently returned from San Francisco and stayed at the Orchard Hotel. While not in the Fisherman's Wharf area, it is a cable car ride away. I felt that Fisherman's Wharf was too touristy and tacky. The Orchard is a great value and located between Union Square and Nob Hill...you can hop on/off the cable car at the corner.
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Old Oct 15th, 2003, 09:42 PM
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The Wharf is a great area. I would recommend the Sheraton and Hilton Fisherman's Wharf.
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Old Oct 16th, 2003, 08:28 AM
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Check the past threads--a poster here (April?) stayed at the new Argonaut. It seems nice mainly because it is not your basic 3* wharf hotel. You can look up her thread and see what she said as it was first hand.

That being said, why do you specifically want to stay at the Wharf? You might want to check out Union Square. As ramona notes it is only a cable car ride to the wharf (or a quick trip by regular bus). This would put you in an area for more nightlife (restaurants, bars, clubs, etc).
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Old Oct 16th, 2003, 10:19 AM
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Me and my husband are your age and just came back from SF.
Staying at the Fisherman's wharf area is a mistake. If you must, go there for a couple of hours, but you will probably prefer to explore other less touristic areas of the city.
The Union Square area is the best place to be if you want to use the public transportation to travel around the city.
I also stayed at the Orchard hotel, like ramona did.
The cable car is usually very crowded and requires a long waiting time. We usually took busses or the underground.

Besides for experiencing the excellent restaurants of SF, I have two more ideas for nightlife entertainment:

- Go to ASIA SF, which is an Asian style restaurant, with drag performances. The food is not the main thing to my opinion in this place, although it's not bad. The crowd is comprised of large groups of bachelor/bachelorette parties, so you have a good chance to sit at the bar, which is the best location to view the shows. www.asiasf.com

- There is an 80's style show by a group called Tainted Love, that gives our genration a sweat nostalgic evening. www.taintedlove.com

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Old Oct 16th, 2003, 01:44 PM
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Hi kikahead,

Yes, my husband and I stayed at the Argonaut last month and enjoyed it very much. Fisherman's Wharf is indeed tacky but the hotel feels a bit set apart, more in the midst of the maritime park. In fact, the park's visitors center is right off the lobby. My husband loved the views of the ships at the Hyde Street Pier right out our window (room 446). I highly recommend a top floor Alcatraz view room, but any outside room would be better than the inside ones, which have no view at all.

The Argonaut has funky, fun nautical decor. We had a choice of either two queen-sized beds or one king and a couch. Both were spacious with wallpapered and brick walls. The room came with iron and ironing board, hairdryer, flatscreen tv, television internet access ($10 a day I think), jam-packed honors bar, coffee maker and morning newspaper. Bathrobes weren't in our room, so ask for them upon arrival. The staff is very friendly and accommodating. On the main floor there is complimentary wine in the evening and tea & coffee in the morning.

We did appreciate the flatness of the area at times. Ghirardelli Square is close by. I had wanted to dine at McCormick and Kuleto's Seafood Restaurant there mainly for the view, but then discovered it was virtually the same view as from our hotel room. 50s-style Lori's diner next door is inexpensive.

From the Argonaut you can walk to the pier to catch the boat to Alcatraz. Watch the sea lions while you wait - and what is the story behind that floating island? The audio tour on Alcatraz is a must, I think.

Around the corner and just up the hill from the hotel is the cable car turnaround so you can easily get into town. Buy a munipass right away and you can hop on and off whenever you want (when there is room) plus take other forms of transportation as needed. The activities at the turnaround are entertaining and so are some of the cable car operators. One had us laughing all the way to Union Sq.

Morning is definitely less crowded. You might even get to ride with the businessman with the spider (jewelry) in his beard! On at least one trip, get yourself positioned on the back platform - they usually allowed four people back there - for picture-taking up the steep grade. From this line you can jump off to walk down crooked Lombard St. Further along it passes by the Cable Car Museum, free and definitely worth a visit.

In retrospect, renting a car might have been easier the day we went out to the Legion of Honor (outstanding painting, that 9'x12' The Russian Bride's Attire.) It's a fair distance by cab. Taxis seemed to be hard to come by away from the downtown core, so going to out-of-the-way spots can be a chore. From the Legion of Honor we took another taxi to the Golden Gate Bridge. Walking on it is another San Francisco highlight (thanks, BillyM). From there we caught a bus, "free" with the pass, to the back of Ghirardelli Sq. and walked the short distance back to the hotel.

I owe many people here, including kikahead, a great big thanks for helping so much with our visit to San Francisco. Thanks too to dwooddon for the suggestion of going to Jack London Sq. to catch the train.

Four days wasn't nearly enough. What a great city!
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Old Oct 22nd, 2003, 03:27 PM
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The cable car is not very crowded in November. I was at the Powell St. turn-around today at lunch and there was no wait! Have a great time.
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