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Which San Francisco vacation apartment rental has a better location?

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Dec 13th, 2013, 12:27 PM
  #1
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Which San Francisco vacation apartment rental has a better location?

Hello all. I would greatly appreciate your knowledgable opinions regarding the locations of 3 apartments I'm considering booking for our family of 4 from L.A (daughters 11 and 16) for a 3-4 night stay in SF on 12/27-1/1 or 1/2. We haven't been in about 4 yrs, and last time wenstayed at Fairmont Ghiradelli apts (when it was a fraction of the cost it is now). We've stayed in union square several times (where hubby suggested we stay this time) but I really want to stay in a different area with more of a local flavor. The 1st apartment is a Victorian on Hayes St. between Webster and Buchanan. The 2nd is modern style on Chestnut off Divisadero; and the 3rd (considerably more $) is a penthouse apt on Stockton off Lombard. Prices are comparable to getting two hotel rooms at relatively nice hotels, including the Clift, Omni, Fairmont, Taj so even 2nd guessing whether the advantages of a hotel (amenities like room service, etc) support going the hotel route, especially since we're only in SF for a few days. Thank you so much for any input!
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Dec 13th, 2013, 01:55 PM
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The Hayes st location is very interesting. Your 16 YO might love the shops on Hayes street - quite unusual stuff - lots of local "color". Several good restaurants in the area - I had lunch at Absinthe last week. The only drawback is that there are several "projects" just a block or 2 north, and if you are not use to a "city" - you might be threatened a tad. Perfectly fine during the day, but not so much at night. Because Hayes St itself is a "hot spot" with all the restaurants, bars, etc - it is safe all the time. Many vagrants as you get closer to City Hall.

Chestnut & Divisadero is where many "yuppies" live. A more conservative young crowd than the Hayes St place. Lots of shops, restaurants, Starbucks, Petes, & other "chain store" places on Chestnut. Chestnut is one of the most active streets on a weekend & at night - bars galore and also a few blocks south on Union St. You can walk to the Marina Green by the Bay and also to Crissy Field. It's flat - so get a bike & explore Crissy Field, Ft Point, and bike over the Golden Gate Bridge. We're going to Osha on Union St for New Year's Eve. Chestnut & Union are packed with nicely dressed 20-30 year olds on NYE. Perfectly safe - no vagrants.

Stockton & Lombard is close to North Beach and the Wharf. It's pretty hilly and a totally different feel than the other two paces. Coit Tower is a ew blocks away - and you can probably guess it is on a hill.

My least favorite is the Stockton & Lombard place - unless it has a great view & you really value a view. I don't think there is as much "stuff" (restaurants, shops, coffee places) just outside your door as the other two places.

Hayes is a little "edgier" - you would not have wanted to stay in this area 25 years ago. But it has lots of local "color" and has a much less "chain store" feel than Chestnut. This is an "old fogie" statement (that would be me), but there are many more tattooed people in the Hayes area than on Chestnut.

Stu Dudley
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Dec 13th, 2013, 02:03 PM
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I never bother with apartments for such a short stay. I just think hotels are so much easier (to find a good one, to pay for, the convenience of having a front desk to help you, etc.) when you are in a new city on a brief stay.
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Dec 13th, 2013, 02:44 PM
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>>a 3-4 night stay in SF on 12/27-1/1 or 1/2<<

If 12/27 is your first night, and you leave for LA on 1/1 - that's 5 nights. If 1/1 and 1/2 are "stay nights" - that's 6-7 nights.

Near the Marina Green/Chrissy field with a bike would be a perfect way to spend a quiet/interesting New Year's Day, when everything is closed & people are inside still asleep (or watching football).

Stu Dudley
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Dec 13th, 2013, 03:24 PM
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tick....tick....tick....tick....

Thee Stu....what's wrong with us tattooed people?
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Dec 13th, 2013, 03:30 PM
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>>.what's wrong with us tattooed people?<<

Nothing - I was trying to differentiate between the "average" person in the Hayes Valley vs the average Marina resident (where Tomsd lived).

Stu Dudley
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Dec 13th, 2013, 03:35 PM
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Dec 13th, 2013, 04:23 PM
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Hayes Valley is a vibrant neighborhood splashed with cool shops and good places to eat. Close to Alamo Square, walking distance to Japantown and, the other way, to the fun Mission and Castro neighborhoods, and a short walk to Fillmore Street where you can catch the 22 bus to the Marina. I would stay there. The Divisadero and Chestnut location would, as Stu says, give you faster access to the Marina highlights and would also be a nice area. You might want to check Google Maps for street views of the areas to help you decide.
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Dec 13th, 2013, 04:39 PM
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Why Stu - how did you know I would recommend the Marina over Hsyes Street? Back in the day - if you ventured along Hayes street for very long - you had better be packing.
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Dec 13th, 2013, 05:51 PM
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Thank you so much for the informative and helpful replies. Now that you describe the Hayes area Stu, I keenly remember on our last trip dragging my kids and husband to a large Japanese stationary store in Japantown and our walk there took us past city hall. Even in the daytime we felt a little threatened (and I worked as a prosecutor in downtown LA for several years and don't intimidate easily) as we had an incident where we were followed out of Burger King for a block or so by a couple unsavory types who were up to no good. I think the chestnut location sounds better for us. While I myself enjoy edgy environments my husband and girls not so much. (Hard to when get them to Hollywood, Melrose or Venice). But also the proximity to the waterfront and the fields sounds excellent. Gonna do exactly what you suggested on New Year's Day! Thanks again! Terri
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Dec 13th, 2013, 06:51 PM
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You might try Osha Thai on Union St (there are other locations for Osha Thai in SF) for New Year's eve. Big glass window facing Union St where you can watch all the people go by on their way to New Year's events - quite a spectacle. Our reservations are at 9 & we'll be gone by 10:30 & in bed by 11:30.

Rent bikes at Blazing Saddles (Google for locations)

I was raised in San Gabriel.

Stu Dudley
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Dec 13th, 2013, 09:36 PM
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I would love to see the apartments you are considering. We too are trawling the internet trying to find something for next July.
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Dec 14th, 2013, 04:41 AM
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law - when I was going to UC Hastings School of Law - SF - early/mid 70's - we had flag football games at a park on Hayes. Dang if we (even about 30 adult amales) didn't keep our heads on a swivel. Once - some kids from the hood were playing a game of touch football on the field next to us - and yellng the N word ALL the time - and I was worried some older brothers might cruise by and think we were the ones doing that.
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Dec 14th, 2013, 09:26 AM
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Uh oh...I just got received word of availability of another apartment I had inquired about which is a truly epic penthouse with 360 degree views. It's located on francisco just off chestnut and Hyde. Any thoughts? Thanks again. Stu---perhaps we'll see you and your better half for a pre news year toast
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Dec 14th, 2013, 10:04 AM
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Hyde St near Chestnut is a very steep hill. The squiggly part of Lombard is 2 blocks away. No wonder it has a good view. Your legs will get an exercise. The Cable Car goes by, but I don't think you can get on it from Chestnut, and I certainly would not walk up & down Hyde to the Wharf to get on it. It stops at Lombard (steep walk up) - but it is often packed then. I consider the Cable Car to be a scenic ride - not a means of transportation. There are no cafes, restaurants, shops, coffee places, etc in the Hyde/Chestnut area - except the tacky places at the Wharf.

Stu Dudley
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Dec 14th, 2013, 11:38 AM
  #16
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Thanks again Stu. Gonna pick your big brain a little more if I may.. What do you think about these locations:
Divisadero & Broadway
North Point and Larkin
19th & eureka
26th & church.
Thanks in advance! Terri
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Dec 14th, 2013, 11:49 AM
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>> The squiggly part of Lombard is 2 blocks away.<<

Correction - One block away - which puts you 1 block closer to some restaurants on Hyde and starting at about Union St & going south. Pretty street & pretty area, with many large trees along Hyde. Very residential. Still - lots of hills. My college roommate & best man in our wedding & his wife live 2 1/2 blocks from Hyde & Chestnut on Larkin. That's Russian Hill - and as the name implies - lots of hills. No place to have a bike.

Stu Dudley
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Dec 14th, 2013, 12:07 PM
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19th and Eureka,, near the Castro, great location, IMO. I grew up nearby! 26th and Church, have also lived over there, really great area, a little less convenient for bopping around town, less central, but close to the Mission where there's good food. Divis and Broadway is probably really nice too, quite upscale neighborhood, the most residential.

I live in NOPA these days, near Divis by Alamo Square, the strip gas gotten hip. We even have BiRite now.
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Dec 14th, 2013, 03:37 PM
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What else will you be doing while in SF? Will you be driving out of town a lot or taking public transport around the city? Or do you plan on mostly walking around your chosen neighborhood?
If you are renting a car, will these apartments all have parking? Because parking can be a problem in the city.
Would you like to be a near a park--where you can go jogging or strolling (if it's not raining)? Or near attractions, like museums?
I grew up a few blocks from 26th and Church, which is in the family-friendly Noe Valley neighborhood, with people of mixed incomes (though you couldn't tell by looking at today's real estate prices), and lots of Victorian houses. Not a touristy neighborhood, so you would definitely get a local flavor and you will feel safe, not threatened by unsavory types. You are not likely to have any scenic views of the city from 26th and Church. You will be two blocks from 24th Street, which has all kinds of independently owned shops, cafes, restaurants, a Whole Foods Supermarket. There are also some restaurants and cafes on Church St. that you can walk to. The "J" Streetcar runs along Church St. and will get you to Market St. (so you might hear the streetcar from your apartment), otherwise this is a fairly quiet neighborhood. The also handy Quintara-24th St. bus runs along 24th street. I can't tell you how long it takes for the streetcar to get to Market St. because it varies. It can get crowded and sluggish at commuter hours. You won't be that far of a drive from the trendy and popular restaurants on Valencia St. but it would be too far to walk. You would also be a short drive or bus ride away from the Latino restaurants and businesses of the Mission District.
I think the closest park to this location would be hilly Dolores Park, which you can get to by way of a longish, hilly walk or by way of the "J' Streetcar.
The Chestnut and Hyde location sounds great to me, near Fisherman's Wharf, near North Beach, near handy Northpoint Shopping (with Trader Joe's and Cost Plus not far away), near the SF Art Institute (if it's open, pop in to see the Diego Rivera Mural http://www.sfai.edu/diego-rivera-gallery, there's also a great view from the roof). You won't be that far from Fort Mason and Marina Green, or Chinatown or the Embarcadero. You'll also have easy access to the Golden Gate Bridge and Highway One North. It is a hilly location, but you want to feel like a local, right?
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Dec 14th, 2013, 06:07 PM
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Would love to have a commanding view of the Bay/Golden Gate/Marin County/Alcatraz.

Lived near Union and Hyde - 3rd year of law school - no problem with it at all - as could catch buses, cable car, whatnot. If you really feel the - grab a cab.

Hiking up the hill was no problem then - and probably wouldn't be for your daughters - but more of a Q for you and the "old man".
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