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Hotel Suggestions for South of San Francisco

Seattle
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Hotel Suggestions for South of San Francisco

My family wants to vacation in the San Francisco area this summer, so I'm trying to decide on a hotel that will serve as our base camp for our day trips. I know we'll probably visit Santa Cruz's Boardwalk for one day, and also see the usual San Francisco sites (e.g., Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman's Wharf, etc). We normally stay at the mid-range Hilton or Marriott hotel chains, but I've noticed that hotel prices in general are quite high in San Francisco/San Jose/Santa Clara/etc areas (over $200/night in late June).

Can anyone suggest a good place for my family to stay that is between the sites that I've mentioned, and at a reasonable rate? I'm willing to pay $200-$250/night if the hotel is worth it.

Thanks.

Manhattan Beach...
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1. Re: Hotel Suggestions for South of San Francisco

These are not endorsements, but they are the names of OK hotels, that were a good price, that we have stayed at when visiting San Francisco. In the city we stayed at the Hotel Kabuki. The rooms are decorated in a Japanese style and it is near a lot of Japanese restaurants. It is in the city, and there are scenic views if you walk a few blocks away, but it is not in the center of action.

We have also stayed at the Courtyard Marriott in San Bruno CA when going to South San Francisco. It is near the airport and not that far by car from south San Francisco. It is near a major shopping mall, but it is not a place that you going walking around at night. Again, we ended up at both of these hotels because of price.

Washington State
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2. Re: Hotel Suggestions for South of San Francisco

If you had friends who were visiting and specifically wanted to see sights in Seattle, would you recommend that they stay in Renton? in Lynnwood? Neither is appealing to a visitor who wants to experience Seattle.

It's the same for other vacation destinations, and especially relevant for compact San Francisco.

For your San Francisco tourism, stay in San Francisco. The Top Questions on the SF forum page has links to neighborhoods, family lodging, and budget lodging. No car is needed, so you'll save money.

For your Monterey Peninsula tourism, stay there. In addition to the Santa Cruz Beach & Boardwalk, look at Henry Cowell Redwoods, the steam train, Elkhorn Slough kayaking or tour boat, Monterey Bay Aquarium, bike rentals, and more. You could easily fill 3 or 4 days in each location and not have to spend hours commuting to your vacation.

Of course I think Yosemite makes a great addition to this itinerary, but there might not be enough time.

Seattle
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3. Re: Hotel Suggestions for South of San Francisco

"If you had friends who were visiting and specifically wanted to see sights in Seattle, would you recommend that they stay in Renton? in Lynnwood?"

Well, if I someone asked me for a hotel recommendation that is between Everett and Seattle, I would suggest staying at the Residence Inn in Lynnwood because it is approximately between those two locations, is reasonably priced, close to restaurants, etc. I suppose that was the kind of response I was looking for with my question.

However, you do bring up a good point. Although I'd rather stay at a single central location and drive between day trip destinations (so my family doesn't need to pack up, check into a 2nd hotel, etc) ,it might make more sense to stay at two separate hotels considering what sites my family decides on visiting. Everything is still in flux now, and I'm trying to get a handle on the hotel situation especially since the rates are pretty high almost everywhere I've checked in the South San Francisco area.

San Francisco...
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4. Re: Hotel Suggestions for South of San Francisco

there are plenty of hotels listed in the top questions of the SF forum. do have a look at budget hotels and hotels for a family of 5 which are still good for a family of 3 or 4

having spent many a night in Renton (on business) I could not agree more with PNWF

Washington State
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5. Re: Hotel Suggestions for South of San Francisco

If Lynnwood fits your travel style, then maybe a generic location south of San Francisco would work. But I can't imagine being so close to San Francisco and not staying there. It's such a delightfully walkable city.

Everett & Seattle are only 30 miles apart and can be reached on I-5. Santa Cruz & San Francisco are 80 miles apart and separated by the Coastal Range and include a densely populated area to drive through.

Version A:

You could fly into SFO and take a taxi to your SF hotel. Check in and unpack. Get your public transit passes and begin your tourism. Spend a few days using a variety of transportation methods and never worry about the high price of parking. Perhaps go back to your hotel in the afternoon to relax and "recharge" before going out for a fun dinner or an evening out. After a few days, pack up, pick up your rental car (that doesn't include the cost of airport taxes & fees), and drive scenic Hwy 1 down to Santa Cruz or Monterey. Spend a few days, using the car to get to the destinations that suit you. Spend one day driving some of the best bits of Hwy 1 south of Carmel (Big Sur.) Eventually, drive up to SFO, drop the car, and fly home.

Version B:

Pick up a rental car at SFO and drive to your generic hotel in a suburb town. Every day, pack up the family and drive between 30 and 90 minutes to the destination of your choice. Pay $$$$ for parking in San Francisco. Maybe go back to the car to get the sweater you need or to drop packages. When you're tired in the afternoon, think about a comfy bed for a rest, but realize that it's far away. At the end of the afternoon, drive back (in traffic) to your hotel. Go to a neighborhood suburban restaurant. At night, ... hmmm. For your days on the Monterey Peninsula, remember that you'll be driving freeways & highways with thousands & thousands of South Bay commuters. On your Big Sur tourism day, expect to spend several hours in the car. At the end of your vacation, you'll be close to SFO.

There are some folks who are happier staying in quiet locations. Maybe they plan to spend a shorter period of time in the destination of their choice. Some folks visit Yosemite NP and stay 1.5 hours away from the scenic area they want to visit. Some folks are overwhelmed by staying in a busy city and need another place to unwind at the end of the day. This is obviously your trip and your travel style, so you get to decide what will work best for you & your family.

Good luck!

Santa Cruz...
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6. Re: Hotel Suggestions for South of San Francisco

The mantra around here is...if you want to see San Francisco *stay* in San Francisco. Go to the San Francisco forum and look at the Top Questions on the right of your screen and READ them. (it doesn't work if you are on a mobile device). There is information in the Top Questions about hotels in San Francisco. I live in Santa Cruz and visit San Francisco all the time. It is less than two hours and I would *never* consider staying "in between" the two.

Manhattan Beach...
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7. Re: Hotel Suggestions for South of San Francisco

I'll pile on also. We liked staying in Santa Cruz as well as Carmel and Monterey and they are far enough away from San Francisco that it would be a pain to try to get back to your hotel room in San Francisco after a day exploring these places. I really don't think that it would be a big deal to pack up your family and change hotels. It was actually fun staying in a cheap hotel near the Santa Cruz pier, and more expensive, but unique non chain hotels in Carmel and Monterey.

PS, Seattle and San Francisco have an unfortunate similarity regarding hotel costs and availability. All that has to happen is for Apple, Oracle, or Microsoft to have a major meeting and hotel rooms become scarce. I've now spent about a week in Bothelle over the past year, and even though it is not a bad place, it was not my first or my second choice. The SF hotels I mention were also not my first or second choices.

Edited: 10 February 2014, 06:46
Fremont, California
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8. Re: Hotel Suggestions for South of San Francisco

If you do want a half way point to look at check out Half Moon Bay area .....

such as Best Western Half Moon Bay

http://www.halfmoonbaylodge.com/

Its very close to the Ritz Carlton there...

and puts you close to the ocean which like Seattle can have its sunny days and foggy days in the summer.

Yes, if you plan to do activities in San Francisco, stay in San Francisco.

and if you plant to do Santa Cruz boardwalk to Santa Cruz

but did want to give you a possibility half way in between.

http://www.visithalfmoonbay.org/

Santa Cruz...
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9. Re: Hotel Suggestions for South of San Francisco

I appreciate mini's suggestion, but Half Moon Bay is not really a 'halfway point.'

While it is a pleasant village on the coast it requires you to get to the coast and then if you want to go south you are committed to doing the Highway 1 coastal route or getting back out of Half Moon Bay.

In other words, it is not really a halfway point on the way to anywhere ,unless you are committed to driving the coastal route.

Fremont, California
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10. Re: Hotel Suggestions for South of San Francisco

Puter - Half Moon Bay to Santa Cruz is 50 miles (less than an hour) along a gorgeous coastal drive along the ocean - sounds like a lovely place to be along the ocean for a real vacation.

Its 30 miles to San Francisco....

So yeah - its not exactly half way - but its in a nice place on the ocean.

and so much fun things to see and do if you like the outdoors...and want to get away on vacation away from a corporate hotel that is pricey in Union Square next to a Macys you can find in every big city USA.

But of course - it may not be right for the OP - but it is definitely a good recommendation....

Have a good day Puter.