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Traveling to SF/Palo Alto for two weeks. Some questions

Canada
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Traveling to SF/Palo Alto for two weeks. Some questions

Hello! I'll be traveling from Canada to SF/Palo Alto area for two weeks. I'll be based in Palo Alto and will have my rental vehicle. Here are some of my questions.

- I'll need data on my phone and wonder where and how to get a SIM card for my 2-week usage?

- This is my second time to be in SF area and I've done most common touristy things like Alcatraz, Cable Car, Lombard, etc. I would love to do some 'off the beaten path' things this time, any suggestions?

- Art, design, photography bookstore suggestions? Decent cafe?

Thanks!

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San Francisco, Ca
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1. Re: Traveling to SF/Palo Alto for two weeks. Some questions

>>I would love to do some 'off the beaten path' things this time, any suggestions?<<

Explore the neighborhoods: the Mission, the Haight, NOPA. Take a food walking tour of one of those neighborhoods (or a CityGuides tour for history). For art/local scene, look into First Fridays in Oakland, Undiscovered SF (a Filipino night market held once or twice a month). For a good cafe, every neighborhood has them (just avoid Starbucks and you'll be fine). The big local coffee names are Blue Bottle, Sightglass, Four Barrel -- any place serving those should be fine.

I can't think of a photography bookstore (assuming there's not a missing comma between those words), but the SFMOMA has a very good photography collection.

For a SIM card for 2 weeks, look at T-Mobile's Tourist Plan: https://support.t-mobile.com/docs/DOC-26344

Canada
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2. Re: Traveling to SF/Palo Alto for two weeks. Some questions

Hi SFSusanW! Are those neighborhoods that you suggested are fairly safe to explore for a solo traveler (at least during the day)? How is finding a parking spot in those areas in SF? Thanks again.

Silicon Valley, Ca
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3. Re: Traveling to SF/Palo Alto for two weeks. Some questions

You can take Caltrain to SF and uses Muni/light rail/bus and Lyft to get around the city.

Silicon Valley, Ca
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4. Re: Traveling to SF/Palo Alto for two weeks. Some questions

You can take Caltrain to SF and uses Muni/light rail/bus and Lyft to get around the city, particularly on weekdays. Driving is more practical on weekends.

Dublin, California
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5. Re: Traveling to SF/Palo Alto for two weeks. Some questions

Are you staying in Palo Atlo for a specific reason? It's a fairly long commute from PA into SF and back.

San Francisco...
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6. Re: Traveling to SF/Palo Alto for two weeks. Some questions

<<<Are those neighborhoods that you suggested are fairly safe to explore for a solo traveler (at least during the day)?>>>

No one is going to recommend a dangerous neighborhood to explore to a tourist.

San Luis Obispo...
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7. Re: Traveling to SF/Palo Alto for two weeks. Some questions

Near Palo Alto visit Filoli Mansion and Gardens.

https://filoli.org/

Good architecture and art bookstore in the city (if it's still there) in the neighborhood of Sansome and Jackson, but I cannot remember the name or exact location, except that it is on a corner. Maybe someone more local can help out.

San Luis Obispo...
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8. Re: Traveling to SF/Palo Alto for two weeks. Some questions

That's William Stout Bookstore, 804 Montgomery:

https://stoutbooks.com/

Silicon Valley, Ca
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9. Re: Traveling to SF/Palo Alto for two weeks. Some questions

Consider staying in SF for 2 nights on the weekend. It will optimize your sightseeing time.

San Francisco, Ca
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10. Re: Traveling to SF/Palo Alto for two weeks. Some questions

Yes, those areas are fine for a solo traveler, especially during the day. I'd be more cautious at night, but they have some really good restaurants, so if you want to stay to enjoy a great meal, just Lyft/Uber back to Caltrain.

No, parking in those areas is terrible (as it is in most of the city); don't drive up unless you know where you're going to park. Some areas have lots of garages (particularly in the northern/northwest corner of the city), but the areas I mentioned don't seem to have a lot of garages, and street parking is hard to find pretty much everywhere.

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