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Trip Planning for San Francisco with two teenage girls

Jacksonville, FL
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Trip Planning for San Francisco with two teenage girls

I need little help with trip planning. We will be visiting San Francisco for one week with our two teenage girls for the first time for all of us during the first week of June. We always enjoy exploring big cities, shopping, dining out and seeing the typical sights, so it is a no-brainer that we should spend several nights in the city. We also would like to get out of the city for maybe two nights and see some of the other great areas. Here come the questions:

1. Should we stay in the Union Square/Nob Hill area and what about the Grosvenor Suites Hotel?

2. Is there a “hop on/hop off” bus tour that is good for a quick overview of th city or are the cable cars the better transportation for sightseeing?

3. I have two ideas for overnight trips and wonder if they are doable or if we should be considering something completely different:

a. Rent a car, head north into Marin Co. and visit either Sausalito or Tiburon (or both) then head up to the Muir Woods and then head to the Sonoma Valley for the evening. Tour the area the next day and head on to the next step.

b. Next, head down the coast to Monterey/Carmel and maybe then head all the way to Big Sur, spend the night somewhere in that vicinity (where?) and then either head back to San Francisco spend the night and fly out the next day or maybe head to San Jose, spend the night and fly out of San Jose?

As you can see, I have more questions than answers and any and all help and suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank again.

Pacific Grove...
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1. Re: Trip Planning for San Francisco with two teenage girls

If you are bothered by traffic, going north after a day of walking around Marin will be hidious on a commute day. Not so bad going South. It is also a long drive from Marin to Sonoma after a long day.

From SF to Monterey Peninsula is about 2.5 hours. Big sur is 45 minutes south. Carmel is great for shopping, everything in one spot, but you do have to move your car every 90 minutes unless you park far enough away, which is not bad, the beach for instance and walk up.

Well that is my input

Jacksonville, FL
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2. Re: Trip Planning for San Francisco with two teenage girls

Thanks for the thoughts

Bay Area
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3. Re: Trip Planning for San Francisco with two teenage girls

1) Union Square in a nice place to stay. Its in the middle of the city, shopping, lots and One of the new malls is there, Westfield. Lots of food options, with two teenage girls, they will not get bored.

2) There are hop on/off buses, but you can take Cable Car from Union Sq/Powell St and go to Fishermans Wharf. That should give you a good overview of the city.

3) Two nights and so you want to head north to Marin Co and then to Sonoma Valley. That should take a day and long day that might make it tiring.

Then going to Carmel will be a long drive. You want to spend the night there if you do this.

Let me ask you some questions. Do you want to see beaches/Carmel etc and Big Sur, go there for two nights. It won't be enough, but you will get an idea of the area. Its probably different from FL and the cold water will be a different experience.

Do you want to see wineries, valleys, redwood trees. Spend Two days doing Marin Co, Sonoma Valley. Spend time at Spa's if you want. Do a train ride from Napa Valley.

You will get good food at both places. Both places, you can easily spend more than two nights. I don't think you should rush through them. Plus they are far away from each other.

Now, if you want to get a taste of California Coast, Head out the first day to Marin Co, Sausalito, Tiburon and spend the night at Bodega Bay. Small town, like Carmel. Then head to Sonoma Valley the next day and spend the night there. Bodega Bay is north of SF and Napa is East of Bodega Bay. Your drive time cuts significantly as oppose to driving to Monterey.

San Jose, California
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4. Re: Trip Planning for San Francisco with two teenage girls

I have 2 teen girls myself, we go into SF a lot. They like North Beach, and Union square & Chinatown.

My kids would rather go to Monterey/Carmel than Marin and parts north of there.

Jacksonville, FL
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5. Re: Trip Planning for San Francisco with two teenage girls

Great thoughts - thank you very much. I think that our main interests outside of the city are seeing that we cannot see here in FL, such as dramatic cliffs, redwoods, mountains and valleys, etc. We have no interest in actually spending time on the beach, just seeing the great views and maybe staying or eating at a place to enjoy the sights. The idea of staying a night in a charming small town is definitely high on our list (is that Bodega Bay?). I have read a littel about the "Wine Train" through the valley, which sounds great, I am just not sure how to handle the logistics if we have a car rental. Any further tips would be great...

6. Re: Trip Planning for San Francisco with two teenage girls

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san francisco, ca
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7. Re: Trip Planning for San Francisco with two teenage girls

The idea of staying a night in a charming small town is definitely high on our list :

Stay in Carmel! not exactly a charming small town, but totally unique and beautiful. lots of little "gnome" inns.

Jacksonville, FL
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8. Re: Trip Planning for San Francisco with two teenage girls

Thank you for the thoughts - Do you have a favorite place to stay in either Carmel or Monterey? I would love a beautiful view over the ocean, but would also very much appreciate a suite (extra separate room, good sized bathroom, etc.) given our two teenage girls!

San Jose, California
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9. Re: Trip Planning for San Francisco with two teenage girls

Try one of these B&B's in Pacific Grove, PG is a small town tucked in between Monterey and Carmel. Great location, close to the aquarium, right near the ocean, fantastic views.

tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g32840-d113636-…

tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g32840-d113641-…

SF Bay Area
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10. Re: Trip Planning for San Francisco with two teenage girls

Pacific Grove is closer to Big Sur than Bodega Bay is. Big Sur will give you more of the dramatic coastline that the areas north of SF.