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Help call to san francisco locals or experienced travellers

Australia
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Help call to san francisco locals or experienced travellers

Hi Everyone, thanks in advance for any assistance provided. I thought I planned our trip to the fine detail to ensure visits to major places in San Francisco but as I hop on google and browse I end up finding more and more interesting things to see. I would love to visit Golden Gate Park and many reviews claim the best day to visit is Sunday. On Sunday morning we have booked ourselves to the AM Alcatraz tour which will finish around lunch. We are planning to eat around the Fisherman Wharf and then head to GHIRARDELLI Square to be followed by Chinatown & Japantown on the way back to the hotel. We are staying at Baldwin Hotel on Grant Avenue. Can someone please recommend how I should go about planning my day using the public transport? I would like to check what ticket to get so that I can get to the Alcatraz tour in the morning and be able to use it to get to GHIRARDELLI Square, Golden Gate Park, and perhaps japantown, chinatown on the way back. Being summer in Aug 17th, the sun sets around 8pm according to some websites - so we should have enough daylight to get around. Am I being realistic? Can I achieve it all? Please help!! We would like to be able to spend about 1-2 at each place (if possible...ex tour, we know it is going to be 2.5 hrs)

San Francisco...
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1. Re: Help call to san francisco locals or experienced travellers

the sites below give you bus route information:

wikitravel.org/en/San_Francisco/The_Avenues

wikitravel.org/en/San_Francisco/Japantown

wikitravel.org/en/San_Francisco/Chinatown

you can find the bus routes on http://www.sfmta.com/cms/mhome/home50.htm

if you get a bus route map when you get here if you don't print it off of the site, http://www.sfmta.com/cms/mmaps/official.htm then you'll be able to map out your bus travel as the sections of town are labeled on the map

you should get a visitor passport

http://www.sfmta.com/cms/mfares/passports.htm

Australia
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2. Re: Help call to san francisco locals or experienced travellers

Thank you ObsidianSnow. The links look really good, the visitor passport will be helpful; you are a star :-)

Head down, bums up. Back to the drawing board!

San Francisco...
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3. Re: Help call to san francisco locals or experienced travellers

Golden Gate Park, while well deserving of a visit is too far afield for this one day. You will spread yourselves too thin. Sunday is a great day, but also a busy day at the park. Most things close up at 5. Plus, it is across town from your other sites. You could easily spend an entire day there and barely scratch the surface. Unfortunately, Monday finds the de Young Museum closed as well as the Conservatory of Flowers. The Tea Garden, Botanical Garden, Stow Lake, and the greenery of the park are open daily, however. The Academy of Science will open in late Sept, open daily, with enough to occupy you for hours.

http://www.calacademy.org/index.php

Map of the park

www.sfgov.org/site/recpark_page.asp?id=17796

Don't overdue it and experience sensory overload. If you can fit it in another day, that's great

Saint Paul
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4. Re: Help call to san francisco locals or experienced travellers

I tend to agree with Girasol on your plans.....it appears you are trying to cram 5 pounds of stuff into a 3 pound sack.

You need to save some of your venues for another day.

Personally (from experience,) I'd skip ghiradelli and go from lunch onward to Chinatown.

GG park does require more time. It's a hugh park.

At any rate, have fun in the City.

tptr

Down Under
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5. Re: Help call to san francisco locals or experienced travellers

How many days are you in town ?

Do you have to go to Japantown ?

Australia
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6. Re: Help call to san francisco locals or experienced travellers

Hi everyone, thank you for your posts. I tried the muni trip planner, and I must say I had to sacrifice Japantown and Chinatown on Sunday if we want to visit the park. We can skip Japantown. Chinatown is near the hotel so that should be a quick visit. Shuffled things around further today, saw a glimpse of hope and then realised that by trying to visit the town and do the "must-visits" - the opportunity of shopping is looking slim! BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD. AIKS! We only have 3 days in San Francisco. Wish we had 1 week instead! The 2nd day my husband wants to head to San Jose, so that will be a day trip on its own. Might try to fit the GGP on a Tuesday. I am sure my better half will prefer walking around the park with his new EOS camera than shop :-)

Best restaurant for crabs, anyone?

:-D

San Francisco...
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7. Re: Help call to san francisco locals or experienced travellers

If you're taking up a day by heading to San Jose - you can get plenty of shopping done there.

Westfield's Valley Fair has just about every store you'd want:

http://www.westfield.com/valleyfair/

And if you don't find it there - the Santana Row shopping center is right across the street:

http://www.santanarow.com/

Literally, the two combined would have shopping at Union Square beat. It's the same shops, but condensed in two malls rather than spread out around downtown San Francisco. Not the same experience of course, but much more in keeping with limited time.

Both shopping centers are very convenient to the freeways; so they're not really out of the way.

Los Altos...
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8. Re: Help call to san francisco locals or experienced travellers

Ummm ... how are you planning to get to San Jose, and what are your husband's plans for the visit? I'm thinking of your transit options.

We can also assist with that end, and for whatever we can't answer, the San Jose forum will also be assist, naturally.

Australia
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9. Re: Help call to san francisco locals or experienced travellers

Thank you everyone for your kind replies.

BetterthanBings - I worked on how to get to San Jose 3 months ago, I hope things have not changed much. Please let me know if this way is the most straight forward (or is there another alternative that is more direct). It seems like it is going to take two hours to our destination is "Winchester House".

Depart: BART Montgomery St in San Francisco

Then: Go to: BART Montgomery, 598 Market St

Board: BART Rich/Mill Line/Daly City/Millbrae at 8:03 am (next at 8:18 am)

Fare: Pay $4.00, Get BART Ticket

Get Off: BART Millbrae at 8:37 am

Then: Go to: Caltrain Station - Millbrae, Millbrae Av & California Dr 

Board: Caltrain Southbound Line/San Jose at 8:48 am (next train 9:01 am)

Fare: Pay $5.75, Get Caltrain Rail Ticket

Get Off: Caltrain Station - Santa Clara at 9:34 am

Then: Go to: W. Corner Of Railroad & El Camino Real 

Board: Santa Clara VTA Bus #60/Winchester Trans Ctr at 9:42 am (next 10:12 am)

Fare: Pay $1.75

Get Off: Winchester & Olsen at 9:59 am

Go to: 525 S Winchester Blvd in San Jose 

Total Travel Time: 1 hr 57 min

We saw the house on TV, we hope it is worth making the day trip out. Please let me know if it isn't :-] I looked at the map quickly, it seems it shouldn't be too hard to get to the shopping centers using public transport as well.

San Jose, California
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10. Re: Help call to san francisco locals or experienced travellers

The malls mentioned above, Valley Fair and Santana Row, are just a couple blocks from the Winchester house. I don't think it's worth the trek from SF to see it. Maybe if you had a car, then it would only be a 50 min drive. Time better spent to stay in SF and see the sites there.