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Trip itinerary for 6/5-6/7 for your review

Orlando, Florida
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Trip itinerary for 6/5-6/7 for your review

This itinerary wouldn't have been possible if not for this forum and the other resources here. If anyone has some time to take a look and give feedback - that would be awesome!

I'm travelling with my girlfriend and another couple in our mid-20s. We land Thursday night at 9PM and are leaving first thing Monday morning. All of the planning was kind of left to me so I am trying to infuse options into it and also start busy and end relaxed so everyone has great memories. Here goes:

Thursday:

~Land @ SFO at 8:55.

~Purchase round trip BART and 7-day MUNI

~BART to Powell and cable car north to California.

~Check in @ Stanford Court Renaissance.

Depending on time and mood...

~Late meal option 1: First Crush (seats till 11:30)

~Late meal option 2: Grubstake (closes @ 4am)

Friday:

~Leave hotel by 7:00

~Breakfast @ Dottie's True Blue and hopefully beat rush.

~Take Caltrain to Palo Alto

~Visit friend @ his work and apparently we get a free lunch - nice!

~Take Caltrain back to the city with possible stop @ Stanford if we are making good time.

Be back in the city by 2PM

~While by the Train Depot, take a look @ AT&T Park and the Ferry Building

~Tour the Cable Car Museum

~Visit China town and depending on the time have dinner there.

~Rest of the day is clear for other dinner plans or checking out Union Square

***Need a good night/party option! Thirsty Bear might be our destination and is an option***

Saturday:

~Leave hotel by 7:30

~Head north for breakfast @ Mama's. Again, try to beat the rush, but time is allotted for the well-worth-it wait.

~9:30 Check out bike's from Blazing Saddles (with 10% off coupons from website in hand!)

~Bike along the coast and over the GG Bridge.

~Lunch in Sausalito

~Bike back (I'm not telling the girls that we have a ferry option unless we're ALL tired ;) )

~1:30ish head back to Hotel to shower/change into warmer clothes

~2:30 Head to Fisherman's Wharf and spend an hour looking around and being touristy.

~3:25 Pick up our Alcatraz tickets

~3:55 Tour to The Rock (couldn't get a night tour)

~After tour, dinner at In-and-Out burger (not my idea but everyone seems interested)

~Dessert @ Ghirardelli Square

***Unknown nightlife spot to follow; Friend from Palo Alto will be in town to help, but suggestions welcome***

Sunday:

This day is far less structured; general goals are:

~If either Mama's or Dottie's were convincing enough to try again, go to one for breakfast, if not save some money and eat at a market.

~Visit areas that we passed but didn't take time to see

~Golden Gate Park

~If we haven't been "viewed out" - go up Coit Tower

~Re-visit Chinatown if we decided not to go Friday due to possible rain

~Catch some of the Magic/Lakers Game #2(huge deal for us in Orlando) with a drink or two at TBD.

~Nice dinner - the plan is to get reservations @ Alioto's...my parents enjoyed it on their honeymoon 25 years ago. Read that it is still pretty good.

Monday:

Wake up, check out, and get to the BART and airport!

San Francisco
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1. Re: Trip itinerary for 6/5-6/7 for your review

Looks like you'll have a great time (what a keeper you are, *I'm* always the one doing the planning, BF just tags along!). Just a couple of comments:

1. It's not too easy to drag luggage on the cable car. I'd suggest taking BART to Embarcadero station and getting a cab up California St. Cab fare will be $6-7.

2. You probably only need 3 day Muni Passes. Don't use the cable car on Thursday, just the bus and pay the cash fare ($1.50).

3. After dessert at Ghiradelli, walk north 1 block and east 1 block to the Buena Vista for an Irish Coffee.

4. If you go to Golden Gate Park, another view option is the 9th floor observation tower of the deYoung musuem (free). It's also about the only public bathrooms available in the park -- well, certainly the nicest ones.

5. I'd rethink Alioto's. http://www.yelp.com/biz/aliotos-san-francisco The people who like it are from out of town. Besides, it's not crab season so what you get will be frozen or flown in from elsewhere. If it's seafood you're looking for, most restaurants do it. but for specifically seafood my fave is Hayes St. Grill at Civic Center. Also Aqua (pricey) and Farrallon (gets good reviews but I wasn't that thrilled with it -- also pricey).

6. Popular sports bar in the Marina is the Horseshoe on Chestnut. Down the street from there is the Thirsty Pig which has a big buzz. (I ate there and thought it only so-so but for cocktails it's great.) Catch the #30 Stockton on Stockton St. in Chinatown, on Columbus in North Beach or along North Point St. near Ghiradelli.

Have a great trip and come back with a report!

New Jersey
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2. Re: Trip itinerary for 6/5-6/7 for your review

If your party of 4 is arriving together, I would just take a cab from the airport directly to your hotel. I would purchase a 3-day MUNI pass on Friday versus the 7-day pass on Thursday if you are taking a cab.

I would skip Chinatown in favor of walking around Pacific Heights, Nob Hill, The Marina, Mission, or Haight-Asbury neighborhoods.

So much to see in so little time!

San Jose, California
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3. Re: Trip itinerary for 6/5-6/7 for your review

I 2nd the "skip chinatown" advice, the suggested alternatives are good, also check out North Beach (2nd time this hour I'm giving this advice) lots of good Italian restaurants, cafe's, shops, etc. Coit Tower is there, so is Mama's. It's right next to Chinatown, you could see them both. To me if you've seen one block of Chinatown, you've pretty much seen it all.

Orlando, Florida
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4. Re: Trip itinerary for 6/5-6/7 for your review

Thanks for all of the feedback.

I was surprised to hear about Chinatown. We are staying pretty close to it so hopefully we can make a quick run (my group won't trust me if we don't even take a look) and then move on. If it isn't anything that we're attached to then that will simply come off Sunday's list and we'll have more time for the other neighborhoods.

Re: The 3-day vs the 7-day MUNI. I am now debating that. As I wrote, the original plan was to MUNI our way from BART to hotel on Thurs and Monday making it a better purchase. But I definitely like the logic taking a bus or cab once we're in the city for a few dollars.

If we do that - we will then want to get 3 day MUNI passes first thing Friday morning because as I understand it if we get them from the machine at SFO on Thurs night they will only last through Saturday (3 days). Is that correct? And if so, where's the best place to obtain them Friday morning. We're staying at Stanford Court.

I'm on the fence about Alioto's. The reviews are mixed, but the good ones are very good and it seems like the first few bad reviews we read had specific servers to blame for the bad experience. I've taken care of that problem in the past and sometimes welcome the opportunity to do it again ;) The fact that my parents went there so long ago might make me still want to try and go - but the dinner is on Sunday so we should be able to assess on Friday and make reservations that day on Opentable mobile.

Thanks for the recommendation about the Tipsy Pig. I read the Yelp and am a little concerned. I like a party but am a little intimidated by possible rudeness of the staff. Seems to be a constant theme...and we will be there during the weekend. yelp.com/biz/…20pig

Reading up on Tipsy Pig gave me another question - what's the deal with "The Marina?" Some Yelpers said "I know everyone hates us Marina people, and while we're nice, this place gives you a reason to hate us" or something to that extent. Again - I love a party and letting loose with some drinks (especially with our cars across the country) - but maybe I'm missing something else about "Marina people"?

San Francisco
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5. Re: Trip itinerary for 6/5-6/7 for your review

1. Chinatown -- Do go and see it. It's best if you can take a walking tour but if you can't schedule it or don't have enough time, find a guidebook of walking tours (there are various ones). The area near Portsmouth Square is where the original village of Yerba Buena (to become SF) began. As the center of Chinese inhabitants, there is an amazing amount of history. It was a true ghetto, the Chinese were not allowed outside it at night and, if found on the "wrong" side of Broadway they were chased back (or worse). But, to appreciate it, it's more than just wandering down Grant Ave. and looking at the tourist shops. There's a lot of history in the few blocks that are Chinatown and to understand SF as it is today, it helps to get a flavor of its history.

2. Muni Passes

I believe you can buy the pass but not initiate it immediately. (You scratch off the consecutive days you want to use it.) The are available at the info desk at baggage claim at the airport (until 8pm). Check further, but I'm pretty sure you can buy them at their aiport and initiate it for the following day. (The passes are for consecutive calendar days. So it doesn't make much sense to come in late and use it that day.)

3. Alioto's -- I understand your sentimental reasons. Go for it.

4. There are a variety of different neighborhoods in the city and each has different characteristics. The Marina, not necessarily 100% accurate, has a yuppie/jock/frat image. The Mission has the artsy/edgy image. I went to the Pig over Memorial weekend (slower time, locals out of time) and it has a good vibe.

There are lots of bars on Chestnut and Union. Or, at Fillmore and Chestnut -- walk up Fillmore to the corner of Greenwhich for lots more (Balboa Cafe, Matrix and more). The Polk Gulch area has plenty spots too.

Have a great trip!

6. Re: Trip itinerary for 6/5-6/7 for your review

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