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HATE Tourist Traps, but Maybe Switch to Wharf Hotel?

Chicago, Illinois
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HATE Tourist Traps, but Maybe Switch to Wharf Hotel?

I normally eschew touristy hotel areas.

I have an August hotel res in Union Square. Two-night stop on road trip. Family with two teens. (We'll park our rental and not touch it. Even with pricey parking, it'll be significantly cheaper to keep it.)

But considering my emerging itinerary, I'm suddenly wondering if the Wharf (shudder) will be more EFFICIENT for this short stay.

MONDAY: late morning arrival, Mr. Toad 3-hour tour, right into Alcatraz night tour.

TUESDAY DEFINITELEY: GG Park, Chinatown, North Beach in evening. IF TIME: Haight-Ashubury or Japantown.

WEDNESDAY: the bike- the-bridge-Sausolito-ferry thing, depart around 7:00pm for Monterey.

I would normally say we enjoy exploring neighborhoods, architecture, indie shops, blending in, but it seems we're going full-throttle tourist on this trip.

D'ya think we should bite the (Wharf) bullet?

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San Francisco
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1. Re: HATE Tourist Traps, but Maybe Switch to Wharf Hotel?

As you point out, much of your planned activities center around the Wharf area. If you do choose the Wharf, I would suggest the Argonaut Hotel. It's on the west edge of the Wharf area and not in the heart of the schlocky part. It is also across the street from Aquatic Park (lawn and bay front) and the Hyde Street cable car turnaround.

http://www.argonauthotel.com/

As an alternative you might think about a place along Lombard Street. Yes, it is motel row, but you are only a block from Chestnut Street which is the heart of the Marina with lots of local flavor. You might look at the Cow Hollow or Cow Hollow Suites. You'll also get free parking!

This area is about 15 minutes bus ride from the Wharf, 20 or so to North Beach and Chinatown. You can catch a bus on Lombard that will take you to Golden Gate Park in 20 minutes also. And if you do go to the Haight, another bus will get you back from the east end of the Haight Ashbury neighborhood.

http://www.cowhollowmotorinn.com/

san francisco
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2. Re: HATE Tourist Traps, but Maybe Switch to Wharf Hotel?

Maybe you should embrace your inner tourist and go whole hog. Buy some bermuda shorts and a stupid hat and stay at the wharf.

Corona del Mar, CA
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3. Re: HATE Tourist Traps, but Maybe Switch to Wharf Hotel?

What Sal and Seismo said.... don't forget the knee length dark socks with the Bermuda shorts.

The Argonaut is great so is the Tuscan Inn.

kimptonhotels.com/hotels/hotels-sanfrancisco…

Edited: 10 June 2010, 22:48
Pacific Grove...
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4. Re: HATE Tourist Traps, but Maybe Switch to Wharf Hotel?

We stayed at the Sharaton there once and it was a short walk to China town, and north beach area. Not so bad

Santa Cruz...
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5. Re: HATE Tourist Traps, but Maybe Switch to Wharf Hotel?

I am going to disagree. It is easy to get to the Wharf area for your activities from Union Square, and then you have a more pleasant place to be in the evening and morning, with good restaurants. The restaurants at the Wharf are overpriced and the food is underwhelming. The atmosphere is VERY tourist oriented with cheap souvenir shops and buskers, etc.

You can get any kind of transportation you want from Union Square. Your Tuesday schedule works more efficiently from Union Square, also.

Chicago, Illinois
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6. Re: HATE Tourist Traps, but Maybe Switch to Wharf Hotel?

Cow Hollow, huh?

a. It's hard to say. Quick, say it five times.

b. I can get TWO rooms there (read: two bathrooms) for slightly more than the Donatello "studio."

c. Free parking means more money to purchase a fuschia and lime green velour sweat suit and a fanny pack.

Definitely tempting. I have a life-long weakness for cheap motels, much to my husband's dismay.

As is usual on TA, you've offered good - albeit conflicting - advice to chew on. Thank you!

Grover Beach...
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7. Re: HATE Tourist Traps, but Maybe Switch to Wharf Hotel?

Think about this:

How much time are really going to be in your hotel room? Why pay top dollar for something you'll hardly see? I have stayed at the Coventry Inn on Lombard Street several times and found the room to be clean, nicely decorated and the staff exceptionally friendly and accommodating. Sure, it isn't "close" to the action in terms of it being right outside the door of the hotel, but I have no problem with walking a mile or two to get to the sights. We even walked from The Coventry to Chinatown once! SF is a compact city with great public transit available to take you anywhere you want to go. And walking to FW via Fort Mason (and back) is just special. The return walk offers fab GGB views!

Edited: 11 June 2010, 03:12
Santa Cruz...
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8. Re: HATE Tourist Traps, but Maybe Switch to Wharf Hotel?

Well, I am still going to be the dissident. When I satay in San Francisco it doesn't matter to me how much time I will be spending in my hotel room...It matters to me what is adjacent to it.

I would not like to take an evening stroll on Lombard Street.

Grover Beach...
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9. Re: HATE Tourist Traps, but Maybe Switch to Wharf Hotel?

An evening stroll on Chesnutt Street ain't so bad.

Edited: 11 June 2010, 07:14
San Francisco...
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10. Re: HATE Tourist Traps, but Maybe Switch to Wharf Hotel?

Union Square and Fisherman's Wharf is only 1.5 miles apart. I don't think it matter that much. Do what you like to do. If you hate tourist trap, there are plenty of things to hate around Fisherman's Wharf. Argonaut Hotel and the sea view is really nice though.

Edited: 11 June 2010, 21:18