We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Need help with 1 1/2-day itinerary

Which San Francisco hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
Hendersonville, NC
Level Contributor
644 posts
Save Topic
Need help with 1 1/2-day itinerary

Hi,

I will be arriving in San Fran on the afternoon of Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012 as part of a month-long road trip from western North Carolina, and am trying to hammer out some rough itineraries for each stop. Unfortunately, I've had to trim a day off my stay in San Fran and now will only have a day and a half in your great city, so I need help trying to figure what to fit in.

I'll be spending the previous night in Fort Bragg and leaving early in the morning to drive straight down, other than a lunch stop in Marshall for some BBQ oysters, thus probably arriving at the GG Bridge around mid-afternoon. Will be staying with friends of friends, though not sure where exactly they live in the city, and will be leaving Saturday morning.

With such a short time frame, I've got just a few goals: 1. Do the Anchor Brewing tour (a main theme for my road trip); 2. Visit on, and around, the GG Bridge; 3. ride a cable car; 4. Just walk around checking out some of the highlights of the city, and maybe slip in a short run along the water. Any suggestions on how to break all this up?

Do you think, since I'll already be coming over the bridge Thursday afternoon, to just stop there before crossing, park, and spend a few hours on and around the bridge for some great photos late in the day (sunset is 7:10 p.m. that day), then just check in at my frieds' place, have a nice dinner and call it an evening? Then, get up early Friday and spend the day exploring the city? If so, suggestions on what to check out? If I get there early enough before the crowds, should I do the Powell-Hyde cable car line? It's not on their website, but I heard somewhere that the Anchor tours are 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. (if so, I'll do the 1 p.m.). The brewery is on Mariposa Street, which looks a bit off the beaten track between two highways ... is this walkable from, say, the Union Square area?

Thanks for any help you can provide!

San Francisco
Level Contributor
36,629 posts
27 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Need help with 1 1/2-day itinerary

The Anchor Steam brewery is not walkable from Union Square. There aren't a lot of buse routes that pass by.

However, before getting into transit, these tours are by reservation only and from what I understand they book up in advance: have you contacted them for a reservation? www.anchorbrewing.com/about_us/tourinfo.htm

Edited: 21 August 2011, 01:40
Lassen National...
Level Contributor
2,630 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Need help with 1 1/2-day itinerary

Two run ideas:

1. Best early am-- along Embarcadero past Aquatic Park through nice dirt path along Crissy Field to GG Bridge.

2. Golden Gate Park to the Pacific along the Great Highway.

Edited: 21 August 2011, 01:48
Hendersonville, NC
Level Contributor
644 posts
Save Reply
3. Re: Need help with 1 1/2-day itinerary

Hey Traveling Runner ... figured I'd get some help from you on the running part ... :-) ... those, however, appear to be LONG runs. For this part of my trip, a simple 3-miler will suffice. Guess I'll start at Embarcadero and just see where, and how far, my legs take me.

Thanks RamblinSal ... yes, I knew Anchor booked way in advance. They start taking reservations six months in advance, so I'll be booking my spot in March. So, any suggestions on how I can get there? I'll crawl if I have to ... :-)

For anyone else who'd like to chime in ... would cable car ride from Powell-Hyde be a good way to start my one full day in the city? I see it terminates at Fisherman's Wharf. I don't think I have a desire to spend any time there, but maybe I could run from there to Ferry Building, unless you can suggest a spot to jump off from cable car and explore a bit? And, on a Friday, if I get there right when they open, would there be much of a line yet?

Thanks!

Richmond, VA
Level Contributor
295 posts
13 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Need help with 1 1/2-day itinerary

Ok. I am heading to the Bay area for the umteenth time next week.... Here are some ideas:

Before you head into the city on the GG bridge, actually before you get on the bridge, there is a nice overlook/kodak moment area on the left. Get out, take the pictures, then head over to the other side of the road and go up a bit and park. There should be signs. There was a old fort on the right hand side and remnants remain but the view....OMG! And hardly any tourists! Regarding the cable cars...there is one that goes by Lombard St....and everyone jumps up to see the crookedest street.....which is fun. Also, if you take the one to the wharf, be sure to run by the pier to see the sea lions. The cable car museum was cool (and free) and a walk through China Town is all you need to get the flavor of that part of the city. I have done Alcatraz with kids and before kids....and HIGHLY recommend it. Do the nighttime tour, you get some extra perks like the hospital area if you request it, and time it so that you return back on the boat at around sunset. You will get the best view of the city. I can't emphasize enough to get your tickets early for Alcatraz. Don't expect to walk up and get tickets for that day or the next. You can get them online months before. The last time I was there with my kids, we easily did SF in a day/night. We did a Giant's game instead of a Brewery ;)

Edited: 21 August 2011, 04:42
Hendersonville, NC
Level Contributor
644 posts
Save Reply
5. Re: Need help with 1 1/2-day itinerary

Great post, Keewart, and a big help. Thanks so much. I had pretty much ruled out Alcatraz because of time constraints but I just may give it a go. Duly noted about getting tix in advance ... heck, even the Anchor Brewing tour books up months in advance so I'll make sure to get tix for both in plenty of time.

As for GG Bridge, that amazing spot you refer to for photos before coming over the bridge, is that Conzelman Road? Found a good website that talks about three viewpoints along Conzelman Road - Battery Spencer, Kirby Cove and Hawk Hill. I may just hang out in this area for a couple hours as the sun begins to set.

Anyway, thanks again and have a wonderful trip next week.

San Francisco
Level Contributor
36,629 posts
27 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Need help with 1 1/2-day itinerary

Sorry, I missed the "2012" part of your post (or I'm dyslexic, one or the other). The best option from Union Square is to walk a bit to 2nd St. and pick up the 10-Townsend and get off at 17th and DeHaro. Anchor Steam is at 17th and Mariposa is just a block away. This is the only option that doesn't include a change of bus.

Mileage from the Ferry Building (approx): 1 Pier 31; 2 Anchorage Shopping Center; 3 Marina Safeway; 4 Beginning of Crissy Field; 5 West Beach; 5.5 Fort Point. This can help also: http://tinyurl.com/3de9efp

Lassen National...
Level Contributor
2,630 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Need help with 1 1/2-day itinerary

I missed that too. We have to wait that long for a trip report):

Richmond, VA
Level Contributor
295 posts
13 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Need help with 1 1/2-day itinerary

I will try to get the specifics of the viewing areas on the Sausalito side when we cross next week. You really can't miss it. As you head TOWARD Sausalito, the very public viewing area will be on your right...there is a sign...and folks set up cameras to watch the fog roll out (and in). It could be a long wait for the sun ;) . You won't see the parking lot for the view on the other side, but there are signs.

Don't forget...and I can't remember who said it...."the coldest winter "he" had ever spent was a July in San Francisco." Bring appropriate cool clothing. Funny story: on my husbands first trip to SF we went to Candlestick Park to see the Giants play somebody. We got there early and as we watched people stroll from the parking lot, in their DOWN coats, hats, blankets, etc...I realized we were doomed to be cold that evening with only our sweaters. (It was Labor Day weekend!) On a bike, high on a bridge, it could get rather nippy! I am dying to walk the bridge (I did the Brooklyn Bridge two years ago), but it won't be this trip with my 92 year old aunt!

Edited: 22 August 2011, 15:14
santa rosa, ca
Level Contributor
668 posts
1 review
Save Reply
9. Re: Need help with 1 1/2-day itinerary

Yes, Conzelman Rd. is the last exit before you drive onto the Golden Gate Bridge coming down from Ft. Bragg on Hwy. 101. The road winds up along the hills of the Marin Headlands and the area is known as The Golden Gate National Recreation Area or GGNRA. It has spectacular views of the bridge, San Francisco and the bay....beautiful place to take pictures. However, if the fog is heavy, don't bother as you will not see a thing.

santa rosa, ca
Level Contributor
668 posts
1 review
Save Reply
10. Re: Need help with 1 1/2-day itinerary

Yes, Conzelman Rd. is the last exit before you drive onto the Golden Gate Bridge coming down from Ft. Bragg on Hwy. 101. The road winds up along the hills of the Marin Headlands and the area is known as The Golden Gate National Recreation Area or GGNRA. It has spectacular views of the bridge, San Francisco and the bay....beautiful place to take pictures. However, if the fog is heavy, don't bother as you will not see a thing.