First off, thanks so much to everyone for all the advice and suggestions. We've lurked for a quite a while and it's really helped to build our trip.
We are planning on visiting SF Oct 22 - 29 but will be heading to Monterrey as DH has business meetings on the 26 & 27. We are in our late 30's and I will be 6.5 months pregnant at that time so this will be our last trip before the baby arrives!! We want to see the sights of SF, do a bit of shopping and enjoy some good food. My husband is into jazz so if there are any recommendations of jazz venues, that would be appreciated.
Since we only have about 5 days in SF, we've narrowed down the sights to the following:
• Alcatraz – Early bird tour – are there any discounts or coupons for Alcatraz Cruises or are we stuck with the $26 per person?
• Fisherman’s wharf – especially USS Pampanito and SS Jeremiah O'Brien
• Ghirardelli Square
• Golden Gate Bridge and Park (more seeing it rather than walking it)
• Union square – shopping
• Chinatown – dim sum for lunch
• Alamo Square and Painted Ladies
• Lombard Street
• Cable car museum
• Soup Dumplings (Xiao Long Bao) – I know this seems odd but we were first introduced to these in NYC and LOVED them! We are thinking of trying Kingdom of Dumpling but it looks to be a bit out of the way.
We might do a hop on-hop off tour due to my pregnancy.
My biggest question is hotel location. We are leaning towards Union Square as it seems to be pretty central for getting around. We typically use Priceline in our travels. I’ve heard of betterbidding.com so checked them out. It seems to be a forum with advice on using hotwire and priceline. Even with priceline, it looks like hotels are going for $150 – 190 in the Union Square area. What is the difference between Union Sq East and West? Is there a less expensive area? All we really care about is a hotel that is close to public transportation, clean, safe and comfortable. Any chance of getting anything under a $100/night since we aren’t going in high season?
We are renting a car to drive to Monterey and the cheapest place I could find was San Bruno. We are fine with the commute out (looks to be about 40 minutes by BART). We saved over $150 by going outside the city. The rate we got was $215 for 3 days (intermediate size car with GPS).
Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated.