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Please comment on my itinerary for March

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Danville
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Please comment on my itinerary for March

My family (two teens, husband and I) will be in SF for 5 days in March. I've never even been in CA, so this will be quite the adventure for us. Would anyone like to comment on my tentative itinerary/questions below? Thanks so much!

FYI...we will be flying in and NOT renting a car. We are staying at the Hyatt Regency, which is near the Embarcadero. We like a mixture of sight-seeing scenery and actual activities, especially the latter. Kids are 17 and 14 (girl,boy). I plan on getting a Muni pass for transportation.

Friday the 23rd--land at 10am, take cab to hotel. What should we do this day? I know we will be starving and will be in need of some activity. A trolley ride somewhere maybe?

Saturday--I have tickets for the nighttime tour of Alcatraz. Plan on going early to look for sea lions, etc. How should we get to/from here? I thought this would be a good day to explore Chinatown--is it okay to walk here from our hotel? Are weekends better or worse than weekends?

Sunday--I plan to go to the Magic show at teh Marrekech Theater at 6:30pm. Are bike tours across the Golden Gate better on the weekends, or week days? How long do they take, in general? We would go to Sausalito, too and take the Ferry back. I was planning on doing this today, but can move it to Tuesday if week days are better.

Monday--We pllan on taking a tour (Dylanstours) around the city and to Muir Woods (which we really want to see). This will take 6 hours or so. What to do in the evening?

Tuesday--This is our "free" day. I can move the bike trip and/or Chinatown trip here. Also, we could get CityPasses, and take advantage of some of the museums, etc. on this day. If weather is bad earlier in the trip, this might be a make-up day.

Wednesday--flight at 2pm, so I'm guessing we'll have to leave hotel by 10-11am.

Any helpful comments are welcome! Thanks for your time. :)

San Francisco...
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1. Re: Please comment on my itinerary for March

I am sure your family will have a great time in SF. As a rule on weekdays as with any city there is more vehicular traffic around the city and specially in the Financial district whereas on weekends there are more bikes and people around the bridge and in touristy areas. Overall crowds on weekends in March will be lower than what you see on weekends during Summer.

I would recommend you check in on the day you arrive and walk across the Embarcadero to the Ferry Building and you will go crazy with the variety of food and the different cafes and "stalls" there. Perhaps you can take the F to Fisherman's wharf and get that place out of the way. The same F muni will take you to the start of the Alcatraz ferry. It is enroute.

I would suggest you take care of Dylan's on day 2. That way you can re-visit the places you want to spend more time in on the other days as well as do the bike ride. With Kids you should check out the Exploratorium and if you like the museums in Golden Gate park which included the Ca Academy of Sciences. The museums will be less packed on weekdays in general

Have a look at google maps to see where you staying wrt the places you want to walk to. Certainly Chinatown, Union Square and up and down the Embarcadero are places you can walk to. You may want to go South on the Embarcadero and check out AT&T park the home of the Giants -- though as you know the season would not have started.

Lassen National...
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2. Re: Please comment on my itinerary for March

You'll love the Hyatt Regency--great location.

One possibility for your arrival day: Get checked in & then walk along the waterfront toward Fisherman's Wharf. First grab some food & drink at the Ferry Building right across from your hotel. If you walk all the way to Fisherman's Wharf you could take a cable car to California & Powell from Aquatic Park. Then you could board the California/Powell cable car down to your hotel & have a short break before your Alcatraz trip.

There is also a trolley along Market to Fisherman's Wharf if you didn't want to walk the entire route.

San Francisco
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3. Re: Please comment on my itinerary for March

I think heading over the bridge on bikes is better on a weekday. Bikes are supposed to use the west sidewalk on weekends, which means your view and pictures back towards the city are across the lanes of traffic. On weekdays pedestrians and bikes share the east sidewalk. Without stops the ride takes a bit over an hour, maybe 90 minutes, from Fisherman's Wharf. But the views are great all the way along the bayside and on the Marin side as well, so plan to stop as often as possible.

I agree that doing the tour as early as possible during your stay is the best idea so if you see something you'd like to revisit, you still have time.

From the Regency, the easiest way to Chinatown is the California Street cable car, practically at the front door of the Hyatt. Get off at Grant and start exploring.

And absolutely make time for the Exploratorium.

Danville
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4. Re: Please comment on my itinerary for March

I thought about taking the tour earlier in the trip, but everything I've read says how crowded Muir Woods is on the weekends, so I thought I should avoid a tour on those days. Is this true?

Thanks for all of your comments!

San Francisco...
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5. Re: Please comment on my itinerary for March

Yes Muir Woods is crowded but more so in Summer than during March when it will still be quite cool there. The issue is more for people who drive there and try and find parking. It is rather hard during the main part of the day. Since you are not driving you should be ok.

Danville
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6. Re: Please comment on my itinerary for March

Thanks for your help! We are not going to Alcatraz on our arrival day, but on the 2nd day. We have nothing specific planned for day one, just recovering from Jet Lag ( We will have to leave our home at 2am to make our flight...we cross over a time zone to each the airport, and then: cross back again while in flight). Updated itinerary:

Friday--arrive at 10am...

Saturday--explore? Alcatraz at 6pm

Sunday--1/2 day tour (Muir Woods), Magic show at 6:30

Monday/Tuesday--bike across Golden Gate/Visit Exploratorium (will base which day depending on weather).

Other suggestions? THANKS!

San Francisco
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7. Re: Please comment on my itinerary for March

What do you like to do? I agree with the suggestion to go to the Ferry Building to get something for lunch when you arrive. If you like to walk, you can go to the Levi Plaza area (within walking distance of your hotel) and walk up the Filbert steps to Coit Tower. The steps afford you great views of the bay and of eclectic houses and gardens on Telegraph Hill. I ran up them a couple of times to train for a hike and I was very impressed. You could then tour Coit Tower and walk back down the other side to North Beach. Stroll through North Beach (maybe stopping for a pastry or coffee) and walk back.

A spectacular walk if you have a clear day is from Sea Cliff to Sutro Baths on the Lands End trail. (I believe it is called that.) I am not sure how to get to the start by public transportation, probably the 1 California, but someone could advise you. You could end your walk with a drink at the Cliff House or a cup of soup at the shack nearer to the baths. I think the walk is about two miles. You could visit the Legion of Honor museum along the way.

On the biking, the weekday suggestion is a good idea, since that will give you views of the city, although you will have to ride very slowly and carefully to avoid pedestrians. I am not sure where you will rent bikes, but I would recommend taking the path along the water (starting at Marina green), and you can continue to the fort underneath the Golden Gate, before heading uphill to the bridge. You will want to allow plenty of time to enjoy the views along the way.

Does your family like baseball? You could go on a tour of AT&T park.

Or you could pick a neighborhood to visit and walk around. You might like the mansions near the Presidio (on Broadway and that vicinity) or the views from the top of the Lyon St. steps in that area, for example, or maybe you would like to visit the Mission. There even are free walking tours of different areas. (Hopefully someone else can tell you how to find them. I just know that I seem them on the weekends near my apartment.)

Golden Gate Park is worth visiting, too.

Danville
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8. Re: Please comment on my itinerary for March

Thanks again. This information is very helpful!

Fishers, Indiana
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9. Re: Please comment on my itinerary for March

My 16-year-old son and I arrived in San Francisco on a Saturday then did Dylan's Tour on Sunday morning/afternoon and the Alcatraz Night Tour Sunday evening.

Dylan stopped for about 90 minutes at Muir Woods. There were a lot of people at Muir Woods but most did not walk that far back down the trails. I didn't feel like we missed on anything because of the crowds. I would guess the March crowds will be less than the late July crowds, but that is purely a guess.

It was nice to get the tour done on our first full day. Helped us understand the lay of the land.

I can recommend the Ferry Building for a meal when you arrive - we stayed a few blocks up California from you at The Omni and our first meal was the Ferry Building.

Do yourself a favor and don't make the same mistake we did before our Alcatraz cruise - understand where you want to eat and make sure you get a good meal. We didn't know where we wanted to go and on a Sunday night couldn't find anything open in the immediate vicinity and ate at the snack bar at the Pier - not recommended.

10. Re: Please comment on my itinerary for March

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