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SF itinerary

West Mids
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SF itinerary

Hi Folks

I've been on previously to get a feel for things to do etc. We're mostly booked up, so my wife and I will be heading over to celebrate our 40th B'Days on the evening of Saturday 19th May. We then have accomodation in Union Square booked until Tuesday, so 3 nights, 3 full days to spare before heading on down the coast to Santa Cruz.

We fancy seeing the sights, buildings, parks, fun stuff to do and some decent restaurants after a hard days sight-seeing. We've come up with the following, but would of course appreciate some advice from the SF experts, as it doesn't feel like it "works":

Sunday/Day 1

Walking round Union Square Area, Chinatown and Dragon Gate, Nob Hill and Grace Cathederal, Russian Hill, Lombard St, then cable car back to Union Square and out to eat

Monday/Day 2

Walking round TransAmerican Pyramid, Ferry Building then Bart upto Telegraph Hill and Coit Tower, Fishermans Wharf (lunch?) then Alcatraz Night Tour booked for 6pm

Tuesday/Day 3

City Hall and Yerba Buena Gardens, SFMOMA then drive upto Haight Ashbury/Mission Dolores then onto Santa Cruz.

The biggest problems we have are fitting in Presidio and Golden Gate Bridge, Pacific Heights - Spreckles Mansion, Golden Gate Park/Twin Peaks. And is it worth trying to squeeze in Ghirardeli Square?

Help appreciated.

San Francisco...
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1. Re: SF itinerary

Day 1. Russian Hill is a nice neighborhood. You can walk through that area but I'm not sure I would make it as a place to walk around and see

Day 2. The area around TransAmerica is the Financial district and perhaps spending time in North Beach and then walking up to Coit tower and you could then walk down the Filbert Steps and go left to FW (next to it is Ghiradelli Square) or go right to the Ferry Building. You could do one area and then take the F streetcar to the other area. A map would help you plan your route in detail.( BART should be no where in the picture. It is great to get to and from SFO and perhaps Union Square to Mission or to the SF East Bay)

Day 3 when you have the car you can do the Twin Peaks and drive through Pacific heights to the Presidio, Golden Gate bridge and then drive South through the Park and 19th avenue to Highway 280

Edited: 21 March 2012, 22:06
San Francisco
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2. Re: SF itinerary

Rather than walking about (perhaps aimlessly looking at things) on your own, I'd suggest checking out one or two of the excellent (and free!) walking tours put on by City Guides. The guides are volunteer and do what they do for the love and passion they have for the city and the desire to share it with others. I've been on a couple and well worth it. (They will pass an envelope at the end which defrays the expenses of the wesbite, a few dollars if you enjoyed the tour would be sufficient.)

If you can reconfigure your Monday to do City Hall that day there are free tours of City Hall (I think 10, 12, and 2) as well as an excellent tour of the Performing Arts Center (Symphony Hall, Opera House and little jewel box that is Herbst Theater) on Mondays on the hour between 10 and 2. If luck is with you, RamblinSal may be your guide!! $7 adults/$5 senior.

San Francisco...
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3. Re: SF itinerary

Cost of a Muni Ride in SF $2, Cost of a cable car ride - one way $6, A guided tour of the Performing Arts Center with RamblinSal as your guide -- Priceless !!

Palo Alto, CA
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4. Re: SF itinerary

I'd combine the days 1 and 2: cable car to Ghiradelli, walk along the waterfront (Fisherman's Wharf, Pier 39) and back via Coit Tower, Chinatown, etc. Day 2 you can get over to Golden Gate Park and finish up in time for the Alcatraz tour. I'm not sure why anyone would want to spend time in the financial district (pyramid building, etc)

If you're not in a hurry, I'd take 1 to Santa Cruz. That way, you can avoid miserable highway 17, get some picturesque ocean views, and stop in places like Pacifica and Pescadero (goat farm!).

San Francisco, Ca
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5. Re: SF itinerary

>>as it doesn't feel like it "works":<<

What is it your gut is telling you doesn't work... too much/too little each day, scattered geographically, something else?

Day 1 - if you wanted to set a fairly fast pace, you could probably add in the Financial District/Pyramid and the Ferry Building or SFMOMA and Yerba Buena Gardens.

Day 2 - You could do Pacific Heights/Spreckles Mansion, then the Presidio and Golden Gate Bridge. (This portion would actually be easier with a car.) Have lunch in North Beach, then go to Fisherman's Wharf/Ghirardelli Square before Alcatraz.

Day 3 - Drive by Civic Center, Mission Dolores, and Twin Peaks en route to Haight Ashbury, then Golden Gate Park. (This will take several hours, especially if you get out of the car to explore. Plan on arriving in Santa Cruz late in the day.)

West Mids
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6. Re: SF itinerary

Hi Folks

Thanks for the helpful suggestions. I guess it feels like we're trying to do too much, on paper at least, especially without knowing the full scale involved.

But with some of the above suggestions it seems we can make it work fairly well.

Are there any highlights we're missing out on that should be a "must"?

Thanks

Melbourne, Australia
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7. Re: SF itinerary

scottish id take a oneday bus coach tour of the sights and spend a full day and a half at fishermans wharf, i havent been there for years but my research shows me that a lot of attractions are close together inc alcatraz, golden gate bridge wharf and pier 39 could be seen in half aday, and ghiradelli sq is also at fish wharf

West Mids
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8. Re: SF itinerary

Hadn't actually considered a bus tour, as we tend to walk a lot and there are of course the cable cars.

We are now considering a bus tour to see the main sights/neighbourhoods on day one, leaving us more time to do North Beach and cycle the bridge day two, then do the GG Park and a few remaining sites by car day 3 before we head off. What bus companies would you recommend?

We've not started checking evening entertainment yet, but would welcome some suggestions on that also.

Edited: 24 March 2012, 14:35
Livingston, United...
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9. Re: SF itinerary

Hi we are off to SF in 4 weeks had Mr toads booked for the city tour due to superior reviews but as they have now just shut up shop I have booked cable car city tours through gold star worked out at $16 each, for evening entertainment I have booked Beach Blanket Babylon which seems to get good reviews, plus have tickets for a basket ball game over in Oakland and the punchline comedy club in SF that being said might be too tired with all the walking, as we have a taste the mission tour booked and walk the Castro tour booked as well

Melbourne, Australia
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10. Re: SF itinerary

guys also worth considering is the san francisco city pass,its worth it just for the unlimited cable car and muni rides, i will be there in december and for only $300 pn taxes inc will be staying at the argonaut hotel which looks a fantastic base, bike rentals adjacent to the hotel and if you check out google street search you can do the virtual walk which is incredibly helpful to see whats around you