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First time to San Francisco

Sydney, Australia
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First time to San Francisco

My wife and I are travelling to San Francisco in April and would like recommendations of must see places or experiences we should not miss. We have booked Alcatraz and looking forward to photographing the bridge. I would also like to try American BBQ for the first time if possible and possibly catch an A's game as the Giants are not at home the week we are there. Would it be worth going to an A's game? We are staying in Union Square.. any advice would be great.

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Melbourne
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1. Re: First time to San Francisco

Hi Daniel,

On the right-hand-side of the screen are top questions for SF, the fourth one down is "What to do and see in SF?" and it's a great start for your research. And further down the page are San Francisco trip ideas.

I would also recommend walking or biking across the GGB and a visit to Sausalito. I'd also recommend a visit to Muir Woods, from memory when we were there one year the bus dropped us off in Sausalito and then we took the ferry back under the GGB which was pretty cool. I have a feeling that that was an organised tour and I think there are non-pre-booked tour options these days.

I think if you have time you should also visit Golden Gate Park, the Legion of Honour, Coit Tower, Chinatown, the "Painted Ladies" at Alamo Square, the Ferry Building (and the weekend - I think - market opposite), Lombard Street (not all of it, but definitely the "crookedest street in the world" bit), and you should ride a cable car. Also there is the cable car museum which my husband and I really loved - but we are into quirky things like that. More info here: http://www.cablecarmuseum.org/

And there's also Fisherman's Wharf, yes it's touristy and tacky and with lots of very crappy souvenirs (and some very odd people) but it's worth a look, you could probably do that before you take your Alcatraz trip. It's not traditionally a tourist attraction, but I also like a wander through Little Italy and a visit to North Beach Pizza. You could combine this with Coit Tower depending on which way you approach the tower.

Other than that, let us know what you really like doing and you'll get better suggestions.

Hong Kong, China
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for Holiday Travel, Food and Travel, Macau
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2. Re: First time to San Francisco

Hello Daniel N,

You are in for a treat as this particular forum has one of the better organised and supported forums in all of Tripadvisor. The forum regulars and destination experts will offer some incredibly helpful advice and suggestions for you. However, you can give them hand by producing a rough draft of the itinerary you ar thinking of first. From there they can better assist and help you fine tune your intended plans for your time in San Francisco .

To help get you started with your initial trip planning, I'm forwarding you a trip list we compiled with our favorite areas (with many of our favorite attractions) in San Francisco that has proven useful to TA members in the past in starting their own trip research. Have a look if helpful.

San Francisco Top Attractions (Our favorites)

tripadvisor.com/GoListDetail-i32104-San_Fran…

After you come up with your rough plan do post it here so that the local experts can offer their thoughts and ideas.

Hope this is useful and that you've a great time in San Francisco.

San Francisco...
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3. Re: First time to San Francisco

Check out Hi-LO BBQ and yes the As game will be a fun game as well. They are a good team and have some excellent hitters and you can get decent tickets on their website and take BART to the game

Great advise from our friends in the prev posts Thanks guys

Edited: 10 April 2013, 14:33
San Francisco
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4. Re: First time to San Francisco

A's games are also easy to get to from Union Square via BART. Use the Powell St. BART station to Coliseum and then it's an easy walk to the stadium (just follow the crowd). It would be a good idea to purchase a BART ticket with round trip value so you don't have to stop at the fare machine on the way back.

BBQ isn't a San Francisco specialty although belo is very locked into the dining scene in town.

Good suggestions above. Thanks for the kind words, BradJill.

Adelaide, Australia
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5. Re: First time to San Francisco

Enjoy San Fran. It is such a Fantastic city. I miss it everyday : )

California
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6. Re: First time to San Francisco

Personally, I would skip the A's game unless you are a big baseball fan. Although they have a good team, the ballpark is very old, rundown and probably one of the least scenic in all of MLB. The walk from BART to the ball park gives an awful impression, especially for a visitor (Hep C anyone?). If you have time on your hands and want to get out of SF, by all means catch a ballgame. Just don't expect to be "wowed" like you would attending a Giants game.

San Jose, California
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7. Re: First time to San Francisco

I would also skip the A's game for the reasons above, and because baseball is boring. Ok, sorry, I know lots of people like it. It just seems like there are lots of better ways to spend your time.

For BBQ I like Memphis Mini's at 576 Haight St

Sydney, Australia
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8. Re: First time to San Francisco

Thanks for the information and it does help to form an idea of what we would like to do. Possibly to be more? My wife is currently pregnant and that does restrict us with a few of the activities I would have normally liked to do, therefore we need to approach the holiday in a more relaxed manner. We arrive on Sunday and leave Friday and so far we are thinking of the following; Arrive Sunday and just get our bearings. Monday possibly take a tour of Muir Woods and Sausalito. Tuesday we are booked in on the early tour of Alcatraz. Wednesday we were thinking of seeing the A's play at 12.30pm only because I have an interest in sport, however I have not been that big a fan of baseball and would rather see an NFL game. Unfortunately NFL is not on and I don't want to have the regret of not experiencing the sporting culture at a live fixture in America. This seems to be the closest event, would it be worth it or a waste of time? I hate basketball as well. Other than this I am keen to photograph the Bridge with the fog rolling in if at all possible (when would be the best time?) I do like photography and understand Lombard st is worth seeing. We would also like to visit the area with the Italian restaurants and do a little bit of shopping. Any other suggestions would be great and normally on a holiday we like to experience life as the locals do so any suggestions on restaurants, pubs and cafes would be great. Much appreciated!!

Stoke on Trent...
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9. Re: First time to San Francisco

I've just dropped into the forum for the first time in a while and seen your post.

If you like photography, you may enjoy Fort Point, under the GG bridge at the city end. There are lots of different shapes to be seen and a different perspective of the bridge.

To take the bridge, try going along the Conzelman Road on the Marin Headlands. Park at Battery Spencer and you will be able to take the short walk to the end and a good view of the bridge from a higher vantage point. There are laybys all along the Conzelman Road and various places to hike to to get a vantage point of your choosing.

If you want to photograph the cable cars and you have a DSLR with different lenses, bring a longer lens to compress the perspective and emphasise the steepness of the hills. I'd recommend fairly early in the day as there are a lot of tourists who seem to like taking their life into their hands, jumping out in the road to get their shot. I've seen photographers with tripods doing the same thing! Getting photos of the cable cars without tourists all over, isn't easy but can be achieved with patience (a lot of it LOL). I chuckle to myself as we are someone elses "tourist in the way". Below is a link to give you some ideas, there are two SF galleries there.

…smugmug.com/MY-MOMENTS-IN-TIME/TRAVEL

San Francisco...
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10. Re: First time to San Francisco

Www.sfgate.com/neighborhoods has info on the various parts of town. Read the trip reports and top questions for ideas on what to see and do. Perhaps Dylans tour on day 1 will be good to cover Muir Sausalito and SF. Fog is more of a June time event but one can get fog early as well.

Edited: 13 April 2013, 18:39