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First time visitors to San Francisco.

Swansea S.Wales
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207 posts
153 reviews
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First time visitors to San Francisco.

Hi, we are planning on visiting California early in September and intend spending 5 nights in SF before heading off to explore Yosemite, Big Sur, Monterey etc (I also intend studying their forum pages soon). Firstly though I need to get our SF base booked and think probably around Union Sq sounds central but am finding that quite a few of the hotels I like the look of don't necessarily have A/C or safes/security boxes in the bedrooms? I note that it can be cooler in SF than other parts of California so wonder if A/C isn't so necessary maybe? I'd also prefer in-room security so we don't have to carry our passports with us all the time. I feel like I'm going round in circles looking at the moment so would welcome any suggestions. Thanks.

San Francisco Bay
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1. Re: First time visitors to San Francisco.

Yes, even though Sept. can be one of our best weather months, it always cools down to at least 60, or even 55 degrees F. At night. Any warm weather spell usually lasts only 3 days anyway, so you will probably have good touring weather. Be sure to have jackets and hats for any bay cruise or oceanside area. Same weather holds for Monterey too!

Perhaps you would be comfortable with leaving your passports in the hotel's safe deposit box?

Do book Monterey/Carmel/Pacific Grove soon too!

Edited: 27 July 2013, 23:52
San Francisco
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2. Re: First time visitors to San Francisco.

As above, it's rarely warm enough here for A/C ... which is why so many buildings don't have it. I've lived here for more decades than I care to think about and have never had it ... even in a west facing building!

Most of the boutique hotels at Union Square are in older buildings and do not have A/C. If you require it you will be (generally) limited to the newer/modern/chain hotels. Although I do believe the Hotel Rex has some rooms with A/C.

I may be the odd one but I carry my passport with me at all times when travelling.

San Jose, CA
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3. Re: First time visitors to San Francisco.

Technically if you are not a US citizen or US permanent resident you must always carry your passport with a valid I-94 with you. If you are a US permanent resident you must always have your "Green Card" with you.

Ontario, Canada
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4. Re: First time visitors to San Francisco.

What is an I-94?

nottingham
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5. Re: First time visitors to San Francisco.

We stopped at the Grand Hyatt in Union Sq and they had safes In rooms. We were there In Sept and did not need air con.

London
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6. Re: First time visitors to San Francisco.

I'm in San Francisco now and it's freezing!! Well - cold (colder than London where we've just come from). Def won't need air con :-)

Singapore, Singapore
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7. Re: First time visitors to San Francisco.

We will be in Sfo in November. We won't need aircon but will the hotels have heating?

San Francisco
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8. Re: First time visitors to San Francisco.

Yes -- there will be heat.

Swansea S.Wales
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207 posts
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9. Re: First time visitors to San Francisco.

Thanks everyone for your advice - we've now booked our hotel so can get on with planning the itinerary so no doubt I'll be posting more questions very soon! I've been reading some posts on here about Goldstar.com which is a new site to me, is it OK? I'm hoping to book discount tickets for Beach Blanket Babylon but they're sold out at the moment so I'll either have to pay full price or try the TKTS booth when we get there? If we do that, are any nights that may be quieter than others and therefore more likely to be discounted?

The other thing I need to book asap I think is the Alcatraz tour as I believe they sell out quickly too - I had thought of doing the evening tour but someone has told me that the fog tends to come in during the afternoon so maybe morning would be better?

San Frantastic
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30 reviews
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10. Re: First time visitors to San Francisco.

Goldstar.com is great! It's a very trustworthy site for discounted tickets to all sorts of shows/things to do.

Definitely book Alcatraz NOW! I think that a first time visitor would prefer to see it in the daytime, but it's up to you. Could be foggy no matter what time of day. I haven't seen the sun in over a week!