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best area

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best area

My husband and I will be in San Francisco for just one night in January. We are looking for an area that gives us a taste of San Francisco's charm. We have looked into Union Square, but we are not interested in shopping big department stores etc. We would love to stay in an area with cable cars and fun areas to walk and explore. Any ideas? Thanks!!

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1. Re: best area

If cable cars are a must, then you'll want to stay in the north-east section of the city. Here's a map of the cable cars lines and the corresponding neighborhoods.

living-in-sanfrancisco.net/wp-content/upload…

(there are different versions of this map; I googled "cable car map san francisco")

Everyone has different preferences on their favorite neighborhoods. Here's the local newspaper's low-down.

http://www.sfgate.com/neighborhoods/

You can always stay in a different neighborhood that's close by, like Pacific Heights, and then walk to the cable cars. (not sure how often you'll want to ride them. It's possible that once is enough)

Have fun!

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2. Re: best area

Union Square is still your best bet. Especially with just one night you don't want to be in some residential area without restaurants nearby, etc. Besides which, there are no hotels in areas like that.

Two cable car lines run on Powell Street and there are lots of restaurants in the area as well. While the Square itself has Macy's and Saks, it's not like a mall. As the city isn't large, you can walk to Chinatown and North Beach easily from the Square. Or -- if you don't mind a hill -- up to Nob Hill and check out Grace Cathedral. Or hop on the Hyde Street cable car and get off in Russian Hill and explore.

The greatest number of hotel options are in the Union Square area and if you want to be close to restaurants and transit in from the airport, it's the most lively place to be.

Have a look at the Chancellor Hotel. It gets excellent reviews here and is just off the Square on Powell Street. You'll be able to hear the cable cars from your room!

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3. Re: best area

Union Square gets a bad rap as a "shopping area". We are in the city often and I never think of it as that. Yes, there are upscale stores and, nearby, the Westfield shopping center, but the iconic Union Square is a beautiful park where there are often art shows, etc. and, as mentioned, there are many excellent restaurants you can actually walk to.

If you want the flavor of San Francisco in one night this is the place to be.

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4. Re: best area

Another vote for Union Square. As Puter points out, it's more than just "shopping" (although there can be no doubt there is shopping there and for many that is a draw).

For me, one of the main advantages of Union Square is its central location, particularly from a transit aspect and/or walking aspect. It's pretty much "ground zero" for the MUNI system and puts a fair amount of the downtown things that tourists want to do within a short walk. And, for those things that aren't downtown and/or an easy walk, you've got MUNI connections galore.

hlo

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5. Re: best area

+1 for Union Square. Can't get more "San Francisco-y" than that.

Have a look at the Handlery Hotel. Or the Donatello (probably more room than you need for 1 night, but has parking, if that is an issue).

Union Square isn't just shopping. You can get to the Chinatown gate in just a few blocks. The Embarcadero.Ferry Building isn't too far away, If you want to take a cable car ride, Union Square is the place to be.

Oh, be sure to go to the Top of the Mark for cocktails. Or the top floor of the Hyatt. Such nice views.

If you really live in Wisconsin, I think you will enjoy just wandering around Union Square. I think it's almost as pretty as anyplace in New York City.

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6. Re: best area

>>Or the top floor of the Hyatt. Such nice views.<<

Unfortunately, the top floor of the Grand Hyatt is now banquet space, rather than open to the public. The only top-floor bars are the Marriott Marquis, Top of the Mark and Starlight Room.

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San Francisco Marriott Marquis
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7. Re: best area

Thanks everyone!! Great info! We've decided to stay in Union Square, probably the Handlery. Then on to Carmel to Tickle Pink, and then to Cambria to a VRBO house. We return to San Fran for another night before we head home. Do any motels offer a shuttle service to the airport? I heard the Marina Motel might...is that a decent motel? We need something a little economical for our last night, as we won't have time to do much more than a nice dinner somewhere.

Thanks again for all your help!!

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8. Re: best area

There is a list of budget motels in the top questions and if you stay at the Grant or mayflower or near union square you can take BART to SFO for under 17 for both or book a lories shuttle for about 17 per person

That would be the way to go instead of trying to find a hotel with a shuttle which is very rare and never free

Airport hotels have free shuttles not city hotels

Read the reviews of hotels please . You can click on Marina motel and voila the reviews by people who stayed there are there

Edited: 27 October 2013, 11:40
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9. Re: best area

The Marina Motel is a nice little spot but it definitely does not have a shuttle to the airport. As belo indicates, the only hotels that have their own shuttles are the airport hotels. There are shared shuttle services that do home/hotel to airport door-to-door, perhaps a review mentioned that sort of shuttle.

I would suggest you turn your car in when you return to the Bay Area. Most rental car agencies have offices in downtown SF. There is a Top Question with a great list of budget downtown hotels. Baldwin, Cornel de France, Mayflower are a few but there are lots more. You can then either get a shared shuttle or take BART to the airport in the morning.

10. Re: best area

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