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2-day layover in Redwood City the weekend before Christmas

Sacramento...
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2-day layover in Redwood City the weekend before Christmas

Hi,

my daughter is coming to San Francisco the weekend before Christmas with only a 2 day layover. She will be staying at the Sofitel Hotel in Redwood City, and my family will be visiting her there. Since it won't be a long stay and she will be flying in from Dubai we would like to do something that isn't too exhausting but very Christmas oriented. It would be nice to experience some beautiful Christmas decorations or events in San Francisco or even close to the hotel. Anything within not too distant proximity would be great. As long as it's christmasy, because my daughter hasn't been back in California for the holidays in the past 2 years. We don't mind driving maybe 30 minutes from the hotel, but we prefer to leave all the traffic jams behind.

If you have any suggestions for a nice restaurant that's decked out for the season and serves a good meal I would be happy to hear about that, too.

Thank you so much!

Dublin, California
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1. Re: 2-day layover in Redwood City the weekend before Christmas

First of all I'd suggest that she stays in a hotel in the City. That would minimize driving. Also it would save her the thought of flying all the way from Dubai just to stay 2 days in Redwood City. (Nothing wrong with Redwood City, mind you, just that it's not San Francisco).

As for Christmasy things to do in the city, I'd suggest shopping around Union Square, ice skating at the outdoor ice ring there, brunch at the Garden Court, Palace Hotel, and have Dungeness crab somewhere (which is in season now).

sf
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2. Re: 2-day layover in Redwood City the weekend before Christmas

Also the Sofitel is kind of remote on the Bay side of Highway 101. Nothing near it but other hotels. 30 minutes won't get you into SF unless its off peak hours. If you're set on this hotel, I'd go for something to do in Palo Alto- something at Stanford.

San Francisco
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3. Re: 2-day layover in Redwood City the weekend before Christmas

Good advice above. All the hotels have wonderfully decorated lobbies at the holidays. The Fairmont is probably one of the nicest -- big gingerbread house and all. Plus all the stores downtown have creatively decorated windows. Certainly a lot more Christmasy than anything you're likely to find in Redwood City.

SF is a short cab ride from the airport (20 minutes or so). According to Google Maps it's 15 minutes from the airport to the Sofitel.

An extra 5 minutes to be in the middle of downtown San Francisco? Priceless.

San Francisco
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4. Re: 2-day layover in Redwood City the weekend before Christmas

In case you had the idea that Redwood City is a place to see redwood trees, this is not the case.

Redwood City is called that because it used to be a port on San Francisco Bay for shipping redwood logs that were cut in the forests of west central San Mateo County (Woodside, La Honda, etc.) However, the city itself does not have something like Muir Woods, Yosemite, etc. It is basically a bedroom community for San Francisco and Silicon Valley; it is also the county seat of San Mateo County so there are many government offices and such. But if you're looking for a fun place to enjoy holiday sights, celebrations, shopping, performances, etc., everyone on this forum will suggest San Francisco.

If you are coming from Sacramento to visit her, San Francisco is much closer. And if you stay at Union Square, you can forget the 30-minute drives. A 3-minute walk will take you to tons of festive things to see and do, including one of the theatre districts where there will be holiday themed shows.

Lewiston, California
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5. Re: 2-day layover in Redwood City the weekend before Christmas

I've heard that Redwood City has much to offer but Alas not a single Redwood Tree.

Stay in the city like others have said.

Sacramento...
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6. Re: 2-day layover in Redwood City the weekend before Christmas

Thank you for those tips! They sound really good. The reason she is staying in Redwood City is because she is airline crew, and that is where they have their hotel accommodations. It would be great if they stayed closer to downtown, I agree,

Santa Cruz...
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7. Re: 2-day layover in Redwood City the weekend before Christmas

OK, so the airline is paying for her layover room at the Sofitel in Redwood City.

I am wondering why you are not paying for a room for her in Union Square in San Francisco with all of the Christmas atmosphere ,and shining the free airline room in a cheap motel in Redwood City.

It wold be a nice Christmas present, in my opinion.

Sacramento...
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8. Re: 2-day layover in Redwood City the weekend before Christmas

SFNATIV, thanks for the suggestion to visit Palo Alto or Stanford. I looked it up on tripadvisor, and it seems to have some nice spots to visit during a short layover. Unfortunately, we can't change the location of the hotel in Redwood City during this stay as this is where the airline crew stays. Do you think some of the attractions in the Palo Alto area will have a Christmas atmosphere, or would we really have to drive into SF? We have actually been to SF several times in the past and have therefore seen the must-see sights. This trip now is mainly to celebrate an early Christmas while my daughter has her 2 day layover. If you have any recommendations, I would love to hear them.

Sacramento...
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9. Re: 2-day layover in Redwood City the weekend before Christmas

Puter, you just gave me an idea! Thank you :)

Berkeley, California
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10. Re: 2-day layover in Redwood City the weekend before Christmas

No matter how cheap the room may be, Redwood City just won't cut it for what you want. I would spend the money and stay in SF, or at the very least see if your daughter can be put up in a hotel with a more convenient location (e..g, near a BART station). Redwood City is a 30-minute drive from SF--if you're lucky--and will take much longer once you sort out city streets, parking garages, etc. Also, let's not forget the travel expenses (gas, parking meters, etc.). It will all add up quickly enough that a free room in Redwood City is only slightly cheaper than a paid room in SF.