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Less than 24 hours in San Francisco

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Texas
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Less than 24 hours in San Francisco

My friend and I are having a girls getaway and headed to Sonoma Valley in March with our first day/night stay in San Francisco. We will arrive in San Francisco around 9:30 am, March 8th(if no flight delays) and will check in for 1 night at Sheraton Fisherman's Wharf, leaving for Sonoma the next morining. I have visited San Francisco in 2003 but my friend has never been. What are your suggestions for must see? Alcatraz is not an option due to time restriction. We are not into riding bikes but we are prepared for lots of walking. Maybe suggestions on bruch, dinner with a view (casual restaurant), casual bar atmosphere and maybe next day breakfast? I rember eating breakfast at a place called "Mammas" for breakfast on my previous trip and it was really good. Is there a better option close to our hotel for breakfast?

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1. Re: Less than 24 hours in San Francisco

Mama's is still around (at Washington Square in North Beach) ... just get there early or be prepared to wait.

TBH, a "girls getaway" and "Fisherman's Wharf" doesn't match up in my mind. I think you would be much better of staying at Union Square. Grand Hyatt or Monaco are just a couple of suggestions.

San Francisco...
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2. Re: Less than 24 hours in San Francisco

Plenty of info on walking in the what to do and see in SF top question. You could even do a tour with www.sfcityguides.org or a food tour or walk along the Embarcadero and through Chinatown and north beach ...

Plenty of great restaurants in the ferry bldg some with views but Waterbar or epic roasthouse or Coqueta or La mar are some options ( not formal restaurants but I would not call these casual ).

Edited: 23 January 2014, 02:49
San Francisco
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3. Re: Less than 24 hours in San Francisco

Agree with belo on the restaurants. Casual place on the waterfront? Perhaps check out Pier 23. http://pier23cafe.com/ Their reviews are very uneven but I think part of that was due to America's Cup crowds last year. I've been a couple of times and been happy. (But a note of warning, a lot of "old time" SF places don't have that "hey y'all sit down and be happy" attitude that Texans may be used to.)

Edited: 23 January 2014, 03:24
Santa Cruz...
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4. Re: Less than 24 hours in San Francisco

I agree with the of above...especially for not staying in Fisherman's Wharf.

Both of the Union Square hotels mentioned by White Dahlia would give you a good experience. Other possibilities are the Marriott Union Square or the Westim St. Francis, if in a tower room. The restaurants suggested by belomiser and WD are good if you want a view. You would want to taxi to there at night, but taxis in SF are quite reasonable. If you just want a casual restaurant in Union Square, Scala's in the Sir Francis Drake Hotel in Union Square has always been good when we have eaten there. It also has a lively "vibe" (meaning that, but noisy comes with the vibe.)

Don't fall for a Fisherman's Wharf restaurant which has a view. The restaurants there are almost uniformly mediocre because they cater to tourists whom they know will not be back.

Have a great trip.

Where are you staying in the Sonoma Valley?

Texas
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5. Re: Less than 24 hours in San Francisco

Thank for the info. My husband and I stayed in Fisherman's Wharf our first visit and it just felt like a safe pick for this trip. I am seeing now that maybe we should re consider another area. We will be taking a shuttle from the airport and will need a car on Sunday morning to head to Sonoma. Which of the hotels mentioned would be within walking distance to car rental options?

Texas
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6. Re: Less than 24 hours in San Francisco

We are staying at the Inn at Sonoma. I have wanted to visit wine country for a while now and we are very excited!

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7. Re: Less than 24 hours in San Francisco

>>> Which of the hotels mentioned would be within walking distance to car rental options?<<<

All of them. There are several car rental agencies in the Union Square area.

You will love Inn at Sonoma. As you probably know, it is a Four Sisters hotel. And it is less than a block from the Sonoma Plaza, within walking distance of several excellent restaurants.

If you are good walkers, here is an article from the Feb, 2011 issue of Frommer's Budget Travel which gives directions to several wineries to which you can walk from the Plaza....Sebastiani, Buena Vista Carneros, Ravenswood, Bartholomew Park. The article had a map, which does not show in this computer version. You could probably get one from the Visitor Center in the small brick building on the Plaza.

budgettravel.com/feature/…

(sometimes it takes awhile to load.)

Edited: 23 January 2014, 18:21
San Francisco
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8. Re: Less than 24 hours in San Francisco

There are car rental agencies all over town. But check their opening hours for Sundays if you're looking for an early morning start. Otherwise you might consider picking up the rental on Saturday evening, even though it will mean incurring parking charges for that night.

I would change hotels away from Fisherman's Wharf. I realize it's only one night but all the more reason not to be lost in a no-man's land of tourist drek. If you stay in Union Square you can easily BART into town and feel the urban vibe immediately.

Texas
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9. Re: Less than 24 hours in San Francisco

Thanks again for all the advice. We have cancelled our Fisherman's Wharf room and booked at the Marriott Union Square. Now on planning stuff to do. If I know us, we will find plenty FUN to get into!

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10. Re: Less than 24 hours in San Francisco

Good move.

For breakfast I would recommend a place where you will not find many tourists...just half a block down Powell St. from your hotel. It is in the Chancellor Hotel and is called Luques. They have a very good menu, the venue is pretty, the service is extraordinary.

Almost next door to it is a restaurant called Sears Fine Foods, which often has lines on the sidewalk waiting to get in. Don't be sucked into the hype. Sears long ago stopped deserving its reputation, and especially lately when it was taken over by the Lori's chain.