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only 2 1/2 days in SF

Toronto, Canada
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only 2 1/2 days in SF

I have read just about everything I can on tours and timing......here is my question for you.....arriving in October on a Monday evening around 9 pm, too late to do anything but go to the hotel. Tuesday morning, take the tour to Monterey, Carmel and the 17 mile drive....this is 11 hours. Wednesday morning.....we would like to take the tour to see the Muir Woods and Sausalito......here is where it gets tricky.... part of this tour can be either Alcatraz or the city tour, both are 8 hours. We leave the next day at 1350 and could possibly do either Alcatraz or the city tour that morning, but really don't know if there would be enough time. So, what I thought might be a good idea, would be to go ahead and do Alcatraz with the tour and then maybe hire a cab or private tour guide, if there are any, to do some city sights on the way to the airport. What does everything think.....or alternative suggestions welcome! Thank you!

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Santa Clara...
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1. Re: only 2 1/2 days in SF

Well... your 2.5 days are hardly even in SF. Are you sure you want to do that many hours on a bus??.

I am not certain of exact timing, but I think some of the bus tours still run later at night so you can hop in one when you arrive if you aren't too tired. Which hotel?

Toronto, Canada
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2. Re: only 2 1/2 days in SF

Have not picked a hotel as yet......my friend wants the 2 tours, not sure she realizes how many hours on a bus! I really want to see Alcatraz and hopefully a city tour....am open to any and all suggestions!

Forestville, CA
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3. Re: only 2 1/2 days in SF

hi: i agree with chinita415....i encourage you to plan one day for out-of-the-city adventures (i.e. Muir Woods and Alcatraz) and one day for actually being IN San Francisco....perhaps visiting Union Square, Chinatown, North Beach.....i wouldn't advise to go all the way to Carmel & Monterey on this trip.

Toronto, Canada
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4. Re: only 2 1/2 days in SF

Yes, thank you, I tend to agree with you.....looking at tours, one tour could be Muir Woods, Sausalito with a bay cruise return and the next day, could be a city tour with Alcatraz....still leaving us plenty of time for a cable car ride or whatever....Chinatown at night. Could get the cab to take us to the airport via Lombard Street!

Forestville, CA
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5. Re: only 2 1/2 days in SF

when you wrote "tour", did you mean guided tours or was that just a phrase for you doing something on your own that day....

Toronto, Canada
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6. Re: only 2 1/2 days in SF

I mean guided tour.....being picked up and dropped back off at our hotel.

San Francisco
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7. Re: only 2 1/2 days in SF

In the limited time you have I would nix the tour to Monterey. Too high on the bus-to-sightseeing ratio.

Don't book a tour with Alcatraz combination. You only get stuck with perhaps a tour you wouldn't otherwise take and the Alcatraz component will be priced up.

Everyone buys their Alcatraz tickets from the same place: www.alcatrazcruises.com -- if you buy a tour packaged with Alcatraz it will generally cost most than if you booked the two separately.

Please read our Top Questions for info on all things Alcatraz. You might also consider the night tour of Alcatraz which would free up your day for some exploring.

Santa Cruz...
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for Santa Cruz
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8. Re: only 2 1/2 days in SF

Do skip the bus tour to drive to Monterey/Carmel and to see the 17-mile drive. This is a pleasant drive along the coast to see golf courses and expensive houses. Forget it.

Carmel is a cute vilage with lots of expensive shops. Coming to San Francisco and seeing San Francisco is reward enough. Don't mess it up with "tours" out of the city. My opinion.

Toronto, Canada
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9. Re: only 2 1/2 days in SF

Went onto their site and the night tour to Alcatraz looks quite interesting and from what they say less crowded. I really appreciate your opinions, as I would really like to have time to wonder around Fisherman's Wharf and have some Seafood.....we have seafood in Toronto, but it has to be flown in, so not quite as fresh!

Toronto, Canada
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10. Re: only 2 1/2 days in SF

Thank you Puter....it would be a very long drive to see the expensive houses, etc. I would much rather wander around China Town......and with such limited time, I want to make sure I see as much as possible.....I have been trying to get to San Francisco for a few years now and I am finally able to make it happen, so I want to see as much as possible that says *San Francisco*! I will forward all the replies to my travelling companion and she still gets her Muir Woods!!