We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

3 full days in SFO.. 4th day..SFO airport by 6 pm.

Which San Francisco hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
Level Contributor
15 posts
Save Topic
3 full days in SFO.. 4th day..SFO airport by 6 pm.

Hi there.. husband and I are cruising from Vancouver to SFO on Friday May 9th, arriving on Monday May 12th... Plan to stay in SFO downtown Monday, Tuesday, rent car on Wed.. drive either North - visit Sonoma / Nappa Valley, spend the night there and then on Thursday , head back to SFO airport by 6 pm.. or head south - to Monterey/Carmel area, spend Wed night there and then head back to SFO airport by 6 pm Thursday?

Is there enough time on Wed/Thursday to do this? Have done tour of SFO 4 years ago, Chinatown, Golden gate bridge, Chinatown, Painted ladies, Fishermen;s Wharf etc.. so looking to take in other sights... If we are being too ambitious heading north or south, what would you recommend?

San Francisco...
Destination Expert
for San Francisco
Level Contributor
48,168 posts
149 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: 3 full days in SFO.. 4th day..SFO airport by 6 pm.

There is no SFO downtown. SFO is the 3 digit acronym for the airport 13 miles south of San Francisco or SF

You arrive on the 12th and have all day Tuesday so not sure how you have 3 full days in SF.

Not sure what exactly you are asking us . You say you have seen the tourist things in SF . Well there are other things to see -- check SF off the beaten track in the top questions, check www.sfgate.com/neighborhoods

As far as going North or South - again with no input from you, not sure what you want us to say. Sure you can spend 1 1/2 days in a repeat visit and then depending on your likes you can decide between Sonoma or Napa or going to Monterey -- 1 1/2 days will give you a flavor of either part of NorCal. Wine Country is 60-90 minutes North and Monterey/Carmel are 2 1/2 hours to 3 depending on the route.

Do read up and give us your likes and dislikes -- otherwise we just cannot help with any meaningful advice

Edited: 07 April 2014, 02:15
Level Contributor
15 posts
Save Reply
2. Re: 3 full days in SFO.. 4th day..SFO airport by 6 pm.

Hi.. our ship gets into San Francisco early Monday Morning May 12th... by 7 am, and we can probably diembark by 9 am.. so we do have all day Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday... On Thursday, our flight back to Vancouver is a 8 pm. So wondering how we should plan our time ? Would it make sense to spend Monday in the San Francisco area - Haight Ashbury, North beach etc.. spend the night in Hotel in the around Bush street area .. then rent car to drive north or south to Monterey/Carmel area on Tuesday.. spend Tues/Wed night there and then head back to San Francisco airport by 6 pm on Thursday. Or just enjoy all there is do in San Francisco area and forget about heading North or South - save that for another trip.. perhaps we can just check out the off the beaten track website you suggested.

Jackson, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
544 posts
172 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: 3 full days in SFO.. 4th day..SFO airport by 6 pm.

It really depends on what you feel like doing. Wine tasting obviously napa. Monterey you would be seeing the aquarium, renting bikes or kayak and exploring the coast and the sea otters.

Once we just rented the car for the day and drove to muir woods and Marin headlands for hiking and scenery.

San Francisco
Level Contributor
36,629 posts
27 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: 3 full days in SFO.. 4th day..SFO airport by 6 pm.

Depending on the size of the ship getting off in two hours may be optimistic. And getting a cab right away is also. Then you'll have to take your bags to your hotel but it's unlikely you'll get into your room right away. My guess is you won't be starting your sightseeing day until noon at best. That cuts your SF time to 1/2 day. Frankly I wouldn't bother if you've been here before. While you've done only the most touristy bits, 1/2 day isn't enough to do much. And you'll spend a lot of time transiting to the hotel.

Just get the car immediately. There are a number of rental agencies in the Fisherman's Wharf area that are (depending on the amount of luggage you have) walking distance.

Carmel/Monterey, while further away, would be much more convenient for getting back to the airport. And there are wineries in Monterey County as well.

San Francisco, Ca
Level Contributor
13,307 posts
74 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: 3 full days in SFO.. 4th day..SFO airport by 6 pm.

These are all good options. The problem is if you do the Mon/Tues in SF, then you really shortchange your overnight destination on Wed. You could do this for the wine country and still get a decent taste of it. But if you want to do Monterey/Carmel, then just spend the entire time there and skip SF. Three nights would be a good length of time to visit that area, where 1-1/2 days is enough to drive down, look around, spend the night and drive back. With three nights, I'd take Hwy 1 down the coast, stopping at Santa Cruz for lunch. Arrive Monterey mid-afternoon, maybe a quick look at the Aquarium (your hotel may sell 2 day tickets for it). The next day, you could explore Monterey and Carmel, do some wine tasting, etc. On Wednesday, drive south, stopping at Point Lobos for ocean views and maybe a quick hike, then continue to Big Sur (Julia Pfeiffer Burns Park, McWay Falls). Have lunch at Nepenthe. Thursday, drive back to SFO (the airport) via Big Basin or Henry Cowell Redwood Park.

(Search the California Forum for "Big Sur", as there are extensive lists of what to see and do... there's a jaw-dropping ocean view every 100 feet.)

But, since you live in Vancouver, the coast may be old hat, in which case you could do a little of SF and a little of wine country. I think 3 nights wine country would be a bit much -- although you could do 1 night Jenner area (along the coast, but different from Big Sur), then 2 nights Napa Valley or Sonoma Valley.

Level Contributor
15 posts
Save Reply
6. Re: 3 full days in SFO.. 4th day..SFO airport by 6 pm.

Thanks all... great ideas... will decide which way to go ...

Santa Cruz...
Destination Expert
for Santa Cruz
Level Contributor
31,603 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: 3 full days in SFO.. 4th day..SFO airport by 6 pm.

If you decide to go north instead, here is a day trip from San Francisco which includes a little of the coast, a redwood forest state park and wine country. It can be expanded to more than a day trip if you should wish.


If you should decide to come south, here is some information on Santa Cruz, which is 45 minutes north of Monterey.


8. Re: 3 full days in SFO.. 4th day..SFO airport by 6 pm.

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 11 April 2015, 07:16