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3 day/4 night trip to SF

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United Kingdom
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3 day/4 night trip to SF

Hello everyone! I would really appreciate a little help finalising our trip to SF in June. I have read the top Qs, as well as lots of different posts by other people, so now I'm just trying to fill in the details.

We arrive on a Thursday at 2.30pm at SFO. We were planning on getting the BART into SF and getting off at the Civic Centre stop and then walking to our hotel which is the Metro hotel (Divisadero/Oak street junction). I understand this will be approx. 30 minutes walk, and we will have our bags to drag, but all the alternatives for getting into SF seem a lot more expensive. Are we going to regret trying to get to our hotel this way?!

We will be jetlagged and tired so will just get some food quite quickly and locally. I was thinking perhaps Little Star pizza? We will probably then crash at the hotel.

The next day (Friday), if the weather is good, we were thinking of getting up very early and hiking up to twin peaks. I have found online guides to the route and it looks about a 50-60 minute walk. We hoped to get a good early morning view of the city and then find some breakfast in the Cole valley/Haight-Ashbury area afterwards (any recommendations?). Then we plan to hire bikes from the place near the east entrance of the GG park and cycle around the park. In the afternoon, we will cycle over the GG bridge and back again (probably won't get the ferry from sausalito). We don't have any firm plans for where to eat/what to do in the evening, although we might meet up with a friend from back home who now lives in SF (if not then we will do this on sunday evening).

On Saturday morning I was going to focus on the Market street/Embarcadero area, check out the shops and then visit the ferry building market for lunch. In the afternoon, perhaps walk down to pier 39 and fisherman's wharf. We then have the Alcatraz night tour booked at 6.30pm. Any recommendations on when/where to eat in the evening?

Our last full day is Sunday, and the main things I have missing from our list are seeing chinatown, getting a cable car, seeing lombard street and walking the filbert steps, so I'm thinking of doing these on Sunday. Any restaurant recommendations would also really help here please. We pick up our car and leave on Monday morning :-(

Does this itinerary look ok? We will be walking the majority of this (apart from the cycling bit). I should point out that, when asking for recommendations on places to eat, we are on quite a strict budget; around $90 per day for 2 people. We can stretch this slightly, but we are on a 28 day roadtrip so going over budget in one location will mean having to skimp in another. However, if we're going to spend more on food, SF seems to be the place to do it! But we would appreciate decent, budget places. We like chinese food, seafood, italian food and good burgers :-)

Thanks for your help!

Scottsdale, Arizona
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1. Re: 3 day/4 night trip to SF

The Grubstake makes great burgers. For reasonable Italian, Try Capp's Corner in North Beach. Just about anywhere in Chinatown and Clement will fill you up on a budget.

San Francisco...
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2. Re: 3 day/4 night trip to SF

I think after spending about 14 or so hours in the air and through two airports, trying to walk from the civic center BART to the Metro sounds to me that it would be a pain (with bags) You will be paying about 19 for BART for 2. Get off at the Embarcadero and take a cab for about 10-12 more or take a shuttle from SFO to your hotel

Your friday seems packed. Walk up Twin Peaks, Bike ride to GG Bridge and park . But if you are just biking around I guess that is ok.

There are thousands of restaurants in SF. some are listed in the TQs Tacos, chinese food, sandwiches can all fit in your budget. $90 per day for food or everything else in a day ?

Santa Clara...
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3. Re: 3 day/4 night trip to SF

>>We arrive on a Thursday at 2.30pm at SFO. We were planning on getting the BART into SF and getting off at the Civic Centre stop and then walking to our hotel which is the Metro hotel (Divisadero/Oak street junction). I understand this will be approx. 30 minutes walk, and we will have our bags to drag, but all the alternatives for getting into SF seem a lot more expensive. Are we going to regret trying to get to our hotel this way?!<<

How much luggage do you have? I wouldn't want to do this after a long flight. Perhaps you can get a taxi for the distance from the BART station to the hotel? Not sure if there are any at the Civic Center. You can also backtrack a little and take the N-Judah lightrail to Duboce Park before it goes underground and walk. There are also surface buses as well. Will let others direct you with more specifics as best place to transfer from BART to MUNI N or buses or catch a cab.

Santa Clara...
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4. Re: 3 day/4 night trip to SF

There is a lot of biking for Friday. What time do you expect to return the bikes after your return from the bridge? I do not think the rentals at Gold Gate Park are open that late for return like the other vendors like Blazing Saddles. You may want to check the latest for return and be sure you can make this.

United Kingdom
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5. Re: 3 day/4 night trip to SF

Sorry, I should have clarified, $90 a day is just for food. We have budgeted separately for attractions, bike hire etc.

Belomiser, I did think this about our Friday, but we will be up early anyway due to jetlag, and we are both very fit and love being active (we went for a 20 mile walk on saturday). Perhaps our friday itinerary will only work if we don't make plans for the evening?

I have previously had good advice about buses in SF, so perhaps a bus from the BART would be an option?

San Francisco...
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6. Re: 3 day/4 night trip to SF

well -- it all depends on the amount of luggage you have. we do see folks trying to haul bags on buses but if they are huge , it is a pain for all involved.

My point about Friday is not whether you are fit or not. It is not a matter of just biking from place to place if that is what you want to do. Are you doing anything in the park ? Museums, gardens, etc? If not you are ok

Forestville, CA
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7. Re: 3 day/4 night trip to SF

hi there: i wouldn't recommend dragging your luggage from the Civic Center up to Divisadero and Oak. I understand you are on a budget but if you can, I think you should take an 'airport shuttle' from SFO to your hotel door. supershuttle.com/Locations/SFOAirportShuttle…

Not only is it safer but so much nicer than what you propose. There are other shuttles services as well.

The Metro Hotel is a good choice! And there are little restaurants in the neighborhood i believe. Also, you are close to the Castro district for other dining alternatives. There is an inexpensive Thai establishment on Castro and 19th. The 24 Divisadero bus comes by your hotel door and will take you right to 19th.

Good food is in nearly every neighborhood....i like to send people to North Beach for a soulful, charming area to walk in and to watch people go by .. there are, of course, expensive full service restaurants but there are also little eateries and delicatessens. Everything is within walking distance of each other...you can have some great coffee drinks at Mario's Bohemian Cigar Store (cafe at Union & Columbus) and share one of their delicious meatball (or veggie) sandwiches on homemade oven-roasted foccaia... or go to Molinari's deli for yum sandwiches and eat al fresco in Washington Square (park)--- also the Liguiria Bakery (quintessential Italian foccacia at Stockton & Filbert) serves very inexpensive slices of *delicious* foccacia--get a bag and eat it in the park, perhaps see wild parrots flying about...look up and admire Coit Tower...walk up steep Filbert hill and up to Coit and after checking out the incredible panoramic view, find the Filbert Steps on the east side and have a lovely jaunt down to the Embarcadero. Others can chime in about good breakfast places in the Haight/Cole Valley area. Have a wonderful time in the city!

Santa Clara...
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8. Re: 3 day/4 night trip to SF

I agree with the shared van shuttle. With 2 people - probably around ?$35 plus tip. It is not much more than if you do BART + cab. You may wait a little at the airport and may be dropped after after other folks in the city like in Union Square. But you will be delivered to the hotel from the airport. It is worth the slightly extra $$.

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9. Re: 3 day/4 night trip to SF

I accept all your points about the hassle in getting from the airport to the hotel via BART... so perhaps it is just easier to take a shuttle. The price is not too bad if we get a shared shuttle. Thanks for the advice.

On the Friday we are not planning to visit any of the museums in the park, just cycle around and take a look at the different areas. We would be quite happy spending most of the day on the bikes and using them as a way to see much more than we could on foot. I like cycling as a way of seeing a city :-)

ugyved2 and chestercat, thanks for the restaurant recommendations; I will check them out. Any tips for breakfast places would be very welcome too.

Forestville, CA
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10. Re: 3 day/4 night trip to SF

you can also walk from the Metro Hotel to the Castro easily ... when i lived in the Castro and wanted to eat at the French bistro (which was at the time downstairs from the Metro Hotel), we wouldn't take our cars, of course.... sometimes it's faster than the bus!