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4th of July weekend in SF first time - please help

New Jersey
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4th of July weekend in SF first time - please help

Hello

We will be driving from Los Angeles to San Francisco for 4th of July weekend (Thursday until Sunday or Monday.) I never been to San Francisco so I'm excited. I've been to Los Angeles area before so I've seen most of the sights there.

I would take to take the ferry to Alcatraz, what is the best and most affordable tour that gets there?

What are some must things to see? I would also like to go on those street cars trolley or whatever they are called :)

By the way how will the weather be like? Are summers in the city really chilly or exaggerated? Should we wear long pants and sweaters?

Please share advice! Thanks

San Francisco
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1. Re: 4th of July weekend in SF first time - please help

Welcome to SF

Please have a look at our Top Questions on the right hand side (non mobile version of TA). Most of your questions are answered there.

As far as what to do/see. That is completely up to you. Knowledgeable travelers understand that there is no such thing as a "must do/must see." We are all individuals and should do the proper amount of research to determine what suits us best.

<<street cars trolley or whatever they are called>>

Ummm, they're called cable cars and they are the only rolling stock in the US that are National Historic Monuments. We're rather proud of them (understandably) so please learn what they're called.

As far as clothing ... of course no one has a crystal ball but our summer weather is not usually "hot." A very warm day would be about 80F. Usually the highs are in the low 70s in July. But nights and mornings are often foggy. And out along the waterfront can be a lot cooler than downtown (where "official" temps are usually taken).

You will want some sort of jacket or windbreaker. Shorts are not necessary.

Edited: 09 June 2014, 03:10
San Francisco...
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2. Re: 4th of July weekend in SF first time - please help

If you want to go to Alcatraz then you'll need to book your tickets right away since it is less than a month away and tickets do sell out. As mentioned in the top questions, book through Alcatraz cruises, the official seller.

You may find others reselling the tickets in a bundle, but they will be marked up or perhaps sold with other items. Some operators also advertise cruises for Alcatraz that don't actually go to the island, but just go near the island.

There is usually no need for shorts here, but bring a pair or two if you like just in case, but don't count on needing to wear them and also bring enough long pants for your visit. Usually the warmest we get here is borderline shorts weather or weather where they may be nice for some hours during the day or in a warmer neighborhood (micro climates). There are perhaps a handful or a couple handfuls of days a year where you could comfortably wear shorts all day long, everywhere you go. Most of those days aren't in the middle of summer, but are more likely around early to mid fall. The temperature differential between the ocean (cold) and inland areas (hot) actually brings winds and moisture off the ocean (fog and marine layer) that keeps San Francisco generally very cool and breezy in the summer. Most homes are not air conditioned here, and even some hotels and businesses aren't since its just not that necessary.

If you go inland even 30 or 50 miles the climate can be quite different (hot in summer). Even some places on the peninsula are warmer and the temperature can vary significantly between neighborhoods since some are more sheltered from winds and fog blown in from our big friend to the west, the pacific ocean.

It's wise to bring a windbreaker or jacket since there will probably be some points during your stay you will be glad you have one--especially along the waterfront or in the evening.

Santa Clara...
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3. Re: 4th of July weekend in SF first time - please help

Good advice. As for the weather, I was in shorts and a tank top at the baseball game today and got sunburnt. Not typical but it happens. ;)

Do you have your lodgings and will you be keeping the car? Come back if the TQs do not have answers for specific questions.

New Jersey
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4. Re: 4th of July weekend in SF first time - please help

Thanks all. So if we get the Alcatraz tickets a week before we go to SF or on the same day we won't get the tickets at all? I just heard today by a family member that it is not 100% sure we will be able to drive up to SF due to different circumstances, but as of now we will be going.

San Francisco
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5. Re: 4th of July weekend in SF first time - please help

www.alcatrazcruises.com is the official site.

Getting tickets "day of" in July is unheard of. Right now it's pretty much sold out through June 23. Over a holiday weekend those tickets will sell out even faster.

New Jersey
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6. Re: 4th of July weekend in SF first time - please help

^^ Thanks

San Francisco...
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7. Re: 4th of July weekend in SF first time - please help

>>> was in shorts and a tank top at the baseball game today and got sunburnt.

humm and the score was .... sob sob. TIme to get dressed in full regalia

:-)

8. Re: 4th of July weekend in SF first time - please help

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