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Must do & see in San Francisco for 2-3 days

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Must do & see in San Francisco for 2-3 days

Hey everyone. First time post.

4 adults heading into San Francisco August 7-9. First time visitors.

We're adventurous and ravenous consumers of delicious food and tasty alcoholic beverages, especially "craft" beer.

We already have tickets for an Alcatraz tour.

What else would you recommend we do, see, and consume?

Any suggestions for a decent value on hotels? We're renting a car so we don't mind driving into downtown.

Any recommendations are welcomed and appreciated.


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1. Re: Must do & see in San Francisco for 2-3 days

Links in this article are in the first Top QUESTION right side of this page. You can access these links via post 2 on the SF forum as well.

There are no must sees or must dos. TA works best when visitors read up about SF, do a bit of research and come back with a sample itinerary and a shortlist of hotels in their budget. A car is NOT ADVISED in SF as parking is 30 to 60 bucks per night. Happy to help after you read and come back with specific questions


San Francisco Trip Advisor regulars and Destination Experts would love to help you plan a great vacation in SF. But before you post, please take a few minutes and read the answers to these TOP TEN QUESTIONS about SAN FRANCISCO or SF.

SFO refers to San Francisco International Airport, 13 miles south of SF.

Before you read the TQs, have a look at what the local paper the SF Chronicle says are goofy things Visitors do in SF Click HERE

Also most have heard about the Fog which is around in Summer. Please check this video about the rolling fog on the website Vimeo by Simon Christen that was discovered by TA Regular Chinita.


When should visitors come to SF ? Weather and Conventions Calendar

Where should visitors stay >

Why NOT have a car in SF ? How to get around SF on MUNI?

What to do and see in SF ?

Got Kids ?

Food and Bars ?

Shopping ?

Layover at SFO ?

When should visitors come to SF ?

Pretty Much anytime is a good time to visit SF. However, the SF Travel calendar has info on events that could fill up SF Hotels. You may want to use that as a gauge as prices do go up during these events and conventions (look at the Total Attendance)

Here is the link to SF Events Calendar

When is the best time to visit in terms of weather?

Where should visitors stay in SF ?

Most regulars and Experts suggest you stay in SF to see SF. Here are a few links to help you decide where to stay.

There are 4 main areas. Union Square, Fisherman's Wharf , Embarcadero and the Lombard Street Area (Motels with parking included)

Here is a map displaying the hotels and their locations

Why stay IN SF to see SF?

Stay in Union Square or Fisherman's Wharf?

Comparing Embarcadero or Union Square

Budget Hotels

Hostels in SF. http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-...

Hotels with Suites or for hotels for families of 5


What area should visitors look at Vacation Rentals in?

What are the various vacation rental neighborhoods ?

What taxes do I pay on my hotel room ?

Why not have a car in SF ? What Transit Options are there ?

Why not have a car in SF ? Advice on renting a car for US and out of country residents

SF Transit Info: BART to get to SF and MUNI inside SF Covers SF MUNI Visitor Passports for travel within SF

How to get from SFOto Union Square or Downtown SF or Nob Hill?

How to get from SFO to Fisherman's Wharf ?

How do visitors pay toll if they drive a rental over the Golden Gate Brige into SF ?

What to do and see in SF ?

3 day Itinerary in San Francisco

What visitors love about San Francisco?

Alcatraz When to book and which tour?

How do visitors bike the Golden Gate Bridge?

San Francisco with kids

Baseball SF Giants and Oakland A's

SF off the beaten track a list culled from discussions with locals and frequent visitors

San Francisco and Bay Area Museums

Lombard Street (crooked part) Cars banned on Certain Weekends -- Summer 2014

7x7.com has a list of what to do and see and where to eat in SF. Thanks to DE sfimporter, here is the link.


How should visitors see San Francisco ? MUNI or Guided Tours or Hop On/Off ?

Using MUNI from Union Square to the Attractions

Using MUNI from Fisherman's Wharf to the Attractions

What are the other Tour Options for Guided Tours, Hop On Hop Off, walking tours?

Got Food ? How about bars?

Seafood Restaurant Suggestions?

Chinese Food including DimSum?

Breakfast around Union Square?

Nightlife in SF. Clubs and Bars

Eating in the Mission District

Local Brewpubs and Breweries

Bars on a weekday Mission or North Beach

Italian Restaurants in San Francisco

Quirky/Unusual Restaurants in San Francisco

Romantic Restaurants in SF

The SF chronicle bargain bites list is here. http://www.sfgate.com/bargainbites2013/

Vegan Restaurants in San Francisco and a map of Veg and Vegan places in SF

A list of bars if people want to bar hop in the various neighborhoods thanks to SFFUNCHEAP

Outdoor Bars many in SF, some around the Bay Area

A discussion about Sandwiches

Edited: 06 July 2014, 15:40
San Francisco
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2. Re: Must do & see in San Francisco for 2-3 days

<<Any suggestions for a decent value on hotels? We're renting a car so we don't mind driving into downtown. >>

I think somewhere in those TQs is one about why NOT to have a car while in the city. But I will underscore it. You do not need or want a car while visiting SF. Downtown hotel parking is expensive. And if this is your first time visit I would recommend staying downtown so to be in the middle of things.

It would help us if you updated your profile with your home city so we know where you're from.

These forums work best when you have done some research and have an idea of the things you want to and do. Our Top Questions are chock full info. You can also refer to the "Things to Do" tab at the top of the screen. (Both are available only on the full TA site, not the mobile version.) Of course, the internet has oodles of info. www.sfgate.com is our newspaper online which has lots of restaurant info. www.sfstation.com has entertainment listings.

Any guidebook or similar reference can provide general information on the basic (and sometimes creative) tourist sights. Use those references for developing a list of things into a general itinerary and we can help tweak it and answer any specific questions.

San Francisco, Ca
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3. Re: Must do & see in San Francisco for 2-3 days

If you're simply looking for the standard list of "Top 10s", regardless of your own interests, then: Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman's Wharf, Chinatown, cable cars, Lombard Street, Golden Gate Park, Alcatraz, Union Square, North Beach.

But if you're an art lover, it would be a shame to miss one of our museums, such as the de Young in Golden Gate Park. If you love Japanese manga and pop culture, you'd be missing out on Japan Center. If you're a war buff, you'd be skipping the Civil-War-era Fort Point or the WWII submarine Pampanito. If you love old boats, you wouldn't know about the Maritime Museum at the Hyde Street Pier.

So as mentioned above, let us know what YOU like and we can custom tailor your holiday, instead of expecting a one-size-fits-all list to tick all your boxes.

(And I'm going to assume since you use -shire in your screen name that you are from the UK... in that case, having a car in San Francisco is like having a car in London -- expensive, a hassle and unnecessary. You'll save $100 a day or more between the cost of the car rental plus parking. If you're in the middle of a road trip and have to keep the car, so be it: check out the question on affordable hotels with parking.)

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4. Re: Must do & see in San Francisco for 2-3 days

Thanks for the feedback and pointing me in the right direction. There's definitely a lot to take in on the TQ's.

I'm actually from Indianapolis for those wondering. I love local breweries.

I'm wondering what are some of everyone's favorite brewpubs and breweries?

I saw the list but am curious what everyone else likes.

I think we may want to try to stay in the city., possibly in Union Square.

Does anyone have any experience with the Grand Hyatt?

A friend works in the industry and is going to try to get us a good rate there. If it falls through, we may just end staying at one of the many hotels listed in the TQ's.

We may end up returning the rental car before arriving in San Francisco since parking is super expensive.

We're actually flying in on July 30th, driving up the coast, staying a night in Fort Bragg, then staying in a cabin in Eureka on Ruth Lake.

We'll then drive back down, stay a day or so in Napa Valley, and spend the last couple of days in San Francisco.

I know we want to go to the Fog City Diner, check out Fisherman's Wharf for a bit, head to Ghirardelli Square, maybe do a small amount of shopping.

It looks like the list in the TQ's is pretty thorough.

I'm assuming it will be pants and jackets weather the whole time.

Who makes the best martini in town?

5. Re: Must do & see in San Francisco for 2-3 days

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