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Please critique my SFO/OAK itenerary

Please critique my SFO/OAK itenerary

Old May 20, 14, 11:22 am
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Please critique my SFO/OAK itenerary

Leaving Saturday for San Francisco/Oakland with my GF. It will be the first time there for both of us although we're very experienced travelers (~10-15 domestic trips a year on WN).

We are in our mid-thirties; our major interests are baseball (I'm trying to visit every MLB stadium), craft beer, and upscale gastropub-type cuisine. I also seek out (jazz) record shopping and used bookstores.

My GF is less enthusiastic about records/books and tends to enjoy markets (eg. Pike Place in Seattle or Reading Terminal in Philly), museums, galleries, very odd/unique shopping, etc.

Flights/hotels are already booked (all on points/certs, of course) and cannot change, but I'd like FT's expertise on how to fill the time otherwise! Please note we will NOT have a car the entire time we're there. Will be doing BART/Muni/cable cars only.

Saturday:
Arrive SFO about 2 PM
I'm thinking Mikkeller Bar for happy hour, maybe stay for dinner?
Staying at Hyatt Regency San Francisco

Sunday:
21st Amendment for pregaming/brunch?
Giants game at AT&T at 1:10 PM
???? gap here after the game
Staying at Marriott Oakland City Center

Monday:
Athletics game at Coliseum at 1:10 PM
Maybe hit Berkeley after the game? Amoeba Music/shopping?
The Trappist in Oakland for dinner?
Staying at Marriott Oakland City Center

Tuesday:
Totally open - was thinking of cable car to the Wharf (In-n-Out Burger while we're there), renting bikes, going over Golden Gate bridge to Sausalito, ferry back.
Staying at Grand Hyatt San Francisco

Wednesday:
Early morning is open
Flight back leaves SFO at around 12:30 PM

I don't think we're interested in burning the time to go to Alcatraz but open to all other suggestions. My GF has expressed interest in seeing/climbing Lombard Street. I'd maybe like to see Haight/Ashbury too. Thanks!

Last edited by nineworldseries; May 20, 14 at 11:35 am
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Old May 20, 14, 6:22 pm
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If you're into walking, after AT&T Park I like to stretch my legs by walking to the Ferry Building along The Embarcadero. It's a pleasant walk under the Bay Bridge past a small outdoor park and with great views of the skyline of SF. The Ferry Building is always worth a visit, they have local bars, restaurants and shops and you're at the foot of Market Street which is worth checking out, plus you can grab BART to Oakland from there.

Also, after the game if you're thirsty the bar at the Marriott Marquis is right by Market Street and is up on the 37th(?) floor and has great views of the city.

As for what you can do with your other time in SF, I like Coit Tower, North Beach (Italian Neighborhood), City Lights Bookstore, Golden Gate Park and taking the ferry to Sausalito in Marin County. That will take you by Alcatraz and Sausalito is really pretty.

Oh and don't expect much from the Coliseum, I've been to all 30 MLB parks and that's #30 out of 30 on my list. However, AT&T is #1.
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Old May 20, 14, 7:24 pm
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Amoeba is good for record shopping. If you go to Berkeley, you could add on Rasputin (just 1.5 blocks away) or better yet, Grooveyard on Claremont (about 1.5 miles), a jazz specialist store.
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Old May 20, 14, 8:33 pm
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Saturday:
Arrive SFO about 2 PM
I'm thinking Mikkeller Bar for happy hour, maybe stay for dinner?
Staying at Hyatt Regency San Francisco

Definitely walk over to the Ferry Building right after you get there, when most things are still open. It is a few minutes' walk. She will love it. There are a myriad of dining options around there - I'd probably suggest Barbacco for a great and casual-ish great place to eat dinner and drink all sorts of good wine. (A lot of the Financial District rolls up at night, but there remains plenty to drink/eat nearby.)

Sunday:
21st Amendment for pregaming/brunch?
Giants game at AT&T at 1:10 PM
???? gap here after the game
Staying at Marriott Oakland City Center

Note that places right near the ballpark are extremely packed on game days prior to the games. I assume you are leaving your luggage at the hotel and walking back (or trying to get on overstuffed MUNI after a game) - I'd head back to the hotel, get the belongings (or stop for a beverage on the walk along the Embarcadero on the way), then head over to Oakland. Trains to 12th St. Oakland run only once every 20 minutes on Sunday. I would then have dinner in downtown or uptown (just a few blocks from downtown) Oakland. Oakland has one of the hottest dining scenes in the country right now. Old Oakland (right near your hotel) has bunches of good stuff, and if you wanted to wander up to about 19th/20th St, there's much more. If I had to suggest 2 places on the more casual side now, I'd recommend Desco (Old Oakland - 5 minutes from your hotel), or Nido (near Lake Merritt Station) - a short taxi ride, for some of the best Mexican food around (not in a "made in the USA"-style Mexican). I could suggest many other places, too. In fact, I've been wanting to try Chop Bar. Here's the beer selection: http://www.oaklandchopbar.com/beer-wine-coffee/beer/

Monday:
Athletics game at Coliseum at 1:10 PM
Maybe hit Berkeley after the game? Amoeba Music/shopping?
The Trappist in Oakland for dinner?
Staying at Marriott Oakland City Center

I used to spend so much time at Amoeba. Otherwise, upper Telegraph Ave. is really nothing to go to these days. However, Shattuck (downtown Berkeley - not far from Telegraph) has a great selection of eats/drinks these days. And, the "Gourmet Ghetto" is just north of there. For an early evening beverage, I like going to the Beta Lounge on Durant - much more chill than where college kids hang out.

Tuesday:
Totally open - was thinking of cable car to the Wharf (In-n-Out Burger while we're there), renting bikes, going over Golden Gate bridge to Sausalito, ferry back.
Staying at Grand Hyatt San Francisco

Wednesday:
Early morning is open
Flight back leaves SFO at around 12:30 PM

I'll leave your SF tour planning to yourselves and others, but since you don't have time for much on Wednesday, I'd probably walk (15 minutes or so) to Sweet Woodruff for Breakfast. Why? I love their food, ubercasual, the sister restaurant of one of the top spots around, and I've never been there for breakfast. It is also away from touristhell (not in a bad way, really) that is the location of your hotel.
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Old May 21, 14, 7:40 am
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I'd also strongly recommend Amoeba. It's a very worthwhile experience, even if you do have to deal with Upper Haight to go there.
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Old May 21, 14, 12:17 pm
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Originally Posted by rjque View Post
I'd also strongly recommend Amoeba. It's a very worthwhile experience, even if you do have to deal with Upper Haight to go there.
And combine that with Magnolia Gastropub and Brewery, and you can hit many of the types of things you enjoy!
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Old May 21, 14, 12:28 pm
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http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/974150#8911342

Here's a recent posting re: SF Gastropubs. Chowhound in SF is a great resource (more so than in other cities).
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Old May 21, 14, 7:36 pm
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Originally Posted by StudentExplorer View Post
And combine that with Magnolia Gastropub and Brewery, and you can hit many of the types of things you enjoy!
I used to like Magnolia a lot. It's been so long, I was reluctant to recommend. Glad to hear it's still recommendable.
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Old May 22, 14, 5:31 pm
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Thanks for the info, everyone!

I was checking out Magnolia and may stop there. The Ferry Building was a great rec. Also will probably do Sweet Woodruff for breakfast Wednesday.
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Old May 22, 14, 7:50 pm
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Almost right next door to the Oakland Marriott (Washington Street) is Pacific Coast Brewery. Good enough beer, good enough food (pub grub) and a nice outdoor patio. http://www.pacificcoastbrewing.com/wordpress1/ If your focus is more food than beer at that moment, there's better food - ten choices - within a couple of blocks. (I'm strict vegetarian, so I hesitate to recommend.)
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Old May 27, 14, 10:49 pm
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Originally Posted by CMK10 View Post
If you're into walking, after AT&T Park I like to stretch my legs by walking to the Ferry Building along The Embarcadero. It's a pleasant walk under the Bay Bridge past a small outdoor park and with great views of the skyline of SF. The Ferry Building is always worth a visit, they have local bars, restaurants and shops and you're at the foot of Market Street which is worth checking out, plus you can grab BART to Oakland from there.

Also, after the game if you're thirsty the bar at the Marriott Marquis is right by Market Street and is up on the 37th(?) floor and has great views of the city.

As for what you can do with your other time in SF, I like Coit Tower, North Beach (Italian Neighborhood), City Lights Bookstore, Golden Gate Park and taking the ferry to Sausalito in Marin County. That will take you by Alcatraz and Sausalito is really pretty.

Oh and don't expect much from the Coliseum, I've been to all 30 MLB parks and that's #30 out of 30 on my list. However, AT&T is #1.
I second taking ferry to Sausalito. As much as the residents will hate me for sending more tourists their way, you'd be making a huge mistake not to take a woman into Marin on the ferry
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Old May 30, 14, 7:53 am
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The best shopping for your girlfriend is in Hayes http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hayes_V..._San_Francisco


The best tourist item on the wharf. Is the muse mechanic.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Musée_Mécanique

The best used bookstores in the city are Dog eared books and Green Apple.
If bookstores are a thing, go to Green Apple..
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Old May 30, 14, 9:46 pm
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Originally Posted by 365RoadWarrior View Post
Almost right next door to the Oakland Marriott (Washington Street) is Pacific Coast Brewery. Good enough beer, good enough food (pub grub) and a nice outdoor patio. http://www.pacificcoastbrewing.com/wordpress1/
Pacific Coast has a nice patio, but their brew is mediocre. The Trappist on the other hand is a fabulous beer bar right there at 8th and Broadway. http://www.thetrappist.com/trappist.php

I also like Dogwood - great, funky cured meat and cheese bar. It's on Telegraph at 17th St.
http://www.bardogwood.com/
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Old Jun 6, 14, 10:26 am
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Well, thanks for all of your help! Here is a trip report:

Saturday did Mikkeller Bar in the Tenderloin. Great beer, acceptable food. Expensive for how good the food was. Visited the Ferry Building which I found to be tourist-trappy and nowhere near as enjoyable as Reading Terminal Market in Philly or Pike Place Market. It was worth seeing, though. Later that night visited Haight/Ashbury (I had to see the Grateful Dead house at 710 Ashbury) and visited Amoeba Music (a bit disappointed by their jazz selection, frankly).

Sunday did 21st Amendment Brewery before the Giants game. The opposite of Mikkeller - marginal beer and great food. I'm a bit biased, though, because 21st's beers are now distributed nationwide and I'm kinda tired of them already. The Mo'Tcho Rising chocolate stout was enjoyable too (at 10:00 AM lol). Giants game was sunny and hot but quite enjoyable. After the game headed to Oakland. Had a beer at The Trappist (awesome place) and then did dinner at Chop Bar down the street which was fantastic. Very glad we did not hit the Pacific Coast Brewing after reading online reviews.

Monday got up and went to the A's game at the worst stadium ever built, AKA O.Co Coliseum. This was my 18th MLB stadium and so far, the worst (although I can't imagine any of my remaining stadiums would be worse). A concrete, 70s dump. We had to wait for almost an hour in the blazing sun to even get through the metal detectors! After the game went to Berkeley and visited Eureka! which had awesome burgers. Then hit the other Amoeba Music (much better selection there) and visited People's Park for some interesting time "hanging out" with the locals. My GF was not feeling well after that, so I dropped her at the hotel and took the BART back into SF (about 9 PM) where I walked from Embarcadero up the Filbert Steps to Coit Tower, back down the other side of Telegraph Hill into Russian Hill, walked up Lombard St. and back down into North Beach where I hit the Rogue Brewpub. Later ended up back at The Trappist before bed. An awesome but strenuous walk.

Tuesday took the Powell/Market cable car to Fisherman's Wharf (as touristy as I was expecting), checked out the sea lions and took a boat tour under the GG bridge and around Alcatraz. It was a bit cheesy but fun, since we agreed we didn't want to burn much of the day going to Sausalito and back. Took the other Powell/Hyde cable car back. Quite fun. After that went into Chinatown for snacking and then back into North Beach for dinner at Giordano Bros. which is a Primanti Bros. ripoff (famous sandwiches in Pittsburgh).

Wednesday did Sweet Woodruff for breakfast, which was awesome. Probably the best straight breakfast (not brunch) I've ever had. Very reasonable priced as well. After that back on the plane home to CMH.

Overall, a fantastic trip. Thanks again everyone for your recommendations and suggestions. If you ever (lamentably) find yourself in Columbus, I'm happy to tell you about all the best this city has to offer (not as much as SF, I'm afraid).

Last edited by nineworldseries; Jun 6, 14 at 10:32 am
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Old Jun 6, 14, 12:06 pm
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Thanks for reporting back, glad it was such a fun trip. Oh and I agree with you on Oakland's awful stadium.
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