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Playboy May 23, 14 2:56 pm

Please Critique My SFO Intinerary
 
My travel companion and me will be in San Fran from Aug 31 to Sept 6. This will be here first time there and it will be my second time; the first time was a really short 1 day business trip 8 years ago. I'm posting my itinerary so that you folks can provide me with any feedback you may have regarding traffic, food, walking from Chinatown back to the Westin Union Square, etc. The times are a place-holder and not hard and fast.

Sunday Aug 31
Take BART from SFO to Powell St Station SFO 12:47pm 1:17pm
Check-In at the hotel 1:32pm 2:00pm
Leave for Lunch 2:10pm
Late Lunch - Turtle Tower 645 Larkin St 2:30pm 3:30pm
Walk around the Ferry Building 3:50pm 4:20pm
Leave for Pier 33 Pier 33, The Embarcadero 4:25pm
Alcatraz Tour 5:20pm 8:45pm
Return to Hotel 9:30pm 9:50pm

Monday Sept 1
Leave to Pick-up Rental from Avis 675 Post St 8:00am
Drive to Rutherford Hill Winery 9:40am 11:00am
Winery Tour - Rutherford Hill Winery Napa Valley11:30am 1:00pm
Lunch- Farmstead 738 Main St, St Helena 1:20pm 2:20pm
Drive to San Francisco 2:25pm 4:45pm
Cako Bakery - Cupcakes 211 O'Farrell St 5:00pm 5:10pm
Drop Cupcakes off at Hotel 5:20pm 6:00pm
Walk around Chinatown 6:00pm 6:55pm
Dinner - Z&Y Chinese 655 Jackson St 7:00pm 8:00pm
Hotel

Tuesday Sept 2
Breakfast - Dottie's Café 28 6th St 7:30am 8:30am
Drive to Julia Pfeiffer Burns Park Big Sur, CA 8:15am 11:15am
Hike 11:20am 3:20pm
Drive to 17 Mile Drive Pebble Beach, CA 3:30pm 4:40pm
Drive around 17 Mile Drive Pebble Beach, CA 4:40pm 5:40pm
Dinner- Pashionfish Pacific Grove, CA 6:40pm 7:40pm
Drive back to San Francisco 7:45pm 10:00pm
Arrive at the Hotel San Francisco, CA 10:00pm


Wednesday Sept 3
Return Rental Car to Avis 675 Post St 8:00am
Breakfast - Dottie's Café 28 6th St, 8:30am 9:30am
Ride Powell St Cable Car up to Hyde & Lombard 10:42am 11:00am
Take Pics at Lombard St switch-back 11:05am 11:20am
Fisherman's Wharf 11:20am 11:30am
Take pics of the Bay between pier 43 & 45 11:32am 11:40am
Walk to Ghirardeli Square 11:40am 12:00pm
Walk around Ghirardeli 12:03pm 12:13pm
Lunch - Blue Barn Gourmet 2105 Chestnut St 12:35pm 1:35pm
Golden Gate Bridge Pavilion Golden Gate Bridge2:20pm 2:45pm
Take Pics at the Golden Gate Bridge 2:55pm 3:55pm
Hotel
Dinner - Nopa 560 Divisadero St, 7:30pm 8:30pm
Taxi to Hotel
Hotel

Thursday Sept 4
Breakfast - Dottie's Café 28 6th St, 7:30am 8:30am
Hotel 8:45am 11:30am
Alamo Square - The Painted Ladies 11:55am 12:25pm
Lunch - Zuni Café 1:05pm 2:05pm
Hotel
Dinner- La Ciccia 7:30pm 8:30pm
Hotel

Friday Sept 5
Breakfast - Dottie's Café 28 6th St 7:30am 8:30am
Hotel
Take BART to Berkeley Powell St BART St 10:00am 10:24am
Walk around Cal-Berkeley Berkeley, CA 10:35am 12:35pm
Take BART to 19th St BART St 12:45pm 12:55pm
Lunch - Stag's Lunchette Oakland, CA 1:00pm 2:00pm
Open
Open
Dinner - Gitane 6 Claude Lane, San Fracisco, CA 8:00pm 9:00pm
Hotel

Saturday Sept 7
Take BART to Airport Powell St Bart Station 6:55am

StudentExplorer May 23, 14 3:26 pm

A few thoughts:

1) Not sure where you are staying (I'm assuming right on or near Union Square), but not sure it makes sense on the first day to go to Turtle Tower and then backtrack to the Ferry Building. I think your time is probably better spent just going down to the Ferry Building and wandering through and eating there.

2) Looks like you are headed up to Napa. Why not spend more of the day up there and visit another winery or two? Leaving in the morning like you are, you can definitely fit in more than 1 tasting.

3) Quite a number of breakfasts at Dottie's! It's good, but not sure worth going back to so many times. Also keep in mind that it is a very very popular spot, and waits can easily stretch up to an hour or more.

4) Big Sur is beautiful, but keep in mind that it is a lot of driving to do in one day! If you can, I'd spend the night down there.

Playboy May 23, 14 3:31 pm


Originally Posted by StudentExplorer (Post 22914869)
A few thoughts:

1) Not sure where you are staying (I'm assuming right on or near Union Square), but not sure it makes sense on the first day to go to Turtle Tower and then backtrack to the Ferry Building. I think your time is probably better spent just going down to the Ferry Building and wandering through and eating there.

2) Looks like you are headed up to Napa. Why not spend more of the day up there and visit another winery or two? Leaving in the morning like you are, you can definitely fit in more than 1 tasting.

3) Quite a number of breakfasts at Dottie's! It's good, but not sure worth going back to so many times. Also keep in mind that it is a very very popular spot, and waits can easily stretch up to an hour or more.

4) Big Sur is beautiful, but keep in mind that it is a lot of driving to do in one day! If you can, I'd spend the night down there.

Thanks.

We're staying at the Westin Union Square. I have Turtle Tower on the list because I want Vietnamese and not the Cal-Viet fusion stuff you'll find at Slanted Door; and I want Pho.

We just wanted to do one winery while in Napa, which is why we don't have a second tour scheduled.

I was thinking about adding Brenda's Soulfood for breakfast on one of the days, but i'm not sure.

Eastbay1K May 23, 14 3:48 pm

This sounds like a 22 countries in 21 days tour of Europe schedule.

Why don't you actually sit down and enjoy your meals, which will take a lot longer than your "to the minute" schedule.

What if something captures your eye during your 8 minute photo shoot? What if there's a 15 minute wait at Cako?

I don't imagine that you will enjoy your trip with that schedule. You'll also be having a lot of doggie bags and take out food.

garykung May 23, 14 4:04 pm

Your itinerary is too specific. So I will only point those which I think there are issues.


Originally Posted by Playboy (Post 22914743)
Check-In at the hotel 1:32pm 2:00pm


Originally Posted by Playboy (Post 22914743)
Leave to Pick-up Rental from Avis 675 Post St 8:00am


Originally Posted by Playboy (Post 22914743)
Return Rental Car to Avis 675 Post St 8:00am

Downtown parking is expensive. So if you want to rent a car, I will hesitate to stay in Downtown.

In the alternative, I will return the car each night and rent it back next morning to save the parking.


Originally Posted by Playboy (Post 22914743)
Breakfast - Dottie's Café 28 6th St 7:30am 8:30am

I don't know how popular Dottie's Café is. But as a tourist, I would stay away from 6th Street area at SOMA (SOuth of MArket Street). It is a ghetto area.


Originally Posted by Playboy (Post 22914743)
Dinner - Z&Y Chinese 655 Jackson St 7:00pm 8:00pm

Seriously? Z&Y Chinese is not your typical Chinese foods (for both Chinese and non-Chinese). Z&Y Chinese offers more like regional cuisines.

And I don't care who has been there. FWIW - President Obama knows nothing about Chinese foods, even he has a brother in China.

If you want decent Chinese foods ($$), then you should try Millbrae, the city next to SFO, or Kao Palace at Daly City, CA.


Originally Posted by Playboy (Post 22914743)
Take BART to Airport Powell St Bart Station 6:55am

I will look for alternative transportation in this case. You will be screwed if you miss it (as the trains come every 20 minutes).

Beside these, you miss a lot of worthy tourist attractions, such as:

- Golden Gate Bridge
- In-N-Out Burger :p
- Stanford University (if you are interested in schools :D)

Also - I will group every within San Francisco POI into 1 single day. With a car, you will save a lot of travel time. Hence, spare time.

Playboy May 23, 14 4:20 pm


Originally Posted by garykung (Post 22915110)

I don't know how popular Dottie's Café is. But as a tourist, I would stay away from 6th Street area at SOMA (SOuth of MArket Street). It is a ghetto area.

Dottie's is very popular and looking at their menu they provide what I'm looking at the price I'm looking for. What would be the best way to get there since it's only 0.8 miles from my hotel?


Originally Posted by garykung (Post 22915110)
Seriously? Z&Y Chinese is not your typical Chinese foods (for both Chinese and non-Chinese). Z&Y Chinese offers more like regional cuisines.

And I don't care who has been there. FWIW - President Obama knows nothing about Chinese foods, even he has a brother in China.

If you want decent Chinese foods ($$), then you should try Millbrae, the city next to SFO, or Kao Palace at Daly City, CA.

I'm not going there bc Obama went there. Is it ok to walk from there back to the Westin Union Square?




Originally Posted by garykung (Post 22915110)
I will look for alternative transportation in this case. You will be screwed if you miss it (as the trains come every 20 minutes).

Beside these, you miss a lot of worthy tourist attractions, such as:

- Golden Gate Bridge
- In-N-Out Burger :p
- Stanford University (if you are interested in schools :D)

Also - I will group every within San Francisco POI into 1 single day. With a car, you will save a lot of travel time. Hence, spare time.

We're going to the GG Bridge on Wednesday. I lived in PHX in the mid 2000's and I went to In-N-Out a couple of time and it was average. I prefer 5 guys over In-N-Out. We're walking thru the Cal-Berkley campus on Friday so we'll be able to get a university fix in.

Doc Savage May 23, 14 4:21 pm

I think you should be a bit more exact in your timing.:D

garykung May 23, 14 4:37 pm


Originally Posted by Playboy (Post 22915203)
What would be the best way to get there since it's only 0.8 miles from my hotel?

Walk (Stay on Market Street as long as possible) - But be alert.


Originally Posted by Playboy (Post 22915203)
I'm not going there bc Obama went there.

Who knows? But it really depends on what food you are looking for.


Originally Posted by Playboy (Post 22915203)
Is it ok to walk from there back to the Westin Union Square?

Yes and no. From DT to Chinatown, the route is going uphill. So I will take Muni up and walk down.


Originally Posted by Playboy (Post 22915203)
We're going to the GG Bridge on Wednesday.

You did not say :p


Originally Posted by Playboy (Post 22915203)
I lived in PHX in the mid 2000's and I went to In-N-Out a couple of time and it was average. I prefer 5 guys over In-N-Out.

How about your +1?


Originally Posted by Playboy (Post 22915203)
We're walking thru the Cal-Berkley campus on Friday so we'll be able to get a university fix in.

Personally, Stanford University has more things to see. Beside I hate walking uphill.

squeakr May 23, 14 7:00 pm

Others have commented on the time frames
 
I think they are very optimistic but your experience may be different.
Dottie's used to be in the Upper Tenderloin, another sketchy area but much better than 6th and Market. I love here and I wouldn't walk that half block even in the am.

If you want good breakfast food, walk up to Sears Fine Foods on Powell St, an SF institution and also close to your hotel.

If you want Cako cupcakes you can also get them in the Westfield Mall which is also closer to your hotel. Altho why you'd want to is beyond me - they are by far not the best cupcakes in SF

I assume you have reservations at Nopa? Leaving only an hour for dinner may not be possible there.

Playboy May 23, 14 7:12 pm


Originally Posted by squeakr (Post 22915802)
I think they are very optimistic but your experience may be different.
Dottie's used to be in the Upper Tenderloin, another sketchy area but much better than 6th and Market. I love here and I wouldn't walk that half block even in the am.

If you want good breakfast food, walk up to Sears Fine Foods on Powell St, an SF institution and also close to your hotel.

If you want Cako cupcakes you can also get them in the Westfield Mall which is also closer to your hotel. Altho why you'd want to is beyond me - they are by far not the best cupcakes in SF

I assume you have reservations at Nopa? Leaving only an hour for dinner may not be possible there.

I haven't made reservations at Nopa yet, but I will. Again, as I said in my OP, the times are just a place holder - they're not meant to be hard and fast. We'll be fluid & flexible as always.

Playboy May 23, 14 7:31 pm

What are the sketchy areas to avoid, meaning streets that I shouldn't walk down unless I'm carrying a weapon or have a bodyguard?

squeakr May 23, 14 8:34 pm

Nopa
 

Originally Posted by Playboy (Post 22915843)
I haven't made reservations at Nopa yet, but I will. .

reservations open up exactly one month before and prime times are often gone. The e is a long communal table but waits there are often over an hour.


Overall the Tenderloin area is one to avoid as is "literally) 6th Street form Market on down. Other sketchy areas (Bayview, Hunters Point) aren't areas a tourist would likely go.

Tenderloin will show on any map of SF but generally it's north of Market from Mason to Leavenworth and Eddy to Sutter. The further north you go the better it gets.

Lost May 23, 14 8:53 pm

Sept 1 = Labor Day. Traffic can be epic with everyone coming back into the bay area from the three day weekend. Beware when you come back from Napa.

Edit: I see you have a bit of free time on the 4th and 5th. I would recommend taking a few things off the 3rd and putting them on the 4th and 5th. Especially since you have such a long day on the 2nd.

garykung May 23, 14 9:23 pm


Originally Posted by Lost (Post 22916156)
Sept 1 = Labor Day. Traffic can be epic with everyone coming back into the bay area from the three day weekend. Beware when you come back from Napa.

Yes - thanks for that.

Watch out for bridge(s) closure. Labor Day weekend is known in the Bay Area that major bridges may get shut down for repair.

It is unlikely this year. But who knows?

Lost May 23, 14 9:56 pm


Originally Posted by squeakr (Post 22916088)
Overall the Tenderloin area is one to avoid as is "literally) 6th Street form Market on down. Other sketchy areas (Bayview, Hunters Point) aren't areas a tourist would likely go.

Tenderloin will show on any map of SF but generally it's north of Market from Mason to Leavenworth and Eddy to Sutter. The further north you go the better it gets.

OP, here are maps of the Tenderloin and the Bayview (I would include the whole area south of 280 and east of 101). Agree with squeakr, the Bayview/Hunters Point area is pretty far out of the way for tourists.

I forget the exact statistic that came out recently, but something like 75% of all robberies in SF involve taking a cell phone, iPod, etc... so keep it in your pocket while on the street, and that includes headphones/earbuds.


Originally Posted by garykung (Post 22916238)
Yes - thanks for that.

Watch out for bridge(s) closure. Labor Day weekend is known in the Bay Area that major bridges may get shut down for repair.

It is unlikely this year. But who knows?

I think a bridge closure is unlikely now that the new Bay Bridge is open, but Caltrans will be shutting down the NB 280 extension over Labor Day to complete the work that they're starting this weekend.


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