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Heading to San Francisco Sept 2 - 7 (for the first time). What to check out?

Heading to San Francisco Sept 2 - 7 (for the first time). What to check out?

Old Jun 14, 16, 12:19 pm
  #1  
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Heading to San Francisco Sept 2 - 7 (for the first time). What to check out?

I've heard so much about San Francisco that I just had to visit the place myself. Besides the beauty of the city and landscape, I'm looking for some MUST SEE things/attractions.

I'm headed there Sept 2 - Sept 7 and would love some suggestions from you folks!

Thanks in advance; I look forward to your responses!

-K
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Old Jun 14, 16, 5:32 pm
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It's awesome here, so much to see and do. 5 days is solid amount of time to visit SF. Start with tripadvisor for some ideas.

If you're able to provide more details, I'm sure we can help. Will you have a car? Do you plan to visit the greater SF Bay Area? What interests do you have? Are there things that you do NOT want to do? Where are you staying?
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Old Jun 14, 16, 8:33 pm
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Take a look at this Sticky Thread:
Things to Do and Places to Go - San Francisco
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Old Jun 14, 16, 9:00 pm
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The Ferry Plaza is a great place for independent food and coffee stalls. Bonus points if you arrive during the Farmers Market.
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Old Jun 14, 16, 10:18 pm
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If you have any desire whatsoever to go to Alcatraz, book very soon. I'm not going to recommend it nor dissuade you (some people love it, say it is a can't miss) but if it is on your list and you want to pay "regular price," book soon.

You may really like the Bridge to Bridge Cruise on the Red/White Ferry. https://www.redandwhite.com/bridge-2-bridge-cruise/
Goldstar has tickets from time to time. https://www.goldstar.com/events/san-...-bridge-cruise
These are some of the most spectacular views you'll see, and you go under both the Bay and Golden Gate Bridges. I suggest the latest one available, as some lights should be coming on near the end of the cruise. (Note that it could end up very windy and cool.)

Without (as referenced above) an interest or avoid list, it is really hard to steer you in a more focused direction.
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Old Jun 15, 16, 5:08 am
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Originally Posted by TWA884 View Post
Take a look at this Sticky Thread:
Things to Do and Places to Go - San Francisco
This is an amazing resource; thanks for sharing!
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Old Jun 15, 16, 5:13 am
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Originally Posted by Troopers View Post
It's awesome here, so much to see and do. 5 days is solid amount of time to visit SF. Start with tripadvisor for some ideas.

If you're able to provide more details, I'm sure we can help. Will you have a car? Do you plan to visit the greater SF Bay Area? What interests do you have? Are there things that you do NOT want to do? Where are you staying?
I've already started with TripAdvisor and will be booking Alcatraz.
I picked up a SF city tour pass which will also give me access to cable car transportation (I won't have a car) and access to the aquarium.

Interests are mostly around sports, dining out/checking out new/cool restaurants, diving into the local culture. I'm up for anything and willing to step outside my comfort zone to experience something new.

I will be staying at Parc 55 on Cyril Magnin St.
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Old Jun 15, 16, 6:18 am
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Unfortunately the Giants are on the road, so no games at AT&T Park. Also, you'll just miss opening of symphony and opera seasons. But there is plenty to do.

Your hotel is perfectly located for touring and for use of transit. And there are a ton of things within easy walking distance as well.

Muni (San Francisco Municipal Railway) runs all of the busses, streetcars, cable cars and light rail. So you will have plenty of access to get around with your City Pass.

For example, use the pass to get to the entrance to the Golden Gate Bridge, then walk across and back. Glorious views.

Eating offers tons of options, and mingling with locals is a way to plug into the local scene.

The one caution I would give is to try to avoid chain restaurants and tourist traps. There is so much good food at all price points, that it would be a crime to eat mediocre food.

Do bring a sweater or hooded sweatshirt - early September can be cool in the evenings.
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Old Jun 15, 16, 8:30 am
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Originally Posted by goat89 View Post
Interests are mostly around sports, dining out/checking out new/cool restaurants, diving into the local culture. I'm up for anything and willing to step outside my comfort zone to experience something new.
Some quick thoughts as I have to scoot soon...

As another poster mentioned, Giants are out of town. But there are daily tours of the park, and the team store is opened daily.

Other than the well documented known spots to hit/eat, I suggest:

- Spend some time at Lands End/Sutro Baths...you can spend easily 2 hours hiking/walking the trails...the trail leads to spectacular views of GGB (different angle than what you always see) followed by a meal at the Cliff House

- For dinner: try Progress (next door to State Bird) near J-Town and Contigo in Noe Valley

- For bfast/brunch: try Plow in Potrero hill

- RG Lounge in Chinatown and San Tung in Sunset are must eat "Chinese" food

- Elephant Sushi in Russian Hill (near Lombard)

- Rent a bike and pedal down Market and along the Embacadero. If you're feeling like a champ, continue along Crissy Fields, bike across GGB to Sausalito and ferry back.

- For ice cream, suggest Smitten in Hayes Valley, Bi-Rite or Mitchell's in Mission

Also, are you hear solo? Or with SO? Kids?

Last edited by Troopers; Jun 15, 16 at 8:37 am
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Old Jun 15, 16, 11:48 am
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OK, some more suggestions:

Ferry Building Marketplace - two station ride on the Muni Metro from your hotel. Open early, not a tourist trap as the vendors are local. Try grilled cheese at Cowgirl Creamery Sidekick Cafe (cheese house-made in the Bay Area). Or Mijita, by the chef of the high-ranked Jardine restaurant. Casual Mexican, Oaxacan not Tex-Mex. And arguably the very best ice cream in town at Humphrey Slocombe.

Progress and its sister State Bird Provisions is a solid recommendation. SBP serves small plates in dim sum style with carts bringing food for you to pick from - from quail to seafood to vegetables. Easy Muni access on the 38 Geary crosstown bus.

Liholiho Yacht Club - Asian influenced Hawaiian spot; small and large plates. Downtown.

Last edited by Non-NonRev; Jun 15, 16 at 11:56 am
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Old Jun 15, 16, 1:02 pm
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For sports the A's will be in town- playing the Red Sox and the Angels during your stay. It's a very easy BART ride from your hotel to the Coliseum.

Your stay is during Labor Day so if you need tickets/reservations to anything you want to do then get on it quickly.
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Old Jun 15, 16, 2:11 pm
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More suggestions:

- If you golf, suggest a round at Harding Park...it's pricey for out-of-towners but free with the Citi Presitge

- Just an average show, but Beach Blanket Babylon is definitively San Francisco

- Visit the newly renovated MOMA...I believe free as a CPC

- Try Kokkari in financial district for outstanding Greek food...it's one of my favs restaurants in SF. The space/scene is just lovely.

- Walk up Nob Hill, and visit the Fairmont and have a drink across the street at the Top of the Mark inside the Intercontinental Mark Hopkins.

- If you're a Disney fan, visit the Disney Family Museum in the Presidio
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Old Jun 15, 16, 3:51 pm
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More good suggestions by Troopers

Harding Park is well worth it if you are a serious player; it is not an easy course. But one of the better municipal courses in the US.

Good rec on MOMA - their new building, designed by Norway's Snøhetta, is stunning and it serves the art very well. And there is a excellent restaurant there, In Situ.

Good suggestion for the crest of Nob Hill - using your pass, exit your hotel and ride the cable car up to the top. Walk downhill

Traditional restaurants include Tadich Grill, in business since 1849, stresses simple preparations of fresh West Coast seafood. Speciality is cioppino, a San Francisco variation on boulibaise. They also do a good Hangtown Fry. Moderate cost.

Oakland As are a good team and on your dates, good opponents are in town. Only challenge is the abysmal stadium they play in. BART access is very easy and direct, though.

Note: BART is not part of your City Pass because it is run by a different governmental entity. But single tickets are easy to buy and not too expensive.

Last edited by Non-NonRev; Jun 15, 16 at 7:16 pm
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Old Jun 20, 16, 7:18 am
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Thanks so much for sharing - these are some great suggestions!
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Old Jun 25, 16, 5:05 am
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As a probably 20-time visitor to San Fran, I'm still finding things! With five days, you're definitely going to want to come back (but that's a good thing, right?).

I'd add in the free (donations to running costs) walking tours run by the City Library and hosted by local volunteers - much better and cheaper than the commercial tours. If you're interested in The Fairmont, they run a pre-book only tour there weekly which takes you into rooms the general public wouldn't find it so easy to access.

As recommended above, I'd certainly also try the Presidio, including the Walt Disney museum - it's a world away from the City and some great views. Again, there's a free walking tour if it co-incides with your schedule. From there, you can take a free PresidiGo bus down to Baker's Beach for an alternative view of the Golden Gate Bridge.
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