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Bay Area Travel

HorizonXPHorizonXP Registered User regular
edited November 2007 in Help / Advice Forum
Hey guys,

I'm Googling away, trying to find things on my own, but I figured that some people might have better insights.

My friends and I (5 of us total) are looking to spend Thanksgiving in San Fran. We're looking for a hotel to stay at most likely.

Most importantly though, is what to see and do. Also, how do I get around? Is a rental car necessary? I'm under 25, but over 21, so I'd like to avoid renting a car if I can, to save money. I've heard SF's mass transit's decent, which is definitely better than San Diego, lol.

Any help is appreciated, thanks!

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HorizonXP on

Posts

  • blincolnblincoln Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    The transit is very good, but a rental car could be handy depending on where you want to go. If you're planning on staying in the downtown area it's probably more trouble than it's worth, because it can be a hassle finding a place to park. If the weather is nice, it's worth it to walk through downtown as much as possible - you will see a lot more interesting things that way.

    blincoln on
    Legacy of Kain: The Lost Worlds
    http://www.thelostworlds.net/
  • FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD interior crocodile alligator ⇔ ǝɹʇɐǝɥʇ ǝᴉʌoɯ ʇǝloɹʌǝɥɔ ɐ ǝʌᴉɹp ᴉRegistered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Yeah, if you're staying downtown you probably won't need a rental car. You'll only need it if you want to leave the city and go to the beach or go hiking or something, which doesn't sound like a good Thanksgiving activity.

    Instead, you can get a BART (subway) Plus Ticket, which will let you use the buses and light rail for free. http://www.bart.gov/tickets/types/types.asp

    Between that and keeping a $20 bill in your pocket for cab fare you can get just about anywhere within city limits and quite a bit south of city limits.

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.

    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
  • ryuprechtryuprecht Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    First trip to SF? One of the best places to visit, but you should be prepared with multiple options, both big and small. SF should be planned based on what kind of things you want to do, and whether they are big or small. How touristy do you want to be? How much money do you want to spend? Try some or all of these:

    Alcatraz - worth the money in every way. Book at least a week in advance.
    Pier 39/Fisherman's Warf - just down the road from Alcatraz, within walking distance. It's like an outdoor mall. If you don't like that stuff, don't bother. There are good restaurants out there though.
    Ghirradeli Square - same as above, but with great chocolate to boot.
    Little Italy- some of the best food you'll ever have. It's about a mile or so long, stuffed with italian food, espresso, and tiramisu. Oh yeah, gelato too.
    Chinatown - I don't like it. Your mileage may vary.
    Japantown - more like a mall, but if you like sushi...well, there you go.
    Golden Gate Park - Worth it. Tons of stuff. Make sure you go to the Tea Gardens. This is a good half-day to full day.
    Cable cars - ride one, it's like Rice-a-Roni.

    There's more of course. Coit Tower is kind of a rip, but if you walk, it's ok. Try walking the Golden Gate Bridge too. Got a car? Go north to Muir Woods and see the great redwoods. Great hiking.

    If you get a car, drive Lombard street. Do it once in your life, just to say you have. It's the windiest road in the world.

    Eat - too many great places to list. If you want good food, but don't really want to go all out, try:

    Fior di Italia - authentic italian in Little Italy. I don't think half the people who work there speak English, just Italian.
    Cheesecake Factory - need I say more? Top floor at Macy's in Union Square.
    The Metreon - several good places that are pretty cheap. It's also a neat place to visit.

    That's the 5 minute response.

    ryuprecht on
  • FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD interior crocodile alligator ⇔ ǝɹʇɐǝɥʇ ǝᴉʌoɯ ʇǝloɹʌǝɥɔ ɐ ǝʌᴉɹp ᴉRegistered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Japantown sushi has really gone downhill in recent years, but the places north of Japantown on and off of Fillmore have picked up the slack.

    If you want food recommendations, post back with some stuff your group likes. Thai? Mexican? West African? (If you've never have Ethiopian or Eritrean food, you have to do it at least once. It's definitely worth the gastrointenstinal apocalypse afterwards.) Pizza?

    Are you going to be looking for nightlife?

    And regarding touristy places, if your group is even remotely geeky or science oriented, you have to go to the Exploratorium. It's a science museum where you get to play with the exhibits.

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.

    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
  • mtsmts Dr. Robot King Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    i would say no you don't need a car. presuming you are staying within the city.
    FYI little italy is north beach.

    Chestnut is a cool little area, and you can hit it up with crissy field/ft baker(?, i think its the name of it but could be wrong)

    castro has cool shops
    stay out of the tenderloin

    mts on
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  • Lord YodLord Yod Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    mts wrote: »

    stay out of the tenderloin

    Unless, of course, that's why you're going to SF. :winky:

    Lord Yod on
    steam_sig.png
  • FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD interior crocodile alligator ⇔ ǝɹʇɐǝɥʇ ǝᴉʌoɯ ʇǝloɹʌǝɥɔ ɐ ǝʌᴉɹp ᴉRegistered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Eh, the Tenderloin is a pretty big neighborhood and not all of it is bad. As long as you're not wandering around aimlessly after 1 am or so and as long as you're not a complete dork (don't hang out in dark back alleys) then the worst that will happen is you might get solicited by a hooker.

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.

    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
  • blincolnblincoln Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    The transit is very good, but a rental car could be handy depending on where you want to go. If you're planning on staying in the downtown area it's probably more trouble than it's worth, because it can be a hassle finding a place to park. If the weather is nice, it's worth it to walk through downtown as much as possible - you will see a lot more interesting things that way.

    blincoln on
    Legacy of Kain: The Lost Worlds
    http://www.thelostworlds.net/
  • DrFrylockDrFrylock Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    If you're in the city proper, I recommend against getting a rental car since driving and parking in SF are such a bitch. Cab fare is cheap for long distances and the mass transit is pretty good.

    Castro's great. Look, go on the Alcatraz tour if you must (it's pretty interesting) but you're not going to walk into a Bed & Bath shop on Alcatraz and see a 6'2" 45-year-old man in drag asking if you're looking for anything in particular.

    As for hotels I've had excellent luck in the city with Joire de Vivre hotels. They basically take older smaller hotels and fix them up real nice. Their prices used to be better but they're not too bad. If you're looking for the super deal just Priceline a 3-star hotel in the city for $50 a night and take your chances. Everything's close enough in the city that you don't have to be in any particular spot.

    DrFrylock on
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