San Fransisco,CA **now with aar!**

Topics on travel. Heading out of the country or just out of state? Stop by here to share advice or post questions.

Moderator: ZS Global Moderators

Post Reply
User avatar
TheLastOne
ZS Member
ZS Member
Posts: 3210
Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 5:06 pm
Location: CO

San Fransisco,CA **now with aar!**

Post by TheLastOne » Wed Sep 28, 2011 9:31 pm

So, I'm such a gear nerd that I'm going to use my whopping little bit of vacation this year to go to SanFran to see the TAD stores (don't judge me, I already know).
Also, it's warmer than here in Nov or Dec, and there should be some other attractions I'm into.

SO
Looking for advice on areas to avoid, things to see, places to eat, recommended hotels.

35m, travel alone, antisocial. I plan on renting a car unless convincing advice given.

I am into: Asian food/culture (Japantown, Chinatown are big on the list, would love some food recommendations here).
I'd like to see the bridge, the bay, maybe a museum (into paintings/art, nat history ok too)
Hotels I've been scoping on expidia: Hotel Kabuki is in japantown and in the middle of everything says google maps
Da Vinci Villa is also in a centralized location and seems cool.
Not necessarily looking for boutique hotels, but again I don't usually travel so I'm looking to stay somewhere comfortable. Advice appreciated.

Looking for quiet activities like sights, maybe a hike, museum etc that I can do by myself without feeling like I shouldn't be by myself. Looking for good takeout type places or a place with a good counter to eat at by myself without feeling too weird about it.

Anecdotal advice on edc items also appreciated. Thanks in advance.
Last edited by TheLastOne on Fri Nov 11, 2011 11:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
MF'N Team Leader: Cleveland Steamers 2012
Team Beards&Irons 2013
Image

User avatar
skelco
ZS Donor
ZS Donor
Posts: 743
Joined: Tue Sep 13, 2011 4:31 pm
Location: San Francisco, CA

Re: San Fransisco,CA

Post by skelco » Wed Sep 28, 2011 11:00 pm

Getting around:
A car can be useful here, especially if you don't like using public transportation but be sure to factor in the cost of parking and the time it will take you to find it. Most of the areas with sights to see will not have ANY free parking and you will have too look for street parking or use pay lots. As with any big city, people will steal your stuff, (mostly petty theft by junkies) here so make sure you don't leave ANYTHING visible in the car and don't make a show of putting things in the trunk. Make sure you get the insurance for your rental. Not trying to scare you, it's just something that happens here and the police are busy with other things. You can also get around just fine via the Muni system, which is the underground, streetcars and busses, and with cable cars and BART. Plan on doing a lot of walking also, it's a small city.

Hotels:
I've heard good things about the Kabuki and you have the advantage of quite a bit of stuff to do in Japan town/Filmore/Pacific heights. You can also get good deals at sone of the smaller places around Union Square, (I've sent people to the Crescent Hotel) and south of Market (SOMA) try Good Hotel. Try and make sure that parking is guaranteed and part of the deal.

Stuff to do:
I see two TAD stores listed in the city. The Hayes Valley area is an up and coming hip, trendy area with tons of places to eat and it's close to City Hall and the Asian Art Museum as well as the Tenderloin and Little Saigon (It's also right down the hill from the Kabuki). The Dogpatch area where the other store is has its gems too, for one it's easier to park there and you can get a good view of the bay and some of the last shipyards left here. I recommend breakfast or lunch at Just for You, they have counter seating. For art, check out the MOMA and the DeYoung and plan on spending a day exploring Golden Gate Park and the Presidio. You can do North Beach and Chinatown in a day and don't be afraid to walk down alleys there, it's pretty safe and interesting. Haight Ashbury is kind of a bust and the financial district/downtown is a ghost town at night. Theres a ton of stuff to see for the solo explorer.

Bad neighborhoods:
San Francisco is pretty safe overall but being small, the good and badhoods are right next to each other. Parts of the Fillmore and Hayes valley, Civic Center, the Tenderloin, the Mission can be dicey as there are housing projects and the like. North Beach around Broadway and Columbus after dark gets filled with amateur hour drinkers and wannabe tough guys so unless you really wanna see a stripper be careful. Just avoid the bad areas at night as that's when you will get the most hassle from um..zombies.

pm me if you want further reccos or directions or anything.
Last edited by skelco on Wed Sep 28, 2011 11:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
-skelco
ZSC:015 Officer of Indeterminate Duty

"I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me."
-Hunter S. Thompson

fourxfour
Posts: 17
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2011 7:22 pm

Re: San Fransisco,CA

Post by fourxfour » Wed Sep 28, 2011 11:01 pm

I'm about 20 minutes south of SF. Tad Gear is pretty much the only thing I go into SF for.

I've been to the Museum of Modern Art and it was cool. The Metreon is also pretty cool. Union Square has nice shops. North Beach has some good Italian Food.

Everything else I normally do in the city involves drinking. I don't do that too much anymore.



Sent from my PC36100 using Tapatalk

User avatar
TheLastOne
ZS Member
ZS Member
Posts: 3210
Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 5:06 pm
Location: CO

Re: San Fransisco,CA

Post by TheLastOne » Thu Sep 29, 2011 7:35 am

Dang guys, thanks for the responses, that's the good info I'm looking for. I'm not a drinker anymore either so that crap doesn't interest me anymore either and I should avoid those zombies no problem :lol:

Kabuki hotel might be the winner. I'll check out Good Hotel too, I do remember expedia popping that one up.

THanks!
MF'N Team Leader: Cleveland Steamers 2012
Team Beards&Irons 2013
Image

User avatar
KYZHunters
* * * * *
Posts: 1366
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2007 10:47 pm
Location: Kentucky

Re: San Fransisco,CA

Post by KYZHunters » Thu Sep 29, 2011 8:36 am

San Francisco is a fun city to visit and can be done pretty easily on foot. My favorite restaurant there is a Vietnamese joint called The Slanted Door at the foot of Market Street on the Embarcadero http://www.slanteddoor.com/. It gets pretty packed but it has a huge bar area where you can always get a seat and eat. Also, the Swan Oyster Depot 1517 Polk St. in Nob Hill is fantastic. It is basically a giant lunch counter that serves all kinds of seafood. Again, less expensive but not cheap. http://swanoysterdepotsf.com/ As far as Chinatown is concerned, you can hardly go wrong; look for the locals at the noodle and dim sum joints and dig in.

Another hotel option might be the Marines Memorial Hotel at 609 Sutter St near Union Square http://www.marineclub.com/index.php; if you are a vet or any kind of gov't employee, etc. it is a nice, less expensive option (not cheap) that is a very close walk to everything you might want to see and the cable cars. You said you weren't a drinker, but they have a two-hour free happy hour with chow from 5-7 in the roof top bar, plus the place is packed with all kinds of memorabilia. It might be worth just walking in and looking around, also, no ones ever asked me for a room key at the happy hour...just saying.

As far as tourist stuff to do, Alcatraz is pretty interesting and I like the de Young Fine Art museum by the Golden Gate Park.

Re. the weather. Plan for cold and damp.

As far as entertainment goes, I really like Fillmore... more of a bar than a theater and usually has great shows for pretty cheap.

As far as safety goes, commonsense prevails. The panhandlers can be very aggressive and your best bet is just to not engage in any kind of dialogue with them. If you think you might get weirded out by the scene in the Castro, don't go.

If you're going to go across the bay to Berkeley/Oakland drop me a PM and I can give you some more gouge. Have fun.
crypto wrote:It's not that you were being "harsh" so much as a "douchebag".

what_Ever
*
Posts: 43
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2007 11:23 am

Re: San Fransisco,CA

Post by what_Ever » Thu Sep 29, 2011 10:50 am

I've lived in SF since 1993, so here's my two cents.

If I were going to stay in SF, I'd get a hotel somewhere in Union Square. The Hotel Triton is in an excellent location, just steps to Chinatown, and a brief walk from North Beach.

The thing about Japan Town in SF is it's basically just about two blocks of shopping and dining in the otherwise sort of blighted Western Addition. Lots of nightclubs and restaurants. The area south of J-Town is sort of sketchy; walk a few blocks north on Fillmore and you're in the thick of one of SF's richest neighborhoods.

I concur on KYZHunters's dining recommendations. If you like shellfish, definitely visit Swan's. Be aware it closes early - 5:00 or 5:30 I think. I've found the best time to go (i.e., least busy) is between 2 & 4.

Strongly recommend the VIP bakery on Broadway in North Beach for a cheap Hong-Kong style breakfast. Their cocktail buns and everything buns were my favorite in SF. I used to get breakfast there for .75 cents when I worked in North Beach 8 years ago. Also recommend Golden Boy Pizza on Green St. for a slice.

If you fancy Korean food, Korea House in J-town is a good bet. Also, Brothers BBQ on Geary in the Richmond district, but that may not be the best place to go solo.

HRD coffee shop in SOMA (don't go after dark...not sure they're even open at night) is a Korean owned greasy spoon and has some "fusion" stuff like kimchi burritos, mongolian beef steak & cheese sandwiches, and kimchi tacos. Along with traditional American diner fare. I go there by myself all the time for lunch. The Museum of Modern Art is a few blocks from HRD.

If you're not planning to leave the city, I'd say don't rent a car. From Union Square you can cover all of China Town/North beach on foot. J-town is a cab or bus ride away. You'd have to cab it to the Golden Gate...getting there would be easy, but getting a cab out might be a challenge. You might want the concierge to hook you up with a car service; they cost about what a taxi does, but you call the driver directly and I've found them to be more reliable than public taxis in out of the way places or during peak taxi times.

Take a bay cruise - I think they leave from pier 37. Have fun! PM me if you want more suggestions or whatever.

User avatar
whisk.e.rebellion
ZS Board Member
ZS Board Member
Posts: 8187
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2009 1:34 pm
Favorite Zombie Movies: 28 Days Later. Dawn of the Dead (both versions). Return of the Living Dead. Shaun of the Dead. Dead Alive.
Location: Monterey Bay, California

Re: San Fransisco,CA

Post by whisk.e.rebellion » Thu Sep 29, 2011 11:10 am

It's spendy, but the Hotel Nikko is nice. It's in the middle of Union Square and a short (uphill) walk to Chinatown, or you can just go around the corner and catch a cable car at the Powell St. turnaround.

Like others have said, the good neighborhoods butt right up against the bad. Just pay attention to your surroundings.

Oh, if you're an early riser, expect to have to walk over/around homeless people sleeping on the sidewalks in Union Square.
I survived Zombie Con 2011: Full Spectrum Pain
I survived Zombie Con 2012: Our word is "douchebag"
I survived Zombie Con 2014: <Insert inappropriate website here>

User avatar
doc66
* * * * *
Posts: 5671
Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2006 11:56 am
Location: Back home in Tennessee
Contact:

Re: San Fransisco,CA

Post by doc66 » Thu Sep 29, 2011 12:12 pm

Don't waste your money on a car, plus, SF has some funky rules about parking, and you can easily get towed, ticketed, or otherwise ruin a good time. The BART system is pretty extensive, and you can get nearly anywhere in SF and the surrounding area on BART. However, watch the times, because some of the lines stop running at ten pm. I know this from experience!

It's a great city, one I really love to visit. I'd live there if it weren't in California.

There are so many places to go, I'd spend an entire afternoon, even a day, just wandering Golden Gate park, the beach, and surrounding area. There's a lot of good places to see, too many to list. Get a good walking map and a BART schedule (you can get this online, check out SF Gate (http://www.sfgate.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;), I think they have a BART line map and schedule), and you can visit more places than you'll have time for. Even if they don't they'll have a list of the thing happening in SF while you're there. Check ahead about Alcatraz, depending on the season, you have to order your ticket to the island way ahead of time. Do Coit Tower (again, make sure you can go up in the tower ahead of time), I've got some great pics of the city from there.

Have fun, it's a great town.
Image
http://www.milcopptactical.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

User avatar
skelco
ZS Donor
ZS Donor
Posts: 743
Joined: Tue Sep 13, 2011 4:31 pm
Location: San Francisco, CA

Re: San Fransisco,CA

Post by skelco » Thu Sep 29, 2011 12:34 pm

doc66 wrote:Don't waste your money on a car, plus, SF has some funky rules about parking, and you can easily get towed, ticketed, or otherwise ruin a good time. The BART system is pretty extensive, and you can get nearly anywhere in SF and the surrounding area on BART. However, watch the times, because some of the lines stop running at ten pm. I know this from experience!
just a note: BART and MUNI are separate systems that work pretty well together. BART is the faster, more commuter-oriented system, you can take it to and from the airport and it's just as fast as driving and cheaper than a shuttle or cab. The drawback is it has fewer stations and covers less of the city. Muni is everything else, I'm especially fond of the classic streetcars we have from around the country (and even some from Milano!). You can get a 7 day Muni passport: http://www.sfmta.com/cms/mfares/passports.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;. DEFINITELY check the schedule for the line you're riding, I got stuck in the sunset last week when the trains stopped running at midnight!
-skelco
ZSC:015 Officer of Indeterminate Duty

"I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me."
-Hunter S. Thompson

User avatar
TheLastOne
ZS Member
ZS Member
Posts: 3210
Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 5:06 pm
Location: CO

Re: San Fransisco,CA

Post by TheLastOne » Thu Sep 29, 2011 1:22 pm

Thanks guys! I wasn't really sure anyone read this section of the forum and I've gotten some great response. Solidified my trip, thanks for the specific tips!
MF'N Team Leader: Cleveland Steamers 2012
Team Beards&Irons 2013
Image

User avatar
doc66
* * * * *
Posts: 5671
Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2006 11:56 am
Location: Back home in Tennessee
Contact:

Re: San Fransisco,CA

Post by doc66 » Thu Sep 29, 2011 7:48 pm

skelco wrote:
doc66 wrote:Don't waste your money on a car, plus, SF has some funky rules about parking, and you can easily get towed, ticketed, or otherwise ruin a good time. The BART system is pretty extensive, and you can get nearly anywhere in SF and the surrounding area on BART. However, watch the times, because some of the lines stop running at ten pm. I know this from experience!
just a note: BART and MUNI are separate systems that work pretty well together. BART is the faster, more commuter-oriented system, you can take it to and from the airport and it's just as fast as driving and cheaper than a shuttle or cab. The drawback is it has fewer stations and covers less of the city. Muni is everything else, I'm especially fond of the classic streetcars we have from around the country (and even some from Milano!). You can get a 7 day Muni passport: http://www.sfmta.com/cms/mfares/passports.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;. DEFINITELY check the schedule for the line you're riding, I got stuck in the sunset last week when the trains stopped running at midnight!
Yeah, that's right! We took BART down to Palo Alto.... Thanks!
Image
http://www.milcopptactical.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

User avatar
TheLastOne
ZS Member
ZS Member
Posts: 3210
Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 5:06 pm
Location: CO

Re: San Fransisco,CA

Post by TheLastOne » Wed Nov 02, 2011 5:30 pm

Where would be the best park for hiking in the redwoods? I did a little search and found that there are quite a few areas for redwood hiking. Looking for a daytrip type thing. Drive an hour or so tops, hike for around 4 hours/daytrip basically. Would like to see old growth, but sounds like the 2nd growth or whatever it's called is nice too...
MF'N Team Leader: Cleveland Steamers 2012
Team Beards&Irons 2013
Image

User avatar
skelco
ZS Donor
ZS Donor
Posts: 743
Joined: Tue Sep 13, 2011 4:31 pm
Location: San Francisco, CA

Re: San Fransisco,CA

Post by skelco » Wed Nov 02, 2011 6:35 pm

TheLastOne wrote:Where would be the best park for hiking in the redwoods? I did a little search and found that there are quite a few areas for redwood hiking. Looking for a daytrip type thing. Drive an hour or so tops, hike for around 4 hours/daytrip basically. Would like to see old growth, but sounds like the 2nd growth or whatever it's called is nice too...
Muir Woods is nice and easy to get to and you can see the Marin Headlands too, if you go a little further north, Samuel P Taylor park is nice too.
-skelco
ZSC:015 Officer of Indeterminate Duty

"I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me."
-Hunter S. Thompson

User avatar
KYZHunters
* * * * *
Posts: 1366
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2007 10:47 pm
Location: Kentucky

Re: San Fransisco,CA

Post by KYZHunters » Thu Nov 03, 2011 7:58 am

If you're going to Marin, try to eat or stay at The Pelican Inn http://pelicaninn.com . It has a tiny bar where they frequently have Irish music and if you are a guest, behind the bar is a really nice room called "The Cozy" with a huge fireplace, board games etc. Breakfast is included and it is delivered to your room. It's a very short walk to Muir Beach. If you've got small kids, stay at the south end of the beach...lots of nekkid people on the north end.
crypto wrote:It's not that you were being "harsh" so much as a "douchebag".

User avatar
TheLastOne
ZS Member
ZS Member
Posts: 3210
Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 5:06 pm
Location: CO

Re: San Fransisco,CA

Post by TheLastOne » Fri Nov 04, 2011 7:30 am

thanks!
MF'N Team Leader: Cleveland Steamers 2012
Team Beards&Irons 2013
Image

User avatar
skelco
ZS Donor
ZS Donor
Posts: 743
Joined: Tue Sep 13, 2011 4:31 pm
Location: San Francisco, CA

Re: San Fransisco,CA

Post by skelco » Fri Nov 04, 2011 1:03 pm

Angel island is worth a look too
-skelco
ZSC:015 Officer of Indeterminate Duty

"I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me."
-Hunter S. Thompson

User avatar
TheLastOne
ZS Member
ZS Member
Posts: 3210
Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 5:06 pm
Location: CO

Re: San Fransisco,CA **now with aar!**

Post by TheLastOne » Fri Nov 11, 2011 11:46 am

Thanks to all the advice, I had a good time!

Weather was really nice, 60-65F is pretty ideal for me.
Muir woods was cool, especially once I got out past the designated tourist zone. Nice trees.
Golden Gate bridge was awesome except for the 6$ toll to get back LAME!
Wharf was cool
Parking sucked ass as promised, probably spent $200 in 3 days. Street signs need to be bigger! Also realized I missed having the compass on my rear view mirror. Luckily had one in my bag because I'm awesome. Duh :lol:
Is it perpetual sundown there or what? Maybe I'm used to altitude here where the sun is a big stick in your face all damn day, but it always felt like it was 'getting late' there. Weirded me out some.
People were nice, I haven't had that many strangers just say 'hi' on the street since I lived in Iowa. Took some getting used to.
Your homeless people have interesting sleeping habits. Saw one just sleeping right in the middle of the sidewalk by Wharf at 2pm, another with upper body on a planter, laying on side, with legs at a 90degree bend SIDEWAYS at the hip, totally asleep.
Museums I got to were cool, Asian art is always cool to me, spent a couple hours there. WTF is up with Modern Art not opening til 11am?
Asian tea garden park thing by DeYoung was very cool but not worth 7 bucks.
Hotel Kabuki was pretty good, I think I'd stay somewhere a little more new next time, but no complaints.
Street food was pretty good. Had decent tomales at a couple places, some good handrolls at another.

Good time, very nice to get away and relax. Thanks for the help!
MF'N Team Leader: Cleveland Steamers 2012
Team Beards&Irons 2013
Image

Post Reply

Return to “Travel”