(Closed) Calling at San Francisco Bees …Traveling To The Bay Area

posted 6 years ago in San Francisco Bay Area
Post # 2
12 posts
  • Wedding: May 2016

I don’t live in SF but recently visited. Uber and Lyft are great to get around, because you don’t want a car in SF but you also can’t get to a lot of places easily via public transit. It’s pretty affordable too.

Post # 3
336 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

There are so many different neighborhoods in SF to stay at, depends what you’re looking for — hipster local bars and restaurants, or luxurious and upper class shops , or ?

The main typical attractions are Pier 39, Union Square, Chinatown, Japantown, Little Italy, Golden Gate Bride, Golden Gate Park, AT&T ballpark, Fishermen’s Wharf, Coit Tower, Lombard Street (crooked road). If you want more local scene go to Haight Ashbury, the Mission district, Marina, or Hayes Valley.

Do not rent a car. Everywhere is accessible via BART or Muni. Muni is the city transportation which includes bus and light rail. Everyone also uses lyft and uber. Or its quite possible you could walk.

PM for any more questions! Have a great trip!

Post # 4
164 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

My DH and I just (1 week ago) returned from our honeymoon in the San Francisco bay area. We were on vacation for a week but only spent 2 days in SF. We stayed in union square. Great if you like shopping all the major department/mall type stores. I do, however I didn’t want to spend our honeymoon dragging my DH around to stores that I can shop at in my home town so we didn’t spend too much time actually in the union square area. 

We spent the better part of one day at Fisherman’s Wharf which we both really enjoyed. We walked up there from our hotel which was about 2 miles. We visited pier 39 which is very touristy but fun. The views from the wharf were great so we spent a lot of time just taking them in. We also walked all the way from pier 39 down to ghirardelli square stopping at shops etc. on the way there. We decided to be super touristy and take the street car back to our hotel because we had already walked probably close to 4 miles. The street car was fun but the wait was LONG. If you don’t wait an hour to get on at one of the end terminals, your chance of getting on at another station is slim as they’re already full.

The day we left San Francisco, we rented a car and stopped at the Marin Headlands and Sausalito. Even if you’re not renting a car, I suggest you try to visit both. I’m pretty sure you can rent bikes and ride across the golden gate bridge to the Marin Headlands which is directly on the other side of the bridge and has fantastic views of the bridge, bay and city. Also, I think there are ferrys that take day trips out to sausalito. It’s such a beautiful town with tons of cute shops and restaurants.  

We spent the rest of our trip in Sonoma County and visiting Yosemite. Both of which I liked better than SF itself (I’m more of a nature person than a city person) and both of which I believe you can do day trips to from SF. Hope this helps. 

Post # 5
9389 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2016

Hey, I live just south of SF… full disclosure… SF is my least favorite city I’ve ever visited.. and I’ve visited quite a few all over the globe.  That said, it’s still the nearest place to get good food, see a musical, etc…  so I’m there a decent amount.

Anywhere you stay is OK.. I dislike SF at night, in most areas to be honest.  If you’re using airbnb I assume you want a more hip, neighborhood sort of time in SF than a touristy hotspot sort of trip… I personally like that idea, I dislike SF’s touristy neighborhoods, especially at night.  Lots of homeless people yelling at each other and you at night.. I never feel safe.

The mission dolores, the castro, and north beach are the neighborhoods I like the most.  There are still seedier streets, but the neighborhoods themselves are pretty awesome.  I would pick the places you like the most and then do a couple google searches saying “streets to avoid in X district” and make sure your street isn’t one of them.  Total eyeroll, I know, but c’est la vie.

The mission is nice, because there are two bart stations within it so you can use either and travel up to Union Square and take a cable car up to Chinatown (yay tourist stuff) or see a musical, or go shopping.

Use Uber, rather than a cab, I hear. (I haven’t done either, so this is just passed down from ppl I know).

Eat… this depends SO much on what you’re in to.  I have a great dim sum recommendation and a great vegetarian/burmese recommendation.  That said, yelp will help you out the most–just find what’s rated well nearby, so much good food, no real need to travel far.  The nice thing about the areas I mentioned above–they all have lots of restaurants so you don’t have to travel to eat.

Must-do tourist stuff:

1. Golden Gate Bridge.  Actually– Crossing the bridge and taking a photo at the lookout point is best–you get the city and the bridge behind you.

2. Golden Gate Park. So much to do and see there–walk around the park (duh), go to the California Academy of Sciences (aquarium, planetarium, & natural history museum), go to the de Young art museum.  All high quality and fun and interesting.  Skip the japanese tea garden unless you’re super in to that sort of thing.  It’s tiny and underwhelming considering you have to pay to go in. (IMO)

3. Visit the Redwoods at Muir Glen State Park.  It’s like, $7 per person to visit, but… redwoods!  Bring a jacket, it’s always chilly.  Same goes for the GG bridge.. actually just bring a jacket anywhere in SF.  Weather always changes in a snap.

4. North Beach has to be the cutest area of SF ever.  I love it.  The shops are adorable, there are little parkettes with people and kids, the restaurants look so yummy, there’s a really good nail shop (heh, what can I say), there’s a hattery.  yes, a hattery. 

5. Mission Dolores has to have the most random stores–there’s a pirate store.  It’s a lot of fun to window shop around there.  Good restaurants too.

6. The castro.. if you enjoy vibrant, fun, gay districts… this is the one to beat.

7. Lombard street… it’s so steep it’s a switchback! It’s so steep you can take a photo in front of it with the street in the background.  Free, interesting, good view of the city, and total photo op.

As for the tourist things I’d skip..

1. Alcatraz… I think it’s a total “skip” item, but some people think its worth visiting… up to you.

2. Fisherman’s Wharf… Again, I’d skip it.. ONE CAVEAT–if you do go, there are all these street vendors selling shrimp and crab dishes out of cards around the wharf.  It’s DELICIOUS.

3. Union square… if you like to shop, it’s awesome, otherwise.. it’s just a square with lots of people and shops.

4. Chinatown is a hit or miss–it’s kind of like every other chinatown in north america.. but you can take a cable car up to it from Union Square which is fun.. and there’s an iconic arch at the entrance which is a photo-op.

Post # 7
37 posts
  • Wedding: May 2016

Another Bay Area native here, and I agree with pretty much all of what amanda1988 said.

You should definitely walk across the Golden Gate Bridge and consider hiking along Land’s End and Sutro Baths. Checking out the Ferry Building and taking the ferry to Sausalito is also fun. Fisherman’s Wharf is uber touristy. Yosemite is about 4 hours away by car, so that might be a little tiring for a day trip.

In terms of food, the things I associate with SF are dungeness crab, cioppino, bi-rite ice cream, egg tarts from Golden Gate Bakery, and mint mojito iced coffee from Philz. Also, Burma Superstar or Mandalay, Tartine, and Slanted Door. If you go to Japantown, get a cute crepe from Belly Good. Near Golden Gate Park, 9th and Irbing (inner sunset neighborhood) has a lot of good restaurants. If you want to avoid super hipster areas, stay away from Dolores Park on a sunny day. 😛

Bring comfortable walking shoes, pack layers, and have a great time! September is a great time to visit.

Post # 8
9522 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

View original reply
cucumberfresh:  I’m typing this from a Philz right now 🙂

Post # 9
5938 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2014

Steer clear of Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39. SUPER touristy. I 2nd going to the Marin Headlands. You can even park and walk up to the old forts that are still there and you get a truly unique view of the City and the Bridge that not a jillion people seem to know about. Also a great view, especially at night, from Treasure Island. Club Fugazi is a RIOT! Guaranteed fun, but I think you need to get reservations so book now! Can dress very casual or even get dressy if you want. Super fun!

Post # 11
153 posts
Blushing bee

Great thread 🙂 Fiance is from SF and we went to the touristy areas last year for my very first visit. Going back this year to get married!

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