Post # 1
For our Honeymoon we will be going to San Francisco for two days and then to Napa Valley for two days in mid February!
Since it’s going to be our first time for both of us in these cities, what are the top things we should do while we’re there?
Any suggestions are welcomed 🙂
Post # 3
@persefone: My partner and I went to San Fransisco and Napa this summer and had a wonderful time. If you’re trying to save a little money, we used Priceline for just about everything (I’m such a fan of Priceline!). We stayed a few days in Burlingam (which is where the airport is), which is about a 20 minute drive from SF, it’s a little south. We got a rental car for that and also so we could drive to Napa. There’s some cute stuff in Burlingam and seriously, the hotel was 1/3 to 1/4 of teh price we paid for the SF hotel, and I really think much nicer. We found a great sushi restaurant that was SO CHEAP and the fish tasted fresh. Bring comfortable shoes, as we walked a ton. We are putting together a scrap book of what we loved, so here’s my list:
- go to a Giants game 🙂 I’m a huge baseball fan (and since I tried to save money, we bought tickets from StubHub and legit they were under $20 each and we were about 5 or 6 rows right behind third base). It’s a great stadium and right on the water – they actually have a sign and a count for how many balls end up in the Bay. 21st Amendment (I love their beer, partner says it’s aveage – whatever) is also a few blocks away. We went there and then to the game.
- Chinatown! Lots of good food and very cheap. There is a fortune cookie factory, which was a little odd but neat to see. My notes say that Grant Street was more mainstream, and we walked on side streets off of it to find cool restaurants.
- If you like museums, try getting the City Pass. We were able to go to the art museum, the cartoon art museum, the aquarium, etc as well as unlimited rides on the cable cars and busses. I also liked that since we had the pass if we only spent a few hours in a museum I didn’t feel like we wasted money. I loved the aquarium (parking sucks around it and if you have a car, be super mindful of when any of the garages/lots/parking places close. Our car was locked in. I freaked out).
- If you go to the aquarium, you’re at Fisherman’s Wharf. Lots of touristy shops (a coworker collects key chains so I got her a few), and there’s a store for left handed folks (which my partner is, so he liked it). nice views though (cool view of Alcatraz) and the seals.
- Boudin Bakery is at Fisherman’s Wharf. We got a half pound round (big ol’ piece of yummy bread) and sat watching seals. Be careful as the sea gulls are insane and we had a (crappy quality) video of a sea gull try to take a churro from a little kid! We were just takin ga bit of video of the seals when it happened. Boudin also has some neat animal shaped bread (you can just look in the window or go in) that I took some pics of b/c I liked it – there’s a giant alligator, teddy bears, and a turtle.
- The Academy of Sciences is a museum we went to (again, love that City Pass). Lots of neat things for kids but we also had fun. They have penguins and I love penguins so that was worth the price of admission for me. I was also the nerd sittng there w/ 5 stranger kids telling them fun facts about the penguins.
- A lot of people (who don’t live in SF) recommended Haight Ashbury and my partner wanted to go. It’s meh. A good chocolate shop whose name I don’t recall and an average Indian restaurant. If I could go back, I’d skip it. Amoeba records is there though, and I enjoyed that and I think my partner had to physically drag me out. A friend has never been but was obsessed so I got him a few things.
- Lombard street was fun to drive down. My partner loves MythBusters and they featured it on an episode. It’s a step and bizarely curvy street. I can’t imagine living on it. We drove down it a few times, plus at the top you have a gorgeous view.
- the Museum of Modern Art was neat. Again, City Pass love going on. There is a thing from Mathew Barney (love love love) and lots of other neat things. We probably spent less than 2 hours there.
- Hayes Avenue has some good restaurants
- Bar Tartine (Mission area) was an awesome dinner
- Burma Superstar was highly recommended from just about everyone and they have lots of healthy food and options for vegans. Some Asian inspired dishes. Went there for lunch adn it wasn’t a ton of money and the food was filling and really good.
- I could spend a vacation just in the Mission! Lots of great bars w/ wonderful beer selections (we love beer). Monk’s Kettle was my favorite – good beer, funny and knowledgable staff. Doc’s Clock was a fun bar – not too expensive and they have games to play (we met some locals there and had a blast). Bissap Baobab had really good African food, we went there for dinner one night. We went to Casanova Lounge for drinks – fun atmosphere and excellent people watching. Elixir bar was also a favorite place of mine (I just wrote “LOVE this place!” w/ two hearts in my notes, so there you go!. I bought a dress and two shirts at Mission Statement. Saison was anther great restaurant.
- There’s a few Pizza Orgasmica restaurants and they have good pizza. I am a sex educator so I had to take some pictures of their signs and I giggled a lot.
- So many good bakeries!! I have an insane sugar tooth so I was in heaven. Tartine was one of the best (I think it was in the Mission district)
Post # 4
February is an interesting time around here. Right before the mustard season and green growth and of course tourists. You will find it must less crowded.
I would recommend if you want to save a bit of cash staying in Napa itself and driving up and down the valley to your various destinations. The difference in hotel costs can be several hundred dollars a night. To drive from Calistoga (far end of the valley) to Napa (city, other end) will only take about an hour or so.
For food I would recommend; Pizzeria Tra Vigne (St. Helena), Rutherford Grill (Rutherford), Bouchon (Yountville), Checkers (Calistoga).
I am not sure what you are looking for in the way of budget, activities and food so I can’t go too indepth. You are welcome to PM me and I am happy to advise. 🙂
Post # 5
Oh! We’re going to visit my cousin in SF and my Brother in Napa this week! I’ll report back to camp after we get back!
Post # 6
I went to San Fran and Sonoma in August! ( he actually proposed on the golden gate bridge)
I did a ton of research on tripadvisor.com. We stayed at the chancellor hotel right on Union Square and it was a very good price. It’s a perfect location, staff is wonderful and rooms are very nice. It was only just over $100/night I think, but that was in the high season, you could probably find it cheaper in Feb.
We rented bikes and rode from the wharf over the bridge and into the little town and back, it was wonderful. We used Rock n roll bike company it was pretty cheap and they have $5 off coupons in lots of flyers!
We spent most our days just walking around, you’ll feel very safe in San Fran. Fishermans wharf is great to explore and pier uh 39? Where the seals are? It has lots to do. If you go down to the ferry terminal ( its an old terminal filled with store and restaurants and has a farmers market) you could grab snacks and have a nice lunch down there.
We couldn’t decide between Sonoma and napa, we ended up doing Sonoma as it was more our style ( apparently its more laid back than napa) and we loved it!
Oh you must go to Maru sushi if you like sushi, it’s 2 blocks straight up from the chancellor hotel. If you haven’t been totripadvisor check out that site, I always find it the most helpful when planning a trip!
Enjoy! San Fran is one of my favorite cities! Can’t wait to go back!