(Closed) Which area to stay in SAN FRANCISCO?!

posted 5 years ago in Travel
Post # 3
Member
595 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2012

Ooh, how fun! San Francisco is always such fun!

One thing I would suggest is to wear layers. SF can be quite warm but is more often foggy and cold (55-65 degrees which is cold for the Bay Area 🙂 ).

I’ll try to do some research on hotels since I don’t have much experience with those. I’ve stayed at the Westin St. Francis before and it’s very nice. An old-timey sort of hotel on Union Square. The Fisherman’s Wharf area can be fun too but it’s quite touristy. I like it but some people find it cheesy.

Honestly, the city is not very big so you could stay pretty much anywhere near the Downtown area and be close to the action. It also depends on what sort of experience you want. A quieter one, a bustling one, etc. That being said, your best bets are going to be Fisherman’s Wharf, North Beach, Financial District, Nob Hill, Chinatown areas.

As for things to do, it really depends what you and your Fiance are into. Do you like history? North Beach, the Castro, Presidio and Chinatown are good for that. Shopping is more Union Square. Touristy (but very fun) things are Fisherman’s Wharf area and hiking/nature stuff is great in the Presidio and Golden Gate park area. There are some great museums in the Golden Gate park area as well.

Post # 4
Member
25 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: June 2012

Staying in Union Square would be close to shopping and public transportation to get around to the other sites. Fisherman’s Wharf will be a little more quiet, but will be busy on the weekends with tourists.

Post # 5
Member
5109 posts
Bee Keeper

Husband and I go several times per year. I LOVE the Marriott at Union Square. The Hyatt is so nice too!!! I think from US you are close enough to see a lot of what SF has to offer.

Post # 6
Member
10367 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

Union Sq and Fisherman’s Wharf are two of the most tourist overridden and least authentic parts of the city. If I had to choose, i’d say Union Sq, because it has multiple BART stops close by. My favorite choice would be to get an Air BnB apartment rental in a quieter part of town (Pacific Heights, Noe Valley, by Golden Gate Park, etc. It’ll make public transit less convenient though, so that’s a downside.

Don’t waste your time with Fisherman’s Wharf. San Fran has so much else to offer!!!

Post # 7
Member
79 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

I’ve never stayed in a SF hotel as I’ve always lived here, but I agree with @goldenkuma06:  that staying in Union Square would be good becuase you are close to a large variety of shopping and food and public transportation that can get you to anywhere else in the city.  You could even take BART in from the airport.  My favorite thing to do in the city is to eat, I love food om nom nom, let me know what sort of food gusy like and I would be happy to give a reconmendation Laughing

Post # 8
Member
3886 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I wouldn’t stay in the Fishermans’ Wharf area; most of the hotels are low-rise and older style, so the rooms aren’t that hot, and the neighborhood gets a little skeevy at night. There are a ton of restaurants in walking distance but most are tourist traps, overpriced for the quality of the food. 

Union Square is hit or miss, depending on the block; check the map and see how close to the Tenderloin you are, because some of those blocks are less than wonderful.

I prefer to stay either in North Beach area, SoMa, or the Financial District.  I find those neighborhoods a little cleaner and more energetic/vibrant but still relatively affordable (San Fran is not cheap hotel-wise), with plenty of unique and interesting restaurants, bars and shops.

Post # 9
Member
1470 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Union square, although both are very touristy but at least union square is more central. The only thing good about fisherman’s wharf, which is basically a tacky amusement park, is the sea lions. 

Post # 10
Member
369 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

Agreed with everyone here, Union Square is the place to stay! FW is so touristy as is Pier 39 – it’s worth it to go see it but not to sleep there. 

The Huntington Hotel has been featured on a lot of deal sites lately and it’s super nice. Plus the cable car goes right by, I’m pretty sure. I stayed at the Diva Hotel (I know, silly name) for a bachelorette and that was great. It was pretty quiet but when you walked out of the hotel, you were right in the middle of Geary Street! But if you get too far on Geary, that becomes the Tenderloin.

Definitely check for deals on Groupon Getaways, Bloomspot, Vacationist, Snique Away (just released a SF one this morning, I think), Living Social, etc. I’ve seen a ton of San Francisco hotels offered on there and they’re always nice.

And yes SO MUCH DELICIOUS FOOD! Let us know if you want recs!!

Post # 12
Member
79 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

@raisedonrobbery:  First two that come to mind are for Mexican a place called Tommy’s (http://tommysmexican.com/).  Really good tradional homestyle Mexican food and killer margaritas.  And then Tammaso’s (http://www.tommasos.com/index.html) because it a wonder place for a date and they make amazing lasagna and pizza in a real brick oven.  (Make sure you get there when they open though otherwise is can take a while to get a table.)

Post # 13
Member
46333 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

I have stayed at several hotels in San Francisco. I liked the Westin St. Francis because it is a wonderful old hotel and close to downtown shopping, but I LOVED the Harbor Court, one of Klimpton’s boutique hotels. It is located  on the Embarcadero across from the Ferry Building. We had a great view of the Bay Bridge. They had a wine reception in the evening.

San Francisco has such good public transportation that you really don’t need to worry about where you stay. Parking is very expensive and hard to find in some places. I would be tempted to leave the car in the hotel garage, unless you are going out of the city.

Post # 14
Member
369 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

@raisedonrobbery:  Wow there’s so much to see and do in 2 days! 

Some suggestions for food: Katana-ya for japanese ramen (union square), Taqueria Cancun or El Farolito for cheap mexican (the Mission), Foreign Cinema or Mission Beach Cafe for a nice brunch (both in the Mission), Commonwealth for a higher end dinner (the Mission), Bourbon & Branch for hand made cocktails, Little Star Pizza for deep dish pizza (multiple locations), Rosamunde Sausage Grill for sausages and beer (the Mission), Philz for coffee (multiple locations), Little Skillet for fried chicken from a window (SOMA), Zero Zero for thin crust pizza and pasta (SOMA), Anthony’s Cookies for … duh cookies, Dynamo Donuts for a maple bacon donut, … I mean really, I could go on and on. Also, I just noticed most of these places are in the Mission. Ha ha! Farmers market at the Ferry Building on Saturdays, Nopa (new American), Nopalita (nicer Mexican), House of Prime Rib (old school prime rib), etc etc. I mean really, I can go more specific by type of food or locations!! 

If you have a car, make sure to leave some time for parking as parking can be challenging in this fair city =)

Things to see: Hmm…. Museum of Modern Art, California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, Land’s End (for hiking on a nice day), the Seals at Pier 39, walk across the Golden Gate Bridge (or if you drive across the bridge, go to the second exit NOT “lookout”), Alcatraz, Beach Blanket Babylon (there’s discount tickets on Bloomspot right now), heard the Walt Disney museum is cool but haven’t been, ride a cable car, Musee Mecanique, walk around North Beach/Chinatown (right next to each other), walk along the Embarcadero, see the “painted ladies.” 

OK I probably just overwhelmed you but feel free to message me or reply! Have fun!

Post # 15
Member
595 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2012

@sharkchomp:  Great list! There really are so many fun things to do. One of my favs are the sea lions! That’s almost always what I want to do on my birthday much to the chagrin of my husband. 😀

I know that you don’t have a lot of time to see things but if you want to do unusual, neat things I recommend checking out the ruins of the Sutro Baths. They are on the other side of the City (the ocean side), right by the Cliff House and one of neatest things! Tricky to get to though if you don’t have a car.

Other unusual things include the Wave Organ in the Marina district, an organ where you put your ear up to a tube and can hear the waves coming through the pipes, and Claude the albino alligator who lives at the Natural History museum.

City Light books is quite historic (North Beach) as it is tied to the Beatnicks (spelling?) and you can’t really go wrong with the restaurants around it. Yum, yum Italian food! Chinatown is also cool with lots of interesting shops and a beautiful gate that marks the entrance.

Personally I think the cable cars are overated but if you want to do them I recommend doing the California line because the wait time is shorter (at least true during weekends).

 

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