Francisco Questions and Answers:
I am coming to San Francisco
for the first time and have no idea on where to stay or what to
do. I am only staying a few days, what can you
There's a small chain of CA
hotels with two in San Francisco.. both are charming but not inexpensive.
They're The White Swan and Le Petit Augerge. They're right in
downtown SF - easy to walk around
- near a cable car
There is a budget (tourist class) hotel - Grant Plaza Hotel on the
corner of Grant and Pine Streets.
This is in Chinatown and close
walking distance to Union Square, Financial District, and North
As far as what to do, I would consider:
- Golden Gate Park
- Union Square Shopping and Nightlife
Napa and/or Sonoma Valley (if you have time)
I'm having a hard time deciding
whether to stay down around Fisherman's Wharf or Union
We will have a car. I have looked at the Sheraton (Club Level)
(Balcony Room) at Fisherman's Wharf. Or maybe
Westin St Francis or Nikko at Union
Square. We will have a
car and plan to run the marathon.
Also where would you recommend
for a Sunday Brunch Buffet?
experiences. At Fishermans Wharf...the tourist mecca you will be
close to the water
and will have easy access to places to run,
for example you could run along the bay across the bridge
your hotels, you will be close to the ferry going to Alcatraz and a few
places for shopping.
Downtown at Union Square your
are in the "hub" of the city. Close to departments stores,
Marcus, Macys, Nordstorms. Close to fine restaurants and
the theater. Parking may be cheaper at
the Wharf than
downtown. The Wharf may be easier to get in and out of by car. If you want
experience "The City"...my vote would be for
Brunch Buffets....The Westin may have one. My two
favorites are: The Top of the Mark.. You can
take a cable
car no matter where you stay
(Fishermans Wharf or Union Square)
to the Mark Hopkins, at the top is a restaurant with views of
the city. The lunch buffet is $49.00 the phone number is 415
392 3434 .
There is also a wonderful one although smaller (the one at
the Mark is huge) out at the Cliff House at
the Beach. The
views are great, it is right on the water with large panoramic
windows. $36 or
$39.00 the phone number is 386 3330.
You will probably need reservations for both. If you go to
the buffet at the Top of the Mark you should cross the street
and take a look at the Fairmont, (it is
where "Hotel" was filmed.
) You can take the outside glass escalator up to the top and just look
around or have drink in the bar. If you are into churches,
Grace Cathedral is just a block away and
have some fabulous
stained glass windows.
If you go out to the Cliff house you may want to
go up a little and look at the old Sutro Baths remains
across the street for a short walk around the old Sutro Gardens.
What is the best short trip
from San Francisco?
There are many wonderful trips
from and around San Francisco. Not sure what you mean by "short",
however, Sausalito is just across the bridge,
one could take a Ferry there or to Tiburon and back,
Speaking of Ferrys, one can take a ferry to Angel Island (it is in the
middle of the bay
and full of historical buildings, walk around,
One of my favorite one day trips are along the coast, north
or south. South along Hwy 1 to Carmel.
in San Francisco If you just stay on "1" you miss a lot of
local small town flavor, each of
these in and of them elves could
be a short trip and but you will need to get of the Highway....
"Princton by the Sea". is a fishing dock with good seafood
restaurants, some have music on
weekends. Somewhere along there
is Ano Neuva...where the huge sea lions hang out on the beach.
Many beaches along Hwy 1. Then there is "Half
Moon Bay" also many stores to walk around in,
Continuing south you will come to Pescadero another small town with a
restaurant called Duartes, famous for their artichoke
soup. This town is small but has some a very
called "Made in Pescadero" with furniture, art and crafts made by locals.
south is "Santa Cruz"..large boardwalk with
games, rides etc and a pier with many fish restaurants
and a fine
beach. Also a surfing museum. Then you will get to Monterey,
here is a great aquarium
well worth a vist, many historical
buildings from early California (it was the capital at one time) more
shops, more piers and more restaurants, just follow the shoreline
drive south, get out and walk
eventually it will lead you to 17
mile drive..a beautiful ride but you pay to get in, you will see much the
same scenery by just staying on the shore. Eventually you
will be back on the freeway, take the first
exit in Carmel off
and go back down to the shore, keep following the shoreline.
If you want to see
otters Point Lobos State park is
the best. Many fine galleries and stores and restaurants are in
Carmel. If you have time travel on down to Big Sur and
Nepenthe. (about another hour to get there
from Carmel)..On the
way back take the Fwy. (101 ) home from Santa Cruz. Hope this