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Old 01-17-2011, 10:45 AM   #1
Wildman OP
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San Francisco; what's not to miss?

I'm sure this has been done several times already but I can't find it. Looks like I can't get out of attending a conference in SF mid-February so I might as well make the most of it. What would you recommend a Brit coming to the West Coast for the first time to do/see? Thanks for your suggestions.

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Old 01-17-2011, 11:40 AM   #2
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Old 01-17-2011, 12:12 PM   #3
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For food, check this thread: San Francisco Restaurants.
Look for kbasa'a post on page two.

Also, what dates will you be in SF? Some sort of ADV get-together might be cool.
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Old 01-17-2011, 12:35 PM   #4
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For food, check this thread: San Francisco Restaurants.
Look for kbasa'a post on page two.

Also, what dates will you be in SF? Some sort of ADV get-together might be cool.
Haven't booked flights yet. I'm waiting on confirmation of a job in Boston February 10 & 11 and am supposed to attend a conference in SF February 17, 18 & 19. Toying with going down to Baja on an organised trip February 24 thru 27 before flying back to Europe. Probably try to get down to SD too to go say "Hi" to a couple of inmates.

Will be avoiding the conference venue, so staying at Hotel des Arts.
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Old 01-17-2011, 02:43 PM   #5
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Head over to Pier 39 (The Embarcadero) and check out the WWII US submarine that you take a self guided tour through with a radio headset.

Get a ticket on line (in advance) and head out to Alcatraz Island and check out Al Capone's jail cell.

The Italian section has seafood/regular restaurants that are just superb! And there was this neat area with small bars & live bands and gals galore, I don't recall exactly what it was called, something Shore or Beach.

We spent 2 days in SF playing tourist and riding the twisties (Alice's restaurant, Hwy 9, etc) before heading back to Monterey to watch the World Superbike races (before MGP started there).
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Old 01-17-2011, 02:56 PM   #6
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Museum of Modern Art (http://www.sfmoma.org/ )and the Ferry Building are a good way to while away an afternoon...

R&G for Chinese in Chinatown ( http://www.rnglounge.com/ )

I can't believe a man of the world like yourself has never been to SF.

San Diego...

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PS I enjoyed Alioto's ( http://www.aliotos.com/ )at Pier 39, too.
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Old 01-17-2011, 02:59 PM   #7
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Take the Hyde street cable car ride. The view down the hill is fantastic. If you have time check Marin just across the Golden Gate bridge.
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Old 01-17-2011, 03:29 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by CA Stu View Post
Museum of Modern Art (http://www.sfmoma.org/ )and the Ferry Building are a good way to while away an afternoon...

R&G for Chinese in Chinatown ( http://www.rnglounge.com/ )

I can't believe a man of the world like yourself has never been to SF.

San Diego...

Thanks
CA Stu

PS I enjoyed Alioto's ( http://www.aliotos.com/ )at Pier 39, too.
Hey Stu

Had a boss for seven years who, if ever there was a trip to California or Tokyo, insisted he go instead of me. Think he had some personal business!

Thanks for all the tips, guys. Keep 'em coming.
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Old 01-17-2011, 06:57 PM   #9
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The Italian section has seafood/regular restaurants that are just superb! And there was this neat area with small bars & live bands and gals galore, I don't recall exactly what it was called, something Shore or Beach.
North Beach. Lots of Italian restaurants.
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Old 01-19-2011, 11:48 AM   #10
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If you go to see the Pampanito (WW2 sub) you may also want to see the Jeramiah OBrien (WW2 liberty ship). At one point I would've said the Carnelian room for the view, but thats now closed.

If you're into Tiki Kitsch, you can try the Tonga Room in the Fairmont hotel on (s)nob hill. I'd also recommend an Irish coffee at the Buena Vista (next to Ghiradelli square). In that vein if you're a big beef eater, try House of Prime Rib.

If you're a history buff you could try Fort Point which sits under the Golden Gate bridge.

Golden Gate park houses a Japanese Tea garden thats especially nice if the fog is in. Also they have the DeYoung museum and the California Academy of Sciences.

For towers Coit is historical/arty and Sutro tower (TV/Radio Microwave) is just tall, but the view from up there is now the best in the city (of the city).
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Old 01-19-2011, 02:34 PM   #11
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If you're a history buff you could try Fort Point which sits under the Golden Gate bridge.
Rent Alfred Hitchcock's "Vertigo" before you go there.

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Old 01-19-2011, 08:53 PM   #12
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Or you could bag the whole lot, and head to North Bay and hit wine country. SF can be a tourist trap. At the very least avoid Fisherman's Wharf, it is chain restaurants and t-shirt shops. China town is a bit of the same minus the chains, but has more to offer. North Beach, Alcatraz, Golden Gate, and Embarcadero, Haight/Ashbury are pretty cool. But I prefer Saulsalito, Marin County Area, Muir Woods, and Sonoma, and Napa have far superior food and of course wine. And for riding there are endless country rides. If you want any places to see in North Bay PM me.
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Old 01-19-2011, 10:29 PM   #13
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Or you could bag the whole lot, and head to North Bay and hit wine country. SF can be a tourist trap. At the very least avoid Fisherman's Wharf, it is chain restaurants and t-shirt shops. China town is a bit of the same minus the chains, but has more to offer. North Beach, Alcatraz, Golden Gate, and Embarcadero, Haight/Ashbury are pretty cool. But I prefer Saulsalito, Marin County Area, Muir Woods, and Sonoma, and Napa have far superior food and of course wine. And for riding there are endless country rides. If you want any places to see in North Bay PM me.
Spoken like a local...

For us tourists that aren't fortunate enough to be able to take San Francisco for granted, I suggest ignoring this jaded post.

I am but a tourist in SF, but I found Haight/Ashbury a total dump.
Genuine? Sure. It's genuinely a toilet.

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Old 01-19-2011, 10:34 PM   #14
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- Rent a car and go check out Big Sur, grab some lunch in Santa Cruz. Take the coast and make a day of it.
- If you want to do something in the city go to Haight/Ash, then walk golden gate park to the beach and cab back. (Yes, Haight/Ash is a dump, but the park is great).
- Angel island is also very cool, take the ferry out and rent a bike (no cars on the island and killer views of SF)
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Old 01-20-2011, 12:06 AM   #15
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But I prefer Saulsalito
Ah yes, the Jewish/Latin section of Marin.

SF is a great city, but it's different things to different people. Great food? You bet, and cheaper and more varied than up here in the north bay. Live music, theater, opera? Yep. Tourist traps? Oh yeah. Stay away from Fish. Wharf, China Town, Pier 39, most of Market Street and the Haight too, AFAIK. (But do go to Amoeba Records. And Alcatraz is actually worth doing.) Hipster clubs and restaurants? Spend an evening in the Mission District. Shopping? Union Square is OK but crowded and mainstream. Do some research to find the insider places. Museums? Lots of 'em - MOMA, Asian, De Young. Hiking and views? Pop over the GG bridge to the Marin Headlands. Kitsch? There's Lefty O'Doul's piano bar on Geary.

For me the best part of SF is just walking the neighborhoods. North Beach, have coffee or grappa in an Italian caffe. Inner Richmond - get pork buns at a Chinese bakery, stop in at the Green Apple for books and music. Mission District - have a beer at the Ace Cafe or Zeitgeist, visit the good moto shops (Scuderia, Monroe). Walk around the Marina district, Marina Green and shop on Chestnut St. Hoof around Japantown (go into the Japan Center shopping center for noodles) and the Fillmore area, then walk up the hill for great views of the bay.
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