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Must Sees in SF!

by rudysmom626 Online Now Feb 6, 2013 at 1:01 PM

Hey guys!

I haven't been to SF since I was 6 (I know, it's a crime, considering I'm almost 30 and live an hour flight away) - what are the must-sees for a short weekend trip?

Thanks!
Blake aka Rudysmom626

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26 Answers
  • leics's Profile Photo

    Re: Must Sees in SF!

    by leics Online Now Feb 6, 2013 at 1:15 PM

    Bookmarking (sorry) for this summer. Hopefully.

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  • Usctwin's Profile Photo

    Re: Must Sees in SF!

    by Usctwin Online Now Feb 6, 2013 at 1:34 PM

    My to do recommendations:

    --Stay in Union Square
    --Take the Trolley to Buena Vista Cafe in Fisherman's Warf and have an Irish Coffee
    --I also like to grab a bowl of clam chowder from Boudins in the Warf
    --Ride a bike, or walk across the Golden Gate Bridge
    --Take a stroll along the Embarcadero to Coit Tower
    --Picnic in the Presidio
    --If there's time, take the Ferry to Tiburon and enjoy lunch at Sams
    --If you like cheese, and have a car, visit the French Cheese Factory in Petaluma. Bring a bottle of wine and enjoy the lovely view

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  • Agraichen's Profile Photo

    Re: Must Sees in SF!

    by Agraichen Online Now Feb 6, 2013 at 1:53 PM

    Start with the 3rd Street Promenade... oh, wait, that's Santa Monica.

    Likes/dislikes and your favoite things to do?

    I enjoy Fisherman's Wharf as touristy as it has become over the years. I watched Pier 39 burn down from my office and the "tourist land" being built in its place. It's a bit more touristy than when it was origionaly built but still is worth a look-see.

    Cable Car ride, of course. Powell St terminal at Market is usually quite crowded and it's still not the best place in town so I'd either go from Hyde or from the Fisherman's Wharf side of Powell. The Cable Car Museum is interesting.

    Golden Gate Park always has something going on. Museums, Museums, Museums... if you're into that.

    A side trip to Sausalito, then on to Napa or Sonoma (or both) for some wine tasting. Or just outside Sausalito, Mt Tam, Muir Woods, etc. There's a great pub, the Pelican Inn I believe, on the way.

    "Goodfish" (Kate) wrote a number of great pages on SF when she last visited. Which reminds me, if you like beer, head to the 21st Ammendment on 2nd St near the baseball stadium. Light Rail will get you there or walk from BART from Market St.

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  • Usctwin's Profile Photo

    Re: Must Sees in SF!

    by Usctwin Online Now Feb 6, 2013 at 2:05 PM

    @Agraichen love the 21st Amendment! Used to live right near there!

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  • goodfish's Profile Photo

    Re: Must Sees in SF!

    by goodfish Online Now Feb 6, 2013 at 2:32 PM

    Oh lordy - it's easier picking what NOT to do (although I can't think of much to tell ya there).
    My list:

    Climb up Telegraph Hill to Coit Tower via the Filbert St (up) and Greenwich St (down) Stairs.
    Look for parrots! This is a good one in the morning - gets the blood pumping. One of SF oldest neighborhoods is up there 'cause it didn't burn in the fire. See my pages - covered under 4 separate reviews.

    I see you're a hiker/walker? See my review for "An Urban/Coastal Trek." This was looooong day but covered The Haight (breakfast at the Pork Store), Golden Gate Park, Ocean Beach, Beach Chalet, Sutro Baths, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Golden Gate Bridge, Fort Point, and stuff along Golden Gate Promenade (part of the Presidio, The Wave Organ, etc.) Abt. 16 miles give or take (we walked from SOMA) - you'll earn your beer!!! Can shave this thing down to a more manageable size by hopping a bus here and there.

    A walk of the murals in the Mission: see my pages. Pick a sunny day if possible, and be sure and get yourself a Dynamite Donut (maple apple bacon - I kid you not).

    The Saturday market at the Ferry building!!! That's big fun.

    We also really liked the funky floating homes of Sausalito. The docks are a little bit of a haul (2 miles) from the pier but you're a walker so.....

    ARGGG!!!!!! Too much to do!!! Does Rudy get to come along????

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  • GrumpyL5's Profile Photo

    Re: Must Sees in SF!

    by GrumpyL5 Online Now Feb 6, 2013 at 3:30 PM

    Well the Cable Car ride is pretty much compulsory. You may also enjoy a ride on the "historic" Trolley cars too.
    Exploratorium Park is nice and the Maritime Museum has some wonderful ships, including sailing ships and a pre-Golden Gate bridge Ferry, if you're into that.
    Evening entertainment wise, the SF Opera is excellent, and the opera house an impressive building. City Hall is also worth a look - impressive building with one of those interiors and staircases that they just don't build anymore.

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  • GrumpyL5's Profile Photo

    Re: Must Sees in SF!

    by GrumpyL5 Online Now Feb 6, 2013 at 3:34 PM

    Well the Cable Car ride is pretty much compulsory. You may also enjoy a ride on the "historic" Trolley cars too.
    Exploratorium Park is nice and the Maritime Museum has some wonderful ships, including sailing ships and a pre-Golden Gate bridge Ferry, if you're into that.

    Evening entertainment wise, the SF Opera is excellent, and the opera house an impressive building.
    City Hall is also worth a look - impressive building with one of those interiors and staircases that they just don't build anymore. Or you could just go to Jail ;-)

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  • Usctwin's Profile Photo

    Re: Must Sees in SF!

    by Usctwin Online Now Feb 6, 2013 at 3:36 PM

    I said Trolley, but I meant Cable Car!

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  • GrumpyL5's Profile Photo

    Re: Must Sees in SF!

    by GrumpyL5 Online Now Feb 6, 2013 at 3:38 PM

    Grrr ... it's ignored my revised reply.

    I was going to say you could take a look at City Hall, or just go to Jail :-)
    The Alcatraz tour is great fun.

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  • riorich55's Profile Photo

    Re: Must Sees in SF!

    by riorich55 Online Now Feb 6, 2013 at 3:49 PM

    "I know, it's a crime, considering I'm almost 30 and live an hour flight away"

    I didn't make it to San Francisco until I was 33 and have been back many times on business and a couple of times for vacations.

    I'll give you a link to one of my pages where I've answered this type of question before.

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  • riorich55's Profile Photo

    Re: Must Sees in SF!

    by riorich55 Online Now Feb 6, 2013 at 3:52 PM

    OK, rather then the link (you can check out any of my other VT SF pages if you want obviously) here is a copy and paste of an answer I've given before.

    Alcatraz is a very good tour, and I would certainly recommend the Night Tour (you actually leave in the daylight hours, but get to see a beautiful sunset if the weather is nice over the Golden Gate Bridge). Get your tickets for this about 2 months ahead of time.

    Get either the 3 day or 7 day Muni Pass which will give you unlimited transportation within the city using the Cable Cars (a must to ride), the Trolley Cars, Buses and Light Rail. You can get anywhere within the city with those options. The only transportation they don't include is BART, but that is the line the takes you out of San Francisco to the surrounding towns.

    If I was going for the first time these would be the things I would have to see:

    1) North Beach and Chinatown - Have dinner one night in either section depending on if you want Italian or Chinese. They are right next to each other so you can easily walk from one to another.

    2) Coit Tower - Take a walk up here to check out the view.

    3) Rick Evans Architectural Tour - I have a tip on this and we really enjoyed his insight into some of the SF architecture. He has tours for both Chinatown and the one we took in the Financial District.

    4) Golden Gate - You can look at it, ride a car or bus across it, bike across it or walk across it. I haven't taken the bike or walked across it yet but hope to sometime in the future.

    5) Don't spend too much time in the Wharf area. That's where a lot of the tourist go and you really don't get a true feeling of the city (I don't think anyway). You can walk a little along the Embarcadero, but try and limit the time to about 2 hours.

    6) Have an evening drink and or dessert at the Buena Vista Cafe. I have a tip on that on another page. Great Irish Coffee to warm you up and the desserts are also really really good.

    7) The Cable Car will pass right by Lombard Street (the crooked street) You can get off the Cable Car walk up and down and then hop back on the Cable Car with your pass if you so desire.

    8) Mission District and Castro District - Take the bus, trolley or light rail to this area of town. They are right next to each other. Mission District is the Hispanic area and the Castro District is the Gay area. Both are interesting to explore and are really only about a 15 to 20 minute trip from where you will be staying via bus.

    9) Enjoy a seafood dinner. You can get some good ones along the wharf area but obviously the touristy ones are along with wharf. Check out other reviews on line to get a better feeling for what others think.

    If you have any other questions let me know. SF is my favorite U.S. city outside of my home town of Chicago.

    Enjoy!!

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  • giampiero6's Profile Photo

    Re: Must Sees in SF!

    by giampiero6 Online Now Feb 6, 2013 at 5:37 PM

    Ferry building is fun. Like Kate says, The farmer's market there is great. Eat at Hog Island Oyster. They have Cowgirl creamery grilled cheese, champagne, oysters. Take the ferry to sausalito, get a coffee take a short stroll and come back. Almost free.

    Avenues for Chinese and Vietnamese food...skip china town.

    Get a burrito at Pancho Villa if it's still around in the mission.

    Drive around pacific heights for some killer views.

    Definitely check out the Science Museum in GG Park.

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  • lmkluque's Profile Photo

    Re: Must Sees in SF!

    by lmkluque Online Now Feb 7, 2013 at 7:06 AM

    You seem to like unique things so I'll mention something that I think is rare & interesting.

    The Delancey Street Restaurant.
    delanceystreetfoundation.org...
    The Embarcadero at Brannan,
    San Francisco, CA 94107

    Also the Delancey Street Foundation's, Crossroads Cafe: Books and Art Gallery. delanceystreetfoundation.org...

    699 Delancey Street
    San Francisco, CA

    Several things make them different. It's not only that they offer good food and good service at a low price. It's the fact that everyone remotely connected to the Delancey Street Foundation is in recovery. The Foundation started in the early 70's by a few friends trying to kick the habit. They did. Then they began taking in others who wanted to turn their life around. All the while they did not rely on anyone but themselves. They worked to support themselves and to build the growing "rehab" system. In time they bought property and built businesses and these two eateries are an example of their successful efforts. These are just two of the training schools of the Delancey Street Foundation.

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  • goodfish's Profile Photo

    Re: Must Sees in SF!

    by goodfish Online Now Feb 7, 2013 at 7:19 AM

    Ditto to Delancey Street: we had dinner there and it was very good for the price.

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  • Usctwin's Profile Photo

    Re: Must Sees in SF!

    by Usctwin Online Now Feb 7, 2013 at 9:19 AM

    Delancey has super yummy breakfast foods and when I was living there, bottomless mimosas! Plus you feel good because you know you are helping others.

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  • GrumpyL5's Profile Photo

    Re: Must Sees in SF!

    by GrumpyL5 Online Now Feb 7, 2013 at 11:47 AM

    "8) Mission District and Castro District" Ah yes Riorich55 that's another entertainment option too. The Castro Theatre/Cinema has everyting from Pam Ann and classic films to a Silent film season.

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  • windoweb's Profile Photo

    Re: Must Sees in SF!

    by windoweb Online Now Feb 8, 2013 at 4:10 AM

    Here is a link to my SF page:
    "October 2007" - San Francisco by windoweb

    This is a great place to go. Seeing the San Francisco Bridge, Union Square, Fisherman's Wharf and riding the cable cars are great.

    Don't forget the crooked street Lombard Street.

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  • TooTallFinn24's Profile Photo

    Re: Must Sees in SF!

    by TooTallFinn24 Online Now Feb 12, 2013 at 8:55 PM

    Lots of great ideas but just to add.....

    1) Definitely stay in Union Square if you can because the location is just perfect for everything. My favorite hotel is the Chancellor Hotel with great service and extremely reasonable rates and super management.

    chancellorhotel.com/history....

    2) Hard to believe that there is an Italian bakery that rivals what you might find in NYC or Italy but Liguria Bakery in North Beach has some of the best baked goods anywhere. The place I think has been there since I can remember living there in the 1960's and the focaccia is amazing. Other Italian baked goods are great also so in case you are in a hurry for breakfast it's a great place to pick up some goods. Its located at 1700 Stockton Street.

    3) Since it is a short weekend trip I would concentrate on seeing the countless sites in the City and maybe only venture over the Golden Gate by public transport to Sausalito if you time.

    4) Explore one of the many incredible SF staircases. With all of its hills SF has some of the most amazing staircases anywhere. I have many favorites but since many folks are recommending Coit Tower and Telegraph Hill consider taking the Filbert Steps down from Coit Tower to Sansome Street.
    Here is a handy guide of some of the best staircases in SF that offer both a great workout and some amazing views.

    http://www.sisterbetty.org/stairways/

    Enjoy!

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  • riorich55's Profile Photo

    Re: Must Sees in SF!

    by riorich55 Online Now Feb 13, 2013 at 3:37 PM

    Sorry, this is just a test of the new VT format. I'm going to put down a list of items and see if the format stays as a list. THIS IS ONLY A TEST

    1) Answer 1

    2) Answer 2

    3) Answer 3

    1 member found this helpful

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  • lmkluque's Profile Photo

    Re: Must Sees in SF!

    by lmkluque Online Now Feb 13, 2013 at 7:35 PM

    riorich55 wrote: Sorry, this is just a test of the new VT format. I'm going to put down a list of items and see if the format stays as a list. THIS IS ONLY A TEST

    1) Answer 1

    2) Answer 2

    3) Answer 3

     Rich!   You are a testy one today! 

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  • riorich55's Profile Photo

    Re: Must Sees in SF!

    by riorich55 Online Now Feb 13, 2013 at 7:40 PM

    lmkluque wrote:  Rich!   You are a testy one today! 
     Yes I am!  But then again I've been testing software releases in various forms and functions for more then 20 years in my "real life".  I'm usually the guy they gave things to break them in a test environment before general release.

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  • lmkluque's Profile Photo

    Re: Must Sees in SF!

    by lmkluque Online Now Feb 13, 2013 at 7:51 PM

    riorich55 wrote:  Yes I am!  But then again I've been testing software releases in various forms and functions for more then 20 years in my "real life".  I'm usually the guy they gave things to break them in a test environment before general release.
     And what an impressive badge you're wearing too!  Kudos to you!     

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  • riorich55's Profile Photo

    Re: Must Sees in SF!

    by riorich55 Online Now Feb 14, 2013 at 6:55 AM

    lmkluque wrote:  And what an impressive badge you're wearing too!  Kudos to you!     
     TOP 5 what?  I'll have to figure that out!

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  • riorich55's Profile Photo

    Re: Must Sees in SF!

    by riorich55 Online Now Feb 14, 2013 at 6:58 AM

    riorich55 wrote:  TOP 5 what?  I'll have to figure that out!
     Oh, I see. Top 5 Answerers for SF.  Answerers, is that a word?

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  • lmkluque's Profile Photo

    Re: Must Sees in SF!

    by lmkluque Online Now Feb 14, 2013 at 8:16 AM

    It's not a word in My dictionary, but the Internet seems to have rules of it's own.

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  • xymmot's Profile Photo

    Re: Must Sees in SF!

    by xymmot Online Now Feb 27, 2013 at 10:51 PM

    The new musuem , California Academy of Sciences, but you must get there early to get tickets in advance

    55 Music Concourse Dr.

    Golden Gate Park
    San Francisco CA
    94118
    415.379.8000

    cheers tommy x

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