We are travelling to California in the first week of October. We are spending few days in wedding near Sacramento but after wedding I am planning to see San Francisco. I will appreciate any tips on what see in this city and what to avoid and traffic tips. I am planning to go to San Francisco on Sunday morning and hoping traffic will be light.
I will appreciate your tips.
visiting Alcatraz island, driving over Golden Gate Bridge and Ghiradelli Square.
No tips on traffic, we mostly walked or utilized public transport and trolley's.
We enjoyed Walking along the Embarcadero along the Bay. Ate 3 times at Pier 23 Cafe (a Diners, Drive Inns and Dives spot).
There is a WWII Sub and Troop ship.
Sites to visit or see:
Visit the top of Coit Tower, ride the cable car, visit the cable car barn, see or drive down Lombard street, visit Chinatown, Fisherman's Wharf (near Gharidelli Sq), visit Golden Gate Park (aquarium, de Young Museum, Japanese Tea Garden, botanical garden,...), and San Francisco Zoo. If you drive across the Golden Gate Bridge, then visit the city of Sausalito. Traffic is usually crowded and parking can be difficult, so have to be patient. Alcatraz tours requires reservation.
Thanks all for your advice. I really appreciate it.
is very expensive, but well worth it for the sites.
stay where you are, take a knee and wave in the direction saying, "here's the money you could have gotten" and smile!!
Been there, not worth the grief.
Lots of good, authentic Chinese restaurants, both in Chinatown and outside, if that strikes your fancy. This might be a good place to start:
Traffic can be tough, especially on the bridges during the extended rush-hour. You can get an amazing view of SF from Battery Spencer once you cross the Golden Gate Bridge but parking there can be impossible during peak times. About 30-60 minutes outside of SF are Muir Woods and Mt. Tamalpais if you like nature.
Car break-ins are a huge problem in SF. They usually target rental cars (they look for the rental car bar codes) but also hit cars in tourist spots. So, like in most big cities, do not leave anything of value in your car, even in the trunk, and definitely don't leave anything visible in the passenger compartment. Also, be aware of your surroundings and don't walk around with an expensive DSLR around your neck if you can help it.
In terms of weather, be prepared for the micro-climates where the temperature can vary 30 degrees depending upon where you are in the city. Bring a jacket as it can also get breezy.
There is lots to do and I barely scratched the surface. This link is pretty good in terms of typical stuff:
Scott_dog, if you have the time, money, and like wine, check out of San Francisco and head up to Sonoma and Napa Valleys. There are very nice B&B's up there, the country is beautiful, and the wineries are plentiful.
Thanks Scoot_dog and everyone for your invaluable advice. We will be staying near Sacramento and planning to visit San Fran for only one day to see the high points of the city on a Sunday when traffic should be lowest and planning to go quite early to beat the crowds. Since we will be in the area so decided to visit San Fran for a day. I will not dare to drive to this city on a weekday. I know traffic situations in big cities.
The real challenge is not heavy traffic but driving on crazy steep streets. It's almost like a roller coaster ride. Be sure you know how to apply the hand brakes halfway up a 40% climb, release the brakes and continue driving.
SF does not meet the hills of LA. SF roads look like I 10 between LA and Phoenix road.
Try the road at Allesandro and Baxter in LA and take the right turn. You go up over 45 degrees and at the top where you can not see the car comming up towards you until you are at the top and in an crossroad. Then you go down at the steep decline where you have a stop sign. You then climb the next hill and back down.
My wife and I call it "the hills of death"
they need to be done in advance. If you are fit, rent a bike and ride along the Embarcadero and then ride your bike across the Golden Gate bridge. Amazing experience.
I've been living in LA for many years but I've never been to those streets that you mentioned. On the other hand, I've visited SF for 3 days (2 nights) and I drove through many steep roads. That says a lot about SF streets. I know what you're saying about steep climb. I see nothing but the sky when I'm almost at the top and I pray my brakes won't give out on me on the way down.
A nice description of Baxter Street
You should also grab my offbeat poi file, that will give you stuff you wont even think about.
Sure. I will. What is included in this file? Please let me know.
Hope you have a good time!
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