News: IT'S THE 2ND ANNUAL GUATEMALA LIBRARY PROJECT BOOK DRIVE!    LOOKING FOR DONATIONS OF SCIENCE BOOKS THIS YEAR.    Check it out in the "Extending the Hand of Kindness" folder or here: http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=139832.msg3372084#msg3372084   

  • May 30, 2017, 02:44:36 AM

Login with username, password and session length

Author Topic: San Francisco in August  (Read 707 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

jayhawk

  • Member
  • Posts: 1403
    • my organizing website
Re: San Francisco in August
« Reply #15 on: May 04, 2017, 04:50:36 PM »
If I may tag onto this thread - we'll be visiting family in July and my aunt (who lives in Modesto) said to get online and choose a bus tour of SF.  Looks like some are set up so you can get off one bus and on another one later. Any suggestions? I've been to SF, but it's been 30 years. My 18 yo daughter has not been.

thanks.

o_gal

  • Member
  • Posts: 1297
Re: San Francisco in August
« Reply #16 on: May 08, 2017, 01:44:25 PM »
Quote
the idea is to fly to SF from Indianapolis (or maybe Louisville), probably around Wednesday 8/16, returning back Sunday. Then stay overnight and drive out to see the solar eclipse on 8/21,

I may have missed something here. Are you planning to drive from SF to somewhere whee th eclipse will be visible? That may be a two-day drive.

I read that as flying back *to* Indianapolis/Louisville *from* SF, staying overnight, then driving to the eclipse from there. No idea if that makes better sense geographically.

Yes, that is correct. The spot where the eclipse will be at totality the longest is in southwestern Illinois (according to DH). The idea is to return from SF Sunday, stay in Indy/Louisville overnight Sunday night, drive out to see the eclipse Monday morning, then speed drive back home Monday afternoon (about a 5 to 6 hour drive.)

siamesecat2965

  • Member
  • Posts: 11678
Re: San Francisco in August
« Reply #17 on: May 10, 2017, 08:58:03 AM »
Following this thread as I was in SF back in the summer of '82 with my parents, then drove up the coast to Oregon to visit my grandparents, cousins etc. I loved it and always wanted to go back! My one regret is they were rehabbing the cable cars and i never got to ride on one :( We were also only there for like a day and then some, and if I recall correctly, we did Golden Gate park where they have a Japanese garden? But no time to do anything else.

My parents met and got married there too!

Hmmm. my cousin and I have been trying to decide where to take a trip; i'm wondering if she'd be up for SF and then Carmel/Monterray. oooh. let me do some research!


nutraxfornerves

  • Member
  • Posts: 2784
Re: San Francisco in August
« Reply #18 on: May 10, 2017, 09:24:23 AM »
If I may tag onto this thread - we'll be visiting family in July and my aunt (who lives in Modesto) said to get online and choose a bus tour of SF.  Looks like some are set up so you can get off one bus and on another one later. Any suggestions? I've been to SF, but it's been 30 years. My 18 yo daugh ter has not been.

thanks.
Are you decent walkers?  I highly recommend the walking tours done by SFCityGuides in cooperation with the local library. The price is right--free, although donations are accepted. The tours are themed. Everything from the Gold Rush to architecture to the 1906  earthquake. Tour historic buildings, walk across the Golden Gate Bridge, see movie filming sites.

If you find that a bus tour is a good way to get a feel for a city before you explore it, then a short bus tour might be a good orientation, but I wouldn't really recommend a hop on, hop off thing. Those buses primarily go to the sites you'll find on every visitor list, all of which are reachable by public transit. Any narration you get while riding will be a canned spiel.

One thing that many people don't know about is the free Presidio shuttles. They depart from a few central locations, then go to the Presidio. Within the Presidio there are more free shuttles. The ones that go to the Presidio are only free at certain times of day; otherwise you need a special pass. The ones within the Presidio are always free. Presidigo Shuttle.

There is lots to do in the Presidio, a former military base that goes back to the 18th century. Hiking, gentle walking, and scenic views. Museums. Public art (including the famous Yoda fountain at Lucas Films.). Great restaurants. The Walt Disney Family Musem. (This is not a theme park.).

Nutrax
The plural of anecdote is not data

siamesecat2965

  • Member
  • Posts: 11678
Re: San Francisco in August
« Reply #19 on: May 10, 2017, 10:24:14 AM »
If I may tag onto this thread - we'll be visiting family in July and my aunt (who lives in Modesto) said to get online and choose a bus tour of SF.  Looks like some are set up so you can get off one bus and on another one later. Any suggestions? I've been to SF, but it's been 30 years. My 18 yo daugh ter has not been.

thanks.
Are you decent walkers?  I highly recommend the walking tours done by SFCityGuides in cooperation with the local library. The price is right--free, although donations are accepted. The tours are themed. Everything from the Gold Rush to architecture to the 1906  earthquake. Tour historic buildings, walk across the Golden Gate Bridge, see movie filming sites.

If you find that a bus tour is a good way to get a feel for a city before you explore it, then a short bus tour might be a good orientation, but I wouldn't really recommend a hop on, hop off thing. Those buses primarily go to the sites you'll find on every visitor list, all of which are reachable by public transit. Any narration you get while riding will be a canned spiel.

One thing that many people don't know about is the free Presidio shuttles. They depart from a few central locations, then go to the Presidio. Within the Presidio there are more free shuttles. The ones that go to the Presidio are only free at certain times of day; otherwise you need a special pass. The ones within the Presidio are always free. Presidigo Shuttle.

There is lots to do in the Presidio, a former military base that goes back to the 18th century. Hiking, gentle walking, and scenic views. Museums. Public art (including the famous Yoda fountain at Lucas Films.). Great restaurants. The Walt Disney Family Musem. (This is not a theme park.).

Also making a note of this info; and hoping my cousin thinks its a possibility for a trip! She loves all things Victorian and I found a nice Victorian, supposedly haunted hotel, which seems pretty reasonable. For SF anyway.

FauxFoodist

  • Member
  • Posts: 4986
Re: San Francisco in August
« Reply #20 on: May 10, 2017, 11:13:36 AM »
Do you know where you want to stay?  The first time I stayed in SF, I found a little boutique hotel immediately adjacent to Chinatown, http://www.hoteltriton.com/.  My companion didn't want to drive so it made sightseeing so much easier.  It's a small hotel decorated in a funky (but interesting manner).  The greatest appeal, though, was that it's at the end of one entrance to Chinatown so there really is no need for transportation.  I think down the block is some pretty fancy shopping as well (it's been years since I stayed there, but I recall looking out my window and being able to see several high-end stores within the block).

Are you familiar with Airbnb, http://www.airbnb.com/?  We started booking houses through this service a few years ago after a friend told us about it and have been hooked ever since (they also do smaller lodging than houses, though).  We're able to get an entire residence to ourselves somewhere between $90-140/night, but except for the one place in LA that was around $140, we've typically paid around $90-100/night (smallest was a studio ground-floor apartment with a full kitchen on an estate in Carmel; the largest was a two-bedroom house surrounded by open land with distant neighbors in Mariposa in order to go to Yosemite nearby).  Except for the place in Carmel (when we didn't have dogs), each place we've stayed (and for that price) has also let us bring our dogs with us (which saves us from either boarding them or hiring a dogsitter).  Having a full kitchen has meant that for the last three places we stayed, I prepared and packed up at home most of what food and drink we'd need (we still ate out maybe once or twice, but it wasn't out of necessity).  I realize you can't conveniently do the same when flying in, but you could still buy groceries and cook if you don't want to have to eat out for every meal.  Also, I really enjoy having almost the level of privacy we'd have at home (almost because you do still meet your hosts at least at the beginning of your stay but they've all left us alone after that unless we need them).  I've recently been looking at homes to rent in SF so we could do more than a day-trip as we could bring our dogs *and* have private parking.  It's more expensive than other places (for what we need and location, I think the cheapest I found is around $160/night) but still reasonable compared to staying in a hotel there, never mind the cost of boarding our dogs, plus we'd be able to park our car where we're staying, not have to pay for parking and be able to walk short distances I could handle to restaurants and church (like within a block or two).

nutraxfornerves

  • Member
  • Posts: 2784
Re: San Francisco in August
« Reply #21 on: May 10, 2017, 12:18:57 PM »
You do have to be careful with AirBnB. It is illegal or seriously regulated in some cities. In some places, the owner must be present while you are renting. In others, the owner or AirBnB will collect taxes that you may not be expecting. In places where it is illegal, people still do offer rentals, but they can be dodgy--you arrive at the rental and it doesn't exist. Or, while you are there, the police show up & raid it as an illegal hotel (I have only heard of that in New York). AirBnB doesn't have a list of cities where it is illegal; you have to find that for yourself.

In SF, there are rules about who can rent out a place, but what applies to the renter the most is that there is a 14% hotel tax. AirBnB collects the tax when you make a booking.

These kind of short term rentals are illegal in Monterey and Carmel, but not Pacific Grove.

Nutrax
The plural of anecdote is not data

FauxFoodist

  • Member
  • Posts: 4986
Re: San Francisco in August
« Reply #22 on: May 10, 2017, 03:57:01 PM »
You do have to be careful with AirBnB. It is illegal or seriously regulated in some cities. In some places, the owner must be present while you are renting. In others, the owner or AirBnB will collect taxes that you may not be expecting. In places where it is illegal, people still do offer rentals, but they can be dodgy--you arrive at the rental and it doesn't exist. Or, while you are there, the police show up & raid it as an illegal hotel (I have only heard of that in New York). AirBnB doesn't have a list of cities where it is illegal; you have to find that for yourself.

In SF, there are rules about who can rent out a place, but what applies to the renter the most is that there is a 14% hotel tax. AirBnB collects the tax when you make a booking.

Wow, we've never had a problem with any of our rentals; we've done four different ones now (three this year so far) and all have been fine.  I'll keep that in mind for the future (we have one coming up in a few months so I'll check it out a little more).  I'll have to Google for Airbnb horror stories.  At worst, I always put the charge on our credit card so reversing the charge is always an option should someone try to defraud us.

These kind of short term rentals are illegal in Monterey and Carmel, but not Pacific Grove.

We rented the first time in Carmel without any problem.

iridaceae

  • Boring in real life as well
  • Member
  • Posts: 4585
Re: San Francisco in August
« Reply #23 on: May 10, 2017, 04:33:54 PM »
Several cities are really cracking down on AirBnB-San Francisco, Anaheim and some places in Hawaii for sure.

We stayed at the Sir Francis Drake because the AAA travel agent my dad likes to use had access to some ridiculously low rate for our date-about $210 a night.

We did the Hop-On HoP off so we could see as much as possible-we were only there for 3 nights.
Nothing to see here.

FauxFoodist

  • Member
  • Posts: 4986
Re: San Francisco in August
« Reply #24 on: May 10, 2017, 04:59:06 PM »
Several cities are really cracking down on AirBnB-San Francisco, Anaheim and some places in Hawaii for sure.

That's interesting.  Anaheim was one of the other places we were going to stay (well, Buena Park).  I know a new law was enacted recently in Santa Monica, but we were fine in the city of LA.  Well, there's always one of the other home-stay sites.  I'll enjoy it while I can.  I like having space to spread out, a fridge, a stove, washer/dryer, etc.

I read some of the horror stories on one website.  It could be we haven't run into problems so far as I make sure to read the reviews and never opt to stay anywhere we'd be sharing a roof with the hosts (one listing I read was listed as entire home but, reading the reviews, you're actually sharing with the homeowner so I moved on).

Sidenote -- I thought it was supposed to be "AirBnB," not "Airbnb" but then I checked wikipedia, which lists it as "Airbnb" so I used that.  I know it's a small thing, but I like to make sure I'm writing something correctly when I can.

Anyone do the nighttime tour of Alcatraz?  After reading here about visiting Alcatraz, I considered doing that but saw that it might be good to wait to schedule for when the daytime and nighttime tours package is available (fully booked for when I was looking).

Someone upthread mentioned having wanted to go to the Winchester Mystery House.  I'd always wanted to go there (for about 20) years then finally went ten years ago when I was in the area for a business trip.  It really wasn't that big a deal, but I'm glad I finally did it (I think the tour was much shorter than I thought it would be given my understanding was always the house was really huge).  I wouldn't go again, though.

nutraxfornerves

  • Member
  • Posts: 2784
Re: San Francisco in August
« Reply #25 on: May 10, 2017, 06:10:43 PM »
The night time Alcatraz tour is highly recommended. Tours book up, especially the night ones, so book well in advance.

Although AirBnB is illegal in some cities, enforcement is erratic and not done by AirBnB. So it is possible to find a listing, and rent it, without knowing that it is illegal. Some hosts know and list anyway; some hosts are unaware of the laws.

Re: Winchester Mystery House. A film is being made about it, starring Helen Mirren as Sarah Winchester. She's been in San Jose recently filming at the house.

Nutrax
The plural of anecdote is not data

jayhawk

  • Member
  • Posts: 1403
    • my organizing website
Re: San Francisco in August
« Reply #26 on: May 25, 2017, 01:50:02 PM »
Thank you nutraxfornerves! My aunt has already booked the Alcatraz tour. I think most of us are good walkers, however, my aunt is 80 (another however - she went skydiving for her 80th birthday last year, so who knows!). She is the one who suggested I find a bus tour, though.

airfare is purchased! Woot!

nutraxfornerves

  • Member
  • Posts: 2784
Re: San Francisco in August
« Reply #27 on: May 25, 2017, 05:16:34 PM »
My 90 year old aunt lives in SF and can outwalk me any time. If Auntie is joining you and wants a bus tour, then I'd defer to her wishes. Otherwise, do what looks right for you and enjoy one of the great cities of the world.

Nutrax
The plural of anecdote is not data