Northern California - Visiting the Bay area
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from Dec 26 thru Jan 2. Need advice on sites to see and restaurant's. I'll be staying downtown but will have a rental car. This is the first time coming to area and looking forward to it. Thanks in advance!
12-02-07, 05:34 PM
The 3 big bike rides in the San Francisco area are Mt. Tamalpais in Marin, Mt. Diablo in the East Bay and Mt. Hamilton in the South Bay. You can reach Mt. Tam from the downtown area by riding over the Golden Gate Bridge and heading north. The other 2 are a little far to bike to, but BART (www.bart.gov) allows bicycles most of the time. If you climb all 3 during your visit, you can say you really saw the San Francisco Bay Area.
12-02-07, 09:35 PM
Well, the great thing about the Bay Area is the myriad of sites to see, activities to do, and great places to eat. Can you be a bit more specific about what types of things you are interested in?
12-02-07, 11:08 PM
What kind of food do you like? There are some great Indian and Korean places in Santa Clara.
coming into town for my second passion college football. Looking for restaurants that aren't the usually tourist trap's. Also any idea's for New Year's Eve with the family. As I stated staying in downtown. Also my son loves to hike hopefully this helps out. As far as a certain cuisine goes wife and I love all type's of food now the 9 year old boy is a different story.
12-03-07, 11:08 AM
The SF Bay Area chowhound forum is a nice place to get restaurant ideas.
12-03-07, 11:29 AM
...Looking for restaurants that aren't the usually tourist trap's...
Our current favorite Italian Restuarant in North Beach is L'Osteria del forno (http://www.losteriadelforno.com/index.html).
Fantastic menu, incredible food plus it's not expensive. They have won many awards from Conde Nast to Bon Appetite.
Get there early for seating is a limited first come/first serve.
Take to trolley from downtown SF to Fisherman's Wharf. Eat at Greens at Fort Mason, and then hike across the Golden Gate Bridge and back to your hotel. This would be a lot of hiking, but you would get to see a lot of the city during the hike.
I assume you are not biking (or not much) because of the family.
For a nice day, I would recommend a drive over the GGB into the Marin Headlands, down to Sausalito, and up to Mt. Tam and Muir Woods. This will take you most of the day if you see and do stuff. You can also add Point Reyes if the weather is decent (a fair bit more driving, but quite remarkable).
If you like fine food, produce, etc., check out the Saturday-morning farmers' market at the Ferry Bldg (at the end of Market on the Bay).
Alcatraz would be fun for the kids and is a nice boat ride (if the weather is good).
In lousy weather, you can hit the museums, etc. The aquarium in Monterey is famous, but will make for lots of driving and a long day.
The days are short, so start early!
Have a blast!
12-03-07, 06:10 PM
I feel like a S.F. greeter. There are some great places to eat in S.F. A lot of times Downtown means around Union Square.
For breakfast I'd say Dottie's True Blue Cafe on Jones between Geary and O'Farrell. The place is small and popular so there is always a line though much smaller on weekdays than weekends.
For dinner in the area is Millenium, which is high end vegetarian food. Really good. Also there is Grand Cafe. Way less expensive and really fun are the many Indian/Pakistan places like Lahore/Karahi or Little Delhi. Then there are Vietnamese places on Larkin like Mangosteen and Bodega Bistro.
Another great San Francisco treat is a burrito from one of the taquerias in the Mission. Really big. Really good. Really cheap.
If you son is into hiking in cities, there are some great loops around town. You could walk along the waterfront from the phone booth stadium (pac bell...er...sbc...er...att park...er...until the next consolidation) all the way to Greens at Fort Mason. Walk back a little more and take the F line back to Market St. Or if people still want to walk, from Fort Mason head South to Union St, up the Fillmore St hill (used in the old San Francisco Grand Prix bike race) to Pacific Heights area and back down to down town. Or continue West to GG bridge.
You can't go wrong walking around the city and eating when you see something that looks good.
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