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Keys2Heaven

Hotels and things to do...looking for suggestions

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Leaving on Alaska cruise from SFO next May, 2020. Cruise departs Monday, so thinking of flying in either Friday/Saturday.

 

Our budget is around $150/nt for hotels. For meals...average ($10 - $30/pp).


Would really appreciate any info regarding places to stay and things to do that a local would recommend. Trying to not be too touristy.

 

Not sure about doing Alcatraz.

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Try the Columbus Motor Inn on Columbus Avenue. Not sure about $150 but we didn’t pay much more than that. We stayed three days. The location is excellent plus the bus stops right in front of the hotel. It isn’t fancy but it is clean and staff is very helpful. We walked to Ghirardelli Square, Fisherman’s Wharf, the boat dock for Alcatraz, Chinatown, Lombard Street. We even took in a ball game which was super fun. Took the bus to and from for a very reasonable price. We used Lyft in from the airport and to the ship .  San Francisco can be done reasonably. You just need to research. Good luck and have fun.

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I'll second the Columbus - but also add that unless prices have decreased since we last stayed in SF (4 years ago in May) you will likely struggle to find anything remotely acceptable downtown at that budget for hotels, especially on a weekend. And we really are not fussy when it comes to hotels - I recommend folks the YWCA all the time here in Vancouver having stayed ourselves, and while I'm happy to blow your hotel budget on one dinner I'd always scrimp on the hotel as to me it's just a bed, so my only travel hotel criteria are that it be clean, safe, and in a good location for sightseeing.

 

I'm sure if you stick yourself out in the 'burbs you'll find keener pricing, and transit is pretty decent for the US in SF/Oakland, but it would still add time getting to and from the sights every day - last trip the Columbus was too pricey for us (it's been a well-known bargain for well over a decade so their pricing has gone up since back in the day) so we plumped for a new-to-us hotel, the Adante, which came it just a hair over US$150 and was IIRC $30 less than the Columbus. I'd stay again, but there were definite caveats (old building, renovated right before our stay - in fact they were still doing some of the rooms so there were stacks of fixtures and building materials stashed upstairs - but the windows were single-pane, lots of street noise bled through).

 

SF is not a place to cheap out IMO - there are lots of excellent restos and sights, but they're all shall we say a bit spendy compared to most other places in the US. I'm sure some locals can advise on good affordable food options, though they may also involve getting out of downtown in the main, but if you can't squeeze your budget up some you may be better asking about where to stay and what there is to do in somewhere that's not SF but is close enough you can get there on cruise day without risk.

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Thanks for the replies. We upped our budget and reserved a few nights at the Golden Gate Hotel.

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( I attached a map of the Walking Tour I'm suggesting ).

1st, check out China Town, and have some lunch there.  I have a favorite Chinese restaurant, Kam Lok, that resides in the basement on Washington Street and had great food at good prices.  Mostly locals eat there.  Tourists generally do not know about this place.

 

Right near the restaurant is Ross Alley where you can visit the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory.

There is a lot to see in China Town if you have not been there before.

Up the street on Washington is the Cable Car Power House and Museum.  You can see the engines that power the cables for the cable cars, and see a lot of history.

From there, you can catch the Powell/Hyde Cable Car to Ghirardelli Square if you have not ridden a cable car before.  If you do not have an interest, then you can walk there... it's all down hill.

Visit Ghirardelli Chocolate for some treats... or ice cream.  You can then walk the water front to Fisherman's Wharf and to Pier 39.

If you have time in SF on one of your days, I suggest booking Alcatraz in advance...  it's a great tour.

Cruise San Francisco Tour.docx

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24 minutes ago, VentureMan_2000 said:

( I attached a map of the Walking Tour I'm suggesting ).

1st, check out China Town, and have some lunch there.  I have a favorite Chinese restaurant, Kam Lok, that resides in the basement on Washington Street and had great food at good prices.  Mostly locals eat there.  Tourists generally do not know about this place.

 

Right near the restaurant is Ross Alley where you can visit the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory.

There is a lot to see in China Town if you have not been there before.

Up the street on Washington is the Cable Car Power House and Museum.  You can see the engines that power the cables for the cable cars, and see a lot of history.

From there, you can catch the Powell/Hyde Cable Car to Ghirardelli Square if you have not ridden a cable car before.  If you do not have an interest, then you can walk there... it's all down hill.

Visit Ghirardelli Chocolate for some treats... or ice cream.  You can then walk the water front to Fisherman's Wharf and to Pier 39.

If you have time in SF on one of your days, I suggest booking Alcatraz in advance...  it's a great tour.

Cruise San Francisco Tour.docx 767 kB · 0 downloads

Thank you!

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25 minutes ago, Keys2Heaven said:

Thank you!

Oh... regarding the Kam Lok restaurant, it's not fancy by any means, but is kind of a unique place.  Don't let first impressions bother you.

 

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