where to go in sfo
August 25, 2007 9:58 AM   Subscribe

Spending the weekend in San Francisco. I have a rental car all day tomorrow for a lunch meeting in San Rafael. Suggest where to go after the meeting to take advantage of having a car in the city & being a tourist.

I just have to make it to the airport for an 8pm flight.
posted by donguanella to Travel & Transportation around San Francisco, CA (8 answers total)
Best answer: When heading back to San Francisco from San Rafael I suggest that you take a ride throught the Marin Headlands [link has directions -- you'll be coming from the North Bay]. The Headlands are off to the right on 101 South, just before the Golden Gate Bridge. A breathtaking view of the Pacific awaits as you pass over the peak - 1, 2!
posted by ericb at 10:20 AM on August 25, 2007

Seconding Marin. Its absolutely beautiful.

If you want to go south instead of north, Half Moon Bay or even Santa Cruz are a fairly easy drive, and the coast highway itself has some good views.
posted by devilsbrigade at 11:10 AM on August 25, 2007

Oh -- and as you wind your way up the Headlands you can pull over and get these iconic views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the city - 1, 2, 3, 4.
posted by ericb at 11:16 AM on August 25, 2007

Absolutely go south along the Ocean..the stretch down to Santa Cruz is incredibly beautiful.
posted by mmascolino at 12:00 PM on August 25, 2007

No, don't go south, you're already north of the city and you'll waste a lot of time going through the city and then doubling back to get to the airport. There's no need to drive for 2 hours to get to Santa Cruz when some of the most beautiful marine parkland in California is right near San Rafael: the Marin Headlands, Bolinas/Stinson Beach, Point Reyes National Seashore. Plus if you like big trees there's Muir Woods and Mount Tamalpais park. Have a nice lunch in Sausalito. Park your car at the edge of the Golden Gate Bridge and walk across (on either side). There is an endless variety of stuff to see around here.
posted by PercussivePaul at 1:05 PM on August 25, 2007

Best answer: Eat at Sol Food or Lotus in San Rafael, you will not regret it.
posted by iamabot at 6:43 PM on August 25, 2007

Extra touristy: Fisherman's Wharf, Haight-Ashbury.

Last time I parked near the former, I found a Pier-1 type import store and bought something to validate. You've got to have the chowder in a bread bowl, of course. For the latter I can almost always find parking a block or two south of Haight.

Do some research into food you like and you can have an awesome meal in "The City." Oh and locals never call it Frisco or San Fran, etc.
posted by prodevel at 12:26 AM on August 26, 2007

If you want to do time in SF itself your best bet is to park somewhere central and walk. If you decide to drive around the city be prepared to hunt for parking or settle on paying.

If you want to take advantage of the car I would suggest a trip to Twin Peaks from which you'll get an amazing view from downtown to the GG Bridge. Ocean beach is also nice to stop at or drive by if you want to see the Pacific Ocean. If you live near the ocean or have seen it before you might want to skip it.

From Ocean Beach you can drive through GG Park which is kind of nice to check out. Then again, a park is a park. Unless you want to spend some time in this patch of nature or check out the museums then you can probably skip this too.

I guess it really depends on what it is that you want to see. There are the "touristy" things down near Fisherman's Warf. Here you'll have to pay for parking for sure. If it were me I would park my car at Union Sq. or near Moscone Center and have a walk. Lot's to see and you'll get a flavor of touristy SF. If you have a good pair of shoes and some energy you can do Union Sq to Chinatown and end up in North Beach. That should give you a good flavor of some touristy stuff while not being overbearing.
posted by cjw333 at 1:00 AM on August 26, 2007

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