San Francisco Treat
May 12, 2008 5:36 AM   Subscribe

San Francisco Honeymoon. My wife and I are going to San Francisco for the first leg of our honeymoon. Neither of us has ever been there. Where should we stay and what should we do? I don't mind paying $300+ for a hotel room, and would like to be within walking distance of cool things to do. Union Square area? Should we rent a car and drive out to the Muir Woods? Give us a list of places we should go to eat, shop, and people watch. Ride the cable car? Ride it to where? More importantly, looking for a nice hotel in the middle of the action. We will be there from June 7th - 10th.
posted by kaizen to Travel & Transportation around San Francisco, CA (15 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
If you have time on Saturday, definitely make it down to the Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market. Terrific food, great view of the bay and good for people watching.
posted by Atom12 at 5:53 AM on May 12, 2008

31 posts tagged with sanfrancisco and travel

Should we rent a car and drive out to the Muir Woods?

posted by grouse at 6:06 AM on May 12, 2008

Union Square's is both central and full of nice hotels.

Check out this recent question for a good guide to what free papers and on-line resources to check out to see what's going on.

For people watching, walk down Haight to Golden Gate Park (and walk around GG Park.) There are some good shops along the way, too.

There are only three cable car lines, so it's not hard to ride all of them their whole lengths (with a MUNI day pass.) The far end of one of the lines is by Fisherman's Wharf, which is the most touristy part of the city, but I always like seeing the sea lions.

The Exploratorium's a great science museum.

I'm feeling some option paralysis here -- want to give more hints as to what you and your wife are into?
posted by Zed_Lopez at 6:06 AM on May 12, 2008

Apple's WWDC conference begins that Monday, and I imagine that at least a few conference-goers will begin arriving that weekend. You might want to start calling around for hotels sooner rather than later. (I don't have any have any recs, though, since I live here.)
posted by rtha at 6:20 AM on May 12, 2008

The Mark Hopkins is located at California & Mason on Nob Hill -- a steep hill overlooking the Financial District & Union Square. The hotel's intersection is a major and convenient cable car stop to both popular neighborhoods. This hotel (and the Fairmont) are nicely secluded from the city's hustle and bustle, yet convenient to many key attractions. The hotel's service is also impeccable. I went to a conference that split between these two hotels about 20 years ago and they were both fabulous. Terrific rooms and amenities.
posted by netbros at 6:49 AM on May 12, 2008

I suggest taking in a sunset at Ocean Beach, it was stunning the last time I went. There is a posh restaurant with ocean views (Sutros) there as well which I haven't been to but seems like it might be the sort of thing you might splash out on on a honeymoon.
posted by tomcooke at 7:20 AM on May 12, 2008

I don't mind paying $300+ for a hotel room, and would like to be within walking distance of cool things to do.

I think the Sir Francis Drake is more in the heart of all the action. And it has a great restaurant and cocktail bar attached.

I can't offer any other recommendations since you havent told us anything about yourself (age? inclinations?) and what may be "cool" for one person may be either too "dirty" or too "stuffy" for someone else.
posted by vacapinta at 8:11 AM on May 12, 2008

Joie de Vivre is a nice mini-chain of boutique hotels in the San Francisco area (though I think they've expanded to other areas of CA since then, they started in San Francisco). They have four properties in the Union Square area and one on Nob Hill. I have only stayed in the Rex, but I really liked it a lot. When you book, tell them you're on your honeymoon and they'll usually provide some sort of romantic arrival gift in your room, like chocolates or wine. (Disclaimer: I have no idea if that's their official policy to do so, but I and several of my friends have received such items upon check-in on special occasions.)
posted by bedhead at 8:47 AM on May 12, 2008

if you happen to enjoy the cheap eats, the city is famous for its burritos, which are enormous, cheap, and often ridiculously delicious. i'm sure there are thousands of online debates about which ones are the best, but perhaps the greatest easily-accessible concentration of them is on mission between 16th and 24th (there are BART stops at 16th and 24th).

golden gate park is awesome for sitting around (but bring a sweater - but that's true of almost anywhere in town); the haight and the mission are good for hipster boutique shopping; if you like modern art there's SF MOMA; the Golden Gate bridge is a fun, bracing walk with an incredible view; and there's the historic castro theatre for movie buffs, which usually shows classics, but appears to be screening the new indiana jones flick when you are there.

in my opinion, the downtown/union square area (where many of the better known, nicer hotels are) is not particularly great for getting a feeling for the non-tourist SF experience, but both MUNI and BART can get you to the Mission, the Haight, and SOMA in 5-10 minutes (there are other cool neighborhoods, but i think they are not quite as close).
posted by blapst at 9:24 AM on May 12, 2008

I second Joie De Vivre hotels, though I personally would be more inclined to not live in Union Square, but somewhere a little more chill. The Hotel Vitale is right by the Embarcadero, near transit, the Ferry Building Levi Plaza Park, the Filbert Steps, the Bay. Two BART or Muni stops from Powell Street, which is a short walk from the hustle and bustle of Union Square. Plus they have hot tubs on the roof there. The staff there was very friendly- tagged my beater bike and put it in the luggage room without batting an eye.
posted by oneirodynia at 9:28 AM on May 12, 2008

My must-eat restaurant recommendations are: Slanted Door down at the ferry terminal, and Michael Mina on Union Square (its inside one of the hotel lobbies, forget which one).
posted by Joh at 9:37 AM on May 12, 2008

Be sure and check out past threads and take the always written. "but that's a touristy area" posts with a grain of salt. You are tourists! You can't see San Francisco without seeing the things San Francisco is known for. Alcatraz, Cable Cars (take them all! Powell-Hyde/Powell-Mason/California), Fisherman's Wharf, etc.

You can't go wrong with the Union Square/Knob Hill hotels:

The Westin St. Francis (awesome)

Sir Francis Drake

The Fairmont

The Mark Hopkins

Congratulations on the wedding and -- have fun!
posted by Gerard Sorme at 11:32 AM on May 12, 2008

If you are up for an adventure of sorts, check out the Red Victorian, its a B&B right on Haight. Very reasonable prices and lots of fun people. The rooms are super funky.
posted by ian1977 at 12:11 PM on May 12, 2008

If you do end up in Fisherman's Wharf and you like crab, I recommend The Crab House. The Killer Crab (dungeness crab roasted in garlic butter) is incredibly delicious.
posted by monarch75 at 12:41 PM on May 12, 2008

I'm kind of a fan of the Triton Hotel. You might be too, if you like unusual hotels.
posted by rhizome at 7:06 PM on May 12, 2008

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