San Francisco Journals

Labor Day Weekend in San Francisco

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A September 2003 trip to San Francisco by ssullivan

Does Your Mother Know? Photo, San Francisco, California More Photos
Quote: Ah, San Francisco. One of my favorite destinations for the unique scenery, great restaurants, vibrant gay life, and yes, those darn hills. Ever since my first visit in December 1999 I have to get back to the Bay Area for a visit; most recently over Labor Day Weekend 2003.

Labor Day Weekend in San Francisco

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Overview

Transamerica Pyramid Photo, San Francisco, California
Quote:
San Francisco offers so much that you will quickly find that you probably cannot see and do everything you want in just one visit. Must-sees on my list are Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge, Chinatown, the Union Square area, and the cable cars. I'm personally not a big fan of Fisherman's Warf and Pier 39; my feeling on both of these is that you should go there once to say you've been and then avoid most of the area on future visits. The area is just an over-priced tourist trap that doesn't offer much more than any other touristy waterfront in any other city. At least most of the businesses at Pier 39 are not national chains, so I prefer it to the more corporate Fisherman's Warf. The sea lions at Pie...Read More

Courtyard by Marriott San Francisco Downtown

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Hotel | "Marriott Courtyard San Francisco Downtown"

Courtyard by Marriott San Francisco Downtown Photo, San Francisco, California
Quote:
The Marriott Courtyard San Francisco Downtown is one of the newest large hotels in the downtown area, and one of the more reasonably priced. Located just three blocks south of Market Street in the SOMA (South of Market) neighborhood, the hotel is very convenient to public transportation (the Montgomery BART/Muni station is just a few blocks away on Market St. and the hotel is on the 10, 12, 15, and 76 Muni bus lines), the baseball stadium, Chinatown, Union Square, and downtown. The area around the hotel is a mixture of high-rise condos, restaurants, bars, and mid-rise office buildings. SOMA used to have a reputation for being an unsafe neighborhood; however, redevelopment in the last decade has cha...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on September 11, 2004

Courtyard by Marriott San Francisco Downtown
299 2ND STREET
San Francisco, California 94105
415-947-0700

Harvey's

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Attraction

Quote:
Harvey's will always hold a special place in my heart. In December 1999, when I made my first trip to San Francisco with two friends, I had only been out for a few months and had never in my life been to a gay bar before. So, on my second night in San Francisco, the three of us hit the Castro. The first bar we stopped in (of many that night) was Harvey's, a nice looking bar with large windows situated on the corner of Castro and another street. For the next two or three hours, we drank, snacked on curly fries, and participated in the bar's trivia game (our team, the "Houston Hustlers", barely missed coming in third and winning a prize). It was great fun, and, since then, every trip I make to...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 15, 2004

Harvey's
500 Castro St
San Francisco, California 94114
(415) 431-4278

Does Your Mother Know?

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Attraction

Does Your Mother Know? Photo, San Francisco, California
Quote:
This famous little gift shop on 18th Street, just a few blocks east of Castro, gets quite a bit of word-of-mouth publicity from the gay and lesbian travelers to this city due to its funny name. After all, what better name could anyone come up with for a shop selling all the t-shirts, bumper stickers, mugs, shot glasses, posters, postcards, and other tchotchkes that any homosexual could possibly ever want than this? On my last visit (Labor Day weekend 2003), I drug my straight travel companion into the shop with me. He’s very open minded and I think he actually found the experience fun, especially when an employee said to us "Welcome – Does Your Mother Know?" as we entered. My friend respond...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 15, 2004

Does Your Mother Know?
4141 18th St
San Francisco, California 94114
(415) 864-3160

Golden Gate Bridge

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Attraction

Golden Gate Bridge Photo, San Francisco, California
Quote:
Opened in 1937, the Golden Gate Bridge is quite possibly San Francisco's most famous landmark. The massive 1.7-mile structure crosses the mouth of San Francisco Bay, connecting the city to Marin County to the north. The bridge not only provides a vital link in the area's highway system, but it also is a major tourist destination - each year thousands of people make the trip to visit the bridge and admire it's enormous art deco-styled structure. Despite several previous trips to San Francisco, I had not actually been to the Golden Gate Bridge until my Labor Day 2003 trip. I'm surprised it took my fourth trip to the city for me to finally visit the bridge, as large suspension bridges have alw...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on September 16, 2004

Golden Gate Bridge
San Francisco Bay
San Francisco, California

Coit Tower

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Attraction

Coit Tower Photo, San Francisco, California
Quote:
Perched on the summit of Telegraph Hill is the Coit Tower, a landmark constructed using a bequest to the City and County of San Francisco by Lillie Hitchcock Coit. Coit, a widow without children, specified in her will that two-thirds of her estate go to the Universities of California and Maryland, and the remaining one-third go to the City and County of San Francisco to beautify her favorite city. After Coit's death, a design competition was held to determine the form of the memorial. The winning design was a tower to be constructed in Pioneer Park at the top of Telegraph Hill. The tower was dedicated in October 1933. At the time that the tower's physical structure was completed, th...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 18, 2004

Coit Tower
1 Telegraph Hill Blvd
San Francisco, California 94133
(415) 362-0808

Riding the Muni System in San Francisco

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Story/Tip

Powell-Hyde Cable Car Photo, San Francisco, California
Quote:
Unless you are planning to travel outside the urban areas of the Bay Area, I would not recommend renting a car for your visit to San Francisco. Almost no hotel in the city offers free parking, and sometimes hotel parking is priced as much as $25 per night. Additionally, parking is in short supply in all areas of the city. Driving to almost any destination can be frustrating, as you will spend a lot of time searching for a parking place. In popular tourist areas like Fisherman's Warf, there are some parking garages, but they charge a heavy premium for the privilege of parking there. On the other hand, the city's extensive, safe, and reliable public transportation network, combined with the city's re...Read More
City View from Telegraph Hill Photo, San Francisco, California
Quote:
While the Muni system provides the primary way for visitors relying on public transportation to get around the city, the BART rapid transit trains are your ticket into the city from both the San Francisco and Oakland International Airports, as well as an efficient way to get to some of the suburban areas south of San Francisco and the East Bay communities. BART operates in downtown San Francisco street, in the lower level of the Market Street Subway, below the Muni Metro trains. The system runs as far south of San Francisco as Milbrae, and, on ...Read More
California St. Photo, San Francisco, California
Quote:
After five visits (two for pleasure, three for work) to this wonderful city in a four-year period, I've seen quite a bit of San Francisco. However, there are certain activities that I always manage to do when I'm there, no matter how short the visit (on some of my work trips I've had no more than one evening to go out and have fun). Here are some of my favorite places and things to see. Riding the F Market/Wharves historic streetcar line. During the early 1980s, the cable car system was shutdown for 18 months to be completely rebuilt. Fearing a loss of tourists, the Chamber of Commerce worked with Muni to create a temporary historic trolley attraction to replace the cable cars during...Read More