San Francisco Journals

San Francisco on a Budget

A March 2006 trip to San Francisco by kustom57

Pier 39 Photo, San Francisco, California More Photos
Quote: I go to San Francisco quite a bit and I usually am able to do a weekend fairly cheaply. Here is how...

San Francisco on a Budget

Overview

Quote:
San Francisco is an amazing city. It has such great sights, as the Golden Gate Bridge and Park, Fisherman's Wharf, The Presidio, Chinatown, Japantown, Union Square, and Ghiradelli Square. There is so much to see and do in San Francisco that you need at least a week or two to experience even a tiny part of this great "City by the Bay".Quick Tips: This city can be very expensive, or you can do it on a budget. Some of the best things to do are practically free. I personally like meeting other travellers when I go places. It helps you find out where good restaurants are, things to do, and sometimes you come away with a travel friend. Best Way To Get Around: The best way to get around in ...Read More

San Francisco Fisherman's Wharf Hostel

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Hotel | "The Worlds Most Amazing Hostel!"

Quote:
At one of the cheapest prices ($25) per night and, in my opinion, the best unobstructed views of the whole bay, the hostel located in Fort Mason is by far the best value per dollar in San Francisco. It features free sheets, laundry service, a game room, a common room, free parking, a continental breakfast, and even a concierge service! There aren't even any chores or lockout times! Try to find all that and the best views that San Francisco has to offer for even three times the price. It can't be done! There are private rooms available, or you can choose from dorms that are mixed or male or female. This hostel is quiet at most times, because it is inside Fort Mason at the top of a hill, in a park. The ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 11, 2006

San Francisco Fisherman's Wharf Hostel
Fort Mason, Building 240
San Francisco, California 94123
(415) 771-7277

Boudin at Fisherman's Wharf

Restaurant | "Boudin Bakery"

Boudin at Fisherman's Wharf Photo, San Francisco, California
Quote:
If you have never had San Franciscan sourdough bread, there is nowhere better to experience it than at the Boudin Bakery. They serve everything from sandwiches, to clam chowder in bread bowls. The prices are reasonable, and the food is great. They have an indoor dining area, and one outside. I would recommend sitting outside during the summer and taking a seat indoors during the winter. The Boudin Bakery is world famous for its' sourdough bread. They claim to have made the first sourdough in the city. An interesting fact is that a little bit of the starter dough from every batch has some of the original starter dough in it. They make a batch and then pull a bit off and put it in the freezer, then the ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 11, 2006

Boudin at Fisherman's Wharf
160 Jefferson Street
San Francisco, California 94133
(415) 928-1849

Pier 39

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Attraction | "Pier 39, Fishermans Wharf"

Pier 39 Photo, San Francisco, California
Quote:
This is about the Pier 39 and Fishermans Wharf area of San Francisco. The Fishermans Wharf area is filled with many people bustling around trying to find such goods as freshly baked sourdough bread from Boudins Bakery, fresh clam chowder from the sidewalk restaurants, or trips out to the famous island prison, Alcatraz. Stop here a while and checkout the street performers. Look for the "Bush Man" while you traverse this area. He might just get you if you don't keep your eyes peeled. From here you can access Pier 39, which is home to such sights as Forbes Island, and also see the Sea Lions that have adopted a part of the docks for their own place to sun themselves. You can also find many sto...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 11, 2006

Pier 39
Beach Street & The Embarcadero
San Francisco, California 94133
(415) 981 7437

Golden Gate Bridge

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Attraction

Golden Gate Bridge Photo, San Francisco, California
Quote:
The Golden Gate Bridge is arguably the most famous landmark on the West Coast of the United States. It was built in 1937 and was, at the time, the largest suspension bridge in the world. Today the bridge features "movable lanes". Consisting of six total lanes, the lanes are changed as follows; on weekday mornings, there are four southbound lanes and only two northbound lanes. On weekday evenings, there are four northbound lanes and two southbound. This system allows for better traffic flow.The color of the Golden Gate is not actually gold, but a color called "International Orange". Contrary to popular belief, the bridge is not continuously painted every day of the year. In fact, a program started in 1...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 15, 2006

Golden Gate Bridge
San Francisco Bay
San Francisco, California

Exploratorium at The Palace of Fine Arts

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Attraction | "Exploratorium"

Quote:
If you are interested in science, San Francisco's Exploratorium is for you. Mainly geared toward children and adolescents, the Exploratorium lets you explore scientific principles with real-world experiments. There are such exhibits as exploring how tornadoes work, how a seismograph works, how the human brain perceives its senses, etc. There is also a Tactile Dome that is immersed in complete darkness that you can work your way through by touch. The museum is really quite different from any other than I have ever found in my travels.While I recommend it highly for families, I also would recommend it for one of those times when you want to take a date to do something different. The Ex...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 18, 2006

Exploratorium at The Palace of Fine Arts
15/17 Pier
San Francisco 94111
(415) 563-7337

Cable Car Museum

Attraction

Quote:
The most recognizable monument in San Francisco has to be the Golden Gate Bridge, but giving that a good run for the money has to be the cable cars! From the tell tale gong of the cable car bells, to the clickety-clack from the gripmans lever, there is nothing that says San Francisco quite as well. Invented in 1873 by Andrew Hallidie, as a way to traverse the steep hills of the city-by-the-bay, when those hills were wet and slippery, the cable cars revolutionalized the way to travel. By 1889 there were eight cable car companies operating in the city with a total of 53 miles of track going all over the city. Then the 1906 earthquake devastated the city, including much of the cable car tracks. ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 18, 2006

Cable Car Museum
1201 Mason St.
San Francisco, California 94108
(415) 474 1887

Grace Cathedral

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Attraction

Grace Cathedral Photo, San Francisco, California
Quote:
Grace Cathedral is the daughter of historic Grace Church. The first little chapel was built in the gold rush year of 1849, and the imposing third church, for a time called Grace "Cathedral," was destroyed in the fire following the 1906 earthquake. The railroad baron/banker Crocker family gave their ruined Nob Hill property for a diocesan cathedral, which took its name and founding congregation from the nearby parish.Dean J. Wilmer Gresham nurtured the young cathedral, and work began on the present structure in 1928. Designed in French Gothic style by Lewis Hobart, it was completed in 1964 as the third-largest Episcopal cathedral in the nation.Famed for its Ghiberti doors ("The Gates of...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 21, 2006

Grace Cathedral
1100 California St
San Francisco, California 94108
+1 415 749 6300

Alcatraz Island/The Rock

Attraction | "Alcatraz Island"

Quote:
Alcatraz Island, also known affectionately as "The Rock" is one of the best known federal penitentiaries of all time. Luminaries that once called this place home include, Alphonse Capone, George "Machine Gun" Kelly, Robert "the Birdman" Stroud and others. Facts show that the "Birdman" was never allowed to have birds in Alcatraz. The name stemmed from his habits at the prison that he had occupied previous to his stay at The Rock. Alcatraz started off as a Spanish fort and to this day still retains the medieval styled dungeon beneath the prison. Look for the bullet hole in the guard tower glass. I know a former prison guard from Alcatraz that tells me that it was a result of one of the break o...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 16, 2006

Alcatraz Island/The Rock
San Francisco Bay
Golden Gate National Recreation Area, San Francisco 94133
(415) 705-5555

Ghirardelli Square

Attraction

Quote:
Ghirardelli Square used to be the chocolate companies actual chocolate making plant. A number of years ago, Ghirardelli moved their operations a few towns over, and businesses decided to move in. This makes it a bit of a tourist trap, but it is still a nice place to visit and shop. You can still get the chocolates at the Ghirardelli Chocolate store and ice-cream shop!

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 16, 2006

Ghirardelli Square
900 North Point St
San Francisco, California 94109
(415) 775-5500