San Francisco with kids?

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texasdiver
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San Francisco with kids?

Post by texasdiver » Mon Apr 08, 2013 4:01 pm

I see another San Francisco thread going on now but rather than hijack that one I though I'd start a new one as my wife and I will be there with our kids so we'll be looking for kid activities more than wine tastings.

We'll probably be in the SF Bay area for the better part of a week in early July and we will have our car. We will also have our 3 girls along ages 7, 10, and 14. It has been 20 years since I have been to the Bay area and I was single back then so priorities are different this trip. What I am thinking is the following.

1. Find one of the motels with free parking of which there are a variety along the northern edge of the city and then just park the car and use public transportation for visiting local tourist locations within the city itself.

2. Use the car for excursions north across the Golden Gate to Point Reyes and the redwoods and south to Monterey and maybe Santa Cruz (we will be driving back to Texas so we'll be able to see the national parks on the way home).

What I could use advice about are (1) any particularly good and economical motels that would provide free parking and are well located for foot tourism with kids. Tripadvisor has a bunch of listings and endless reviews but if anyone has any special recommendations I'm listening. And (2) what to actually do with 3 kids ranging from 2nd to 10th grade. I know all the big tourist attractions (zoo, chinatown, fisherman's warf, Alkatraz etc.). My inclination is to get some guidebooks and let the kids decide what THEY want to do each day. But I'm up for any ideas of especially kid friendly attractions. I don't care so much about restaurants because with 3 kids with often fickle tastes there is often a long negotiation of what kind of food to eat. Although if there is a dim sum place that is especially recommended that might be fun.

Dave76
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Re: San Francisco with kids?

Post by Dave76 » Mon Apr 08, 2013 4:42 pm

Do you really want to bring your family there? I wouldn't spend a night in San Francisco.

A guidebook might be a good idea.
Last edited by Dave76 on Mon Apr 08, 2013 10:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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noyopacific
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Re: San Francisco with kids?

Post by noyopacific » Mon Apr 08, 2013 4:57 pm

My favorite kid-friendly attraction in San Francisco is The Exploratorium! https://www.exploratorium.edu/
It is an interactive science museum that has been very interesting for our daughter and adults like it too.
P.S. While Alcatraz is a popular destination, I found it cold, it's almost always windy, dismal and not very interesting. Lots of time spend waiting in lines too. Sorry but I don't have any recommendations for lodging.
The information contained herein, while not guaranteed by us, has been obtained from from sources which have not in the past proved particularly reliable.

Bender
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Re: San Francisco with kids?

Post by Bender » Mon Apr 08, 2013 5:37 pm

A nice, low budget place to stay during your first visit to S.F. with the family is the Columbus Motor Inn. It's on Columbus Ave, between Fisherman's Wharf and North Beach. You can walk to both. The motel has free parking - unheard of in S.F (If you stay at one of the hotels in Union Square, you'll pay $40 minimum per night to park). The Columbus is also one block from the street cars (touristy but a must for your first time). Don't know if you know much about North Beach, but it has many Italian restaurants as well as cafes, bars, shops, etc. North Beach is famous for the food, nightlife, and culture, so it can get a little rowdy at night but some of the best Italian Restaurants in town are there. North Beach is also home to The City Lights Bookstore - the famous bookstore of the Beat Generation. In fact, I just read they are celebrating 60 years in business sometime in July. Close to North Beach is Chinatown with all its color, people, and movement. The key to visiting S.F. is you don't want to drive. Driving in The City for the first time is crazy and parking is even more maddening. So you want a place to park and walk. While Union Square has nicer places, the prices are a bit steep and it is pretty much simply shopping. Just got back from a visit to The City last weekend. What an amazing place.

gkaplan
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Re: San Francisco with kids?

Post by gkaplan » Mon Apr 08, 2013 5:42 pm

If you want to drive south, the whole family probably would enjoy the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
Gordon

livesoft
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Re: San Francisco with kids?

Post by livesoft » Mon Apr 08, 2013 5:45 pm

+1111 Exploratorium!!!! There is the Steinhart Aquarium, too. No reason not to do both Steinhart and Monterey Bay Aq. Walk across Golden Gate Bridge and back, too. Thereafter, every time they see a movie with the bridge, they will recall the memory.
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dm200
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Re: San Francisco with kids?

Post by dm200 » Mon Apr 08, 2013 6:07 pm

texasdiver wrote:I see another San Francisco thread going on now but rather than hijack that one I though I'd start a new one as my wife and I will be there with our kids so we'll be looking for kid activities more than wine tastings.

We'll probably be in the SF Bay area for the better part of a week in early July and we will have our car. We will also have our 3 girls along ages 7, 10, and 14. It has been 20 years since I have been to the Bay area and I was single back then so priorities are different this trip. What I am thinking is the following.

1. Find one of the motels with free parking of which there are a variety along the northern edge of the city and then just park the car and use public transportation for visiting local tourist locations within the city itself.

2. Use the car for excursions north across the Golden Gate to Point Reyes and the redwoods and south to Monterey and maybe Santa Cruz (we will be driving back to Texas so we'll be able to see the national parks on the way home).

What I could use advice about are (1) any particularly good and economical motels that would provide free parking and are well located for foot tourism with kids. Tripadvisor has a bunch of listings and endless reviews but if anyone has any special recommendations I'm listening. And (2) what to actually do with 3 kids ranging from 2nd to 10th grade. I know all the big tourist attractions (zoo, chinatown, fisherman's warf, Alkatraz etc.). My inclination is to get some guidebooks and let the kids decide what THEY want to do each day. But I'm up for any ideas of especially kid friendly attractions. I don't care so much about restaurants because with 3 kids with often fickle tastes there is often a long negotiation of what kind of food to eat. Although if there is a dim sum place that is especially recommended that might be fun.
SF is a great place and great area for a vacation.

It has been a few years, but there was a fine place (motel-type) with parking right in the city. I can't remember it, and don't know if still there.

Consider a visit to the zoo.

Since you are there or a week, consider several days at Yosemite. The Sequoias are in part of Yosemite.

Go north or south and see the coastal redwoods.

Find a bus tour of SF - a nice way to see the various parts of the city.

twist101
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Re: San Francisco with kids?

Post by twist101 » Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:21 pm

I've got kids the same age as your 2 younger kids and we live in San Francisco. Here are a couple of ideas for places to visit:

California Academy of Sciences:
http://www.calacademy.org/

Friday evenings at the DeYoung Museum. They usually have live entertainment and art activities for the kids + it's free:
http://deyoung.famsf.org/deyoung/calendar/category/89

Walt Disney Family Museum:
http://www.waltdisney.org/

Exploratorium is a good option ... they're going to be reopening in a new location on Apr 17:
https://www.exploratorium.edu/

Sunday Streets:
http://www.sundaystreetssf.com/

Head over to the ferry building in the afternoon for food and take a look at the Bay Lights in the evening.
http://www.ferrybuildingmarketplace.com/
http://thebaylights.org/

Ghiradelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop:
http://www.ghirardellisq.com/ghirardelli-chocolate-Shop

Here are a couple of sites to look at for what's going on:
http://sf.funcheap.com/
http://www.sfkids.org/

Joi de vivre have a bunch of boutique hotels in San Francisco. Looks like the Hotel del Sol has free parking:
https://www.jdvhotels.com/hotels/califo ... el-del-sol

Here's some Dim Sum places:
http://www.7x7.com/kids/bay-area-s-best ... estaurants
Last edited by twist101 on Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

jhd
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Re: San Francisco with kids?

Post by jhd » Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:23 pm

San Francisco is a great place for kids if you do it right. I moved there recently with two kids (2 and 6), and they love it. The parks and nature - both in town and within a short drive - are amazing.

I think you're already on the right track already, and I would recommend:

* Redwoods, either north (Muir Woods) or south (Santa Cruz mountains)
* Monterrey aquarium, if you're driving in from the south
* Hiking in the Presidio or Land's End Trail if it's not too foggy or windy. The views of the Golden Gate Bridge on a clear day are gorgeous.
* Exploratorium
* Alcatraz. Our 6-year-old daughter loved it a few months ago. Worth 2-3 hours or so.
* Golden Gate Park is fun to explore. Bigger than Central Park, with trails, lakes, windmills, playgrounds, museums, a Japanese Tea Garden, and probably a lot of other stuff that I haven't come across yet
* Wine country: http://www.castellodiamorosa.com/, Sterling, and V. Sattui are all kid-friendly.
* Playgrounds. San Francisco has some epic playgrounds, though your 14-year-old might be too old for that. I recommend Dolores Park and the Koret playground at Golden Gate Park; both make the playgrounds I grew up with as a kid look prehistoric.

I recommend avoiding Pier 39 and Fisherman's Wharf. They're mostly just full of tourists and people selling things to tourists. Check them out if you want, but the best stuff in town is elsewhere.

Keep in mind that SF is a unique place. If you'll be freaked out by crazy people and marijuana smoke, then avoid the parks and certain neighborhoods. But IMO that is part of the charm.

hicabob
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Re: San Francisco with kids?

Post by hicabob » Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:24 pm

Cable car ride to the cable car museum, and the boat trip to the Alcatraz tour - both excellent

northstar22
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Re: San Francisco with kids?

Post by northstar22 » Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:28 pm

Bring your coats. July is cold in SF. Seriously. Outside the city it is warmer.

"The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco" - Mark Twain

MitchL
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Re: San Francisco with kids?

Post by MitchL » Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:30 pm

Hi TexasDiver,
We took our kids last summer, had a great time.
We got a 3-day pass for the cable car & buses to get around. At $6 one way for the cable car it rapidly paid for itself. Also see the CityPass, we didn't try but I think we would next time (we paid $99 to get 4 into the Exploratorium :oops:).
http://www.sfmta.com/cms/mfares/passports.htm
Also, agree with above -- weather can be chilly and foggy.

Regards :beer
Mitch

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Sunflower
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Re: San Francisco with kids?

Post by Sunflower » Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:44 pm

I don't know why so many of my posts don't "take" -- but anyway:

I would do a bay cruise or an amphibious Splash Duck tour http://sanfrancisco.ridetheducks.com/

I took a competitor tour of Splash Duck and had a blast but Splash Ducks gives you a duck whistle (or used to) so that makes all the difference :D . These tours may be too expensive since there are so many of you, but it's a beautiful, unforgetable experience seeing San Francisco, Alcatraz and the bridges (the Bay Bridge has recently been lit up as artwork) from the Bay.

If you're here on the Fourth of July book a cruise on that day and watch from the Bay (the fireworks are fired from a barge). I did that once and it was a clear night and incredible (and it's incredibly crowded along the waterfront that day). But it's true summer is cold and foggy and you WILL need a jacket/pants.

My nieces loved Chinatown, the basking-in-the-sun arguing sea lions at Pier 39 (free). After all these years I still love a cable car ride and the cable car barn (free) is interesting to see how they work.

epilnk
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Re: San Francisco with kids?

Post by epilnk » Mon Apr 08, 2013 8:29 pm

Everything mentioned here is great - our two kids, ages 10 and 12, love taking daytrips into SF. The exploratorium is truly a don't miss. The cable cars are more fun than you might think, and will take you between the touristy waterfront and chinatown (not just for lunch; kids in this age range are fascinated by the stores stuffed with cheap imported junk, so let them poke around in a few) - combining these makes a great day. If you run into Dave, be careful to not shake hands.

btenny
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Re: San Francisco with kids?

Post by btenny » Mon Apr 08, 2013 9:44 pm

The America Cup races are in San Francisco bay this year and they start on July 4. See below. I went to the races in San Diego years ago and it was a blast. The boats and the race people are great fun to look at and parrty with and the races will also be fun for all ages. But if you are going to the city that week I suspect most/all the hotels are already sold out. So ???

http://www.americascup.com/en/news/4/ev ... als-format

But as far as fun things to do that the kids will like I would go to Great America Amusement park. It has all kinds of fun rides and things to see and do for kids. See here.

http://www.cagreatamerica.com/things-to-do

I also second a day long visit to one of the aquariums and another day for a visit and hike in Muir red woods north of the Golden gate. Plus if you have time I would also think about going south to Hearst Castle for a day and maybe stoping or staying over in Santa Cruz or Monterey or Half Moon bay for a beach venture for part of the trip.

Have fun. The area is great for all ages.
Bill

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zebrafish
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Re: San Francisco with kids?

Post by zebrafish » Mon Apr 08, 2013 10:37 pm

A lot of good suggestions already.

One more-- we took an open air fire truck tour of the city. This was a memorable experience. A little goofy, but fun way to see the city.

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Peter Foley
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Re: San Francisco with kids?

Post by Peter Foley » Mon Apr 08, 2013 10:47 pm

I second the suggestion of the cable car and museum. I remember taking a cab one way and the cable car the other way as it was much cheaper. There were 4 of us and my kids were 7 and 9 at the time. I've done it with friends as well.

supersharpie
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Re: San Francisco with kids?

Post by supersharpie » Mon Apr 08, 2013 11:22 pm

Dave76 wrote:Do you really want to bring your family there? I wouldn't spend a night in San Francisco.

A guidebook might be a good idea.
What a bizarre response. San Francisco is one of the greatest cities in the country. You make it sound like he is asking about taking his kids on vacation to Camden, NJ!!!

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interplanetjanet
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Re: San Francisco with kids?

Post by interplanetjanet » Mon Apr 08, 2013 11:46 pm

epilnk wrote:Everything mentioned here is great - our two kids, ages 10 and 12, love taking daytrips into SF. The exploratorium is truly a don't miss.
Absolutely agreed. Also consider the Lawrence Hall of Science across the bay if you go that direction, it's another wonderful interactive science-y place. If you're a member of a science center that has a reciprocal arrangement you can get large discounts off of admission - it may even be worth joining one locally just to save money for this one trip.

We take the kids into SF periodically and usually stay in Japantown, if you like neat little pockets of different cultures then you'll love some of the neighborhoods around there. Make sure you're in good shape - the best way to see many parts of the city is on foot after getting off at a Muni stop, and some of the hills are steep. Dress in layers, the weather is variable.

Grace Cathedral is quite a sight. If you go out to the beach, make sure to stop and check out the camera obscura that is there - it's well worth it on a clear day.

Find a good Russian bakery, they abound on Geary. Wonderful piroshki.

westcoastinvestor
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Re: San Francisco with kids?

Post by westcoastinvestor » Tue Apr 09, 2013 12:10 am

Fisherman's wharf- see the sea lions (hundreds of them) and the musee mechanique (many old arcade games)
Telegraph Hill/Coit tower- hike up one of the stairs up the hill and look for the parrots
Zeum Museum
The tower in the DeYoung Museum
Academy of Sciences
Zoo
Rocket Boat http://www.blueandgoldfleet.com/
Café Trieste on Saturday afternoon- There is a free opera show.
Chrissy Field- Hike
Walk across the Golden Gate Bridge
See the murals in the Mission District
They might be old enough to rent a bike at blazing saddles http://www.blazingsaddles.com/san-franc ... QgodZzUAmA
Giants game
Hotels- Not sure if economical- http://www.argonauthotel.com, http://www.innatthepresidio.com/
Surfing lessons- Pacifica is probably best.
Look at less touristy neighborhoods like Bernal Heights, Glen Canyon, Outer Sunset, Hayes Valley.

Balance
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Re: San Francisco with kids?

Post by Balance » Tue Apr 09, 2013 1:11 am

supersharpie wrote:
Dave76 wrote:Do you really want to bring your family there? I wouldn't spend a night in San Francisco.

A guidebook might be a good idea.
What a bizarre response. San Francisco is one of the greatest cities in the country. You make it sound like he is asking about taking his kids on vacation to Camden, NJ!!!
Yes I agree a very bizarre response. The oddest part of that message is when you said you wouldn't shake anyone's hand in San Francisco which I see you deleted. It's not helpful at all to the OP in any way.

As for the other responses, there are some great suggestions. I live in the SF Bay Area and grew up in the city. It is a beautiful place and can satisfy both the adults and children. The Exploratorium is a fun and educational place to bring children and adults. Right outside the Exploratorium is the Palace of Fine Arts which is a good place to take pictures and bring some lunch and hang out on a nice day. At Golden Gate park you will find the Academy of Science and the Japanese botanical gardens which is near as well as many parks and walking trails. Fisherman's wharf is a good place for sightseeing, eating a fresh catch of seafood, seal watching. Next to Fisherman's wharf you have Ghiradelli square which is nice for a sweet treat of chocolate or ice cream. The cable car start/end is right there at Ghiradelli Square/Fisherman's wharf. On the weekends you can find some local food and a farmer's market at the Ferry Building on the Embarcadero. It is not far from Fisherman's wharf. If you continue down the Embarcadero you will find AT&T Park where the Giants are playing. I don't think there are any more beautiful stadiums to watch a game. Even if you don't like baseball you have wonderful views of the Bay and the bridge. The stadium has a park for kids both inside and outside the stadium.

Ancal
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Re: San Francisco with kids?

Post by Ancal » Tue Apr 09, 2013 1:45 am

Another San Francisco parent here! You're going to have an awesome trip.

Two sites that haven't been mentioned are the Children's Creativity Museum at Yerba Buena Gardens and Children's Fairyland, across the Bay Bridge in Oakland. (Yes, Oakland is cool now!)

An option when traveling with the family is Airbnb. It's generally more space for less money than a hotel, and you can filter for places that are kid-friendly and have free parking. (DISCLAIMER: I work for Airbnb! Mods, please let me know if talking about it here is not kosher.)

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Sunflower
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Re: San Francisco with kids?

Post by Sunflower » Tue Apr 09, 2013 2:27 am

A couple comments on the comments:

1) The Exploratorium is great but it has moved and has a new home. Maybe more convenient? http://www.exploratorium.edu/piers/

2) I love the Telegraph Hill parrots but you don't necessarily have to trek up there to see them. At dusk they travel down to the park across the street from the Ferry Building (directly across from Embarcadero Three) and congregate making lots of noise and lots of colorful flying around. If you're anywhere near Justin Herman Plaza/Ferry Building you may hear them squawking during the day.

3) I really wouldn't bother with the San Francisco Zoo unless your kids have never been to a zoo before. It's cold, damp and depressing. There are far better zoos.

fundseeker
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Re: San Francisco with kids?

Post by fundseeker » Tue Apr 09, 2013 6:24 am

I did not read all of the posts, so this may have been said, but you might want to warn the children about all of the homeless or street people who will aggressively hit your family up for money. Thye are everywhere. It was not a pleasant experience for us and we felt much safer visiting New York City. It was a real hassle and one incident where we said no to a beggar resulted in him yelling and cursing at us. So, beware.

fundseeker
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Re: San Francisco with kids?

Post by fundseeker » Tue Apr 09, 2013 6:31 am

You might find this website helpful: http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowForum-g6 ... ornia.html

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dm200
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Re: San Francisco with kids?

Post by dm200 » Tue Apr 09, 2013 8:36 am

Yes, I will second Grace Cathedral as well!

john94549
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Re: San Francisco with kids?

Post by john94549 » Tue Apr 09, 2013 8:45 am

Skunk Train in Willits.

http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtop ... 1#p1663425

Thomas the Train in Felton.

Childrens Fairyland near Lake Merritt in Oakland. Yes, another train, but lots more.

Sunday: Irish coffee at the Buena Vista (cocoa for the kids) cuz it'll be cold. Take the Powell cable car from the Wharf to Market Street (right outside the BV), then the F-Wharves vintage open-air gondola trolley car down Market to the Embarcadero, thence back to the Wharf. Walk the Embarcadero back to the Ferry Bldg, stopping (if you must) at Pier 39. Great people-watching and no parking hassles.

Hint: make sure you stay at a location served by Muni, or be prepared to spring for (hard-to-get) cabs.

yolofitz
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Re: San Francisco with kids?

Post by yolofitz » Tue Apr 09, 2013 11:27 am

to twist101; great and thoughtful answer

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hansp
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Re: San Francisco with kids?

Post by hansp » Tue Apr 09, 2013 1:16 pm

A few things not mentioned above:

If you go to Fisherman's Wharf, make sure to check out the boudin bakery:
http://www.boudinbakery.com/at-the-wharf
They've got a giant window on the street where you can watch them make sourdough and actually talk to the baker's through mic. They've also got a small museum upstairs that gives a nice history of SF sourdough (all the way back to the gold rush). Not worth a trip to the wharf just for this, but if you're in the area...

In my opinion, the best kept secret for kids and families in the city is that the playground (slides, cable car, etc.) inside AT&T park is open to the public for free when the Giants are out of town: (buried in the first box on this buried page on the website)
http://sanfrancisco.giants.mlb.com/sf/b ... ent=fanlot

You have to go to the "Marina Gate" to get in (back side of the ball park, off the street) , and there are no signs on the street, but every time I go there are only 10-20 other people inside and you've got the place to yourself! They restrict how much you can walk around, but you can't beat free!

texasdiver
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Re: San Francisco with kids?

Post by texasdiver » Tue Apr 09, 2013 1:46 pm

Thanks for all the great advice. I have a long list of great ideas to copy to my phone and have at my reference for when we get there. I was not aware that the America's Cup would be happening then. I suppose that means I better get cracking on finding lodging very soon. The Columbus Motor Inn recommended on this thread gets great reviews in tripadvisor. I hadn't thought about airbnb but have been meaning to try it out sometime. This might be a good time. I like the idea of airbnb with kids because having a kitchen lets us eat our own meals which will save a lot of money and general hassle.

Here is some more background on the planned trip.

My middle daughter and I are the serious cyclists in our family and we have been planning to bike tour the Pacific Coast together on a tandem this summer from Astoria Oregon to San Francisco. I did this ride solo when I graduated from college 25 years ago and have been wanting to repeat it. My father who is 75 is still a very serious recumbent cyclist and plans to join us so this will be a 3-generation trip. We plan to take it easy and take about 2-3 weeks to make the ride which is about 800 miles along the coast highways. I plan to do a serious adventure with each of my daughters individually, this will be the first. The middle daughter and I will drive from Texas to Oregon with the tandem and gear loaded in the mini-van and park it at my parent's house in Oregon where we will depart by bike. 2-3 weeks later my wife and two other daughters will fly out to Portland, pick up the car, and then drive it down to San Francisco where we will all meet up. My wife has 2-weeks off so the plan is to spend about a week or so in the San Francisco area (or until we get tired of it) and then head back to Texas by car via as many National Parks as we can reasonably hit between California and Texas. So we will probably hit Yosemite and the other logical parks on the way home. And we may well cut our stay short in SF in order to spend more time elsewhere in CA and in the desert SW on the way home.

So what we will need in San Francisco is lodging for a family of 5 plus car parking and hopefully a decent safe place to store an expensive tandem. Although I'm contemplating just boxing up the bike and shipping it back to Texas so I don't have to deal with it in SF and on the road trip home. The rest of the road trip home I'm more willing to just wing and figure out on the way. But I wanted to have a more detailed idea of what to do in SF, or at the very minimum have lodging lined up well in advance.

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Re: San Francisco with kids?

Post by supersharpie » Tue Apr 09, 2013 2:53 pm

Balance wrote:
supersharpie wrote:
Dave76 wrote:Do you really want to bring your family there? I wouldn't spend a night in San Francisco.

A guidebook might be a good idea.
What a bizarre response. San Francisco is one of the greatest cities in the country. You make it sound like he is asking about taking his kids on vacation to Camden, NJ!!!
Yes I agree a very bizarre response. The oddest part of that message is when you said you wouldn't shake anyone's hand in San Francisco which I see you deleted. It's not helpful at all to the OP in any way.
Definitely catching some distinctly homophobic vibes in Dave's post but perhaps he despises the city for some other reason. I guess you don't wish to clarify Dave?

twist101
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Re: San Francisco with kids?

Post by twist101 » Tue Apr 09, 2013 3:21 pm

texasdiver wrote:So what we will need in San Francisco is lodging for a family of 5 plus car parking and hopefully a decent safe place to store an expensive tandem. Although I'm contemplating just boxing up the bike and shipping it back to Texas so I don't have to deal with it in SF and on the road trip home.
Be sure to bring bike locks if you keep the bike while you're in SF. This city is notorious for bike thefts.

If you still have the bike in SF, you might want to check out SF Streets. Long stretches of street are closed for bicyclist and pedestrians.
http://www.sundaystreetssf.com/

Also Golden Gate Park closes down JFK drive on Sundays for bicyclists and pedestrians.
http://www.golden-gate-park.com/biking.html

Here's the site for the SF Bicycle Coalition which has maps for biking in the city:
http://www.sfbike.org/?resources

That's a wonderful idea doing a great adventure with each of your daughters.

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Rosebud
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Re: San Francisco with kids?

Post by Rosebud » Tue Apr 09, 2013 3:41 pm

The Exploratorium is a great place to visit and, as one poster mentioned, it has moved to the waterfront and will reopen next week. The linked article also mentions that because of the huge crowds expected at the new site, they are issuing tickets for specific entrance times. I highly recommend visiting it, but checkout this article for more details:
http://www.insidebayarea.com/breaking-n ... -wednesday

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ryuns
Posts: 3478
Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2007 6:07 pm
Location: Sacramento, CA

Re: San Francisco with kids?

Post by ryuns » Tue Apr 09, 2013 4:15 pm

supersharpie wrote:
Balance wrote:
supersharpie wrote:
Dave76 wrote:Do you really want to bring your family there? I wouldn't spend a night in San Francisco.

A guidebook might be a good idea.
What a bizarre response. San Francisco is one of the greatest cities in the country. You make it sound like he is asking about taking his kids on vacation to Camden, NJ!!!
Yes I agree a very bizarre response. The oddest part of that message is when you said you wouldn't shake anyone's hand in San Francisco which I see you deleted. It's not helpful at all to the OP in any way.
Definitely catching some distinctly homophobic vibes in Dave's post but perhaps he despises the city for some other reason. I guess you don't wish to clarify Dave?
I think it's because his cars from the 1970's don't take very well to the hills. (A lighthearted jab.)
An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered; an adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered. -- GK Chesterton

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ryuns
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Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2007 6:07 pm
Location: Sacramento, CA

Re: San Francisco with kids?

Post by ryuns » Tue Apr 09, 2013 4:18 pm

Re: parking at the inn's. Wherever you stay, make sure they actually have a parking space reserved for you. I agree that the north end is cheapest and perfectly pleasant, but we've stayed at the places in the area that claim "free parking" only to that they're all first come, first serve.
An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered; an adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered. -- GK Chesterton

Senin
Posts: 100
Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 3:42 am

Re: San Francisco with kids?

Post by Senin » Wed Apr 10, 2013 2:58 am

First of all, don't get sidetracked by Monterey or out of San Fran attractions (unless you happen to be passing them anyway).

Yes, definitely hit--
Alcatraz (fun and historic)
Golden Gate Park. (You should drive to that one). Spend a whole day there. Visit the museums. Tea Garden. Stow lake. Rent a bike only if you have time-- which you prob won't.
You HAVE to do the Wharf. That is San Fran. Spend a day, Pier 39, Scoma's, Aliotos, Ghiradelli.
North Beach is very interesting, just not as much WOW.
Chinatown is Chinatown. I would visit, but your kids might not be too impressed. It is a Chinatown.
The Embarcadero is cool.
Union Square is interesting (the wife might like it for shopping).
Stay away from the Haight.
You should ride a cable car, but check your books for the best times and places, lines can get long.

Feel free to message me for details.

Senin
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Re: San Francisco with kids?

Post by Senin » Wed Apr 10, 2013 3:01 am

Oh, and if you do have a car, you might want to spend one day just driving through the city. If you avoid the rush hours, traffic is not too bad.

john94549
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Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2011 8:50 pm

Re: San Francisco with kids?

Post by john94549 » Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:40 am

OP: might suggest you open up the discussion for "hints and wrinkles" for that trip down the Coast. For example, my wife and I discovered an abundance of cell-phone dead zones recently on an excursion from Ft. Bragg south on Hiway 1. Can be disconcerting if you're trying to call someone, or someone is trying to reach you. Also, make sure you check for road closures/detours.

Helloeeze
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Re: San Francisco with kids?

Post by Helloeeze » Thu Apr 11, 2013 2:22 am

We might be strange, but every time we took preteen and teen girls to SF, we would drive down Jones street near Lombardi. My husband would gun the engine just before he went over the edge and down the street, of course, abruptly applying the brakes. The street is so steep it has stairs on the sidewalk. Then all the girls would scream and giggle and say "Do it again." We also walked the Barbary Coast Trail by following Medallions in the street guiding the way. It's four miles I think. There used to be a map you could buy that pointed out historical sites you could see along the way.
We also always go the the fortune cookie factory (very small) on Ross Street in Chinatown, where you can watch a little lady make fortune cookies. The girls always liked Chinatown (shopping for trinkets.)

Helloeeze
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Re: San Francisco with kids?

Post by Helloeeze » Thu Apr 11, 2013 2:22 am

double post

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