There are so many things to do in San Francisco, and there are so many places to stay. But I’ve got a couple of recommendations for you.
The husband and I stayed at the Argonaut Hotel on a last-minute trip. It was clean, quiet, and comfortable. My only complaint is the expensive parking.Our favorite part of the hotel was how central it was to many of the tourist places we were visiting. Ghiradelli Square is just a couple of blocks away. We like to go there for a hot fudge sundae or a chocolate chip cookie for dessert. It was also just around the corner from the Buena Vista Cafe, which claims to have brought Irish Coffee to the States. The bartender just lines them up and makes a bunch at a time.The Argonaut is also a short walk to Fisherman’s Wharf, with plenty of choices for restaurants. (But PLEASE do not choose the gigantic Applebees!) Fisherman’s Wharf also houses Musee Mecanique, a hands on museum of vintage arcade games, fortune tellers, and photo booths. The sea lions have also moved back to the Wharf, and you can find them at Pier 39. We stood and watched them fight and bark at each other for about 30 minutes one night.Down a bit further from Fisherman’s Wharf is Alcatraz Landing where you can purchase tickets and jump on the ferry to Alcatraz. I’ll have a post on Alcatraz later this week here.But if you don’t want to stay near the touristy Fisherman’s Wharf, and you want to save some money, and don’t mind some noise, I recommend The Phoenix Hotel in the Tenderloin. Yes, it’s in the Tenderloin, a seedy part of town, but it’s no worse than the seediest parts of Silverlake/Echo Park in Los Angeles. The Phoenix is a rock-n-roll hotel, and it can be a bit loud. But we enjoyed our stay, had no issues, and there is a free parking.
The mister and I also had some fun walking around North Beach (Little Italy) and going to City Lights Bookstore.We also stumbled across an amazing record shop, 101 Music. Although a bit pricey, I had to buy the Skippy album on the history of peanut butter. Weirdest record album find ever.San Francisco is also home to a crooked little street, Lombard Street, and it’s really fun to drive!
And last, but not least, if you get a chance, walk or drive across the Golden Gate Bridge. But if you drive across, be aware that the toll is now $6 and is payable either online or through a mailed invoice. There is no longer a cash toll paid on the bridge.