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San Francisco next summer - where else to stay?

(12 Posts)
SJane45S Thu 03-May-18 09:46:23

We're thinking of going to San Francisco next July at the start of the school holidays probably for about 10 days (though the DH wants to go for 2 weeks). We usually travel around wherever we go but use public transport as my husband doesn't like driving abroad and I don't drive (and yes, I know at 48 how rubbish that is!). I've not done a very detailed search so far but the train network doesn't look great and places like Monterey and Carmel look pretty inaccessible unless you do a tour day trip. Can anyone suggest great places we could get to from San Francisco relatively easily and possibly stay over night? I think 10-14 days in one City, however great, wouldn't really suit us!

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Wellwhatalovelyday Thu 03-May-18 09:47:56

We got the overnight train from Seattle to San Francisco- beautiful journey and a bit of an adventure - not sure if you can do it in reverse?

SJane45S Thu 03-May-18 09:56:13

It's a thought! Had planned to fly in and out of San Francisco using Norwegian cheap flights but could take a look at flying back from Seattle and see what the cost would be compared to the SF return.

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Wellwhatalovelyday Thu 03-May-18 11:18:46

Well - you could go a step further - we flew in to Vancouver and out of SF. We hired a car in SF to go to Monterey (unmissable if you could persuade your dh...). The train journeys were fun. Only a few hours from Vancouver to Seattle but overnight from there to SF.

SJane45S Thu 03-May-18 14:41:58

Sounds a great trip! We do a lot of travelling by train but I think the DH will be looking really to stay in California rather than make a big trip (although we're planning a coast to coast North American trip at some childfree point in the future!). So anywhere within 2-4 hours would be really what we're looking at on this holiday.

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BubblesBuddy Thu 03-May-18 16:32:29

Public transport is a bit hit and miss up and down the coast. Michael Portillo did the journey by train but not sure you get to see the best bits of the coast from this line. America is wedded to the car!

SF is typically foggy in July. I think to see anything you would need to book a coach tour. Alternatively, look at a city that’s a bigger rail hub such as NY or Washington. I don’t think California is easy at all for non drivers. Or, get DH to gain some confidence!

thedevilinablackdress Fri 04-May-18 15:33:42

Some of the train route is right on the coast. See it when I was there a couple of years ago. It's called the coast starlight route. Some pics here:

https://www.countryliving.com/life/travel/amp44206/coast-starlight-most-beautiful-train-ride-in-america/

https://m.amtrak.com/h5/r/www.amtrak.com/california-train-routes

IamEarthymama Fri 04-May-18 16:04:16

My wife and I had 20 days in San Francisco in October 2014.
It was brilliant, we could have stayed for another month and still not been everywhere we wanted to see
We did a couple of day trips, to Berkeley and Muir Wood but otherwise stayed in the City
We used public transport and walked everywhere.
I absolutely loved every moment, there is so much going on.
We went to a celebration of Sawhain
In Haight-Ashbury as we are hippies at heart, went to the amazing Day if the Dead Celebrations in Mission and so much more.
We used TripAdvisor to plan and researched cafes, bars and restaurants, we are fond of trying different vegetarian and vegan cuisines.
Hope you have an amazing time and enjoy San Francisco as much as we did 😊

AngelsWithSilverWings Fri 04-May-18 17:13:34

When we went to SF we did a coach trip to the Nappa Valley that included lunch on the wine train ( we had a hire car but obviously we wanted to sample the wines!) There may be a trip that includes an overnight stay in Nappa.

We took a ferry across to Sausalito which was a really nice place to visit.

We've always had a car when we've been to SF and once we drove to Lake Tahoe for a couple of nights - not sure how easy that would be on public transport but I do remember organised trips being advertised.

KnobJockey Mon 07-May-18 17:12:25

You can get an internal flight to Los Angeles for as cheap as £30 per person, you could go have a few days in santa Monica? Los Angeles gets a lot of stick, but we went in February and LOVED it. Easily filled a 10 day holiday. Public transport was rubbish, but Ubers were very cheap and easy. Depending on the age of the kids you could do Disney/ universal/ Griffith Observatory (good for all ages) or a million other things.

SJane45S Tue 08-May-18 13:33:43

Thanks all - much appreciated. Your advice did all check out on research - fog in July, hard to get anywhere on public transport and even Air BnB was coming in at something horrendous. So in a complete change of plan and continent, booked flights for Sri Lanka instead for April. San Francisco is still very much on the must go to before I'm sucking soup through a straw in a old folks home place but I think we'll do it as part of a bigger pan American trip.

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Honeyroar Sat 19-May-18 19:15:48

San Francisco is much nicer in autumn when it comes to weather and there are less crowds. It can be quite cold in July/Aug when it's foggy.

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