San Francisco Financial District

Discussion in 'California & the West' started by katyjeka, Sep 9, 2018.

  1. katyjeka

    katyjeka DIS Veteran

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    We were able to reserve the Hilton Financial District at an employee rate for December. I understand we are close to Chinatown but have never been to San Francisco and are hoping the area is ok for visiting other sites in San Francisco. Any opinions??? Thanks
     
  2. bcla

    bcla DIS Veteran

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    It's fine. I do have an issue with the way they've renamed it. It was previously operated as the Holiday Inn Chinatown.
     
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  4. katyjeka

    katyjeka DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for your help. The employee rate is 45.00 so it was hard to pass it up. It was not our first choice but I thought we'd give it a try.
     
  5. bcla

    bcla DIS Veteran

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    I grew up in the area and visited San Francisco a lot as a kid. I definitely remember the place because it's prominently located on the edge of Chinatown.

    It's a hideously ugly concrete monstrosity (typical of the early 70s), but it should be fine inside. $45 is a spectacular rate.

    [​IMG]

    Again, I remember when it was the Holiday Inn Chinatown. I'd been there a few times, and they had a Chinese restaurant and a lot of the stores were themed around Chinese style tchotchkes. When I went there looking for something to eat after the Hilton transition, there was none any more. I also remember when I worked in San Francisco during summers, sometimes I'd go there an splurge on their lunch buffet. It wasn't Chinese food per se, but for $11 they had a really good dessert selection.

    The opening scene from Dirty Harry shows a victim on the roof of the hotel.

    '

    This is what it looked like before as a Holiday Inn:

    [​IMG]

    There's a pedestrian bridge from the hotel to Portsmouth Square Park, where you'll see a lot of (mostly) retired Chinese men playing Chinese chess.

    If you're thinking of taking public transportation, several MUNI buses stop within a block. It's also a reasonable walk to the Ferry Building. Right at the the F streetcar or a MUNI Metro station would probably be ideal, but it's not bad.
     
  6. katyjeka

    katyjeka DIS Veteran

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    Thank you. We are planning a short visit to Chinatown and was told this is very convenient. I do agree it is UGLY. We are planning on moving to the Courtyard Fishermans Wharf for the second part of our stay. You've put me in the mood for Dirty Harry!!!!(Movies were so much better years ago)
     
  7. bcla

    bcla DIS Veteran

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    I don't mention the appearance because I hate the place. I actually have fond memories of it since they weren't terribly worried about kids running up and down the escalators there. However, even back then I realized that it was an ugly building indicative of that era of San Francisco architecture. The Hilton Union Square is also a big concrete slab, but I think not quite as ugly.

    Your hotel is within easy walking distance of North Beach, which was the traditional neighborhood for Italian immigrants in San Francisco. However, a lot of Chinatown is more or less intruding into that neighborhood.

    If you're visiting Chinatown, almost everything would be uphill from the hotel. If you're looking for a place to eat, the one place I'd recommend is New Asia. It's nothing fancy, but it's the last traditional big room dim sum "palace" in San Francisco Chinatown. There used to be several in Chinatown, but they've all closed down. There are dim sum restaurants in San Francisco, but they're either around downtown or in the more residential areas of San Francisco. New Asia is traditional with carts and where you point at what you want. It's also one where they treat you equally poorly whether or not you're Cantonese or just a tourist.

    [​IMG]

    Another place I enjoy is Kam Po Kitchen on Broadway and Powell. It's kind of a dive, but it's honest food at a good price. My favorite is the dry-style beef chow fun.

    [​IMG]

    If you want to splurge, then R&G Lounge is pretty much across the street on Kearny from the hotel.
     
  8. katyjeka

    katyjeka DIS Veteran

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    Wow, thanks again. You have been so helpful. We are getting pretty excited as we are spending 3 weeks exploring. We have a few days in Arcata and will end our trip in Moab. I know December weather is iffy but we are hopine to see Yosemite Valley and General Sherman as well. We are skipping Disneyland this trip and will not be spending time in Southern California. Foggy and rain here we come.
     
  9. bcla

    bcla DIS Veteran

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    Foggy and rain? Maybe in the Bay Area and the coast. However, in the Sierra Nevada in December you're probably going to be looking forward to snow. However, one of the oddest winters in Yosemite was when there was almost no snow and they didn't close Tioga Road like they normally would. It was still cold, and there's video of people skating on Tenaya Lake. Apparently they closed the road because of a lack of seasonal law enforcement during the winter for crowd control.

    I'm kind of jealous. I've lived pretty much my entire life in California, and the furthest up the coast I've been is maybe Bodega Bay. I've always wanted to go up the coast to see the really big redwoods but never did.

    Yosemite Valley is great in the snow. The only caveat is that they might have chain conditions and whether or not you have a rental car where chains are allowed. During winter, I've only been checked for chains in Yosemite when leaving Yosemite Valley on Wawona Road. If it's late enough in December, they will have daily ranger-led snowshoe walks at Badger Pass (or whatever they're calling it now).

    Visiting General Sherman during winter I can almost guarantee you'll be dealing with snow. They say no plowing between Grant Grove and Lodgepole between Jan 2 and March, but they say nothing about December. I'm not sure how you'd get there during winter if the road is closed. I think it would have to be through the southern (Ash Mountain) entrance.

    https://www.nps.gov/seki/planyourvisit/road-conditions.htm

    And Moab is probably way different in winter than when I visited in summer. I've seen photos of snow on Delicate Arch.
     
  10. katyjeka

    katyjeka DIS Veteran

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    We are used to snow as we live on a mountain ridge in Pa. We talked to a company in Moab about renting an utv for the day and were told that December is a good time to visit as the crowds leave and if they have snow its just a dusting. My husband gets the month of December off and unfortunately is the only month we are able to vacation usually!(Stinks, but the job pays the bills and allows us extra to vacation) We are trying to visit as many National Parks as possible before our girls grow up. We love WDW but we have been going to other places and Disney has taken a hit. We try to l pull one trip a year to WDW but there is so much more to see that its getting hard. Thanks again for all your help in planning. Your pictures are great!!!
     
  11. skyblue17

    skyblue17 Mouseketeer

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    I stayed in this area during my first trip to SF about six years ago (the Meridien, which was about as close to the Transamerica Building). I found it really well-located for getting to other things. It's close enough to walk to the Ferry Terminal and Embarcadero, and there's transit options to get down to Fisherman's Wharf there if you don't want to walk (it is easily walkable also). Plus close to Chinatown, North Beach, Union Square, Market St., etc. As a big Giants fan, I was also pleased that I could walk to and from AT&T Park, though it's a bit of a trek (I usually stay in Union Square these days). Anyway, SF is a great place to visit and one of my favorites.

    If I may, and if you're interested in such a thing, I must recommend taking the Adventure Cat charter boat. It's a catamaran boat that sails from Pier 39 through San Francisco Bay, right past Alcatraz and then to and under the Golden Gate Bridge. It's a fantastic experience with spectacular views of both bridges, Alcatraz, the city skyline and more. And it can also be quite an adventure, as it gets pretty thrilling when there are choppy seas and you could even get a bit wet!
     
  12. GrrArrgh

    GrrArrgh Mouseketeer

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    It's a pretty convenient location, though honestly, with so many Lyft drivers operating in the city, it's pretty easy and cheap to get wherever you want to go now.
     
  13. AlohaNow

    AlohaNow Just keep swimming...

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    My teenaged son and I stayed at the Omni in the financial district last year. We passed your Hilton on the way into Chinatown to eat wonderful meals! You will not be far from transportation from your location. It is so easy to get around with a MUNI pass, which is all we had for our long weekend.

    To say that I left my heart in San Francisco is a *massive* understatement….
     
  14. bcla

    bcla DIS Veteran

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    Just the passenger ferries have pretty good views. We went on a company excursion - renting bikes in SF, riding them across the Golden Gate Bridge, and taking Golden Gate Ferry from Sausalito back to San Francisco. There are also taxis waiting for those missing the last ferry. It seems like half the ferry passengers had bicycles, and they have a huge section for bicycles. We had a great view of Alcatraz. Also - the Larkspur ferry has a great view of San Quentin Prison.
     
  15. monarchsfan16

    monarchsfan16 <font color=green>Holy smokes, the DIS is a big pl

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    We stayed at that hotel last summer for a night. HUGE hotel (we are from small town NH...). We liked the hotel. Staff was decent, room was nice, and very clean. I'd stay there again if I was in the area. If you will have a car, parking will be more than what you are paying for the night. Have the front desk validate your parking ticket on your way down to the garage to leave if you don't valet.
     
  16. bcla

    bcla DIS Veteran

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    I looked it up - $60/day. The city owned garage across the street is $32 maximum per day, but no in/out privileges except for monthly rates.

    https://www.sfmta.com/garages-lots/portsmouth-square-garage
     
  17. skyblue17

    skyblue17 Mouseketeer

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    On a recent trip, my friend who lives in the North Bay joined me for a few nights in a hotel before we headed back up to her house. She had her car and we found it easiest to leave the car parked and use public transport or Lyft when something wasn't walkable.
     
  18. bcla

    bcla DIS Veteran

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    I remember when my cousin visited with her family. We didn't even find out they were in San Francisco until they arrived, since they didn't want to make a big deal. They live in Southern California, but apparently didn't want to drive since their kid gets extremely carsick after a couple of hours. So they flew in and took a taxi to their hotel.

    As much as the locals hate MUNI, they said they found it was great and took them almost anywhere touristy in San Francisco. Perhaps coming from Orange County that wasn't that hard to imagine. I think they visited Muir Woods by tour bus and used cabs for other short trips.
     

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