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SF First Anniversary--Need Advice on Everything

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Hey all,

I'm planning to take my wife to San Francisco for our first anniversary, the first week of June for a week-long trip. I would love any and all advice I can get from natives on all topics--what to see/do, where to go, where to eat/drink, where to stay, any information you can think of that might be useful.

Couple of parameters:

--We both love good food/alcohol/authentic activities, so anything in this line would be appreciated.
--We're on a fairly limited budget, so please do keep that in mind--I want to do the best that I can do, but within reason.
--We plan on flying in and won't have a car, so recommendations on good affordable places to stay and things to see/do within walking/public transit distance would be excellent.

I've been to SF once, but its been awhile and it was only for a few days, so please update me!

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  1. This site is not for everything, It is for food. Your eventual location and your willingness to use public transportation will influence your dining choices. That said, here is a good overall guide to what is available.
    http://www.chow.com/lists/1591

    1. Where are you coming from? What do you consider "within reason"? One tip on accommodations: check out www.biddingfortravel.com. Read their FAQ then read it again until you understand it. I've saved literally thousands of dollars using the tips on that site (which I learned about on chowhound, so I'm passing it on).

      1. You will find good answers to your food related questions if you provide just a little more info (likes, dislikes, specific budget,etc). For other things, such as where to stay, etc consult the Trip Advisor SF Forum http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowForum-...

        1. A really reasonable, safe, even trendy place to stay (and it's walking distance to Fisherman's Wharf) is Marina District -- many motels on Lombard Street, they include free parking. (Big hotels charge $50 per day.) (I would stay at Cow Hollow Motor Inn on Lombard at Steiner.) There are about 15 restaurants on that one single block of Steiner.)

          This area (Lombard, Chestnut, Union Street) is loaded with fantastic restaurants.

          1. Walker--thank you so much, just the type of information I was hoping for. Lafler--thank you as well, the link should be helpful. Jdinsf--I specifically left out more detailed information because I didn't want to influence the recommendations. I'm visiting with an open mind, hoping to experience SF authentically, as it presents itself--I don't want to tailor the experience to my preconceived expectations. I want to hear what YOU think I should hear. Wolfe--thanks for the link. I indicate in the OP my willingness to employ walking or public transit as a means of transportation. Great info so far--anything more anyone has to offer would be appreciated.

            1 Reply
            1. re: mdzehnder

              I would try to stay around Union sq since it IS the hub of our public trans system that will allow you to use any of the trains/buses etc. And like Ruth recommended the bidding for travel website is amazing. I've looked at Trip Advisor for SF and not so impressed. What's your idea of a good budget place -- how much on avg do you want to spend on a restaurant? Generally SF has a great spectrum for the $25-$30/pp meal. If you are thinking of doing some tours, sometimes Goldstar will have discounts to some of them - so consider signing up and using it for that purpose. The concentration of best cheap food in the city will most likely be in the Mission - that is our food mecca, but I don't know if there is much of places to stay there nor would I think i'ts the best place to stay, but if you stay in Union Sq the bart will take you there in 15 min or less.