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Old 05-28-2009, 10:06 PM   #15
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We checked out the San Francisco RV Resort in Pacifica last year. It's on a cliff above the ocean, and you can hear the surf and see the fog rolling in. Pacifica is quaint, too; lots of interesting places for tourists to shop and eat (but kind of expensive).

The RV Park is a parking lot, and it is packed in the summer months (didn't check in the winter); also, it was higher than we wanted to pay at the time, but their rates might be a little lower this year, because of the economy. While the facilities looked well maintained, it looked like it served best as a place to drop the trailer while going into the city (SF). Lots of traffic, though; so lots of people stay there.

There's a KOA a little further south on Highway 1, almost to Santa Cruz (if I recall correctly), but it was kind of high, too. I think it was around $85 a night before; but the KOA Web site says $65-80 now. These spots were more spreadout, and there were lots of trees. It was within walking distance to the ocean, but the shore was far enough away that we couldn't see the water or hear the surf.

Both of these RV Parks looked safe; just expensive, compared to other areas (not in California).

We checked out the KOA in Petaluma, too. Really nice park with petting zoo for the kids. Close to the wine country and the coast, but expensive, too. Also, not very close to the city.

Has anyone checked out the RV Park in Novato? I'd be interested in hearing more about that location. Looks like a nice place.
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Old 05-28-2009, 10:48 PM   #16
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The RV park in Novato is about 5 minutes from my house. Its in a nice safe location and about 1/2 hour from San Francisco or 1/2 hour from wine country. There is a great little deli attached to it, a small store with rv supplies and overall nice facilities. Everything there is back in as there are no pull through's. Not too tight unless your one of those large prevost busses.

Its a completely different experience than the KOA which is more rural. The only problem with Petaluma is the northbound traffic in the evenings. The traffic kind of starts northward in Novato and gets worse all the way to Santa Rosa.

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Old 05-29-2009, 02:42 PM   #17
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I looked on Google Earth, and the Novato RV Park looks completely full when they took the satellite photo. Just guessing from the shadows, but it looks like the photo was taken in the winter. Assuming the arial photo of the San Francisco RV Park in Pacifica was taken at the same time of year, that park was only about 25-30% full.

Is it likely that there will be available spots in Novato in mid-summer?
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Old 05-29-2009, 03:18 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phoenix View Post
I looked on Google Earth, and the Novato RV Park looks completely full when they took the satellite photo. Just guessing from the shadows, but it looks like the photo was taken in the winter. Assuming the arial photo of the San Francisco RV Park in Pacifica was taken at the same time of year, that park was only about 25-30% full.

Is it likely that there will be available spots in Novato in mid-summer?


They do a pretty good job of keeping overnight sites available. There are several folks that live there full time around the perimeter and commute into the city for work.

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Old 05-29-2009, 04:29 PM   #19
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200 state parks?

I just read that at the top of the California state budget plan is the closure of 200 state parks
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Old 05-29-2009, 05:20 PM   #20
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I heard that on the news last night too... how do they plan to do that? Will there be national guardsmen at the gates? California is so screwed up!

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Old 05-29-2009, 06:58 PM   #21
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I would have to agree with:

Millvallyca "Once you get off the Ferry it's a short walk to the Cable car line. Take it to Fisherman's Wharf (the Hyde street line is the most fun...goes around fast corners and down very steep hills). From Fisherman's wharf...."

You can not go to San Fran and not do the Cable Car, Hyde Street, The fisherman's wharf and Alcatraz. (They are all in the same small area and easy to do in a couple of hours. I have done it all in less the 3-4 hours.) There is not a kid out there including fully grown kids that does not enjoy walking around a prison on an island and stepping into the cells, there is actually a lot of beautiful landscaping and flowers there. If you know when you are going, you can buy tickets ahead of time on line and don't have to worry about the lines. Or if you are not sure if you can make it. They have a standby ticket area and you wait to see if there is any openings left on the boat. That is all they are controlling is the amount of people on the ferry. I have done it several times and have always done the standby because I never know if I will make it downtown or not. I have never had to wait more then 20 minutes and I have gotten right on. BUT if i knew for certain I would just buy the tickets in advance. ALSO STAY AWAY from the time share sellers promising free tickets they will just waste your time. They will tell you every lie from the island is closed or no more tickets available. Just go to the ticket counter and ask for yourself.

If after all that you can eat in the Fisherman's wharf area dozens of restaurants or take a short walk to China Town.

Have a great trip and post updates on how it went.

Nick

FYI: At least Alcatraz is a National Park and run federally, so they won't be affected by any state closures.
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Old 05-29-2009, 07:22 PM   #22
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My family and I have started our Out West 2009 adventure. After we hit southern Utah pretty hard, a week in the LA area on business, then up the Pacific Coast, I would like to spend a day in San Francisco. I was last there as a 15 year old with my parents in 1975.

My questions are where to camp and what not to miss if all we might have is one day in the city?

The replies to my southern Utah post were most helpful. My expectations for San Francisco replies are great

Thanks
We had ore time, and if you can swing it, I would suggest you try to do that too, there is so much to see and do.


I think the things I enjoyed most included:


- multi day pass on the cable cars

- touring Alcatraz

- chinatown, incuding the meals!


SF is one of the most enjoyable cities I have visited.

Brian.
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Old 05-29-2009, 11:15 PM   #23
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Many large cities have something called a "City Pass". San Francisco has one that bundles multi-day cable car and admissions to several museums and attractions. Check out this Web site for more info:

Visit 5 San Francisco Attractions plus Cable Cars for just $59, a $113.40 value!

Note: I have no association with "City Pass". Just noticed that this was mentioned on numerous travel sites, like TripAdvisor.
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Old 05-30-2009, 02:16 PM   #24
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I would suggest you dont cram too many things into a tight schedule. Alcatraz alone if done right is a three to four hour adventure. Chinatown involves lots of window shopping and walking.. you for sure will want to people watch on Pier 39 etc.. and watch out for the bush man! If you see a crowd forming on the otherside of the street they are watching you! The bushman will jump out behind a garbage can and some brush that he drags around with him.. he's one of San Francisco's homeless attractions.

Just sayin.. once you get there you might hear about a play that you want to see or you might decide you want to go into Northbeach for dinner. My wife and I live here and we like to "wing it" most of the time. In this economy there are still plenty of seats available for almost anything your in the mood for.

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Old 06-19-2009, 03:11 PM   #25
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We just left the area but spent many moons there. Hopefully this has not been mentioned yet, but I believe there is supposed to be a nice park in Saratoga or Los Gatos which is about 40 min's south of the city via Hwy 280. Los Gatos is a good spot for eateries, shopping, etc should you want to do any of that. For one day city rec's, I would best defer to those who live there. Have fun!
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Old 06-19-2009, 03:58 PM   #26
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If you've got a vehicle in the city, one place that no one has mentioned (if you like music) is Amoeba Records - especially the original store on Haight in Haight-Ashbury. There's no record store in the country like it and maybe none as good.

And ditto on Ghirardelli Square and especially the Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop. They've been making chocolate there since 1952 and they're pretty good at it!
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Old 09-30-2009, 04:05 PM   #27
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can't help but respond: I grew up in the east bay and still work in SF two days a week. I've always enjoyed taking long "urban hikes", really seeing the city up close. It's a great place for walking, and I would actually suggest checking out some of the neighborhoods. Take the Ferry to get to the from Oakland, or Larkspur, then walk north, up the Embarcardero to Filbert street. Walk west and climb the Filbert steps to the base of Coit tower. This side of Telegraph hill was a quarry years ago, and even though the land is nearly vertical, the street right of way is still there. Check out coit tower, and the WPA murals in the base level. Continue over the hill on Filbert to Grant street and Columbus Avenue. Have lunch at Michaelangelo's on Columbus, for quite good pasta without the foodie attitude. From there you can wander west a few blocks to Chinatown and Stockton street, then east down Stockton street towards Union Square for people watching and shopping, then continue downhill back to Market street and back to the Ferry building, for coffee or dinner. The ferry is a must. I have to say, Alcatraz is interesting, but skip Fisherman's wharf. If you can, get to Twin Peaks, get out of the car and hike to the top of the peaks. If it is clear, you can see the Farallon islands off the coast, Mt. Diablo to the east, and on and on. SF has no end of great coffee places, cafes or off the wall little shops, and I continue to be amazed at how nearly every little shopping area holds something unique and interesting.
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Old 09-30-2009, 04:42 PM   #28
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We visited San Francisco last month. We did the Segway tour at Fisherman's wharf. I've always wanted to ride one (those two-wheeled electric things that you stand up on).
Loved it, but it's kind of expensive. You get about 3 hours and see China Town, Little Italy in addition to the wharf area.

The cable cars were always too crowded to get on, but the antique street cars on the Embarcadero were less crowded and only cost $.75 for seniors. The cable cars are $5 per trip, so the City Pass is worth it.
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