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Old 05-25-2009, 09:50 PM   #1
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If you had one day San Francisco

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


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Old 05-25-2009, 10:16 PM   #2
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Old 05-25-2009, 10:31 PM   #3
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We lived in the Bay Area for 20 years and I'd be hard pressed to identify any campground for a trailer within 25 miles of the city. Heck, the closest might be in Sonoma County over 40 miles away. Don't even think about taking a 31-footer into SF. Yeah, you might survive the journey over the bridges and along the crowded streets, but why bother?

The Golden Gate Bridge and the Marin Headlands and Point Reyes National Seashore and Mount Tamalpais are, IMHO, the best attractions for outdoor lovers. All are accessible from the north thru Napa and Marin counties if you approach via I-80, but not with a trailer in tow. You'll have to find a place to park the trailer and explore with your TV.

Napa and Sonoma wine regions are special places too.
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Old 05-25-2009, 10:42 PM   #4
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Hi Ponz
I would stay at the KOA in Petaluma. (kind of expensive but very nice and clean) They do have a shuttle service to San Francisco but I would drive south to Larkspur (about a 30 minute drive from the KOA) park for free and hop onto the Ferry to downtown San Francisco. During the ride (about 40 minutes) you'll go right past San Quentin, Angel Island, Alcatraz with great views of Mount Tam, the Golden Gate and Bay bridges and the beautiful San Francisco skyline. 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 work your way back towards the Ferry building passing pier 39, Northbeach/Chinatown the Financial District and everything in between. (make sure you have good walking shoes) If walking isn't your cup of tea you can get a day pass on a double decker tour bus (new to the City) which hits all the popular tourist spots. Hop back onto the Ferry to pick up your car.......have fun! PM me if you have specific questions.
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Old 05-25-2009, 10:53 PM   #5
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Just One Day?

Unfortunately there are no rv parks in San Francisco. Gemma works across the street from where the old one once was. It's now in the heart of dot com businesses. You may find a park in Marin County. We think there is one in San Rafael. You could park at Larkspur Landing and catch the ferry into San Francisco and begin at the Ferry Building.

If we just had one day in San Francisco we'd go start out at the Ferry Building and pick up a quick cup of coffee at Peets and a pastry at Miette. If it's Tuesday or Saturday check out the farmers market. It's definitely not your ordinary farmers market. Think of it as a farmers market for people who really like chardonnay and artisinal cheese. Chinatown is next (you can walk there), not just Grant Street, which is the street that most visitors visit, but Stockton Street which is the bustling hub of neighborhood. You can enjoy lunch at a dim sum restaurant. After lunch you can walk over two blocks to North Beach and pick up a slice of Santa Honore cake or a canolli. Walk another block and enjoy it at Washington Square, a large plaza overlooking the lovely cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul. Next catch the number 30 Stockton bus northbound to Fisherman's Wharf. Stroll over to Jefferson Street and see some of the old Monterey Clipper boats, part of the old Italian fishing fleet. (Joe Di Maggio's father was a fisherman and had a boat docked at the wharf.) Our 1937 Monterey Clipper, the Baby Sal, is berthed there. We've attached an image of her below. You can't miss her. Hungry yet? You can pick up a crab cocktail on the corner of Jefferson and Taylor or purchase some sourdough bread at Boudin's. Continue to walk northeast on Jefferson to Pier 39. Walk to the end of the pier to see the sea lions.

All done? Take the F streetcar or the Hyde Street cable car (both offer great views, the F is less expensive and goes along the Embarcadero and Market Street, the Hyde Street cable car offers an almost heart stopping ride up Hyde Street-yep, it's steep!) to Powell and Market Street. You're in the heart of downtown and Union Square shopping.

Please feel free to contact us directly if you have any questions, need restaurant recommendations or would like additional insight. also offers a wealth of knowledge.

Enjoy the city that we love!

Happy and safe journeys,
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Old 05-26-2009, 07:43 AM   #6
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Now your talkin'!!!! If its not aluminum its got to be wood....and float. A wood boat in the upper coast area is my dream.
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Old 05-26-2009, 07:53 AM   #7
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Pelican point camp ground in half moon bay is nice and the city is accessible using highway one. this is a pretty drive but you don't want to take the trailer. for your one day I would spend it in golden gate park, the aboritium, de young art museum, and the science museum and just walking around in the park will more than fill a day, in reality this could fill 2-3 days. have fun.
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Old 05-26-2009, 08:02 AM   #8
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You might find a visit to Knob Hill, Chinatown and The Waterfront interesting and enjoyable. We certainly did. Have fun.
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Old 05-26-2009, 08:11 AM   #9
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Murry's post is very good albeit a very crowded schedule. I lived in the East Bay for over 15 years ( 1952 - 1967) and did know it well. Now our frequent visits are to our daughter and family in Oakland. Once there the driving to SF is done by our son-in-law and THAT is the way to 'see' SF. So for you - utilize the public transportation (ya gotta do the cable cars) to Fisherman's Wharf. That all said one day isn't nearly enough. Oh, I came from Detroit to Ca. via Rte 66 in '52. Welcome to California.
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Old 05-26-2009, 08:13 AM   #10
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Hi there,

You might try this rv park. Its about as close to the city as you can get and very clean. Welcome to Novato RV Park

From there your about 1/2 hour into the city.

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Old 05-26-2009, 08:20 AM   #11
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San Francisco RV Resort

We were on a caravan to Salem Oregon and stopped for two nights at the San Francisco RV Resort in Pacifica, Ca. Nice park and ten minute drive to the Bart rail system where you can travel the bart back and forth for about a buck or two each way. Very convenient and plenty of parking at the Bart Station.
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Old 05-26-2009, 08:58 AM   #12
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I hope you reconsider and expand your time a day or two while in the San Fran area. If not, I think you'll look back with real regret at the things there that you missed enjoying. I agree with all the above, especially the dim sum if you've not enjoyed this experience. I'd add a bay trip (fun in itself) across to Sausalito to sit awhile at a bayside outdoor cafe and linger over a glass of wine or whatever your pleasure may be, looking back across bay to the city on the hill. Just beautiful and memorable. So much to do. Enjoy it all! By the way, the trolley car museum is terrific. I hope you can work in the days for a drive to hike Muir Woods and to go on to sample Sonoma and Napa Valleys. ~G If you can't find the days to linger now, begin planning your return trip, for you surely will want to come back soon!
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Old 05-26-2009, 09:04 AM   #13
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The chocolate shop at Ghirardelli Square is a good place to visit, and if you happen to be there in early September go to the Chocolate Festival.
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Old 05-26-2009, 10:15 AM   #14
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My wife and I have traveled all over the world and our favorite city is still San Francisco, and we live only 45 minutes away. Do yourself a favor and spend more that one day there or you will regret it. I did hear that the RV park in Pacifica/Colma/Daly City area is OK.

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