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Thread: San Francisco

  1. #1
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    Default San Francisco

    My wife and I plan on being out there end of Sept. - first of Oct. ... anyone have "must see" and "must do" things in San Francisco?

    Thanks,

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: San Francisco

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    My wife and I plan on being out there end of Sept. - first of Oct. ... anyone have "must see" and "must do" things in San Francisco?

    Thanks,
    Must do


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  3. #3
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    Default Re: San Francisco

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    My wife and I plan on being out there end of Sept. - first of Oct. ... anyone have "must see" and "must do" things in San Francisco? Thanks,
    Come up to Sonoma County and visit me.

    Right now, the King Tut exhibit is showing at the DeYoung Museum in Golden Gate Park. Pretty cool. He isn't there, but some of his stuff is. I think the show is through Feb.

    If you like hands-on science stuff, you "must go" to the Exploratorium. Really. Originally designed by Frank Oppenheimer, it is a great place to have fun with all kinds of science demonstrations. It would be much better without all of them darned kids. I can easily spend a full day in this place. If you reserve ahead of time, you might want to try the Tactile Dome. You move through small places in the dark. Can't be claustrophobic or have bad knees. Exploratorium: the museum of science, art and human perception

    My wife took a walking tour of Chinatown a couple of years ago and said it was really interesting. Back alley stuff. The fish market has live eels and frogs. If you are interested, I will get more information from her.

    Amazing, but expensive seafood dinners at the Farralon Farallon Restaurant, San Francisco. John's Grill is good for steak (expensive too). Lots of really good and affordable places to eat all over town. North Beach has a lot of good Italian restaurants.

    If you wander out of SF and down to Monterey (maybe 3 hours away) the Monterey Bay Aquarium is spectacular. Monterey Bay Aquarium, California

    All of the touristy stuff is pretty fun too. Ghiradelli Square, Pier 39, Fisherman's Wharf, cable cars, etc.

    Regarding Ted's suggestion, I find the Haight a little too strange for my taste.

    I will ponder some and come up with more suggestions.

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    Default Re: San Francisco

    Jerry,

    I was there several years ago and I could have spent days just on the Golden Gate looking at it. Go across the bridge to the other side to Sausalito and have lunch or dinner at a place called Scoma's. Great sea food.

    Then you've got to go to Muir Woods a little north of SF. and check out those Redwoods. If it doesn't put a good feeling in you, nothing will.

    Then you should check out the chocolate place there Ghirardelli. A must see.

    Pier 39! I did some fishing off the pier, but not a bite one.

    Chinatown was great to walk through.

    Main thing it was cold as he77 there and this was in July when we were there. Shorts ok in the daytime, at night definately a warm jacket.

    If you have time and a rental car, you should head south on HWY 1 and see Big Sur and heah on down to San Simeon and see the Hearst Castle. Now there is a showplace.

    rick


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    Default Re: San Francisco

    Thanks for the ideas, any others are welcome too.

    We'll be there 3-4 days then drive up the Pacific Coast Highway to a friend of my wife's in Northern California up near Oregon. Be there 4 days or so, drive back down but through the wine country to San Francisco again then fly back home.

    Gunnar, where about at Santa Rosa?

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  6. #6
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    Default Re: San Francisco

    Jerry we can set a place in Healdsburg for lunch or ? its about 15 min north of Santa rosa. Nice little Town... Healdsburg Hotel very nice.
    West coast Jerry was going to come at some point for coffe.

    Lets see how this plays out.

    Would like to see you... Do a photo shot or 2. for the board...

    Best

    Ron


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    Default Re: San Francisco

    Jerry,

    Another great place to see is south of San Francisco in San Jose is the Winchester house. You'd enjoy the construction on it.

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    Default Re: San Francisco

    Jerry,

    Santa Rosa is about 1 hour drive north of SF. Or, Since you would be doing the bulk of the travel, I could meet you and your lovely bride in SF for lunch/dinner. Might be easier for all of us.

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  9. #9
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    Default Re: San Francisco

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar Alquist View Post
    Come up to Sonoma County and visit me.

    Right now, the King Tut exhibit is showing at the DeYoung Museum in Golden Gate Park. Pretty cool. He isn't there, but some of his stuff is. I think the show is through Feb.

    If you like hands-on science stuff, you "must go" to the Exploratorium. Really. Originally designed by Frank Oppenheimer, it is a great place to have fun with all kinds of science demonstrations. It would be much better without all of them darned kids. I can easily spend a full day in this place. If you reserve ahead of time, you might want to try the Tactile Dome. You move through small places in the dark. Can't be claustrophobic or have bad knees. Exploratorium: the museum of science, art and human perception

    My wife took a walking tour of Chinatown a couple of years ago and said it was really interesting. Back alley stuff. The fish market has live eels and frogs. If you are interested, I will get more information from her.

    Amazing, but expensive seafood dinners at the Farralon Farallon Restaurant, San Francisco. John's Grill is good for steak (expensive too). Lots of really good and affordable places to eat all over town. North Beach has a lot of good Italian restaurants.

    If you wander out of SF and down to Monterey (maybe 3 hours away) the Monterey Bay Aquarium is spectacular. Monterey Bay Aquarium, California

    All of the touristy stuff is pretty fun too. Ghiradelli Square, Pier 39, Fisherman's Wharf, cable cars, etc.

    Regarding Ted's suggestion, I find the Haight a little too strange for my taste.

    I will ponder some and come up with more suggestions.
    Just kidding. I never stopped in San Francisco. Just repeating words in that song I hate.

    I'll have to do San Francisco someday


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    Default Re: San Francisco

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar Alquist View Post
    Regarding Ted's suggestion, I find the Haight a little too strange for my taste.

    My wife was there in the 1960s , I've never been there, though.

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    Default Re: San Francisco

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    My wife was there in the 1960s , I've never been there, though.
    Was she a "flower child"? Maybe she would like to visit with some of her old friends. They might just still be there.

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    Default Re: San Francisco

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hurst View Post
    Main thing it was cold as he77 there and this was in July when we were there. Shorts ok in the daytime, at night definately a warm jacket
    Rick is correct. Except, in the winter, it is not much colder than it is in the summer. Always have a jacket with you, because you never know what temperature it is going to be down at the end of the street.

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    Default Re: San Francisco

    Alcatraz

    Lombard Street

    Cable Cars

    Golden Gate Park ( then a Stroll down Oak Street ) from the Park.
    .
    Lombard Street is San Francisco's Crookedest Street
    .

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    Default Re: San Francisco

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar Alquist View Post
    Was she a "flower child"?
    Right time frame, distinct possibility.

    Maybe she would like to visit with some of her old friends. They might just still be there.
    Nah, up in Northern California now - that is who we are going to visit.

    Billy,

    Thanks,

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    Default Re: San Francisco

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar Alquist View Post
    Santa Rosa is about 1 hour drive north of SF. Or, Since you would be doing the bulk of the travel, I could meet you and your lovely bride in SF for lunch/dinner. Might be easier for all of us.

    Sounds good.

    We'll be arriving in San Francisco on the 28th, staying there on the 29th, 30th, then on the 1st we will be driving up to our friends in Northern California.

    I'll let you know more in a PM.

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    Default Re: San Francisco

    Ron,

    I'll send you a PM too.

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  17. #17
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    Default Re: San Francisco

    The highlight of my trip to San Francisco last month was Teatro ZinZani, Welcome to Teatro ZinZanni. It was a great meal with fantastic entertainment that lasted for hours. The tickets were kind of high which gave me pause but I'm glad we went - it was worth it and there's not a chance you'll be disappointed. It's on the Embarcaderro (the Wharf).

    I also enjoyed the Empress of China restaurant on the 5th floor of an old building in China Town, Empress of China- Home. Outstanding food with a great view of Coit Tower on Telegraph Hill.

    We stayed in three different hotels - Westin Union Square, St. Regis and Le Meridien. Le Meridien was the best - best view of the three along with great service. Parking was $50 a day at all three places - valet is the only option.

    Peet's coffee, www.peets.com/ beats Starbucks hands down if you're into that kind of thing.

    If you want to go to Alcatraz, you need to get tickets 4 to 5 days in advance at Alcatraz Island - Official Tickets Site - Guaranteed Lowest Price - we didn't get to go and I tried to bribe everyone I could. Maybe it won't be so busy when you go, but don't count on it. I just checked and if you want to buy tickets today, the first available date would be Sunday.

    We also enjoyed the hop on - hop off double decker open top bus rides - you buy a two day ticket and get on and off anywhere you want. Different buses have different tour guides with differing speels so you get a different slant on the city each time you ride the bus.

    Stay away from the Quacker tour on the amphibious vehicles - they drive out in the bay but just briefly and not in an area that you'd like to see.

    We spent nine days there and I enjoyed most of it - my wife used to live there and she's dreamed of going back there on vacation ever since we got married.


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    Default Re: San Francisco

    The problem with all those nice seafood places and Chinatown places with Chinese food is ...


    ... I don't eat seafood and ...

    ... I don't eat Chinese food either.



    In fact, on Weight Watcher for the past month and a half and I feel like I am not eating much at all now (I'm not, not compared to what I used to eat). However, I have lost 15 pounds in that same month and a half. Hoping to be down another 5-8 by time we take the trip.

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    Default Re: San Francisco

    I agree with all of the earlier suggestions, but don't miss Alcatraz, and take the night tour ...very creepy, and I agree, tickets in advance are a must.
    I also drove down to Carmel and Pebble Beach. If you're a golfer, or a people watcher, it's worth the drive and the visit.
    Definately, walk teh Golden Gate Bridge (we went 1/2 way and came back). It was right after 9/11 and there were concerns about someone flying planes into the bridge. That's not why we only went 1/2 way. I just figured if you go 1/2 way and turn back, it's the same as going all of the way, and it's not as far back to the car ;-)
    And, don't miss wine country. My wife is a wino (in a good way), so we visited Napa Valley and a couple of wineries.
    Coit Tower is a good spot for a view of the city, and you have to see the painted ladies.
    There was also something called the Musee Mechanique (I think). It was a small museum at the Cliff House, but I think it moved to fisherman's wharf...very interesting. But, also see the Cliff house.
    I love sea food (being from New England) but I couldn't eat any of the stuff in San Francisco (calimari is like eating salted rubber). I need my lobstah, fried clams and scallops.
    Unfortunately, you need a couple of weeks to see it all. I wouldn't mind making a return trip.

    Last edited by Steve Frederickson; 08-19-2009 at 07:39 PM.

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    Default Re: San Francisco

    Looks like me and the wife will be also in San Francisco with a couple of friends sometime mid Oct.

    Anyone have a good recommendation for a hotel in Sausalito?

    Which is better to see Napa or Sonoma?

    Thanks,
    rick


  21. #21
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    Default Re: San Francisco

    Be sure and give alcatraz and good prison inspection, We dont want any unsafe conditions to exist in case they decide to open it back up.


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    Default Re: San Francisco

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Frederickson View Post
    And, don't miss wine country. My wife is a wino (in a good way), so we visited Napa Valley and a couple of wineries.
    I am insulted! Napa has an overblown reputation with a lot of overpriced and marginal quality wines. If you want good wine, you should come to Sonoma county. Much better than Napa.

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    Default Re: San Francisco

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hurst View Post
    Which is better to see Napa or Sonoma? Thanks,
    rick
    Rick,

    I think I have already settled that.

    I don't know the hotels in Sausalito. If I have the chance, I will ask around.

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    Default Re: San Francisco

    One funny story that shows my lack of knowledge about the west coast: as we were driving up to wine country, we saw a bunch of signs directing us to "Old Faithful." My wife and I looked at each other in surprise, because we had no idea that Old Faithful was anywhere near here. What luck! We had to check it out (with some scepticism). We never pre-plan anything..it's always "Let's go and see where we end up," and that has always made for some great surprises and stories. Well, we ended up at this hole-in-the-wall tourist trap with a geyser in their back yard. It was natural, (I think) and on a regular schedule, but not quite the same as the real thing. Pretty funny, but apparently there is no trademark on the name "Old Faithful."


  25. #25
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    Default Re: San Francisco

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Frederickson View Post
    One funny story that shows my lack of knowledge about the west coast: as we were driving up to wine country, we saw a bunch of signs directing us to "Old Faithful." My wife and I looked at each other in surprise, because we had no idea that Old Faithful was anywhere near here. What luck! We had to check it out (with some skepticism). We never pre-plan anything..it's always "Let's go and see where we end up," and that has always made for some great surprises and stories. Well, we ended up at this hole-in-the-wall tourist trap with a geyser in their back yard. It was natural, (I think) and on a regular schedule, but not quite the same as the real thing. Pretty funny, but apparently there is no trademark on the name "Old Faithful."
    Hey Steve... The geyser you went to has all kinds of instruments for the US Geology dept. The geyser is on time all the time and if there is any change in the timing of the eruption it has something to do with earth quakes.

    Best

    Ron


  26. #26
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    Default Re: San Francisco

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    My wife and I plan on being out there end of Sept. - first of Oct. ... anyone have "must see" and "must do" things in San Francisco?

    Thanks,
    I highly recommend North Beach Restaurant

    Some of the best Prosciutto I have ever had. They make it in house, in fact they have in hanging all over the basement dining room!

    If you are going to Alcatraz you need to make reservations, the tours are just about always booked days in advance. Also they have a night tour of the place that is kind of fun....

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  27. #27
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    Default Re: San Francisco

    30 minutes north of napa is a town called Calistoga. i have been staying there on vacations for 35 years enjoying mineral baths,hot springs,mud baths, excellent dining, and small town atmosphere. google it and check it out you won't be dissapointed. in laws are from yountville ,napa and st helena and work in the wine industry. if you want a relaxing nights stay and be totally pampered check out calistoga!


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    Default Re: San Francisco

    They say the best way to tour the Napa Valley is by train. You get off at a vineyard, go in, sample wine, white first, then the red (they don't give you a fresh glass), then back on the train, up to the next vineyard.
    It's OK driving, too, just go slow on the sampling and watch the other guy, he's probably hammered.


  29. #29
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    Default Re: San Francisco

    The sour dough bread, when fresh is really good. If you go near Marin County try to stop in at the "Rouge et Noir" cheese factory. If you like soft cheese it's a treat. If not it stinks.


  30. #30
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    Default Re: San Francisco

    Jerry if you have never seen the redwoods then I would have to say it's a must see.


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    Default Re: San Francisco

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Bibler View Post
    Jerry we can set a place in Healdsburg for lunch or ? its about 15 min north of Santa rosa. Nice little Town... Healdsburg Hotel very nice.
    West coast Jerry was going to come at some point for coffe.

    Lets see how this plays out.

    Would like to see you... Do a photo shot or 2. for the board...

    Best

    Ron
    Ron,

    You haven't replied to two PMs, does that mean you are not joining Gunnar and me?

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  32. #32
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    Default Re: San Francisco

    I can see that my wife and I would need a month to see all of the places you guys suggested, so ...

    How do we cram 30 days+ stuff into 2-1/2 days in San Francisco? Hmmmm ...

    Okay, the redwoods we can see on the way back down, and ... nope, still not going to be able to do it all.

    Guess that means another trip at some point in the future?

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  33. #33
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    Default Re: San Francisco

    I'm going to be in SF Oct. 5th. for 4 days and then headed down to Carmel for 3 days. I wished I could have lunch with someone out their like Gunnar but we're taking another couple with us so I'll probably be entertaining them while we're there. (I'd call Ron about lunch but I hear he eats with his feet) I'll know more as it gets closer time.

    Going to be in Sausalito those days while I'm there. Doing the wine valley trip on some train, the Muir woods, the night trip to "the rock" and generally just causing some trouble.

    Any other suggestions besides the normal tourist traps would be appreciated.

    rick


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    Default Re: San Francisco

    One hint......don't wear rainbow colored shorts! If you do.....don't bend over!!!


  35. #35
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    Default Re: San Francisco

    EC Jerry
    Perhaps I could join Gunnar and Ron in either Santa Rosa or Healdsburg if you plan on making a lunch stop? Both are north of San Francisco on highway 101, which is the more scenic route to Oregon than boring highway 5..
    I agree with Gunnar in that Sonoma County beats the pants off Napa County, which is overrun with Yuppy tourists wine tasting until they go blind.

    Regarding Chinese food, I’ve had my share of some really great food, but you must be careful. (see attachment)

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  36. #36
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    Default Re: San Francisco

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry McCarthy View Post
    EC Jerry
    Perhaps I could join Gunnar and Ron in either Santa Rosa or Healdsburg if you plan on making a lunch stop? Both are north of San Francisco on highway 101, which is the more scenic route to Oregon than boring highway 5..
    I agree with Gunnar in that Sonoma County beats the pants off Napa County, which is overrun with Yuppy tourists wine tasting until they go blind.

    Regarding Chinese food, Iíve had my share of some really great food, but you must be careful. (see attachment)
    WC Jerry,

    Absolutely join us!

    My wife and I will be taking Highway 1 up from San Francisco (which I believe is the Pacific Coast Highway) and probably - at least at this point - meeting at Bodega Bay for lunch.

    Not sure if Ron is meeting with us as he has not responded back to any PMs or my follow-up post above.

    I thought you were further south than San Francisco? It would be great to have you join us.

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    Default Re: San Francisco

    I'm in San Mateo, about 20 miles south of SF on the peninsula between SF bay and the Pacific Ocean.

    Highway 1 is very narrow and curvy and I hope your wife doesn't get car sick.
    I'd consider taking 101 up to Santa Rosa and then 12 West through Sebastopol to Bodega Bay. From there you can travel along the coast to 116 and then East back to 101 and then North to Oregon.

    Iím sure you will have it all mapped out by the time you leave for the left coast.
    (try the Google Earth mapping as it is really neat).

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  38. #38
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    Default Re: San Francisco

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry McCarthy View Post
    Highway 1 is very narrow and curvy and I hope your wife doesn't get car sick.
    Sounds like the roads we've driven around the Great Smokey Mountains in NC. *I* could never live there, way too narrow and twisty-turny for me, same for my wife.

    My wife wants drive up the Pacific Coast Highway, which I believe Highway 1 is, so by the time we get to Bodega Bay I am sure we BOTH will need a break.

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  39. #39
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    Default Re: San Francisco

    Take a heavy coat, you will need it. As mark twain said the coldest winter I ever had was a summer in SF.

    The wife and I went to a union meeting for a week in SF summer before last and like to froze with our fall jackets, ended up buying sweatshirts and was still cold.


  40. #40
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    Default Re: San Francisco

    The neighborhood I was in yesterday afternoon here in Rockwall had a California feel to it.

    rick

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    Thumbs up Re: San Francisco

    Jerry,
    If you are driving up Hwy 1 from Sausalito to bodega bay, That is a great way to go if you want to see some of the Northern California coastline. Lot's of good food in Bodega Bay, like Lucas wharf or the Tides restaurants.. You couild then head inland to Petaluma and on to Santa Rosa on Hwy 101. I like to go to Oregon on Hwy 101 as it is very scenic after Healdsburg. Further up you can go through the 'Avenue of the Giants' which is a scenic road that runs parallel to 101. There are lot's of HUGE redwood trees there and it is only about 15-20 miles long. Another side road to see the redwoods is the Frances S. Drury Hwy which is just before Fortuna, which is shorter and still has some giant redwoods and also goes through an elk preserve where you will probably see some pretty big elk. After that there is one restaurant that you should not miss in Eureka, it is the Samoa Cook House on an island that you can drive to just outside of Eureka. It is an old cook house and museum that was for the Loggers that worked there in the early logging days of California's history. You do not order your dinner there they just bring what it is they are serving that day , so come hungry, you will not be disapointed. What can I say, the ride on to Oregon up 101 is fantastic. I do it when I can.


  42. #42
    Scott Murdock's Avatar
    Scott Murdock Guest

    Default Re: San Francisco

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Thanks for the ideas, any others are welcome too.

    We'll be there 3-4 days then drive up the Pacific Coast Highway to a friend of my wife's in Northern California up near Oregon. Be there 4 days or so, drive back down but through the wine country to San Francisco again then fly back home.

    Gunnar, where about at Santa Rosa?
    Allow plenty of driving time to drive PCH a very twisting turning picturesque road but will take a lot more time than it appears. Going up 101 is an alternate if taking too long. Map looks are deceiving.

    Check out the wharf and china town pretty cool place to see and a lot of good food.

    Have a great trip!


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