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 Post subject: Hotel suggestions - SF and north ?
PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2016 6:52 am 
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I figured I should break this out of the Stanford Inn thread and I'm a planner so I want to make sure I get things booked. And I know this can be difficult because knowing hotels of places where you live isn't easy :)

We will be staying at the Stanford Inn for a few days in November.

We will stay in San Francisco for a few days so I need any hotels or general area. I could do AirBnB but wanted to see what other options exist.

Then north, based on recommendations, I would like to know if you guys have any recommendations for Sebastopol or Guerneville?

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 Post subject: Re: Hotel suggestions - SF and north ?
PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2016 7:57 am 
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When I've stayed in Sebastopol, I've Air BnB'ed. And any friends that come to SF I recommend the same. It is so much cheaper and being able to stay in residential 'hoods instead of Fisherman's Wharf or Union Square is so nice. The Metro Hotel is in a great location in the Lower Haight but I've had friends stay there that said it was very loud with super thin walls. So be weary if that ends up on your list.


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 Post subject: Re: Hotel suggestions - SF and north ?
PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2016 8:16 am 
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If I look at that, what neighborhoods would be good to stay in for AirBnB?

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 Post subject: Re: Hotel suggestions - SF and north ?
PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2016 1:49 pm 
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I personally am very hesitant to recommend AirBnB here in San Francisco, simply because I've personally witnessed the negative effects it can have in this area. It's provided significant motivation to landlords to evict long-term tenants in a cut-throat housing market, and the company itself has been hostile and aggressive with local government and communities rather than cooperative and open (I refer you to their massively pouty and resentful ad campaign after being forced to pay their fair share of occupancy taxes).

I know it's a tough decision because SF isn't cheap, and I know that when I'm traveling, I feel more comfortable in a 'home' environment than in a sterile 'hotel room' one. I'm not super invested in your decision- I just want to put in my two cents.

As far as further north, there are tons and tons of sweet little inns, vintage motels, hippy retreats and whatnot along the Russian River, both in Guerneville and a few minutes down the road (walkable, even) in Monte Rio. I would have no qualms about using AirBnb up here, too- it's not as competitive a housing market and many of the homes have always been secondary/vacation homes anyway.

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 Post subject: Re: Hotel suggestions - SF and north ?
PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2016 5:45 pm 
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I totally get it and I had some initial hesitation due to that but I didn't know much about it. We really don't care much about where we stay, I don't plan to cook on vacation and anything we do make (sandwiches or not) can easily be made without one. I do like to be able to walk around, especially being near a grocery store where we can pick up some prepared foods or (relatively) cheap but not greasy takeout would be nice.

I forgot to say that we really don't drink much so bars aren't important to us. We like walking, both neighborhood and nature. We like museums and what not but really depends.

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 Post subject: Re: Hotel suggestions - SF and north ?
PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2016 6:23 pm 
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Well, in terms of neighborhood, I would try to stay somewhere near a BART or Muni Metro station. San Francisco is a great place for walking and exploring, and you'll be doing plenty of that, no doubt- but if you're near a transit station your options and flexibility, especially on a trip of only a couple days, will increase exponentially.

Most hotels are near the Powell St (touristy- think the Times Square of SF) or Civic Center (Government, Art, and Crackheads) stations. Of course the Mission is the hot neighborhood of the moment, so either 16th or 24th street stations would be good places to stay near, too (I prefer 24th, there's still a bit of the 'old' Mission left there). Alternately, SoMa (South of Market) is a great up-and-coming area that can be walkable to any of the BART stops on Market Street (eta: I pass by this place quite often and although I have no personal experiences to refer you to, it's super cute, eco-friendly, reasonable rates, and from my point of view is a really good location).

Alternately there are Muni light rail stations in the Castro, Cole Valley, Inner Sunset, and Dogpatch/Mission Bay, and those are all really great neighborhoods to enjoy or explore.

A lot of info, I know. Good luck!

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 Post subject: Re: Hotel suggestions - SF and north ?
PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2016 5:20 am 
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I have always wanted to stay at this place in the presidio but it's booked every time I check the website! It looks so pretty and I'm a sucker for historical sites. It's very pricey, fair warning. There are a few weekends already booked up in Nov but maybe not for the days you'll be in town?

http://www.innatthepresidio.com

The presidio is pretty far from stuff but uber is very reasonable and there are cars everywhere so I wouldn't let location limit you too much.

I've stayed at Hotel Vitale (by the embarcadero). It's pleasant, modern, and has some nice outdoor terraces that give you a good view at night. There's a high end convenience store with lots of vegan foods and a hot bar and salad bar a few blocks away. In general I think embarcadero is a pretty decent place to stay as a tourist. You're right by the awesome Sat. farmers market, close to Bart, and it's not in the heart of all the tourism mania. I go to my husbands office around there most weekends and it's pretty quiet and friendly. There are a lot of good vegan friendly places to eat nearby in the surrounding area (many in the financial district are closed on weekends though). Maybe it's a bit boring, I dunno. The mission is where all the action seems to be but the people I know who live there complain that there are drunk bros shouting on the street at night after the bars close, which I'm just not into dealing with.

No matter where you stay don't forget all the delivery options you have like über eats or one of the myriad delivery services (eat24, grub hub, door dash, etc.). When I am in the office around there we can get a lot of the popular vegan-friendly restaurants to deliver to us. I'm specifically thinking of Rosamunde and Oasis grill.

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 Post subject: Re: Hotel suggestions - SF and north ?
PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2016 5:42 am 
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I forgot. Ages ago when I was still living in SD, I stayed at the marina motel and thought it was pretty cute. It's more centrally located but is not chaotic like union square.

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 Post subject: Re: Hotel suggestions - SF and north ?
PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2016 6:42 am 
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The Good Hotel looks really interesting. Definitely something to consider.

I am guessing "The Mission" is near the SF mission? We aren't really a fan of rowdy so that'd be good to know.

I should also say I'm a sucker for Spanish architecture and I do enjoy visiting the missions. I've visited most, if not all in So Cal and a few others.

The Presidio looks interesting but yeah isn't showing any dates for November (seems odd? maybe something going on). I like the trails that it has and what not but normally, we tend not to stay in fancy places (Stanford inn being vast exception).

We also kind of like quiet and boring :)

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 Post subject: Re: Hotel suggestions - SF and north ?
PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2016 9:40 pm 
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Yeah I actually had to look up if there was still a mission there! And there is (Mission Dolores)! I've never been though, it looks like most of the cool outbuildings are long gone.

I actually don't spend much time in the mission except for the occasional show and to go eat, so I can't really speak to what there is to do there. I just know there are a lot of bars and hipsters and the people who love (to hate) them.

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 Post subject: Re: Hotel suggestions - SF and north ?
PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2016 11:38 am 
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Yeah, 'The Mission' is a catch-all term for the neighborhood roughly anchored by Mission Dolores on 16th & Dolores and stretching down to Cesar Chavez (formerly Army), around where Bernal Heights (or the "outer Mission") starts. It does have a reputation because it is the most visibly and rapidly gentrified neighborhood of SF- that said, there are still a lot of great things that have so far escaped gentrification, and even some good things, like Alamo Drafthouse and Curry Up Now, to come out of gentrification. It's a great location- close to many Muni lines as well as BART, and walkable to many other neighborhoods (including downtown). It's also usually the warmest weather in SF (which, with its microclimates, is saying a lot). If you found a spot that wasn't directly on Valencia or Mission (the two main drags) or the blocks immediately between the two, I have no reason to think it wouldn't be reasonably quiet.

The Presidio is lovely but is simply too remote if you're using it as a base to explore the city. It's got beautiful scenery and cheap rent and even that doesn't draw tons of crowds simply because it's isolated and there aren't really many services or businesses beyond housing (it's former military housing). In my opinion, the Marina is also similarly isolated. It's in a lively neighborhood and there are Muni lines, but being up in the northwestern part of the city, it doesn't connect to a lot of other stuff. It's also a little rich for my blood- personally speaking, I would feel more relaxed in a less posh neighborhood!

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 Post subject: Re: Hotel suggestions - SF and north ?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2016 11:02 pm 
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My dad almost always stays at the Golden Gate Inn on Bush Street when he visits me--it's just off Union Square, so super easy to transit and very walkable, but far enough away from the crazy that it isn't too loud or bonkers or whatever.

They have a resident cat who will visit you in your room if you leave the window open (he gets around by fire escape) and they serve afternoon tea for any who wish it. Sometimes they bring their dog to visit.

It's a super cute little family owned place, and one of the coolest things is that all of the hallway walls are just COVERED in historic photographs. The hotel itself is a destination worth seeing.

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 Post subject: Re: Hotel suggestions - SF and north ?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2016 11:40 am 
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Good to know! I will keep the GGInn in mind for any future out-of-towners, it sounds like a cool place!

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 Post subject: Re: Hotel suggestions - SF and north ?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2016 6:18 am 
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I still haven't booked a hotel yet but I hadn't booked tickets. Probably doing that today as we hashed out our plans last night. Flying into SF on Sunday, probably arrive late-ish, drive to Santa Rosa on Wednesday, visit Schulz museum, stay there or somewhere nearby for 1 night, drive to Stanford Inn, Stay there, drive back to SF, stay there one night, take late morning flight to San Diego.

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 Post subject: Re: Hotel suggestions - SF and north ?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2016 5:45 pm 
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So I realized The Presidio isn't booked for when we are going and I'm flip flopping about booking there. It seems like a place that would be us but it is pricey. Not only that but I like walkable but my husband doesn't care much on that front.

Part of our problem with the Good Hotel and The Golden Gate Inn seems like a minor problem but my husband and I are not used to sleeping in a queen bed so unless we really, really had to, we don't.

Any thoughts on the location of Parker Guest House? (520 Church St) It looks adorable and is close to public transit. Only thing I'd like to see is a mini fridge, which it doesn't have.

And I guess my related question is we always get a rental car. I know Uber is more popular these days so seems like less of a need but is it more of a hassle to have in San Francisco?

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 Post subject: Re: Hotel suggestions - SF and north ?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2016 10:28 pm 
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I don't know anything about the Parker Guest House, sorry! But that's a great location :)

As for rental car--I would recommend against it during the time you are in the city proper. Parking is EXPENSIVE and can be a real nightmare (for context: I used to have to street park my car and it was not unusual for me to spend anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour driving through my neighborhood, trying to find a parking space within eight blocks of my apartment). Meters are expensive (hello $3.50 an hour!) and fill VERY fast, so you'll almost always have to pay for a lot, which is ABSURDLY expensive. Also, the traffic flow can be difficult and confusing.

I would recommend against a car unless you really need it. There's decent transit, and lots of Ubers and Lyfts and taxis. You can also do a daily subscription to Bay Area Bike Share and bike around! We've got a lot of bike lanes!

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 Post subject: Re: Hotel suggestions - SF and north ?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2016 4:57 am 
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Thanks, I think we'll Uber and transit it until we go north. Unfortunately, I can't bike on a normal bike although I really like the idea of bike shares.

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 Post subject: Re: Hotel suggestions - SF and north ?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2016 11:22 am 
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linanil wrote:
is it more of a hassle to have in San Francisco?


YESSSS oh my god yes. All the stuff you will want to see and do in the city, even the non-touristy stuff, will be under the looming shadow of dread that is finding parking in this city. I am here to tell you that renting a car in San Francisco will ruin your vacation. Public transit in San Francisco certainly has some improvements to make, but for all the cool stuff you'd want to do a visitor, there are frequent and established routes, and of course as you mentioned, Uber as well. Pick up a car on your way out of town and you'll be fine!

Like I've mentioned before, the Presidio is gorgeous but if you're into walkability then I would really discourage it. I don't know anything about the Parker Guest House except that I've walked by it several times and it's in a great location. You'll be walkable to both the Castro and the Mission and half a block from a Muni stop and Dolores Park. In general it's a pretty safe area, but of course with the caveat that you keep your wits about you like you would in any major city.

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 Post subject: Re: Hotel suggestions - SF and north ?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2016 6:39 pm 
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Ok good deal!

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 Post subject: Re: Hotel suggestions - SF and north ?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2016 10:10 am 
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I wouldn't rent a car while your staying here unless you have a free garage and even then probably not worth it -- especially if you've already been on the coast up north.

I'd suggest renting a zipcar for a few hours late morning - mid afternoon and doing the 49 mile scenic drive about the city/ seeing the northwest part of the city and getting to the tops of the hills for views.


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 Post subject: Re: Hotel suggestions - SF and north ?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2016 3:44 pm 
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Thanks, I didn't think of zipcar. We have them around here but we have a car so...

I'm still waffling on whether to stay in Santa Rosa (near the Schulz museum), sebastapol or Guenerville. Are there vegan places to eat in places that aren't Santa Rosa. Like Sebastopol shows a falafel place, Guerneville shows nothing? and Santa Rosa looks to have options. I'd be looking for somewhere to eat at dinner.

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 Post subject: Re: Hotel suggestions - SF and north ?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2016 4:23 pm 
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linanil wrote:
Thanks, I didn't think of zipcar. We have them around here but we have a car so...

I'm still waffling on whether to stay in Santa Rosa (near the Schulz museum), sebastapol or Guenerville. Are there vegan places to eat in places that aren't Santa Rosa. Like Sebastopol shows a falafel place, Guerneville shows nothing? and Santa Rosa looks to have options. I'd be looking for somewhere to eat at dinner.


Sebastopol and Guerneville both have major hippy vibes, so even if you don't see a ton of listings for restaurants, there will definitely be options around. That said, both of them are only 20 minutes max from Santa Rosa, so you could easily dine in Santa Rosa and still stay out 'in the country.' There's nothing wrong with SR per se, it just doesn't strike me as a 'destination' as much as Guerneville or Sebastopol. It's kind of a larger suburb- it's not awful, but it just doesn't have the individualism or character that the other towns do.

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 Post subject: Re: Hotel suggestions - SF and north ?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2016 4:27 pm 
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For food, Slice of Life and Peter Lowell's in Sebastopol are really good. Gaia's Garden in Santa Rosa is incredible. If I were you, I would stay in Sebastopol. It's such a pretty, chill, cool, little town.


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 Post subject: Re: Hotel suggestions - SF and north ?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2016 5:25 pm 
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Thanks! That helps, I'm still flip flopping but I saw a review of a hippy grocery store in Guerneville from a ppker! I forget the name, but recognize the avatar :) Starts with an M? A hippy grocery store with vegan options is promising.

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 Post subject: Re: Hotel suggestions - SF and north ?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2016 5:46 pm 
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That hippy grocery store is legit and has some good options!

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