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12-16-2019, 11:54 AM   #1
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trip to San Francisco in late July suggestions for activity solicited

my wife and I are going to San Francisco in the last week of July 2020

looking for suggestions on what to do there

we have never been there before

current plans are:

a whale watching trip with Oceanic Society [ oceanicsociety.org ]

their day trip to the Farallon Islands - Farallon Islands National Wildlife Refuge - Farallon Islands - U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

along with night games when the Cubs are playing the Giants.

any and all suggestions are welcomed

especially on what lenses to take

you can see my options by checking here - aslyfox - View Profile - PentaxForums.com


Last edited by aslyfox; 01-02-2020 at 11:51 AM.
12-16-2019, 12:44 PM   #2
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We went there for our "babymoon" before our first son was born. That was over 11 years ago... but I can tell you that you want to see Carmel by the Sea - a beautiful and quaint place where Ansel Adams chose to live out the last 20 or so years of his life. The other obvious place to go is Coit tower. Sausalito was fun to see. To me the nicest things to see were always along the coast.

Going around the city on the trolley was fun, though I keep hearing it's all dirty and smelly nowadays... and not very safe anymore. I'm sure locals like MikeInSF will chime in at some point to give you better information including some insider secrets
12-16-2019, 01:01 PM   #3
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Sounds good, Allen. We were there in 2015, heading north towards Washington. Alcatraz, Pier 39, the trams. Id go to Symphony Hall - they have a great orchestra!

For redwood trees, Id suggest going across the Golden Gate Bridge and left off the 101 onto Highway 1 to Muir Woods National Monument, although youd need to go significantly further north to see the really big ones. This is next to Mount Tamalpais National Park which is also very photogenic. If you like wine theres Sonoma (better than Napa IMO). Plenty to do!

We did whale watching but from way north on Vancouver Island. I had a K-5 with a non-WR 55-300 for the whale watching, and it worked well - indeed, this plus the then-new 20-40 Ltd were my most-used lenses.
12-16-2019, 01:52 PM   #4
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July in SF is likely to be very foggy and downright cold. I'd go north a bit to Marin headlands for sunset/moonrise; kayaking on Tomales Bay; Pt. Reyes lighthouse.
South along the coast to Monterey Bay, there's lots to do as well.
In SF proper my fav areas are Golden Gate park, with the conservatory of flowers, arboretum, and academy of sciences. And the de young museum. Ocean Beach. Telegraph hill. Little Shamrock is a cozy pub. Bring a normal zoom, long zoom and a warm jacket.

12-16-2019, 01:57 PM   #5
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main point of the trip is the Giants vs. Cubs games

not sure how many we are going to attend

both my wife and I are big Cubs fan

so looking for activities to fit in while attending the games which are scheduled at night
12-16-2019, 03:35 PM   #6
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There are great views of the city if you take the Alcatraz tour (and the tour itself is quite scenic). Also if you take the Bay Bridge toward Oakland and take the off-ramp onto the island (left side of multiple lanes - a quickie), you can park and get some great shots of the downtown skyline and bay (navel station is there but parking lot is just short of entering it so you can park with a view - getting back on the bridge is easy).

You can park near either end of the Golden Gate bridge and walk it - some good views. North of SF a short ways are some scenic areas near the ocean including Bodega Bay ("The Birds"), and Bodega itself (a bit inland) where the old Bodega church is located on a hill (one of Ansel Adams subjects).

Have a great time!
12-28-2019, 11:13 AM   #7
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it's a go

ok, it is now confirmed, we are heading to San Francisco

arrive on friday July 24 leave July 30

______

wife chose this hotel

Boutique Union Square Hotel | Villa Florence San Francisco

attending night games on July 27, 28 and 29

looking at whale watching trip

Farallon Islands Whale Watching From San Francisco - Oceanic Society

any one have any experience with them or other suggestion ?

______________

does anyone have any advice on what else to do in the city of San Francisco

we will not have a rental vehicle

we have done food tours before but are concerned about walking tours - those famous San Francisco hills

I love jazz, she will tolerate it

she loves chocolate, I will tolerate it

we like seafood when on the coast

____________________

any advice on how to use public transportation to get from Villa Florence to Oracle Field or should we use uber or taxi

any suggestions on taking photos at oracle field and or San Francisco in general

you can see my options on lenses and cameras here:

aslyfox - View Profile - PentaxForums.com

thanks for any and all help
12-28-2019, 03:29 PM   #8
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A lot of good ideas listed here. I'll just add spend a day or two in the Half Moon Bay-Santa Cruz area. Lots of local sites and great scenery. Happy to give you more particulars if it looks like you might fit this area in as well.

12-28-2019, 06:45 PM   #9
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We took Amtrak's California Zephyr out to SF in July and that was fun. We stayed at the Grand Hyatt on Union Square. We walk a lot so we were OK with walking everywhere, to Fisherman's Wharf or the Ferry Terminal several times. I don't think most people would walk that much. I went to Expedia and looked for tours and activities. We took a couple of walking tours, one food oriented, one not and a harbor sail. I took the 18-135 mostly except for the food tour, DA21 (APS-C). We took four Uber rides: back and forth from the Transbay terminal to hotel, and the hotel to dinner at Scoma's restaurant next to Fisherman's Wharf. The meal was pretty good and I would go there again. I think it was around $8 every time for Uber. No taxis in sight at the Transbay terminal. You could certainly take an uber to an area like Columbus Ave, then walk.
12-28-2019, 06:56 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by aslyfox Quote
both my wife and I are big Cubs fan
Sorry to hear that! My wife and I are BIG Brewers fans.

We're going to Sloan Park in Mesa for a Spring Training game (Brewers vs Cubs) in a few weeks.
12-28-2019, 06:59 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fenwoodian Quote
Sorry to hear that! My wife and I are BIG Brewers fans.

We're going to Sloan Park in Mesa for a Spring Training game (Brewers vs Cubs) in a few weeks.
ever go to Wrigley Field North

have fun in Arizona
01-02-2020, 11:49 AM   #12
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we will have been going to the Farallon Islands at least once in late July

QuoteQuote:
The cluster of islands and sea stacks off San Francisco are often hidden by a dense curtain of clouds. But when the fog lifts, the Farallon Islands can be seen from shore, their faint jagged forms rising out of the sea as if they were painted on the western horizon with water color.

The four groups of islands total 211 acres and are only 28 miles off the coast. On boat tours, you can get close to their craggy shores teeming with birds and pinnipeds and circled by whales and sharks. The Oceanic Society is one of the groups leading weekend expeditions during whale-watching season, May through November, and reviews of the trips led by naturalists are stellar. "Breathtaking," "We saw 50-plus whales!" and "Shark attack!" are a few of the comments online.
17 fascinating facts about the Farallon Islands, just off San Francisco's shore but rarely visited - SFGate

has anyone been there

if so, please post about your experience
01-20-2020, 05:10 AM   #13
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trip is starting to take form

- going to 3 night games, Cubs vs. Giants -

QuoteQuote:
Cameras & Video Equipment
Cameras and video equipment are allowed in Oracle Park for MLB games. However, the equipment may not obstruct the view of others. Guests are not allowed to reproduce or re-broadcast any film or videotape of Giants games for commercial purposes without written permission from the San Francisco Giants and Major League Baseball. The Giants reserve the right to require patrons to put cameras or video equipment away.
- https://www.mlb.com/giants/ballpark/information/guide#c-content

and I expect I will have to deal with protective netting all the way out to the outfield fence

- taking tour to Muir Woods, Sausalito and then a boat tour of the Bay

- whale watching tour

if anyone has any experience with photography of such venues, please give me some advice on what to use
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