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San Francisco Trip Answered

Heading to San Francisco in April for a family wedding and am wondering if anyone has any suggestions on things to do.  I'm bringing my three little girls, 10, 8 and 6, so we will have to do some touristy things.  They would like to see Instructables and I don't know if that is possible. 
Specifically I need to find a moderately priced hotel,  a restaurant in China town or any tips you might have.  I am from Chicago and know that sometimes Google doesn't work so great, like suggesting a restaurant or hotel that was just featured on the nightly news, and not for good reasons. 
Thanks in advance for any help.
CDAwisconsin

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kelseymh (author)2011-01-28

Some of the transit options in San Francisco are actually worthy of tourists/kids, and in any event much better than trying to use a car!

BART is the regional transit system, running from SF south on the Peninsula to the airport, and also across the Bay both northeast and southeast. It can be fun, in sort of a used-to-be-futuristic way :-)

There are historic street cars which run along Market Street and out the Embarcadero (the waterfront). Some are old S.F. cars, and many others have been acquired from streetcar systems around the world and restored.

And of course there are the cable cars. Overpriced and overcrowded, they're still worth riding once, just for the atmosphere :-)

If you and your kids have any sort of science interest at all, please try to get to the Exploratorium! It is the original, prototypical "hands-on science museum." They've upgraded the interior so it has less of the wonderful homebrew/warehouse feel, but it's still a fabulous place to go, for adults and for kids of most ages.

One of my favorite Chinese places Brandy Ho's on Columbus right near Broadway. However, there are dozens of really outstanding restaurants, with every possible style of Chinese cooking you can imagine (or maybe can't :-). Anyone you ask is going to have their own favorite; it's hard to go wrong.

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cdawisconsin (author)kelseymh2011-01-28

Thanks for the info. We do have a few days and the Exploratorium sounds perfect.

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user

I'll second the Exploratorium. I used to go there when I was a kid and loved it. Haven't been in ages, but hear it's still great. There are tons of cool shops and other places to go as well. If there's something you'd like to see, just ask.

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fungus amungus (author)2011-01-28

It's totally possible to come and visit. We love guests! The office is downtown which is super easy to get to by BART. There are some great museums just a couple blocks away as well.

For places to stay, I usually use tripadvisor.com. Another cool option is airbnb.com. That's where people rent out their own homes to visitors. That can be a little comfier than a hotel since they have kitchens and cheaper too.

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user

Thanks for the site info. I will give it a try.

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caitlinsdad (author)2011-01-27
Rent a car. See the sights.  PM one of the staff like randofo or canida for the nickel tour.

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cdawisconsin (author)lemonie2011-01-28

Love the video. I have been humming all day.

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Kiteman (author)2011-01-27

Even if you don't get an invite to HQ, you could just go and stand and stare at the building;

82 2nd St. San Francisco, CA 94105 USA

(Opposite the Sierra Club, apparently...)

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caitlinsdad (author)Kiteman2011-01-27

Is that a "gentleman's club" or the real one for outdoor wildlife?

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Kiteman (author)caitlinsdad2011-01-27

I don't know - it's a label on a building in Google Street View.

It may be out of date, though, since HQ is still a spa in that image.

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Goodhart (author)Kiteman2011-01-27

Oh nice, they have a SPA where they work....I don't even rate a water fountain :-)

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