Anyone know San Francisco or Chicago?

aggie

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I'm in both in September:

SF for a wedding, so accommodation already sorted and probably a few things to do with the group in general, but would appreciate suggestions nonetheless.

Chicago I am just going by myself on the way home, so accommodation recommendations and stuff to do would be great. I have one day at a university archive (for which I've blagged my fare, RESULT) but other than that I haven't a clue.
 

hibbybilly

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Was in San Fran last year. Fisherman’s Wharf, Alcatraz visit, think yi have tae book before yi go, they dae tours while your there but I don’t think you actually get inside with them, I could be wrong. Chinatown is guid. Hop on and off buses tae the Golden Gate Bridge , if your upstairs, hold on tae yer hat as you approach the bridge. Or a cruise from Fisherman’s Wharf uptae and under the bridge and round Alcatraz Island. Thought it was quite expensive though Aggie.
 

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#3
I'm in both in September:

SF for a wedding, so accommodation already sorted and probably a few things to do with the group in general, but would appreciate suggestions nonetheless.

Chicago I am just going by myself on the way home, so accommodation recommendations and stuff to do would be great. I have one day at a university archive (for which I've blagged my fare, RESULT) but other than that I haven't a clue.
I'm in Chicago at the start of Sept, only for a couple of days, hoping to take in a White Sox game. Also a Jazz Festival week in Chicago so plenty free concerts and stuff on. but because were only there for a couple of day stopover before heading off on Route 66 no really planned much more.
Probably usual stuff at Magnificent Mile, Millenium Park, Sears Tower which is Willis Tower I think?
Were staying at the Inn of Chicago which is on the magnificent mile.
Picked up most of this spending my day surfing instead of working, never been so this is just stuff we are planning.

Hope all goes well
GGTTH
 

Greenmachine

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Two great cities...visited Chicago in 1991 and San Francisco in 2004.
Sears Tower is a must in Chicago, awesome view at the top. Loads of good bars around State Street. Lakeshore Drive is good as well. Just a good city with plenty to do especially in the downtown area. If you like Blues music there are plenty of good blues bars you can visit.

San Francisco is a beautiful city. Alcatraz visit is a must. Do the tour but you will have to book well in advance it is very popular. Pier 39 on Fishermans Wharf is great as is Almera Street. Walk over the Golden Gate Bridge and visit Solcilita a lovely town and you can get a great view of the city from there.
 

Archie

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In Chicago I'd strongly recommend doing one of the architecture tours by boat. It really has fantastic architecture - it's Gotham city. And a fantastic history too.
 

SKII

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My laddie was in San Francisco last summer and he felt in two minds about it. Whilst he enjoyed a number of things described above he also said it was "sketchy at times walking about. That there was obvious and significant numbers of addicts living rough on the street and you needed to be wary of which streets you went down, even during the day but especially at night. He's a big beardie unit at 6ft tall and he reckoned that probably was useful (for once). Comparing it to L.A. he said the good bits were better in SF but the ability to dodge the dodgy was harder.

I mind getting a text from him at Alcatraz. There was a board where the tour guide had asked people what crimes should carry the death penalty...having spotted a Gunt on the tour after him, he wrote on the board "being Craig Levein"...

:077:
 

aggie

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Thanks all, really useful stuff :approve:
 
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I've been to both, albeit 20 years ago. Out of both of them I'd go back to Chicago in a heartbeat, went twice in 2 years. We stayed in a Best Western on the Southside - it probably wasn't in the greatest of areas but we never had any problems walking about there.
If you get a chance do this tour - it was brilliant and glad to see it's still going - I've still got my mug! :)

https://gangstertour.com.

I enjoyed Pier 39, Alcatraz and we walked up to Coit Tower, you may remember it from one of the Dirty Harry films. Enjoy your trip, you'll have a blast.
 

Sir Shrink

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I loved the Alcatraz trip.

Approaching the island was weird...... almost like I’d been locked up there before.
Although I don’t think I have.
 

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Definitely recommend Alcatraz, that was one of the highlights of San Francisco. Chicago is a cool place too. I'd recommend trying to take in an NFL game at Soldier Field. Much better than baseball if you ask me.
 

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My laddie was in San Francisco last summer and he felt in two minds about it. Whilst he enjoyed a number of things described above he also said it was "sketchy at times walking about. That there was obvious and significant numbers of addicts living rough on the street and you needed to be wary of which streets you went down, even during the day but especially at night. He's a big beardie unit at 6ft tall and he reckoned that probably was useful (for once). Comparing it to L.A. he said the good bits were better in SF but the ability to dodge the dodgy was harder.

I mind getting a text from him at Alcatraz. There was a board where the tour guide had asked people what crimes should carry the death penalty...having spotted a Gunt on the tour after him, he wrote on the board "being Craig Levein"...

:077:
I was there first in 2003 and again a couple of years later. All the tourist places, Alcatraz, Coit Tower, A lot of piers not just 39, the bridge (got engaged half way over), boat trips, Ghirardelli Chocolate Company, China Town, loads of museums and parks to roam around. The list is almost endless. And for the most part clean.

I was there again last year. Ghirardelli doesn't sell huge lumps of chocolate, my pub had turned into a bistro, Sam Wo Chinese restaurant had gone too. Cities move on.

The area down by the piers has been revamped, it's nice.

The number of panhandlers has rocketed and way more aggressive than before. In the past we walked the length of Market Street from the gay area, the Castro down to the bay. It was a great walk. I wouldn't recommend it now. Loads and loads of shops now closed. Panhandlers in almost every doorway spaced out like I've never witnessed. Streets are filthy.

Public transport was fine before. There was a bit of an edge, if you know what I mean, even during the day now.

Take care walking around during the day. Taxi door to door at night.

Last year I couldn't wait to get there, now I doubt I'll ever go back.
 

Gareth

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I was in San Fran in 1992 and Chicago 1993. San Fran I loved just to walk in, make sure you get to Oakland and Berkeley as well, the former rougher but more full of life, and the latter lots of alternative hippy and student stuff, in a good way.
Chicago I’d say try to find and old blues bar. I lucked out and went with a bus driver I met, I was the inl6 white guy and only person under 50, all smoke and 9 string guitars, magic!
 

vasco de gama

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I was there first in 2003 and again a couple of years later. All the tourist places, Alcatraz, Coit Tower, A lot of piers not just 39, the bridge (got engaged half way over), boat trips, Ghirardelli Chocolate Company, China Town, loads of museums and parks to roam around. The list is almost endless. And for the most part clean.

I was there again last year. Ghirardelli doesn't sell huge lumps of chocolate, my pub had turned into a bistro, Sam Wo Chinese restaurant had gone too. Cities move on.

The area down by the piers has been revamped, it's nice.

The number of panhandlers has rocketed and way more aggressive than before. In the past we walked the length of Market Street from the gay area, the Castro down to the bay. It was a great walk. I wouldn't recommend it now. Loads and loads of shops now closed. Panhandlers in almost every doorway spaced out like I've never witnessed. Streets are filthy.

Public transport was fine before. There was a bit of an edge, if you know what I mean, even during the day now.

Take care walking around during the day. Taxi door to door at night.

Last year I couldn't wait to get there, now I doubt I'll ever go back.
I've been to San Francisco 3 times and will be there again in July. 2004, 2012, and 2016 was the years of my visits. I would agree that each time I've been back the issue of homeless and/or mentally ill and drunk/drugged people on the streets has gotten worse. We did walk home in 2012 from a gig downtown up market to the Castro area and it was fine but I had my wits about me the whole way. I think you miss out on much of the beauty of a city if you confine yourself to taxis door to door. Just be sensible and you should be ok. Even in the areas around the big hotels you are likely to step over people sleeping / passed out at all times of the day and you will constantly be getting asked for spare change. I'm guessing you'll have learned how to deal with both these things already.

Like the others say there's tonnes of interesting places. Look up a list of bars, restaurants, shops, museums you fancy and then hop on and off the trolley cars to enjoy seeing the city that way. Fishermans wharf can be very busy with tourists but that's anywhere famous now. There's some cool wee museums, restaurants, and bars dotted along it but I prefer Chinatown and the area immediately surrounding it for food, bars, and slightly more unique shops.

Only been to Chicago once for a day and it pissed it down the entire time. It was so misty and miserable that the people at the Sears tower told us not to waste our money going up and they told us to go get some quality food instead.
 

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Never been to Chicago but heard it's great. Was in San Fran a few years ago and was pretty underwhelmed if I'm honest.

There was some nice food and good restaurants, although lots of pretentious places too. It was really expensive, even more than LA I thought. Sorry, that's not all that helpful!
 

vasco de gama

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Just back from a 4 day visit - did the half marathon. Had a brilliant time. This time we spent a lot more time away from the Union Square/Tenderloin area so the homeless and addict thing wasn't such an issue even though in those areas it is. We hired bikes and cycled across the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito. I'd totally recommend this but try to do it during the week rather than on a weekend.

Food wise this city has it all. We stayed in Japantown so ate a lot of Shabu Shabu and Ramen, but we also had great Chinese food but NOT in Chinatown- we went to the Richmond district for that. Near Chinatown the House of Nanking (across the street from Francis Ford Coppola's restaurant) is really good but always has a long line. We went out drinking around the lower Haight / Fillmore area and that had a good vibe (my clubbing days are over though so I might not be the best judge). Downtown there's a lot of dark and interesting pubs - Vesuvio, next to the famous City Lights Bookstore has a lot of character and decent prices.

For getting around use the Lyft or Uber apps. You get picked up in minutes anywhere and the price is great.
 

Tkraz

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I live in San Francisco!

If there's anything I can do just let me know - happy to help with recommendations or anything else you need.

Can even hook you up with getting into some bars early for watching the 'Soccer' on the weekend!
 

aggie

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I live in San Francisco!

If there's anything I can do just let me know - happy to help with recommendations or anything else you need.

Can even hook you up with getting into some bars early for watching the 'Soccer' on the weekend!
Oh, nice one! Did we ever meet at Quinn's in Camden once? Or have a convo about it? Memory is hazy...
 

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Alcatraz is still one of my favorite places visited in the U.S. Drove from Vegas to San Fran, what a brutal drive. Just hours of nothing.
 

Tkraz

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Strong chance we did!

I watched .a few games in there when I was living in London and remember chatting about it on here.

Let me know if I can help with anything over here and would be great to catch up for a beer or two and watch a Hibs game!