Getting the best of your San Fran stopover

Travelling to the US might not normally mean smooth flight connections onto other destinations. But a quick stopover on the west coast should not be stress filled or spent waiting in an airport.

Here’s how to perform tourist with less than 22 hrs in San Francisco.

11: 15am: Many flights from the east coast of Australia land from San Francisco Airport at around 11am, so first things first, jump on a free shuttle to one of the airport hotels. There are plenty of chain hotels to select from that are only about five minutes from the airport, and shuttles depart every half hour or so.

Check TripAdvisor or Yelp before you book though, as some hotels, such as the Crowne Plaza, have a warranted poor reputation for on-time pick-up. The shuttles stop at an island in the street outside Terminal 3 at the worldwide terminal, but double-check this whenever booking your room. There is also a free of charge phone so you can call your hotel so they know to expect you.

12pm: Once you’ve checked in, dropped your bags in your area and freshened up, hop on the next shuttle back to the airport, from where you can board the BART train to downtown (bart. gov). Seat tickets are easy to buy from the self-serve devices and cost around $US9 ($A10) one-way depending on your downtown location. Powell Street ($US8. 65) is a good place to disembark and the trip generally there takes about 20 minutes.

12: 30pm: For a correct 1950s American experience, head to Lori’s Diner for a hearty lunch. A short stroll up the hill, Lori’s is certainly on the corner of Powell and Sutter streets. It serves massive nachos, gourmet hot dogs, burgers and buffalo wings. Make sure you also order a malt milkshake — they are ridiculously large and sweet.

You will be served simply by friendly Hispanic waitresses as you sit in a faux leather booth surrounded by `50s memorabilia. A vintage vehicle takes centre stage on the examined lino floor, American flags hang from the walls and a motorcycle sits behind the counter. Check out lorisdiner. com.

2: 30pm: After lunch, head back down the street in order to Union Square. This is a shopping plaza, with something for every budget. On the high end there is Tiffany’s, Victoria’s Key, Bottega Veneta and Burberry. At the some other end there is Converse, Paul Honest, GAP and a huge multi-level Niketown. You will also find plenty of big brand shops along Market Street close by but try not to get too swept up here, as you are on a tight plan.

4pm: It’s time for you to head to Fisherman’s Wharf, one of San Francisco’s most iconic tourist attractions. This is your chance to catch one of the city’s famous cable cars for $US5 one-way. You can walk to the bottom of Powell Street and jump aboard at the turnaround (the start of line) or grab a car from one of the stops near Union Square. You need cash to pay the conductor and it’s best to have the right change as the ride can be busy. There are two routes that end from different spots at Fisherman’s Wharf. They are similar but Powell-Mason Cable Car is the shortest, taking regarding 10 minutes. For more, see sfcablecar. com.

4: 10pm: In Fishermen’s Wharf you can purchase nick-nacks (assume fridge magnets, t-shirts, ornaments) while you stroll the streets. Make sure you create for a photo under the towering Fisherman’s Wharf sign and then, if you’re sensation peckish, you can pick up a plate of clam chowder from any number of suppliers. If you want to rest your feet, head to Chowder Hut near the waterfront. You can grab a bite here and wash it down with a hot-buttered rum (a delicious spiced rum concoction). If it’s cold, nab a seat around one of the fire pits.

5: 30pm: From here, make your way along Jefferson Street in order to Pier 39, another city image. Pier 39 is where a nest of sea lions resides on the pontoons. Their bark is loud and their breath smelly however, you cannot be this close and not check out them. Snap a few pictures, view them flop all over the place and then leave them to the crowds.

6: 05pm: Pier 39 isn’t only about sea lions though. There are many of restaurants, shops and even a merry-go-round here (pier39. com). See the stores as you head to the end of the boardwalk where you will find none other than Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. If you haven’t heard of this chain of restaurants that sprouted after the 1994 movie Forrest Gump, then picture an identical eatery to Lone Star Steakhouse and Saloon. This place is all about the shrimp, with large meals, fast service and plenty of American character. If you are travelling with kids, they’ll love it.

6: 30pm: Say goodbye to the waterfront and hail a taxi back to your own hotel. The trip will take regarding 25 minutes and cost approximately $US55, depending on traffic. You can get a wire car back to Market Street and after that the train from there but may hassle. In the morning, grab the free of charge shuttle back to the airport for the onwards flight.

IF YOU GO

Along with the over websites, head to sanfrancisco. travel. If you don’t have access to the internet on your phone or select not to travel with a phone, be sure you pick up a free downtown map in the airport or from your hotel. For more on the airport, go to flysfo. com.

  • The author travelled to the US as a visitor of United Airlines


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Travelling to the US might not always mean smooth trip connections onto other destinations. But a quick stopover on the west coast should not be stressful or spent waiting in an airport.

This how to play tourist with less than 22 hours in San Francisco.

11: 15am: Many flights from the east coast of Australia land at San Francisco Airport from around 11am, so first points first, jump on a free shuttle to 1 of the airport hotels. There are plenty of string hotels to choose from that are only about a few minutes from the airport, and shuttles depart every half hour or so.

Check TripAdvisor or Yelp before you book though, as some resorts, such as the Crowne Plaza, have a called for poor reputation for on-time pick-up. The shuttles stop at an isle in the road outside Terminal a few at the international terminal, but double-check this when booking your area. There is also a free phone so you can contact your hotel so they know to anticipate you.

12pm: Once you’ve checked in, dropped your luggage in your room and freshened up, hop on the next shuttle back to the particular airport, from where you can board the particular BART train to downtown (bart. gov). Tickets are easy to buy from the particular self-serve machines and cost about $US9 ($A10) one-way depending on your own downtown location. Powell Street ($US8. 65) is a good place to disembark and the trip there takes about 20 minutes.

12: 30pm: For a true 1950s American experience, head to Lori’s Diner for a delicious lunch. A short stroll up the hill, Lori’s is on the corner associated with Powell and Sutter streets. This serves massive nachos, gourmet scorching dogs, burgers and buffalo wings. Make sure you also order a malt milkshake – they are ridiculously large and sweet.

You may be served by friendly Hispanic waitresses as you sit in a faux buckskin booth surrounded by `50s souvenirs. A vintage car takes centre phase on the checked lino floor, American flags hang from the walls as well as a motorcycle sits behind the kitchen counter. Check out lorisdiner. com.

2: 30pm: After lunch, return down the street to Union Square. This can be a shopping plaza, with something for every budget. At the high end there is Tiffany’s, Victoria’s Secret, Bottega Veneta and Burberry shawl. At the other end there is Converse, Paul Frank, GAP and a huge multi-level Niketown. You will also find plenty of big brand shops along Market Street nearby but try not to obtain too caught up here, as you are on a tight schedule.

4pm: It’s time to head to Fisherman’s Wharf, one of San Francisco’s most well-known tourist attractions. This is your chance to catch one of the city’s famous cable vehicles for $US5 one-way. You can stroll to the bottom of Powell Road and hop aboard at the transformation (the start of the line) or grab a car at one of the stops near Union Square. You need cash to pay for the conductor and it’s best to have the right change as the ride can be busy. There are two routes that end at different spots from Fisherman’s Wharf. They are similar but Powell-Mason Cable Car is the quickest, taking about 10 minutes. For more, observe sfcablecar. com.

4: 10pm: At Fishermen’s Wharf you can purchase nick-nacks (think fridge magnets, tee shirts, ornaments) as you stroll the roads. Make sure you pose for a photo underneath the towering Fisherman’s Wharf sign and after that, if you’re feeling peckish, you can pick up a bowl of clam chowder from any number of vendors. If you want to rest the feet, head to Chowder Hut near the lake shore. You can grab a bite right here and wash it down using a hot-buttered rum (a delicious spiced rum concoction). If it’s cold, nab a chair around one of the fire pits.

5: 30pm: From here, make your way along Jefferson Street to Pier 39, another city icon. Pier 39 is where a colony of sea elephants resides on the pontoons. Their start barking is loud and their breathing smelly but you cannot be this close and not visit them. Snap a number of pictures, watch them flop everywhere and then leave them to the crowds.

6: 05pm: Pier 39 isn’t just about sea elephants though. There are a number of restaurants, stores and even a merry-go-round here (pier39. com). Browse the stores as you head to the end of the boardwalk where you will discover none other than Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. If you haven’t heard of this string of restaurants that sprouted following the 1994 film Forrest Gump, then picture a similar eatery to Lone Star Steakhouse and Saloon. This place is all about the shrimp, along with large meals, fast service and plenty of American character. If you are traveling with kids, they’ll love it.

8: 30pm: Say goodbye to the particular waterfront and hail a taxi back to your hotel. The trip will take about 25 minutes and cost approximately $US55, depending on traffic. You can get a cable car back to Market Street and then the train following that but it’s a hassle. In the morning, grab the free shuttle back to the particular airport for your onwards flight.

IF YOU GO

Along with the above websites, head to sanfrancisco. travel. If you don’t have access to the internet on your phone or choose not to travel using a phone, make sure you pick up a free downtown map at the airport or from the hotel. For more on the airport, visit flysfo. com.

  • The writer travelled to the US as a guest of United Airlines

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