In our case from Little Rock, Arkansas to San Francisco. The total trip was about seven hours including a two and half our lay over in Las Vegas. The Vegas airport is easy to get around in once you learn the terminals, but our experience was that it is unhelpful to ask TSA or other airport employees how to find your way around. In our instance they were rude and unhelpful. Next time we will route through Phoenix again. Phoenix has been a pleasure to traverse with lots of signs to direct you and helpful employees.
Upon arrival at San Francisco (SFO) we took the tram to the BART station. There we purchased our one-way tickets to the BART station closest to our hotel. This happened to be the Civic Center station. The cost was $8.25 each. You can buy your tickets at the SFO BART Station, as discussed in an earlier post just follow the simple instructions to purchase your tickets. Then jump the next BART train. The Yellow line will take you from SFO to downtown San Francisco in about 30 minutes. When you enter the SFO BART terminal you will deposit your BART ticket in the gate-keeper machine. The machine will punch the ticket and return it to you automatically. Don’t forget to get it and take it with you because when you get to the stop you will again have to deposit it in the gate-keeper machine to leave the BART terminal. I always see some tickets in the gate-keeper machine. 🙂
We arrived at our destination, the Hotel Whitcomb at about 10 p.m. We chose the Whitcomb this time because it has some very good reviews. Although travelers should note that the hotel is on the edge of a homeless district, however there are many homeless people in the downtown area. It is a sad situation, but they are everywhere. The Whitcomb is close to Union Square, the BART, MUNI transportation, and Powell Street. The hotel front lobby is only about 50 feet from the BART Civic Center Station and a MUNI stop for the F and several other bus and electric street cars.
The Whitcomb Hotel at 1231 Market Street, is a historic 1916 land mark. The hotel is nicely furnished with lots of richly grained wood, marble and tile. It is like stepping into the past. Rooms are well decorated and comfortable, yet they are not as spacious as some larger, modern hotels. Yet I was better satisfied with the value, room and service at the Whitcomb than I was on my last stay in the Hilton Union Square last December. :). We paid $199.00 per night this trip. The lobby has a Starbucks coffee and coffee makers are available in the room upon request.
Although the hotel restaurant is well rated we ate most mornings across the street as Sam’s Diner, 1220 Market Street. There you can enjoy great food including avocado omelets. We enjoyed the service, and the friendly waiters and chef. The diner has vacationers and local patrons from breakfast through dinner. We believe you really need to try Sam’s Diner.
After Sam’s we caught the F Line electric street car outbound to Mission. If you get on the wrong way you will wind up at the Ferry Building or at Pier 39. If you do, just enjoy it or stay on the F Line and it will bring you back and out to Mission. This particular morning we were heading to Mission Delores. Taking the F Line to the Castro area we got off F at Church Street. We had a choice to get on the J Line south or walk 2 blocks. We chose to walk and enjoy the town. We found Delores a delightful treat. This is an active mission and Catholic Church next door. Tours are open and they ask for a contribution. The small cemetery next to the mission is extremely comforting and peaceful.
Following many photo ops we moved strolled over four blocks to Delores Park and enjoyed the Sunday afternoon sunshine and many activities going on in the park. We then returned to Church street and Market to catch the F Line out to Castro Street. There we did what every San Francisco tourist should do we caught the number 24 bus to the 71 line on at the intersection of Castro and Haight Avenue. From there 71 took us straight to Ashbury (only about 7 blocks just past Buena Vista Park).
Come back later and we will visit The Haight! @MMTravelers Twitter feed.