Last weekend, I was in San Francisco for my bachelorette party and a few of the girls were going to stay until Monday. Instead of coming all the way down to Cupertino, we opted to stay in the City and decided on the Courtyard Marriott Fisherman's Wharf since it was a) affordable, b) excellent location, c) clean and d) had free WiFi.
Cost: Standard (2 Queens): Daily: $149; 1 Bedroom Suite with Sofa Bed: Daily: $179
Location: Literally in the tourist heart of SF, one block from Fisherman's Wharf, two blocks from Ghiradelli Square, two blocks from the Cable Cars, one block from bike rentals to bike across the Golden Gate Bridge and a close jaunt to Union Square.
Fitness center and a Bistro on the second floor that serves Starbucks and breakfast until 10am. The Bistro serves your usual breakfast fare of eggs, muffins, fruit, granola, etc. The fitness center has your usual treadmills and stair climbers and faces the courtyard.
The Market for 24-hour snacking at reasonable prices where you can find beer, wine, snack foods, candy, etc.
There's a business center with books and free business services with printers, faxes, computers, and an area to print out Boarding Passes.They also have free WiFi througout the hotel for guests to use. Rooms also have a wired option that you can plug into as well, in case your laptop isn't WiFi friendly.
Valet Parking ($36/daily includes in and out privileges)
When we first got there, it was a bit early to check-in though my friend had arranged for early check-in online, the suite wasn't ready. However, the friendly staff took our bags and gave us bag claims. We ventured out into a beautiful, sunny SF day- the ones that are so rare that each time they happen, you just have to be outdoors, soaking it all up, truly enjoying the beauty of the City.
Must Sees Near the Hotel:
DINE: Restaurant #1: Las Margaritas, the name says it all. They had outdoor seating, fresh and delicious food, fantastic servers and possibly, best of all, a Mayan hangover cure. It's off the menu and it comes from the Mayan busboys who will only give you the recipe in Mayan. It works like a charm, all of us agreed and then, we dipped into our margaritas LOL.
Restaurant #2: The Franciscan was next on our stop with mussels and shrimp that came out sizzling on a cast iron skillet which we had with some local SF brews. This is a must do if you're going to stay at the Marriott, it's an institution of great SF seafood with pictures of classic and current stars lining the walls in black and white photos. Not to mention a great view of the Bay with Alcatraz in the background. The meals here are a bit pricey, so you may want to dress up a bit, if you'll be dining during dinner hours. Otherwise, sit at a booth for appetizers and drinks. The booths also have binoculars attached so you can get a close up view of Alcatraz.
Restaurant, well OK, dining spot #3: Crab Market.at Fisherman's Wharf If this list wasn't in chronological order, it'd be my #1. I take all my friends that are visiting SF here and it's totally worth the crowds. This is where you get your clam chowder in a sourdough bowl, the REAL San Francisco treat, and an Anchor Steam which will only set you back $6-$8. They also have fish and chips, calamari, cracked crab, or any other yummy seafood treats for cheap! My favorite is Guardino's and the classic Nick's.
Las Margaritas: above, has fantastic margaritas. 'Nuff said.
Fog Harbor: at Pier 39, a little tricky to find but, as you get into Pier 39, look to your left, there will be some stairs that lead directly up to Fog Harbor. The food here is really good but, I come for their drinks. They have an open air lounge with lounge couches and chairs, two waterfalls, and a huge fireplace. The managers never care if you rearrange the furniture to suit your needs, I do it every time I go there. Their drinks are strong and delicious and they have both a great wine list as well as a cocktail menu.
For drinks, pool and dancing: The Parlour is AWESOME! Our night ended up here when my girls wanted to stop in for shots on the way back to the hotel. Yeah, that's how they roll. It's right next door with a huge neon sign, BAR, on it and on Sunday night, it was the only thing open. We walked into The Parlour and saw a DJ and a pool table with little booths that each had their own flatscreen TV. The drinks were strong, the music was amazing (and I'm picky when it comes to DJs) and the crowd was random, just how I like it!
WINE TASTING! What would be a trip to SF without some wine tasting and there are a bunch of great tasting rooms in the City; however, for walking distance's sake- head to the Wattle Creek Winery at the Ghiradelli Square where tastings are $10 each off their regular menu or $20 off of their VIP list- each come with five tastings. That is, until you join their club- free to join, free tastings, and you can buy 2 bottles every 6 months which can run you only $36-$48. Once you join, Jesse (hi Jesse! You ROCK!), will just keep you plied with tastings until you make him stop. We had so many flights and walked out without paying anything, except for the bottle I bought for my friend for a belated b-day gift. Added bonus: it's next to Kara's Cupcakes (definitely worth a visit after the wine!).
Shopping: You've got the funky tourist shops that actually have quite a bit of cute stuff for good prices, Ghiradelli Square, and Pier 39 within walking distance of the hotel. Directly across from the hotel is a huge Levi's store with a big pair of jeans hanging out front. You're also a short distance to Union Square which has every imaginable department store or boutique you could ever want.
Enjoy your stay in the lovely San Francisco- my favorite City, so far!
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