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Xmas by the Bay

Level Contributor
4 posts
14 reviews
Xmas by the Bay

My 12 yr old son and I are going to be spending two weeks in the Bay area. We are staying in Burlingame close to the airport and have a list of things to see in San Francisco and the surrounding areas. What is the best way to get into San Francisco? Drive or by train? Which train BART or Cal? Here are a few of he places we would like to hit.

Fishermans Wharf


Union Square


Basically the touristy stuff.

I am also wondering if the Tanforan Mall area is OK. Heard this area in general can be kinda of rough. But I used to live in NYC so I'm not sure what their standard for rough is.

And if you have an areas to avoid list that would be great too

San Diego
Destination Expert
for San Diego
Level Contributor
68,365 posts
72 reviews
1. Re: Xmas by the Bay

I wonder if you are staying in Burlingame because it will be near relatives??

I always think that San Francisco is a fascinating city to visit and staying in the city is part of the fun!! You don't need a car in the city at all.

I do think that 2 weeks is a looong time there but of course it is your vacation!

I believe there is a Caltrain stop in Burlingame.

San Francisco...
Level Contributor
49 posts
2. Re: Xmas by the Bay

Hello! I've shopped at Tanforan a couple times and found no problems. I've even stopped there at night for a bite to eat while waiting to pick up my parents from SFO.

The nicest thing about Tanforan is that it is literally connected to the San Bruno BART station. There might be a daily parking fee, but it is minimal and much, much better than what you'd pay to park in the city while sightseeing.

Personally, I'd take BART because CalTrain drops you off on Townsend, which is several blocks south of Market Street and too far from most of the places you want to visit. You'd have to board a bus or streetcar just to get to Market St. BART, on the other hand, takes you directly to Powell Street where you can catch the Cable Car to Fisherman's Wharf or simply walk a short distance up to Union Square.

Hope you enjoy your visit!

Level Contributor
4 posts
14 reviews
3. Re: Xmas by the Bay

Thanks so much for the information! I'm used to the NYC subway. There's just one. :) I feel much better now having a clue where I'm going and how to get there.

The purpose of the trip is two fold. I like to take my son to different cities just to expose him to the different areas around the country. So half the time we're going to be plain old tourists.

The reason we are staying the full two weeks is so I can have time to check out some of the outter lying cities to get a feel for the area. I'm working on a law degree from a California University so in another 4 - 6 yrs I'll have to be living in California in order to practice law. I know just what CA needs another lawyer. :) I'm more interested in opening a non profit legal aid facility for the arts than actually making money. (I used to work as an audio engineer in NYC) We went to LA this summer and man has it changed since I was last there. So I'm hoping I'll like Northern CA much better.

Burlingame seems like a good central location for this trip. We're close the the airport, close to the BART and it has access to major highways so I can drive out to see the coastal & East Bay neighorhoods. Oh and it's half price compared to the hotel I first booked in the city. If I were only staying one week I'd have been staying right in the city.

Can't wait to see San Francisco!

Thanks again for the help. It's greatly appreciated! Happy Holidays

San Francisco...
Level Contributor
49 posts
4. Re: Xmas by the Bay

You're welcome :)

Burlingame is actually a really nice town. I have friends who live in Millbrae, just one town north of Burlingame, and I've been to Burlingame a couple times to dine.

They've got some great restaurants in the old town area which is bordered by California Ave. on the east, El Camino Real on the west, Burlingame Ave. to the north and Peninsula Ave. to the south. It's a safe area to walk in any time of the day or night. Lots of families.

I know a few places in Millbrae as well. If you're interested, let me know!

5. Re: Xmas by the Bay

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