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South San Francisco, San Francisco, San Jose, Mountain View

Places to check out in San Francisco, San Jose and Mountain View area?

My girlfriend and I are flying in to San Francisco for an interview I have next week and will be in the Bay area for 2 nights and 3 days. This is our first time to California and we are looking to move here in the coming months. Probably more South Bay than in the city center of San Francisco. What are some cool places to check out in San Francisco as well as the Mountain View/San Jose area? We are staying by the airport but plan to venture south to San Jose for a day and want to spend the rest of our time in S.F. What are areas to avoid? Good restaurants and must sees?



3 Answers

answered by
Tiffany from Corvallis

San Jose's San Jose Museum of Art is small, but a nice little museum and is in a pretty area for walking around.

I'd also check out some of the pretty nature preserves along the bay like the Shoreline Park at Mountain View and the Stevens Creek Shoreline Nature Study Area.

If you want a fun photo, stop by Facebook to get your photo by the "Like" sign. You won't be the first.

If you want amazing Dim Sum near the airport, go to Zen Peninsula.

Within SF, my favorite areas are the parks. Hug HWY 1 and explore Golden Gate Park and Queen Wilhelmina Tulip Garden. You can cross the hwy here and walk the beach as well.  Just a bit down, go to the old Sutro Baths, then explore the Presidio and Baker Beach. If you can find parking, you can walk across the Golden Gate Bridge. There are gorgeous views from both sides.

If you love street art, go to the The Castro and find Clarion Alley then walk around to find more amazing street art.

Pier 39 is touristy, but fun and you can see the sea lions there.  Ghiradelli Square is a nice little place too and you can sample SF's best chocolate.

For the best views, to to Twin Peaks, the top of the hill above 16th Avenue Tiled Steps Project (you'll LOVE these steps and there are others within a block away called the Hidden Garden Steps). Coit Tower has good views as well especially of Lombard Street which is more fun to walk down than drive down.

I'd avoid the crowded shopping areas downtown - they are crazy busy and not as fun as the rest of the city.

On my favorite SF days, we just hug the water and explore the green spaces.

For great pizza... go to Gaspare's Pizza, but name a cuisine and you can find it in SF. Great Asian food, amazing Russian food... all delish and authentic.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. San Jose (city)
  2. San Jose Museum of Art (attraction)
  3. Shoreline Park at Mountain View (attraction)
  4. Stevens Creek Shoreline Nature Study Area (attraction)
  5. Facebook (attraction)
  6. Zen Peninsula (restaurant)
  7. Golden Gate Park (attraction)
  8. Queen Wilhelmina Tulip Garden (attraction)
  9. Sutro Baths (attraction)
  10. Presidio (neighborhood)
  11. Baker Beach (attraction)
  12. Golden Gate Bridge (attraction)
  13. The Castro (attraction)
  14. Clarion Alley (attraction)
  15. Pier 39 (attraction)
  16. Ghiradelli Square (attraction)
  17. Twin Peaks (attraction)
  18. 16th Avenue Tiled Steps Project (attraction)
  19. Hidden Garden Steps (attraction)
  20. Coit Tower (attraction)
  21. Lombard Street (attraction)
  22. Gaspare's Pizza (restaurant)
2 thankscomments (1)

answered first by
Kim from San Francisco

I'll let others comment on SF. Across the Golden Gate Bridge from SF there are a few wonderful places to visit. World renown Sausalito is there. Find your way under the Golden Gate Bridge for a spectacular, often unseen view of it. Find your way over to the Marin Headlands from there for the most breath taking view of the city. From there, drive over to Tiburon for lunch on the waterfront. It has a beautiful view of the city from Sam's Anchor Cafe or Guaymas Restaurant. Watch out at Sams.... it is a landmark not only for the tourists but also for the birds. They'll swoop down to your table to share your lunch! so much fun!


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Sausalito (city)
  2. Golden Gate Bridge (attraction)
  3. Marin Headlands (attraction)
  4. Tiburon (city)
  5. Sam's Anchor Cafe (restaurant)
  6. Guaymas Restaurant (restaurant)
2 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Fritzi from San Francisco

Mike, welcome to the Golden state. San Jose and Mountain View are suburban. "Downtown" Mountain View is a few blocks of restaurants. Ditto downtown San Jose, which has a few museums but by no means world class. 

Los Gatos is a charming town on the west side of the valley. 

I don't think there are many must sees on the Peninsula, unless you enjoy scenic drives through the redwoods, in which case I recommend you drive Skyline Blvd. 

If I were you, I would concentrate on San Francisco. If you will be living on the peninsula you will have lots of time to get to know it when you move here.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. San Jose (city)
  2. Mountain View (city)
  3. Los Gatos (attraction)
  4. San Francisco (city)

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