Subject: Re: a trip to San Francisco and surroundings
Hi there Paul,

I live in the UK, but have been to San Francisco five times in the last ten years. We love it there.

We usually land at either San Diego or San Francisco and make out way from one to the other, every time going a different route. We did the seaside route last time, and visited Monterey and all the places around there.

We usually pick up a leaflet from the newspaper/leaflet stands around San Francisco which give detials of offers at hotels/motels. If there is a good offer we call and book, or call in when we arrive at our destination, but in general we find that we never had a problem finding somewhere to stay that was nice by just turning up. We usually use Best Western hotels as they are all of a similar and good standard. The only treat we usually have is in San Francisco when we stay at the Westin St Francis. We found that you can get a good deal booking on line at this hotel through various agencies.

In San Francisco itself there is a great bar called O'Doules. Great food at cheap prices, it is not a posh place but is very nice and friendly, and has a piano which visitors tend to take over and play. Great fun and cheap good quality everyday type food (hot beef rolls, chilli con carnie, hot roast meat and veg etc.) It is around the corner from Westin St Frances, off Union Square.

What we did last time we went to SF was to take a tour with a guide as we felt we had not seen all we could. It was great, there was just the guide and my husband and I. He took us all around SF and the surrounding area, we drove down that windy street (can't remember the name !), over the bridge to Sausilito (gorgeous), to the parks, everything. I think it was about 2-3 hours and was great fun and good value. Can't remember his name offhand, but ask at your hotel as there were lots available. We liked it being just us and him, rather than a busload of tourists.

Hope this helps a bit. I am sure lots of local Ziners will be in touch soon, but I had to tell you a bit as we love SF so much. Have a great time, wish we were going but we have a busy travel year ahead going other places this year.

Cheers, Jane Belper, Derbyshire, UK