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emilyrose's avatar

What are the best things to do with my mom in San Francisco?

Asked by emilyrose (2272points) February 20th, 2008

My mom is coming out for a long weekend in April. Hopefully it won’t be raining! She is not super-athletic so hiking is kind of out, but maybe a short bike ride to the beach which I am already begging her to do. But other fun ideas? Good restaurants to take moms to? She isn’t the most adventurous eater, but she does like to go out to eat, she just isn’t into Indian food and that kind of thing.

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7 Answers

VoodooLogic's avatar

what neighborhoods? ‘Cause my recommendation is P.J.‘s Oyster Bed. I went there for my (now ex) girlfriend’s birthday. An awesome place if you can make it to the Sunset district.

emilyrose's avatar

i’ll look it up. she likes seafood…. i dont really care which neighborhood but we dont want to go to super exensive places… i live in the haight

gooch's avatar

Alcatraz and Golden Gate

omfgTALIjustIMDu's avatar

Walk around Chinatown, go to the Japanese tea garden in Golden Gate Park (always tons of other stuff going on there too), and what my mom and I recently did on a San Fran trip; SEGWAY TOURS!!!! It’s a little on the expensive side, but it is SO much fun, we both had a great time.

eriktheplaid's avatar

I’ll also second the Golden Gate. You could combine two activities and ride bicycles across the bridge (though the weather in the spring can be hit-or-miss). You could make an entire day of Golden Gate Park: The De Young, the Japanese Tea Garden, the Arboretum, etc, etc, etc.

SFMOMA is free the first Tuesday of every month (but tends to be busier than other days, obviously)

If you do Alcatraz, try to get a night-time tour. They tend to go into more depth than the tours during the day. And you get to see the City at night, which is breath-taking (assuming it’s not fogged in).

If she’s coming from anywhere without a western coast, Sunset at Sutro Baths is a great thing to do.

Angel Island / Sausalito Ferries? At the very least, some time wandering around the Ferry Building.

If you have access to a car, Muir Woods. You might also consider Berkeley, do you think you could convince her to take the Scharffenberger tour (in Emeryville? ;-`) I don’t remember if that’s BART-able.

I don’t know how unadventurous she is, but I’d strongly recommend at least one burrito in the Mission while she’s here. Burritophile can hook you up with more suggestions than I can off the top of my head.

Ok, I’m sure I’ll think of 10 other things as soon as I answer this, but I’ve babbled more than enough.

EDIT: Can’t leave well enough alone. One thing you might consider is one dinner at a fancy, quintessentially California restaurant: Chez Panisse, Millennium, Greens, The Slanted Door (though this one might be too “weird”). You’ll get excellent food that may push some of her boundaries, but surprise her: we took my “what are the carnivores going to eat?” father to Millennium once, and he still raves about it.

quepol's avatar

+1 to the Japanese Tea Garden in GGP. It’s beautiful and you can sit and have a cup of tea and some snacks if you’ve been on your feet for a while. As @eriktheplaid said, while you’re in GGP you could try to hit the De Young, the Arboretum, the Conservatory of Flowers, then you could walk over to 9th & Irving and get some food.

If you have a car, Zip Car, or if you’re willing to rent one for a day, my mom really enjoyed going to Stinson Beach and Muir Woods. The “hike” through Muir woods is very family-oriented and can be done as a stroll and not a hike.

Other restaurants that have been popular with family: Delfina, Little Star Pizza, Fresca, Velvet Cantina. Also, this may not apply to everyone, but my family is originally from the Midwest, and as such we ate at a lot of food courts when I was a kid. The food court at the Westfield on Market Street has lots of pretty good food for a low-key evening.

unacornea's avatar

my mom just visited for the weekend and this is what we did. i don’t know if your mom would be interested in any of this but i’ll just list it all because you never know what ideas it may give you…
– picked her up at the airport and got her checked in to her hostel (at larkin and ellis), walked down the street for cheap vietnamese tofu sandwiches (they have meat ones too) at ‘wrap express’ on larkin just south of turk (in the tenderloin, where i live) – sandwiches are under $3! yum!
-walked around the neighborhood on the way to my apartment, pointing things out so she has a feel for where i live and what i do… on the way home we stopped at a gallery where they have a garden in the alley, and once a month there’s a free mending service for anyone who needs it… (it’s called the luggage store annex, on ellis between leavenworth and hyde, the sewing clinic is the 15th of every month)
-went to see a documentary about james baldwin at the new valencia center on larkin. it was packed, and we had to sit all the way at the back, but the movie was great.
-went to the octavia lounge on market and octavia for dinner. this is a piano bar, and every friday they have an open mike that is vastly entertaining, espcially if you’re into musical theater. these people are serious! the food is kinda pricey but tastes good
-on saturday we had a friend over for brunch (crepes! delicious) and then did a driving tour of the city. first we went to the mission around valencia and 19th, we went to the pirate store where dave eggars started that whole writing workshop for kids (826 valencia) , ‘little otsu’ where they sell cute little notepads, journals, and other printed items. we also spent some time in ‘modern times’ bookstore. there tons of cute little shops right in this area, and great burritos
-drove through the mission and the castro, and then up and over to the haight. went to a coffee shop and some hipster stores along haight.
-before the sun set we drove up to inspiration point in the presidio. if you enter through the arguello gate it’s basically the first turnout on the right and it overlooks the water and the oldgrowth eucalyptus forest.
-went to japantown for dinner – can’t remember the name, a little noodlehouse inside a shopping center on post between webster and fillmore. got our pictures taken in the little photobooth while we waited for a seat – it’s a cool one, you can draw on your pictures and add your own decorations, but the instructions are in japanese so we messed up the first set
– went for brunch at boogaloos, on valencia around 22nd. they have such great food! there’s always a line but it’s worth it: my favorite includes eggs, black beans, a plaintain cake, and corn tortillas. they have omelettes and other stuff like that too.
-ate dinner at ‘pagolac’ on larkin at ellis. i’ve been there a few times during the day and it was empty, but at 8 pm when we got there it was packed, and we had to wait outside for a half hour to get a seat. this is reputedly the best vietnamese restaurant in san francisco. it’s good. and not too expensive.

thanks for reading. hope it wasn’t too boring. we had fun. hope you have a good visit with your mom.

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