Hey the first part of my scairy round the world trip will commense in San Fran and i will be there for 2 days and 2 nights on my lonesome i was just wondering if anyone could give me advise on things i really need to see before i go on my trails elsewhere -
im on a budget and only 18 as the drinking law is different in the usa im worried about what i could do at night - do jazz and blues clubs let you in even if your under 21 and plan not to drink ?
Any dodgy areas i best not visit?
Thanks alot if anybody could help me out as i am very very scaired as i arrive on may the 6th - not that long now!
Any help will be most appreciated!
do jazz and blues clubs let you in even if your under 21 and plan not to drink ?
I'm afraid I can't tell you where to go or what to see in San Francisco... But, I can tell you that the clubs will (probably) not let you in. With the crackdown on underage drinking, more and more establishments are checking IDs and will not let anyone under 21 enter. You may say you will not drink, but they have no reason to believe that to be true. Most places will require a passport as proof-of-age too. You might get lucky if the establishment is also a restaurant, as long as you order food. But, again, those type of places have the food service area separate from the bar area, and the bar area is usually where the bands play. Chances are, someone will be checking IDs if you choose to move over to the bar.
Theres Alcatraz, walk (or cycle) the Golden Gate Bridge, Golden Gate park, Chinatown, Lombard Street, Fishermans Wharf, Ghiradelli Chocolate Factory (delicious BTW) on top of Macys theres the cheesecake factory, make sure you try the Clam Chowder in a sour dough bowl - grab one at Fishermans wharf!
Cant help about the clubs though - unfortunately lm old enough not to get carded
the giant redwoods at Muir Woods national park (just outside SF) are not to be missed! Sausalito is just across the bay and a very beautiful town too and can be seen in just an hour or two if you are walking across the Golden Gate.
You probably won't get into the clubs though if you look underage, but finding free jazz and blues can be done through some of the local free papers when you get there.
There are all-ages clubs in SF and the greater Bay Area, it's just a bit of a search to find them. The San Francisco Chronicle's website, sfgate.com, is a good resource for live entertainment, as is San Francisco City Search:
If you like jazz, Yoshi's in the East Bay (across the Bay Bridge, in Oakland), and Pearl's, in San Francisco's North Beach area (also a must-see!) are institutions 'round these parts, and all ages are welcome at either.
For blues, check out Biscuits and Blues (all ages) and Slims (18 and over nights several times a month).
As for "dodgy areas," well. In general, I'd caution you to steel yourself for some serious homelessness (it's my experience that travelers are shocked at the numbers and the aggressiveness of the homeless in the City). And like most large metropolitan areas in the world, it can get a bit weird at night. Stay OUT of Hunter's Point/Bayview at all times. The Tenderloin can be colorful, but I'd also avoid it at night. Likewise with the Haight district.
If you're staying in a hostel while you're here, ask the staff for help navigating the City safely - tell them where you plan to go and they'll help you find a good way to do it. If you go out clubbing by yourself, might be best to take a cab there and back.
(Bear in mind, I have an 18 year old, and that's the advice I'd more or less gently *insist* she follow, so...caveat emptor. Attack Of The 12 Foot Anxious Mums, and so forth. )
All fretting aside, you'll have fun, really. Oh, and try to see the WPA-era murals in Coit Tower, they're awesome.
hey thanks everyone one i cant belive i actually fly over this saturday as ive never been to america before! its good tho as i have booked my hostel now in the center - on ellis street hostelling international so eveyrthign pretty much sorted just hope il find some like - minded travellers as i dont want to be on my one at night
cheers me dears!