In April 2001, we went to California. For the first few days we stayed at the Freemont Marriot for the wedding of our friends Dina and Kevin. Then we moved into the centre of San Francisco and did the Tourism thing.
We stayed in a little place called the Herbert Hotel on Powell Street. This area is near the furthest stop and terminus for one of the cable car runs. As night time approached and the hustle and bustle died down you could here the cars travelling up and down the Powell Street hill (mountain). Magical.
We didn't know the area before we arrived - all we had was the Herbert website and maps that we bought from WH Smith in Bradford. As it happened we were quite lucky. Sure, there were down-sides; the area wasn't given over totally to tourism so you saw a bit more of everyday SF life than you might like, but then we were staying in a big city. There was a huge shopping mall 5 minutes walk away - you have to cross a main road where the steam leaks lazily from the underground system. Again, new to me and only before seen in US TV shows!
As I said, we set out to do the Tourism thing. We went to Alcatraz (I didn't really fancy it but was told to). We did the tour of the Napa Valley (*hick*), Sausalito (monied doesn't even start to explain this place) and Muir Woods - all over the Golden Gate Bridge. I know this may sound cliché'd, but San Francisco is a great place. Pricey, but great.
We have photos. Boy, do we have photos. Luckily, I couldn't be bothered to scan them all in, so the pages linked to below contain a smattering. Still worth a look though. There are photos of a place called Muir Woods - somewhere you'll find the Giant Redwood tree
After San Franciso we flew (lurched) over to Fort Lauderdale, near Miami in Florida. But that's another page.