Thursday, January 18, 2007

Where to Stay in San Francisco: Part VII - Lombard Street

As you enter San Francisco from the Golden Gate Bridge, you may find yourself on Lombard Street heading towards downtown. Yes, it's the same street that is called "The Crookedest Street in the World," but here it is a six-lane boulevard. As you drive east on Lombard, you will see a hill directly in front of you. That is Russian Hill and the crooked block of Lombard descends from the summit on the other side.

This busy section of Lombard divides Cow Hollow from the Marina District. Cow Hollow is just south of Lombard Street and got its name from the cows that grazed here many moons ago. Today Cow Hollow is home to restaurants, bars, and upscale boutiques on Union Street. Just north of Lombard is the Marina District. This area was built on landfill and homes fell in the Marina during the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake. Today Chestnut Street, which is one block north of Lombard, has great restaurants, bars, and shops. Both the Marina District and Cow Hollow are fun to stroll through.

All of this makes Lombard Street a good part of town to stay in; although you are pretty much limited to motels along Lombard and adjacent streets. This is great if you have a car and don't want to pay the $40/night many of the downtown hotels charge for parking. The motels range from strictly budget places to some pretty nice ones, such as Hotel Del Sol.

If you prefer bed and breakfasts, there is at least one in the area -- Union Street Inn -- a quaint B & B in the heart of the Union Street shopping district.

While Lombard Street's motel row does not have the most upscale or charming accommodation in the city, the nearby neighborhoods are fun and parking is cheaper and easier than downtown.

If you are planning a visit to San Francisco and would like some help with lodging, restaurants, and activities, Blue Heron offers custom designed vacations. For more information, call me at (866) 326-4237 (toll free) or e-mail me by clicking here.

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