ARRIVING IN SAN FRANCISCO
You can fly into either San Francisco (SFO) or Oakland (OAK) airport. Getting to the hotel is more convenient from SFO, but you may find flights cheaper into OAK, on low-fare carriers such as Southwest and JetBlue. [San Jose (SJC) airport is a considerable 45 miles south of San Francisco.]
- Door-to-door van service is about $17/person to the hotel. Pick up the van from the traffic island on the upper level (baggage claim is on the lower level).
- BART is cheaper but less convenient. $9 to the Civic Center station in San Francisco, and then a $5 taxi ride or $2 bus ride (about 1 mile) to the hotel. The airport BART station is located in the International Terminal (a lengthy walk, or take the free Air Train).
- Taxi. This will run about $50.
- Door-to-door van service is much more limited, and most companies (e.g. Supershuttle) require advance reservations. Van service runs about $40 for one person and about $10 for additional persons.
- BART involves many transfers, but it's cheap. You must first take a shuttle bus to the nearest BART station: go to the second curb outside your terminal, look for the AirBART stop, and buy your $3 bus ticket before boarding. Then it's $4 to the Civic Center station in San Francisco, and then a $5 taxi ride (about 1 mile) to the hotel.
- Taxi. This will cost about $70.
GETTING AROUND IN SAN FRANCISCO
San Francisco has an extensive public transit system, called MUNI, which includes buses, a limited subway (MUNI Metro), trolleys, and cable cars. For $2.25 you can get just about anywhere conveniently and quickly, and 3- and 7-day visitor passes are also available. MUNI operates within San Francisco, while BART is a regional transit railway system that takes you to destinations outside of San Francisco. The host hotel is centrally located on Van Ness Avenue at California, and from there it is very easy to get to many destinations in San Francisco, including the Castro, Chinatown, Downtown, Union Square and the Fisherman’s Wharf area. The start of the California Street Cable Car line is right next to the hotel.
Driving in San Francisco can be difficult, and parking is always a challenge as it is limited everywhere in the city. Street parking is at a premium and for very limited hours, and meters now operate seven days a week. Parking at the hotel will run you an extra $30 a day if you're a registered guest. (For non-hotel guests we'll have a $15 rate for up to 5 hours, with no in and out privileges.) If you don’t absolutely need a car, consider using public transit, or you can always climb into a taxi. San Francisco is a very compact city, and a taxi to many destinations will often cost less than $10-$15.
Our host hotel, the Golden Gateway Holiday Inn is nicely situated in a central location in San Francisco. It is the site of most Stompede activities, including the Friday night Welcome Dance, and the dance workshops and social events. It's only two blocks from the Regency Center, the site of the Saturday night Hoedown. And we'll be providing transportation right from the hotel to Sundance Saloon on Thursday and Sunday nights.
You're going to enjoy the comfortable remodeled rooms with outstanding views, from the Golden Gate to downtown and beyond. There's a casual restaurant and bar on the premises, and many restaurants nearby. The cable car stops right next to the hotel. And at $199 per night, this is an excellent value for San Francisco in October.
San Francisco is a bustling, kooky, warm, friendly, vibrant, outrageous, and sometimes abrasive but always charming city. It’s a city of genuine tolerance, where being gay is just a part of the fabric of life. There is plenty to do and see in San Francisco, from the standard tourist attractions like Chinatown, Fisherman’s Wharf, the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz, to wonderful neighborhoods to explore, including the Castro, the gay heart of the City. Especially if you’ve never been here before, plan on spending some extra days to take in the sights, dine in our fabulous restaurants, and soak in the progressive laissez-faire atmosphere of the city.
San Francisco has a year-round temperate climate … usually cool but never cold, sometimes warm but rarely hot. Even in July it rarely gets much above 70° F and in January it doesn’t get much below 50° F. In mid-October you can expect daytime highs to reach about 70° F, with nighttime lows around 55° F. The days are likely to be sunny, as October is one of our warmer months of the year, but you might see a preview of our winter rainy season.