San Francisco

5:27 p.m. on January 3, 2014 (EST)
200 reviewer rep
4,139 forum posts

Curious, have any of you lived in San Francisco before or traveled there and stayed a while? I have wanted to see the west coast for years and maybe even live on it and thought S.F. might be a nice place, other than the hills to live. Cycling around there I hear is quite the challenge.

5:46 p.m. on January 3, 2014 (EST)
REVIEW CORPS
592 reviewer rep
1,514 forum posts

Bill Heiser, Bill Straka would be able to really help a lot here. I lived there for a year and visit always (family there). There are a lot of bikes, but it is a city. Weather would not be real conducive to bikes during rainy times. Costs to live are high, not sure what accommodations you would find suitable.  Maybe further North would be a better bet.

5:58 p.m. on January 3, 2014 (EST)
0 reviewer rep
167 forum posts

San Francisco has a strong bike culture---but GOG is right:  The weather is rainy ( usually!) in the winter, and cold in the summer.  East Bay, North Bay, and South Bay all offer better weather, and in most cases lower housing costs.

 

And East Bay is a lot close to the Sierra Nevada!

10:18 p.m. on January 3, 2014 (EST)
TOP 10 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
2,329 reviewer rep
5,288 forum posts

San Francisco itself is very hilly (and I mean really steep hills!). However, something to be aware of is that the rate of serious bicycle and pedestrian accidents is extremely high, with a very high death rate. Almost every night on the evening news, there is reported at least one pedestrian or bicycle fatality in the City. You would think that with the huge number of both pedestrians and bicyclists, drivers would be more aware.

Karen's comment about housing costs is right on (or maybe a bit understated). In my section of the Peninsula, housing costs (including rentals) jumped 40% (yes, FORTY percent) over the past year. Count on a small apartment in the City and anything close to one of the many universities and colleges running $2000/mo or higher. Things are better in the East Bay and in San Jose and points south. Public transportation throughout the SFBay Area is pretty good (when one or another system is not out on strike - looks like the BART unpleasantness is cooling down, finally!). Your couple thousand a year you have been living on will not go very far in the SFBay Area.

I would suggest you look at one of the smaller cities if you want to be on the coast. North coast is pretty reasonable and really beautiful with the many redwoods, especially since the lumbering industry is in the doldrums. The Central Valley is (relatively speaking) fairly cheap, and it is close to the Sierra. It does get hot in summer, very hot. Chico is a good bicycling area.

Yes, the SFBay Area is beautiful, and a wonderful place to live - IF you have the money or have a good, steady job. Keep in mind that rents are high in most of the cities around the Bay, and food costs (despite the fact that a huge part of the food, especially produce and fruit, for the US is grown in the Central Valley, Napa-Sonoma-Mendicino Counties (North Bay), Monterey Bay area (south, on the coast), and the Santa Clara Valley (south of the main Bay Area)) are also high. You use a bike, so gas costs (highest in the US, in part due to the special blends required by law here) are no worry for you. But do ride very aware - much of the SFBay Area is bike friendly. But some areas are not - like in the City itself, even though there are thousands of cyclists commuting every day (number I heard on the TV News a week or so ago was over 10,000 per day (about 3% of all commuters - Palo Alto where I live has over 10% bike commuters, with the Stanford campus at 40%)

Barb's and my housing cost is negligible because we bought here 30+ years ago and are protected by Prop 13 from most of the property tax increases. Houses in the Mid-Peninsula area are selling for 10-20 times what they were when we moved here, and rents are up by the same or more multiples. Bill Heiser, IIRC, shares a place with several other folks, which helps keep the cost down (lots of people in the Bay Area do the same).

11:11 a.m. on January 4, 2014 (EST)
200 reviewer rep
4,139 forum posts

Thanks for the info, maybe I will just cycle down the west coast from Seattle to San Diego someday

7:13 a.m. on January 5, 2014 (EST)
314 reviewer rep
1,124 forum posts

I live near Reedsport Oregon. Moved out here 5 1/2 years ago. Very cheap rentals. There are many small towns up and down the Oregon coast. Bikes riding the 101 all year long. Another plus is that the Coast is public. Free for all to camp and play. 

1:33 p.m. on January 5, 2014 (EST)
200 reviewer rep
4,139 forum posts

Thanks Mike, I have heard that the 101 has a separate bike paved section from the highway from northern Washington down to the California border then it is just the shoulder of the highway after that. Is this true?

This next big trip I am hiking the Arizona Trail north to south and then possible back again in October to May 2014-15.

How about backpacking down the coast is that possible on the actually coast line or maybe I could follow the 101?

3:21 a.m. on January 6, 2014 (EST)
0 reviewer rep
1 forum posts

Mr gary this chad whats up give me a call 8084948063

10:57 a.m. on January 6, 2014 (EST)
TOP 10 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
2,329 reviewer rep
5,288 forum posts

Gary, Lost Coast Trail in far northern California (almost at the Oregon Border) is a great hike. A lot of it is right on the beach. The link is a good starting point for info, with links in it to a lot of other information.

12:14 p.m. on January 6, 2014 (EST)
200 reviewer rep
4,139 forum posts

Thanks Bill S I have saved it in my favorites. I will look into that for 2015.

6:49 p.m. on January 7, 2014 (EST)
314 reviewer rep
1,124 forum posts

Yes Gary its the Oregon Coastal Trail. Mostly unmarked. There are places that you have to travel on 101, but go back to the coast as soon as you can. I do have a map of it somewhere.

4:47 a.m. on January 8, 2014 (EST)
102 reviewer rep
2,285 forum posts

Almost any location near the California coast will be relatively pricy.  Unless you plan to spend most of your time working, our coast is beyond the means of the average Joe.  San Francisco is one of the most expensive places to live in the US.  All that said there are definitely undocumented immigrants living between the cracks in SF.  They are getting by with meager budgets, but they often hold several jobs. 

If one looks at the big picture practically all of the population centers along the Ca coastline are more expensive than their inland alternatives:  Oakland cheaper than SF; San Bernardino Cheaper than Manhattan Beach, etc.  In the end this question is confounding because I am aware of your have modest needs, but the frugal means you have gotten by on in the past will be a challenge in these locations.  If you know someone has a couch or trailer out back you can "borrow" can make this work, but living on the cheap along the west coast is hard to do in the cities.

Ed

9:10 a.m. on January 8, 2014 (EST)
200 reviewer rep
4,139 forum posts

I guess if I were traveling down the coast I would be on one of my current 6-7 month vacations. I usually work May to September and take Oct-April off. But this won't be till in the fall,winter spring of 2015-16 maybe. This next fall-spring I am hiking the Arizona Trail down and back.

There are two online places for travelers like me Warmshowers.com and Couchsurfing.com   Warmshowers is for bicycle tourists and Couchsurfing is for anyone traveling. I hosted with Warmshowers last spring,summer and fall to about 2 dozen fellow bicycle tourists.

4:40 p.m. on January 8, 2014 (EST)
314 reviewer rep
1,124 forum posts
11:20 a.m. on January 12, 2014 (EST)
0 reviewer rep
40 forum posts

Without question one of the absolute greatest cities of the world. Locals ehre might be able to confirm but I think Redwood City, noted as the best climate/weather in the country, has low housing costs and public transportation into city isn't bad at all. East Palo Alto is rough too but correspondingly cheaper. 

3:56 p.m. on January 12, 2014 (EST)
200 reviewer rep
4,139 forum posts

I guess I am just looking to visit not rent long term. I may just wait till I come down the coast or go up it. 

September 2, 2014
Quick Reply

Please sign in to reply

 
More Topics
This forum: Older: The Arizona Trail Newer: long trail food & loding suggestions?
All forums: Older: Can FIRST ASCENT from Eddie Bauer worth the effort? Newer: the old down jacket - not so bad