For an unexpected, bucolic park hostel within walking and biking distance to frenetic downtown San Francisco, stop for a night at the Fisherman’s Wharf Hostel (Fort Mason Bldg. 240, 415/771-7277, www.sfhostels.com/fishermans-wharf, bed $26–30, private room $75–125). The hostel sits on Golden Gate National Recreation Area land, pleasantly far from the problems that plague other SF hostels. The best amenities (aside from the free linens, breakfast, and no curfews or chores) are the views of the Bay and Alcatraz, and the sweeping lawns and mature trees all around the hostel.
Few frills clutter the clean comfortable guest rooms at the Redwood Inn (1530 Lombard St., 800/221-6621, www.sfredwoodinn.com, $105–120). But if you need a reasonably priced motel room in ever-expensive San Francisco, this is a great place to grab one. From the location on Lombard, you can get to points of interest throughout the City.
© Liz Hamill Scott from Moon California, 2nd Edition