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San Francisco vs New York for 5 days

New Delhi, India
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San Francisco vs New York for 5 days

I know answers could be biased towards SF here so I’m posting it in both forums.

We are a group of 5-6 Indian guys who have 5-6 days to spend in either city. We’ll be there in the last week of June.

What makes SF a better choice? And what would an ideal itinerary look like?

12 replies to this topic
New Delhi, India
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1. Re: San Francisco vs New York for 5 days

Also, our budget is around 1600-2000 USD excluding flight tickets. And I’m 20, if that rules out any activity :/

Washington State
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for Yosemite National Park
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2. Re: San Francisco vs New York for 5 days

Hi again

What kinds of things do you like to do? Your ideal itinerary might not look anything like mine.

Did you get some ideas from the Trip Reports in the Top Questions?

Santa Clara...
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3. Re: San Francisco vs New York for 5 days

Only your group can decide. Both cities can be enjoyed without a car. SF is more compact than Manhattan and NYC's 5 boroughs. SF is very close to many nearby nature area. But with just 5 days, you only have time for one place outside SF - wine country or Monterey probably.

Weather will be different as well. Will be much warmer and humid on NY.

New Delhi, India
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4. Re: San Francisco vs New York for 5 days

Hello again.

Well I do like the hustle bustle of the city as well as some quiet time, so an evenly divided itinerary would be great. Plus any place like a National Park outside the city where we can go and return the same day.

City tours, visiting natural landmarks are on my list. Museums are lower in the preference order.

Is Airbnb a good option or is there a better alternative?

Edited: 28 December 2017, 07:21
Santa Monica, CA
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5. Re: San Francisco vs New York for 5 days

Both cities have very good things to do tabs, so be sure to scroll through to see what you'd like to do. I use it everywhere I go, it helps me determine number of days in a location.

National Parks are better near San Francisco (Yosemite is a gem), so are state parks (Henry Cowell in Santa Cruz is a fine example). And you can whale watch to see orcas, CA Grey, Humpback whales, sea otters, seals and sea lions and more.

Not to mention the west coast doesn't tend to be humid and hot; the humidity can be seasonal misery in NYC.

San Francisco, Ca
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6. Re: San Francisco vs New York for 5 days

Without knowing what you enjoy, there's no way to answer. New York has world-class everything and strikes most people as a big, bustling city. San Francisco has some world-class stuff (including food and access to nature) and many people feel it is more user-friendly than New York. Weather will be more moderate in SF (lower temperatures, less humidity). Your age will prevent your drinking legally in either city, if that would be an activity you're considering.

San Diego
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7. Re: San Francisco vs New York for 5 days

Hey. Lived in both cities in my twenties. In a nutshell,

NYC: urban hustle; historic landmarks; Broadway presence; Atlantic seaboard; Dustin Hoffman; quick-paced; Yankees baseball; and the following:

https://www.events12.com/newyork/june/

SF: urban mellow; natural landmarks; Pacific vibe; San Francisco Bay; Robin Williams; do your own thing; and the following:

sftravel.com/article/san-francisco-festivals…

San Francisco...
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8. Re: San Francisco vs New York for 5 days

It depends what you're looking for. New York (Manhattan) has more of a big city hustle. The culture scene in NYC is unparalleled by any other city in the US for things like plays and large world-famous museums. San Francisco and some other cities (Washington DC, Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, maybe Seattle) do ok, but really nothing fully competes with NYC in that department.

NYC weather is overall generally not as nice, but it might not be a big deal since you may be used to hot and humid already. On the other hand, SF might actually be much cooler than you're used to, especially near the water or if it's foggy or windy.

The options for natural beauty are better in San Francisco since you get views across the hills in the city and places such as Monterey are nearby for day or overnight trips. Though the New York skyline is its own kind of impressive.

NYC (Manhattan) just feels lively and bustling to a degree that SF doesn't match because it's more dense, more high rise, more of a "city that never sleeps" culture. SF has bustling areas and people are out late-ish around Union Square, maybe some parts of the Mission or other areas doing things like eating out, going to bars, clubbing, but a lot of things close down by 8 or 9 for shopping, 9 to 11 for eating out. This is a big contrast to some parts of NYC with crowds at most hours.

New Yorkers have their own no-nonsense, blunt, sometimes blustery attitude which I honestly sometimes enjoy once I understood it. San Franciscans have a more mellow, don't-make-conflict thing going on. The New Yorkers sometimes think the San Franciscans come off as passive-aggressive wimps; the San Franciscans sometimes think the New Yorkers are unnecessarily abrasive and rude. But really there is a lot more in common than with many more middle-American places.

Manhattan is about 23 square miles with 1.6 million people while San Francisco is 49 square miles with 860 thousand. Sure, you might go to other boroughs in NYC or other cities/counties in the bay area, but the difference in population densities give a very different quality to each place.

The public transit system in New York is better, though you can get most anywhere in San Francisco on public transit, but it might be slower since we really only have one subway path through the downtown area under market street that a number of vehicles use. For a visitor who is interested in seeing and experiencing neighborhoods and seeing sights along the way, the extra time getting around might not be much of a worry.

Honestly, either city will probably be a fun and interesting experience for you, but they have different histories and character. It's a bit like asking "are apples or oranges better?" It depends who you ask, what they're looking for and what they want from the experience. New York is the more world class city, but that doesn't necessarily mean you will enjoy it more.

California
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9. Re: San Francisco vs New York for 5 days

you will not be able to drink in bars since you are not 21. what you see and do depends on your interests. we have museums.art galleries,movies,theater,water and more.

San Francisco, Ca
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10. Re: San Francisco vs New York for 5 days

>>you will not be able to drink in bars since you are not 21.<<

Or buy alcohol at stores to drink in your hotel room.

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