Places not to stay in Seattle and San Francisco

So, got some folks coming over this summer, doing a west coast thing. Going to be driving to Seattle, then down to San Francisco. Being a small town Utah boy without the big city wiles, I wonder what parts of these cities are unsafe, and should be avoided.

I figure we would probably be Ok during the day, but as I search online for not so expensive hotels, I wonder if some of these are in parts of town I’d rather not leave my car overnight? Naturally, I turn to you guys, as we seem to have people from everywhere on here.

Of course, if someone has recomendation for reasonably priced accomidations within driving range of these cities, that would be great to. I like quirky and local, but as the only English speaker in a party of 4, probably just safe and quiet is plenty.

In San Francisco, the Tenderloin is an area you’ll probably want to avoid at night. But in any area of the city, if you’re leaving your car out on the street you’ll want to avoid leaving anything valuable in it.

Try using AirBNB instead of looking for hotels, you’ll get more residential neighborhoods that tend to be far safer than the commercial districts hotels are located in. You can also google for “<city> crime map” to get a general sense of what neighborhoods to look out for.

In Seattle, anything north of downtown is pretty much safe. Capitol Hill, Belltown and University District have some crime but not enough to get worked up about, IMHO. Somewhere like Fremont/Wallingford/Greenlake would be a wonderful place to stay while also being conveniently accessible to everything.

In SF, the tenderloin is the one everyone tells you to watch out for but South SOMA can be equally sketchy. Try Hayes Valley/Haight/NoPA for some wonderful neighborhoods. Then again, having a car in SF means parking is going to be a bitch and the only place in the city I’ve seen where parking is ample is Potrero hill so that might be another option.

Again, it’s going to be tough finding hotels in these neighbourhoods but there will be plenty of AirBNBs.

Leave a car in SF overnight? Eesh… You can either stay at a nice hotel that will charge for parking, or take your chances with street parking.

Be absolutely sure to look up and down the block before you park anywhere in SF - there are a million overlapping restrictions (area residents with permit only, street sweeping, loading zones, driveways, etc.) that will result in you getting a ticket at best or towed, either of which will make saving that $20 parking fee at a hotel seem terribly cheap.

I suppose SOMA means SOuth of MArket. I walked along Market St. a couple of times the other week and some parts of that didn’t look particularly upper class so I think it was a good thing that we stayed with a friend in Marina Bay in Richmond instead of Travelodge at the corner of Market and Valencia that we had originally planned. The last night we stayed at Marriott on Fourth St. and I must say that the streets parallel to Market didn’t look altogether nice.

Thanks for the info. AirBNB looks interesting, but I’m not sure how comfortable I would be staying in a stranger’s house.

As for parking in San Francisco, I had thought of staying away from downtown, and taking BART in. San Francisco is supposed to have the best public transit on the west coast, but I’ve only ridden it once.

Been to both of these cities before, funny how being the “tour guide” this time makes me take this sort of thing more seriously. Suppose I’m also spooked from a bit of a rough time in Athens back in March.

You can also get entire apartments/houses on AirBNB which means you wouldn’t have to be sharing space with anyone. Read through the reviews and you get a pretty good sense of what you’re in for.

If you still want to do hotels, what’s your budget for hotels. A bit further out but still practical/affordable, try the Northgate/Shoreline area in Seattle and Daly City/Glen Park/Millbrae for SF. Both of these neighborhoods are dull but cheap and Northgate is a 20 minute drive from downtown and Daly City is a 20 minute BART ride. Both are safe.