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San Francisco in one Day leaving car behind

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Sacramento...
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San Francisco in one Day leaving car behind

Friends coming in from faraway and want the tourist experience in SF. Plan in leaving car at BART in SF or in Richmond. I thought this would be easy, as I work at the airport and live 2 hours away) but what a challenge as I'm not used to planning public transportation. Need any tips you can offer for a 1-day trip--don't know what's most efficient:

Want to see/do:

1. Golden Gate bridge for city view photo ops

2. Fisherman's Wharf for seals, etc

3. Bay cruise past Alcatraz (for look-see but no time for visit)

4. Cable car in there somewhere, maybe down windy street

5. Possible add-ons--Union/Ghiardelli Sqs, North Beach, restaurant recs for lunch and dinner

**All of us in good shape, two are teens, and no elderly or little kids**

Thank you!!

San Francisco...
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1. Re: San Francisco in one Day leaving car behind

Fisherman's Wharf and Ghirardelli and North Beach are all at the same end of the city and you need not spend more than a couple of hours at Ghirardelli and Fisherman's Wharf. The better things are GG Bridge and a bay cruise. You can hop the Powell & Hyde cable car and check out the Lombard street -- crooked street -- sometimes a lot easier to pick up at Fisherman's Wharf than at the foot of Powell. Get a visitor's passport to have unlimited rides: www.sfmta.com/cms/mfares/passports.htm , maps: http://www.sfmta.com/cms/mmaps/official.htm

you can use transit.google.com to plan point to point using landmarks or cross streets

A few restaurant recs for budget dining and good portions:

Capp's Corner for fixed price options: on Powell & Green www.cappscorner.com

in nice weather, patio dining at Bocce on Green & Grant www.boccecafe.com

Cafe Zoetrope (Coppola's restaurant) has good options for tasting his wines www.cafecoppola.com (pick three wines to taste from a special list for $16 -- last time I did this it seemed to amount to about 2 large glasses if you were to measure all together and they talk with you about the wines and ask your opinion, but it is very casual).

Bloomington, Indiana
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2. Re: San Francisco in one Day leaving car behind

Just a couple of comments:

1) Check out getting a MUNI one day passport for your public transit ($11?). It's not a fantastic bargain, the main savings will result from Cable Car ride(s). At $5/person and no transfers you only have to ride the Cable Cars somewhere and back (or have a single transfer) and you've almost broke even.

2) Since time is perhaps an issue, you might want to avoid the (very often) long lines found on two of the three cable car lines. While it probably won't work out as well in terms of taking you from point A to point B (i.e. somewhere you want to go on your trip), the California Line has SIGNIFICANTLY short (generally non-existent) lines. This is my standard recommendation to people who just want to be able to experience a Cable Car ride (without experiencing the Cable Car lines).

3) One way to incorporate the California line into your itinerary is to get off BART at the Embarcadero Station, go up stairs to Market Street and catch the California Line at the Market Street turnaround (next to the Hyatt). Ride this west/up the hill and then either get off in Chinatown (if you want to check it out, perhaps wandering into North Beach) or continue on and transfer to the Powell/Hyde or Powell/Mason lines - usually the wait at the transfer point lines is much less than at either end of the the lines. This would then take you on to the Fisherman's Wharf, Pier 39 area, either to do immediate wandering and/or catch Bay Cruise.

Anyway, that's a couple of thoughts,

HLO

Sacramento...
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3. Re: San Francisco in one Day leaving car behind

wow. EXCELLENT feedback--thank you. Good idea on the muni passes, too.

Thinking park car at Golden Gate bridge lot and keep it there all day-- use muni to Pier 39 and the bay cruise. Then lunch, the squares, and go back after dinner. As for cable car...haven't been able to figure out via the maps how to segue onto one that takes us to lombard that also blends into my grand plan. any tips appreciated!

Mill Valley/Marin...
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4. Re: San Francisco in one Day leaving car behind

To fit into your last plan - I might suggest the following:

1) Golden Gate Bridge - then drive car into SF and park in Pier 39 parking garage. This will save you a lot of time, since you have the luxury of a car - you won't have to wait for a bus.

2) Bay Cruise

3) Fisherman's Wharf

4) Cable Car - walk to the Cable Car stand at the end of Fisherman's Wharf and take the Cable Car to Union Square. One stop on the line is Lombard Street - get off and check it out.

Get back on and take the line to Union Square

5) Explore Union Square

6) Dinner in Union Square area, or Ferry Building or North Beach or wherever - then take F line (historical streetcar) back to parking garage at Pier 39.

AnnMV

Sacramento...
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5. Re: San Francisco in one Day leaving car behind

SO glad I saw your post before flying back home! Perfecto. It makes sense to park at bridge then drive to the pier and travel from there. Thank you!

San Francisco...
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6. Re: San Francisco in one Day leaving car behind

the reason I suggest a visitor pass is that there are no transfers to use on cable car unlike regular buses and underground or F trolley. It's $5 each person for each cable car ride so if you get out and get back on you're paying $10 right there per person; MUNI is $2/ride and the transfer won't work on a cable car, but you can use the transfer for 90 min. Not knowing how many times you'd have to get on a cable car for what you prefer to do, I thought the one day visitor pass would help so you can not fumble for cash for everyone.

San Francisco...
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7. Re: San Francisco in one Day leaving car behind

"As for cable car...haven't been able to figure out via the maps how to segue onto one that takes us to lombard"

you can use transit.google.com

enter Lombard St. and Hyde St., San Francisco as destination from wherever you are leaving.

from your cell phone you can also phone 511 (while in SF) and ask for MUNI assistance

Sacramento...
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8. Re: San Francisco in one Day leaving car behind

Is the Muni pass different from a visitor pass? I just bought the Muni passes here at SFO for the reason mentioned here. Assuming they are the same.

Great suggestion on the google coordinates to plug in. (511.org is a great site btw) I can make use of my blackberry tomorrow getting around.

Thanks to all!!!

Sacramento...
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9. Re: San Francisco in one Day leaving car behind

Just wanted to say this plan worked out great. Our first attempt to go into the city was aborted due to swine flu, but we went this past weekend and only had a single afternoon to give an out-of-town guest a whirl-wind tour. Went to Pacifica and had lunch at Nicks then drove north to Golden Gate bridge and over, taking the exit right to view the overlook with great photo op of city. Then drove to Pier 39, passing many typical Sf streets and sights (Lombard) and parked, decided against bay cruise but saw sea lions and ended up eating clam chowder in fresh sourdough bread bowls from Chowders outside with a view of Alcatraz then home via Bay Bridge. Wonderful! thanks for everyone's help here.

10. Re: San Francisco in one Day leaving car behind

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