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Itinerary/suggestions for 1/2 day in San Fran before Napa

Taunton...
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Itinerary/suggestions for 1/2 day in San Fran before Napa

Arriving 9:30am at SFO, and was looking to see a little of San Fran before heading to Napa, Still doing some research now but would love to maybe take a ride on cable cars, grab light lunch somewhere reasonable with views of the bridge if possible...not sure what else feasible we could take in before heading out to Napa before traffic picks up...

Any sugestions/recommendations are appreciated!

San Francisco
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1. Re: Itinerary/suggestions for 1/2 day in San Fran before Napa

In summer, traffic starts to "pick up" by 3PM ... earlier on Thursday and Friday.

If you are landing at 9:30 and have luggage and a car to pick up you won't be leaving the airport until 10:30-11:00.

To be honest, I would just head on up to Napa as trying to park in a big city you are not familiar with and only to have an hour or so will be stressful. And not worth the outcome.

Save San Francisco when you have a proper amount of time to spend.

San Francisco, Ca
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2. Re: Itinerary/suggestions for 1/2 day in San Fran before Napa

You could go down the crooked part of Lombard, then drive along Marina Boulevard for views of the Golden Gate Bridge, then cross the bridge and get off at the first exit and have lunch at Murray Circle (at least you'll be past any bridge backup). But get back on the road by 2-3 pm to avoid traffic.

Taunton...
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3. Re: Itinerary/suggestions for 1/2 day in San Fran before Napa

Great thanks for the replies, I'd really like to see what we can at minimum... as far as crooked part of Lombard-- do you mean drive down vs taking a cable car? Is there a place we could park, do a loop on a cable car and return back where started then head off to lunch?

Ideally ifor SF exploring takes longer thats fine.... we are going the friday before memorial day, so I presume we'll hit traffic regardless, just figured we'd try to get over bridge sooner then later, if its later and we hit traffic thats fine too...

San Francisco
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4. Re: Itinerary/suggestions for 1/2 day in San Fran before Napa

OMG ... this is the Friday before Memorial Day?? Getta outta town ASAP. I mean try to be crossing the bridge by noon. Seriously. You don't want to be in stop and go traffic all the way to Napa. And that's what it will be like.

You can arrange your trip to the bridge to take in Marina Blvd (rather than Lombard St) as SFSusan suggested but I would NOT recommend making any stops in the city unless you like sitting in traffic for two plus hours.

Santa Cruz...
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5. Re: Itinerary/suggestions for 1/2 day in San Fran before Napa

I agree with Sal. If you only have that much time, skip San Francisco this time (and that is painful for me to say.)

Taunton...
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6. Re: Itinerary/suggestions for 1/2 day in San Fran before Napa

Based on your feedback we've decided to visit on the tuesday we leave, after the memorial day weekend, we'll have from 9-12 to spend in town before heading to the airport for 3:00 flight. Is there a certain place we could go and park to see some of the city by a trolley?

San Francisco...
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7. Re: Itinerary/suggestions for 1/2 day in San Fran before Napa

you are coming all the way from NJ and just have 3 hours for SF ? I am not suggesting reducing Napa but Just wondering. In any case no trolleys in SF so you may get a confused look as there are streetcars and cablecars so you can park in the 5th and Mission garage and walk to the start of the cable cars at Powell and Market and do a round trip on a cable car or come back using the F market. There is a Top question on a layover in SF that may interest you.

Cable car lines can be an hour long hence the suggestion to take the F streetcar on the way back.

Edited: 20 May 2013, 02:10
San Francisco...
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8. Re: Itinerary/suggestions for 1/2 day in San Fran before Napa

MA not NJ but that is a moot point If you can get your car and get out of the airport quickly, just drive through SF as mentioned before but there is no time to park as traffic does get back on that weekend.

San Francisco, Ca
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9. Re: Itinerary/suggestions for 1/2 day in San Fran before Napa

On your way back, park near Fisherman's Wharf, then take the Mason Street cable car through Chinatown to Union Square. When you come back, take the Hyde cable car and get off at Lombard Street, walk down the crooked part, then walk back to your car. But do be prepared for loooong cable car lines... an hour or more is possible. You can try to do better by waiting at the first stop after the turnaround (Columbus and Lombard at the start of your trip; Powell and O'Farrell on the way back to the Wharf).

Taunton...
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10. Re: Itinerary/suggestions for 1/2 day in San Fran before Napa

We just wanted to see some of San Fran vs not seeing any....figured 3-4 hours would be better then nothing.. Aside from "street cars" is there anything else which would give us a feel for the City during this limited time... There has to be something I can do in 3-4 hours that makes sense for us.

Thanks SF Susan, I'll look into that. Do you mean an hour wait just to get on one?