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Help With First Trip To SF

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Help With First Trip To SF

My wife and I will be flying into SF Oct 4th for 7 nights. We arrive early Sat and thought about staying at Columbus Motor Inn. We will see some sights on Sat,and visit a family student at Cal U Berkely on Sunday. We would then see more sights for a day or 2 and then rent a car for a few days for some road trips North and South. My questions are mainly is it easy to rent a car in the city, and take public transport from the airport and back, or does it make more sense to rent a car at the airport for the entire stay even though we will not use it most days. Or should we only stay in SF for a few nights and then stay elsewhere? Thanks to all for help as we await our first trip to California

Bloomington, Indiana
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1. Re: Help With First Trip To SF

General forum advice is that if you can avoid it, *don't* have a car while in the SF. Now, you happen to have a hotel that offers free parking, so you avoid that cost, but you'll still have the car rental fees, parking costs if you drive anywhere, traffic headaches, lose time finding parking spaces, etc. There's only a few things that most tourists are interested in doing where having car is helps more than it hinders.

All the major car companies have rental locations in Union Square and/or Fisherman's Wharf. Generally we hear that rates are lower for city rental than SFO rentals and that there is (usually) no drop fee for picking up in the city & dropping at SFO (and for what it's worth, vice-versa).

That's my $.02 on that,


Edited: 03 March 2014, 17:12
Phoenix, Arizona
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2. Re: Help With First Trip To SF

I agree with Huntlawoffices (no affiliation). We rent only when we travel outside the immediate SF area, and either walk, cab or use public transportation in the city. We most often rent from Hertz, and there are several locations, in the "downtown," so we just pickup/drop off at a location near to us. Fewer car models to choose from usually, but that is not an issue, as we're looking for transportation, and not a flashy convertible for several days up/down the coast.

As for transportation to/from SFO, the BART has many good scheduled runs, with stations sprinkled around SF. Most are also close to other public transportation, so you should be fine. Schedules and maps abound on line.

We have taken to using a towncar service, but that is because we are often flying out to other cities on business, so have more luggage. Also, we are usually on a short timeline, having meetings in SF, shortly after our arrival. While not the cheapest way to do it, it makes our lives easier, and that service has never let us down. In the end, it has proved to be a value, at least to us.

Travel safely, and enjoy SF plus some of the rest of California.


3. Re: Help With First Trip To SF

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