We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Parking question north of the city.

Ventura, California
Level Contributor
86 posts
10 reviews
Save Topic
Parking question north of the city.

Hi. We are spending several days in Petaluma and wanted to make a day trip into the city. I was thinking about parking somewhere north of the Golden Gate Bridge and taking public transportation into the city (if possible). Is there any cost savings to doing this? Would it be worth the extra effort? Some of the timetables and days of operation are confusing to say the least. It would be midweek. Thanks in advance for any advice you may have.

Mentioned in this post
Petaluma
Petaluma
Sonoma County, CA
Golden Gate Bridge
Golden Gate Bridge
42,467 Reviews
San Francisco, CA
Santa Cruz...
Destination Expert
for Santa Cruz
Level Contributor
33,008 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Parking question north of the city.

You can find reasonable parking in the city for a day trip. There are several public garages near Union Square, and one on Fifth Street, and a couple on Sutter Street, and more, depending upon where you want to go. I would just park the car in the city and take public transportation from there. The ones we use the most are on O'Farrell and Mason (self park), O'Farrell and Taylor (valet) and 450 Sutter.

It would not be practical or cost effective to park outside of the city and take public transportation in, IMO.

You can google 'public parking in San Francisco and come up with a lot of hits.

You are aware about the cashless toll on the Golden Gate Bridge. $6, I think. You can pay ahead of time. Online? Not sure. Somebody who knows will help us.

Edited: 13 June 2014, 04:41
Mentioned in this post
Union Square
Union Square
1,859 Reviews
San Francisco, CA
Cafe Mason
Cafe Mason
1,080 Reviews
San Francisco, CA
Taylor Hotel
Taylor Hotel
111 Reviews
San Francisco, CA
San Francisco
San Francisco
California
Golden Gate Bridge
Golden Gate Bridge
42,467 Reviews
San Francisco, CA
San Francisco...
Destination Expert
for San Francisco
Level Contributor
56,217 posts
149 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Parking question north of the city.

sanfrancisco.bestparking.com can help you find a parking spot. The toll for non fastrak cars is 7 on the GG bridge

San Francisco...
Level Contributor
4,958 posts
23 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Parking question north of the city.

There are free Caltrans commuter parking lots at many U.S. 101 freeway interchanges where you can catch a Golden Gate Transit bus to San Francisco. The further south you go, the smaller the parking lot and the greater the chance that it will be full. There's a large one at the Smith Ranch Road exit. It's unlikely to fill up. And if it does fill up, you can park all day on the street in the nearby industrial park. But Golden Gate Transit does not have frequent service. Check their schedule to see how it will work for you.

I'd be tempted to drive into San Francisco. There are still some areas that don't have parking meters and aren't in residential parking permit areas. You could park in one of those areas and then take the bus downtown. See http://www.sfmta.com/

Mentioned in this post
Golden Gate Park
Golden Gate Park
8,487 Reviews
San Francisco, CA
San Francisco
San Francisco
California
Sacramento, CA
Destination Expert
for Sacramento
Level Contributor
4,306 posts
41 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Parking question north of the city.

Another option would be to take a ferry from Sausalito or Tiburon into the City.

Mentioned in this post
Sausalito
Sausalito
Marin County, CA
San Francisco
Level Contributor
36,629 posts
26 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Parking question north of the city.

Trying to find parking in Sausalito is difficult and expensive. Tiburon pretty much the same and the ferries to Tiburon aren't very frequent. There is also the Larkspur ferry but the lot there gets full with commuters.

The bus will cost $4.7-5.75 each depending where you start. The ferry will be ~$10 depending which you take.

Mentioned in this post
Sausalito
Sausalito
Marin County, CA
San Francisco...
Destination Expert
for San Francisco
Level Contributor
56,217 posts
149 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Parking question north of the city.

Are you staying in Petaluma due to family or to visit wine country It is the same as staying in Ventura and using that as a base to see La

Stay in SF to see SF

Mentioned in this post
Petaluma
Petaluma
Sonoma County, CA
Ventura
Ventura
California
7. Re: Parking question north of the city.

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 15 June 2015, 06:16