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San Francisco For the Weekend -(Transportation Questions)

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1. Posted by davidb (Budding Member, 23 posts) 8 Jan '09 14:08

davidb has indicated that this thread is about USA

Hello all,

I know it's short notice, but this weekend(1/09/09-1/11/09) is me and my girlfriend's anniversary. I would love to take her to SF for the weekend. We live near Sacramento, CA and have been to SF before, but never for a weekend.

My main questions are about transportation. We've done day trips and I know it costs a lot to park. I am looking into other options such as BART or a ferry. I'll just list a few questions to make it easier:

-If we parked our car in Richmond and rode BART into the city, how easy is public transportation in the city(day/night)?
-How late does public transportation run? (Maybe not that important as there are plenty of taxis)

We won't have a schedule of things we're doing, but I'm pretty sure we will try to go out dancing one night, and want to make it to the pier and wharf for sure. Any info on how easy/difficult this will be without a car would be great.

p.s. I know I'm such an American, lol, but I've never gone anywhere in the US without a car. And I don't really want to spend the weekend hiking up streets.

Thanks a bunch!

2. Posted by therook (Budding Member, 25 posts) 8 Jan '09 14:54

Hello, I live in Sacramento too. Parking in San Fran isn't TOO bad if you take that option. But be prepared to read all parking signs and try and park for free, get a hotel with a parking lot (best idea), or pay for two consecutive over nights in a public lot. I have done all three and they have worked with varying degrees of success (tickets start at $50 usually).

For me, driving in SF is annoying. I don't know which streets are one-way and how they interconnect very well, and many you can't turn left or right depending on the hours of the day, making driving time sometimes very long.

What you can do is take the Amtrak to Richmond and then take the BART into SF. I think Amtrak is $20 but it could have gone up. Public transportation within the city is very good. Usually the buses and trolleys run late, and the city is easy to navigate walking with a map. Definently if you go out partying or dancing late, take a cab back to the hotel. That will save you from being hassled by people late at night and/or having to leave early to catch a bus. Usually cabs run by the more popular bar/club/restaurant areas.

Have fun!

[ Edit: Edited on Jan 8, 2009, at 2:55 PM by therook ]

3. Posted by GregW (Travel Guru, 2634 posts) 8 Jan '09 15:14

Quoting davidb

-If we parked our car in Richmond and rode BART into the city, how easy is public transportation in the city(day/night)?
-How late does public transportation run? (Maybe not that important as there are plenty of taxis)

I have parked my car at a BART station and gone into the city for a weekend before without a problem.

Muni, the SF local transit system, has services 24 hours a day, though core services only run from 4 am until 1 am the next day. Check out transit.511.org for schedules et al. The F car runs along the wharves.

Late night cabs are a good option and not too expensive. If you are in the core, you should be able to find one without an issue. If you are kind of out of the way, have the bar call you one. I did end up walking 20 blocks one night (in the wrong direction) looking for a cab.

Getting around could be possible by foot as well, depending on where you are and what you want to see. While San Francisco is hilly, anything south of Market as well as the section along the wharves is pretty flat and walkable.

4. Posted by davidb (Budding Member, 23 posts) 8 Jan '09 15:16

Thanks therook!

Appreciate the info. I live in Roseville right next to the Roseville Amtrak station, not sure why I didn't think of that option, lol. I looked it up and there isn't a scheduled train from roseville, we'd have to drive into sac. Honestly, I'd rather drive to Richmond and bypass the train thing.

I guess I just need to know about weekend parking at the BART station.

Thanks again, very helpful.

5. Posted by davidb (Budding Member, 23 posts) 8 Jan '09 15:22

Thanks GregW,

That's great info. I usually have a good sense of direction, but I'll try not to make that 20 block mistake, lol. Thanks for that website too.

Well, it sounds like the plan is set, Drive to Richmond to park, Ride BART into the city, and wing it on buses and taxi cabs while there.

Thanks you guys!