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Apr 13, 2005 09:36 PM

Getting Around San Francisco

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After monitoring the San Francisco board for a few weeks I've come to the conclusion that I am going to have to rent a car to get to all the places recommended. I'm staying near Union Square and need the name of some local car rental agencies. I'd rather spend my money on food than on a Hertz or Avis car.

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  1. If the logistics work out you might consider an unlimited access mass transit pass for around ten bucks a day. You'll end up saving a bundle on parking, too.

    1. yeah, public transit should be fine. Remember, SF is only 7 miles by 7 miles square. You'll want to work in clusters: take one day to visit places in one part of the city, then another part of the city on the next day, etc. But a car is expensive and it is often much more of a hassle. Of course if you're planning on going outside the city, especially up to the wine country, a car makes sense. In that case it probably makes sense to only rent the car for the time you will be going outside of SF.

      What places do you have in mind? I may be able to provide more specific recommendations.

      Here's a very useful website to help you navigate public transit.

      Link: http://transit.511.org/

      1. I agree with the others, public transit is the way to save some dough and avoid parking hassles.

        There are a variety of pass options, depending how long you are going to be in town. If you are planning to hit some museums, the City Pass is a great deal, offering free admission to all the major museums, a Bay Cruise, and unlimited rides for seven days on all public transit vehicles including Cable Cars for $42.

        Muni fare information: http://www.sfmuni.com/cms/mms/fares/f...

        City Pass web site: http://citypass.com/city/sanfrancisco...

        Link: http://eatingchinese.org/

        1. I agree with everyone else. Especially on Sundays when parking is free but you can't find any spaces to park. I used to visit S.F. with a group of friends about once a month specifically to visit interesting neighborhoods to experience wonderful food. We exclusively relied on public transit. Not wanting DH to miss out on my adventures I decided to show DH Noe Valley on a weekend. We drove but could not find a parking spot to save our lives. Public transportation prevents a lot of headaches.

          1. If you rent a car for your form of transportation, you'll find yourself compromising your choices based on where you can find a place to park. And, that would be severely limiting for a visitor who doesn't know all the secret parking spots or best times to find a space. Has anyone mentioned that many parking garages charge $4 for each 20 minutes or that hotels charge $20 to $50/night to park your car?

            Or you could adopt parking as destiny for your food choices, one of our favorite local sports. Sometimes I'll find myself driving through a neighborhood known for interesting chow, spot a plum parking space, and will just pull in. Then I'll ask myself what's good to eat in a four-block walking radius. You see, I figure that the revelation of an open parking space in the City is a sign that I'm supposed to eat nearby. If I wanted to try one of those restaurants on another night, I'd never be able to park nearby, so it's best to seize the moment and not let the parking opportunity go to waste.

            But I don't think this is how you would want to spend your vacation.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Melanie Wong

              I like your sense of adventure! Here's a parking mantra/prayer ditty I use:

              "Parking Goddess full of grace, help us find a parking space."

              Repeat as necessary.

              1. re: Melanie Wong

                Good attitude!

                As one who lives outside of the City and has to find parking in Noe Valley every day, I know what you mean. I can't tell you how often people come into my shop and say, "I found parking right in front!". My response is usually, "You may as well have lunch and stay a while, 'cause you may not be back in the neighborhood any time soon."

                I can only imagine the kind of business I might be able to do if there were any parking.

                My advice: Take public transit! From anywhere downtown, the rest of the city can be accessed in less than forty-five minutes. That can certainly not be said for driving one's self around town, and you get to sightsee without fender benders.