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San Fran airport to East Bay at night? Car rental and other SF questions

San Fran airport to East Bay at night? Car rental and other SF questions

Old Jun 10th, 2017, 06:39 AM
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San Fran airport to East Bay at night? Car rental and other SF questions

I have been wanting to take my kids to San Fran/the East Bay for a long time and last night found a great fare into SF. I am an odd duck in that I prefer to stay in the East Bay. I booked a SF hotel, but can cancel. Its been 15 years since I've been there, so how would I get from SFO to the East Bay at night with a teen and a tween (read they'll be cranky). When I google, uber come up. We don't have uber where I live, so I'm ignorant. Would they be at the airport? Other ideas?

Any recommendations on how to rent a car? It could be just 2-3 days or the whole trip if I stay in the East Bay.

I am thinking we will
-do Fisherman's Wharf
-the crooked street and all of that
-the Exploratorium (are they too old at 11 and 14)?
-exlore parts of Berkeley (I used to live there, so I;m excited about that part)
-day trip to Moneterey
Any other suggestions? We only about have 4 full days with the 2 travel days having us arrive at night and leave relatively early.

-We won't be doing Alcatraz. Its just never been my thing and I know its difficult to get tickets.

Thank you!
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Old Jun 10th, 2017, 07:53 AM
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If you stay in East Bay then yes, rent a car for the entire trip so that you can get back and forth to Monterey.

If you stay in SF, Avis, Hertz and Alamo all have locations near Union Square/ Fisherman's Wharf. Your hotel may have $$$ parking charges however, and the rental offices close up by 5 or 6pm so you'd have to leave Monterey very early or park the car overnight for return next day. You could also book it for pickup downtown, but return to the airport.
Probably best to do Monterey on your last day, then return late that night to a hotel near the airport for your early morning flight. But you really don't have time to include Monterey and also do justice to SF and Berkeley.
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Old Jun 10th, 2017, 11:10 AM
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The 'East Bay' covers two large counties -- where exactly are you planning on staying -- that will partly determine if you need a car and how to get there from SFO.
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Old Jun 10th, 2017, 01:01 PM
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Thanks for the replies!

We will be there during 7/4, so I am thinking I would have to do things like rent a car in advance?

I already to have a hotel booked in SF--Holiday Inn Golden Gate. I would be happy to cancel for a hotel in Oakland or Berkeley both to save money and because I just feel more comfortable there. What are the easy reasonable transportation options from SFO to Berkeley/Oakland at night?

Yes, I guess it wouldn't be terrible if we don't do Monterey, but the kids would love the aquarium...I was thinking 2 days SF, one for Berkeley, and one for Monterey?
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Old Jun 10th, 2017, 01:32 PM
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You may be the first person to ever post 'I feel more comfortable . . . in Oakland'. You have to be very (VERY) careful where you book in Oakland. You might want to check out the chain hotels in Emeryville.

Assuming you mean the Holiday Inn Golden Gateway . . . I personally wouldn't stay there. It is on Van Ness which s basically hwy 101. There are much better areas to stay in SF.

>>Yes, I guess it wouldn't be terrible if we don't do Monterey,
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Old Jun 10th, 2017, 01:46 PM
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It's been 15 years since you were in East Bay - don't know what it was like then, but I would rethink staying there. You seem to want to do a lot of things in SF proper. Why schlep back and forth into the city with potential cranky kids??

Stay somewhere else, in SF and rent a car for a day if you want to explore.

Try The Mosser hotel, clean and often reasonably priced. Not sure if you are 3 or 4 people. TheMosser.com
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Old Jun 10th, 2017, 02:09 PM
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On the car thing, yes, make a reservation in advance if renting a car. Car rental companies are likely to be sold out on a holday weekend. Walk ups may not even be accepted.
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Old Jun 10th, 2017, 04:02 PM
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Yes, sorry, you can do Monterey, I read your post incorrectly and thought you only had 4 days including late arrival day and early departure day.

If you do want a car, Columbus Motor Inn has a room with a king and a queen available at $250, includes parking, not sure how that compares to your holiday inn rate.

Doubletree Berkeley is an older place but with a nice location at the Marina. Approx $160 per night plus $20 parking. They do have a shuttle to downtown Berkeley and the Bart so you wouldn't necessarily need a car. Rooms have double beds not queens, they do have rollaways if you want one.

Uber is easy, it's an app on your phone, and you can usually find a coupon for $15 or $20 off the first time that you use it. A car rental may be on the high side that week due to the holiday, and you'd need to book something asap. High side means $350-$400 for the 6 days.

For a one day rental pickup Berkeley in the morning and return the following morning, is about $50 from the nearby Avis or Hertz office. They may be closed on July 4 and that's probably not your best day for traveling to Monterey anyhow.

Sounds like maybe you haven't rented a car previously? Check with your auto insurance agent at home, you are probably covered when renting a car and won't need to purchase the insurance that the desk agent will try to push on you. You do need to fill the car with gas before returning it. If you travel to Monterey on your last full day, you could pick up the car in the morning but reserve it with return to SFO airport, so that will cover your transport back to the airport that final morning.
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Old Jun 10th, 2017, 04:13 PM
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I live in the East Bay and find it a great place to hang out. However, your itinerary makes that impractical. I'd stay in SF.

And the Exploratorium is an all-ages museum, so you should enjoy it as much as your kids.
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Old Jun 11th, 2017, 07:37 AM
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Thanks for the replies! They are so helpful,although of course lead to more decisons!

The Holiday Inn Golden Gateway was way cheaper than the other hotels suggested (if they are still available at this point). its $200 WITH the taxes, etc, night, while anything else is upwards of that without taxes.

I do really want to do one Berkeley day and one Monterey day. I need to see Berkeley again. I tend to think I can make 2 SF days work,and can cut something out from my list if need be.

So, I will go looked at the Berkeley Doubletree. I had looked before, but not since this posted. Any other Berkeley or Oakland hotel suggestions (I know some parts of Oakland are a no go, but I also know some parts are wonderful)? I guess they['d either need to be near a BART of have a shuttle. I'll also take other SF suggestions if you know of anything that is reasonable price (below $200) and available (although I can check the availability myself). My guess is that there is nothing. We also need at least 2 double beds. One bed or two twin won't work

Thank you!
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Old Jun 11th, 2017, 07:52 AM
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Well to add to my last post, I know have reservations at the Holiday Inn GG and DoubleTree by Hilton Berkeley Marina. Believe it or not, the DoubleTree is actually the one that is somewhat more expensive, but not by too much. I'm guessing most of you will say you don't think either of these is my best option? I didn't ignore the others posted, but they were too expensive or not available. Still open to other options.

So, which of these would be better given what we want to do? I'm wondering since its an easy trip to the BART from the Doubletree if that would make sense even though we would be doing it 2 days? I'm not really biased towards doing that though.
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Old Jun 11th, 2017, 07:58 AM
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You do realize the HI Golden Gateway charges $40 a day for parking? It is not near a BART station so unless you have a car, getting to Berkeley would be a schlepp. Why not up your budget a tad and find a place more convenient for crossing the Bay and not have to rent a car except for maybe a day trip to Monterey?
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Old Jun 11th, 2017, 08:45 AM
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Thanks janisj. Yes, the price difference for the hotels I find seem to be higher. With the Doubletree Berkeley, my price includes breakfast for all 3 of us (which according to tripadvisor is good). Looks like the parking fee is $21, and I figure I will only have to park one night if at all..if I get the car for one East Bay exploration day and one trip to Monterey. Than some BART trips into SF and I think that will work?
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Old Jun 11th, 2017, 09:00 AM
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That would work fine. I really enjoy the Berkeley Marina (MUCH more than Van Ness Avenue ) I do think you'll want the car over one night but $21 ain't bad for the Bay area. There are properties along/near Lombard Street that have free/or cheap parking but they rend to book up pretty far in advance and would almost certainly be full over July 4.

I eat 3 or 4 times a year at Skates just across the Harbor from the Doubletree -- amazing views but probably too pricey w/ the kids along.
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Old Jun 11th, 2017, 09:26 AM
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Should have said >>but they tend to book up pretty far in advance . . .
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Old Jun 12th, 2017, 04:22 PM
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Thanks, janisj. I remember the Berkeley Marina area well and also love it. I guess we will be later getting into SF the days we go there, but oh well..it will be nice to be in a peaceful place.
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Old Jun 13th, 2017, 08:38 AM
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You can always get up a half hour earlier
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Old Jun 14th, 2017, 09:28 PM
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Argh, help me! There was a good deal on the Parc 55 in San Fran with free cancellation and people have raved about it. More importantly to me, some of the Berkeley Doubletree reviews say their shuttle is not reliable..and I am mostly wanting to make sure its not too stressful to get to SFO for a 9am flight the day we go home. So now I need to choose between the Berkeley Doubletree and the Parc 55. We also arrive around 8pm to SFO, but I know that will work out one way or another...just would not want to miss a flight when we depart. The Parc 55 will cost about $100 more total with no free breakfast...the big plus for me would be on the BART line for airport departure (and arrival). I am less concerned if it takes us longer to get into the city on other days and the thought of sitting eating my delicious breakfast on the Berkeley marina is awesome.

So.advice? How much would uber (or other taxi service) realistically cost me from the Berkeley Marina to SFO in the morning to leave and probably at night when we arrive just to be safe. I am thinking that if this still would cost less than the $100 extra for the SF hotel plus the extra costs of breakfast I can stay at the Berkeley Doubletree without worrying about getting to the airport on time.

Thanks!

I should also add to the below that rental car prices for that week are terrible... I still might rent a car for 1-2 days to do Berkeley and Marin, but could not do the whole week to include airport transportation (not to mention rentals are cheaper in Berkeley)
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Old Jun 15th, 2017, 07:27 AM
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My Uber estimator says Doubletree Berkeley Marina to SFO would be $37-46.
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