San Francisco Transportation

Mar 10th, 2003, 11:01 PM
Original Poster
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San Francisco Transportation

Have been to SF before and am planning a future trip. Wondering if it is feasible to get around to Alamo Park, Exploratorium Museum, Golden Gate Park... Will be staying at the Marriott Fisherman's Wharf and I am familiar with the trolley lines but would it be too far to walk to some of those sights? What about the Metro? Does it go anywhere that would help me out while trying to avoid picking up my rental car for a couple of nights?
lenleigh is offline  
Mar 11th, 2003, 07:20 AM
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As far as walking, that all depends on you. I walked from the Exploratorium to Lombard street to fisherman's warf, but that's a haul. Also bear in mind how hilly some parts can be. You should become familiar with the MUNI buses. You can get a week long pass with unlimited rides. The only complaint I have is the frequency can be sparse at night but the schedule lays this all out. They seem to stop near most of the attractions, I thought the week pass was worth it.
Loki is offline  
Mar 11th, 2003, 09:32 AM
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Hi. It should be feasible to get to the sights you mentioned, if not exactly convenient. Unfortunately, of the two major tourist areas, Fisherman's Wharf is less convenient to get out of the city center than Union Square. If you plan to head toward downtown/Union Square at all (shop in the morning, then head to the park?) that will position you better for getting around.

To get to Alamo Square, you'll want to take the 21 Hayes bus, which branches off from Market St downtown. To get to Golden Gate Park, you can take the metro line N Judah to the south side of the park, or one of the bus lines: 5 Fulton or 31 Balboa (maybe also the 21 Hayes) which also branch from Market St. downtown, to the north side of the park.

To get the Exploratorium from Fisherman's Wharf, you are actually better positioned. I believe you can catch the 30 Stockton most of the way, but it may involve some walking. You could also walk the whole way if you're so inclined. It's long, but very pretty and relatively flat.

For more details or for other destinations, check out They have system maps and a trip planner feature. If you call when you're here (6am-8pm M-F; 8am-6pm S&S), they are live people to tell you exactly how to get from Point A to Point B.

Have fun. Let me know if you need more information and I'll see if I can help.
Mel is offline  
Mar 11th, 2003, 09:35 AM
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Forgot to include MUNI's phone number: 415.673.MUNI

There's also a regional transportation info. number you can call toll free: 888.500.INFO
Mel is offline  
Mar 11th, 2003, 04:53 PM
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Thanks for the info! I have been to SFO before and we walked all over but I haven't been to Alamo park or to Golden Gate Park. I have never seen what the Metro looks like, from the Marriott where would I catch that? Is it pretty much a subway system?
lenleigh is offline  
Mar 11th, 2003, 06:55 PM
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Go to the MUNI website and review the tourist passes. Also, download the maps - spendid pdf maps with ALL the streets. You can get to all your destinations via MUNI. Be advised, though, that, depending upon the day/time/line, you may wait a while for the next car/bus/train. And, having a taxi come along is often a wait as well.
djkbooks is offline  
Mar 11th, 2003, 11:00 PM
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The N line on Muni Metro is a subway downtown and then runs on the street to 9th and Irving, the stop for GGP. The 5 underground stops are all on Market Street. You could probably take the F line streetcar from near your hotel. It runs from Fisherman's Wharf and goes up Market so transfer to catch the N.
SAB is offline  
Mar 12th, 2003, 01:41 PM
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The metro is actually light rail. I forget the technical definition from transporation class, but essentially the 6 train lines all travel underground beginning at Embarcadero and Market, and branch off after Van Ness and Market and go above ground. Also, the N goes above ground between Embarcadero Station and Pac Bell ball park along the Embarcadero.

The F streetcar is a good suggestion for you to get from your hotel to the metro. It runs from Fisherman's Wharf along the Embarcadero, and then all the way to Market and Castro above ground. Hop off at the beginning of Market St. (Embarcadero Station) to catch the N Judah on the metro. An alternative would be to take the Powell St. cable car from Fisherman's wharf to the turn around at Powell and Market. Powell is another stop on the metro where you could catch the N. Either method of getting you to Market St. would also put you in a good place to catch a bus to GG Park or Alamo Square.

Having a muni map is another good suggestion. As others have mentioned, buses and trains can be surprisingly infrequent. But, when traveling away from Market St. ("outbound") you can often take more than one bus if you don't mind walking a couple of blocks. Buses are indicated by the numbers I've mentioned. But more importantly, they also include the name of the street that bus generally travels. For example, the 31 Balboa turns off from Market St. onto Balboa and continues all the way (or almost) to the ocean. If you have a map, you can see that Balboa runs just 2 blocks away from GG Park. Whether you take a bus (along north side of park) or the metro N line (along south side of park), 9th Avenue is probably the street you want to exit at for easy access to museums, the arboretum, and the lake.

Hope that wasn't too confusing.
Mel is offline  
Mar 12th, 2003, 07:43 PM
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Thanks for that info. We have light rail in Denver so I am somewhat familiar with it, just didn't know if I could use it to get to the places I wanted to see. I have been looking online at the routes and I will get a map too. I didn't realize they had a line that ran close to my hotel. I was thinking I would have to take the cable cars to get to the market street station! Thanks a bunch!!!
lenleigh is offline  
Mar 13th, 2003, 07:57 AM
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lenleigh - if you haven't ridden the cable cars before, definitely ride them for fun, but don't count on them for transportation. In recent years they have gotten so popular with tourists that the wait often gets up to 2 hours long for the Powell and Mason lines. It's crazy. For transportation from FW to Market street, I like to ride the F line for a bit of nostalgia, or a regular city bus for basic transportation.
J_Correa is offline  
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