Two last questions for SF

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May 29th, 2004, 02:50 PM
  #1
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Two last questions for SF

We leave on Monday-- two last questions:
1) Is it cheaper to take a taxi from SFO to the Wharf (Sheraton) or the hotel shuttles (for two people)? We prefer not to take public transport here because of the luggage.

2) If we want to ride a cable car just to experience it, what is the best route from the Wharf? Which line, which stop, and can anyone describe how exactly ticket purchase works and who takes the ticket? Can't you just hop on the side of the cable car?
We have taken public transport all over the world so I am sure it is similar and we can figure it out. However, for peace of mind if anyone wants to share. . .

We leave for SF, Napa, and Ft. Bragg/Mendocino on Monday for one week. Any last minute suggestions for any of our destinations are appreciated.
Thanks for all the advice and I will post my first trip report when we return!
Liz
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May 29th, 2004, 03:11 PM
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If you really want to ride the cable car just for the experience, take the California St. line where there is NO line. Get on in front of the Hyatt Regency. From the Wharf, take the trolleys along the Embarcadero to the Ferry Building and cross the street. The big hotel there is the Hyatt. Buy your ticket from the machine. Or buy an all day pass on any public transit (except, I think, BART).

Have a great time.
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May 29th, 2004, 03:51 PM
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You can take a Super Shuttle from the airport. The second fare is less than the first. Just go out on the island in front of the terminal. They're labeled as to destination. Also I suggest taking the Powell and Hyde line for the cable car. You can get it at the end of Hyde St which is just a few blocks from your hotel. It's a great ride, with views of Alcatraz and the bay. It's much better than the Mason and Powell line and infinitely better than the California line. You can purchase a ticket from the booth or just pay once on board. Think it's $3 per person now. Part of the charm of San Francisco is riding the cable cars. Of course try to sit or stand on the outside and hold on on the curves. I suggest you go before 10 a.m. or late in the evening to avoid the crowds
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May 29th, 2004, 04:08 PM
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Just looked up Super Shuttle and I see that it's $13.50 per person. The discount is for a second person going to their home or business. Get it on the upper level of SFO where there will be Shuttle employees to direct you.
Whenever we go to San Fran a cable car ride is always one of our fun things to do, from one end to the other. Enjoy that wonderful city.
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May 29th, 2004, 08:07 PM
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When we were in S.F. last week, the California line was shut down, for work on the rails.

We rode the cable cars a lot when we were there, and never stood in a long line (if we got to a cable car stop and there was a long line, we took the bus). We rarely got on at the ends of the lines, but at any other stop. They were less crowded near the middle of the week.

The cable car is $3. Most of the time, you board, and the guy will take your money as the car continues on its route. If you're going to be there a number of days, however, get a 3- or 5-day pass (check the Muni website). Particularly if you plan on riding the cable cars or buses, or the trolley, much, it's a great deal. And a lot easier; all you do is show your passes as you board.

The Powell & Hyde line is the most scenic, but also the most popular. The Powell & Mason line also has great views of the city. Both of them have an end point quite near your hotel.

There are free maps of S.F. ALL OVER, and most of them include the cable car routes. Cable car stops are indicated on the streets by a big brown sign that says - you guessed it - cable car stop.

Another scenic form of transportation was the trolley car. They run up and down the Embarcadero, from the Wharf at one end to Mission/Market street at the other. Much faster than the cable cars when we were going from the Wharf to dim sum at Yank Sing!
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May 29th, 2004, 11:50 PM
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It's salmon season here. When you hit Ft. Bragg and Mendocino try some(you can try some sooner..but it should be especially good up there.) If you are taking the route 128 out to the Mendocino Coast line, check out some of the wineries along the way. It's a great area for Pinot Noirs. Check out Esterlina, Lazy Creek,Navarro. Stop at the General Store in Philo or the Booneville Hotel for lunch.(Check the Booneville's hours).
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May 30th, 2004, 05:46 AM
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Two weeks ago we paid $36 from the airport (there's a $2.50 pick up charge from the airport) and $33 to the airport, plus tip, for a taxi to / from the Market & 3rd Street area--I suspect to the Wharf it would be slightly higher.
 
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May 30th, 2004, 11:28 AM
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Thank you everyone!
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May 30th, 2004, 12:19 PM
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Just to throw another couple of things into the mix here, you can get an all-day cable car ticket for $6, so it's a wash if you are planning to take a roundtrip. As Lexma90 points out, you can avoid the long lines if you simply don't board at the terminus points. (You'll see people wait quite some time at the end of the Hyde Street line near the wharf, for example, but if they don't overload the cars there so if you just wait at the first stop along the way, you've got it made.)

Another option for getting in from the airport is BART (train). It's $4.95 and depending on traffic, it might even save some time. The shuttle is a small luxury if you're dealing with luggage for a week-long trip, but if you want to play around with the possibility of BART, here's the website:

http://www.bart.gov/guide/airport/airport.asp

Since we usually just go for a weekend, it's easy enough with only a carry-on to deal with. We hop off at the Powell Street Station and grab the cable car to the Wharf, but with big luggage, a cab might be a better bet and it won't be much money compared taking one all the way in from the airport. (Again, just for the record, the Shuttle is probably the most effective mix of cost and convenience considerations for your situation this time around.)

Here's the SuperShuttle website for San Francisco:

http://www.supershuttle.com/htm/cities/sfo.htm

Here's hoping you have great weather because we're heading back to San Francisco next weekend ourselves. It's a great city to visit and we never get tired of it. Bon voyage!
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