F Line Streetcars
With our three day MUNI passport we were covered not just for the cable cars but also for the streetcars and buses.
We used the F line of the streetcars to get quickly from Market Street to Fisherman’s Wharf and back . The Streetcars on this route commemorate streetcars from around the World and each one is different and tells its own story.Related to:
- Arts and Culture
- Family Travel
Very useful electric buses, some antique. I think they're also called trolleys. F Line does two main routes. One runs along the Waterfront from CalTrain Station at 4th and King, to the Embarcadero and Fisherman's Wharf, then turns around.
F Line also runs from Embarcadero South-West to Castro Street and that really covers a lot of ground. You get on from a waiting sidewalk in the middle of the street, at appointed stops.
Oh, first thing to say in a Transportation Tip: Get the official MUNI MAP! It's also a good street map. A useful spot to get it is at the ticket booth at Powell and Market St. in Union Square, but lots of other places have them, including bookstores and online.
World's Crookedest Street--Lombard or Vermont?
These two streets are car streets only, although there are also sidewalks and stairs for walking along these two very unique tourist attractions.
Wikipedia has an entry that describes Lombard, the brick paved and more famous of the two: Lombard Street is best known for the one-way section on Russian Hill between Hyde and Leavenworth Streets, in which the roadway has eight sharp turns (or switchbacks) that have earned the street the distinction of being the crookedest [most winding] street in the world (though this title is contested - see below). The switchback's design, first suggested by property owner Carl Henry and instituted in 1922, was born out of necessity in order to reduce the hill's natural 27% grade, which was too steep for most vehicles to climb. It is also a serious hazard to pedestrians, who are accustomed to a more reasonable sixteen-degree incline. The crooked section of the street, which is about 1/4 mile (400 m) long, is reserved for one-way traffic traveling east (downhill) and is paved with red bricks. The speed limit in this section is a mere 5 mph (8 km/h).
However, many believe that concrete paved Vermont Street, on Potrero Hill, is actually more crooked and steep than Lombard but has fewer turns. The section of Vermont in question is located between 20th and 22nd Street, near McKinley Square. It has a series of seven sharp turns, fewer than Lombard, but has a steeper grade. Wikipedia notes that on an episode of Fact or Fiction on the Travel Channel, Jayms Ramirez measured the sinuosity of both Lombard and Vermont streets, and proved that Vermont is indeed more crooked (with a sinuosity of 1.56 versus 1.2 for Lombard Street). Although Lombard has more turns, some of the turns on the south end of Vermont were removed during the construction of the US101 freeway. I have a relative whose home was affected by this freeway construction and modification of Vermont.
You can examine the images taken from Google Earth showing both streets. The first is Lombard, which runs basically west to east one-way. The second is Vermont, which runs on-way north to south. The Vermont Street satellite image is rotated 180 degrees so that an easier comparison can be made.
Now, to throw a wrench into the which is grade is steeper debate, there actually is yet another street in San Francisco that has no twists and turns, but claims to have the steepest slope, along a short section of its pavement. See the tip for Bradford Street in Bernal Heights. In any case, San Francisco claims to steepest slope and most twisted street are legendary...Related to:
- Historical Travel
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
We booked our cruise to Alcatraz online since we were informed that these tours fill up very quickly.
Our guidebook recommended purchasing tickets ahead, but the earliest they can be reserved is 30 days before your trip.
There were several tour options; we chose a tour that took us to the cellhouse and grounds. (Cost $21.75 per adult and $13.75 for a child)
We selected an early morning tour which departed at 9:30 am, but there was an early bird tour at 9am and further departures throughout the day. As warned, the cruises sold out early so we were very glad that we had prepaid tickets.
We boarded at Pier 33 and were instructed to appear between 9 am-9:20 am, but when we arrived a long line had already formed. As we inched forward at departure time, a photographer snapped our picture.
Please note: there is NO parking at Pier 33.Related to:
- Family Travel
- Historical Travel
Double-decker City Sightseeing
We saw this CITY SIGHTSEEING tour company all over San Francisco. You can't miss this brilliantly colored red double decker bus!
Passengers have a choice of either riding inside the lower level or above in the open top section. There are four tour selections beginning at $20.00 and up. It's an 'on and off' system with 24 and 48 hour unlimited passes available.
Departures are from 165 Jefferson Street in Fisherman's Wharf area. It travels to all the important landmarks in San Francisco. Happy Travels!Related to:
- Family Travel
getting to the golden gate bridge from caltrain
if you want to go to the golden gate bridge, it looks here like you have to take muni from caltrain
first, take muni or bart to powell station (you could save yourself from paying bart if you took muni the entire way which is $2). you can take the f market, the 6,7 or 71 buses to powell station (4th street). then, you have to connect to the 30, which intersects with the 28 at chestnus and laguna. the 28 will take you to the golden gate.
if it's the park you're looking to see as well, (which you should) i would take one bus, the 71 haight, all the way to stanyan and begin your tour there. you can catch it on market at any point below civic center basically.
see my tips and tips of others. there are a lot of gems. :)
from the airport to north beach
just take bart to montgomery station then take a cab to north beach. it will take a lot less time than a shuttle which makes many stops. if you want to get really adventurous, you could take bart to montgomery station, then walk to the stokton tunnel to catch the 30 or the 45 to north beach. just ask the driver to tell you when you're at columbus and union and you will be right smack dab in the middle of it all.
here's the genaral area you will need to know.
see the 2nd blue bar on market st. just left of the water? that's montgomery station. now follow kearny st. north then a couple blocks up, you will take a left at sutter. a couple blocks up and take a right at stockton then about a block right up stockton, you will see the tunnel. just ask a local store owner. they should know if you get confused.
on second thought, if you're not feeling like wasting that time, just bart in and take a cab.
bikes on bart
bart is the train system here. it goes underground and above ground. often, if you are going a long distance, it's the quickest way to get to your destination. the cost varies, depending on your route. you can bring your bike on bart, and the seats are much more comfortable than muni seats.
i think the previous poster may be talking about nextbus.com
go there and you can type in your location and destination and it will tell you in exactly how many minutes the bus arrives. i haven't heard of up next, but i typed it into google and nothing resembling muni came up.
Use public transportation simply with this...
This is the absolute best website to use in order to plan on how to get anywhere using public transportation through the ENTIRE Bay Area. That means from San Francisco to San Jose to Oakland to Santa Rosa. Just enter the address you are leaving from and the address of where you are going to. You can also modify your search to tell you how to get to a place by a specific time. This is a very useful site and has made my life much easier and saved me money since I was able to take public transportation instead of a cab.
Try a City Tour First
Although San Francisco isn't a huge city like LA or New York, it has some tendon streatching hills. Even though I had been to this beautiful city before I was amazed at the advantage point the bus tour gave us. Be first in line and ride in the glass domed front seat - in this case upstairs. Several of the pictures I took were out the window of the bus. The tour also helps you get your bearings for visiting on your own via public transportation which is very good in SF. There are many tours to take and these are all being advertised at Pier 39. We opted for the San Francisco Gray Line tour for 3 1/2 hours which cost $38. Not bad considering it's $3 just to cross the Golden Gate Bridge and another if you return. We stopped at Twin Peaks high above the city for some super pictures - it was "a clear day".
There are various other tours offered by this compay from a Deluxe City Tour to tours to the Wine Country.Related to:
- Historical Travel
- Arts and Culture
Cruise the Bay
Hornblower Cruises have been around for over 20 years. Starting small, they have expanded to a number of small ships that cruise SF bay and now are in other parts of CA (San Diego, Marina Del Ray, Newport Beach, Berkeley)
Dinner cruises at sunset, "gambling" (only for fun) with Kareokee, corporate events, or just a 3 hour relaxing cruise on the bay.
They now have it all.Related to:
- Family Travel
- Business Travel
muni vs bart
i live here, and i pay $2 for a muni pass and that lasts about three to four hours, depending on what ticket they give you, so keep it and you can use the transfer for later. bart is cheap. i can get to oakland and back for about $6-$7. i don't think you will need to buy a day pass for just two or three days unless you're going to be out the entire day. if you go out twice a day, the muni is cheap. you will spend $4.
i doubt you will be taking bart anywhere. yes, the F line is good if you want a slow cable car going up market street. but the underground muni is WAY faster. the N and the J all go from embarcadero up to the castro. to be honest, there's not much to see past those areas except for family neighborhoods. the 6, 7, and 71 are also the muni's best best. they go from the embarcadero (above ground buses) up to the haight and out into the sunset.
bart is more of a hassle because you have to buy the tickets underground then navigate your way from there, and they have fewer stops. i would just take the muni buses.
does that make sense??
Air Train is the airport's tram that ransports passnegers to all SFO terminals, Parking Garages, Rental Car Center and the BART Station. The train has two lines' the Red Line and the blue Line. The Red line connects all terminals, terminal garages and the BART Station. The Blue Line connects all terminals, terminal garages and the BART Station with the Rental Car Center.
The train runs twenty-four hourS a day and is a quick ride to the BART station.
NCL Spirit Cruise
We cruised to Baja Mexico on the NCL Spirit in October of 2005. This was a short, 5 night trip with stops in Ensenada, San Diego and Catalina Island. The ship had just come out of dry dock in Oakland for refitting and so was in peak conditon. This is a beautiful ship but it is just a bit on the small side by Western standards, having originally been built for Star Lines (same company owns both) in Singapore for the Asian market. We only paid about $220 total/each for this 5 day cruise, a steal. Before departure we added our daughter as a third passenger in cabin for the rediculous price of $95.
Embarkation: Lines were long but moved swiftly. Shortly after we boarded there was a glitch with the ships computer that voided entry to cabins. Some were unable to get in their cabins for a couple hours without a Steward but the Captain opened the bars to free drinks and most were quite pleased.
Cabin: We had booked a inside cabin. It was slightly smaller than anticipated. It was clean and well kept during our entire cruise. Because our daughter came with us, it was a bit on the cramped side, but I suppose any standard cabin on any cruise line nowadays would be similiar. The bath was larger than anticipated.
Dining: NCL only had freestyle or unassigned dining on this cruise. The main dining room at the very aft of the ship was absolutely amazing, with a huge 2 deck ceiling in the very back 1/2 of it with floor to ceiling windows across the entire width, quite elegant and a must see in itself. The food, presentation and service was very good to excellent. The buffet style food on the Lido deck was the best we've had so far on any cruise with a wide assortment of international foods including many vegetarian Indian dishes.
Entertainment: Most of the evening shows were good to very good.
Spa/Gym: The gym was good but too small to be called great. We used the saunas and steam rooms and we all enjoyed them.
Ports: Please see our sections Catalina Island, Mexico and San Diego.
We would cruise on NCL again.Related to:
- Budget Travel
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