This is a first in what will be a series of posts on websites to help you plan a San Francisco Bay area adventure.
San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau has a great site that puts a lot of emphasis not just on Fisherman’s Wharf, the Golden Gate Bridge and other well known attractions but the charms of the city’s many neighborhoods. (After you pick out a San Francisco neighborhood to explore, take a look at SF City Guides to see if there is a free walking tour.)
The convention bureau site offers hotel, flight, car and dining reservations. It has an events calendar so you can enjoy the city’s cultural and social life and it has info on accessibility and other special needs. It includes a mapping function to help plan your explorations.
If you are staying in the city itself, a car is really not necessary. Learn how to get from point A to B using mass transit including cable cars, street cars, subways, buses and ferries at 511.org.
Did you know you can get from SFO airport to downtown by Bay Area Rapid Transit train right from the international terminal? Or from Oakland airport by AirBart (bus and train)? 511 has the info on that.
Planning on riding a cable car half way to the stars? Be prepared to pay for the experience. It’s $5 each way (with no transfers). It’s a fun ride and worth it, but buy a SF Muni pass and save. The one-day passport which is good for unlimited trips on Muni buses, subways and street cars as well as the cable cars is $11. A three-day passport is $18 and a seven day passport is $24. The passports also offer discounts on various attractions. They are a good deal, but are only available at the Visitor Center at 900 Market Street (down the stairs or escalators) near the cable car turnaround at Powell and Market.
The visitor center is a wonderful resource packed full of free maps and brochures and knowledgeable multi-lingual advisers. The odd layout on a lower level plaza seems to sometimes attract street people, but it is safe and secure and worth a stop for info even if you don’t plan on buying a Muni passport.
Click here for center hours and other info.
Some other sites to help you plan a trip or discover more about the city include:
SF Gate Visitor Guide --This contains information from the area’s largest daily newspaper, the San Francisco Chronicle. The Chronicle also offers wonderful food and dining info and recommendations. The paper’s Sunday Datebook (known locally as the pink section since it is printed on pink paper) and Thursday’s 96 Hours weekend guide cover the upcoming art, theater, music and other and events in the city and surrounding area. You can check out those listings and articles here.
About.Com is a good place to research a trip or locale. Here's the link to SF info.
SF Bay Axis is an interesting site with lots of photos and alternatives for off-the-beaten track Bay Area experiences, including this list for the best places to view SF sunrises and sunsets (not including the deck at my house).
About the photo: souvenirs at Fisherman's Wharf