San Francisco Vacation: Getting Around SF

Parking in San Francisco is not only expensive but it is notoriously difficult to find. Before I started on this vacation, I asked friends about parking and almost everyone advised me to just use their transit system. One told me that he once went to a dinner in downtown, circled around the place for one hour, couldn’t find a lot and then went home. And then there was when I booked for a hotel in San Francisco and found out that they charge $20 extra for parking! So, I decided that we’ll use transit as much as we can.

We stayed in a hotel near SFO (not LAX! Thanks Chubbypanda) because for some reason the hotels the week we were in San Francisco were expensive. We could get good places the week before or the week after for around $100. However, the cheapest we could get for the week we wanted was almost $200 for a crummy bed and breakfast. Some big event must be happening in town. So we decided to stay in a really nice place a bit further out and travel into the city everyday via transit.

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We tried BART first and found it expensive. So, we decided to try a cheaper alternative — Caltrain. The only problem is that they run on a very fixed schedule — something like only 1 or 2 runs per hour. That means that we had to time our journey well, especially on the late return trip during which time they only run once an hour.

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The Caltrain cars are huge and is double decker. And man, they do travel really fast … you are better off staying way clear of the tracks.

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