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Old 08-06-2012, 01:05 AM
 
9 posts, read 68,740 times
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i will be visiting san francisco from october 10-13 for the first time. my arrival will be late in the afternoon and departure early in the morning, so i really only have 2 full days. i will be staying with my sister-in-law in redwood city, who will be working and won't be able to pick me up/drop me off at SFO airport. i am wondering what would be the best way to get around. i'm thinking i have to rent a car to get from the airport to my sister-in-law's house and back, also to get into downtown SF? i was told that it is easier to use public transportation than a car in the city. should I drive from Redwood City to the nearest BART station, then ride BART into SF? do I drive all the way into SF and then use MUNI? where would I park? and once I'm in the city, should I use MUNI to get around to see all of the main attractions, or should i use one of those hop on hop off double decker tourist buses? any advice would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 08-06-2012, 11:34 AM
 
Location: Mokelumne Hill, CA & El Pescadero, BCS MX.
6,958 posts, read 20,826,555 times
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Caltrain is probably a better bet.

caltrain.com
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Old 08-06-2012, 12:02 PM
 
Location: Northern California
3,701 posts, read 13,927,639 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DMenscha View Post
Caltrain is probably a better bet.

caltrain.com
I agree! You don't need a rental car and you wouldn't find any parking in the city anyway. You can take Caltrain from Redwood City to SF. The SF Caltrain station is almost a mile from downtown, however, there is a light rail stop just outside the train station and you can go downtown or even out to the beach ($2, I think). Transit.511.org - Page not found

Plan B: Take Caltrain from Redwood City to Millbrae and change to a BART train into the city.

From SFO airport, take BART from the international terminal to Millbrae and take Caltrain to Redwood City. There is a free monorail that circles around the airport to all the terminals.
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Old 08-06-2012, 12:15 PM
 
Location: surrounded by reality
537 posts, read 1,101,545 times
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All depends on how far your sister-in-law lives from the Caltrain in RWC. If she's near, not getting a car at all could be an option. You can get from/to the airport using Caltrain/BART. You can also use Caltrain to go to the city.
If you do end up getting a car, I would not bother with parking the car near BART and taking public transportation into the city. San Francisco, while not ideal, is an OK city for driving. You will have to be patient and rely a lot on a GPS.

If you do want to go with car/BART combination, I'd suggest Millbrae. It has parking near BART and you would minimize your exposure to the traffic on the Peninsula.

Hop-on/hop-off bus is a pretty good way to hit the highlights of the city, especially if you only have two days.
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Old 08-06-2012, 04:21 PM
 
Location: San Jose, CA
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Actually, I think the best option might be the KX Express, provided your sister lives close to El Camino Real. It runs as a local service up to San Mateo, expresses to the airport, and then goes on to downtown San Francisco (1st and Mission). There's also an owl service which runs along a similar route, so you can get there and back any time of the day or night.
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Old 08-08-2012, 05:38 PM
 
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thank you for your responses so far. my sister-in-law lives 15 minutes by car from the next caltrain station, she's in the emerad hills. so it looks like rental car is going to be necesary. what would you do? park at the caltrain station, ride caltrain to san francisco, then use muni? OR use rental car to get around san francisco?
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Old 08-08-2012, 10:15 PM
 
Location: surrounded by reality
537 posts, read 1,101,545 times
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Emerald Lake Hills are close to 280, which has pretty good access to the city if you avoid the height of rush hour. I drive in the opposite direction (live in SF, work in RWC) and it is a reasonable commute. Given this, I might suggest taking your car on 280/Highway 1/Junipero Serra to West Portal, parking the car in the neighborhood and taking Muni downtown. This has several advantages - avoiding the busiest places to drive, relatively (emphasis on relatively) easy-to-find neighborhood parking and a reason to check out West Portal.
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Old 08-09-2012, 12:04 PM
 
Location: Northern California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by infineon View Post
thank you for your responses so far. my sister-in-law lives 15 minutes by car from the next caltrain station, she's in the emerad hills. so it looks like rental car is going to be necesary. what would you do? park at the caltrain station, ride caltrain to san francisco, then use muni? OR use rental car to get around san francisco?
I wouldn't drive around SF. Parking is very difficult and/or expensive to find. I always take Caltrain into SF and get around on Muni. It's just too much of a hassle driving and parking in SF. But go for it if you want to.

There is also bus service in Redwood City and the county. samtrans.com. It looks like bus line 274 runs from the RWC Caltrain station to near Emerald Hills.
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Old 08-09-2012, 01:35 PM
 
Location: Mokelumne Hill, CA & El Pescadero, BCS MX.
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Sam Trans has a route on Jefferson to Canada College #274 to the Caltrain station.
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Old 08-10-2012, 08:57 PM
 
Location: San Jose, CA
7,688 posts, read 27,440,128 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DMenscha View Post
Sam Trans has a route on Jefferson to Canada College #274 to the Caltrain station.
Doesn't actually stop in the Emerald Hills, though, only on Farm Hill Blvd. I used it a few times when I lived on Jefferson.. it's slow and not that reliable. There's a point where extra connections just add too much time to the trip to make it worth it.
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