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  The Chatter Box : Travel
Walking Through San Francisco by Lyra777 on 14 July 2005 8:26pm
I am in desperate need of help!

In a little more than a week, my family and I are heading over to San Francisco for four days. To ensure that we see everything without wasting time, I'm planning our sightseeing routes. We will not have a car, which means we will be using the trams, buses etc. (with the three day passport).

Now my question is this: how 'walkable' of a city is San Francisco. I have no idea how big it is, and how much walking is really pushing. I was thinking of walking from Van Ness Avenue to Nob Hill, but is that pushing it? How far is China Town to Coit Tower by walk?

And, if walking isn't the best idea, how easy is it to get around by public transport? I looked on the internet for bus routes and bus stops, but just got completely lost.

My head is about to explode! Any advice would be very appreciated!
Re: Walking Through San Francisco by Ken Dunn on 14 July 2005 11:49pm
I was in San Francisco for a weekend about 30 years ago and I remember seeing the crookedest street, Fisherman's Wharf, Chinatown and Coit Tower(by taxi) and an helicopter flight round the Bay and bridges and Alcatraz. The tramcars up and down the streets are a good mode of transport. A lot of it may be improved since way back then but the visit to SF was the highlight of our American trip.
Re: Walking Through San Francisco by Mr. Anchovy on 15 July 2005 1:15am
Hi Lyra,

I have been to SF in '97 and I would say it's the most walkable city in the US. Compared to e.g. NY or LA it's pretty small and the distances are not too great. Walking is always a good idea as you see can see a lot if you take side streets away from the main tourist paths. Being build on hills, the city offers you quite a lot of nice viewpoints, especially around Coit Tower. I can however definitely recommend to take a ride on the cable car. It's really fun and almost like on a rollercoaster :)

Enjoy your trip!
Re: Walking Through San Francisco by Wollstonecraft on 15 July 2005 2:16am
Hi Lyra,
I live in Sacramento (about 1 1/2 hours from SF) and am in the city frequently. The Muni buses are inexpensive and a good way to get from, say, the Financial District (Market Street area) to someplace like the Palace of Fine Arts and the Presidio. A car can be a pain in SF because parking is EXPENSIVE. Don't know where your hotel is, but if you're in good shape and wear comfortable shoes you should be able to walk from the Financial Dist. to China Town. Walking to North Beach and the Wharf might be pushing it for some. The "touristy map" in something like the "Bay City Guide" is an easy-to-read resource. Re: "crookedest street in the world", that's Lombard Street. It's near Coit Tower. You can no longer drive down Lombard, so you might as well be on foot! You'll probably want to take a cab or bus to Golden Gate Park. Have a great trip!
Wollstonecraft (Annie)
Re: Walking Through San Francisco by George on 15 July 2005 4:03am
Depends on how old you are, too. When I was a student there many moons ago, I walked everywhere it seems, but I was only 18-20. San Francisco is hilly, to say the very least. The cable cars are a "national monument", of course, so you'll have to ride them. I forget the street, but there's a tradition where the passengers get off and help the conductors turn the car around to go back up the hill. The conductors were pretty casual about taking fares, too.

It's a very people friendly city, so don't be at all put off about asking for help if you need it.
Re: Walking Through San Francisco by peripatetically on 15 July 2005 1:33pm
San Franscisco is walkable to an extent, but it is hard. There are the cablecars that stop along the major routes. From them you can do your walking in any direction and pick up another cablecar if you wish to see another region of town. Buses are also available. But remember, SF is built on many hills and walking them is difficult epending on which direction you travel. If you travel side to side, it's not bad at all, It's as if you are on level ground. Otherwise, many streets are "hell" lol. I hope you take good trekking shoes. There were times when I had t walk backwards just to relieve thepain in my calves and ankles.

By the way, somewhere in the Blathering On section is a thread in which I gave tons of additional information to some other Palinites going to SF. I have no idea how far back you would have to search the site here, but there is a wealth of suggestions and tips. It's been quite a while since I posted all that and it is a terribly large amount to re-type. If you find it, I know it will be helpful.

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