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Tour Vs Public Transport

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Tour Vs Public Transport


I have looked at the itinerary on San Francisco Shuttle tours, although the trip consists of $60:00 pp, my question is:

Rather than do the above tour within the scheduled 5 hour time slot, we would like to spread this itinerary over 5 days, therefore, would we be able to visit all the locations within the itinerary via public transport?

If so, what kind of travel pass do we need to purchase for the 5 days, also, any recommended website to purchase a travel pass from?

As stated, it’s a time scale factor, and not the $60:00 that is the issue, we prefer to tour and admire at our own leisure, rather than be clock watching.

Thanks in advance


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21. Re: Tour Vs Public Transport


Many thanks, looking forward to your post.


posts: 6,108
reviews: 14
22. Re: Tour Vs Public Transport


Some of these places can be grouped together for a day or an afternoon, depending on how you like to pace yourselves. I don't know where you're staying -- Fisherman's Wharf, Union Square, Embarcadero or other, but all places are accessible to some form of Muni transport or ferry line. Sutro Tower is the only place you cannot get right up under, but no one really does, anyway. You can see it from all over the city -- it's unmistakeable.

*Ferry Building - [Tour Pickup Spot]

Easily reached from Union Square or Fisherman's Wharf via Muni[s F-line historic streetcar or bus down Market Street or California Street cable car (depending on where in Union Square you might be).

*Sausalito - Via Ferry Cruise

Visit via ferry from Fisherman's Wharf or Ferry Building. Golden Gate Transit operates the ferry from the Ferry Building: http://goldengateferry.org/schedules/

Blue & Gold Fleet operates the Sauslito service leaving from Pier 41 in Fisherman's Wharf:


Blue & Gold also operates ferries from that location going to Angel Island and Tiburon:


*Golden Gate Bridge

Visit via Muni 28, 29 buses - can be a nice walk in combination with other things see these earlier forum ideas: http://tinyurl.com/pqth9

*Lombard Street

The crooked part that everyone comes to see is right off the Powell-Hyde cable car line.

*Chinatown - Guided Walk

See via any number of buses #30 Stockton, #45 Union, California Street cable car line or walk from Union Square. Use the free City Guides for walking tour: www.cityguides.org homepage, www.sfcityguides.org/schedules_nov-apr.html (note this is the schedule for winter, navigate to the summer schedule when it's available.

*Grace Cathedral

This is top of Nob Hill, Taylor and California streets. All cable cars go within a block or two of here.

*Alamo Square Park (bounded by Fulton, Steiner, Hayes & Scott streets)

#21 Hayes goes right by or #5 Fulton within a block. City Guides does a walking tour here, too.

* Golden Gate Park / Japanese Tea Garden

Take #5 Fulton bus to Fulton & 10th Street. Enter the park from 10th.

* Palace of Fine Arts

#28 19th Ave. or #30 Stockton go near or right by Bay and Lyon streets. Once again, City Guides does a tour of the Palace of Fine Arts and this neighborhood

* Presidio National Park

Again, #28 19th Ave. bus goes by here. Beautiful grounds to walk around, even if the Letterman Digital Arts Center itself is not open to the public.

* Cable Car Barn Museum

Right off the Powell-Hyde and Powell-Mason cable car lines around Washington and Mason strees.

* Alcatraz (view from Ferry Cruise)

Any ferry going to Sausalito or Angel Island will go within viewing distance. Or you can go to Alcatraz directly for a $16.50 tour, through the exclusive tour provider of the National Park Service. Book online ahead of time, either through Blue & Gold Fleet or through Hornblower Yachts. One is transitioning to the other as the exclusive contract holder with the Park Service, and it's not been an easy one since the new contract has been disputed. You will have to check with both websites to see which one will allow you to book: www.blueandgoldfleet.com and www.alcatrazcruises.com

See this discussion for details on what is going on:


* Bay Bridge (view from Ferry Cruise)

You can see this from the Ferry Building, and all along the Embarcadero. See first comments about the Ferry Building.

* North Beach

Easily accessible by many lines, #30 Stockton, #15 Third, #41 Union, Powell-Mason cable car line...

Fairmont Hotel / Top of The Mark

* Angel Island (view from Ferry Cruise)

If you take a ferry to Sausalito you will see it, otherwise, you can take a ferry directly to Angel Island and enjoy a nice day hiking. See Blue & Gold Fleet's site: http://www.blueandgoldfleet.com/schedules.htm

* Sutro Tower

You can get close, but not quite up there (to tell you the truth, most only see it from afar, or in the surrounding neighborhood, anyway. You can take the Muni Metro lightrail from Market Street and ride it out to Forest Hill station, I supppose and look at it from one direction, or take the #37 out to Cole Valley and Haight Ashbury and admire it from another direction...

* De Young Museum

This is right by the Japanese Tea Garden in GG Park. Take the #5 Fulton. If you are going to the other destinations in GG Park you might want to break the visit into two days and allow time to visit the museum, if you so desire.

* Coit Tower

Good for your North Beach Day. See above for transit to the neighborhood. The #39 Coit goes up to Coit Tower if you don't feel like walking uphill

* City Hall / Civic Center

Accessible by many buses - #21 Hayes, #5 Fulton, #19 Polk, #47 Van Ness, #49 Van Ness-Mission, and practically every Muni Metro outbound line (outbound from the Union Square area, anyway). And again, City Guides does a tour of the buildings, gorgeous Beaux Arts style, with city history display inside the North Light Court.

* Conservatory of Flowers

You can do this on your GG Park Day. You can walk from the DeYoung/Japanese Tea Garden. Or, if you go there first via the #5 Fulton, it's closest to Arguello Blvd.

* Market Street

Major thoroughfare. You can hardly avoid coming here during your stay. Major transit hub. Too many bus lines and Muni Metro lines to list.

Now Muni passes: The word "pass" is elastic, and you have to pay attention to how it's used:

** Weekly Pass: $15. An adult pass (18-64) intended intended for regular riders that STARTS on Monday and ENDS on Sunday and provide unlimited rides on all Muni vehicles, but cable car fares are $1 more. I don't know whether this is the pass Ruteye had, but since it's up to the conductor to collect this money, it may be that he gets too busy or just decides to skip it sometimes. This link makes it very clear that cable car is an extra buck. Note that if you arrive on a Friday, for example, this pass only lasts you three days, not seven, which is why some opt for the other pass called the PassPort, or do some kind of three-day and pay as you go strategy:


There are also monthly Youth Passes for $10 (age 18 and below) and monthly Senior Passes for $10 (age 65+). Great deal if you qualify or have kids. Who cares if you're not going to be there for only a fraction of a month?:


** Passport: Available in 1, 3, and 7-day passes, for $11, $18 and $24 respectively. Usually purchased by tourists because they include unlimited rides INCLUDING cable cars, AND... if you buy a 7-day pass it is for 7 consecutive days, not Mon-Sun., so is more flexible.

Go this link below to find the description of the PassPort, scrolling down past the weekly pass, past "Where to buy" and the "tokens," past the "Youth Ticket Books" and you'll see the Passport.


** CityPass: $49. Intended solely for tourists, this is a 7-day all-in-one Muni pass that allows unlimited rides on all of Muni, including cable cars, plus admission to a bunch of attractions, from museums to boat tours.


There's another link when you open this window that lists what all the attractions are included in this $49 price. It's worth $100+ and can save you money if you actually partake in many of the attractions -- admission fees and the like -- and ride the cable cars and other Muni.

Hope this helps and doesn't confuse...

posts: 6,108
reviews: 14
23. Re: Tour Vs Public Transport

Lastly... before I forget, there is a Youth CityPass as well for $39 (ages 5-17), for all unlimited Muni for 7 consecutive days and a bunch of admission fees. I couldn't tell if you had kids, but if you or anyone else reading this does, there is just for your information.

posts: 574
reviews: 2
24. Re: Tour Vs Public Transport

Wow Wow Wow


Thanks for your very detailed and in depth report.

Your time is very much appreciated.

FYI, we are staying at Crown Plaza, Union Sq.


posts: 6,108
reviews: 14
25. Re: Tour Vs Public Transport

You're welcome. Ask more questions on a new subject thread as they occur to you.

Also try searching for information on the attractions by using the search function on the upper righthand side of your original post. Previous questions and their answers are often quite helpful.

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26. Re: Tour Vs Public Transport

BetterthanBings Thanks for the detailed info I am keeping that for us when we return which I hope is next year! Doing it all again on our own this time so we can do everything at leisure! I am still dreaming about our trip~goodness!