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Local trains ?

london
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Local trains ?

Any suggestions as to day trips we can take on a train to get a taste of local life ?

San Francisco...
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1. Re: Local trains ?

Any train you can board in San Francisco takes you away from everything local.

Our excellent public transportation system, the San Francisco Municipal Railway, includes streetcars, cable cars, Diesel and electric buses. If you choose to define "train" as one streetcar coupled to another, then we have trains. But I think of those as two individual streetcars serving as one.

The best on-line map of San Francisco is an inter-active PDF: geocities.com/iconoc/Grafix/CityWide.pdf. I recommend 150-300% magnification. It's a creation of the San Francisco Municipal Railway. There's also a link that will tell you how to get There from Here. Other links on the page, geocities.com/iconoc/Grafix/FlagMaps.html are a map of our cable car routes and a superb map of Golden Gate Park.

The "Don't-miss sights in San Francisco" page geocities.com/iconoc/Articles/Sights.html has enough to keep you busy for nine twelve-hour days. It includes links to your best source of advice on where to eat here, the UseNet Group ba.food, and the quite-good sfSurvey. It also has a weather chart with a link to current conditions.

The frequently-updated SPECIAL EVENTS page has irregularly-scheduled music and dances as well as links to seven calendars of regularly-scheduled dances, a composite of five of them, and one of dance cruises and events around the world: geocities.com/dancefest/Specials.html#t

San Francisco...
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2. Re: Local trains ?

You could take the CalTrain down to Palo Alto. University Avenue has some interesting little shops and restaurants and Stanford University is worth looking at.

Alternatively, take BART to Berkeley and get a look at the other famous University town in the Bay Area. It's a one of a kind place.

Los Altos...
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3. Re: Local trains ?

Locals live outside of the city and county of San Francisco, and are completely normal, contrary to popular belief.

For a daytrip, I'd second the suggestion to take Caltrain to Palo Alto. The Stanford campus is an interesting place to walk around and has the Cantor Art Museum and Hoover Tower (as in the conservative Hoover Institute). White Plaza and Tressider Student Union are where student life congregates.

Marguerite, the free university shuttle bus, picks up anyone at the Palo Alto train station to various points on the sprawling eucalyptus-studded campus. Within easy walking distance of the train station is Palo Alto's main commercial district on University Avenue, and you can get a sense of the town/gown tableaux that exists in Palo Alto. There are some good restaurants on University Ave. or on campus you can find your way to the Cool Cafe at the Cantor, which is pretty good (proprietor is JZ Cool).

To get to Caltrain from Union Square, you just take an inbound N-Judah Muni Metro train to the Caltrain stop, or from Union Square, you can walk the several blocks if you're in a walking mood. Or you can take the 30 Stockton or the 45 Union buses at Stockton and Market streets, headed south.

Taking BART to Berkeley is another, similar town-gown excursion. In this case you'd take BART to the main Berkeley station and walk toward the hills to get to campus. Along Bancroft Ave. is the Bancroft Museum of Art and Kroeber Hall, which is always on my list. Of course there is Sproul Plaza, where Mario Savio launched the Free Speech Movement, and you can go up to the bell tower, known as the Campanile, to get a view of the surroundings. Take a quick walk through the student union and the Bear's Lair, and y ou've seen some of the highpoints of the campus. Telegraph Avenue, which intersects with Bancroft Ave., is the main commercial district, and is hanging on for dear life right now. It's had its ups and downs, and is not as vibrant as it once was. The legendary Cody's Books closed last month, dealing a big blow to the Ave. But Moe's Books is still there, as well as the colorful vendors who sell mostly handmade crafts on the sidewalk along the Ave. Back by the BART station, Shattuck Avenue also has some decent restaurants. Downtown is a particularly good one. Jupiter, perhaps, is still there. It has a delightful garden patio at which you can have a beer and a burger, or pizza or salad. If you manage to get to North Berkeley, where Black Oak Books is (big book-reading population in the Bay Area), Cesar is a good, casual tapas restaurant.

Fremont, California
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4. Re: Local trains ?

When are you visiting? Cal Train also goes to San Jose.

If you're coming soon, there are Concerts in the Park.

http://www.sjdowntown.com/eve_eve_mus.html

In the general area you can go to The Tech Museum, iMAX, San Jose art museum; and for a short walk, enjoy dinner either at Sonoma Chicken Coop or Spaghetti Factory or any number of other restaurants in the area. The Fairmont Hotel is good for drinks; however there are a fair number of clubs in San Jose also for night life. Do check the Cal Train schedule for times

Or you can take the train to Santa Clara and take a local bus to Great America and spend a day at a theme park.

Also Bart is a good way to get around such as going from San Francisco to Berkeley and visit UC Berkeley; San Francisco to an Oakland A's Game; San Francisco out to Walnut Creek area; etc.

In Walnut Creek you'd get a taste of surburban life in America plus some shopping and restaurants.

San Diego...
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5. Re: Local trains ?

You can take a day trip to Sacramento, the state capital. The State Railroad museum and surrounding historic area adjacent to the Sacramento River are outstanding. Also in Sacramento:

Sutter's Fort

State Capitol Building

Old Governor's Mansion

Check amtrak.com for details, but basically, you can get an early morning Amtrak bus from the Ferry Building, Union Square etc. that will take you across the bay to the Emeryville Station to connect with the train to Sacramento and return the same way in the evening.

Check tripadvisor reviews & forum for Sacramento for attractions, restaurants etc.