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Fortaleza, Brazil

San Francisco

8 days in LA, does San Francisco worth a visit in such a short trip?

I have a 8 day trip to LA and would like to spend a day in San Francisco, is it worth it? If it is, what´s the best way to get there? By train or car??

10 Answers

top answer by
Chris from New York City

Think about how long you "must" be in LA - if it really is 7 of the 8 days I don't think I would do it when you consider all the travel required.  If it could be 2-3 days in SF then its worth it.  The drive from LA to SF is 6 hours minimum.  I've done the train and its really not all that great either.  Flying is quick but maybe not much faster than driving when you factor in wait times at the airports.  Could you potentially fly into one airport and out of the other?  makes this a lot easier if you can.

3 thanks

answered by
Renate from San Francisco Bay Area

Michelle, what are you hoping to see in San Francisco? There are a few fun things to do that are iconic such as viewing the Golden Gate Bridge, visiting Alcatraz, taking in Fisherman's Wharf, perhaps riding a Cable Car, and driving down Lombard Street "the crookedest street in the world" and that would be a busy but good very basic introduction to San Francisco and could be done in one very busy day. If you'd like to become better-acquainted with this beautiful, cosmopolitan city, though, I'd give it a few more days. In my opinion, it really is worth it to divide your time between Los Angeles and San Francisco (perhaps even spend a little more time in SF than LA but that's my personal bias). And, I would fly and avoid the 6-8hr drive. Southwest Airlines is a good, inexpensive domestic airline which flies from LAX to SFO. Hope you have a great holiday!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Golden Gate Bridge (attraction)
  2. Alcatraz (attraction)
  3. Fisherman's Wharf (attraction)
  4. Cable Car (attraction)
  5. Lombard Street (attraction)
  6. Los Angeles (city)
  7. San Francisco (city)
1 thankscomments (2)

answered by
Ed from Elmhurst, New York

I just got back from a 7 day trip to LA SD and San Fran. It can be done ! I did 2 days in LA 2days in SD and 2 days in San Fran. I used 1 day for a ride down the PCH from San Fran to LA! Best trip ever!

1 thanks

answered first by
Lynda from San Francisco

Yes, it's worth it but I would suggest flying on Virgin America between the 2 cities.

1 thanks

answered by

You should fly if you'll only spend a day or 2 in SF, the flight is an hour, there's no train in between the two cities, and the car ride is 6-8 hours. Flights are cheap if you buy a month in advance. 

answered by
lee from Lafayette

It really depends on your priorities: Do you want more time to visit places in and around LA, or see more if the state? SF warrants more than just a couple days. That said, the drive along the coast is spectacular, but does take several hours.

answered by
Cara from Boston

I did a similar trip in 8 days. You can do it. I definitely recommend flying especially as there is no reason to have cars in either city. Use Uber! If you want to see Alcatraz be sure to buy your tickets in advance. We tried to get tickets a couple of days in advance and they were all sold out :-(. Have fun!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Alcatraz (attraction)

answered by
Thomas from Baltimore, Maryland

Having lived in both places and currently living in LA, I would spend 5 days in LA and 3 in San Francisco (SF). Virgin America and JetBlue have inexpensive flights between the two cities. At SF International Airport you can Uber or Taxi to town.  But if you fly with one carry-on bag, catch BART rapid transit to downtown. Since there are many hotels downtown, you can safely walk to hotels from Powell St & Market StMontgomery St. BART StationJustin Herman Plaza.

BART, Muni or Cable Car will take you to these San Francisco destinations:

Fisherman's WharfUnion SquareYerba Buena GardensCivic CenterYoshi's OaklandGolden Gate BridgeMission DistrictOcean Beach

From SF Ferry Building or Fishermans Wharf, take the Sausalito ferry that crosses the bay for outstanding views of the Golden Gate.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Powell St & Market St (attraction)
  2. Montgomery St. BART Station (attraction)
  3. Justin Herman Plaza (attraction)
  4. Fisherman's Wharf (attraction)
  5. Union Square (attraction)
  6. Yerba Buena Gardens (restaurant)
  7. Civic Center (attraction)
  8. Yoshi's Oakland (restaurant)
  9. Golden Gate Bridge (attraction)
  10. Mission District (neighborhood)
  11. Ocean Beach (attraction)

answered by

If you have never been to SF it is definitely worth it.  Amazing place.  Fly Southwest, flights every hour.

An hour north and you are in the wine country.

answered by
Devera from New York City

As a former San Franciscan (live in NYC now) who lived there for over 30 years, I disagree about with the previous commenters who think a day or two is enough.  It's a beautiful city with spectacular vistas, museums, parks, neighborhoods, and great food.  Really too much for a quick visit.  

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