a VirtualTourist member from Singapore asked on Apr 8, 2016
My family will be flying to San Francisco in July. It's our first trip here n will be bunking over a B&B near Chinatown (finance district).
Will be staying over for 2 days.
Need some guidance on the transportation from airport to Chinatown and the places of interest in San Francisco. Lastly, places to avoid in San Francisco. Thank you.
Click the link below for all your options from the airport to the city. Once in the link click how to go.
Here is a link to the SF Visitor's Bureau, once in the link click on the left side, Trip Tools, Basic Information. it should help you in deciding what you would like to see
Here is another web site that should be most helpful to you
Traveling alone, I always used BART as there is a stop just a few blocks from Chinatown. With a family, I'd suggest using the links provided above to see which might be the least expensive. Super Shuttle is one option that can handle groups and is less than most of the limo companies.
As for "places to avoid" I'd say there's not many in the financial district during the day and even the "worst" I've walked at night and not really felt I was in danger. Even "south of Market" is now "cleaned up" with new venues. Actually depending on where you read the reviews, Chinatown is not too good to be walking late at night. Still I never felt there was an issue when I worked a couple blocks from there and routinely walked the area early morning and evening.
You can still use Uber, just request a "black car." We have used Uber with six people, but no luggage. My initial arrival I wouldn't mess with public transit. You will be "jet lagged" and wrestling family and luggage. Easier to just get a car service to your B&B.
Look at the "Wild San Francisco" walking tours. We did the one of China Town and loved it. They do tours all over SF and you might find booking a few a great way to get a feel for parts of The City.
They do B2B tours with the same guide so they can even get you from the end of one to the start of the other.
I am looking at the Haight Ashberry tour. It's done by the owner of the company who grew up in the area during the 1960's, so he has a great insight into the era. We will probably book that one this fall after the tourist leave (no offense). I would also love to do their Castro walking tour.
You can also take the bus out to Treasure Island and tour the military museum. The view back looking at The City at sunset is the best you will find.
If there are more than two of you taking Uber or Lfyt will be more cost effective and less stress producing for a family, Both services only pick up at the Departures Level of the SFO airport. Spotting your Uber car is eased by looking for an orange sign on the car's dashboard. I have not had a bad experience with Uber yet in San Francisco and the cost is definitely much less than a cab. You can get a pretty good idea of how much it will cost by using your app in advance and having them estimate the fare. I would not use Super Shuttle since there could be other passengers in the vehicle that would delay getting you to your destination in China town.
Many folks do not feel comfortable walking, particularly at night in the Tenderloin and South Mission areas. This is mainly because of the number of pandhandlers that can be aggressive at times.
While in Chinatown one of my favorite places is the Golden Gate Bakery located on the 1000 block of Grant Street. Their little custard tarts are known throughout San Francisco and a line forms a few times a day when they are available as at least two other VT members can
Visited years ago and loved the architecture, trolleys, waterfront restaurants and shops... but what always stuck in my mind was the park with the Japanese Tea Garden, with costumed servers, and little red squirrels running around our feet. Hope you get to enjoy a quiet time among that beauty.
I recently arrived in San Francisco after the long flight from Australia and effortless used the BART train to Powell station near which my hotel was located.
Chinatown may be a little further to walk, from BART, however.
The BART trains from SFO are usually 10 cars so there is plenty of room especially if you walk a little along the platform.
However, BART is something of a time warp. It's signage is awful and often you don't know where you are. The train announcements are often hard to hear. But BART is getting some new trains to replace the existing 40 year old models.
The #30 trolleybus through Chinatown operates frequently and provides an excellent service. It's also a good alternative from the Fishermen's Wharf area if you are planning on taking a cable car and the line is too long.
One thing that first time visitors to San Francisco might find confronting is the number of disadvantaged and homeless people on the streets. They often use the streets as lavatories. But it's part of the San Francisco experience and you soon get used to it.
Quite by chance I found myself walking through the Tenderloin area coming back from dinner on Van Ness. I continued to walk purposefully and did not feel unsafe although I remained mindful of my surroundings. Several persons of the night to quote an old phrase were busy looking for customers. Again all part of the San Francisco experience.
Enjoy your trip!