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October 17, 2021

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Travel

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8 Tips to Travel the Bay Area on Your Next Trip

There’s no question about it - the Bay Area is a fantastic place to take a trip to. The Bay Area offers plenty of fun and excitement. There is so much to see and do, and all of it within a short distance of the ocean. Then there’s the gorgeous weather to consider too. Getting from place to place is one of the logistics that everyone needs to work out when taking a trip for any reason. Fortunately, the Bay Area has a ton of options for you to choose from.

8 Tips to Travel the Bay Area on Your Next Trip

There’s no question about it - the Bay Area is a fantastic place to take a trip to. The Bay Area offers plenty of fun and excitement. There is so much to see and do, and all of it within a short distance of the ocean. Then there’s the gorgeous weather to consider too. Getting from place to place is one of the logistics that everyone needs to work out when taking a trip for any reason. Fortunately, the Bay Area has a ton of options for you to choose from.

1. Rideshare or Taxi

Hailing a taxi has been a popular way to get around in big cities for decades. There’s a certain level of convenience that comes with door to door service provided by someone who is intimately familiar with the area. Taxis are pretty easy to come by in densely populated areas. They can cost you a pretty penny though, which is where the debate between taking a taxi vs Uber or Lyft comes in.

Ridesharing provides essentially the same service as taxis while generally being more affordable. It’s usually pretty easy to order an Uber or Lyft, giving you a bit more peace of mind when it comes to making sure you have a way to get from point A to point B. You can split the fare with fellow passengers too, making it even more affordable.

2. Bus

Buses in the Bay Area are a part of the area’s Muni, which is what people call the main public transit system. The whole name is the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, but no one has time for that mouthful of a name, so Muni it is (or AC Transit in Oakland). As with any other form of public transportation, the buses run on specific routes at specific times. You’ll need to get familiar with the routes and schedule if you want to use it effectively.

3. BART

Trains are far from a thing of the past as the Bay Area Rapid Transit, or BART, proves. The BART is a major San Francisco Bay Area train line. It connects the city of San Francisco to both the San Francisco International Airport and the Oakland Airport, making it a convenient option for those needing to get to or from the airport. Once you’re in the city, you’ll probably need to utilize a different form of transportation since this particular line doesn’t have too many stops within the city itself. Still, if you’re traveling solo or with just one or two other people, you may find that it’s the most cost effective option for getting between the airports and the city.

4. Ferry

Likely to be the fan favorite method of transportation to get around the Bay Area. If you were to take it from Oakland to San Francisco, it's a scenic and relaxing 45 minute boat ride. In Oakland, the Ferry departs from Jack London Square - that is part of the Brooklyn Basin water inlet - and arrives at a dock at the Embarcadero area in San Francisco. We suggest going upstairs so you can see everything the boat ride has to offer. Our favorite part is when the boat goes under the Bay Bridge! So if you have time to spare, and are looking for a beautiful boat ride, then the Ferry is the way to go.

5. Rent a Car

If the ongoing pandemic has you feeling a little apprehensive about sharing transportation with strangers for longer than is strictly necessary, not to worry. The Bay Area does have a pretty solid public transit system, but you can get around on your own too. Renting a car is always an option, though you’ll have to deal with finding and paying for parking during your trip if you choose to go this route. Your selection of vehicles will vary somewhat depending on who you choose to rent your car from, but most major companies offer everything from your basic four door sedan to luxury vehicles.

6. Cable Car

If you want a way to see the San Francisco area in a leisurely, relaxing manner, taking a cable car is definitely an option worth considering. Think of this as being an experience first and as a way to get around second, though it will definitely get you from one place to another. These attractions tend to be pretty popular, and that’s reflected in their pricing and the rate at which the cars fill up. If you have little ones on your trip, be sure to spend some time at the intersection of Powell Street and Market Street. It’s by Union Square and offers the unique experience of watching the cable cars get turned around.

7. Walking

If you want the absolute most economical way to get from one place to another, nothing beats hitting the streets with your own two feet. Walking is a great form of exercise, and doing it to get around the Bay Area will definitely have you getting your steps in every day. This is best if you don’t have too far to go. Keep in mind, however, that the Bay Area tends to be a pretty hilly place, especially San Francisco. What may appear like a short distance, and therefore an easy walk, may actually be more strenuous than you thought because it’s up a steep hill.

8. Biking

If the hills aren’t enough to scare you off, using a bike to get around the Bay Area is another excellent option. You can get around much faster than walking and cover more distance too. A lot of streets have added bike lanes as it’s become a more popular way to get around. There’s even a version of ridesharing for bikes. Bike sharing services have made it an even more accessible way to get around, which is perfect if you didn’t bring your own with you. Electric scooters are also available to rent all over the city - saves time and effort. They are also tons of fun!

When it comes to deciding how you want to get around during a trip to the Bay Area, options abound. There are multiple public transit options that you can choose from. There’s also the option of more personal transportation, such as is the case with renting a car, biking, or walking. Take some time before you leave on your trip to explore the options available to you in the Bay Area. Consider the things you’ll be seeing and doing and how that impacts what the best options are. Whatever you choose, you’re sure to find a way to get around that you can make work for you during your trip.

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