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Old 10-09-2010, 01:51 PM   #1
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Who drives around San Francisco?

We are headed down the California coast and are planning on staying a few days in the San Francisco area. We are currently planning on staying at the San Francisco RV restort in Pacificia unless someone has better ideas. In order to do that, I have to get there...that is the rub. I will be on 101 coming down the coast. Do I drive through San Francisco? Go around? How far around?

One of you locals or a recent traveller give me a hand here. What is the best route and place to camp if we want to see San Francisco for a couple of days?
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Old 10-09-2010, 03:02 PM   #2
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Coming down from the north the golden gate is O.K. going south. Be sure to get off immediately after paying your toll, take the 19th avenue exit and follow this until you run into I 280 take this to the 1 which goes to Pacifica. The park in Pacifica is close to the city but it is like a parking lot. Other choices are north of SF in Olema and Petaluma(KOA). They are nicer parks in a more rural atmosphere but it is more difficult to get into the city from these. The other choice would be Pelican Point in Half Moon Bay but don't go there the manager is rude and the rules make it impossible to have a good time.
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Old 10-09-2010, 03:26 PM   #3
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There are two main routes through San Franciso, one via 19th Avenue and the other via Van Ness (101). Both are city streets, and will require close attention as the lanes are not wide and there is often heavy traffic, including Muni buses, etc. I've done both routes w/ significant trailers, Van Ness w/ our Airstream and 19th w/ a 8 1/2' wide equipment trailer. If you choose 19th Avenue which makes sense given your destination, be in the rightmost lane when leaving the Golden Gate bridge. The road through Golden Gate Park/Presideo is winding and narrow and the locals drive it with abandon. Avoid rush hours if possible.

I'm afraid we don't camp in the area (we live perhaps 30 miles down the Peninsula), so best places are an interesting question. Parking in SF can be a challenge; I find using local public transport to work well w/ a bit of advance planning. You can take a bus & BART into the city, or find a place to cache your ride somewhere. Buses, street cars and cable cars are all good choices in SF, as well as just plain walking - wear comfortable shoes. Bicycling in the city takes nerve and experience, but is often the fastest means of transport (hence the bike messengers...) downtown. Biking along the water front is fun and easy, though.

Google maps has excellent aerial photos of the resort, which looks to be largely a parking lot (<10% grass) w/ a pool directly on the beach.


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Old 10-09-2010, 03:52 PM   #4
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If you get lucky and end up it a waterfront site, it can't be beat. It is on a bluff overlooking the ocean. Just a short drive to the nearest BART station to get downtown.

Just study the route. Know what the major alternatives are if you miss a turn. We did it with a caravan headed north. Only one individual ended up in Oakland out of three groups of rigs.

Jim
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Old 10-09-2010, 03:54 PM   #5
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The RV resort we recently stayed at in SF was Candlestick RV Park, which was perfect for us. Candlestick RV Park, San Francisco

It is rather pricey, and like a parking lot, but on-site amenities (other than expensive laundry) were good and it has a shuttle from the campground into the city. The shuttle coordinates with one of the hop-on, hop-off tour buses, which you can take or not and worked very well for us for 2 days in the city.

We would recommend this place if you want to avoid the drive into and around town, which we did.

Maggie
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Old 10-09-2010, 05:52 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by doug&maggie View Post
The RV resort we recently stayed at in SF was Candlestick RV Park, which was perfect for us. Candlestick RV Park, San Francisco

It is rather pricey, and like a parking lot, but on-site amenities (other than expensive laundry) were good and it has a shuttle from the campground into the city. The shuttle coordinates with one of the hop-on, hop-off tour buses, which you can take or not and worked very well for us for 2 days in the city.

We would recommend this place if you want to avoid the drive into and around town, which we did.

Maggie
We also stayed at Candlestick park a couple of years back and found it excellent for visiting the city and not having to worry about driving and parking the truck.


As for San Diego, we stopped at the Marina/RV park at Chula Vista which was very nice and also convenient for visiting S.D and Tijuana.

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Old 10-09-2010, 06:56 PM   #7
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I too would go 19th. Once on 19th it gets a little tight since they are doing the retrofit on doyle drive. Just stay in the right lane there.. and once you get through the park stick yourself in the middle lane and cruise on through. Its easy just watch your mirrors and the busses. All of the places mentioned are ok to stay. The closer to the city if thats your recreation destination the better. Enjoy your stay.. and if something comes up and you need a hand just give a call.

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Old 10-09-2010, 09:04 PM   #8
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Several years ago hubby and I drove through S.F. going north on 101. He looked for street lights and I looked for hwy. signs. Not a problem at all. Drove over Golden Gate Bridge...beautiful area. We stayed at Petaluma KOA. There are buses that come to the park that take you to designated areas. We chose to drive ourselves without a problem.

Whatever you decide...have a nice trip.


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Old 10-09-2010, 09:28 PM   #9
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Petaluma KOA is very nice I agree.. keep in mind its about 45 minutes without traffic into the heart of the city from there though and northbound traffic coming back up 101 to Petaluma can be a nightmare.
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Old 10-10-2010, 12:54 AM   #10
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Straight Shot

We agree with the folks here. Gemma grew up in the city and Murray's lived here for over twenty years and we'd take 101S to 19th Avenue, through the park, to 280S to 1S. It's practically a straight shot or at least as straight a shot as you're ever going to get in San Francisco.

Best wishes for a great trip!
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Old 10-10-2010, 06:34 AM   #11
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GG Bridge

We were just there,,,stayed at Bodega Bay and drove down and over the bridge and onto 19th street, no problem...went from there to Half Moon Bay for a nice stay at Pillar Point.....Can't wait to go back
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