Visiting San Francisco for the first time? Ready to tour Alcatraz and Fisherman’s Wharf? I’ve found a few helpful tips for how to travel cheap and have a great visit to this charming city.
Here’s a tip for the cable cars. I actually figured this one out on my last stay. There was a stop right in front of my hotel over by the Wharf, and for a couple days it was the stop my friends and I used exclusively — to the tune of about an hour’s wait on every occasion. Now, we did use this time to people watch and also to run back up to our room to get things we forgot, but it was not exactly what we wanted to be spending our time doing. Well, on the second evening, we happened to be walking from our hotel in the other direction to visit a shop, and lo and behold, there was another cable car stop. And guess what? No line at all. We used that stop from then on. So don’t assume that the busiest cable car stop which might be right in plain sight is the ONLY stop near you. Check out the next closest and you may save a lot of time that way.
San Francisco has many gourmet restaurants, and you’ll want to try a few. How to travel cheap and still enjoy the food in these restaurants? Go for lunch instead of dinner. You will still get to sample the same food but just smaller portions. And less crowds. If you still would rather go for dinner, make sure you call ahead for reservations. Or, here’s a hint if you forget to call. Check to see if there is seating in the bar. There often is and sometimes you can just bypass the entire waiting crowd of people in the lobby and sit down at a table in the bar.
Is Alcatraz worth the trip? I think so and so do hordes of others, as it remains one of the most-visited tourist attractions in the state. As far as how to travel cheap, you can check the local city magazines for coupons, but whatever you do, don’t scrimp and save money by not paying for the audio tour, as it is a fascinating narrative performed by former inmates and guards. Really very interesting and worthwhile. Again, be sure to reserve early. Even though there are numerous tours throughout the day they fill up fast.
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For yet another tip on how to travel cheap, check out some of the great museums such as the National Maritime Museum or the San Francisco Cable Car Museum. These are free but call to check the hours before heading over just in case they are closed on the day you plan to visit.
There are also many annual events like arts and wine festivals, parades, and the strawberry festival that are also great how-to-travel-cheap ideas and ways to plan some inexpensive fun while visiting this most beautiful and charm-filled city.