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31

In fact, your potential for scenic views will be higher on virtually any mode of transportation other than the bus (plane, train, private car, boat). There is quite stunning scenery along the coast. Amtrak's Coast Starlight follows some of it, between San Luis Obispo and Oxnard, and a seat can be had for as little as $60 coach. But keep in mind that this ...


17

You should definitively go to the Computer History Museum in Mountain View and especially check out the Stackoverflow plaque in the Computer History Museum Wall. See also the Meta SO thread about it.


16

You will definitely want to visit Weird Stuff, which is an enormous warehouse of all kinds of discarded technology located in Sunnyvale. It's a bit out there, but very worth it. If you're interested in doing any archival research, you might also want to schedule an appointment with Stanford's Silicon Valley Archives.


13

TL;DR: Hire only on the days you're likely to need it. You'll almost certainly want a car if you want to get out of the city (Marin, Santa Cruz, Napa, redwoods etc), but if all you're doing is exploring the city, a car is unlikely to be worth the hassle. Getting around the city center with a combination of public transport, Uber and your own feet is easy, ...


12

(Sorry for the late answer) I've spent about 3 months over the course of a few trips (2 months on my first trip), and I had a list of places I wanted to see. Not all of them are 'attractions' or the usual, but nevertheless something as a geek that's been looking at the things going on in Silicon Valley from a far most of my life I wanted to see: Computer ...


12

Is visiting San Francisco viable in 5.5 hours? Only to do a drive through and not a very thorough one. Let's assume that you have your bags checked all the way through the destination and let's further assume that flights will be on time and let's even further assume that there is no traffic going to and from the airport. Under these circumstances it ...


11

I've actually hitchhiked tens of thousands of miles across North America, and while I haven't done any in the past few years (so things may have changed a little) I think it's certainly possible to do this in under two weeks. I've gone from Massachusetts to California in six days, for instance. What I don't have is any experience hitchhiking as a woman, so ...


10

Yes. Absolutely. Almost all that you mention and tips can be paid using credit cards in almost all of the USA. SFO is a major metro and I cannot think of any establishment which will not happily take your money in the credit card format. It helps to keep a few bucks in cash and the only areas that I think you will require cash for are : Alms : If you love ...


9

It's do-able, but you won't get a lot of time in the city. Unless you feel like paying for a taxi, your best option to get to the city is BART which leaves directly from the Airport. Presuming you're there on a weekday, BART leaves every 15 minutes (20-25 minutes evenings and weekends), and takes about 30 mins to the city. Allowing time to get from your ...


9

Almost all major hotels will do this. Conference centres will also make rooms available, especially if you are a conference attendee. The Moscone Center can provide these - they can also provide connection services if you also wanted to Skype from the room as well.


9

[So tempted to answer this with, "let me know when and I'll pick you up," but that doesn't answer the question for Googlers down the line, does it?] If you're looking for public transportation in the greater San Francisco Bay area, the place to start is always 511.org. A little looking around there will lead you to the Golden Gate Transit site, where you ...


9

You likely won't be able to fit into a "normal" cab, however SFO normally has a good assortment of types of cabs available, ranging from those with just larger trunks up to minivans and the like. There are generally taxi marshaling staff at the airport who will be able to assign you to a taxi that will work for you. Keep in mind that a cab to the South Bay ...


9

It is always hard to tell about safety because people have very different criteria about safety. Having used the public transportation, buses in particular, in San Francisco, including poorer neighborhoods, I would consider it safe. I am a tall white man though, so the feeling of security might be different. San Francisco buses are the places that show the ...


8

If you love arcade games, you should get a bundle of quarters and go to the Musée Mécanique (Linking to yelp because their official site has auto playing music :S).


7

Unfortunately that's how it is. You can look at this site for clipper info and what can be loaded on it, but it seems that you have already. Here's the info about BART fares. You can buy the "High Value Discount" tickets in person in several places, you don't have to order it by mail necessarily. These are central locations which you undoubtedly are going to ...


7

I'm surprised noone mentioned the book Geek Silicon Valley It's been a long while since I read it, and it's 5 years out of date (which is a pretty long time in valley terms), but it has a lot of the sort of thing you're looking for. I agree with other answers, by the way - the Musee Mecanique, the Computer History Museum, and Weird Stuff are all good ...


7

What's quickest will depend on exactly when you want to leave, but as a rough idea BART + CalTrain is likely to be simplest (even if bus/buses might be faster depending on your exact arrival time) For the CalTrain down to Mountain View, you have a few trains an hour in the week (more in peak hours). Most of these stop at Millbrae, a few stop at San Bruno. ...


7

I am not convinced it is really related to travel, but in fact, there is an option if you are near Palo Alto Caltrain Station. SamTrans (San Mateo County Transit District) offers some night buses between San Francisco (Financial District) and Palo Alto Caltrain station. This is the line 397 that has 3 buses per night from Palo Alto Caltrain station, ...


6

They have a tech museum in San Jose that may be quite savvy, atleast to your tastes. Of course, you should also visit Palo Alto, not just restricted to Stanford University; it is place known for youthful energy and budding entrepreneurship that is characteristic of the Silicon Valley.


6

Yes, Muni tokens are still valid on SF Muni buses and trams as of February 2013. When boarding a bus or a streetcar, put a token in the cash farebox and get your proof of payment from the driver. In the Market Street tunnel, you can use a token to purchase a single ticket from the vending machines. You cannot use tokens to load a Clipper card (even a ...


6

You can rent a conference room from a company like Regus. They have many locations in San Francisco.


6

Greetings from San Francisco. You can't get Clipper at most BART stations, but you do have a couple of alternatives: Muni ticket vending machines, found at all Muni metro stations (which are all over the city center) All SF outlets of Walgreens, a ubiquitous pharmacy chain Plus a bunch of random neighbourhood stores etc, there's a handy map/locator on ...


6

The answer naturally depends on where in Oakland you'll be and where in SF you need to get to, but the ferry seems an obvious alternative: San Francisco Bay Ferry Two terminals in Oakland, and three in more-or-less central SF. $6.25 a pop cash, or $4.75 with a Clipper. The more boring alternative is buses (see Transit.511.org), which are apparently ...


6

You can drive, take a cab, there are buses, trains, probably even helicopters, but what most people use and which is designated for travellers going downtown is the BART. You have to cross the airport in the mini train shuttle (it comes every few minutes) to access the BART station. Once you get there, the price for a one-way ticket is 8.65USD to go ...


5

There is the Bay Model Visitor Center. It is a huge warehouse with a model of the bay and all water. Although the model is quite old and inaccurate by today's standards, it shows the efforts required to study the water movements prior to computer simulations. It is controversial - I liked it, my colleague didn't. Don't expect much interaction there. ...


5

August Outside Lands Festival Music, Food, Wine, Beer, & Art Festival in Golden Gate Park. San Francisco Shakespeare Festival The genius of Shakespeare in San Francisco's most relaxing setting. Admission is free every Saturday and Sunday through the month of September. Arrive early for a good seat; shows begin at 1:30pm. San Jose Jazz Festival With ...


5

Fairly obviously, yes, you will see more. There's the long road, the bits of the coast, the various small town you travel through or past. Then there's the passengers. I find you'll either get 'weirdos', or you'll meet some really interesting people to talk to. People seem more keen to chat on buses than on planes, for some reason. Trains even more so ...


5

In 2011, US News and World Report rated San Francisco 13th best in the US for public transit. I agree with Vince that it's pretty safe overall but you might want to avoid certain lines, particularly at night. (But like Vince I'm also a large white guy, so...) Here's a list from 2010 of the top 10 bus lines for reported crime incidents. As a city resident ...


4

Look on www.airbnb.com. We have used this service several times and have never been disappointed. It isn't a hostel, but you can still get rooms pretty cheap. It is because of this service that we no longer use hotels.


4

Almost certainly the bus + hostel option will be cheapest, however don't rule out the possibility of flying - it won't be cheaper, but it will save you a lot of time. SFO/LAX/LAS are highly competitive routes for airlines, and it's not uncommon to find very cheap fares, especially if you can be a bit flexible in terms of which day you're traveling. For ...



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