San Francisco: Safety and Getting Around

Article excerpt

San Francisco is one of the country's top tourist destinations. While it is a big attraction, it actually comprises a surprisingly small area. Located at the tip of the San Francisco peninsula, it only covers approximately seven square miles. Lucky for tourists and activity seekers, San Francisco is easily explored on foot and by public transit. While "The City," as it is referred to by locals, is characterized as being dense and compact in populations and architecture, it certainly isn't lacking in historical attractions and exciting events! There are various things that are important to know about basic safety and ways to navigate The City. By getting to know different methods of travel and basic safety tips, travelers can make the most of their time in the beautiful and eclectic city by the bay.

GENERAL SAFETY

In general, San Francisco is a safe and tourist-friendly destination; however, like when visiting any other major city, it is a good idea to practice basic safety sense. Carry a good street map and perhaps a cell phone so that you can call your hotel if you get lost. Do not carry large amounts of cash or display expensive jewelry. While all major cities have their areas of higher crime rates, those in San Francisco are not likely to be seen by tourists, and for the most part, they are not common areas of travel.

MODES OF TRAVEL

Walking. In San Francisco, walking is great way to travel. Your feet can prove to be your best travel partners, as many of the city's most popular tourist destinations are within walking distance of one another. North Beach, China Town, and Fisherman's Wharf are all examples of popular destinations that can be easily accessed by walking tour. San Francisco is known for its steep hills, so be sure to keep this in mind when planning your walking trips. The steepness of streets can vary greatly from one block to another. Remember to strap on your comfortable walking shoes!

Public transit. If walking is not one of your interests, San Francisco also boasts a convenient and comprehensive bus, streetcar, cable car, and subway network to get you to your destination. The primary transit provider is Muni, which operates all bus, streetcar, and cable car lines within the city limits. The primary regional transit provider is BART, which operates as a subway line through much of the city. Stations and pick-up points are easily recognizable, while schedule and fare rates are also available via the Internet and station information kiosks. For more information and help planning trips, visit the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency's website (http:// www.sfmta.com/cms/home/sfmta.php).

If you are planning to make the most out of your trip to San Francisco by exploring outside the convention area, you may want to consider purchasing a Citypass, which is a Muni-and-attraction all-in-one pass. If you plan on visiting all the participating attractions, you will save more than $50 using the Citypass. …