San Francisco Car Rental
If you plan on spending all of your vacation time in the city, there is no need to rent a car. Parking is particularly difficult and expensive here. In addition, San Francisco is relatively condensed and there are good bus and cable car services in place. However, if you want to explore the Wine Country or make trips to the surrounding area, renting a car is a convenient and cost-effective way to do this.
A number of national car rental companies operate in San Francisco, some of the major players include: Budget, Dollar, Avis and Alamo. Car rental prices in San Francisco vary according to the season. On average, you can expect to pay between $50 and $270 a week for a basic automatic car (not including taxes).
In order to rent a car in San Francisco you will need to be 25. However, there are a handful of companies that rent to those as young as 20. If you are less than 25 it is important to note that you may be limited to only a selection of cars and you may have to pay an additional fee.
To make sure that you get your preferred car, it is advised that you book your car rental in advance. This is especially recommended for those travelling to San Francisco during the peak season. In addition, sometimes you can get a discount if you book online. Wherever you rent your vehicle from it is important that you inquire about drop-off charges, surcharges and crossing state boundaries. Knowing the answers to these questions will avoid any nasty surprises down the line.
Top Things to do in San Francisco
Chinatown is a must-see attraction when visiting this unique city. Tracing its history back to the days of the California gold rush, Chinatown is very literally a country within a city. The people here tend to be quite friendly (if not very polite and reserved). There are numerous festivals held here and the foods are as delectable as they are exotic. For those who wish to make Chinatown a stop during their visit, it is a good idea to purchase what is known as a CityPASS. This will enable tourists to take advantage of public transportation systems.
The Golden Gate Bridge is the most recognizable landmark here and likewise should never be missed. Not only are wonderful panoramic views of the city offered, but a foot path will enable anyone to get an up-close-and-personal view of this majestic engineering marvel. This is also an ideal spot to snap a few pictures before returning to the city proper.
Another option that is enjoyed by many is to take a ride in one of the cable cars which ascend up the hilly streets (perhaps made famous by the Rice-A-Roni commercials above all). These cars will often run directly alongside the iconic Victorian houses which were largely spared from the aforementioned earthquake. These cars run between Market Street and Fisherman’s Wharf. The CityPASS will also be valid on these cars. These are an absolute must-see attraction for countless visitors and many cars have actually been in operation for 50 years or even longer.