Besides relaxing and watching the ocean, one of the things a lot of people like to do while they are at Pillar Point RV Park is to go to San Francisco.   Whether you want to see the sights or shop til you drop, taking BART is the fastest, easiest way in or out of the city.   You won't have to deal with traffic or finding a very expensive parking space if you take public transportation.

Whether you are taking a tow vehicle or your RV, you can get to San Francisco very quickly by taking BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit).

The nearest BART station to Pillar Point RV Park is in Colma, which is about a 15 minute drive north on Highway One.   BART is clean, safe and easy.

Take exit 510 off of Highway One shortly after you pass through Pacifica into Daly City.   The exit will also read Avenue D.   At the exit, stay in the middle lane marked Avenue D and BART.  Go straight through the stop light.

If you have your big rig, you may park in the Samtrans (bus) parking lot on the right.   It's large and open air.   Remember the number of the spot you are in, because you will have to purchase a $2 parking pass at the kiosk before you enter the overpass walkway to get to the BART station.

If you have your tow vehicle, which is small enough for a parking garage, you can enter BART parking on the left which will cost you $3.00.   If you are arriving before 10am watch out for the posted restricted spaces on the entry level.  If you park there before 10am, you will get a $40 ticket.  After 10am, the space is fair game.    Again, you must remember your parking spot number in order to purchase parking at the parking kiosk.

Once you are in the BART station, you will see the ticket machines.   To the right is a chart of the fares from Colma to various destinations.   To get to the heart of San Francisco, you will want to choose the Powell Street stop.   As of this writing, the cost is $6.60 round trip.   The machines will only give up to $4 change, so you will want to make sure you buy each ticket within that amount.   Each person will need their own ticket in order to pass through the gates.

To buy a ticket: 

To buy a ticket for Powell Street, for example, insert $7 into the slot on the right.
(the machines also take ATM/Credit cards)  Since you want a round ticket for $6.60, go to the screen, push the bottom left button that says "subtract 5 cents" and push that button until your ticket price is $6.60.    At that point, push the "print ticket" button and your ticket will pop out and your change and receipt will come out the bottom.     Proceed to the gate, insert your ticket into the front and it will pop up a few steps ahead.  Pull your ticket out and the gate will open!  Be sure to keep your ticket safe.  You will need it every time you enter or exit a BART station.  (You can see a video of this at the bottom of this post online.)

To pay for parking:

Walk through the gate on the right to get to the parking kiosk.   Again, insert the price of the ticket if needed (free on weekends) punch in the number of the spot and you're good to go.   You may proceed to the trains.

To The Trains:

The trains run north and south.  North for San Francisco, South for the airport.
When returning, to Columa, be sure to catch a train that says it's heading for Millbrae or the San Francisco Airport.    All other trains end in Daly City, one stop short of Colma.  If you accidently get on one of those trains, then get off on Daly City, catch the next train that says Millbrae or Airport and get off on the next stop.

Each stop is announced by the conductor and there is a map on the wall of the car where you can follow the stops.   Each station also has a sign you can see from your car as well.  The ride from Colma to Powell Street is about 18 minutes.

When you get off BART at the Powell Street stop, go up the elevator and through the turnstiles.   It's well marked.  

One thing you will notice is that you have arrived in the heart of SF shopping.  Nordstroms, Macys and other stores have entrances right at the turnstiles.    Proceed out of the station and walk up a short set of steps.   

On your left you will see the Visitors Center.     They have all kinds of brochures and maps.  Ask for the sheet that has all the walking and public transportation directions to get anywhere in the city.

SF Visitor Center - 415-391-2000

May through October
9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. - M-F
9am-3pm Weekends and Holidays

November through April
9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. - Monday through Friday
9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. - Saturday
Closed - Sunday

Closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day.

After leaving the Visitors Center, proceed up the stairs where you'll find the trolley car turnaround.   You can purchase tickets right there at a kiosk.  for ticket/day pass/mo pass prices.  The Cable Car from here takes you to Fisherman's Wharf.  

The Powell-Mason line begins at the Powell/ Market turntable, and the line runs from there up and over Nob Hill and down to Bay Street at Fisherman's Wharf.

The Powell-Hyde line also begins at the Powell Market turntable and runs over Nob and Russian hills before ending at Aquatic Park near Ghiradelli Square.

Both these lines end near Fisherman's Wharf, but at different areas, and the routes are significantly different.   Decide before hand which part of Fisherman's Wharf you'd like to visit. 

The California Street line runs East-West from the Financial District, through Chinatown, over Nob Hill and stops at Van Ness Avenue.

Unless you have a pass, you cannot get off and on along the route.  You will have to pay full price each time, so remember that.   If you are catching the Cable Car along the route, you will pay the conductor for the ticket.  

You can also catch the F train (it looks like an electric bus) right there on Market Street and take that to Fisherman's Wharf.

From Powell Street, you can easily walk to Union Square, Chinatown and lots of shopping.

Chinatown:  Walk 2.5 blocks toward 3rd street.  Go left onto Kearny Street.  Walk up two blocks to the intersection of Bush and Kearny where you will see the entrance to Chinatown.

Union Square:  Walk half a block toward 3rd street.  Take a left on Stockton and walk two blocks and there you are.   One of our favorite things to do is to go to the top of Macy's overlooking Union Square and having lunch at the Cheesecake Factory.  They have outdoor tables and the food is wonderful.   We went at Christmas time during Santacon and had fun watching everyone dressed up as Santa and others skating on the outdoor ice rink.

BART Hours of Operation

Weekdays (4:00 am - Midnight)
Saturday (6:00 am - Midnight)
Sunday (8:00 am - Midnight)

On weekdays trains run every 15 minutes. On nights and weekends trains run every 20 minutes.  There are also extended hours for specific holidays.

If you are interested in taking your bicycle to the city, you may bring it on BART
with some exceptions.   Check this link online for what you need to know:

Good map showing the Powell Bart Station and where you can go from there.

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