For permanent locals and temporary residents alike, one of the biggest benefits of living in San Francisco is the fact that you have no shortage of transportation options for getting around, even if you don’t have a car. The unique hybrid bus system, the Caltrain light rail service, or the classic cable cars that have become a tourist destination all apply here. However, one mass transportation you’ll see around the city is the BART.
The Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), runs through San Francisco, as well as other cities on the East Bay like Oakland or Berkley. It’s a favorite among locals due to the combination of speed and reliability. Here are some attractions nearby BART stations.
First, let’s briefly understand what you need to know before getting on at BART stations for the first time. 24-hour service isn’t given, but service will generally run from a time in the morning to midnight, varying based on what day. During the week, you can generally expect to get service around every 15 minutes, closer to 20 minutes on weekends.
To ride on the BART, you need to have either a physical ticket or a Clipper card. You can get these from vending machines at any BART station, or, if you opt to use the Clipper card, you can also pay for your fares online.
The BART has eight stops in San Francisco in total, and best of all, the bulk of these are not far from some of great, fully-furnished Blueground rental properties. As a real estate tech company, Blueground works to curate properties with ideal locations across San Francisco and several other major cities, then builds them up so you can book them for whatever period of time you need, from a month to a year. All you need to do is move in, no setup needed.
With all that said, here’s a rundown of some of the hot cultural attractions that are easily accessible:
Located near the Embarcadero BART station, facing San Francisco Bay is a piece of actual San Francisco history. The Ferry Building Marketplace dates all the way back to 1898 when it was originally designed to be a loading dock for ferry travelers and the luggage they brought with them. Following a recent restoration, it’s still going strong. The entire ground floor is a massive public food market full of gourmet offerings. Don’t be surprised to see different cafes, restaurants, and shops all offering their wares. From organic products to wines to sweet treats, you can find it all here. Even if you’re not hungry, there are also a variety of eclectic handcrafted goods for sale.
This is one of the first tourist destinations a lot of people think of when it comes to San Francisco, and as fate has it, it’s not far from the Embarcadero BART station. From looking at some of the local fish stalls to watching the sea lions that like to rest on the dock, to booking a cruise out to Alcatraz, you could easily fill a whole day of fun just exploring this American landmark.
One of the BART stations that is situated right in the heart of the city is the Civic Center/UN Plaza stop. There’s a variety of different activities to find here, but one that bears mentioning, in particular, is the Asian Art Museum. This museum has one of the largest Asian art collections in the world, featuring pieces from Japan to Persia and everywhere in between. As a special note, this museum is free on Sundays, so make sure you plan your schedule accordingly
Carved in 1970 from stone, this gate, on top of making for a great photo op, marks the entryway into one of the U.S.’s most famous Chinatowns. Whether you want to eat, shop, or explore in the area, it’s not a far walk from the Montgomery Street BART station. Other notable sites near this stop include North Beach and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)
For a little reprieve from the hustle and bustle of the city, take a trip to the Powell St. BART station and walk over to this urban park for some peace. There’s a lot more here than just your typical duck pond, though. Features include butterfly gardens, art installations, and a 50-foot waterfall
When it comes to some of the most iconic neighborhoods in San Francisco, the Mission District always seems to be at the top of the list. There are actually two different BART stations located in the area, on 24th and 15th Street, giving you a little more versatility on what areas you want to check out. Chances are that you’ll see the visual impact of the area as soon as you get off at your stop. Not only is the area home to some of the oldest architecture in the city, but there’s also plenty of street art that makes a massive impression.
After taking things all in, you can enjoy some of the many local parks, as well as some of the best international food in the whole city. From classic Mexican food to Indian, Chinese, and Lebanese options, the Mission District offers a San Francisco experience like none other.