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SamIAm's avatar

Can anyone suggest a good map to use to better learn the San Francisco area?

Asked by SamIAm (8703points) November 23rd, 2009

As some of you already know, I am moving to San Francisco next week. I have a little bit of an idea about the area that I will be living in but I have never lived in a big city and am a little nervous about getting around! I wanted to know if anyone can recommend a specific website (aside from and google maps) that will help familiarize me with the area & muni as well!

If you moved to SF, or any big city, how did you best prepare? I know I’ll get used to it while I’m there but I’d like to do some research now (okay, maybe I’m just kind of excited!)!!

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12 Answers

LC_Beta's avatar

Studying a map of the city will probably help you quite a lot. When I first moved here, I didn’t feel entirely comfortable until I could identify which way was North easily. What kind of map do you want, specifically? And are you looking for something to use on the computer, or something in print?

LC_Beta's avatar

Here is a link to the MUNI map that was very helpful for me when I moved:

Otherwise, Google maps is my favorite. Try using street view.

emma193's avatar

I called this my “iPhone” before I got a real one – a wallet-sized map with much of SF plus Muni lines, which is a rare find to have all on one paper map. Website below and you can pick one up in the Russian Hill Bookstore too. Welcome to SF – no better place on earth!

SamIAm's avatar

@LC_Beta: I was out there about a week ago and had NO problem finding North for some reason, I didn’t have a hard time navigating it at all, maybe it was just beginner’s luck! Any map… I kinda just need to memorize the streets which I can do with google maps just fine but I could also use a good internet map (I have a few pocket maps, I just SOOO don’t want to be THAT girl).

Thanks everyone!!! yayyyy

SamIAm's avatar

While I have you both here (maybe still hopefully?) What’s the deal with bike racks on buses out there? Do most buses not have them? Do any have them? I don’t know if I can make it up and down all those hills…

LC_Beta's avatar

Most buses have bike racks, but the metro doesn’t allow bikes. BART allows bikes on board during non-rush hours.

Naked_Homer's avatar

@LC_Beta – good call on the muni map. Plus one of those laminated quick maps are great to. Basically all the streets are east west and north south until you hit water.

SamIAm's avatar

@LC_Beta: hmm what’s the metro (bart is your subway, right? and muni is only buses?)

kellylet's avatar

I do not know how it is for San Fran but I loved, loved, loved my “Not For Tourist” map in Los Angeles. It is a black map book with ‘NFT“on the front. It has everything you need. It breaks the city down into areas and tells you what is there. It notes restaurants, bars, coffee shops, banks, post offices, library- everything you could want. The back has information on malls, parks. My map of LA is 5 years old and totally beat up.

I moved to LA totally unprepared. I had never been there before. I picked an apartment out online. I didn’t have a job or any friends there and I drove my 100,000+ mile car cross country in about 3 days. Now I realize i was completely insane! The only prep I did was save money. I saved up about $7,000 before I left. It was the smartest and most important thing I did.

When you get there take time to explore. Get lost in the city. Good Luck!

YARNLADY's avatar

AAA has the best maps in the world. You can get several that cover small parts of the city, and some that are for the entire thing on one map. I suggest you go to a local AAA office and some.

I am a member, so I have complete internet access to any map I need, and they are much more reliable than Google, Yahoo or even Mapquest.

LC_Beta's avatar

@Samantha_Rae: BART is the Bay Area Rapid Transit – a light rail train that goes all over the area. Here is a map:

The “metro” I referred to is the light-rail system of MUNI, which is San Francisco’s municipal transportation system. It consists of buses, light-rail or metro trains, and street-cars. Bikes are allowed on buses but not the trains. I guess I should have said “trains” in the first place.

emma193's avatar

@Samantha_Rae may I assure you that a pocket map will hardly make you “THAT” girl in San Francisco. It is a city where people push their dogs around in puppy strollers, and I regularly see cyclists riding around on Victorian bicycles with massive round wheel. I still laugh thinking of the time I saw a man who resembled Santa Claus wearing red long johns and playing frisbee with himself at Ocean Beach. And come May, there is a percentage of the population who are completely happy to run across the city wearing nothing but a pair of sneakers and body paint (if you’re lucky). In short, SF is a place where anything goes and much is accepted…thus, a (very useful) pocket map will hardly make anyone look twice. If anything, someone might ask you if you need help!

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