San Francisco Airports
The Bay Area is served by three major airports: San Francisco International (SFO) is the largest and is located approximately 10 miles south of the city; Oakland International (OAK), in the city of Oakland, about 20 miles east of San Francisco; and Mineta San Jose International (SJC) in San Jose, about 45 miles south of the city.
Another option is to arrive by train, as Amtrak, California Zephyr, and Coast Starlight (both of which are operated by Amtrak), all provide service to the region.
Pacific Coast Highway
Depending how much time you have and from where you'll be arriving, a popular option is to drive and enjoy the remarkably scenic Pacific Coast Highway on your way into the area.
Other San Francisco Bay Area Transportation
Once you have arrived in the Bay Area, you have several methods of getting around. For our purposes, we won't elaborate on the bicycle, Segway rentals, taxi, or your own two feet! But by train, you have two options for jetting to your favorite Bay Area spots: Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), and Caltrain.
BART is an extensive rapid transit system connecting San Francisco to the East Bay, Contra Costa County, parts of the Peninsula, San Francisco and Oakland airports, and the eastern half of Silicon Valley.
Caltrain is a commuter rail line system running through the Peninsula and connecting San Francisco, San Jose, and Gilroy.
If you'd prefer to travel by sea, passenger ferries connect several Bay Area cities, especially in the North Bay, and provide glorious views of the city skyline. Golden Gate Ferries, Harbor Day Ferry, Alameda Oakland Ferry, Blue and Gold Fleet, and BayLink Ferry are the ferry service operators in the region.
The city's historic cable cars are definitely a must. Three of the lines are still in service today: two routes originate from the downtown area near Union Square and run to Fisherman's Wharf, while the third runs along California St. to Embarcadero Station.