When we last visited San Francisco, which was Halloween weekend, after our music event on Saturday, we were looking to explore more in the city. More and more with our visits to San Francisco, we are feeling more confident to get out and do other things in the city. Initially, we pretty much just holed up in our hotel of choice and attended our music event.
San Francisco, or any big city, can be intimidating. We have learned where it's okay to visit, and where it is not okay to visit in the city.
With that said, we explored maybe taking a boat cruise, going to Alcatraz Island maybe, or possibly a wine cruise. None of these boat excursions really "reached" out to us on this day. Then we saw the "Go Car" tour! What is a Go Car we thought? Let's check it out!
What is a Go Car?
Go Car tours are self-guided, GPS tours of the city. There are a couple of routes you can choose from, however, on this day, only one route was available. When you arrive at the Go Car location on Beach Street, outside of their shop, there is a QR code that you will scan and fill out your waiver. Once done, you will go inside to select the route and pay, and then the staff will usher you into a room to watch a 3-minute video on "how to" navigate the vehicle. Once that is completed, you go outside and the staff will fit you with a helmet and get you into the vehicle and then pretty much regurgitate the information that you just watched in the video.
Once all that is completed, you are off! The GPS will tell you, "Make a right on Jefferson, now make a left on Market," etc. You will also hear tidbits about the area you are in as you drive. You are driving on surface streets within the city. The Go Car is actually a motorcycle with a go-kart chassis complete with a horn, blinkers, and headlights. There is no reverse on the Go Car, so to back up, you have to get out of the vehicle and physically push the vehicle back. We may, or may not have had to do this a couple of times!? You can stop at any time and go take photos, maybe have some lunch, or just soak in the views. There are no really big hills that you go up, at least on our tour, but if you get off track and come upon a big hill, the vehicle won't make it up. The tour will not take you across bridges or take you on the freeway.
Where does the tour take us?
The tour we did took us along the Fishermans Wharf area, through the Marina District, past Chrissy Field, and all the way to the base of the Golden Gate Bridge. There are some awesome photo opportunities there. The tour resumes through Golden Gate Park and pass the Palace of Fine Arts and through the Presidio, which was simply beautiful and the history that was given was fascinating. The tour can take you to the famous Lombard Street, but we ran out of time as we had to get the vehicle back by 5 pm, so we didn't make it down the winding Lombard Street.
A Few Tips
- On the website, you had a choice of a certain time to show up, like every half hour. Not sure what that was about, but if it's just you and one other, just show up whenever is convenient for you.
- I believe the routes change depending on the time of year. Also, the routes may be abbreviated at times due to road construction. That was the case when we went as our tour was cut short through Golden Gate Park.
- The price on the day we went was $90 for my wife and me, yet, looking at the website today, that tour is $130, so clearly, the pricing fluctuates as well.
- Two large people will have a tough time fitting! My wife and I just fit! I am a "big boy."
- PLEASE tip the staff. We had no idea that was an option. I was seeing in our videos that there was a QR code sticker on the dashboard to "TIP," however, apparently both of us missed that.
The Go Car Tour is a really, really fun way to explore the city. We highly recommend this. We are definitely going to try it again as we will show up earlier and do a longer tour.