You’ve seen them: those wily low-riders in small bright yellow cars, zipping right past you, sightseeing San Francisco, just … gleeful. Don’t knock it till you’ve driven it: On your mark, get set, GoCar! Hop into one, follow normal traffic rules, and zip along the streets at speeds of 25 mph (45 mph if you upgrade to the sport edition). Feel the sea breeze blowing through your helmet as you depart Fisherman’s Wharf with a GPS-guided audio track telling you and your passenger how to get to the city’s hotspots: the chocolate fountains of Ghirardelli Square, the grassy pastures of Crissy Field, Fort Point underneath the Golden Gate. Ultimately, you get to choose your own adventure as the audio adapts to your route. Just don’t get too cheeky—your GPS hollers when you’ve gone out of bounds or into a high-traffic area (tip: stay off Van Ness during rush hours). Learn tales about your town as you go, like where to stop for stellar cioppino at Fisherman’s Wharf (Cioppino’s!) or the oldest hardware store, on Fillmore Street (Fredericksen’s, which opened in 1896). And for a grand finale: hold on to the wheel! GoCars are allowed to take the eight hairpin turns on tourist-famous Lombard Street (which is not San Francisco’s crookedest street, that honor actually goes to … GoCar to find out!)
TIP: Don’t deny your inner tourist. Park your wheels outside The Buena Vista; then pop inside to watch the snazzy white-coated barmen lining up rows of Irish coffees. The old-school joint claims to have perfected the drink in 1952; test that theory for yourself (within legal limits, of course!).
San Francisco GoCar Tours, (415) 359-9299, depart from 431 Beach St. in Fisherman’s Wharf. First hour costs $56, second hour costs an additional $46. Upgrade to a sport GoCar for an additional $10/hr. No dogs.