Saito S wrote:
Lastly, it sounds like you're already planning on using public transit for at least part of the trip; unless you or anyone else with you is unable to do some walking, or you just really hate city buses, I'd say do NOT rent a car. Traffic and parking can be an absolute nightmare (and extremely costly in the case of the parking, especially downtown).
I have to agree about the parking. Sticker shock to me coming from the Midwest. I was in SF a few years back, for a week long trip, and we rented a convertible the day before going home. Trekked up the Pacific Coast Highway to Leggett and drove through their Chandelier Tree. Beautiful redwood forests up there. Super touristy, but cool nonetheless! And we came back down through Napa, Sonoma, the nice winding roads of wine country.
We parked the car overnight for $30 at the hotel, and drove it to the airport before our flight home. So if you want to head out of downtown for a day or two, renting a car is a great way to have a little fun!