What is your favorite way to explore a city? For the first time or the hundredth time, if the city is dynamic enough, exploring never gets old. Few cities in the world are as dynamic and multi-leveled as San Francisco, California. One could visit the beautiful city by the bay over a hundred times and still have plenty more to discover.
Filled with quirky secrets, unique details and a brilliant array of colorful neighborhoods, San Francisco is prime city exploring material.
Walking, driving, riding the bus, taking a tour… those are are excellent ways to explore. Hands down, though, our favorite way to explore San Francisco is on a bike.
We know… there are a lot of hills. But don’t be deterred! Hills offer some killer advantages, namely – ahh-mazing views and an excellent set of quads. If you’re still not convinced, don’t worry, there are a few flat routes you can take as well.
Biking San Francisco
Without further ado, here are a handful of our favorite San Francisco bike routes:
The Classic – Gold Gate Bridge to Sausalito
The folks who designed the Golden Gate Bridge smartly thought to add in a lane for bikers, walkers and such. We’re pretty sure this is the best bike route in the world. Seriously, you can be on a bike, rolling along only the most famous bridge in the world, while gazing out onto the beautiful, vast landscape. If you don’t do any other biking trails, definitely do this one! It’s about 7 miles across the bridge, which will then land you in the town of Sausalito once you arrive on the other side. Sausalito is a super rad town with plenty of places to eat and drink and celebrate your mileage. Best bit? You don’t even have to ride back over, you can take the ferry back from Pier 41. Map.
Cruise Down Valencia Street
Famous for being a hub for food, retail, and plenty of action, Valencia Street is an exciting part of town. It’s also a giant bike party. There are more bikes here than cars, which could be due to the fact that cars are actively glared at by many of the locals. Also good news – because it’s in the Mission, it’s relatively flat! Plenty of bike racks line the streets, so you can have an easy, laid-back day of riding, dining and exploring. Map.
Most Iconic – The Wiggle
This is route that will take you through some of the most famous parts of the city, while also keeping you off the busy main streets. Oh, and it works to avoid hills as well. Yay for happy quads! You’ll twist and turn through Duboce Triangle and the lower Haight District to Golden Gate Park, the Sunset, the Richmond, NOPA and more. Begin at Duboce Avenue and Market Street behind Safeway. Follow the bright green arrows on the ground, but you can also keep an eye out for other bikers, as there’s usually many!
Straightforward Ride – Fort Funston
This is a nice, relaxing ride, especially if there’s some sun and little wind. Ride along the Great Highway south from Golden Gate Park towards Fort Funston. From the windmills in Golden Gate park to the recreation area of Fort Funston is around 4 miles, mostly flat. This is the perfect spot for an afternoon picnic, or even to watch the sunset. Map.
The Extra Special Trip – Angel Island
You can’t bike the whole way since that would require biking on water. Naturally you’ll need to catch a ferry to Angel Island first, and then bike once you arrive! There’s a beautiful five-mile loop around the perimeter of the island. You’ll be presented with jaw-dropping panoramic views of the bay. The island is a state park so there’s plenty of places to picnic and relax. You’ll hop aboard the Blue and Gold Fleet Ferry from Pier 41 to get there.
biking san franciscoThose are our top five San Francisco bike routes, but in case you wear through those pretty quick, trust us – there are plenty more! San Francisco is a bikers heaven. Not only are there quite a few trails, but there’s also an entire biking culture. No matter where you are, you’ll encounter other bikers enjoying the day just like you!
Naturally in between all that exercise you’ll be doing, a luxurious place to stay and/or dine is in order. Not to toot our own horn or anything, but we think we can offer you the best of both. Hotel Zelos San Francisco is perfectly situated in Union Square, and is within easy biking of public transit and more biking routes. Plus, we have very roomy rooms and a very hip restaurant and bar (the Dirty Habit).
Grab your bike, make a reservation, and have a fabulous getaway!
There are a lot of hills. But don’t be deterred! Hills offer some killer advantages, namely – ahh-mazing views and an excellent set of quads.