While in San Francisco, explore the city by bike to see the best of the Bay area and the Golden Gate Bridge. This beautiful ride was a wonderful way to see some of San Francisco’s most breathtaking views, and gave a real taste of the steep hills.
This guide includes Google Maps of the route. Total riding time is 3-4 hours, and once you’ve added in photo stops and snack breaks, it’s a full day excursion! This super scenic route includes the most famous landmarks and lookouts in San Francisco. One bike ride, all the sights.
Here’s my guided to the perfect San Francisco Bike Tour!
Crissy fields is a favourite location to see Golden Gate Bridge from. I had seen many photos of the area leading up to my trip. It’s an exceptional view of the bridge, the bay, and the perfect start to your bike route.
- Start off on Jefferson Street, and biked East towards the San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park.
- At Black Point, ride on the bike path and follow it to Marina Boulevard.
- Marina Boulevard leads to Crissy Fields.
- Follow the Battery E Trail.
- There are even more great views as you make your way up to the San Francisco Bay Trail. Take the Battery E Trail to make your way up to the Golden Gate Bridge.
The Golden Gate Bridge
The Golden Gate Bridge is incredibly safe for cyclists. There are separate entrances and paved paths for bikes, with barriers between bikes and cars. You don’t have to worry about squeezing by cars on a busy bridge.
On the far side of the bridge, walk/ carry your bike up to Vista Point for another great view of the bridge. This is a great place for a snack break, and there are restrooms.
- Access the Golden Gate Bridge via the Battery E Trail.
- Ride the bike path across, enjoy the view, an return!
Land’s End was one of my favourite places in San Francisco. It’s the type of place that makes you feel like you’re miles away from the city, even though it’s merely blocks away.Take a few moments to get off your bike and enjoy the view. Maybe you’ll even spot some whales in the bay, like I did! There are trails at Land’s End that extent along the coast, so you can also come back for a hike another time.
- Come back across the South side of the Golden Gate Bridge.
- Follow Lincoln Boulevard, keeping the ocean on your right.
- Lincoln Boulevard becomes El Camino del Mar.
- The entrance to Land’s End then comes up quickly on your right.
Legion of Honour and the Cliff House
The Legion of Honor is one of the most beautiful buildings in San Fransisco, and part of the fine Arts Museum. It’s not far from the Cliff House, which overlooks the ocean and the old Sutro Bathes.
Getting from the Legion of Honour to the Cliff House is probably the most complicated set of directions in here. More simply, keep the ocean on your right!
- Follow El Camino del Mar, and continue until you reach the Legion of Honour.
- Leave the Legion of Honour and turn left on 34th Avenue.
- Right on Clement, left on 45th, right on Point Lobos Avenue.
Alamo Square and Lombardo Street
It’s time to ride back! But not without passing a couple more awesome landmarks on the way. Make your way through Golden Gate Park, then on to see the painted ladies and Lombardo street. If you want to skip hills though, go back along the coast once you’re out of Golden Gate Park.
- Follow Fulton to bypass Golden Gate Park, or John F. Kennedy Drive through it.
- Continue to Alamo Square
- If you want to pass Lombardo Street, go North on Steiner and then West on Union.
Renting a bike was a great way to see the city, and my favourite way to see the Golden Gate Bridge. During my time in San Francisco, I drove over it, bike it, and took a boat tour that went right underneath it. Cycling across was my favourite was to see it!
Renting a Bike
There are a few places that you can rent a bike. My recommendation is Bay City Bikes. I rented a “City Bike,” which is essentially a hybrid. If you really want to relax on the hills, there are electric bikes too! The rental locations are right near the beginning of the bike route, in the tourist area near Pier 39.
It’s good to plan ahead a little, too. There’s a 20% discount if you book in advance online, and there are often discounts available through Groupon. A 24 hour bike rental is also one of the activity options on the San Fransisco C3 Pass, which gives you access to other great activities too.
Tips for Biking San Franciso
- The bikes from Bay City Bikes have bags on the front where you can keep your possessions, but nothing too big.
- Waterbottle, sunscreen, and remember to pack shoes that you can use for cycling in your luggage!
I hope you enjoy your day exploring San Franciso. If you’re following the root, tag me in your photos on Instagram @ninanearandfar so I can see your favourite spots!
2 Replies to “The Perfect Self-Guided San Francisco Bike Tour”
Ohhhh I need to try this route next time I’m in SF! Thank you for the tips!
Do it! Wonderful way to spend the day and loads of great photo opportunities.
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