There’s no better way to get to know a new city than by cycling around, and with bike sharing becoming more and more popular, it’s getting easier to do so. When you stay at HI USA hostels across the country, you’ll have access to public bikes, and bicycles to rent so you can explore and discover popular sights and hidden gems during your travels. Cycling is also an eco-friendly way to get around, plus you get to keep fit without even trying! Take a look at some bike sharing options in a few of our favorite cities, and plan your next two-wheeled adventure.
Citi Bike - New York City, NY
Sure the Big Apple is about yellow taxi cabs and subway rides, but you can save money and get to see more of it cruising Manhattan from the seat of a bike. There’s a Citi Bike station right across the road from HI New York hostel, perfect for a bike ride through Central Park – the Southern Loop is an easy ride with no car access on weekends – or along the Hudson River Greenway, which has beautiful waterside views of the city skyline. After your biking jaunt, you can head to one of the many restaurants and bars nearby before returning your ride.
Capital Bike Share - Washington DC
Take on the expansive National Mall by bike and you’ll get to cover a lot more of the sights than you would have done walking, or cruise around the downtown DC streets, stopping to find a happy hour when you need a break. The flat streets of the city are excellent for bike exploration and there’s a Capital Bike Share station right outside HI Washington DC hostel, so you can plan your days of adventure easily. If you want to go a bit further, check out Georgetown for a scenic ride with cool stops along the way.
Bay Area Bike Share - San Francisco,CA
Despite its hilly reputation, San Francisco is a very bike-friendly city, and there are many options for those looking to get around on two wheels. A good way to start is to join the Bike the Bay tour, which allows you a discounted full-day bike rental from a local company, for guests at all three HI San Francisco hostels. If you’re looking for a short-term option, check out the Ford GoBike docks along Market Street, from where you can ride to Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39 to the west, or to the colorful Castro neighborhood to the east.
Divvy Bikes - Chicago, IL
The HI Chicago hostel is ideally located in the city’s downtown Loop neighborhood, and with multiple Divvy Bike Share stations nearby, you can branch out and ride around the city on the cheap. If the weather is nice, bike along the Lakefront Trail and stop at one of the many beaches along Lake Michigan, or cruise the downtown streets for shopping and eating. If you’re up for a longer cycle, bike to the 606 trail (about 6 miles from the hostel) where you can ride past art installations and pretty landscapes in Chicago’s northwest neighborhoods.
Breeze Bike Share - Los Angeles, CA
Anyone who’s spent time by the beach in Santa Monica will tell you that it’s practically a must to bike down the boardwalk so you can experience SoCal’s laid-back, cool culture. Ride along the path past the Santa Monica Pier and muscle beach down to the Venice Boardwalk and the canals for the quintessential Los Angeles experience. HI Santa Monica hostel is about a block from the Breeze Bike Share station opposite the pier, so you always have a legitimate excuse to go for a ride.
HI Portland Hawthorne and HI Austin
It wouldn’t really be a post about bike-friendly cities without mentioning the weird cousins Portland and Austin. Both cities pride themselves on their bike-ability, and both offer scenic and downtown trails and roads where you can experience local culture and take in gorgeous scenery. Even better is that both HI Portland Hawthorne and HI Austin hostels have in-house bike rentals available for guests so you can hit the road as soon as you are ready. Ask the front desk staff for their tips and recommendations on the best routes, or just pick up a map and figure it out as you go because sometimes it’s just about the journey.
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