One thing that is a must to tick off your San Francisco bucket list is biking across the Golden Gate Bridge, and the best way to experience it as a traveler and not just a tourist is by joining the weekly tour offered by HI USA’s hostels in San Francisco. Not only will you get to cycle along the iconic monument to Sausalito, but along the way you’ll also see the popular and off-the-beaten path sides of the city while making friends with fellow travelers. Take a look at the 5 great things you’ll get to see and do while on this popular hostel tour.
Get a Special Discount for Bike Rental for the Day
All the travelers taking part in the Bike the Bridge Tour rent bicycles from Blazing Saddles, which offer a discount for HI USA guests who would like a bicycle for this tour or just to explore the city on their own. The best part is that the rental is for the day, and often after the hostel tour, guests like to either stay in Sausalito or head to Muir Woods National Park to make the most of their two wheels.
Learn about San Francisco’s Other Great Bridge (and more)
One of the first stops on the tour is under the Bay Bridge to Oakland where Ellysa and Izar, engagement coordinators of HI San Francisco Downtown and HI San Francisco Fisherman’s Wharf hostels, respectively, share the history of the bridge. Throughout the whole trip, the experienced leaders drop local knowledge on the City by the Bay to make the outing even better.
See the Highlights of the Bay
The Bike the Bay tour goes along San Francisco’s scenic waterfront with views of Alcatraz, Treasure Island, and small boats docked in the water, plus, there’s a stop at the famous Pier 39 seals for an excellent and adorable photo opportunity. The tour also goes through the serene Palace of the Fine Arts and the Presidio, so if you’re short of time in San Francisco, you’ve at least checked out some major must-sees.
Make it Across the Golden Gate Bridge
The road to the 1.7 mile-long monument is a steady climb lined by tall Monterey Cypress trees ending in a stunning lookout point where bikers gather for a group photo. There’s definitely a thrill to be found in riding under the iconic orange (International Orange, to be exact) cables of the bridge while the city’s buildings get further behind you and the headlands framing the Pacific Ocean get bigger in front of you. You’ll have time to stop along the way or just cruise right across to feel the sea-scented wind blowing in your face.
From the Golden Gate Bridge, it’s all downhill to Sausalito, the underrated little town across the Bay that’s got great spots for food and art. Ellysa and Izar take hostellers to a sweet spot for delicious deli sandwiches, which taste even better after a morning of serious bike riding. From here, you can opt to take the ferry back to San Francisco and return your bike or keep it for more exploring, or you can choose to make the most of your time in Sausalito.
The Bike the Bay tour is 13 miles altogether, and whether you’ve come to the city solo or with fellow adventurers, you’ll find that a day of cycling in one of the most beautiful cities in the world makes it easy to make new friends to share memories with.
You might also like:
9 Famous Addresses to Visit in San Francisco
A Guide to San Francisco: 6 Insider Tips from Locals