San Francisco To Do

The best things to do in San Francisco for an amazing trip.

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Strangest Laws in San Francisco

September 2nd, 2013 · news

Did you know that some San Francisco residents have the legal right to keep a miniature horse in their apartment and take it with them to places like City Hall and the public health clinic? We wanted to explore more about this and some of San Francisco’s other strange laws. We combed through the written laws and found those that made us raise an eyebrow. Now we know that we could be in serious trouble if we sell watercress grown near a sewer or clean our spittoon in the street.

San Francisco’s Strangest Laws on the Books

Unless there’s a link showing otherwise, all of the laws that we’re highlighting in this section are current San Francisco ordinances found on the American Legal website.

  • If you live in San Francisco, you must recycle. The San Francisco Mandatory Recycling and Composting Ordinance (No. 100-09) says that you are legally required to sort your recyclables, compostables and trash. This is not just a suggestion, it’s a law.
  • You can’t sell watercress that’s been grown near a sewer. “No person shall gather, or sell, or offer for sale, or keep for sale, or give, or distribute, or otherwise dispose of any watercress, or any other edible herb or vegetable which has been, or is, or may be, growing within 1,000 feet of any sewer outlet, or any cesspool or any other place where stagnant water, or seepage, or other drainage, or any offensive matter, or any matter dangerous to health has, or may be accumulated.”
  • If you want to be naked in public then you have to get a parade permit. This is thanks to a controversial nudity ban that went into effect on February 1, 2013. Prior to that you could be naked in public if you so desired but you were required to sit on a towel if you were sitting on a public seat or bench.
  • It is illegal to walk nine or more dogs at once. This is part of a new 2013 law that places a variety of limitations on dog walkers.
  • You can’t clean your spittoon on the street. “No cuspidors, spittoons, tubs or other such articles shall be washed, cleaned or emptied on any public streets, sidewalks or alleyways in this City and County.”
  • It is illegal to sell or distribute ground squirrels.There are a lot of rules about the types and number of animals that you are allowed to own in San Francisco but section 103 of the health code is specifically all about making it illegal to sell or distribute ground squirrels.
  • You can’t carry manure through the streets. “It shall be unlawful for any person … to transport manure or stable refuse through the public streets …” There’s a lot more to the law than this but basically you need a permit to transport manure or other garbage from stables through San Francisco.
  • It is illegal to play ball in the street. “It shall be unlawful for any person to play at or participate in any game of ball on any public street or highway.” Keep those kickball games in the parks kids.
  • It is illegal to carry bread in an open basket through the streets. “It shall be unlawful for any person, company or corporation to carry, transport or convey, or to cause to be carried, transported or conveyed through the public streets in open baskets or exposed containers, or vehicles or otherwise, any bread, cakes or pastry intended for human consumption.” There won’t be any skipping through San Francisco with your bread basket here Little Red.
  • You have to ask permission before pointing a laser pointer into a moving car. “It shall be unlawful for any person to direct intentionally the beam from a Laser Pointer into a moving vehicle or onto another person without such person’s prior knowledge and consent.” You may not, however, point a laser pointer in a movie theater or other public space even with permission. Cars okay, with consent, theaters not okay. Got it?
  • You may not use feces to grow vegetables. That seems like a pretty reasonable law. “It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to use human discharges or excrement, or any water containing any human discharges or excrement, or the waters of any well, spring, pond or creek, which receives the discharges of any sewer or drain, or which by any means whatever has become polluted with sewage discharges, for the purpose of irrigating or sprinkling vegetables used for human consumption.”
  • Don’t fill balloons with explosive gas. “It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to use, sell or possess any balloon inflated with inflammable or explosive gases.”
  • It is illegal to sell mule meat. Mule meat and horse meat explicitly cannot be sold for human consumption in San Francisco. Thankfully.
  • Keep your lumber piles shorter than 35 feet tall. “It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to place or pile, or cause to be placed or piled, any lumber or timber to a greater height than 35 feet measured vertically from the general level of the ground on which it is placed or piled.” A 30 foot tall pile of lumber in the city doesn’t really sound like a good idea but apparently it’s not illegal.
  • It’s illegal to go into a public toilet with another adult. “It shall be unlawful for more than one person over the age of thirteen (13) years old to enter or remain in an automatic public toilet at one time, unless the person using the automatic public toilet has a disability that causes the person to require assistance, in which case the person’s assistants may enter and remain in an automatic public toilet with the disabled person.” Keep your bathroom activities solo people.
  • Keep your bodily waste to yourself. “It shall be unlawful for any person to deposit or cause to be deposited any human urine or feces upon any public or private highway or road, including any portion of the right-of-way thereof, or in or upon any private property into or upon which the public is admitted by easement or license, or upon any private property without the consent of the owner, or in or upon any public property other than property designated or set aside for that purpose.” If you read that carefully it seems to imply that you can put your human waste on private property if you do get the consent of the owner, though.
  • No Ker Chew! “It shall be unlawful for any person to sell, give away or in any manner to distribute within the City and County of San Francisco any “ker chew powders,” “stink balls,” or similar substances designed to give offense to the senses.”
  • You can’t ride a horse while drunk. Well, maybe you can, but it’s against the law if you do.
  • It is illegal to injure lampposts. “It shall be unlawful for any person to hitch or fasten any animal to, or to place any placard or notice upon, or in anywise to injure any lamp post or hydrant, or any growing tree, upon any public street, or, without authority, to extinguish any public light. This Section shall not prohibit any person from fastening any dog on a leash to any lamp post, hydrant or growing tree.”
  • You may not own a slingshot.  “It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to buy, sell, offer or expose for sale, barter, exchange, use or have the possession of any sling shot or metal knuckles.”
  • Dead bodies can’t be displayed for profit … unless the dead person said it was okay. “It shall be unlawful to display to the public all or part of a dead human body or bodies for consideration or commercial purposes without valid written authorization from the deceased, which consent may be given in the last will of the deceased.” 

Strange San Francisco Laws that May or May Not Be Current 

If you do a web search for strange San Francisco laws, you will find that there are a lot of old ones that were on the books at one time or another that frequently get posted on “weird laws” sites. They aren’t necessarily in the codes now, but they are a lot of fun to look at! Some of the favorites include:

  • Elephants may not walk down Market Street unless they are on a leash.
  • It is illegal to wipe one’s car with used underwear.
  • Ugly people are not allowed to walk down the street in San Francisco.
  • It is illegal to pick up and throw used confetti into the air.
  • “Prostitutes in San Francisco are not obliged to make change for bills larger than $50.” (source)
  • “San Francisco has an ordinance prohibiting “cane games.” City officials have no idea what cane games are. But when revising city laws recently, officials decided to keep the prohibition on the books, in case someday, somehow, cane games came back, they were deemed improper and the city needed the law.” (source)
  • The city of San Francisco holds a copyright on the name San Francisco so if you want to manufacture anything using that name then you have to get permission first.
  • San Francisco bans any “mechanical device that reproduces obscene language.” (source)
  • San Francisco is widely reported to be the only city in the nation to have ordinances guaranteeing sunshine to the masses.

And Strange California Laws

Likewise, there are a lot of weird California laws that may or may not still be on the books. Here are some favorites repeated often around the Internet:

  • It is illegal to wiggle while dancing according to a law form the 1920s.
  • California law prohibits a woman from driving a car while dressed in a housecoat.
  • Animals are banned from mating publicly within 1,500 feet of a tavern, school, or place of worship.
  • Peeling an orange in your hotel room is banned. Eating an orange in your bathtub is also banned.
  • You may not have a bear’s gall bladder in your possession in the state.
  • It is strictly illegal to trip horses for entertainment.
  • Prison workers may not have sex with inmates. This should be a given but apparently it wasn’t so now it’s a law.
  • “Film producers must have permission from a pediatrician before filming a child under the age of one month.” (source)
  • Dogs are banned from pursuing a bear or bobcat in this state.
  • It is a misdemeanor to shoot at any kind of game from a moving vehicle, unless the target is a whale.
  • In California, it’s a crime to pickle a spiny lobster.

Okay, So What About That Horse?

San Francisco has maintained a broader definition than the larger nation as to what defines a service animal. People with various disabilities here can get permission to have a service animal with them at home and in many public settings to assist them with a variety of different tasks. In most cases, the service animal is a dog … however in San Francisco it is also sometimes allowed to be a miniature horse. With proper permission a disabled person may keep their horse in their apartment (even though trying to get pets allowed in other situations may seem almost impossible!) The service animal can also enter public buildings including City Hall and the Department of Public Health, contracted agencies like public health clinics and mental health services and even certain alternative housing such as homeless shelters.

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25 Free Things to Do in San Francisco

August 16th, 2013 · Activities

When people imagine San Francisco, they think of luxury and a potentially expensive vacation.  But we’ve found 25 great things to do in San Francisco that are 100% free.  With our list, you can enjoy a week in San Francisco spending on nothing more (unless you want to) than on lodging, transportation, and food.  Let us know how you like our new list of 25 amazing free things to do in San Francisco.

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San Francisco’s Most Expensive Hotel Suites

July 17th, 2013 · Hotel Reviews

Do you have a very special occasion that deserves the absolute best hotel room in San Francisco? Do you want to impress someone with an opulent, fantasy hotel stay? Or would you like to just dream about what it would be like to stay in the finest San Francisco penthouse hotel rooms? Whatever your plans, we’ve got the stories and details on the most expensive hotel rooms in San Francisco.   Our estimated prices range up to $15,000/night; prices can vary based on month / day and are estimated based on June 2013.

 

The Fairmont Hotel Penthouse Suite: $15,000

The Penthouse Suite at The Fairmont Hotel is well known around San Francisco as the most expensive hotel room in the city. In a city where apartments can be as small as 220 square feet, this sprawling eighth-floor penthouse impresses at 6,000 square feet in size. The Penthouse includes three bedrooms, four bathrooms, a living room, a formal dining room, a two-story circular library and a billiard room covered from floor to ceiling in Persian tile. It accommodates up to 60 people for dining and 100 people for entertaining, offers an expansive terrace with views of both the city and the bay, and has amenities that include a fireplace, a grand piano, a secret passageway and a huge wine cellar.

Fairmont Most Expense San Francisco

Source: Gadling.com

Visitors staying here get to indulge in the knowledge that they are sharing a space that has been graced by numerous famous visitors from the political (JFK, Gorbachev) to royalty (Price Charles of Wales, King Hussein of Jordan) to celebrities (Mick Jagger, Elton John). And you’ll be treated like a star while you’re there with access to a private butler, chef, personal trainer, housekeeper and masseuse. This hotel is rich in history; it was built right before the big 1906 earthquake and was destroyed in the subsequent fires. It re-opened one year later with a lavish banquet. The penthouse was added in the 1920s as a private residence; at $1000 per month it was 100 times more expensive than the average residence at that time. Most recently the room was updated just a few years ago to increase its opulence even more and it was at that time that the price jumped from about $10,000 per night to the current rates.

Learn more on this suite at Gadling and the Fairmont. 

 

 

St. Regis Presidential Suite: $10000

The Presidential Suite at the St. Regis is terrific for a business trip. The 3,200 square foot space is designed to sleep just one person. In addition to the bedroom, dining room and main living room there is an office that features an oversized leather-topped desk and swiveling executive chair. When you’re not working, you can enjoy the panoramic views of the city offered by the many large windows of this 20th-floor suite.

Saint Regis San Francisco

Source: The Saint Regis

Alternatively, you could relax in the oversized jetted tub or prepare yourself a snack in the butler’s pantry. Although the room only sleeps one, you can invite guests over for the evening to enjoy dinner at a table that seats ten or to relax on the mohair-and-silk sofa in front of the 42” Plasma Screen TV. Have a guest that you want to stay over? You can rent an adjoining suite to turn this into an even bigger two-bedroom suite.

Learn more at the Saint Regis.

 

 

Four Seasons Hotel Specialty Suite: $8,000

The Specialty Suite at the Four Seasons may be only a one-bedroom suite but it’s a large 2300 square foot space that spans the 16th and 17th floors of the hotel. It can also be re-configured as a 2-3 bedroom suite by renting out the additional connecting rooms.

Four Seasons San Francisco

Source: The Four Seasons

The décor is rich in marble, including a full marble bathroom with a two-person soaking tub and marble-topped coffee tables.  Other natural materials to enjoy in this room include ebony chairs, eucalyptus ottomans, hand-woven area rugs, and silk wall coverings. The floor-to-ceiling windows let in natural sunlight and overlook the beautiful Yerba Buena Gardens and the bay. A special treat is the relaxing contemplation room.

Learn more from the Four Seasons

 

 Ritz Carlton Presidential Suite 910: $8,000

 If you enjoy being outside in the fresh air as much as you enjoy being in your room then you’ll enjoy the 1200 square foot balcony that accompanies the 1,960 square foot living space of Presidential Suite 910 at the Ritz Carlton. The balcony overlooks the city. The inside includes a living room with a grand piano, a master bedroom, and a dining room with a table that seats eight. The master bath includes a whirlpool tub, a separate shower and a large flat screen TV.

Ritz Carlton San Francisco

Source: The Ritz Carlton

The suite is designed as a one-bedroom suite but can be converted to a two-bedroom suite by renting out the connecting adjacent room. Additional perks here include an impressive ten-speaker surround sound system, a personal espresso machine and access to a wine cellar. Notably this is a pet-friendly suite and animals can get special treatment including a custom-made bronze bed and a dog bowl filled with freshly made meat treats.

Learn more from the Ritz Carlton on this amazing suite.

 

Mandarin Oriental Taipan and Oriental Suites: $6000

 The Mandarin Oriental hotel offers two 2-person suites that are 2,000 square feet each in size. The Taipan Suite offers a city view from a stunning balcony that runs the entire length of suite. In addition to a master bedroom (featuring a custom-made floor-to-ceiling headboard), this suite includes a living room, dining room and spa-like master bathroom with a freestanding bathtub and a walk-in rainforest shower.

Mandarin Oriental San Francisco

Source: The Mandarin Oriental

The Oriental Suite has similar features but the 800 square-foot terrace of this suite overlooks the bay instead of the city so if you want to look out on the water then this is the choice for you. The Oriental Suite averages $6000 per night while the Taipan suite is $5000.

Learn more from the Mandarin Oriental on this amazing room.

 

Hilton Imperial and State Suites: $5,000

Like at the Mandarin there are two large suite options at the Hilton in Downtown San Francisco. The Imperial Suite and the State Suite are each two-level suites with two bedrooms, two marble bathrooms, an outside deck and a wet bar. Additionally, they each have two large 680 square foot parlors capable of accommodating up to 200 guests. Redwood decking, a spiral staircase and a decorative fireplace are other features of the suites. The 19th floor suites offer sweeping views of the city and the location of the hotel on the border of the Financial District makes it convenient for many travelers.

 

Adagio Bolero Penthouse Suite

 If you book in advance you can plan an impressive party on the 16th floor of Hotel Adagio by renting out the entire floor. This includes the one-bedroom Bolero Penthouse suite, which has direct access to the 400 square foot outdoor Seville Terrace. The terrace connects to the 500 square foot Seville Room, which is designed for meetings and small events, which is in turn connected to the larger 720 square foot Siena Room that has city views, fourteen-foot ceilings and a massive fireplace. In total, renting out this floor gives you a bedroom suite for 1-2 but the space to entertain up to 150 people. Enhance the experience by getting artisan culinary catering from Bar Adagio.

 

Omni Suites: ~$1,500

 There are two interesting options for expensive suites at the Omni Hotel, depending on whether or not you’re traveling with kids. If you are then you might want to check out the Kids Fantasy Suite. This suite is designed just for kids with colorful décor, bunkbeds, bean bag chairs and lots of toys and snacks. Parents rent out the adjoining Deluxe King room for themselves.

If you’re looking for something more adult-oriented then the Omni also offers the Presidential Suite. This 16th floor suite has a single bedroom but like many of the others can be converted into a two-bedroom suite by renting out the adjoining room. The 1300 chandelier-adorned square feet in the main suite also includes a living room, an eight-person dining area and a Jacuzzi bathroom. It’s not quite as impressive or luxurious as the most expensive hotel rooms on this list but even at a tenth of the price it’s still costly and special.

There is a San Francisco hotel room for every type of traveler and nearly every budget. If you’re looking for something extravagant then these amazing San Francisco rooms are ready for you.

, Copyright JSLN Ventures

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First Try on Lyft: Love It.

July 15th, 2013 · Taxi, Travel Apps

The number of transportation alternatives to standard taxi rides continues to grow.  After reading for months about the alternatives to the bad service and quality of taxi rides in San Francisco, we decided to try out some of the “app-age” alternatives.   It was a Saturday night in the Mission District, and we were right outside the police station area, near 17th and Valencia.  It’s a busy nightclub and restaurant area, with lots of people out on the town – drinking and having a great time.  We considered 3 alternatives, and saw many cabs picking up people or with fares in the area:

  • A standard taxicab
  • Uber / UberX
  • Lyft
  • Sidecar

lyftWe decided on Lyft as one that was the most interesting to try – partially because of the ease of knowing which car would be ours with the trademark pink moustache on the front of the car.  After pressing the request ride button on our phone app, we immediately had a driver confirm the ride — just about 5 minutes away from us.  Lyft showed us a photo of the driver and the car, which was a beautiful new Chrysler PT Cruiser.  When the car arrived, we knew it would be for us – which was a great feeling versus guessing if a black towncar might be ours.

The car’s driver, Jovero– was truly a pleasure to meet.  From the first second in the crystal clean car, it was clear that he loved his job and loved to meet new people around San Francisco.  The car’s condition was a pleasant change from the often smelly / stinky/ broken cabs that we have driven in so many cities around the United States.  Jovero was great to talk with, and we shared ideas and stories from both of our cities.  He offered free chocolate croissants in the back seat, which was a nice treat after being out on the town.  And the fist-bump getting in the Lyft car was a nice sign of the community and camaraderie that is a big part of how Lyft tends to stand out from its competitors.

What we loved most about the ride, was that there was no “judging” of our destination.  I’ve often got the impression from cabs that they don’t like short rides – and going to some of the outlying neighborhoods in San Francisco is something that they avoid.   Our Lyft driver was only too happy to head to a far outlying area of San Francisco and was very happy to go there.

Our Lyft fare was fair and reasonable, and we got to rate our driver – which was sincerely an awesome.  With so much customer service lacking when you travel, and even friendly customer service harder to find, we are totally sold on Lyft.  We’ll try out Sidecar and others in the days to come and share with you a comparison between the alternatives.

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San Francisco Named to Flipkey Top Cities

June 20th, 2013 · news

cable-car-fray-sanfranciscoSan Francisco has just been named to the Flipkey Top Cities list based on many of the factors that we know makes SF amazing.  Judging factors included:

  • Reviews from visitors
  • Convention and conference feedback
  • World-class cuisine and dining
  • Rich historical past brought to life in museums and city streets
  • An amazing selection of things to do.

It’s not surprising to find San Francisco on this list, if not at the top of it — but we are excited to be honored once again for what makes the City so special.  Flipkey offers a vacation rental alternative, similar to companies such as VRBO and AirBnb.  Congratulations San Francisco!

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Australian Youth Choir comes to San Francisco

June 10th, 2013 · Events

yvm 2 copyUnder the direction of Mark O’Leary, the Young Voices of Melbourne is one of Australia’s finest young choirs, renowned for its vibrant performances and exciting repertoire.
Join the choir for a program of Australian and international songs, featuring some of Australia’s finest composers and wonderful arrangements of music from around the world.
This concert will be held at Old Saint Mary’s Cathedral at 660 California Street near Grant in San Francisco.  The July 5th concert is totally free except for your own optional donation.  See the Young Voices of Melbourne at this video link:  Young Voices of Melbourne Live Concert Video
Get full details here:   Concert Details

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Medieval Festival at a Castle Winery?

June 10th, 2013 · Events

castleCastello di Amorosa winery will host a Midsummer Medieval Festival on June 22, 2013 from 6:45 p.m. until 11:00 p.m. Festivities will include a wide array of medieval activities like a full-contact jousting tournament, displays of showmanship and a sumptuous array of food and wines for guests to enjoy.

“This is one of our most popular events at the Castello,” says President Georg Salzner. “We always look forward to seeing our Wine Club members and their guests dressed in medieval attire enjoying the wines and events we have in store for them.”

 

castle2

The festival kicks off with the live, full-contact jousting tournament at the Castello’s Lake Mario, where guests can marvel at knights in full regalia competing in various feats of skill atop their charging steeds. After the thrills of the tournament, guests can make their way into the Castello where numerous medieval delights will await them throughout the 121,000 square foot Tuscan-inspired castle winery.

This year’s festival will also include a newly reformatted element, as the Castello’s 14th-century inspired courtyard will be transformed into a medieval marketplace complete with displays of falconry, sword play, and archery. Minstrels and singers will serenade guests as they sample the various dishes available throughout the courtyard, artfully prepared by Oak Avenue Catering and all keeping with the medieval theme of the event. From roasted turkey legs to cherry hand pies, each dish is crafted to pair deliciously with the Castello’s numerous Italian-style wines.

Guests are encouraged to arrive in their finest medieval-themed attire for this evening of food, wine and revelries at the Castello. Shuttles to local Calistoga hotels are provided at no additional costs for the guests. Cost is $155 for the winery’s wine club members and $185 for their guests. Call 707-967-6274 for more information or to purchase your ticket.   Get more information on wineries all around the Napa Valley from SF Travel.

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Study in San Francisco

June 3rd, 2013 · Activities

With our world becoming increasingly tight-knit, San Francisco has a diversity like almost no other U.S. city. Around the globe, people are continuing to learn 2nd and even 3rd languages to expand their knowledge and connectiveness to meet new friends and business colleagues. Although there are many online programs that can help you learn a new language– nothing compares to language immersion.

This summer, you can even combine an amazing time in San Francisco, with building up your language of English. A number of programs provide both part-time and full-time language programs in San Francisco each summer. The nice part is that you can combine the studies during the day – with putting your improved language skills in action at night and on weekends at attractions like the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, and the high-end shopping of Union Square. Study in San Francisco

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Bicycling San Francisco: What Kind of Cyclist Are You?

April 9th, 2013 · Bikes

For a city known for its hills, I have no idea how or why bicycles took off as a major method of transportation in San Francisco. But, the San Francisco bike messenger is a city icon right up there with the Silicon Valley entrepreneur and locavore chef. Particularly within the past few years, though, it seems like everybody here is getting into cycling, and it’s particularly a great way for tourists to get out and see the real San Francisco.

Of course, not all cyclists are created equal. Keep reading to figure out what kind of cyclist you are, along with my tailored-for-you recommendations for touring SF on two wheels.

 

 

The Lycra Road Warrior

This might be you if:

1. Obviously, you own a lycra bicycle outfit.

2. You actually did some research before buying your bicycle. And then went and paid real money for it.

3. You care about things like drafting and electrolytes.

 

You should consider renting from:

The Sports Basement, The Presidio

San Francisco Bike Rentals, Fisherman’s Wharf

 

Where to go:

Make like most cyclists in this city and head to Marin Country. Don’t be mistaken, this isn’t the bike ride over the Golden Gate Bridge into Sausalito that’s plastered all over the Blazing Saddles bike maps (even though that’s not for the faint of heart either). Serious cyclists take it to the winding cliff side highways of the north bay, making their way through seaside villages, dairy farms, and redwood groves. For a short ride, consider cycling to the Marin Headlands for dizzying views of San Francisco and the Golden Gate. If you want to make it epic, plan a trek to Point Reyes Station for lunch at Cowgirl Creamery or at the oyster farms on Tamalas Bay.

 

 

The Urban Cyclist

This might be you if:

1. You’ve taken part in a Critical Mass ride. Or, you know what Critical Mass is and choose not to partake in it.

2. You bought the cheapest road bike you could find on Craigslist and you plan on riding it into the ground.

3. You cycle as an alternative to driving or riding transit.

 

You should consider renting from:

Streets of San Francisco Bike Tours and Rentals, Hayes Valley

Bike Hut, South Beach

 

Where to go:

You could go to San Francisco’s Mission District and hang out with fellow urban cyclists. Or, if you want something a bit more interesting, I’d recommend heading over to the industrial waterfront of up-and-coming Dogpatch. This narrow slice of a neighborhood, three miles south of Union Square, is bordered by the mountainous Potrero Hill on one side and the working piers of San Francisco Bay on the other. You can cruise past desolate urban warehouses and piers, maybe catching the phenomenal sight of a 200 ft tall cruise ship docked for repairs, then head inland to 3rd Street for some of San Franciso’s best new restaurants.

If you do make it down there, make sure to check out Warm Water Cove for wildflowers taking over abandoned industrial lots, crumbling warehouses, and impromptu public art displays.

 

 

The Beach Cruiser

This might be you if:

1. You cycle when you’re on vacation

2. You like to cruise nice and slow, preferably on a boardwalk.

3. You don’t want any part of hills or rush hour roads.

 

You should consider renting from:

Parkwide Bike Rentals and Tours

Golden Gate Park Bike and Skate

 

Where to go:

Of course, you could go bicycling along the Marina; it’s a favorite pastime for visitors to San Francisco. With flat streets and Golden Gate Bridge views and some of San Francisco’s finest restaurants only a few blocks away, the Marina is a no-brainer.

But, if you’d like to do something a little bit more local but just as fantastic, head to Golden Gate Park and Ocean Beach. On Sundays, San Francisco shuts down JFK Drive, the park’s major thoroughfare, to auto trafic, and the entire city floods in on bicycles, roller blades, unicycles, and even tricycles. It’s pretty much the happiest place on Earth.

After cycling through Eucalyptus groves and past the Golden Gate Park buffalo range and rose garden, you’ll come to San Francisco’s 10-mile long sandy beachfront: Ocean Beach. From there, you can cruise on the wide cement boardwalk, stop for lunch at the Beach Chalet, pick up sandwiches from nearby Safeway for a beach picnic, or head a few blocks north for an elegant lunch at the Cliff House or a ramble through the Sutro Baths ruins.

 

Additional Resources

Check out SF Travel’s Top Five Bike Rentals.

For specific route information, check out Google Maps Bicycle Directions. Click on Get Directions and the Bicycle icon to see all of San Francisco’s bike lanes and bike paths.

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Human Powered, Eco-Friendly Rides

March 6th, 2013 · San Francisco Tours

San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf area is a destination for a large majority of visitors, and many take advantage of the historic streetcar service along the Embarcadero.  The distance is enough for a very vigorous walk, but the streetcar is much more convenient.  Increasingly however, visitors find that the Muni public streetcars to *leave* Fisherman’s Wharf are consistently overfilled and with very long lines.  We’ve seen this personally and had similar feedback from many other San Francisco visitors.

 

The good news is that there is a fun way to get from the Wharf (or any San Francisco destination) along the Embarcadero, including AT&T Park for Giants baseball!   Pedicabs are “human-powered” carts that take you around the City at rates that are generally similar to a taxicab.  The difference is that you get fresh air, some useful advice about the City, and help out someone to stay in shape and make some extra money.  It’s a unique and fun way to see the City, and particularly convenient along the Embarcadero’s stretch from Fisherman’s Wharf to the Ferry Building and on to the San Francisco Giants’ AT&T Park.

Pedicabs can also offer tours, and provide friendly information on San Francisco, while enjoying an eco-friendly ride.  The typical cost to go from Fisherman’s Wharf to Embarcadero Center is approximately $20 for 2 adults.  The maximum a pedicab can safely carry is two adults and two children.  After that, you need a 2nd pedicab.  Typical areas for the pedicabs are along the Embarcadero – and you can also ride to most major hotels throughout Union Square, Chinatown, and around the City.

One of the cooler companies to try out (all pedicabs are not the same) is Golden Gate Pedicabs.  Look for them around the Ferry Buiding and Wharf or better yet, pre-reserve a ride so you won’t have to wait at 415-777-6999.

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