(The epic Golden Gate Bridge. All photos by author.)
San Francisco is one of my favorite West coast cities so I was beyond thrilled to fly up last weekend for my little sister’s college graduation. San Francisco is a fashionista’s paradise with countless shops, restaurants, museums, landmarks, and parks to visit and explore. The city has something to offer every taste and fancy, making it impossible to cover everything in one weekend. But, given the chance, I highly recommend biking across the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. (Follow me on my biking adventure, after the jump!
(Bike rentals from Bay City Bike)
There are numerous bicycle shops in the Fisherman’s Wharf area that rent bikes by the hour or for the day. We chose Bay City Bike and found the staff to be knowledgeable and friendly. We were fully equipped with bikes, helmets, locks, maps, and storage baskets in no time. To get to the bridge, our ride took us past Fort Mason, the Exploratorium (stop here for a beautiful photo opp!), and Crissy Fields. Several hills and water breaks later, we arrived at the west end of the grandiose Golden Gate Bridge.
Here’s some trivia for you: Designed by Joseph Strauss, the bridge project costed more than $35 million and was completed in 1937. The bridge was the longest suspension bridge span in the world at the time of completion (now the Akashi Kaikyō Bridge in Japan holds the title) and has become one of the most internationally recognized symbols of San Francisco and the US.
(The San Francisco city skyline)
Bikers and pedestrians are able to traverse the walkways on either side of six lanes of traffic. Crossing the 4,200 foot bridge was a very windy affair but the ride was breathtakingly beautiful with the bright blue ocean on one side and the majestic city skyline on the other. Reaching the other Marin County side, we stopped for some more pictures and to catch our breath before starting back across the bridge once more. For those who would rather not bike back, there’s the option of catching a ferry that takes you back to the wharf.
(I made it across!)
Upon returning our bikes, we were informed that our round trip had been about 12 miles, a pretty decent bike ride! We rewarded ourselves with some much deserved In-N-Out double doubles, chocolate shakes and animal fries, and of course, some Ghirardelli chocolate samples for dessert!
The “City By the Bay” is truly a wonderful destination. Just a short plane ride or road trip up the coast, its the perfect weekend getaway. Go leave a little bit of your heart in San Francisco… and be sure to bike the Golden Gate Bridge!