Via magazine
Via magazine - Your AAA Magazine

The Via Blog travel news + notes + tasty tidbits

Writer Laura Kiniry

Bicycling San Francisco with Adventures by Disney

Posted by Laura Kiniry on July 13, 2016
San Francisco Bay's Golden Gate Bridge as seen from Crissy Field, picture
Photo credit
Photo: Laura Kiniry
Photo caption
Enjoy the most picturesque views of the Golden Gate Bridge during Adventures by Disney's guided bike ride along the San Francisco Bay.

Bicycling along San Francisco Bay is a great way to start any morning, but it's especially informative when you're with Adventures by Disney. As part of the San Francisco and Napa Tour, the family vacation subsidiary of Disney Parks and Resorts joins forces with Blazing Saddles for a 2.5-hour guided cycling experience along the city’s northern waterfront.

About 35 of us pedaled round-trip from Fisherman's Wharf to Crissy Field using (mostly) flat multi-use trails—and a few back streets—stopping to learn about local attractions en route. The only skill necessary is knowing how to bike, though those who don't can opt for a bus tour taking in some of the same sights.

Fisherman's Wharf and Fort Mason

Just across Beach Street from famous Ghirardelli Square is San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, home to the three-masted Balclutha anchored in the bay. We took in her commanding presence before departing Fisherman's Wharf for nearby Fort Mason. Unless you're an avid cyclist, I recommend walking your bike up the steep hill in the former army post's Great Meadow Park. The slower climb is also a great way to savor some amazing views of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Adventures by Disney's guided San Francisco Bay bike ride stops at the Palace of Fine Arts, picture
Photo credit
Photo: Laura Kiniry
Photo caption
The bay-front bike ride detours to the historic Palace of Fine Arts, where the building's distinct domed top and surrounding verdant landscape make for an ideal, and iconic, photo op.

The Marina's Palace of Fine Arts

After cycling along the Marina Green, the ride detours briefly to view the Greco-Romanesque-inspired Palace of Fine Arts, which came about as part of the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition. The distinct dome-centered temple—originally meant as a temporary space—has since become one of the city's top landmarks. It's so iconic that Disney even includes a replica of it in their Anaheim California Adventure Park.

The Presidio's Crissy Field

Riding through former-military airfield-turned-public-park Crissy Field offers some of San Francisco's most jaw-dropping views (Alcatraz Island is picture perfect), and its Warming Hut cafe and eco-gift shop is a good place to stretch your legs.

A few members of our group went inside for snacks and souvenirs while others snapped pics—mainly from neighboring Torpedo Wharf fishing pier, which provides unobstructed views of the bridge. But it wasn't long before we were back on our bikes for the return trip, enjoying the bay from a new vantage point.

Click here for even more ideas to enjoy San Francisco's famous and historic waterfront.