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Bay to Breakers

From Ferry Building to Pacific Ocean we recreate an old San Francisco tradition and fit in some great sightseeing.

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Difficulty: Easy
Length: 16.3 miles
Duration: Full day
Family Friendly

Overview :  Bay to Breakers is a century old road race through San Francisco celebrated in equal parts for its athletic challenge and notoriety.

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Points of Interest

1. Start Here

We've hand-picked the route between the San Francisco hills to get you to the Golden Gate Park and beyond with the minimal possible effort.

There are some gentle hills from time to time, beginning with the first gentle incline halfway along Market Street, - but certainly nothing to worry about.

Click on the image to see more information about... More

Situated at the end of Market Street, there’s much more to the Ferry Building that merely catching a boat across the bay. Inside you’ll find many stores and cafes and restaurants vying for your attention including artisan foods, ice-cream and the immensely popular Slanted Door restaurant. Outside you’ll find farmer’s market stalls in front of the ... More

Run by the non-profit organization that’s also responsible keeping the history of San Francisco public transit alive in the shape of the historic streetcars and the famed cable cars, this small museum is a goldmine of artifacts and exhibits for anyone with an interest in history or railway transportation.

(415) 974-1948
Free admission.
... More

4. SF Museum of Modern Art

SFMOMA includes 26,000 works of modern and contemporary art with an emphasis on photography, painting and sculpture, architecture and design, and media arts. The museum’s painting and sculpture collections include Abstract Expressionism, Conceptualism, German Expressionism, and the art of California. The photograph collection also comprises... More

If you're looking to shop until you drop, then look no further than Union Square. The Union Square area of San Francisco includes hotels, department stores, upscale boutiques, theaters, etc.

Union Square was also the principal exterior location for the famous 1974 movie ‘The Conversation’, directed by San Francisco resident Francis Ford Coppola... More

6. Westfield Shopping Center

Two blocks from Union Square, Westfield Shopping Center contains a Century Theatres multiplex and over 170 stores including the west coast flagship Bloomingdale's and the second largest Nordstrom store in the U.S.

(415) 512-6776
Free admission.

Rebuilt after being destroyed in the 1906 earthquake, the City Hall and surrounding landscape is an impressive sight to behold. Head inside the building and you’ll remain impressed, and you can even sign up for a free 45 minute tour.

Movie buffs may recognize the building from some prominent San Francisco films including Milk, Bedazzled, The... More

A side trip here would add 0.2 miles to your total journey. You will have a hill to tackle on this side trip, but since the route is so short it should be a small obstacle only.

Surviving the twin threats of earthquakes and redevelopment, many fine examples of Victorian homes still exist today scattered throughout the city, but none are so well-known as the Painted Ladies on Alamo Square. You’ll have seen them in every guidebook and on every postcard rack (which is why this viewpoint is also known as 'Postcard Row') and... More

10. Return Trip: Oak Street

Travel for three blocks along the busy Oak Street in one-way traffic heading downhill. If you prefer to avoid the busy traffic you might want to take Page Street instead.

A side trip here would add 0.3 miles to your total journey. This route is slightly uphill to Haight Ashbury.

If you’re going to San Francisco, you might want to be sure to wear flowers in your hair when you’re visiting Haight Ashbury, a neighborhood forever immortalized by the era of the Summer of Love.

Back in 1967 a perfect storm of counter-culture, psychedelic rock music and drug subculture all came together here. The Grateful Dead, Jefferson... More

13. Children's Playground and Carousel

One of the oldest playgrounds in the United States is still a great place to take the kids - whether their preference is for the sand pit, climbing frames or concrete slides.

The area even includes a 1914 era classic wooden carousel complete with a menagerie of animals to ride from horses and camels, to frogs and ostriches!

The oldest wood and glass conservatory in North America, the Conservatory of Flowers is not only wonderful example of Victorian architecture, but it also houses exotic plants, tropical flowers, and special exhibits.

(415) 831-2090
Paid admission.

The California Academy of Sciences is the only museum in the world that can boast an aquarium, planetarium, natural history museum and a four-story rainforest dome all under the same roof. Speaking of the roof, the open-air observation deck on the museum roof features the densest concentration of native wildflowers in San Francisco.

(415) 379... More

The De Young Museum not only has world class art, but also has one of the best views of Golden Gate Park and San Francisco at its observation tower, a glass enclosed structure that provides 360 degree views.

The museum’s general collection includes American Painting, American Decorative Art, African Art, Art of the Americas, Oceanic Art, and... More

17. SF Botanical Gardens

The San Francisco Botanical Garden contains over 8,000 varieties of plants from around the world spread out over 55 landscaped acres. You can see plants from New Zealand, South Africa, East Asia, Chile, Australia, as well as California natives. There are also some special gardens including a Meso-American Cloud Forest, a Redwood Trail, and a... More

USA's oldest public Japanese tea garden was originally built as the Japanese Village for the California Midwinter International Exposition in 1894, which pre-dates the more modern Worlds Fair festivals.

Wander through the garden and enjoy the decorative foilage, koi ponds, wooden bridges and artistic pagodas chased with a refreshing cup of tea... More

When you fancy a break from pedaling around the park, why not pedal around a Stow Lake instead? Or if you prefer to give your legs a rest, try renting a rowing boat instead to explore the lake, the waterfall and the pagoda. And try and spot some turtles, too.

Paid boat rental.
(415) 752-0347

20. Bison Field

A legacy of a century old commitment to conservation, San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park has been home to a small herd of bison since 1891 back when their numbers where dangerously low. Today’s animals still call the park home.

21. Dutch Windmill

One of two windmills located within the park, the restored Dutch Windmill is an impressive landmark. Commissioned in 1902 the windmills were built to pump water to the park, but became relics once more effective electric pumps took over pumping duties.

Two restaurants, one building. Choose the upstairs Beach Chalet for views facing Ocean Beach and some spectacular sunsets, or decide on the slightly less formal Park Chalet at ground level which opens up onto lawns and patios. Both venues are highly recommended.

(415) 386-8439

23. Side Trip: SF Zoo

A side trip here would add 4.4 miles to your total journey. There are no hills on this side trip.

24. SF Zoo

At the San Francisco Zoo you can check out more than 250 species of animals and e
as well as view the daily penguin, grizzly, or American white pelican feedings.

(415) 753-7080
Paid admission.

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