Exploring San Francisco by bike is one of the best ways of discovering the city like a local. Even though all of our tour guides are 100% local — sometimes you just want to choose-your-own-adventure. That’s why we publish a new DIY San Francisco Tour every week!
These DIY San Francisco Tours are perfect companions to our bike rentals (click on the redlink here on this page to check out our e-bike rentals). Whether you’re looking to zip up the notorious hills of San Francisco on an electric bike or to get the real SF experience in a traditional bike, we’ve got you covered with our San Francisco bike rentals.
Even if you’re exploring around town by foot or by bike, here’s what to grab to create a perfectly selected Ferry Building picnic to sample tastes from across the San Francisco Bay.
Ferry Building Picnic Essentials
You can’t have a picnic without some freshly baked bread. You’ll find Acme Bread Company has been served at some of our favorite restaurants around town since 1983. But you can buy directly from their Ferry Building bakery! Acme might not have invented sourdough bread (that’s our other waterfront bakery Boudin’s Bakery in the heart of Fisherman’s Wharf), but you’ll be hard pressed to find a local that doesn’t rave about Acme Bread. You can grab a fresh baguette here — or have them make a sandwich with it.
Top it with something creamy: Look no further than Cowgirl Creamery. Their Mt. Tam cheese is a staple for many SF locals. We’re not kidding — even the Muir Woods Cafe serves up this creamy, spreadable cheese in their Marin Melt Grilled Cheese that appeared on Food Network’s The Best Thing I Ever Ate! Who says a DIY San Francisco Tour can’t be a DIY San Francisco Food Tour?
Top it with something sweet: Try some farm-to-ferry jams and marmalade at Frog Hollow Farm. These jams come from their 143 acre farm about an hour outside of San Francisco. These local farmers have been organic in 1989 — so you’ll be shopping local and shopping organic!
Top it with something meaty: Two words: rotisserie chicken. Head over to Golden Gate Meat Company’s hot counter to pick-up some fresh, natural and organic rotiesserie chicken from one of SF’s favorite butchers since 1977. The hot sandwiches from their deli are also, deeeeee-licious!
Don’t forgot to pick-up some sweet treats! Choose your favorite looking desserts from one of Conde Nast’s top pastry shops in the world, San Francisco’s very own Miette Patiesserie. If you need a little more dessert on your DIY San Francisco Tour you can also hop over to Dandelion Chocolate. They actually have flights of dessert (yes, you read that right). What would you expect from San Francisco’s last standing chocolate factory?
Where to enjoy your picnic
After packing your picnic, you can hit the streets of San Francisco to find the perfect park to enjoy it at. Personally, we think the Full House house at Alamo Square makes for the perfect backdrop for a picnic. If it was good for the Tanners it’s good for us! We’ve mapped out our favorite route from our Dylan’s Tours bike shop to the Ferry Building and up to Alamo Square to enjoy the amazing views of the downtown skyline as you picnic.
Afterwards, our route will steer you towards notorious hippie hangout Haight-Ashbury. The scene doesn’t look all that different from the Summer of Love at first glance. But look closely, and you’ll notice Haight Street is home to some pretty big names in urban street ware.
None of our minibus tours of San Francisco head into Golden Gate Park to explore. So we always suggest travelers head into the park to our Victorian Era greenhouse — The Conservatory of Flowers. I makes for some memorable photos, from both the outside and inside. Stopping to discover what’s hiding within is a welcome reprieve from the hustle and bustle of biking around the city.
From there you’ll shoot over to the city’s Army base turned National Park, The Presidio of San Francisco. That’s where you’ll find the infamous Golden Gate Bridge tucked away on its farthest corner — spanning a one mile entry into the mouth of the San Francisco Bay. You’ll be able to take your time enjoying the views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz and the city skyline while you’re on your own DIY San Francisco Tour before heading back to drop off your bike