Tiburon is another small town similar to Sausalito, but far less crowded with tourists.
While biking the Golden Gate has been turned into a popular tourist activity by many bike rental companies in San Francisco, it is still an ideal way to spend an afternoon for both visitors to San Francisco and locals alike. Bike rental shops, such as Blazing Saddles and Bike and Roll, in the Embarcadero and Fisherman’s Wharf offer affordable rentals for the day and include maps and friendly assistance with directions.
Start your bike ride at either the Embarcadero or Fisherman’s Wharf and head West past Fort Mason, through the Marina District, and into the Presidio. Most of the route is on protected bike lanes so prepare for a comfortable ride. As you approach the bridge, the views become increasingly impressive so take your time to stop and take photographs along the way. Heading onto the bridge, you are offered views on your left to the Pacific and on your right to downtown San Francisco and the Bay Area’s other iconic bridge, the Bay Bridge.
On the Marin side of the bridge, head down the hill under the bridge to Fort Baker and peddle back up the hill and down the short stretch into Downtown Sausalito. Sausalito is an upscale small town in the Marin, full of restaurants and cafes. This is a good place to stop for a drink and some lunch at spots such as F3 with French burgers, the low-key Salsalito Taco Shop, or the recently-opened Barrel Room with its second story views towards San Francisco. Sausalito does get busy with tourists, especially on nice days during the weekend so if the crowds are too much, bike onwards to Tiburon.
The route to Tiburon is much less crowded with cyclists and the relatively flat bike paths winds through wetland estuaries and pleasant neighborhoods. Tiburon is another small town similar to Sausalito, but far less crowded with tourists. It is a perfect spot to either turn around to bike back to the city or hop on the ferry back to San Francisco. Ferries run from both Tiburon and Sausalito every half hour and take about 30 minutes to cross the Bay back to San Francisco, passing just by Alcatraz island on the way. Bicyclists are welcome to bring their bikes on board. The ride from San Francisco to Tiburon is a nice distance of about 18 miles.