During trip planning, we came across a link that showed some cycling routes around the San Francisco area. Looking at these routes we decided to put together a route of our own covering some attractions that neither of us had experienced during our past visits to San Francisco.
We again parked at the Presidio Parade Lawn parking lot before heading out to explore.
The Palace of Fine Arts
We started with The Palace of Fine Arts, which was built for the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition, which was San Francisco’s goal to host the greatest world fair of the new century after recovering from the 1906 earthquake, and a celebration of the completion of the Panama Canal.
It was initially intended to be taken down after the exposition and was not built to last. It has an extensive history that led to what is there today.
As we continued our tour, we rode through Fort Mason, enjoying some great views of the bay, the Golden Gate and Alcatraz. Fort Mason, once an historic army post, has a colorful history beginning with Black Point Battery during the civil war.
Aquatic Park Cove and San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park
Ghirardelli Square is directly above the Maritime Historical Park, so of course we felt a need to stop in for a treat. We were not disappointed.
Of course no trip to San Francisco is complete without a stop at Fisherman’s Wharf. Although we had been here before, we were riding through he area on the way to our next attraction. We stopped for some chowder at Boudin Bakery & Cafe.
Our next stop was Coit Tower. Although a popular attraction since 1933, neither of us had visited this attraction before. The views from the grounds were great. We went inside and saw the famed murals, although we had no previous knowledge of them. The Murals were created by 26 local artists as part of the New Deal in 1934.
We opted to not take the time to go to the top of the tower.
While most people have heard of Lombard Street and have seen pictures of it, we never really know why the switchbacks are there. Apparently in the 1920’s homeowners on this block decided it was too steep for comfort and decided to put the switchbacks in to make it ‘more manageable”.
As we rode our e-bikes down “the world’s crookedest street” I was not totally convinced the homeowners were successful in creating this “safety measure.” Of all the attractions we visited in San Francisco, this one block area had more tourists than any other place we visited.
The Painted Ladies
The iconic house that are seen in almost any San Francisco are known as the Painted Ladies.
These houses were built between 1892 and 1896 by developer Matthew Kavanaugh who lived in the mansion next door. Interestingly, one of them is currently for sale for $3.5 million. I looked at the listing for fun and discovered that the inside of this house is completely neglected, to the point that it looks like an abandoned home that has been left to ruin for multiple years. See some Listing Photos HERE
Back To The Presidio
After seeing the Painted Ladies we rode back to the Presidio where we parked the truck. The route we rode was fairly low traffic until we left Washington Square. The area between there and The Painted Ladies, we encountered some heavy traffic and some less glamorous parts of the city. Not diffrent from what you will see in any larger city, but we got a glimpse of the harshness of life that is reality.
It was a fun day and interesting to visit these attractions that for the most part, we had not heard of before this trip.