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One Fine Day: Biking by the Bay

Bike through beautiful San Francisco.


10:45 am Hop on a bike // Photo by Darryll White

As much as we have always wanted to bike along San Francisco’s beautiful waterfront, the closest my husband and I ever got was buying a heavy-duty, city-style U-shaped bike lock. But when we heard about Hotel Vitale’s Bike the Bay package, we grabbed the chance to enjoy the city on two wheels.


3 p.m.

We roll into the hotel at check-in time the day before our bike ride, and I dash to the seventh floor for a de-stressing massage and facial. I want to get my relaxation going right away and am glad the fellow who works me over is a pro.

3:00 pm Arrive at Hotel Vitale.
4:45 p.m.

Properly de-stressed, I meet my husband at the fifth-floor deck to watch the hipsters hanging out on the Embarcadero, the kids screaming down the zip line over Justin Herman Plaza, and the sailboats racing by on the Bay.

5:45 p.m.

If Boulevard wasn’t right across the street, we might have enjoyed a bottle of wine on the hotel deck and called it a night. But with the restaurant’s cocktails tantalizingly close, we descend from our perch. I go mad for the limone fizz: muddled mint, fresh lemon juice, one shot of Limoncello, and Roederer.

7:15 a.m.

Wanting to explore, we head for the pier, taking the time to read the plaques about the fish in the Bay. The singles scene at Hotel Vitale’s streetside bar catches our eye: It is hopping. We grab a few appetizers inside while we watch the scene and toast that those crazy single days are well behind us.

8 a.m.

We love the Ferry Plaza’s farmers market. And there it is, right across the street. We devour egg-and-bacon sourdough sandwiches from Rose Pistola, with cups of Blue Bottle coffee.

8:00 am Breakfast at the Ferry Plaza
10:45 a.m.

At Bike and Roll, two blocks from the hotel, we hop on our reserved Trek bikes and head for the Golden Gate. The start of the ride is tricky, negotiating a zillion pedestrians—not to mention the cars on the busy Embarcadero. Good thing they gave us helmets.

11:15 a.m.

We get the hang of biking in traffic and cut up on the sidewalks when they’re clear. We pull off to feast on the picnic the Vitale staff packed for us: ham and Swiss sandwiches, grilled veggie salad, cheese, chocolate-chip cookies, and a bottle of Pinot.

12 p.m.

A cold headwind at Crissy Field has us pulling on jackets, but when we arrive at the Golden Gate Bridge, it’s worth it. We play tourist and take a bunch of snapshots, stroll around, watch the sailboats, and thank our lucky stars that we finally got to bike along the Bay.

The Bike the Bay package, $659, includes accommodations, bike rental, massage, and picnic for two; (415) 278-3700, hotelvitale.com.

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